These activists are offering queer history tours for World Cup fans in Russia

These activists are offering queer history tours for World Cup fans in Russia

15 June 2018

Activists in St Petersburg are offering football fans special tours on the city’s LGBTQ+ history as part of their own World Cup celebrations.

The special English-language walking tours will wind through the city’s historic centre, focusing on the lives of queer Russians and touching on the history of LGBTQ persecution.

The tours will form one part of the Cup for People project, organised by a group of grassroot projects and civic activists to promote diversity throughout the city.

The team will also be running exhibitions, workshops and match screenings at a dedicated centre just 50 metres from the main St Petersburg fan zone, as well as a dedicated online diversity guide and WhatsApp helpline for minority groups who could encounter problems when travelling around the country.

“Sporting events are not about great achievements, mega projects and competition for the sake of national prestige,” said guide Arseny Konnov. “[They’re about] a peaceful encounter of cultures and the joy of the game. We want everyone to feel at home in St Petersburg and leave with positive memories.”

For more information on the Cup for People project, visit the group’s website here. If you wish to contact the team WhatsApp helpline, either to report discrimination or to receive urgent help, message or call +79169481108.