LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RESOURCES

LEISURE
 

2022 LGBTQ Travel Trends
Cruising Is Back! Here's Why That Matters to Queer Travelers
Here Are the Final 24 Surviving Lesbian Bars In the US
Cuba Introduces its First Big Five-Star Gay Hotel
Is it Okay to Travel to Homophobic Countries?
Provincetown Pride 2021: Everything You Need to Know

Culinary Icon James Beard: Gay Male Julia Child

LGBTQ America: Sports and Leisure

Photo Celebration: 30 Years of World's Largest Lesbian Party
Queer Groups Finding Their Space in the Great Outdoors

Gay Mapper: International Guide to LGBTQ Leisure
Queer Daze: Sitges is Ideal Gay Weekend Getaway

IGLTA: Best LGBTQ Travel Articles of 2020

Traveling Lesbian Couple: Steph and Katie

 

 

Best Gay Resorts in the USA
Stylish and Sexy Picks to Look Your Best for Gay Ski Week

Oldest and Most Iconic Gay Bars in the US

LGBTQ Vacations You Must Take Before You Die

Malmö, Sweden: Unexpected Sweet Spot for LGBTQ Travel
IGLTA: International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

Top Destinations for LGBTQ Travel

VAX Vacation Access: LGBTQ Focused Tour Operators

NewNowNext: Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in the US

Navigaytour: LGBTQ Travel Resource Guide

Purple Roofs: Gay Travel and Accommodations

Welcome to Provincetown

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups

Queer Daze

Best LGBTQ Places in New York City

LGBTQ Travel Tips

 

Entertainment, Recreation, Leisure

 

"We do not while away our days drinking, dancing and being gay. LGBTQ cultural life and leisure interests are as diverse as those found in other communities."

-Brighton & Hove

 

"Over the past few years, opportunities for LGBTQ people who want to camp, hike, and otherwise spend time with real plants in nature (not aloe plants in apartments) have grown exponentially."

-Heather Dockray

 

"The history and ongoing engagement of LGBTQ Americans in sport and leisure cultures is varied and diverse, and often reflects the ebbs and flows of openness to gender and sexual diversity in mainstream culture. Though interrelated and shaped by similar cultural forces, institutional sports (professional and semiprofessional leagues, school-based athletics, and community sports programs) and leisure have very different places in LGBTQ life. Meanwhile in non-sport leisure cultures, LGBTQ individuals and communities often formed their own unique forms of leisure and entertainment outside the mainstream gaze."
-Katherine Schweighofer

 

 

What do LGBTQ people do for entertainment?  What kind of recreation do they engage in?  Where do they go to have a good time?  When LGBTQ people want to go out and have fun, they don't always go to drag shows, gay bars, and pride parades.

 

LGBTQ individuals, couples and families attend sports events, art shows, cultural festivals, and activities of all descriptions.  They go to movies, plays, concerts, and museums. They go to the beach. They hike, they bike, they sail, they ski, they golf.  They go on trips and vacations. They play poker, billiards, and darts. And, we can't ignore the fact that they play bingo.

 

There are specialized activities, including gay softball leagues, gay tennis teams, gay rugby clubs, gay soccer leagues, gay bowling leagues, and gay rodeos.  There are gay book clubs, gay supper clubs, gay choral groups, gay film festivals, and gay cruises.

 

Gay Travel

LGBTQ Friendly European Travel

The World’s Safest Countries for LGBTQ Travel
Secret Lives of RVing Lesbians
LGBTQ Guide to Celebrating the Best of Miami
Damron: LGBTQ Travel

New York Ramblers Soccer

RV Living: Gay Couple Van Travels

LGBTQ Campers and Families Are Queering Up the Great Outdoors

Choose Chicago: LGBTQ Weekends

LGBTQ Cyclist Club

Roman Holiday: Jessica and Claudia

Front Runners of New York

Info: LGBTQ Sports

Outdoor Rec Industry and the LGBTQ Community

Gay Clubs & Bars in Southern California

LGBTQ Convention & Visitors Bureau

International Gay Rugby

Traveling Lesbian Couple: Steph and Katie

Queer Daze: Sitges is Ideal Gay Weekend Getaway

 

 

The Queer Joy of New Orleans' Southern Decadence
LGBTQ People Breaking Barriers in the Great Outdoors

Video: What It’s Like to Travel If You’re LGBTQ

NYC Celebrates LGBTQ History Month with Curated Collection of Historic Sites

Queer Groups Finding Their Space in the Great Outdoors

Gay Lesbian Tennis Alliance

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Gay Outdoorsman's Epic Adventure

International Gay Rodeo Association

Oldest and Most Iconic Gay Bars in the US

Gay Polo

What's Deal with Queer Women and Softball?

