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

Itching to Go to Cuba? – Andrés, OutINCuba

Author: , July 16th, 2018

Andrés - OutInCuba

Cuba is a different kind of country, mostly because of its history and the actual consequences it and for that reason it is now at its best! If you are going for the first time, having a tour guide with you to show you around and explain a lot of things will enrich your experience on this great island.

Havana Music - PixabayTo enjoy the country and understand its rhythm and its sights it is better if you have an idea of all the history and gossip that this island has behind buildings, streets, landscapes, food, cocktails, behaviors, words and people.

In Cuba people laugh at their own problems and anything can inspire a joke, a song, a dance or whatever that means joy and you can see and sense how carefree our people are, in spite of all the problems and struggles.

Again, Cuba is a different kind of country full of fun and a sense of freedom to enjoy every minute with no rush.

As a tour guide I always welcome my future friends at the airport, and having a smiling face welcoming you at the airport can be very cheering.

I love the idea of waiting for complete strangers that I’m going to be with for days. The adrenaline of not knowing how it’ll be like.

Cuba - PixabayWe head in Havana in an old American car with AC to make the experience even more interesting. Havana it is a like a live museum of cars, and we are all so used to see them going around, but I know that people also come to Cuba to live the contrast of the old 40ies and 50ies with the influence of modernity.

One of the first things I make clear it is that living and being in Cuba is a big exercise of patience, because there are many things that are hard to find easily, a lot of stuff must be gotten with old fashion means, you are going to be offline most of the time. Things here are not like you know them at home. Cuba in many ways seems to have stopped in time and closed the door, but left the window open and there is a lot coming in through that window

Some people have asked me “don’t you get bored of saying the same thing in the tours every time?” and the answer is no, because the interaction makes it different, the feedback and the individual interests make a change and the information might be basically the same, but again, the interaction does its magic.

For smokers and drinkers Cuba is like a paradise since here you can smoke and drink almost everywhere. For those who love music and dance, it is the same, in fact, there will be a time in which you’ll long for silence because there is music all around.

If you like jogging you can choose the sunrise or the sunset when the weather is cooler and do it through El Malecon with the Ocean on one side and the city on the other side, take little breaks seating in the same Malecon surrounded by fishermen, guitar players, people in love, friends laughing, old cars passing by, sellers, tourists, locals, all type of people, and the best thing: it is really safe. You can even walk around after midnight in the Old Havana without fear.

For night life there are options that can’t be missed. If you want to experience gay bars you’ll have more than 3 options, you can also do some kind of gay hopping since two of them are near each other in the gay friendly neighborhoods. In Havana some things can happen just fast and you can suddenly find a concert or a party going on anywhere.

Cuba - PixabayThere are places in the country that are so worthy to see, and two of them are Viñales and Trinidad.

Viñales it is like one of the most beautiful country sides of Cuba.It will be hard not to fall in love with the sights and the tranquility, the pure air, the food and even the nightlife which is way different than Havana.

Trinidad it is a city that never changed its looks, the colonial architecture it’s original, nothing fake,
The good thing is that the locals mingle with the travelers very well and the American influence in the Cuban culture through the history until nowadays it is very alive.

Gay life in Cuba is not something forbidden anymore, and you’ll find amazing how supportive people can be. Most of the more popular restaurants and bars have gay owners or a story related to a gay character, or gay waiters, so you don’t have to be in a gay friendly neighborhood to enjoy, In fact, it is more likely that you’ll have more fun in a mixed place than in a gay bar. There is always the great gay beach that is just 20 minutes from Havana.

Farewells are always hard and the feeling of becoming friends can come so easily in Cuba, maybe it’s the weather that makes us like that, because even the tourists become more friendly, it can be the alcohol with the music and the heat, you don’t know until you know, but there is a magic in the air of this little country that makes people happy, and believe me, you’ll go home or wherever you are going next feeling luckier and better.

