Gay.Ru, a non-for-profit Moscow-based gay, lesbian and transgender group has existed since 1996. It started as a discussion group under the name Fido7.Ru.Sex.Gay in the amateur messaging network FIDO. This was the first ever forum where Russian-speaking gays could discuss their problems.
Over five years Gay.Ru has developed into an established and recognized Russian gay and lesbian center (Russian National GLBT Center "Together"). It acts as the clearing house for lesbian and gay groups scattered across the country. We keep contacts with all existing gay, lesbian, and AIDS organizations in Russia and maintain on-going correspondence and reporting to international gay and lesbian organizations, including ILGA, IGLYO and ILGHRC. We collect and publish all information on gay and lesbian activities in all republics of the former USSR, we disseminate information on lesbian and gay rights in domestic and international context, legal developments as applied to gay issues, legislation and case law of international courts. We have established a sort of a virtual gay community where people can find support and assistance. We are supported in our endeavors by the prominent Russian scholar and researcher in the area of sexuality and homosexuality Professor Igor S. Kon.
Our web-site features more than 80,000 articles and documents in Russian and 500 in English and updates daily. Gay.ru is visited by more than three million visitors yearly or over 40,000 hits a day, including weekends. We made Gay.Ru a place where our gay, lesbian, and questioning visitors can find such vitally important information as psychological aspects of coming out, coping with homophobia, safer-sex techniques; read life stories of fellow gays and lesbians and receive a response to their questions.
Gay.Ru has never received an official registration with the competent Russian authorities till 2002. On two occasions, in 1999 and in 2000, our lawyer Nikita Ivanov filed the required foundation documents for the registration of a non-profit association under the name Rainbow Sphere with the Moscow city department of justice, but both times the registration was refused on allegedly formal grounds. Finally, in 2002 we obtained an official registration as "Ïðîñâåòèòåëüñêèé öåíòð ß+ß", whis is promoted in English as Russian National GLBT Center "Together".
Our recent projects within Gay.ru include a daily updated news feed offering international gay news in Russian to our readers, "lesbi.ru" - our sister site for the lesbian women, "365.gay.ru" - a calendar to commemorate dates of the gay history, "moscow.gay.ru" - a guide to gay Moscow, and many more.
We have a permanent office in Moscow, 15 employees and more than 50 volunteers both in Russia and abroad. Our web activities are self-sustainable, we use the profit from Internet e-business (such as web design, hosting and banner exchange networks) and mail order sales to fund our web-site.