Gay Lebanon – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon - The Nomadic Boys

Exquisite food, impressive UNESCO sites, crazy nightlife and some of the most handsome guys to walk this planet…on the face of it, Lebanon is a gay man’s wet dream right?
In some ways, it sure is! By Middle Eastern Arab standards, Lebanon is often regarded as a very liberal and progressive place. There’s even a vibrant gay scene in Beirut. We certainly rate Lebanon as one of the most gay friendly countries in the Arab world.

BUT: this is by Middle Eastern standards!

The Middle East is one part of the world where being openly gay can get you into a great deal of trouble (Israel, a gay paradise, being the sole exception). For example, in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran it’s a straight-up capital punishment. In places like Lebanon, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, being gay is very much an arrestable offence that can get you a prison sentence, a fine and deportation.

The purpose of this article is to describe our experience of travelling in Lebanon as a gay couple, present a balanced perspective and give advice for LGBTQ travellers who want to explore it. It is a stunning country, one that you won’t regret visiting…but this is still very much an Arab country where being gay is against the law. You will need to go back into the closet, avoid all PDAs, set all your social media to private and never post anything gay related online before or during your trip.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Berlin – The Nomadic Boys

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Jokes about German sausage are the wurst!

…especially when you arrive at the Wittenbergplatz in gay old Schöneberg, to be greeted by the cutest, gayest, rainbow-clad super-kitsch kiosk of Fritz & Co selling particularly yummy currywurst German sausages. More about Fritz & Co below, but as our first impression of Berlin, we knew we were in for a gay old time here! Gay Berlin is notorious for being the city of sin – a truly liberal and diverse hub where anything goes. The absolute wurst…and we live for it!

Schöneberg is considered to be the main gay area of Berlin, the traditional heart and soul of Berlin’s LGBTQ gay community, where the bulk of its gay bars, clubs and hotels can be found. The city also has several other exciting gay neighbourhoods to check out, each with its own unique character, vibe and queer hangouts. The main ones are Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain.

We’ve been to Berlin several times and usually base ourselves somewhere in Schöneberg, which we love. For us, Schöneberg remains the best gay neighbourhood of Berlin – the true Queen of the Scene! We also love venturing out to the bars and parties happening in the other gay districts of Berlin such as Möbel Olfe in Kreuzberg, SchwuZ in Neukölln, Flax in Prenzlauer Berg, and the infamous Berghain in Friedrichshain. The Berghain super club is almost like an entire gay neighbourhood in its own right! This is reason alone why we rate Berlin as one of the top gay friendly vacation destinations in the world.

We’ve put all our notes and stories from our many travels to Berlin in this comprehensive gay guide to help inspire your own holiday to this crazy and super exciting city including the best of the gay scene, gay hotels, parties, events, things to do and more.

Where is the main area of Gay Berlin?

The main gay area of Berlin is based in Schöneberg. It is the traditional heart and soul of Berlin’s LGBTQ gay community, dating back to 1897 when the world’s first-ever LGBTQ organisation was founded right here: the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. From this point on, the area blossomed, becoming the Gay Village capital of the world.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Berlin Gay Travel Resources

Gay Panama – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama - The Nomadic Boys

…and God said, “Let there be sexy people”, so he created Panamanians!

Wise words from the Bible itself according to our gay friends Luis and Mario from Panama City…

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 constantly striving for LGBTQ equality.

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 gay Panama, like San Blas and gay friendly Bocas del Toro. We stayed in Panama City for a week and loved it. It’s full of things to do, plenty of trendy bars, but most importantly, we left with a thirst to return for more. It’s also a useful destination because it’s one of the major transport hubs in Central America.

This is our complete gay guide to Panama City following with a focus on the gay scene, our pick of the most gay friendly hotels, our favourite things to do, and more.

Is Gay Panama safe for travellers?

Overall, yes, Panama is safe for LGBTQ travellers, but assuming you stick to the touristic areas of Panama City, Bocas del Toro and San Blas. If venturing beyond, into more local areas, we recommend taking extra care and avoid all PDAs.

Panama is a very conservative country. It a strong influence from the Catholic Church. Any attempt by the government to pass any progressive LGBTQ laws in Panama almost always gets blocked! As a result, Panama does not recognise same-sex unions and has no anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBTQ community!

For example, a 2018 Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling required Panama to recognise same-sex unions and allow gay couples to adopt. Sadly, the response was a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage by the Panamanian National Assembly in October 2019. The LGBTQ community of Panama has quite a long road ahead of it…

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama Travel Resources

Gay Key West Resorts – The Nomadic Boys

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Key West is super gay! This small island in south Florida is a notorious gay mecca, with a whopping 30% of its 25,000 residents identifying as LGBTQ.

The island’s history as a gay destination dates back to the 1950s when well-known LGBTQ celebrities like Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Jerry Herman, Leonard Bernstein and Elizabeth Bishop have since made it their home. Subsequently in 1983, Key West became the first place in the US to elect an openly gay mayor (Richard A. Heyman), then in 2000, the island’s motto became: “One Human Family“.