OutINCubaOUTINCUBA comes to you from California Wine Country where we have been offering LGBTQ wine related tours for over ten years. We fell in love with Cuba when a family member married a Cuban and we have traveled to Cuba many times to meet family there and to explore more offerings for our guests. We offer custom designed, legal LGBTQ tours to Cuba through ” Support of the Cuban People”. We do not partner with any government owned businesses in Cuba. Our goal is to help support our LGBTQ team, friends and their families.

We have assembled a team in Havana of four of the best LGBTQ guides. We will show you the “Other Side” of Cuba. We work with seven Havana gay welcoming Casa Particulars that are privately owned inns. All of them are located in Old Havana in what we consider the best and most exciting locations. One of our favorite guides is Andres, who will welcome you at the airport with a sign and a smile to assist you in your Cuban adventure. He can show you art due to him being an artist himself. Take you to private showings at artist studios. Take you out dancing at exciting LGBTQ clubs. There always the great gay beach, Play Este but 20 minutes from Havana that is amazing with the best swimming.

We work with other gay welcoming Casa Particulars throughout Cuba. In Vinales and also Trinidad. We will arrange transportation on your own or have one of our guides travel with you. We offer private cars..bus arrangements and taxi info.

Our tours are small. Usually couples, singles or four friends. We do offer large tours if requested. Our offices are in California and we are here to answer and discuss any thoughts you have on your time in Cuba. You can call us to just talk CUBA!

Cuba Gay Travel Resources

 

Just how gay is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico?

Author: , June 18th, 2018
puerto vallarta gay travel

puerto vallarta gay travel

Just how gay-friendly is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? What is gay life really like there?
Many people exaggerate about a destination being super gay only once it is visited discover it really is not. Mister BnB just produced an article about how gay friendly Tel Aviv is so we used the same criteria to produce our answer to just how gay Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is. The destination has been known as a gay mecca since the 1980’s and until recently Puerto Vallarta’s tourist season was very limited *the busiest months from November until Easter. Recently, Puerto Vallarta has been moving toward a year round busy season and its increasing appeal to LGBT travelers and residents is due to several factors.  Among them are increased national airline flights into Puerto Vallarta, the rising Mexican middle class traveling more, and the increased marketing and awareness of Puerto Vallarta as an LGBT destination.

Why the popularity of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico among the LGBT travelers?
1. Puerto Vallarta has the most well developed gay nightlife in Mexico! The first gay bar opened more than 20 years ago and today more than 25 hot gay bars and clubs are operating *some until 6 am, each unique and all located in the gayborhood.

2. Puerto Vallarta has a true Gay Zone. The Zona Romantica is a true gayborhood with all the gay bars, clubs, businesses, restaurants, and gay hotels within a safe walking distance of each other. With some rare exceptions, you never have to leave the gayborhood for anything!

3. Puerto Vallarta is for foodies! There is something for every culinary appetite and budget, from street taco stands to fine dining and everything in between.

4. Puerto Vallarta has an amazing arts and culture scene including the best gay cabaret scene in Mexico! We have three great cabaret venues producing two shows 7 nights a week from November until May…with 2 of them open year round. Also we have numerous great art galleries and artists exhibiting and living in town. Mix in festive Mexican culture and rich traditions for an amazing treat for everyone.

See much more about GAY PUERTO VALLARTA HERE.

Gay Vancouver – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , March 17th, 2018

Gay Vancouver - The Nomadic Boys

Greenpeace, Ryan Reynolds and Botox – what do they all have in common? They’re all from/invented in Vancouver!

This is Canada’s very cool city located right on the country’s far Western coast in the Province of British Columbia. The city is also famous for being extremely welcoming and accepting to everyone: we frequently saw many same sex couples walking the streets hand in hand all across town, and we definitely felt comfortable doing the same.

We loved the scene of gay Vancouver a lot, and have put together our guide of the best bars, clubs, events, hotels and more.

