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

Gay Philadelphia – The Hornet

Author: , February 23rd, 2018

Gay Philadelphia

Philadelphia, founded in 1682, played a significant role in shaping America. This city was where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. From there, Philadelphia became one of the leading industrial cities during the 19th century. Today, the City of Brotherly Love continues to thrive. There’s also quite a lot to explore in gay Philadelphia, as the city has one of the nation’s most vibrant LGBTQ neighborhoods known as the Gayborhood.

There are a total of 67 national landmarks in Philadelphia. You can spend a whole week just sightseeing! The Liberty Bell, the most iconic American symbol, is a great place to start your tour. Find it at the Liberty Bell Center (oddly enough) in Independence National Historical Park.

The Betsy Ross House, several blocks away from the Liberty Bell, is a tiny museum and a landmark where the seamstress and flagmaker Betsy Ross lived when she sewed the first American flag. Take a tour of the house and relive the days of how Ross lived.

The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is a must-visit place for fans of his work. This house, the only surviving residence of Poe, is in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. Check out different rooms while savoring Poe’s famous works like “The Raven” during the tour.

By Charles Thompson-Wang – Full Story at The Hornet

Philadelphia Gay Travel Resources

Alaska’s Capital Inn – Gay Friendly Juneau B&B

Author: , July 12th, 2017

Alaska's Capital Inn

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Gold miner John Olds built this stately American Foursquare for his new bride and growing family just after the turn of the century.

Come stay with us and experience contemporary comfort and a sense of history when you stay in one of our elegant guestrooms.

All shops, dining, and entertainment are a short stroll from our front door.

See the Alaska’s Capital Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Alaska

New African American History Museum Opens in DC

Author: , September 23rd, 2016

Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture

How many LGBT items are in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture and is it enough to please gay historians?

It’s a tough question to answer because some ostensibly gay items may not be presented as such. It’s now widely believed, for instance, that “A Raisin in the Sun” playwright Lorraine Hansberry was a closeted lesbian for much of her short life (she died at age 34 in 1965), but to what degree does this factor into her representation in the museum, for instance?

Slated to open this weekend with a ceremony Saturday morning in which President Obama will speak, the museum has yet to be assessed by the public. And curators acknowledge it’s impossible to please everyone. Descendants of the Quander family, whose roots can be traced back to slaves at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, have publicly expressed disappointment at not being represented in the inaugural museum displays, for instance. But whether there’s enough LGBT representation overall to please gay historians is yet to be determined.

By Joey DiGuglielmo – Full Story at The Washington Blade

Washington DC Gay Travel Resources

Queer San Francisco’s Lost History

Author: , August 26th, 2016

queer San Francisco

Osento, a Japanese bathhouse on Valencia Street in queer San Francisco, is long gone, closed now for nearly a decade. I could have used a soak, though: It was an uncommonly hot and muggy day in the city, and I’d been walking its streets for hours.

Back in the day, people looking for Osento on a similarly soupy afternoon were probably just as confounded. The women-only communal bathhouse, a frequent haunt for lesbians, didn’t have a sign out front. It was mostly known through word of mouth by its clientele, who say its founder ended a nearly three-decade run when she shuttered it in 2008 and moved north to Lake County, Calif.

Now it is a splendid Victorian dwelling, kaleidoscopic in hues of magenta, turquoise and gold. On its facade are stunning sculptured plaques of sea horses, conchs and starfish. Elaborate cast reliefs of tattooed mermaids by a San Francisco artist named Natasha Dikareva gaze ahead. While the relaxation rooms, saunas and a secluded deck for nude sunbathing were all gone, somehow the bathhouse’s spirit lives on.

By Elizabeth Zach – Full Story at The New York Times

San Francisco Gay Travel Resources

Dublin – A Walk Through Time

Author: , February 21st, 2016

Dublin_screen_2

Google has teamed up with Irish historians and experts to bring the Dublin of days long gone to life on screens around the world.

For the centenary of the 1916 Dublin Rising, one of Ireland’s most significant historical events, Google and a team of experts from Ireland 2016 and Century Ireland have created an interactive map allowing users to digitally travel back in time and visit the Rising’s key places.

Leading the way for the country to partially break free of the United Kingdom to form the Republic of Ireland, the Rising’s impact on Dublin is hardly visible around the capital today.

By Stefanie Gerdes – Full Story at Gay Star News

Ireland Gay Travel Resources

Historical Bahrain Fort – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 11th, 2016

Bahrain Fort

I was in Manama (Bahrain) for three days and two nights–and the whole time I was there, it rained. It did stop a few times during the day but it’s murky cloudy and then rain showers would come back and forth. I didn’t really explored the city much, except visiting the old Bahrain Fort, hiring a taxi to King Fahd Causeway and walking around Old Manama where I was billeted at Delmon International Hotel.

Travel Tips:

The best way to get to Bahrain Fort is via a taxi. Agree on the fare first before getting on. It’s 10-15 minutes from downtown. There’s no public transport that goes there. In fact, part of the road going there is unpaved. You can explore The Fort on your own. It’s free. Really, it’s free! Just make sure to tell the taxi driver to wait for you because it’s going to be hard to get one when you’re done.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Chateau de La Celle-Guenand, La Celle-Guenand, France

Author: , November 24th, 2015

Chateau de La Celle-Guenand

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Chateau de La Celle-Guenand is a historic place, nestled in a medieval French village and surrounded by some of the Loire Valley’s most famous tourist activities. It’s the special place we call home. To some, we’re known as a tranquil spot to escape the hustle and bustle of life. To others, the perfect base to seek out all that is on offer in the region

See the Chateau de La Celle-Guenand Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Central France

The Fascinating History of Gay Resort Towns

Author: , July 31st, 2015

beach town

These days there seems to be gay everything – gay cruises, gay television channels, gay magazines, gay festivals, and the list goes on..But, as you well know, it wasn’t always this way… not by a long shot.

For the vast majority of recorded history, being gay was, at best, something to be hidden. At worst, it was grounds for being abused, fired and even arrested. So anyone who identified as anything other than heterosexual had to tap into secret underground communities just to have a brief opportunity to let their guard down and embrace who they really were.

This slowly changed over time and, little by little, gay culture was able to come out of the dark closets and basements it was hidden away in for so many years. And it’s still an ongoing process today. Although the last couple of decades have been instrumental for gay culture and civil rights, there was another period in history that was unique for the LGBT community.

By Jay Derataney – Full Story at Travel Pulse

The Extraordinary History of the Folsom Street Fair

Author: , September 19th, 2014

Leather FlagThis Sunday, Folsom Street in San Francisco between 8th and 13th streets will close down to car traffic and welcome over 400,000 people to the largest kink and leather event of its kind. If you’ve never attended a Folsom Street Fair, you’ve surely seen photos.

But how did we get here?

To dig into the history of the Folsom Street Fair is to walk through the development of San Francisco from post-WWII port city to its current state, and weaves with it the narratives of gay rights, the war on poverty and the emergence of the leather and kink subculture.

Here’s a run-down of how the truly one-of-a-kind event came to be.

By Dan Tracer – Full Story at Queerty | San Francisco Gay Travel Resources