Gay Panama – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , September 20th, 2018

Gay Panama

If you have not yet been to Panama it is an absolute must. We only spent ten days in Panama and were pleasantly surprised to find gay owned hotels (like this luxury boutique in Bocas Del Toro) and a great gay scene in the Panama City itself.

We met up with Roberto Broce in Panama City to find our more about ‘gay Panama’ and find out if Panama is gay friendly. Here is our interview with him:

Hi Roberto! If you could introduce yourself to our readers first that would be great!

Roberto: Hi! My name’s Roberto Broce, I’m 26 years old and I work as a marketing analyst for the Innovation Centre of a foundation here in Panama called Ciudad del Saber. I’ve been travelling for 10 years living in almost every continent around the world, partaking in several social causes in places like China and Australia. I like kitesurfing, astronomy, and adventure travelling. I’m also single!

That sounds like you have seen a lot even at 26! Ok, so our first question – What is the stereotypical view of a Panamanian local towards someone who is LGBT (either local or tourist – is there a difference)

Roberto: It depends a lot on whether they were raised in an urban or a rural environment, their age, whether they were raised in a religious home, etc.

Let’s take a straight 30 something year old male raised in one of the suburbs of a satellite city outside Panama City in a catholic home. His exposure to LGBT people in the 90s and early 2000s was limited to TV characters that would exaggerate their mannerisms and were basically living cartoons, and to carnival queens that dress up in beautiful bright, feathery outfits and act in a very flamboyant manner. His vision is that gay people are flamboyant, cartoonish characters. Not necessarily reject them but also not completely accepting.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Panama Gay Travel Resources

Queer Philadelphia – Passport Magazine

Author: , September 20th, 2018

Philadelphia

It’s all sorts of star-studded in Philly tonight. John Waters mills about the lobby of the Wilma Theater, on Center City’s Avenue of the Arts, having just witnessed the world premiere of choreographer/director/dancer Bill T. Jones’ contemporary opera, We Shall Not Be Moved. The visually dazzling production bravely revisits a shameful moment in Philadelphia’s modern history, the 1985 police bombing of a West Philly row house occupied by members of black separatist group MOVE, which resulted in six deaths, many injuries, and a neighborhood consumed by flames. The opera is a fictitious account of an interracial clique of orphaned teens including a transgender male, seeking shelter in that now haunted building.

Addressing race, queerness, class disparity, police-citizen relations, and identity, it’s a profound work, presented jointly by Opera Philadelphia’s inaugural Festival O (www.operaphila.org/festival) and the concurrent Fringe Arts (www.fringearts.com).

Following its phenomenally successful 2017 edition, the second Festival O will take place September 20-30, 2018, and it’s but one of the fresh, delightfully queer developments making this ever-evolving City of Brotherly Love a repeat destination for many travelers.

The 22nd FringeArts, which encompasses about 1,000 events over 17 days at their five-year-old home venue on Delaware River Waterfront (which includes a 240-seat performance space and La Peg, a brasserie/beer garden), as well as at spaces throughout the city, runs from September 6-22, 2018.

Dense with vibrant, edgy productions from around the world and by homegrown talent alike, keep an eye out for anything by Philadelphia choreographer-performer Gunnar Montana (www.gunnarmontana.com). His way-gay, episodic “Kink Haus” was a 2017 standout thanks to sensual, edgy, and humorous vignettes featuring agile and attractive men, women, and those who blurred the distinction, plus Cirque du Soleil–level acrobatics.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at Passport

Philadelphia Gay Travel Resources

Queer History Along Route 66 – SDGLN

Author: , September 19th, 2018

Route 66 - pixabay

The subject of gay bars from the past really interests me.

Route 66, a National Treasure of the National Trust, winds its way some 2,400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. It weaves past small towns, big cities, National Parks, roadside attractions, and also: gay bars.

As one of the first cross-country highways, Route 66 connected refugees from the Dust Bowl to safety in the 1930s, troops to military bases during World War II, and post-war Americans to California and the western states in the 1950s and onwards. While I traveled Route 66 with the National Trust from Chicago to Springfield, Missouri, I documented places in communities along the iconic highway that historically welcomed gay travelers.

The subject of gay bars from the past really interests me.

Where I live in New York City I lead a walking tour about “gay bars that are gone” and people who attend share histories and sometimes memories from LGBT spaces, dating as far back as the 1870s. These are spaces where gay Americans found joy, love, community, and solidarity in the face of great social and political adversity. To document the “gay bars that are gone” of Route 66, I came with a few important things in my suitcase: two LGBT USA travel guides from the year (coincidentally) 1966 and a rainbow flag.