Vancouver Gay Village: Davie Street

Vancouver’s gay village, also known as the Davie Village, is the heart of the city’s LGBTQ community. It is based mainly along Davie Street between Jervis Street and Burrard Street. This is where the majority of the gay bars, clubs, fashion outlets, faces and saunas are. Although it’s not as big as the gay scene of Montreal or Toronto, it’s just as fun.

There is also a more bohemian area popular with the lesbian community of the city at Commercial Drive, called “The Drive” over in East Vancouver, which we did not visit so have not covered in this guide.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Vancouver Gay Travel Resources

Gay Amazonia – New Now Next

Author: , March 10th, 2018

Gay Amazonia

Walking through the streets of Iquitos amid the heat, smog, and buzzing moto-carriages, it’s hard to imagine there’d be a community of queens in the city. Iquitos lacks the quaint appeal of more popular gay hotspots: It’s dirty, rumbling, and while it has an estimated population of more than half a million people, remains accessible only by plane or boat.

Lodged in the Peruvian Amazon of the Loreto region, Iquitos feels more like an exile than a gay destination. But according to British writer Dilwyn Jenkins, who wrote The Rough Guide to Peru, the first travel guide dedicated entirely to the country, Iquitos’ queer scene is unusually active, for a Peruvian jungle town. Looking around, there is no sign of a gay scene. Presumably, it must be hidden away from the plain sight of curious gringos.

There’s little evidence of queer culture in the city’s history either, with one exception. Iquitos rose to prominence in the 1870s, following a rubber boom. It was a prosperous time for the rubber barons, but far less so for the trappers who were local tribesmen and mixed Indigenous-Spanish descents working, in essence, as slaves. Roger David Casement was tasked with investigating the ill-treatment of the Putumayo Indians in 1910 and 1911. Though successful on many levels, Casement was later hanged for political reasons and his diaries were leaked, which exposed him as a promiscuous homosexual.

By Mike Miksche – Full Story at New Now Next

Peru Gay Travel Resources

Five Unexpected Gay Scenes – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , February 16th, 2018

Five Unexpected Gay Scenes

This is a guest post on the Nomadic Boys’ site by super cute gay couple Sion and Ben of The Globetrotter Guys.

We all know and love the obvious gay scenes around the world like Berlin, Gran Canaria, Sydney or San Francisco. But what about the less talked about ones? Even in the most unexpected places, gay locals still come together to drink and have a good time. We always make a point to seek out the local gay scene wherever we travel on holiday.

These are our 5 most unexpected gay scenes we’ve encountered on our travels to date.

Mikonos and Phoenix in Marbella – Spain

If you blink, you might miss the gay scene in Marbella. Given its beautiful beaches and cosmopolitan nature you would expect there to be a more established scene in this part of Spain. However, this simply is not the case. Instead what was on offer when we visited turned out to be one of the best nights we’ve had in a long time.

Mikonos gay bar was extremely well hidden. We walked to the exact address and it seemed to not exist. However we went down a nearby alleyway to a backstreet, down some stairs and voila – there it was.

Mikonos is a very small local bar, which fills up quickly. The staff are very friendly, offering free shots and making sure they speak to all the customers. Drinks here seem pricey at €7, but they come with a generous measure. They also have entertaining drag shows, which are great for polishing up on your Spanish slang.

By Sion and Ben – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Schöneberg – Gay Star News

Author: , January 18th, 2018

gay Schöneberg - pixabay

Schöneberg is the heart of the gay playground that is Berlin, Germany.

We meet locals Ralf and Gunter Bauer who share their tips on how to experience Schöneberg like a local:

How long have you lived in Schöneberg?

We moved to Schöneberg two and a half years ago from Kreuzberg. We lived in Kreuzberg for over 10 years, but our closest friends always lived in Schöneberg.

What are your favorite gay bars in Schöneberg?

Hafen – we always meet our closest friends there to celebrate birthdays.

La Cocotte, which has a French kitchen – led by good friends.

Café Bério – a great café not only for breakfast and cakes, but to meet everyone who walks along, shopping or cruising.

