Travelling With Acceptance: The 5 Most Gay Friendly Cities in the World

Author: , January 15th, 2014

Paris, FranceWhen planning your next vacation, make sure you can relax and explore hassle-free. As a member of the LGBT community, there’s no need to feel limited — there’s plenty of amazing, cultural, and activity-filled travel spots, that take pride in their tolerance.

Consider these five spots for your next trip:

1. New York, NY

New York City: It’s the city that never sleeps and never judges. It’s arguably the gay capital of the world, with the Stonewall bar riots sparking the gay rights movement and gay pride parades and events across the world. As a whole, New York thrives on variety, with Ellis Island heralding cultural diversity, and both the business world and the arts represented enthusiastically. As such, the community embraces any sexual orientation, but rightly never defines anyone by it; it’s just part of the norm.

In Manhattan, the sites and activities are endless, but venturing into Brooklyn only extends the possibilities. In particular, Greenwich Village, Chelsea with Christopher St., and East Village with 8th Avenue showcase a thriving gay community full of lively bars, shops, and clubs. So once you hit tourist necessities like the Empire State building and Times Square, strolled museums, venture further and hit growing gay areas like Hell’s Kitchen and the Meatpacking District.

For travel ideas with gay venues in mind, The Center, New York City’s LGBT community center, offers not only support, but multitudes of ideas to make a trip to New York as sleepless as you want.

2. San Francisco, CA

A focal point in gay rights advocacy, San Francisco, standing out in one of the most gay-friendly states, houses one of the densest gay populations, and a vibrant culture of gay-rights. Where New York competes in diversity, San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Square and Castro Theatre make the Castro District feel like the true epicenter of gay pride.

San Francisco falls only behind Palms Springs in percentage of same-sex households. The gay festivities and parades don’t get stuffed into one month; expect year-round events, such as the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in June or the Castro Street Fair in October.

U City’s Guide to Gay San Francisco promotes San Francisco’s gay-friendly atmosphere beyond the Castro, with mixed and gay-oriented city

3. Barcelona, Spain

No longer a gay-haven just for the nearby beaches (about a thirty minute train ride away), Barcelona’s mixed gay and straight communities blossomed into a trendy, cosmopolitan travel destination. Despite the Franco-era oppression of gay rights, Barcelona proved a safe-haven from then to present, and Spain now proudly maintains equal rights in marriage.

Specifically, The Independent cites Eixample, which plays host to most of the gay bars, but also features some of the most elite mixed bars in Barcelona, and the alleys of El Raval as prime examples of a robust gay culture.

But one caution for Barcelona: It’s known for heavy pick-pocketing. If you’re carrying a wallet or purse, make sure yours fits in a front or concealed pocket, and opt for a crossover bag. Of course, you’ll want to take equal measures that your possessions are safe at home while you’re away in Spain. Following that line of thought, consider visiting http://www.securitychoice.net to ensure all your belongings stay one-hundred percent secure while away on your trip.

4. Berlin, Germany

Although Berlin’s dark history of intolerance is well-known, the city has since come to embrace and exhibit an atmosphere of open acceptance, making it possibly the most gay-friendly city in Europe. Restaurants offer monthly gay publications to browse, and some gay guides to Berlin prove as useful as general guides.

The Schwules Museum features standard and circulating exhibits to chronicle the struggles and gains for homosexuals in Berlin. In comparison to New York, Berlin’s LGBT community integrates into every corner of the city, concentrating in specific areas like Schoneberg, Friedrichshain, and Prenzlauer Berg, but every area truly epitomizes acceptance. Stop at the famous Kit-Kat for a wild night after a day’s stroll viewing restored buildings and sprawling parks.

5. Paris, France

Renown for free-thinking and romance, Paris proved a natural fit for some of the brightest minds in art and literature to escape persecution and live without any fuss over their sexual preferences. As such, the famous cemetery, Père Lachaise, marks the resting place of Gertrude Stein and Oscar Wilde. Paris also took the initiative in Europe when they became the first city to elect a gay mayor.

The Marais District increasingly becomes more mixed and trendy, with expensive and chic bars, restaurants, and cafes, and a nightlife that never starts earlier than midnight. For a more, say, shocking side of the nightlife, venture into the Pigalle and Bois de Boulogne districts.

Paris breathes extravagance and indulgence. Tolerance aside, the places to visit amaze in their beauty, and the food equally makes leaving a struggle.

