wilder daze

We recently spoke with Wilder Daze, a gay recording artist based in Brooklyn. We fell in love with his single and the travel-themed video.

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1) Tell us about Brooklyn. What’s it like to live there as an artist?

I’ve lived in Brooklyn for almost a year now. I’ve been in NYC for almost six, but I came to Brooklyn to be closer to my recording studio. It’s very convenient for me as an artist because I can walk over to my studio. I also love going to my favorite little Parisian cafe up the street to do some work or read. I mostly love this area because it still has that old-school charm, and there’s just a lot of great bars, cafes, thrift shops. I love walking around here at night. It’s quieter than Manhattan, but I find Brooklyn to be full of just as many surprises.

2) What are some of your most memorable trips? How often do you travel and what kinds of places do you travel to?

Well, I’m half Brazilian, so growing up; I traveled to Brazil a lot. Those are some of my most memorable trips. We would visit my mom’s family in Belo Horizonte, where I’d see all my cousins, and then explore other cities. Rio is by far my favorite. I love to go there now as an adult, when I can. I love any city where people are drinking and dancing in the street, and it’s just a part of the culture there.

I travel every year, some more than others. I’m always excited to go somewhere new. Last year, I traveled to Europe for the first time. I went to Prague, Dubrovnik, Paris, and Amsterdam. It was truly the experience of a lifetime. Every city was gorgeous. Paris in particular was one that I had a love affair with. The beauty of the city and the people are what made me blush. I also ended my year in New Orleans, which has become my favorite city in the US, besides New York. It’s wild. I heard the best music of my life in that city.

3) What are your reasons for traveling?

Growing up, I traveled mostly to either visit family or spend time with family. Now, I’d say I travel the most just to experience a new city or country, and I love doing that with good friends. Traveling is very inspiring for my writing as well. I find that I do most of my writing when I’m going somewhere.

4) In your latest video, you tell the story of a holiday romance in Paris – tell us a bit more about that…

Some of the most profound romances that I’ve had have also been the most brief. In Paris, I truly felt that a passion inside of me had been reignited. It was one of those life-changing, unforgettable moments. It wasn’t just one person but also the architecture, the aesthetic of the city, the food, the wine. I spent my 23rd birthday there and drank a bottle of wine underneath the Eiffel Tower with my sister and our friends. My romance in Paris was short-lived though. I felt like I was being snatched away too soon, and I hope to go back this year to pick up where we left off.

5) Have any other holiday romance stories you want to share? 😉

I did have one other holiday romance. It was at the start of 2015 in Rio de Janeiro. It lasted a couple days, so actually longer than in Paris. We smoked and watched the sunset. All I’ll say is that it was the best I’ve ever had, for other reasons. It’s another one that I still think about all the time. I tend to hold on to my romances for dear life, long or short.

“Blush” is the first single off his upcoming debut album, “Golden Hour.” His latest production was shot on VHS video to complement the retro pop vibe on the track. The video tells the story of a short-lived romance in Paris. Learn more about his music on his website, www.wilderdaze.com

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Tivoli Gardens - Copenhagen

Copenhagen has quickly climbed up my list of favorite European cities. Having visited over the summer for their annual gay pride and then again this winter, I’ve discovered that the city has enough going on to make it one of Europe’s best destinations, and probably my favorite city in Scandinavia (sorry Stockholm). A city famous for its alternative culture, its arts scene and an easygoing, friendly way-of-life, Copenhagen has a lot to offer. The Danish people have been ranked as the world’s happiest and Copenhagen called the world’s most livable city. A lot of praise for a small European capital city, but after spending several weekends exploring the insider secrets and tourist hotspots, it’s obvious that Copenhagen is more than just cool. It’s one of those special cities full of life and energy that permeates not just the things to do, but the entire ethos and city culture.

To really see Copenhagen, book yourself a long weekend. Start your first day exploring Copenhagen’s main tourist sites.  A Copenhagen Card gives you access to many of the city’s museums and attractions, plus free transportation on the bus, train and metro. But really, one of the best attractions in Copenhagen are the canals and waterways. Either book yourself a boat tour or catch one of the water taxis part of the public transportation system. The Nyhaven part of central Copenhagen was the one-time district famous for its go-go dancers and rowdy bars full of sailors. Today there’s a number of trendy restaurants, cafés and bars. A short walk north of the Nyhaven neighborhood and you’ll find your way to what’s Copenhagen’s most famous attraction: The Little Mermaid. Famous from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, she’s located just a few steps into the water. A lot of travel guides like to point out how “disappointing” the monument is, but give it a chance because it really is quite a nice sculpture—even if there’s a bunch of industrial buildings visible on the opposite shore.