Jonathan Bennett and Jaymes Vaughan Found New LGBTQ Cruise Company

This Gorgeous Beach Town Is the Best Gaycation in New England
Visit Florida: LGBTQ Events and Festivals

Pride in Golf

National Parks and Recreation: LGBTQ Inclusion

Video Advice: Should LGBTQ People Go to Homophobic Countries?

Research Report: LGBTQ Leisure Activities

Gorgeous Gay Hotels You Should Have Stayed at By Now
 

 

Provincetown Pride

 

There’s no better place on the planet to celebrate our pride this summer than Provincetown. More than just a breathtaking beach, Ptown is the original queer destination, an island of tolerance for more than a century. It is a community of acceptance, harmony, and love that welcomes self-expression and celebrates individuality. It is our original safe haven, equal parts glitz and sand, floating 60 miles out to sea at the tip of Cape Cod, in the state that was the first to legalize same-sex marriage.

Ptown’s Pride festivities will kick off this year on the weekend of June 4 - 6. It’s the official start of Pride Month, a daily celebration of queer culture among the LGBTQ Community. While the pandemic means that Pride will be celebrated a bit differently this time around, there will still be drag queen and drag king ambassadors in the streets, shows in the town’s fabled venues, and homes festooned for the occasion.

 



Check into one of dozens of inns, guesthouses, bed & breakfasts, resorts or hotels and then explore the town. Pride in Ptown means a slow walk, hand in hand, along Commercial Street, the avenue of all that is weird and wonderful in this town, and the hub of restaurants, galleries and shops.

This seaside Shangri-La is relaxing and romantic, justly famed for its beaches. A morning drill can start with an early workout, checking out the passers-by while sipping a morning latte, and then heading for a breezy day on Herring Cove Beach or Race Point Beach with the tribe. For the energetic among us, it’s easy to rent a bike or take a hike with a friend and explore the pathways of the dramatic dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Sunset means an evening stroll along festive Commercial Street, dinner out somewhere fabulous before checking out one of Ptown’s legendary drag shows or other entertainments. Anyone who’s been out here knows the allure of summer nights in Provincetown. They’re exciting, dramatic, and yes, romantic. Pride in Provincetown: it’s the place where you do you.

[Source: Pride Magazine, March 2021]

 

Welcome to Provincetown

Provincetown Pride 2021: Everything You Need to Know

Official Tourist Guide: Provincetown

Provincetown, Massachusetts: Historical and Cultural Notes

Fall in Love with Provincetown
 

 

Best US Vacation Spots for LGBTQ People

 

According to Travel+Leisure Magazine, as of 2016, the following US cities are considered the best vacation spots for LGBTQ people:

 

--Atlanta, Georgia

--Minneapolis, Minnesota

--Boston, Massachusetts

--Austin, Texas

--Key West, Florida

--San Francisco, California

--Dallas, Texas

--Washington DC

--Tampa, Florida

--Los Angeles, California

--Provincetown, Massachusetts

--New Orleans, Louisiana

--Las Vegas, Nevada

 

 

Among the best international locations:

 

--Toronto, Canada

--Peurto Villarta, Mexico

--Tel Aviv, Israel

--Sao Paulo, Brazil

--Amsterdam, The Netherlands

--Hong Kong

 