Start planning your city travels worry-free! You don’t have to hide away on an island anymore (though if beaches suit your style, Mykonos and the Greek isles prove worthy). Whether close-to-home or jet-setting, you’re sure to delight in a comfortable and fun vacation in any of these destinations.

USA: National Park Service Looking for LGBT Monuments

Author: , January 12th, 2014

Stonewall Inn

Google Maps

There are only three LGBT-focused historic monuments with any federal recognition: The Stonewall Inn, Frank Kameny’s house in Washington DC, and the Cherry Grove Community House and Theater on Fire Island. But soon there could be a lot more.

The National Park Service wants your nominations for noteworthy gay sites for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s also a “National Historic Landmark LGBTQ Theme Study” in the works, intended to help the government recognize LGBT heritage. And there’s an as-yet-unscheduled webinar taking place later this year, in which citizens can learn more about the nomination process.

See the Full Story at GayCities

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TSA Treatment of Transgender Travelers

Author: , January 11th, 2014

Transgender FlagRight-wing radio and media are having a fit about “special considerations” being afforded transgender travelers by the federal Transportation Security Administration. It’s really much ado about nothing: Read the official web page on the TSA website and judge for yourself:

Transgender Travel: Special Considerations

TSA recognizes the concerns members of the transgender community may have with undergoing the security screening process at our Nation’s airports and is committed to conducting screening in a dignified and respectful manner. These travel tips will explain the various screening processes and technologies travelers may encounter at security checkpoints.

Preparing for Travel

Making Reservations: Secure Flight requires airlines to collect a traveler’s full name, date of birth, gender and Redress Number (if applicable) to significantly decrease the likelihood of watch list misidentification. Travelers are encouraged to use the same name, gender, and birth date when making the reservation that match the name, gender, and birth date indicated on the government-issued ID that the traveler intends to use during travel.

See the Full Story at SDGLN

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Five Cheap Holiday Festivals You May Want to Travel For

Author: , November 17th, 2013

Christmas OrnamentOne fun thing about the holidays? There’s always something to do. Whether you’re waving to Santa from the front row of a crowded parade, or ice skating around a 50 foot tall Christmas tree, the list of seasonal traditions is endless. For those looking to get away this year, here are a few traditions worth getting acquainted with; and, naturally, a hotel deal to make the magic happen.

Lake Geneva, WI – Unless you show up on Sunday November 24 for the big annual Illumination Ceremony, you’ll miss out on Grand Geneva Resort & Spa’s special rate of $99. But never mind – the cozy winter resort is getting into the full Christmas spirit with packages running all the way through December. The “Christmas In The Country” (appropriately titled, as the hotel sits in the midst of rural Wisconsin, with its own ski resort, hiking trails, and 1,300 acres of pristine woodlands) package starts at just $209, including a one-night stay, brunch or dinner, a trolley tour, and access to the Festival of Trees, the Gingerbread House, and ‘A Christmas Portrait,’ a holiday-themed musical.

Minneapolis, MN – If you’re headed to the midwest and need some holiday-themed excitement, we have one word for you: Holidazzle. The annual parade, which takes place Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30pm from Nov 29-Dec 21, is a festive mix of illuminated floats, live music, and Santa, all making their merry way down Nicollet Mall, a must for any first-time Minneapolis visitors. To get in the spirit, The Grand Hotel (a Kimpton property) is offering a Holidazzle Delight package (from $109), including a complimentary upgrade, $25 dining credit at the SIX15 Room, and even a set of hand warmers.

Authored By Alex Schechter – See the Full Story at Shermans Travel

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Chicago Gay Couple Sets Out on Year-Long Tour of USA

Author: , November 6th, 2013

priscilla.ongChicago, October 1st, 2013- DJ Doran and Joe Morales the stars of the web based travel and adventure show “The Adventures of Joey & DJ” and seen on Out n About TV have departed Chicago on their 52 week journey to discover and explore Gay America aboard their 33’ vintage 1979 Bluebird Wanderlodge. The first part of their route will take them across the northern part of the country to Buffalo New York and Niagara Falls.

The second leg will be through Vermont and New Hampshire and then down the eastern coastline to Washington DC. From there they will head west to intersect the infamous Route 66 and follow its legendary path to LA before heading north on The Pacific Coast Highway to Oregon and Washington State. The final legs of their adventure will have them zigzagging their way to down from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf Coast and Florida.