Copenhagen Mermaid

Nearby, the Design Museum in Copenhagen has a unique collection of Danish artifacts from fashion, furniture and arts & crafts movements. On until January 31, 2016, the museum is showcasing the award-winning MINDCRAFT15 works by Danish artists and designers. There’s also a nice shopping district nearby, centered around the Magasin department store.

Another one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions is the Tivoli Gardens—the world’s oldest amusement park. Located in the center of the city, it’s open late during the summer with beautiful flowers in-between the different rides, restaurants and games. In the winter, the park opens up for Christmas with picturesque decorations and lights throughout the entire park.

Tivoli Gardens - Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s gay nightlife is largely concentrated along Studiestraede, a street in center of the city around the corner from city hall. The bars may be small and numbered, but the community is largely friendly and diverse. Denmark has long been an open and gay-friendly destination, and the summertime Copenhagen Pride draws in thousands of tourists each August. One of the more interesting gay bars in Copenhagen is Centralhjørnet, located on a corner opposite the City Hall and hosting a number of live events throughout the year. For up-to-the-date gay travel tips for Copenhagen, check out the city-run official Facebook page, Gay Copenhagen.

Gay Copenhagen

Start your second day in Copenhagen by getting out of town! Seriously. One of the world’s best contemporary art museums is located just a short 30-minute train ride north. You can buy a combined museum & train ticket from the ticket office in the central train station. The scenic ride up the Øresund coast is easy, and then it’s just a short walk from the station to the Louisiana Museum which hosts international exhibitions, artists talks and concerts. In the summertime, you’ll find the open grounds and sculpture gardens perfect for a stroll (though it was still very pretty on the cold winter day I visited), with a surprisingly relaxing view out to Sweden on the opposite coast. Currently, the museum is hosting an exhibition on the works from Yayoi Kusama—great for selfies, but really an incredible artist who often featured LGBT rights as part of her weirdly interactive exhibitions in NYC during the 70s and 80s.

Yayoi Kusama - Louisiana Museum

After a few hours at the Louisiana Museum, make your way back to Copenhagen and head straight for the Torvehallerne—a food market hall popular with tourists and locals alike. A mix of wine bars, trendy cafés and small bistros, it’s a great place for an affordable meal. Copenhagen’s other best place to eat is the Copenhagen Street Food market, open year-round in a warehouse by the harbor with 30 different vendors selling everything from Moroccan to Mexican foods.

 

copenhagen street food

Two days in Copenhagen is pretty good to see the main sights, though if you want a leisurely holiday, there are plenty of other great museums and restaurants worth exploring. The café culture is alive and well in the city, with countless coffee bars. From Copenhagen, it’s easy to make your way across the bridge into Sweden—straight to the Malmö city center in under 40 minutes. Malmö’s best attractions are its parks—pretty even in the winter. The city is even often referred to as the “city of parks.” Take a walk through Kungsparken and Slottsparken where you’ll spot different gardens, a windmill and even one of the city’s museums, the Malmö Museum. Skip that museum, though, and instead head over to the Modern Museum, part of the same collection in Stockholm and with an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.

 

moderna museet mälmo

If you’re looking to relax, Sweden’s famous for its spas. But be warned that in the winter, it’s common to visit the spas along the freezing cold waters of the coast and occasionally jump into the water between sessions in the spa. Too cold for me, personally, so if that’s not your style, head to some of the trendy cafés and restaurants around Malmö’s charming old town square, Lilla Torg, where you’ll find a Christmas Market in the winter. Warm food and good coffee are the norm in Sweden, especially during the ritual afternoon fika—an easy pastime to pick up even on a short weekend!

 

Mälmo, Sweden

The Copenhagen Airport is located on an island almost exactly between both Copenhagen and Malmö, making it a convenient point of entry and exit for a holiday to both cities. Read more about Copenhagen on travelsofadam.com.

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Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

WHAT TO DO: Design Museum Denmark, designmuseum.dk; Louisiana Museum, louisiana.dk; Torvehallerne, torvehallernekbh.dk; Get the Copenhagen Card, copenhagencard.com, for easy access to additional sights.