We’ve visited Key West on several occasions and always had a blast, especially on the gay scene on Duval Street. There are so many things to do for gay travellers and with regards to to the hotels, it was never a case of ‘please can we have a double bed’, but more – ‘which of these many gay hotels should we stay at on this trip?’

There is an impressive number of different gay Key West resorts to pick from, so we’ve put together our 10 favourite, which also includes gay hotels and guesthouses.

Island House

Island House is notorious across the entire LGBTQ community of south Florida. It’s also one of the largest male-only clothing-optional resorts we’ve ever been to.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Key West Gay Travel Resources

Gay Thailand – The Nomadic Boys

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“You’ve been to so many places in the world guys, you must have a favourite?”
We sure do! Can you guess what it is?

Hint…it’s a country with gorgeous beaches, mouth-watering food, a rich cultural heritage, plenty of adventure activities, warm-hearted welcoming people, largely inexpensive, and a fantastic gay scene in its capital…

…it’s Thailand!

That’s right, the “Land of Smiles“ is one place we are always happy to come back to. It was one of the first places we ever came to in Asia many moons ago, and it’s one place we always strive to visit again and again, every single year! From the Circuit parties during Songkran to the fantastic street-party feel during New Years, we love love LOVE Thailand!

Thailand is a destination that offers so much to LGBTQ travellers. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to gayThailand setting out the best gay scenes across the country, the best queer events to look out for, lots of inspiration for best activities to do here and other practical information for LGBTQ travellers.

Here we go!

LGBTQ Rights in Gay Thailand

Overall, Thailand has progressive LGBTQ laws in places, easily making it one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia in our humble opinion. For example, homosexuality was legalised in 1956 then declassified as an illness in 2002. Furthermore, comprehensive anti-discrimination laws were introduced in 2015, the LGBT community have been allowed to serve openly in the military since 2005, and civil union laws are on the verge of being introduced.

In relation to the transgender community, the right to change legal gender is in the process of being introduced as well, but despite the lack of comprehensive laws about this, Thailand remains a haven for the transgender community in Asia. All the transgender men and women we met during our travels in Asia strived to come to Bangkok for a better life and to have the best surgeries. You can read more about this in our interview with our transgender female friend Regina from the Philippines.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Toronto Gay Nightlife – The Nomadic Boys

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Diverse, exciting, buzzing and…best ass?

Yup, that’s actually a thing in the Toronto gay scene! Over at Woody’s gay bar, every Friday evening, they host the “best ass” competition!

Butts aside, the gay scene of Toronto truly has something for everyone. The city is home to Canada’s largest LGBTQ community and welcomes visitors from all walks of life.

Just like the gay scene of Montreal, the gay village of Toronto is huge. It is located at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets, hence its nickname: the “Church and Wellesley Village”, or just “The Village”…or, “ya’ll wanna go out in Church later?”. This is where the majority of the best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and clothing stores can be found.

Toronto’s Gay Village is also ground zero for the annual Toronto Pride week every June, which is one of the largest Pride events in the world. Whether you come to the Toronto gay village in the deep winter or summer, there’s always a buzz in the air, which is why we love it.

In this guide, we’ve put together our list of favourite Toronto gay nightlife – gay bars and clubs in Toronto. Also, be sure to watch our vlog about the gay scene of Toronto above.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Toronto Gay Travel Resources

Gay Phuket – The Nomadic Boys

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Grab a water gun, head here in mid-April and you have a legit free pass to spray water at any cutie you see walking down the street!

Songkran is the Buddhist New Year festival, which takes place every year from the 13th to 15th April. Around this time, Phuket and Bangkok host some of the biggest gay parties across all of Asia. But the thing to do in Songkran is chuck water at everyone. Seriously – in Buddhism, this symbolises the washing away of bad luck from the previous year. It cleanses you! And oh boy do we gays love a bit of cleansing? Trust us to take this to a whole different level, using it as an excuse to sashay the streets topless (it is, after all, super hot here in April!), chuck water at each other and make it into a massive party!

Phuket continues the festivities right after Songkran when Phuket Pride kicks off. Though to be frank, we found Phuket to be one big gay partyville throughout the entire year. There’s an entire area of gayness here in Patong affectionately nicknamed “Paradise Complex”, where all the gay bars and clubs of the island are. Head a few blocks from here and you reach Patong gay beach, full of hot speedo-clad guys posing, tanning, cruising, Instagramming, TikToking…suffice to say, if you’re looking for a gay beach holiday in Asia, Phuket’s got you covered!

This is our detailed gay guide to Phuket based on our trip here including the best gay hangouts, where to stay covering all budgets, gay spas, things to do and more. Note for LGBTQ travellers heading beyond Phuket, be sure to also check out our bumper gay guide to Thailand.

Gay Phuket

We loved gay Phuket. It was almost as fun as the gay scene of Bangkok, but right next to the beach!

The main gay strip of Phuket is based in and around the “Paradise Complex” of Patong. This is literally the Phuket gay area, all nicely concentrated within a few pedestrianised streets. More specifically, opposite the Royal Paradise Hotel, just off Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Thailand Travel Resources

Gay Spain – The Best Gay Cities – The Nomadic Boys

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Madrid Pride…Barcelona Circuit…Sitges gay nude beaches…Gran Canaria Yumbo Centre…a mere humble sprinkling of gay highlights happening across Spain each year!

We’ve been coming to Spain religiously every year since we came out as baby gays. We love it here. Not only is it one of the most gay friendly countries in the world, but there is always a fantastic party taking place across all the major cities and islands. Spain also has some of the world’s most famous gay parties like Madrid Pride (one of the largest Pride events in the world) and Barcelona’s Circuit Party (the biggest international gay festival in the world).

Whilst Spain hosts some of the best mega parties on our planet, what we also love about the country is the variety of different events on offer. So whilst the muscle boys will thrive at the Circuit parties, bear gays and their fans are also spoilt for choice in Spain. The country has some of the biggest and best bear events, in particular, the Bear Carnival in Gran Canaria every March, and the Sitges Bear Week every September.

In short, the Spanish know how to throw a decent party…especially a gay party! These are some of the best places in Spain to check out for gay events and parties:

Madrid

The Spanish capital is famous for being the best gay city for partying in Spain. We love visiting Madrid, whether it’s for Pride, or just an ad hoc weekend of partying. Either way, we know that a visit here is always going to be a lot of fun.

The Madrid Pride (“Orgullo Gay de Madrid”) takes place every year in June/July, and it is huge. It is not only one of the best Pride events in the world but also one of the largest. Every year, around 3-4 million people descent on the Spanish capital from all around the world. We absolutely love it because as well as guaranteed beautiful weather (remember to pack plenty of sunblock cream!), the entire city gets involved and it becomes one giant rainbow street party. The focal point is around the gay neighbourhood in Chueca, where the bars spill out into the streets, and free outdoor concerts take place.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Gay Boracay – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Boracay - The Nomadic Boys

“Stefan, let’s go to Boracay and become beautiful mermaids!”

The thing is, Seby wasn’t joking when he said this to me as we were planning our Philippines trip. He showed me the Boracay Mermaids Instagram profile and exclaimed proudly – “this is going to be us!”

And sure enough it was!

Along with our mermaid adventures along Boracay’s gorgeous White Beach (more about this below!), this tropical Filipino island offers so much for LGBTQ travellers. It has an exciting (albeit small) gay scene to check out with many excellent gay friendly hotels, secluded beaches and highly rated restaurants.

Boracay used to be infamous for being a crazy party island where anything goes! However, things got so raucous and out-of-hand that the government decided to close it for a big 6 month clean up in 2018. Post-clean up, Boracay is as buzzing as it was before, but a lot cleaner, with stricter rules in place to adhere to in order to keep it clean.

Following our visit to Boracay, we’ve put together this detailed gay guide summarising the best gay hotels to stay, places to go out, things to do and other practical tips for LGBTQ travellers. We’ve also included a section about the rules in place in Boracay after the big 2018 cleanup.

Is Gay Boracay safe for travellers?

Absolutely!

The Philippines is generally a gay friendly country, particularly by Asian standards: we’d certainly rank it as one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia. This is largely down to the fact that despite being a very Catholic country, the Filipinos are extremely hospitable and welcoming. They are eager to please and show off their country, especially to foreigners.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Philippines Gay Travel Resources

Gay Mykonos – The Nomadic Boys

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“Seby, it’s 1am – time to go to the church!”

My Frenchman looked at me funny wondering if my drink had been spiked…

I was serious! In Mykonos, the church is where all the gay boys head to in the evening. Specifically, to the rocks surrounding the Church of Panagia Paraportiani in “Chora” (the main town of Mykonos). ‘Cause right here, on those sacred rocks, you’ll find plenty of gay lads, on their knees, deep in worship…!

Mykonos has long been not only one of the top gay destinations in Europe, but in the world! This is especially true in August during the XLSIOR Festival when around 30,000 hot gay guys from all over descend on this Greek island to party. XLSIOR is considered by many as a staple in the gay European calendar together with Madrid Pride, Circuit Barcelona and Tel Aviv Pride.

XLSIOR is, of course, just one small side to gay Mykonos. Whilst it has a worldwide reputation for being a gay party island, we also found a tranquil and really pretty side to it, which is what makes it so appealing to all gay men regardless of interest, budget or age. The beaches here are stunning, with a mix of busy party beaches, nudie beaches and remote, laid-back beaches. In terms of accommodation, there is something for all budgets, from the many lavish luxury hotels, to affordable local guesthouses. Finally, “Chora“, the main town, is where the bulk of the gay scene is, especially Jackie O’, Babylon, and the infamous cruising area around the Church of Panagia Paraportiani where I tried to get Seby to visit with me (strictly for research purposes of course!).

We’ve been to Mykonos for holiday several times, both for partying and for a relaxing beach getaway. We always have a blast every time we come! We’ve put together this detailed gay guide to Mykonos based on all our many trips here, featuring the best gay beaches, bars, clubs, events and more.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Mykonos Gay Travel Resources