See the Full Story at the Best Gay Travel Guide

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Is Climate Change Leading to a Bumpier Ride Across the North Atlantic?

Author: , May 4th, 2013

AirplaneYes, according to a new study that says the jet stream is shifting north, with implications for travel between the US and Europe. Edge Boston reports:

More pollution is likely to mean bumpier flights for trans-Atlantic travelers, researchers say, predicting increased turbulence over the North Atlantic as carbon dioxide levels rise. University of East Anglia climate expert Manoj Joshi said scientists have long studied the impact of the carbon-heavy aviation industry on climate change but he took a new tack. “We looked at the effect of climate change on aviation,” he said… Williams said the results showed a 10-to-40 percent increase in the median strength of turbulence and a 40-to-170 percent increase in the frequency of moderate-or-greater turbulence. He described the latter as shaking that is “strong enough to force the pilot to switch on the seat-belt sign, knock over drinks, and make it difficult to walk.”

I absolutely hate that feeling when the plane suddenly drops a few feet – it’s like the world falling away underneath you. I may have to start taking the train to Europe. 🙂

USA: Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights Proposed in Congress

Author: , March 18th, 2013

Gay CruiseAfter a rash of cruise ship mishaps in the last few months, congress is set to consider a new Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights. Passport Magazine reports:

This weekend Senator Charles Schumer from New York proposed a “Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights” that would help protect passengers from experiencing the nightmare of what happened on a Carnival Cruise Line this winter along with international events like the Costa Concordia. Some of the things that the Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights would ensure include backup power and trained medical staff. Schumer’s plan is modeled after the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights.

See the full list at the link above.

Five Gay American Roadtrips

Author: , July 4th, 2012

Gay Road TripsRemember driving across the country in the family minivan with the glorious promise of a fun-filled vacation? Ah, those were the days! Although you’re not a kid anymore, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the thrill of speeding 80 miles an hour toward an honest-to-god, red-blooded American destination. And, instead of sharing a bunk with your little sister, you can spoon your buddy Mark. (And his squats have really paid off.) Here are our picks for the most patriotic gay trips this year.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS

World Gay Rodeo Finals, October 19-21. Tight Wranglers. Dusty Stetsons. All we can say is “Save a horse and ride a cowboy, y’all!”

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, ARIZONA

Gay Rafting, Trips begin July 4 through August 29. This national treasure is wide open for exclusively gay trips via Alyson Adventures. FYI: They start and end in Las Vegas.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

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US Tourism Ad Featuring Gay Couple Lambasted By Conservatives

Author: , June 6th, 2012

The ad promoting tourism to the U.S. seemed innocuous enough, but Family Research Council president Tony Perkins warns that the advertising campaign is being used to “highlight same-sex attractions.”

The Discover America ad highlights diversity in the US, including a song by Rosanne Cash and images of an interracial couple, two Muslim women in a city and people celebrating the Hindu festival Holi. But Perkins is peeved by its attempt “to celebrate homosexuality” by featuring a man with his arm around his partner on a bus for almost two seconds.

Perkins claimed that the ad depicts “a country of radical values and backwards priorities” for including “so much cultural baggage.”

Full Story from LGBTQ Nation

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GayTravel.com Identifies the Gayest Monuments in the USA

Author: , April 16th, 2012

St. Louis ArchWherever your travels take you, there are always plenty of noteworthy monuments to get your gay-pride juices flowing! Every city has a different flavor of gayness that comes across in its statues, buildings, and famous photo-opp destinations. These are some of our favorites of America’s Gayest Monuments.

The Gateway Arch – St. Louis

The Gateway Arch is the highlight of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States. Because it is the tallest monument in the country as well as the cornerstone of the city’s foundation, The Gateway Arch is a highlight of Gay St. Louis that is not to be missed! St. Louis has a great Midwest gay scene, so start enjoying this Missourian city by checking out its Gateway Arch.

The Andy Monument – New York City

The Andy Monument is a figurative sculpture of Andy Warhol that towers above Union Square, right across from the building where his factory was located. Andy’s figure is seven feet tall, cast in concrete, and covered in chrome to reflect the world changing around it. Andy Warhol embodies the New York spirit and the American dream made glitzy and glamorous! In his sculpture, he even holds a Bloomingdales shopping bag! Boy knows where to shop.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

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