Gay in Iran – The Globetrotter Guys Boys

Author: , June 24th, 2019

Gay Iran - The Globetrotter Guys

We have never been to Iran and in all honesty know very little about it. Speaking to friends, they would say the same.

Iran is ruled under Sharia Law which to say the least is very anti LGBT and as a gay couple, this often deters us from visiting a country like Iran. Safety comes first after all.

As such, we were very intrigued when speaking with one of our followers on Instagram, Pouya and his boyfriend Sobhan, who are a gay couple living in Iran.

With such little information out there about the day to day life of a gay Iranian we wanted to ask some questions to learn more about gay Iran, give these guys a platform and share their responses with you.

If anything, perhaps someone reading this from Iran or a similar country may take comfort in this interview and know they have people in their country that support them!

Anyway, over to Sobhan and Pouya to learn about being gay in Iran:

Hi guys, thank you so much for speaking with us! Please introduce yourself to our readers!

Pouya: Hi Sion, Ben and everyone reading this!

We are so glad to know you both and wish to see you one day here in Iran or somewhere else.

My name is Pouya, I am 30 years old and M.S. at Energy Engineering. I am working at an energy management company and still live at my parent’s home.

Me and Sobhan have been in a relationship for 1.5 years and we are planning to live together soon.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at Globetrotter Guys

 

Dubai Gay Friendly Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 15th, 2019

Dubai Gay Friendly Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

In 1991, there was just one sole lonely skyscraper in Dubai: the Dubai World Trade Centre. Fast forward 3 decades, the city has mushroomed with over 400, including the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa (830m / 2,723ft). Dubai’s growth over the past 30 years has accelerated its reputation from a desert city to one of the the most exciting and modern places in the world, earning it the nickname: the Las Vegas of the Middle East.

Dubai is also a major transport hub, making it a useful stopover to break up a long flight. Whether you’re visiting on a holiday or a layover, it’s always a fun place to come for beach time, shopping and some fascinating culture.

Gay travellers should be mindful that homosexuality is illegal in Dubai, so take care to avoid all public displays of affection. Despite this, a large underground LGBTQ scene does exist, particularly among the large cabin crew staff who live here.

In terms of gay, male-only hotels, there are none!

Your friend in destinations like these are the large international brands, which are accustomed to LGBTQ travellers and will always welcome us. Here are our favorite Dubai gay friendly hotels.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

 

Lesbian Tel Aviv – Go Girlfriend

Author: , March 10th, 2019

Lesbian Tel Aviv - Go Girlfriend

If Tel Aviv isn’t on your radar as a destination you need to visit, think again. The city is buzzing. It’s vibrant and artsy. It also has great shopping and a growing culinary scene. It’s happens to be Israel’s fastest growing city and its second largest after Jerusalem. Plus, over the past decade, Israel in general has become much safer in terms of security and you can travel without worry.

We consider Tel Aviv to be one of those gateway cities where flights are frequent and plentiful. Like Iceland is a stopover opportunity for many trans-atlantic flights, adding Tel Aviv as a stopover to a Mediterranean vacation can introduce you to a new cultural experience pretty easily.

Tel Aviv may seem far from where you live, but with a bit of planning and foresight, you can plan a trip there quite easily and go for a few days, or even a week, if you have the time. Tel Aviv makes for a great girl’s getaway with your girlfriends or sisters. Or go on a multi-generational trip with one, or both, of your parents and children. While it’s in the Middle East, Tel Aviv is more like New York City than Cairo. It’s modern, with skyscrapers and large buildings, plenty of hotels, and so much to see and do.

By Holly Rosen Fink – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Lesbian Tel Aviv Travel Resources

 

Most Gay Friendly Muslim Countries – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 30th, 2019

Most Gay Friendly Muslim Countries - The Nomadic Boys

Being openly gay in the Arab world is certainly not an easy feat! If it doesn’t land you a jail sentence or even a death penalty, the huge stigma attached to it will likely compromise your job prospects, alienate your family, or worse, make you the target of some pretty nasty homophobic violent crimes.