The travel guides were incredible. Both are rare finds and I had to convince folks from far away to scan archival copies and send to me. One was titled: The Lavender Baedeker ‘66: A Guidebook to Gay, Interesting, Hysterical, and Historic Places in the U.S., and it was published by a company listing LGBT-friendly establishments since 1961. The other guide was a Damron Guide from 1966, which is an LGBT travel company that still exists and has been publishing gay travel guides since 1964. This third edition Damron Guide chronicled more than 900 places across the United States and Canada recommended for gay travelers.

By Michael Ryan – Full Story at SDGLN

More From the Dolomites – Dolly Goolsby

Author: , September 19th, 2018

Good evening, all,

We had another adventure on the mountains this morning. Today, the weather was quite different from yesterday. There was a cloud cover and it was pretty breezy and chilly, once we got up to Compatsch. I took it easy today, only taking a cable car up to Puflatsch and back again. However, the view from up there made me so happy just to be up in those mountains.

However, after I had some coffee at the restaurant, I walked out and looked toward the west. I love this view, for you can see across the top of Italy, into Austria. If there weren’t any clouds, I believe you could see to Switzerland.

The kids weren’t deterred by the weather. They took the Trail of the Witches, up to the Witches’ Benches, following the path that overlooks the valley and the villages down below.

I have never seen fuzzy cattle before. After I saw the picture, I knew I would have to make that hike myself, just to see these guys up close. Mama cow has already shed her winter coat, by rubbing it off on the trees. I think she is trying to help her baby get that old stuff off. Mama really needs to get her bangs cut.

My way of relaxing is just to view this peaceful valley with the grand mountains in the background. Although I did not hike today, I found my happy place where I could simply absorb the beauty of the Alpe di Suisi meadow.

Tomorrow will be another day for exploring up on the Alpe di Suisi. I will write more about that after we get back from that adventure.

I hope you are enjoying the Dolomites with us.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Trentino Alto-Adige Gay Travel Resources

New in Queer Boston – Passport Magazine

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Boston - Pixabay

There’s a lot of action to be found in Boston these days…and certainly of the Lights! Camera!…Hollywood sort. “Amy Schumer shot I Feel Pretty here and was just dragging people into scenes off the street,” a guide for On Location Tours (www.onlocationtours.com/tour/boston-tv-movie) tells me during a Boston movie locations tour. Openly gay director Gus Van Sant also shot Good Will Hunting in the area, while Boston has also been a location for LGBT faves Legally Blonde and Ally McBeal. In fact, early 2018 saw Kevin Bacon, Jill Hennessy, Cathy Moriarty, and Aldis Hodge around for a new Showtime pilot, crime drama City on a Hill.

Location shooting aside, Boston is also seeing vibrant programs, festivals, and initiatives that promote movies, including those about and by LGBTQ folks. Besides the annual LGBT Film Festival, Wicked Queer(www.wicked queer.org), celebrating its 35th anniversary in March 2019, Autograph Collection’s 136-room The Envoy Hotel (70 Sleeper St. Tel: 617-338-3030. www.theenvoyhotel.com) launched a film-centric program in September2017 with a special screening and appearance by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The Autograph Collection initiative includes a library of indie films for hotels’ guests to stream on their TVs or iPads, and partnership/residency program with screenplay resource The Black List (www.blcklst.com), whose annual survey of the best unproduced screenplays has seen writers get launched into the Hollywood stratosphere. First time screenwriter Elizabeth Hannah’s The Post, turned into a Best Picture Oscar nominee by director Stephen Spielberg, was once on the list, while Jared Frieder, with a 2015 Black List script about a gay teenager, Three Months, went on to land a writing gig on MTV’s series Sweet/Vicious.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Boston Gay Travel Resources

Nashville’s Broadway – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Nashville's Broadway - Globetrotter Girls

After only two trips in seven months (the least traveling I’ve done in years!), August marked the month that I finally started traveling more again. And with trips lined up every month for the rest of the year, I decided to revive my Polaroid Of The Week series.

This weekly look back at what I’ve been up to might not be a full travel article on a destination, but it’ll give you an idea of what I’ve been up to and include at least one useful tip.