GMF – the Sunday tea dance party, the hottest in the city, with two levels, good house music and cute boys.

By Gareth Johnson – Full Story at Gay Star News

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Gay Panama City – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , January 2nd, 2018

gay Panama City - Nomadic Boys

Panama City is often nicknamed The Dubai of Latin America because of its immense economic growth in recent years and impressive dense skyline. But unlike Dubai, this mighty Latin American metropolis has a far more welcoming gay life, in a country where although culturally conservative, is pushing towards civil union equality for gay couples.

Most will associate Panama City with the famous canal, which is a reason alone to visit. The city is also the gateway to some gorgeous tropical beaches within Panama, like San Blas and further afield – Bocas del Toro.

We stayed in Panama City for a week and found it to be a lot of fun, full of things to do, plenty of trendy bars, but most importantly, we left with a thirst to return. This is our gay guide to Panama City following our experience here during our big Latin America trip.

Gay Panama City

Panama a very conservative Catholic country, with a strong influence from Opus Dei. As such, the gay scene in the country is pretty underground in quite dodgy neighbourhoods, with places frequently closing down/changing. When we visited, there were no gay bars and only one official gay club (see below) in Panama City.

Warning: when going out to a gay club in Panama City, doormen are very strict and will only admit you if you have your original ID, preferably your passport. Most LGBTQ locals we met preferred to have private parties, or attend one of the the monthly gay rooftop parties hosted at venues like the Hard Rock Hotel.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama City Travel Resources

Why Are We Losing Our Lesbian Bars?

Author: , November 27th, 2017

Lesbian Bars - The L Word

At a recent newly-launched lesbian party in Brooklyn, women scattered themselves haphazardly throughout the backyard of a gay bar filled mostly with men. Wearing dark jeans and denim jackets, they stood in small groups, intermittently scanning the room while talking amongst themselves. Inside the bar, the dance floor was empty.

“This is why lesbian bars all close, because everyone is U-hauling!” Valentina Osorio, a queer-identifying woman who lives in Brooklyn exclaimed, alluding to a verb that refers to how quickly lesbian and bisexual women move towards commitment and, often times, the suburbs. “When you’re coupled up you don’t leave the house.”

Osorio wasn’t imagining things: Women don’t want to spend money at lesbian bars anymore. Although the number of people who identify as LGBTQ is on the rise, the number of spaces dedicated to their communities has fallen. Statistics are few, but an analysis of gay travel guides showed the number of LGBTQ bars in the U.S. decreased by 12.5 percent between 2005 and 2011.

By Kari Paul – Full Story at the New York Post

WeHo Gay Nightlife – WeHoVille

Author: , November 17th, 2017

WeHo Gay Nightlife

West Hollywood’s best dive bar? WeHo’s best sushi restaurant? Our city’s best barbershop, pet boarding place, Pilates studio? These are among the many categories we included on WEHOville’s Best Of ballot in August. The online voting turnout was great (and monitored by us geeks to make sure we weren’t being trolled — i.e. Putin didn’t vote, only you did).

We published the results in West Hollywood Magazine, our quarterly print publication, which was out last week and which you can find in news racks, restaurants and shops around the city.

Best of WeHo Night Life
Best Dive Bar

No. 1
Mother Lode
8944 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood
www.facebook.com/MotherLodeWestHollywood
(310) 659-9700

The word “mother lode” means something of great value. In West Hollywood, where good ole fashioned dive bars are scarce, Mother Lode is that.

Tucked between the very precious P.U.M.P., owned by reality TV celeb Lisa Vanderpump, and the forever-under-construction space where the restaurant Bottega Louie is opening (some day), is this bar that offers cheap drinks, a chance to play pool and some outdoor areas for smoking. The interior is, uh, rough. And dark. And very charming for those of us into that sort of venue.

And if you’re looking for an early drink, or a late one, Mother Lode is the place, with operating hours from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Full Story at Wehoville

Greater Los Angeles Gay Travel Resources