We have travelled extensively around the Middle East as a gay couple and overall had a positive experience. For example, we climbed the world’s tallest building in Dubai, got lost in the rich culture of Jerusalem, wondered around the souks of Tunis, visited stunning mosques in Abu Dhabi and even found a few gay clubs in Beirut. Of course we were always cautious to avoid any public displays of affection and only booked a double bed in hotels we were certain are gay friendly.

In this article, we’ve set out the 5 most gay friendly Arab countries based on our first hand experience and research. To be clear, this relates to the 22 Arab countries around the Middle East and North Africa, which are also member states of the Arab League. They are: Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Comoro Islands, Iraq, Djibouti, and the United Arab Emirates. This does not include Israel, Turkey and Iran.

The point of this article is to show that outside of the pink comfort zone of the gay friendly countries of the world, there also exist pockets of LGBTQ friendly destinations, even in the more unlikely of places, like in the Arab world!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

 

Getting From Beruit Airport to City Center – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Beruit Airport, Lebanon - The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon’s main international airport is the “Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport” (BEY), located around 9 km (5.6 miles) south from downtown Beirut.

It takes around 15 minutes by taxi to get from Beirut airport to the city centre. This is currently the main way to reach downtown Beirut from the airport as there is no public transport serving the airport.

We’ve set out below all the options available, including for late arrivals and other travel tips based on our personal experience travelling in Lebanon.

Public Taxi and Official Airport Taxi

Taxi is the main way to get from Beirut airport to the city centre and should cost no more than $20 (30,000 Lebanese pounds). There is always an abundance of public taxi drivers waiting outside the Arrivals Hall at all hours of the day. However, they do not use meters and will try to overcharge you the standard $20 rate.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

 

Gay Lebanon: Safe for Gay Travelers? – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 9th, 2018

Gay Lebanon

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly countries in the Arab world.

However, this is by Arabic standards. In other words, being gay in Lebanon won’t get you arrested with risk of death as it would in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran, and neither is it as restrictive as in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. However, being openly gay in Lebanon is a criminal offence, so you definitely need to be cautious.

We visited gay Lebanon as a gay couple to celebrate Stefan’s birthday. We absolutely loved the country, the people, the food and were so impressed to discover a thriving LGBTQ community, as well as a handful of really fun gay bars and clubs despite the anti-gay laws. Overall, travelling as a gay couple in Lebanon, we found it to be quite safe, but as long as you abide by various safety precautions.

Gay Rights in Lebanon

On the face of it, gay life in Lebanon is hard because homosexuality is a criminal offence. On the positive, there is a growing movement to decriminalise homosexuality in Lebanon on a political and legal level.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon Travel Resources

 

Gay Beruit – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 7th, 2018

Gay Beruit - The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly places in the Arab world. This is saying a lot for a country where homosexuality is still a crime. However, by comparison to its Arab neighbours, Beirut has the best (albeit quite underground) gay scene, including one of the largest gay clubs in the Middle East called POSH.

We visited gay Beirut from Cyprus to celebrate Stefan’s birthday over a long weekend and absolutely loved the food, the people and of course the many gay parties. This is our gay guide to Beirut featuring the best gay bars and clubs, events, gay friendly hotels and best things to do.

A word of warning to gay travellers to Lebanon, although the country is more progressive than places like Iran, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is still a largely Islamic influenced country where homosexuality remains illegal. Therefore, be careful with public displays of affection and avoid posting anything online that is LGBTQ related before/during your trip to prevent any problems at the airport immigration. Also, avoid having an Israeli stamp in your passport as Lebanon has an outright ban on anything related to Israel/Israelis. Be sure to check out our article about gay life in Lebanon for more practical safety tips.