2022 LGBTQ Travel Trends
Is it Okay to Travel to Homophobic Countries?

Best Gay Resorts in the USA

The World’s Safest Countries for LGBTQ Travel

Gorgeous Gay Hotels You Should Have Stayed at By Now

The Queer Joy of New Orleans' Southern Decadence

Virgin Airlines' All-LGBTQ Flights

LGBTQ Friendly Tour Operators

Queer in the World: Gay Los Angeles

Queer Daze: Sitges is Ideal Gay Weekend Getaway

Gay Bowlers

Traveling Lesbian Couple: Steph and Katie

Gay Key West: Hotels, Dining, Shopping, Activities

LGBTQ Travel and Trip Ideas

My First Gay Summer: Mykonos, Greece

Travel Gay: Gay Chicago

Erin Parisi: Transgender Mountain Climber

Welcome to Provincetown

LGBTQ Guide to Celebrating the Best of Miami
Best Gay Honeymoon Destinations

LGBTQ Campers and Families Are Queering Up the Great Outdoors

Big Apple: NYC's LGBTQ Softball League

You Can Play Project

Gay Couple Explores Marseilles France

Travel Gay: Gay California

Spend a Weekend in Florida’s Most LGBTQ Friendly Small Town

Traveling Lesbian Couple: Steph and Katie

 

 

LGBTQ Family Vacation and Travel

 

LGBTQ people in search of vacation destinations are well served by an array of LGBTQ-friendly and LGBTQ-operated hotels, resorts, cruise lines, and tour operators worldwide.  Organizations like Alyson Adventures, Atlantis Events, Hanns Ebensten Travel, Olivia, R Family, and RSVP Vacations cater exclusively to LGBTQ clients (and their families) seeking first-rate travel accommodations in an environment in which they can relax and be themselves.

 

"When planning their family vacations, Mark Bromely and David Salie of Washington DC are typical of most parents. They want their two children to have a positive experience in a welcoming environment. Mark and David want to ensure their vacation destination is a place where the kids can have fun. However, they also know that part of their thinking has to include picking a destination where having same-sex parents is less likely to create an uncomfortable or potentially confrontational situation. Families that look like Mark and David's family are becoming more common."

-Troy Petenbrink

 

"A significant number of LGBTQ couples have children under the age of 18. And much like heterosexual families, LGBTQ families oftentimes travel. Eighty-five percent of LGBTQ parents and 29 percent of LGBTQ grandparents of children under age 18 have taken at least one family trip together in the past year. Visits to urban cities and beach towns were the most popular trip types. When traveling with children, if they had to pick one, LGBTQ parents would prefer child-friendly over LGBTQ-friendly in destination and accommodation selection. However, to help LGBTQ family not have to make that choice, we have identified six LGBTQ-friendly destinations that also have plenty of appeal for children."
-Community Marketing Inc, San Francisco

 

Gay Travel

Welcome to Provincetown

Best LGBTQ Family Travel Destinations

The World’s Safest Countries for LGBTQ Travel

Malmö, Sweden: Unexpected Sweet Spot for LGBTQ Travel

What's Deal with Queer Women and Softball?

This Tiny Michigan Town Is One of America’s Best LGBTQ Destinations

Secret Lives of RVing Lesbians

Travel Guide to LGBTQ Friendly Washington DC

Queer in the World: Chicago
NewNowNext: Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in the US

IGLTA: International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

Queer Daze

VAX Vacation Access: LGBTQ Focused Tour Operators

Traveling to Gay-Friendly Vancouver, British Columbia

LGBTQ Travel Tips

My First Gay Summer: Mykonos, Greece

Video Tour: Most Welcoming Gay Friendly Vacation Islands

Gay Clubs & Bars in Southern California
 

 

2022 LGBTQ Travel Trends
Is it Okay to Travel to Homophobic Countries?

Best LGBTQ-Friendly Resorts for Families

LGBTQ Softball: North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance

Venture Out Project

Best Gay Resorts in the USA

LGBTQ Guide to Celebrating the Best of Miami
Gorgeous Gay Hotels You Should Have Stayed at By Now

Research Report: LGBTQ Leisure Activities

Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

LGBTQ Friendly Resorts for Families

New York Times: Safety Tips for LGBTQ World Travelers

Oldest and Most Iconic Gay Bars in the US

Karin and Skyler: California Summer Lake Trip

Erin Parisi: Transgender Mountain Climber

Trivago: Best Family Vacations for LGBTQ Families

Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups

LGBTQ Campers and Families Are Queering Up the Great Outdoors

Roman Holiday: Jessica and Claudia

Navigaytour: LGBTQ Travel Resource Guide

Important Travel Tips for LGBTQ Families

Queer Daze: Sitges is Ideal Gay Weekend Getaway

High Country News: Nature Doesn't Care If You're Gay

 