To kick off my late summer travels, I flew down to Nashville, Tennessee, a city I’ve been wanting to visit ever since watching The Thing Called Love with Sandra Bullock and River Phoenix in 1993. In recent years I kept hearing great things about the city, and after only one quick stop in Memphis years ago, I was excited to finally visit Nashville and to see more of Tennessee. Because Nashville was just the jumping-off point for a Tennessee road trip, or if I want to be 100% precise I should say Tennessee & North Carolina road trip because adding Asheville and the Great Smoky Mountains to our itinerary meant dipping into Tennessee’s eastern neighbor state for a few days.

Nashville did not disappoint – even though Nashville’s Broadway, lined with honky-tonks and bars felt a bit tacky, I enjoyed popping my head in some of them and lingering for a while in those that had great live music.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Bolzano – Dolly Travels

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Bolzano - Dolly Travels

Good evening,

I finally have time to sit and write. We have been in Bolzano since yesterday afternoon, and it seems we have been going non-stop since we arrived.

We had a long train trip from Vernazza to Bolzano. If you look at a map of Italy, you will see that we came from the Ligurian Coast to northern Italy, to the gateway to the Dolomites. Actually, I have to admit, our train trip wasn’t so bad. We got a medium high speed train, the Frecciaargento from La Spezia to Florence, taking only and hour and a half, versus the usual 3 hours on a regional train. We had to wait about an hour in Florence, then we got another Frecciaargento train direct to Bolzano, a little over three hours.

Our hotel, Hotel Feichter, is located about four blocks from the train station, near the center of town. We got checked in, then took a walking tour of the town. It is a lovely Austrian-looking town, and of course, as we walked, we did not hear Italian being spoken anymore; the primary language here is German. Everything is so clean and neat. We walked down one street that had a covered portico to shield us from the sun. The shops were pretty upscale, but we weren’t shopping, we were just strolling.

Of course, for me, the biggest draw to Bolzano, is that this city is the gateway to the Dolomites. From the walkway in front of my room, I can see the stark Dolomite mountains. They are calling me.

Last evening, we walked again, and had not really decided where to have dinner. There was a big black cloud hovering over the western edge of the city. I told the kids that our dinner destination would be determined by what that cloud did. Interesting enough, we were just a few steps from a brew pub when the first fat rain drops started to fall, and within minutes, everyone was scrambling to get out of the rain.

We made it into the pub, got seated and enjoyed a traditional Austrian type dinner.

Of course, Danny had a beer with his dinner. After all, he had to try the locally-made brew.

After dinner, the rain had stopped, so we were able to walk home without getting soaked. However, about an hour after we got back to the hotel, we were treated to one of the most spectacular lightning and thunder shows that I have ever seen, complete with pouring down rain. It was so incredible, I had to open my window and watch the show. Heather and Danny told me that they went out onto the walkway in front of our rooms to watch it. What a fantastic treat…one we could enjoy from the comfort of our rooms.

Today, we visited the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where we saw the displays focused on Ötzi, the Ice Man: an intact body of a man that was found high in the mountains between Austria and Italy in 1991. He has now been determined to be between 5,100 and 5,300 years old.

Later, we took a gondola up to the town of Oberbozen, a small resort town in the hills above Bolzano.

Tonight, we walked through some small streets, finally settling on one small restaurant for our dinner.

I do enjoy being in Bolzano, for it is an interesting city. There is a university here; it is the largest city in the northern part of Italy. There are many shops, eateries, plus parks and places to relax. Staying here is always a pleasure.

We will leave here in the morning, and take a bus for the one hour ride to Castelrotto, where we will spend four days, hopefully hiking and enjoying the outdoors in the clean Alpine air. For me, just being in the Dolomites makes me happy.

I will try to write a blog post within a day or two. It is hard to believe that this vacation is drawing to a close. What wonderful memories we will have to take home with us.

Arrivederci,
Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Trentino-Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources Gay Travel Resources

Is Russia Safe for Queer Travelers? – Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Russia for queer travelers

Editor’s note. We had some trepidation about posting this, given Russia’s current role in world affairs. But sunlight is the best disinfectant, and Russia is home to an active queer community, however suppressed it may be. So we decided it was important to shine a little light on that community.

Stefan’s coming out song in February 2003 was “All The Things You Said”, a pop hit by Russian girlband t.A.T.u, who were marketed as a lesbian couple. For the video of this song, the two band members, Lena Katina and Julia Volkova, were running around in the rain dressed in school girl outfits and making out.

Obviously the band were (quite successfully!) targeting a very specific heterosexual male demographic. But despite this, the very fact that such a public homosexual image was being shown and accepted across Russian society in the early 2000s, speaks volumes about attitudes to LGBTQ in Russian society…so what the hell went wrong since?!