WHERE TO STAY: Radisson Blu, radissonblu.com — Located a short 15-minute walk to the city center, it’s a convenient location which has excellent views over the Copenhagen skyline.

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Malmö

Malmö, Sweden

WHAT TO DO: Kungsparken and Slottsparken; Moderna Museet, modernamuseet.se; Lilla Torg, old town square

WHERE TO STAY: Park Inn Hotel Malmö, parkinn.com – Located on the outskirts of the city, the Park Inn has views out to the sea and is near the famous Turning Torso Building, a neo-futuristic skyscraper and the tallest building in the Nordic countries.

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Disclaimer: I was hosted at the Radisson Blu and Park Inn Hotels during my stay. Both properties were slightly outside of the city center but still centrally located.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Knowing where the gay villages of a city or region you’re visiting can make a big difference to how much interaction with other gay travellers and locals you might have on your travels. Having never been to any in North America or Asia, I cannot comment on those, but here are five of my favourites from elsewhere.

Vinohrady, Prague

Prague may be one of Eastern Europe’s most gay-friendly cities, and Vinohrady is the place to be to experience the city’s thriving gay scene.

Vinohrady, Prague
Vinohrady, Prague

Soho, London

Centred around Old Compton Street, Soho may be one of Europe’s oldest gay villages with gay pubs dating back to the 1940s. London might seem like an overwhelming enormous place to the first time visitor, but you never know who you’ll meet: I met my husband here!

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital is definitely something of a gay mecca in South America, and San Telmo, the city’s oldest neighbourhood, is without question at the centre of attention when it comes to all things gay in Buenos Aires. It’s also a great place for market shopping on Sundays.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires
San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Le Marais, Paris

Since the 1980s, this district in the third and fourth arrondissement of France’s capital has had a strong gay presence, and it doesn’t take much wandering around to notice all the rainbow flags, gay nightclubs and men walking hand in hand.

Barrio Alto, Lisbon

The own town of Lisbon, or Barrio Alto, is a less obvious gay village than others, in the sense that many of its bars and clubs are not specifically aimed at a gay clientele, but rather are very gay-friendly. It’s definitely more the place to come if you’re looking for intimate, cosy settings rather than huge nightclubs, which you’ll find elsewhere in the city.

Barrio Alto, Lisbon
Barrio Alto, Lisbon
Equality pictures by Daniel Mora

Euality pictures by Daniel Mora

Euality pictures by Daniel Mora

Berlin is a city that where you hear thousands of stories a day. Some of them are so interesting that you can’t stop listening to them. Meeting this story tellers keeps you informed and aware that some of us still care about the community. I got the chance to meet Daniel Mora, an expath from the US living in Berlin. He’s a supporter of the LGBT community and has something to tell us…
Daniel, please tell us when you decided to start supporting the LGBT community.
My project on equal rights came about during the 2012 USA presidential election. There was so much hate speech from the conservatives regarding all aspects of their political positions and I was frustrated hearing their rhetoric all the time. Specifically the issue of preventing marriage rights for all people in the US due to their sexual preferences and identities. In the USA, the right of marriage also has legal benefits such as tax incentives, adoption opportunities, and visitation rights for ill and injured spouses.
The emotion of love is an equally similar experience across all peoples of the earth. And to say that a couple in love is not allowed to be married because it would violate the “sanctity of marriage” was maddening. Especially considering that the divorce rate in the USA is now over 60% across the country.
I wanted to meet a diverse group of couples who were in love and attempt to capture their emotion and love toward one and other. I felt this would be a very complex project because real intimate love is a tremendously private experience and being able to visually express it with a stranger watching and snapping photos is not a comfortable experience. I put an advertisement on craigslist looking for volunteers and also asked my friends to see if they knew anyone who would be interested in participating. Thankfully I had a number of volunteers from all ages, races, and persuasions.
Being able to witness people express their love towards one and other, as well as share their stories with me was very emotionally fulfilling. Especially for me when in my own personal life I have not had the opportunity to experience love of this depth.
I wish to continue working for equal rights and showing that humans are all the same no matter where we come from, how we look, and who we love. I hope that being able to share these stories and emotions with others through photography can encourage people to speak up about these issues, and also hopefully change opinions of those who disagree with these sentiments.
To see more of Daniel’s photography work, click HERE

 

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Argentina is undoubtedly one of the most gay friendly countries in South America, if not the most. The capital, Buenos Aires, is of course the centre for gay life in the country with many gay cafés, clubs, saunas, hotels and events for the LGBT community.

