Singapore: Anti Gay or a Gay Friendly Travel Destination?

Author: , October 29th, 2013

Singapore

Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

Legally, Singapore is not friendly to the LGBT community; in practice, however, it’s a different story.

The country is known for its extremely strict laws, with mandatory sentences for offenses such as vandalism, for which offenders are caned.

Its Penal Code states, “Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years,” according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans And Intersex Association.

In an interview with the BBC, the Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, Lionel Yeo, was asked by Fast Track host Rajan Datar if they welcome gay visitors to Singapore; he responded without hesitation, “We do. We do not discriminate against any type of visitors.”

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Singapore – Off the Beaten Path

Author: , July 11th, 2013

Pink Dot Singapore 2013A couple articles on Singapore came through this week. The first, from Sherman’s Travel. looks at some of the great things to do in this city-state:

It was voted one of the top places to travel in 2013 by the New York Times, and on August 9, Singapore will go into overdrive during National Day, the country’s equivalent to July 4th. Tourist-driven spots like Marina Bay Sands, Clarke Quay and Orchard Road will be their usual pedestrian-clogged selves, but for travelers seeking a subtler, more engaging experience, you won’t have to look far. On a recent trip, I bypassed all the spectacle and cheap thrills that the city is usually known for, and found another side to Singapore that contradicted everything I’d previously read: elegant concert halls, artsy boutique hotels, a nature reserve accessible only by ferry. I left with a greater appreciation for the city, its unique history, and the bright future that seems to be unfolding for it.

Over at Passport Magazine, they’re reviewing Singapore’s biggest gay event – the annual Pink Dot festival.

It was a sea of cotton-candy pink in Singapore’s business district as over 21,000 gays and lesbians filled the area with their bright attire on June 30. This gathering is an annual celebration called “Freedom to Love,” or better known as “Pink Dot.” In its fifth year, this has been Pink Dot’s largest gathering, and it has received support from companies such as Google and Barclays bank. While the Singapore government continues to keep anti-gay law on the books with Section 377A criminalizing sexual acts between men, in private or public, the population has begun to accept and even embrace the LGBT community.

Gay Pride Season Updates: Boston, DC, San Diego, Kiev, Moscow, Singapore

Author: , May 23rd, 2013

Gay Pride Flag San FranciscoGot a new batch of Pride updates for you today spanning the globe.

BOSTON READY TO CELEBRATE FOR GAY PRIDE

Boston is ready to put the marathon bombing behind and to move on to celebrate gay pride. Passport Magazine reports:

It’s time for Boston to come together and show what an amazingly diverse, strong, and welcoming city Boston truly is. So, grab your favorite rainbow piece, a pair of booty shorts, and bring along your pride because Boston Pride is back. From May 31-June 9, Bean Town hosts myriad events under the umbrella theme of “Moving forward… Proud, Strong, United.” Don’t miss the annual kickoff flag-raising ceremony, the Royal Pageant, the Boston Pride Festival, and the return of the Boston Pride Block Party June 9.

DC TO CELEBRATE BLACK PRIDE OVER THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

A little to the south, the nation’s capital is ready to celebrate black pride this weekend. The Washington Blade has the schedule:

So much to do this weekend during D.C.’s annual Black Pride festival. There are several events occurring this Memorial Day. D.C. Black Pride is the official planning organizing agency but several other groups also have parties and activities planned for black LGBT people and allies.

SAN DIEGO PRIDE RETAINS GENERAL MANAGER

Across the country in San Diego, the Pride board of directors decided to keep its managing director. LGBT Weekly reports:

The board of directors of San Diego LGBT Pride announced today that Stephen Whitburn will continue to head the organization as its general manager. Whitburn had held the position in an interim capacity since January. San Diego Pride’s previous director, Dwayne Crenshaw, departed the organization amid his recent run for a seat on the San Diego City Council. The board moved quickly following the news that Labor coordinator and former police lieutenant Myrtle Cole had defeated Crenshaw in the race for the District 4 seat.

Over in Asia, Joe.My.God hilights a promo video for the Pink Dot festival, coming June 29th.

UKRAINE COURT BANS KIEV PRIDE MARCH

In a move that is not at all surprising, if disappointing, a court in Ukraine just blocked a gay pride march. Edge Boston reports:

Kiev’s district court on Thursday upheld a suit by city authorities, who argued that the rally would disturb annual Kiev Day celebrations and spark violence. Last year, organizers canceled the event at the last minute when skinheads gathered at its planned location, intent on beating up the participants. Members of radical groups attacked two leading gay activists in subsequent weeks.

MOSCOW GAY PRIDE TO GO ON DESPITE BAN

And over in nearby Russia, a Moscow Gay pride parade is set to go on tomorrow despite a ban there. Gay Star News reports:

A Moscow suburb court upheld the decision of the city authorities not to permit a gay pride parade this Saturday (25 May). Despite the ban, activists say Moscow Pride will go ahead as planned. Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, stated: ‘Khimki City Court upheld the ban on the planned Gay Pride rally and march.’ He added he would appeal on Monday to the Moscow Regional Court.

Date Announced for 2013 Singapore Pink Dot Festival

Author: , March 9th, 2013

Pink Dot SingaporeSingapore’s fabulous gay festival, Pink Dot, has announced the date for the 2013 event. Gay Star News reports:

Speaker’s Corner at Hong Lim Park in Singapore will once again turn a rosy hue for Pink Dot, which will be on Saturday 29 June this year. Like last year, those who believe that everyone should have the ‘freedom to love’ with gather at dusk with pink lights to form a dot showing there is support for LGBT rights in socially conservative Singapore.