 

 

"Being an LGBTQ family on vacation sometimes brings odd stares or awkward questions. While these sorts of episodes are becoming less common, my own family runs into them on occasion. A front desk employee will ask my partner to step back from the desk until he’s done checking in this family or a waitress will ask us if we decided to leave the moms home tonight for a change. As LGBTQ parents, sometimes we want to vacation in places where there are many other families like ours. That reassures us that we’ll be fully accepted and shows our children that their parental situation isn’t unique. Other times, we just want to explore a particular area of a country for the attractions that it holds. Either way, we travel for the same reasons that straight-parent (and single-parent) families do: to expose our kids to different cultures and food and geography, to teach them some history, or to relax and have fun."
-
Paul J. Heney

 

"There are so many wonderful places in the world to travel as an LGBTQ family, and we’ve visited many of the best spots. Sometimes it’s hard to know if our family of two dads and two daughters will be welcomed with smiles and open arms at various travel destinations. We’ve worked so hard to become a family and raise our kids in an atmosphere of acceptance and love that we certainly don’t want to pay good money for a vacation and arrive to a weird vibe that sours the experience. Will the hotel staff try to give the two men double beds instead of one king? Will we get that puzzled stare from behind the front desk: fathers to children, and then back to fathers in wonder? Will we feel unspoken prejudice or judgment from local shop clerks and restaurant staff? The good news is that the world is becoming more accepting every day, and there are places that are great candidates for LGBTQ family travel."
-John Bailey

 

"Not that I need another reason to love Provincetown, but here goes. While riding my bike down Commercial Street this morning after breakfast, I saw two guys walking hand-in-hand with tears streaming from their eyes. They were smiling at each other and I just had to ask what was going on. They said it was the first time since they've been together that they've actually been able to walk down a street in public holding hands. Then they said "someday we're going to live here" and THAT brought tears to my eyes."

-Dan McKeon, April 2019

 

Purple Roofs: Gay Travel and Accommodations

Best LGBTQ Family Travel Destinations

My First Gay Summer: Mykonos, Greece

Ultimate LGBTQ Chicago Guide
Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

What's Deal with Queer Women and Softball?

Best LGBTQ Places in New York City

Trivago: Best Family Vacations for LGBTQ Families

The Queer Joy of New Orleans' Southern Decadence

Traveling Lesbian Couple: Steph and Katie

LGBTQ Friendly European Travel

Queer Groups Finding Their Space in the Great Outdoors

Video: Celebrities Show Support for LGBTQ Equality in Travel

Queer in the World: Gay Los Angeles
Damron: LGBTQ Travel

RV Living: Gay Couple Van Travels

Best LGBTQ-Friendly Resorts for Families

LGBTQ Convention & Visitors Bureau

Gorgeous Gay Hotels You Should Have Stayed at By Now

Lesbian Family Travels to New York City

LGBTQ Vacations You Must Take Before You Die

Visit Florida: LGBTQ Events and Festivals

New York Times: Safety Tips for LGBTQ World Travelers

LGBTQ Friendly Tour Operators

Gay Key West: Hotels, Dining, Shopping, Activities

 

 

Traveling Abroad While Gay

 

LGBTQ people visit all of the same places we live: everywhere. And while travel has inherent risks for everyone, LGBTQ people face additional risks, particularly in places where sexual orientation or gender identity are criminalized or marginalized, but also in places where laws protect and recognize their equal rights. Whether we choose to go, or have to go (for business, family or other reasons) LGBTQ travelers face additional layers of complexity when travel can be challenging and stressful under the best of circumstances.

 

It’s more important than ever to know what’s going on with the local LGBTQ community in the countries you visit. The laws don’t reflect the reality in so many places, and the acceptance and welcome for LGBTQ travelers are constantly changing. It’s increasingly important to know where to get the most current information, how to apply that information to your itineraries and personal experience, and what travelers can do to help advance the cause of LGBTQ people in the places they visit.

