A performer prepares to take part in a drag queen show backstage at Mayak, a gay cabaret club in Sochi, Russia,Oct. 28, 2013.
During Soviet times, Sochi gained a reputation for tolerance, but the city's once vibrant gay scene has been shrinking since Russia won the right to host the 2014 Winter Games.
Gay rights activist Vladislav Slavsky (R) poses for a photograph with his boyfriend, who wants to remain anonymous, at the Black Sea promenade in Sochi, Oct. 21, 2013.
This year President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors.
His increasingly conservative social agenda has boosted the role of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose leader has suggested homosexuality is one of Russia's biggest threats, and given more air time to anti-homosexual rhetoric on media outlets.
The new law has focused attention on Sochi, which will host many foreigners as well as Russians during the Olympics. Some activists have called for a boycott of the Games in protest.