Like we said, fabulous.

Gay Cruise News: Singapore to Hong Kong in March; Danube River Cruise Report

Author: , February 21st, 2013

Gay CruiseRainbow Tourism reports on a new Atlantis gay cruise in Asia setting out from Singapore on March 31st:

This March 31 – April 11, set sail on the high seas for a fantastic voyage from Singapore to Hong Kong with Atlantis. The premiere agency when it comes to gay cruises, expect to feel the warm breeze of South-East Asia across your skin as you sail through some of the most memorable and pristine waters that the Earth has to offer. Cruising along with a ship full of like-minded individuals as you explore 4 unique countries is an experience like no other. Atlantis specialises in ensuring that each and every participant has the experience of a life-time and this trip will be no different. So whether you are exploring the amazing beaches of Koh Samui or wandering the streets of Ho Chi Minh, Atlantis has got you covered.

Over at Passport Magazine, Matthew Wexler reports on a gay cruise up the Danube River:

The sun has begun to set. It is the “golden hour” when everything (and everyone) looks warm and inviting. The skeptic in me wants to believe that I am seeing the world through Campari glasses, but my inner wide-eyed traveler reminds me that I have just set sail down the Danube River. Flickering tiny villages give way to vineyards built into steep hills that rise out of the riverbed. Cities appear beyond smokestacks and water locks. On board as the temperature begins to cool, men walk hand in hand along the deck and women snuggle under cozy blankets. I am aboard Brand g Vacations’ inaugural itinerary—a privately chartered cruise from AmaWaterways, one of Europe’s leading riverboat operators. The current carries us down river as a piano player’s tuneful musings rise from the lounge below. How I wish this golden hour would never end.

I remember our RSVP Caribbean cruise fondly – there’s something great about being surrounded by other LGBT travelers – a what-if-the-whole-world-were-gay vibe. :)

Singapore’s Pink Dot Festival in Video

Author: , July 3rd, 2012

Stick around for when they light up the pink dots. This was Singapore’s third fourth Pink Dot and I think I need a tissue.

NOTE: Organizers point out that the fireworks and national flag fly-over was just a happy coincidence from the nearby National Day Parade.

Full Story from Joe.My.God

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Five Great Asian Travel Destinations

Author: , June 17th, 2012

Japan Gay TravelAre you looking for an unforgettable gaycation in the Far East? From beautiful landscapes to incredible nightlife, these five destinations won’t disappoint.

5. Seoul, South Korea: Modern, cosmopolitan and fabulous, there’s no city like gay Seoul. Voted by Chinese, Japanese and Thai tourists as the top travel destination, you’ll find a few different gayborhoods. Itaewon is where you’ll find the hottest gay clubs, restaurants and boutiques.

4. Singapore: Chinatown is where you’ll find the most popular gay bars, which is easily accessible by public transportation. Backstage Bar is one of the hottest clubs catering to queer patrons. For a change of scenery, head to Tanjong Beach in Sentosa, one of Singapore’s most popular gay beaches.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources in Asia.

 

Singapore’s Gay Bars

Author: , May 31st, 2012

Singapore’s immaculate streets, filled with bustling citizens, epitomizes modern efficiency and is quite the sight to behold! The nightlife on this vibrant island is vibrant and thriving, with a growing following and never a lack of great people watching. To get your LGBT party fix during your next visit to Singapore, check out our top five Singapore gay bar picks!

Singapore’s immaculate streets, filled with bustling citizens, epitomizes modern efficiency and is quite the sight to behold! The nightlife on this vibrant island is vibrant and thriving, with a growing following and never a lack of great people watching. To get your LGBT party fix during your next visit to Singapore, check out our top five Singapore gay bar picks!

Tantric Bar: Probably the most popular gay bar in Singapore, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights with party boys who down a few cocktails before heading across the road to Taboo. This venue features a great mix of sights, sounds and reasonably-priced drinks- all of which makes the open air courtyard and indoor bar of Tantric Bar a great place to start any night out.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

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The Best Rooftops in Asia

Author: , April 29th, 2012

Moonbar, Bangkok, ThailandWhat could be better than to combine amazing drinks, a great, sexy, and sophisticated crowd, and the most breathtaking 360 degree panoramic views of one of the up and coming and avant-garde cities of Asia? As soon as I arrive to any big urban destination on this side of the world, my first question to pop up to the concierge of my hotel is, “Where are the Roof Top Bars?” and there I go, and there I went to share my experiences with you.

My absolute favorite is the Ku De Ta Lounge in Singapore on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino SkyPark. Featuring the most spectacular 360 degree views of Singapore Bay, particularly from their beyond real infinity pool. Ku De Ta is divided into two sections, including the restaurant and the lounge/club.

Ranking second is the world renown SkyBar in Bangkok, Thailand. This Rooftop Bar was made famous by the movie The Hangover II. It’s located on top of the The Dome at State Tower Lebua Hotel. You can see mesmerizing views of the city and the Chao Phraya River as you’re suspended in the sky on the 63rd floor. Sit at the stunning multi-hued bar with the finest selection of vintages, beverages, cocktails and appetizers in Bangkok.

Full Story from dot429

Click here for gay travel resources in Asia.