 

Tour Operators Specializing in LGBTQ Travel
Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

New York Times: Safety Tips for LGBTQ World Travelers

US State Dept: LGBTQ Travel Advisory
LGBTQ Guide to Travel Safety
Malmö, Sweden: Unexpected Sweet Spot for LGBTQ Travel

LGBTQ Travel Tips

WikiVoyage: LGBTQ Travel Tips

Michael and Matt: First Gay Cruise

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Video Advice: Should LGBTQ People Go to Homophobic Countries?

The World’s Safest Countries for LGBTQ Travel

Best Gay Resorts in the USA

Gay Travel

 

 

Homophobia has no borders. In these rapidly shifting times, it’s important for LGBTQ people travelling the world to better understand the cultures they are stepping into, the potential harms they face, and the resources available to ensure their confidence and safety. The issue of safety always goes beyond LGBTQ rights to the much broader topic of human rights. You will enter these countries with a responsibility to be mindful of their citizens as well as the circumstances of their lives, and to respect the local culture.

 

Travelers to LGBTQ-unfriendly countries usually don’t face the same discrimination, harassment and persecution that locals do. As someone with “tourist privilege,” you may make things better or worse for the local LGBTQ community.

 

There are 76+ countries where homosexual behaviors are against the law. But even legal issues aren’t black and white. In some places, like Singapore, there are laws on the books that are no longer enforced, while in other countries, like Egypt, the law does not prohibit homosexuality, but public decency laws may be used to harass and persecute LGBTQ people.

 

 

Acquainting yourself with local culture, speaking to locals, visiting some of the web resources we list below and reading recent news articles can prepare you to respectfully and safely navigate your way through countries and places where LGBTQ people face unique risks. If you learn how to engage with LGBTQ locals before your arrival, you’ll better protect

yourself and the locals you may engage with on your trip.

 

Traveling as your authentic self isn’t always easy. Even in countries with non-discrimination laws and suppliers that have been trained in sensitivity, many LGBTQ travelers hide their sexual orientation and gender identity. In countries and cultures where protections and acceptance are not the norm, personal authenticity is even harder.

 

Every circumstance is different, and only you can decide what feels right at any given time, in any given situation. But you’re not alone in struggling with these issues. Whether you’re choosing to reveal yourself to locals, fellow travelers or work colleagues, or trying to avoid conversations and situations that would do so, the experiences and anecdotes of those who have navigated this path before you may be helpful and instructive.

 

2022 LGBTQ Travel Trends
Is it Okay to Travel to Homophobic Countries?

LGBTQ Vacations You Must Take Before You Die

Oldest and Most Iconic Gay Bars in the US

IGLTA: International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

Top Destinations for LGBTQ Travel

VAX Vacation Access: LGBTQ Focused Tour Operators

NewNowNext: Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in the US

Erin Parisi: Transgender Mountain Climber

Navigaytour: LGBTQ Travel Resource Guide

Purple Roofs: Gay Travel and Accommodations

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

Travel Gay: Gay California
LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Queer Daze: Sitges is Ideal Gay Weekend Getaway

Choose Chicago: LGBTQ Weekends
LGBTQ Campers and Families Are Queering Up the Great Outdoors

Gorgeous Gay Hotels You Should Have Stayed at By Now

Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups

Best LGBTQ Places in New York City

LGBTQ Travel Tips

 

 

Traveling as a Queer Woman Can be Terrifying or Not

 

When people want to know what it's really like to travel when you're LGBTQ, they want to hear about the fear. They want to hear about the risks you take by holding your partner's hand in an area with little to no acceptance. They want to hear about the person who yelled at you from across the airport when they saw a pride button on your bag. I'm here to tell you that while traveling as a queer woman is terrifying, that's not all it is.

Traveling with an LGBTQ identity can be an incredibly beautiful and eye-opening experience. In the Spring of 2018, I flew thousands of miles from New York City to Sydney, Australia, to study abroad for six months. Fortunately, I had three other people with me, none of whom were LGBTQ. Gay marriage had just been legalized across Australia mere months before I landed in Sydney, and because of that great triumph, I feared repercussions from people who didn't agree, but was also excited for the celebrations.