But outside the capital, there are other places which are particularly gay friendly, such as Bariloche, the main town in the country’s lake district just a 2.5 hour flight southwest of Buenos Aires, and also reachable by weekly train from the eastern city of Viedma.

Situated on Nahuel Huapi Lake, one of Argentina’s largest lakes, and at the base of the Andes, Bariloche is set in a beautiful location, picturesque in winter or summer.

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What to do

In winter, the main activity will be skiing on the nearby slopes, but in summer the range of possible pastimes is greatly increased.

Take a bus out of town, rent a bike and go cycling around the circuito chico, take the cable car up Cerro Catedral for amazing views of the surrounding area or hire a kayak and go out on one of the smaller lakes.

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Where to stay

I stayed with my husband at Kospi Boutique Guesthouse run by the lovely Juan and Lucia, which had only recently opened during our visit and they were promoting themselves as a gay-friendly hotel, so there was no occurrence of the dreaded double bed conundrum.

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Where to eat

If in Bariloche, don’t miss out on sampling some of the chocolate from the many cute cafés, but for a specifically gay-friendly meal, head to Covita, a restaurant which advertises itself as “vegetarian for those who aren’t” and proudly displays a rainbow flag in their window.

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Much of the focus of the LGBT community seems to be on the G. Maybe that’s just how it seems to me because of the circles I move in, and that I’m a gay man, so I, like anyone, am naturally more likely to notice what is most immediately relevant to me first. As such, much of the news I monitor around the LGBT community relates to marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws that affect homosexuals and bisexuals.

The struggles trans people face on a day to day basis, while perhaps in some ways similar to what cis-gendered non-heterosexuals experience, are nonetheless unique. So, let’s take a look at trans rights around the world.

Many of the same countries which have marriage equality also grant trans people the right to fully and legally change their name and gender based on their new gender identity, though laws vary on whether or not they must have undergone sex reassignment surgery and the decision may be made on a case-by-case basis by a judge.

Argentina may in fact be one of the most progressive countries in the world regarding this issue, as the law there allows people over 18 years old to change their gender based on their own written declaration, making it the first country to introduce a policy that didn’t depend on surgery or any outside ruling, but solely on the individual’s own self-identity.

The situation in the United States on the other hand is much more complex, as each state makes its own laws on the matter. In five states (Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Ohio) it is not possible to alter ones sex on a birth certificate, even after surgery, and more than half the states in the union do not even have laws in place to protect trans people from discrimination in the workplace, for example.

Shockingly, there are also still countries in Europe which require trans people to undergo sterilisation before they can apply to legally change their gender. Sweden, while it was the very first country in the world to grant its citizens this right in 1972, still required sterilisation until as recently as 2013. Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France, Italy and Greece for example, still require sterilisation.

While it may be easy to assume that the rights of trans people is progressing at much the same pace as those same rights for cis-gendered non-heterosexuals, the reality is that this is not the case.

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Some gays and lesbians denied the fact that they had some measure of hatred to each other while some admit that truly their relationship with their fellow lesbian or gay doesn’t go smoothly. One of the lesbians whose name will not be disclose remarked that “they started [the gay], we were gonna fight and we are gonna end it”. This statement shows that even they themselves are aware of hatred or dislike that existed between the two groups.

While this might not be applicable to all gay – lesbian relationship, this may be the reason why many denied the fact that there is no such experience or hatred that existed between them, it is a matter of personal orientation about individual’s sexual identity.

There are some gay men that have had an awesome relationship with lesbians because they choose to not be resentful, and there are some gays that actually don’t get along well with lesbians. Wherever they spot a lesbian or group of lesbians, the hatred just pop into their mind, vis – à –vis the lesbians to the gays also.

The question is why are there this kind of reactions to each homosexual group?

Opinions are many on what could have caused the arousal of such kind of reaction from both groups and it becomes very difficult to ascertain that this is the exact reasons that brought about this reaction. However, one of the major reasons why such kind of reaction is being exude by both the gays and the lesbians is pride. It actually comes from the gay side.

