luxury-boat-london

One thing that annoys me more than most is stereotypes. Probably stems from my life growing up gay, where the gay stereotype was shot at me from every direction in the media and I never really felt comfortable with it. But at the same time, here I am as a founder of a travel blog all about G-A-Y travel.

To me, gay travel isn’t anything special. Travel is just travel—gay, straight or anything else. But as a gay adult who has traveled around the world, it’s important for me to know there are plenty of other gay travelers out there—and also important for the world to know, too.

So, what is gay travel really all about? Is it about nightlife, luxury tours, group tours? I’m not sure there’s a single answer. Which is why it irks me so much when people think most gay travelers are interested in the same places, or in the same types of tours—more often than not of the luxury variety.

When I travel to the UK, for example, I’m not looking for luxury 5 star hotels in London. Not every gay traveler is enormously wealthy nor do we all want to shell out our money on an expensive hotel. I’d rather spend it on a longer vacation, nicer meals or even a second trip.

Within the demographic of gay travelers, there’s quite a big variety: backpackers, cruises, rtw, luxury, solo travel…. We’re not all interested in fancy rooms or boutique hotels. I’m a gay traveler, but also a gay backpacker. Luxury travel isn’t the same as gay travel—it’s just a part of it.

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Cropped Sushi Platter

In advance of World Pride in London from 23 June to 8 July, the restaurant Chino Latino will offer a rainbow sushi roll.

Combining two of my favorite things: color AND sushi! The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel. The rainbow sushi maki roll will be available from 20 June to 19 July. Nom nom nom!

At just £10.50, the maki roll represents the rainbow flag commonly associated with the LGBT movement. Pride hits London from 23 June – 8 July so if you like sushi and or gays, head over to Chino Latino! Continue reading

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May 17th is the annual “International Day Against Homophobia.” The date was selected because of its symbolic significance—the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses on May 17, 1990.

The purpose of the international day against homophobia is to:

  • promote loving relationships regardless of sexual orientation
  • end discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • promote an open-mindedness toward diversity
  • show the devastating effects of homophobia

The day, abbreviated as IDAHO, was first started by Fondation Émergence. At the very least, I think you should be aware that homophobia exists. And is unfortunately enshrined in many countries’ laws and policies toward gay, lesbian and transgender citizens.

 

lgbt-orlando

When I think about Orlando, Florida, visions of family holidays come to mind, but it turns out that Orlando is more than just theme parks and beautiful beaches (and deep-sea fishing with my Grandpa). There’s actually a grea, thriving LGBT scene there too. This corner of the Sunshine State has plenty of welcoming spots, nice bars and cool special events, so I’d say it’s well worth checking out if you’re looking for a fun and friendly holiday. Here are a few of the things I hope to check out in my next visit to Florida: Continue reading

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North Carolina just passed a law which bans gay marriage, in addition to civil partnerships and other rights that are par for the course for my straight friends and family in America.

With news of Joe Biden’s public support for equality this week and Obama’s continued stubbornness in claiming an “evolving” stance on E-Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y, I’m getting pretty tired of the way things are.

Amy Davidson writes in an op-ed in The New Yorker:

“There are families whose lives will now get worse. They, and we, have arrived at a moment when politicians—including the President—need to say what they believe, what risks they are willing to take, and what, in the end, is worth fighting for.”

 

*UPDATE! Well, I wrote this between North Carolina’s bigoted law approval and when Obama publicly announced his support for full equality. It seems he may have read Davidson’s op-ed after all, and for this I’m very grateful!

For more about North Carolina’s new law, head over to Waegook Tom and read his opinion on the state, its law and boycotts: North Carolina sucks.

 

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Nearly a year after the passage of same-sex marriage in New York, the city is encouraging travel to the five boroughs over a two-month period beginning in June. The City is poised to welcome even more visitors from around the world who can experience firsthand the diversity, excitement and history that comes with New York City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender heritage. From the annual flagship Heritage of Pride events taking place June 16–24 in Manhattan to other celebratory events in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island throughout June and July, the City is brimming with gay pride activity. A full listing of pride events throughout the City can be found at nycgo.com/pride.

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I just discovered that LAN Airlines has a LGBT diversity mini-site. AirBerlin recently launched a similar site and I know American Airlines has long been advertising to gay travelers. Continue reading

nhojj-gay-music

Just learned of this Caribbean homosexual musician Nhojj (pronounced kind of like “najh”). The 16-minute documentary features interviews and personal reflections from Nhojj. Taken from the landmark Jan. 7, 2012 Brooklyn Museum “Out & Proud” First Saturday concert, the documentary short “Nhojj – MUSIC and the word” is an inspirational journey into the award-winning Caribbean artist Nhojj – the man, his music and message.  It celebrates humanity, and redefines the issue of gay sexuality.

The documentary focuses on the happiness of life experiences that everyone shares—homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The 16 minute documentary shows Nhojj at home, in the rehearsal studio, and on stage. Nhojj shares his work and talks about his band, the creative process, his sexuality and his perception of God.

The short film was originally created to share the “Out & Proud” Brooklyn Museum concert and rehearsal process with fans on Nhojj’s website and social networks. Emmy-nominated Michael Burlingame (“Sting at the Hollywood Bowl”)  expanded the project to include interviews, and intertwined Nhojj’s message as a gay activist with his music and song lyrics.

I’m not usually one to listen to gay-specific music, so I’m curious: have you heard of this guy?

Pride Madrid

I’ve been to Madrid a few times now but have never really checked out the “scene” there. So I asked my friends at HostelBookers to provide a few tips for a gay guide to Madrid.

The gay scene in Madrid is fun, vibrant and exciting. The Chueca area (pronounced Choo-aye-ka) is well-known for having the best gay clubs, coffee shops and bars. The annual Gay Pride is held in the centre of the city and is always a crazy day full of fancy dress and live events celebrating the city’s gay community. Continue reading