 

I had traveled to places only an hour away from my home where grown adults would scream at my partner and I for doing simple things together like eating frozen yogurt or walking down the street. While on road trips, I've feared getting out of the car to get gas because I have a rainbow pin on my bag. It doesn't matter how far I've traveled or where it was, the fear is always there. To willingly explore a new place as an LGBTQ person means to put your faith in the possibility of just about anything happening. You don't know how people will react. I've been met with both kindness and extreme hostility.

Fortunately, while studying abroad, I stayed on the relatively liberal campus of the University of New South Wales where allies, LGBTQ individuals, and straight people alike celebrated queerness openly. In the first month of my stay, Sydney was holding their Mardi Gras, which is essentially their pride parade. Everyone (and I mean everyone) from the university crowded the rainbow-colored streets, and my friends and I lined the main road of the city while taking it all in.

It was in that exact moment that I no longer felt fearful. I no longer felt as though traveling as an LGBTQ person was so grossly negative. I was experiencing my first-ever pride parade in Sydney, Australia, and everyone around me accepted me for exactly who I was. At the time, I had only been out for a couple of years and was still coming to terms with my identity, so traveling across the world to unknown (and potentially unaccepting) areas was a huge risk. But when I got to Sydney, it was the most accepted I ever felt. From two moms walking in the parade with their children to a gay couple dancing in glitter, I felt so safe being surrounded by people who agreed that love is love.



 

The most memorable part for me was when the parade came to a close and a young man came up to me from the street, held my hand, and told me to stay proud. He had no idea who I was but still treated me like part of his community.

I'm extremely thankful to have traveled to such a loving area where hate was not tolerated under any circumstance. I was pleasantly surprised to not be met with negativity, which is what a lot of LGBTQ people have come to expect when traveling. My experience made me hopeful for the future that every other member of the LGBTQ community can always experience the same, no matter where they go.

[Source: Meredith Nash, MSN Lifestyle]

 

LGBTQ Focused Tour Operators

 

Brand G Vacations (Mixed)

Adventures in Good Company (Women)

RSVP Vacations (Mostly Men)

Steele Luxury Travel (Mostly Men)

Sweet (Mostly Women)

WomanTours (Women Only)

Atlantis Events (Mixed)

Olivia (Women Only)

R Family (Mixed)

 

 

Equinox Wilderness Expeditions (Women Only), Canada

Out Adventures (Mostly Men), Canada

Catherwood Travels (Mixed), Latin America

EcoCircuitos Panama (Mixed), Latin America

Flamenco Tour (Mixed), Latin America

 

 

Greenway Nature Tours (Mixed), Latin America

Kuyay Travel (Mixed), Latin America

Orpheus Travel (Mixed), Latin America

Alyson Adventures (Mostly Men), Europe

Hanns Ebensten Travel (Mostly Men), Europe

 

 

For A Cause (Mixed), Europe

Gay Planet Holidays (Mostly Men), Europe

Mabat Platinum (Mixed), Middle East

OneNation Travel (Mixed), Middle East

Himalayan Dreams (Mixed), Asia

Luxury India (Mixed), Asia

Magnet Tours (Mostly Men), Asia

Pink Mountain Travels and Tours (Mixed), Asia

Redefine Vacations (Mixed), Asia

 

 

Billiards, Bowling, Bingo and More

 

As more and more gay bars are seeking to broaden their customer base and create a more relaxed (more wholesome?), less sleazy, vibe for their patrons, expanded activities are being offered in addition to the usual drinking and dancing. In an effort to downplay the reputation of gay bars as nothing more than venues of drunkedness and hookup culture, it is becoming more commonplace for socializing to be facilitated through a wider variety of other on-site amusements.

 

Many gay bars now include pool, billiards, darts, ping pong, bowling, and shuffleboard. You might see video games or pinball machines. Or even Jenga, Twister, or cornhole (bean bag toss). They might sponsor karaoke, poker, and bingo nights. Drag queen bingo offers a wild and irreverent twist and has become extremely popular. Or how about strip poker or strip pool?  Fashion shows, stand-up comedy, poetry slams, and live concerts are among the creative examples that gay bars have tried. Game nights of every description might be offered, including trivia games, dating game, newlywed game, family feud, dice games, domino games, board games, and card games (including cards-against-humanity).