Just before travelling on the Trans Siberian across Russia in 2014, almost every other person warned us “you better be careful in Russia boys, probably best avoid going altogether!”

With hindsight we are so glad we ignored this advice.

Yes, we were nervous when we first touched down at Domodedovo airport in Moscow. After all, we all know Russia has a terrible reputation for LGBTQ rights, particularly in light of the awful anti-gay propaganda law passed in 2013. Nonetheless, we were absolutely fine during our travels there. We were even pleasantly surprised that there are thriving gay scenes in Moscow and St Petersburg.

This is our advice about travelling safely in Russia for gay travellers based on our first hand experience exploring the country as a same sex couple.

Is it legal to be gay in Russia?

The good news first: it is legal to be gay in Russia! In fact it has been legal since 1993. In addition, the age for sexual consent (16 years old) has been the same for both straight and gay couples since 1993, except in Chechnya. It’s also legal for a single gay man to adopt, you can change your legal gender, and gays are allowed to serve in the Russian military (under a “don’t ask don’t tell policy) unlike in some European countries like Cyprus, which has a total LGBT ban in its army!

Another surprising fact about Russia is that gay men are allowed to donate blood without any restrictions. In the UK, we are required to have 3 months of no sexual relations before we can even be considered.

By AUTHOR – Full Story at SOURCE

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Taiwan’s Pingxi Lantern Festival – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , September 13th, 2018

PINGXI LANTERN FESTIVAL

If you are looking for magic, you should go to a sky lantern festival. Sky lantern festivals are one of the most magical things on earth. Disney dreams will come true. We can’t get enough of them, so after experiencing Yi Peng in Chiang Mai, we travel to Taiwan to experience the magic of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. It’s one of the most spectacular happenings in Taiwan.

As it’s a big happening, you would think there’s a lot of information available online. Unfortunately, the resources of the Taiwan Tourism Board were limited and the blog posts we found, didn’t provide us with the right transportation-information. Therefore, we end up in the wrong town. We will not let that happen to you, so here’s the ultimate guide to Pingi Sky Lantern Festival!

WHY SHOULD YOU GO?

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival takes place once a year, usually in February or March, during the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. The festival has been named one of the 15 Festivals To Attend Before You Die and one of the Best Winter Trips. So, it’s a must see! At night, thousands of lanterns float up into the night sky, and with them, so do many dreams and wishes for the new year. The lanterns are released in group releases. And it’s truly like a dream come true.

WHERE SHOULD YOU GO?

So here’s where it gets tricky. The festival takes place in the Pingxi district, in New Taipei City, and lantern releases are held in the towns Jingtong, Pingxi and Shifen. The biggest lantern releases are NOT held in Pingxi old town – so don’t try to go there, like we did. The biggest event is in Shifen, where they set up the main stage at a parking area and is transformed into the Shifen Sky Lantern Square. It’s located close to the Shifen waterfall, and only a short 15 minute walk from Shifen Station.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

China Gay Travel Resources

Nevada is Much More Than Vegas – Gay Star News

Author: , September 13th, 2018
Nevada - Gay Star News

Photo: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Vegas is like nothing else on Earth. And Las Vegas Boulevard, known more commonly as the Strip, is like nothing else in the city. To call the Strip iconic probably plays it down. The Statue of Liberty is iconic. So is the Palace of Westminster. The Strip is extra. 100-percent, 24-carat extra.

Bright lights, slot machines as far as the eye can see, slushies with a higher alcohol content than neat vodka; that’s what you see when you think of Vegas. Neverland on acid. Yet the City of Lights is just a single, glorious destination in Nevada and it’d be a crime not to venture out and see the state. Vegas is the perfect base from which to explore and, given the number of direct flights from the UK, the most accessible too. But first things first…

Every hotel, restaurant and casino worth its salt is situated in and around the Strip. There’s one for every budget, from the Bellagio if you’re blowing the bank (or you win big on a table while you’re there) to the gargantuan Caesar’s, to the more reasonably priced Flamingo, coming complete with a flock of flamingos in its garden. And nearly every hotel has a casino.

The rules of everyday life are suspended on the floor of the house. Servers will bring you a steady flow of free drinks and snacks (all you need do is tip), gamblers will huddle around machines and tables, smoking freely, and natural light is very hard to find, making it easy to forget the world outside.

By Andrew Gonsalves – Full Story at Gay Star News

Nevada Gay Travel Resources