This is due to the wrong perception among the gays that the lesbians see themselves as a man. Since gay and lesbian relationship is just like the heterosexual relationship that involves two partner – one male and the other female – just that in the former both are of the same sex, the gays thought since two female are required to complete a lesbian relationship that those females now pictured themselves as men; i.e. equating themselves to men.

While the gays do not have any strife or discord with lesbians that uses lipstick – they look more feminine to the gays – they extremely detest those lesbians who tends to act or dress like a man. The pride that the lesbian doesn’t have what it takes to keep the ins and outs of the relationship at its best does make the gay men not to associate with the lesbians.

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Even if you’re not a massive film junkie, you’ve probably heard of queer film festivals taking place in gay capitals like New York, Berlin, Sydney or Tel Aviv.

Well, here are a few new and lesser known ones that you might not have heard of before, but which definitely look worth checking out and supporting if your travels happen to be taking you through any of these countries.

OutfestPerú – Lima, Peru

The oldest of the new queer film festivals, Lima’s Outfest, has been going since 2004, and is one of the longest running in South America. It takes place in Peru’s capital each year in June for ten days or so, and in addition, the organisers also coordinate smaller festivals or individual screenings in other cities around Peru, such as Trujillo and Iquitos.

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Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – Mumbai, India

Despite only starting four years ago in 2010, this is now South Asia’s largest LGBT film festival. Taking place in May each year and lasting just a week, it features films from diverse locations such as Uganda, Germany, Canada, Venezuela, Japan and India.

LGBT Film Festival – Poland

This is one of Europe’s youngest queer film festivals, and the country-wide festival features a large proportion of films from the USA and UK, so serves an English speaking audience well. Only in its fifth year since starting in 2010, it now includes screenings in cities all over Poland: Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Lodz, Poznan, Katowice and Krakow.

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&Proud – Yangon, Myanmar

Myanmar’s first ever queer film festival launches this month, lasting for only two days and will take place at the city’s French Institute. Unusually, all screenings are free of charge and films will be subtitled in both Burmese and English, if the film is not already in English. The small selection of films are mostly from around South East Asia, but with a few submission from Europe too.

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If you’re reading this blog, you’re no doubt familiar with the initalism LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual or Transgender) that’s used to refer to a large proportion of the non-heterosexual and/or non-cisgender population.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg, as the initialism can be further extended to LGBTQIA, where the Q is for queer or questioning, I for intersex and A for asexual or ally. It is in fact also possible to extend it even more to LGBTTQQIAAP, or other fun pronounceable variants like QUILTBAG and FABGLITTER.

But what do these labels serve to do for us as a community? Does having so many different labels that enable self-actualisation and ownership under the same umbrella unite us in our diversity, or do they assist segregation within the community, thereby pushing us apart? How, in fact, did we end up together in the same camp in the first place?

Certainly this comes down in large part to history.

The gay liberation movement in New York that grew out of the Stonewall riots of 1969, for example, was mostly organised by gay men, and subsequently received support from gay women in solidarity to their cause.

By extension, others who identified as non-heterosexual were drawn in to taking part and so the community grew and so the umbrella expanded to include more and more different kinds of identities and orientations.

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Of course, I see this is a wonderful thing. I am moved by such inclusivity, and am deeply proud to be part of such a community.

But nowadays we have pride events and awareness initiatives aimed at specific segments of the LGBTQIA community as they become more and more independent from one another. We have bisexual awareness week once a year, and several cities in North America (Toronto, Seattle, San Francisco, DC and now Brighton in the UK) have trans pride events separate from the main pride events.

As we are gaining autonomy from each other, does the LGBTQIA community still really exist?

In one way, the fact that it may no longer be necessary is a great sign of the progress towards equality (and indeed the perceived ‘normalness’ of such identities as gay, trans or genderqueer) in several societies around the world.

Nonetheless, there is still a lot of work to do, and I believe that solidarity with any (historically or currently) oppressed minority can go a long way to progress the cause of equality.

So even though it might potentially bother a particularly touchy leather dyke in a committed dom-sub triad with her two slaves somewhere to be mentioned in the same breath as a squealing power bottom drag queen who likes hooking up with bears on Grindr, our solidarity for each others equality is ultimately more important.

Maybe we should just expand our initialism to include all the letters of the alphabet and embrace them with equal love and compassion.

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