Gay bars in Beirut

As homosexuality is still illegal in Lebanon, places are careful not to advertise themselves as being openly “gay bars“, preferring “gay friendly” instead, in order to prevent having any problems with the police. These are the main gay friendly bars in Beirut that are thriving despite the anti-gay laws:

Bardo: this is one of the oldest and famous gay bars of Beirut. It is popular with twinks (and their fans) especially at the “Powerpuff Queens” party every Thursday. Generally it doesn’t get busy until after 11pm. But if you come before, it’s a lot quieter, which makes it great for a few cocktails, especially during the week when they have 2 for 1 happy hour offers. Bardo is open every day until 2am and is located in downtown Beirut on Mexico Street, just off Hamra Street.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Beruit Travel Resources

 

Queer Dubai: Safe for Queer Travelers? – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , August 30th, 2018

Queer Dubai

Dubai is regarded as the Vegas of the Middle East. Just like Las Vegas it’s a new, modern city built in the middle of a desert. Unlike Las Vegas however, you risk getting into quite a bit of trouble if you openly express your sexuality in public…

Dubai is one of the 7 “Emirates” of the United Arab Emirates, a country ruled by a monarchy with Sharia Law in place. The other 6 Emirates are Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.

We explore whether queer Dubai is safe for gay travellers to visit, particularly in light of the anti-gay laws in place.

Is it legal to be gay in Dubai?

Short answer, no. Sadly, in Dubai, good old fashioned Sharia Law rules the school. If you’re caught having consensual gay sex, you face a short prison sentence and deportation.

In reality however, the Sharia police don’t come knocking on your door spying on your every move. The previous arrests of LGBTQ tourists happened as a result of public occurrences, like a Lebanese/Bulgarian lesbian couple kissing on a public beach, or a Pakistani/Filipino gay couple having oral sex in a car. In both situations the couples were arrested, imprisoned for a few months, then deported. One famous trans celebrity, Gigi Gorgeous, was denied entry to Dubai in August 2016 when the immigration staff realised she is trans.

Is there a gay scene in Dubai?

As it’s illegal to be gay here, there is no official gay scene in Dubai or LGBTQ organisation. However, thanks to the large expat population and the 20,000+ Emirates cabin crew who are based here, Dubai is seen as a sort of gay mecca by Arab men from surrounding countries. This is because there are a number of underground unannounced gay events taking place each week.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at Nomadic Boys

Ten Things to Do in Bahrain – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 18th, 2018

Bahrain - Keep Calm and Wander

Riches are the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when most people think of the Arab world. However, I’d like to add here that besides all of its oil reserves, luxury hotels, glittering gold, and everything expensive, I found Bahrain rich in culture, too. Wandering through the following 8 locations like the intrepid tourist that I am, I could sense the wisps of Arabian culture and the evolution of Bahrain to be just as fresh as anyone would think.

Let’s get down to the list of my top 10 things to do in Bahrain, shall we?

1. Say hi to the history at the Bahrain National Museum

Hitting on its cultural fabric, I first managed to visit a museum. Not just any museum, but the most popular and diverse museum of all the museums in Bahrain. Its postmodern building had much in store for me and I was literally dazzled by the type of landscaping that’s been done here. My favorite sights from the museum are the archeological relics from Dilmun Civilization and the temporary exhibits on tales.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Iran – Tips for Queer Travelers – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , May 12th, 2018

Gay Iran

This is a guest post by fellow gay blogger Michael Demmons of the TheRTWGuys travel blog:

Iran’s human rights record is bad. There is no sugar-coating that. When it comes to gay people, it’s almost as bad as it gets. Most LGBT people who follow the news know the terrible punishments that Iran has imposed for people even suspected of being gay.

Some human rights organisations say that between 4,000-6,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran since 1979. As recently as April 2017, 30 gay men were arrested in the Isfahan province.

Transgender people fare no better. The only “bright” side is that being transsexual is legal in Iran, but only if accompanied by a gender reassignment surgery. Surprisingly, that surgery can be partially covered by the government. In fact, after Thailand, Iran carries out the most sex reassignment surgeries than any other country in the world.

Is Iran safe for gay citizens? Probably not in general.

Is Iran safe for gay tourists? That’s a little more complicated.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys