The Most LGBTQ Friendly Cities?

Author: , January 31st, 2019

Most LGBTQ friendly cities - pixabay

Amid a mass of colour and pounding Latin rhythms, revellers at this year’s Bogotá Pride march waved banners stating “not one step back”. They were among tens of thousands who took to the streets to celebrate and support Colombia’s LGBT community. Many annual Pride marches that were once solemn protests against repression have become celebrations of now-existing rights or progress, reflecting the strength of LGBT communities.

In Bogotá, for example, the capital of a macho and socially conservative country, there has been surprising progress in LGBT rights.

In March, Angélica Lozano Correa, a former member of the Bogotá city council, became the first openly LGBT person to be elected to the country’s Senate. In 2016 the country’s government passed laws allowing same-sex couples to adopt and marry, and the previous year it granted transgender people the right to change their identity on official government documents – policies which have allowed more equality and openness.

But while these laws and political representation might suggest Bogotá is “friendly” and tolerant of the LGBT community, the issue is not clear-cut. This year’s Bogotá Pride march was marked by an undertone of resistance to and fear of the right-wing government of the new president, Ivan Duque. Duque openly opposes the LGBT-inclusive peace agreement his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, signed with leftist rebels Farc in 2016. Activists claim he is also against same-sex marriage and adoption rights.

By Steven Grattan – Full Story at The Guardian

 

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

Red Means Danger

Author: , April 7th, 2018

queer travel risk map

Do you enjoy ‘non-traditional sexual relationships’? Then mind where you travel. Over the last two decades, same-sex marriage and legal protection for the LGBTI community has become commonplace throughout many countries. But that has only widened the gulf with other parts of the world, where homosexuality remains illegal, criminal and in some cases even punishable by death.

This map was published by the Australian company Travel Insurance Direct as a risk guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex tourists and travellers.

Coded in the colours of the rainbow flag, the map ranks countries from places with the broadest legal recognition and protection (purple) to those where the law is used to prosecute rather than protect LGBTI people (red).

By Frank Jacobs – Full Story at Big Think

Most Popular Paris Queer Friendly Hotels – Gay Star News

Author: , January 4th, 2018

Paris queer friendly hotels - pixabay

If you’ve never been to Paris before, there is an enormous list of must-do tourist essentials that will easily fill your time during your stay. Climb the Eiffel Tower. Wander around the Louvre. Stroll along the Seine. Sit in cafe and look intellectual…
But Paris is more than just the obvious sightseeing cliches. Each time that you return to this city you discover a little more, experience something different, and immerse yourself in the day-to-day rhythm of the French capital.

One of the key ingredients for a great Paris experience is the right accommodation.
You need something that’s within your budget. You’ll also need a location that puts you in the heart of the action. If you’re an LGBTI traveler, then you’re going to want a hotel that’s happy to welcome you.

We’ve checked the available statistics and consulted a few experts to see which hotels in Paris are currently the most popular with LGBTI visitors:

Hotel du Vieux Saule: Popular, great-value hotel in the heart of Le Marais.

By Gareth Johnson – Full Story at Gay Star News

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Welcome to Gay Munich – Instinct Magazine

Author: , December 19th, 2017

gay Munich

English-speaking residents have a nickname for this city: Toytown (apparently due to its great quality of life, which I can vouch for). I first visited in 2007 and fell in love, with both the city and a resident. Jochen and I were drinking beer at an outdoor community table, at a café that no longer exists, when I addressed the waitress as fraülein. Major faux pas. He leaned over to educate me. “We don’t use that word anymore,” he said. “It’s considered sexist.” Always one for political correctness paired with an accent, a long distance romance lasting a year-plus was born.

Die Deutsche Eiche (“the German oak”) is home to a restaurant, hotel and sauna all in one. A former epicenter of gay culture for decades, glass-enclosed wall displays present a brief history lesson evidenced by photos and video of German drag queens fighting for social change.

Continue to the back and either check into your room or hit a buzzer to be let into the sauna, a massive four-story facility complete with locker rooms, showers, mazes, cubicles, movie theatre, Jacuzzi, saunas and steam room. The hotel has been renovated and the rooms are very comfortable (if expensive) with tasteful wood floors, double-paned windows, new beds and modern bath fixtures. I prefer rooms in the back, away from the street, for their peaceful urban garden setting.

By Michael Jortner – Full Story at Instinct

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Gay NYC – City Guide NY

Author: , September 21st, 2017
Stonewall - flickr

Image: NCPA Photos/Flickr

New York City has long been a supporter of the LGBT community, and if you’re gay and planning a visit to the city, then you’re in for a treat. Rounded up below are six “must-dos” if you’re in Manhattan/gay NYC and looking for a memorable time. From visiting the famed Stonewall Inn to catching a local drag show, check out our top six picks for gay travelers coming to New York.

Best of NYC Gay Visits: The Stonewall Inn (West Village)

Make a visit to the place “where pride began.” The Stonewall Inn is an important part of gay pride history, and it’s still a popular destination for modern New Yorkers today. Get your photo in front of the famed brick exterior before heading in to grab a drink and take in the game-changing establishment that surrounds you. 53 Christopher St., 212-488-2705, thestonewallinnnyc.com

By Chelsey Grasso – Full Story at City Guide NY

Gay NYC Travel Resources

Queer Travel Along Route 66

Author: , November 12th, 2016

Route 66The sign at the intersection of Adams Street and Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago that reads “Illinois US 66: Historic Route Begins” is small, unremarkable, and arguably an unworthy trumpeting of the road that is ahead. Indeed, not a single office drone pays it any mind on this gloomy fall morning as they rush from the city’s lumbering El trains to their designated steel and glass towers for the day. Nevertheless, Ryan and I stand in front of it with beaming smiles and angle our iPhones just right so that we can snap a selfie that will surely be the envy of all.

This is day one of an eight-day, turn-by-turn journey that will cover all 2,448 iconic miles of Route 66, the most famous highway in the United States. It was designated in 1926 and made famous by westward thrill seekers, Dust Bowl migrants, and the oft-covered song of the same name. During its six-decade span it was realigned several times, decommissioned in 1985 in favor of the Interstate Highway System, and brought back to life more recently by road trip enthusiasts, municipalities looking to bolster tourism, and folks wistful of a vanishing America.

Although the road is book ended by Chicago and Los Angeles and winds through the heart of several cities including St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Albuquerque, the highway is really a journey through numerous small towns to countless to name, some of which have survived and even thrived, off Route 66 nostalgia, and others which have all but rotted. To cross the country via interstate highway is to merely skim the continent, but to do it via painstakingly slow Route 66 is to discover an America that is undeniably friendly, often kitschy, and ultimately vanishing rapidly.

By Jason Heidemann – Full Story at Passport

Interview With Finn Ballard – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 14th, 2016

Finn Ballard - The Nomadic Boys

Queer.

A word that used to be used negatively, but now reclaimed by us to form one of the letters in our LGBTQIA umbrella – a word to describe individuals who challenge both gender and sexuality, who see gender identity & sexual orientation as overlapping and interconnected.

We met Finn Ballard during our adventures discovering the gay bars of Berlin in Germany who did exactly that. We thought he was just another one of the many gay Bear-liners, until he “came out” to us as a female to male trans. Finn identifies himself as Queer.

After meeting our male to female trans friend Regina in Bangkok, we were dead excited to feature Finn’s story right here in his exclusive interview with trans female to male.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Travel: A Look at Queer Berlin

Author: , February 28th, 2011

Berlin's Queer SceneQueer Berlin is almost a tautology. In a city in which homosexuality was once glorified, and then so horribly vilified, today LGTB culture is a driving force of the Berlin underground, as DW’s Stuart Braun found out.

A weeknight at Roses bar in Berlin: men with men, women with women, men with women, Kanye West shaking walls padded in pink fluorescent faux fur, disco balls reflecting luminous garlands of kitsch fairy lights, leopard skin chairs filling up with smiling regulars.

Chris, my neighbor at the cramped bar, first visited in 1993 and says Roses hasn’t changed since. It’s a Berlin gay bar, kind of, but as midnight approaches it’s simply a party as the music gets louder and hostess Gabriella shells out more shots, habitués always kissing before clinking glasses.

This is Berlin’s Kreuzburg district, predominantly Turkish, and better known for its raw indie kudos than campy corners like Roses. But look closer. Queer culture is arguably the defining force in this bastion of the Berlin underground. Right next door to Roses is SO36, Berlin’s punk and rock ‘n roll venue of lore – David Bowie and Iggy Pop, then Berliners, attended the opening in 1978 – but also a queer scene playground, including the Gayhane parties where the pan-Arabic and Turkish LGTB scene let loose to Oriental beats.

Full Story from DW-World

Click here for gay travel resources in Germany.

Even for Texans, San Francisco is Queertopia

Author: , January 25th, 2011

Gay San Francisco TravelSan Francisco is regularly recognized as one of the world’s most visited cities, and equally as often is dubbed the most European city in America. The Bay Area boasts a live-and-let-live ethos that has attracted a population with equal parts creativity and quirk (it’s the fictional homes of Marvel’s X-Men and Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets).

It’s also just about the gayest city in the world, a veritable Capital of the Queers — some estimates put 30 percent of the population as LGBT-identified. And despite their baseball team trouncing the Rangers in last year’s World Series, it’s still a desirable travel destination for gay Texans.

The city has welcomed the weary, the weird and the wacky for more than a century. The first wave was during the Gold Rush of the 1800s. The prospectors had no prospects — and no women. So they made do, and are said to be the ones who invented the Hanky Code to organize their newfound homo desires.

Full Story from the Dallas Voice

Click here for gay travel resources in San Francisco.