 

 

In addition to the usual disco/drag or biker/leather/fetish motifs, you are likely to see a wider assortment of thematic gay venues that feature jock/sports, western/cowboy, French Quarter/Mardi Gras, or hip-hop motifs. Holidays offer inspiration to gay bars to host special events to celebrate New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Cinqo de Mayo, July 4th, Halloween, and Christmas/Hanukkah. Ethnic/cultural themes have been tried, including Jamaican/Reggae night and Latinx/Mexican/Mariachi night.

 

 

In addition to the sports customers who gather to view the World Series, Super Bowl or World Cup, some gay bars sponsor viewing parties for the theatre/film crowd for the Oscar and Tony Awards. Special party nights have become popular, with the likes of pajama parties, underwear parties, Hawaiian/tropical/beach parties, Broadway musical night, and movie night. Some bars have hosted bachelor/bachelorette parties, wedding receptions, anniversary parties, bar/bat mitzvah parties, and birthday parties.

 

While the traditional gay bar is not going away, some gay venues are finding creative ways to attract a broader, more diverse, audience, to include young professionals, non-drinkers, and even families.

 

 

New York Ramblers Soccer

RV Living: Gay Couple Van Travels

LGBTQ Campers and Families Are Queering Up the Great Outdoors

LGBTQ Cyclist Club

Front Runners of New York

Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in the US

Info: LGBTQ Sports

Outdoor Rec Industry and the LGBTQ Community

Gay Bowlers

LGBTQ Convention & Visitors Bureau

International Gay Rugby

LGBTQ People Breaking Barriers in the Great Outdoors

Gay Clubs & Bars in Southern California
Gay Lesbian Tennis Alliance

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Gay Outdoorsman's Epic Adventure

International Gay Rodeo Association

Oldest and Most Iconic Gay Bars in the US

LGBTQ Guide to Celebrating the Best of Miami
Gay Polo

Queer Groups Finding Their Space in the Great Outdoors

What's Deal with Queer Women and Softball?

Pride in Golf

National Parks and Recreation: LGBTQ Inclusion

Ultimate LGBTQ Chicago Guide
Research Report: LGBTQ Leisure Activities

 

Night Life: Top Five LGBTQ Cities

 

If a party is what you crave for your lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer holiday, there are some well-known hotspots where you will not be disappointed in the rich variety of LGBTQ fun. Here are some of the most popular and populated cities for you to see and be seen:

 

New York City – Host to over 50 gay bars and hot clubs, the Big Apple has something for every flavor of LGBTQ nightlife. The city that doesn’t sleep is available for entertainment seven nights per week at places such as Mr. Black for indie dance parties of the het-homo variety, and Sugarland for gritty hipster.

 

 

San Francisco – For a world-class range of LGBTQ nightlife options, San Francisco is the choice. From the upbeat The Bar on Church to the gay Latino club Esta Noche, this city will have something for everyone.

 

Los Angeles – For young and old, LA has the scene for your LGBTQ holiday. From the lesbian Normandie Room to the bohemian Funky Akbar, the nightlife sizzles. WeHo and Silver Lake are the destination venues.

 

Toronto – This Canadian jewel served as the film location for “Queer as Folk” and will not disappoint those in search of hot nightlife. Woody’s and Fly Niteclub, both of QAF fame, still garner large crowds of gay and lesbian patrons.

 

Chicago – For a more relaxed and less image conscious destination, Chicago will fit the bill. In Boystown and Andersonville, you can find the largest concentration of gay clubs. Sidetrack is the most popular and Circuit has the largest 3-D glitter dance floor.

 

 

LGBTQ Honeymoons

 

Now that the Supreme Court has declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, dreamy gay honeymoons are within reach for millions more Americans. And with marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws on the rise worldwide, more places are looking fit for dreamy gay honeymoons.

In 2014, only about 55 percent of same-sex couples went on a honeymoon after their wedding ceremony, according to Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based market research firm that tracks LGBTQ travel trends. With the expansion of marriage equality in the US, those figures presumably stand to change a great deal, as more same-sex couples tie the knot who haven’t already been together for decades, or aren’t feeling rushed to meet some potentially short-lived legal window for doing so. Community Marketing senior research director David Paisley also attributes this figure to the fact that gays and lesbians tend to travel more than straight couples. A same-sex couple about to get hitched might deem that trip to Paris three months away their delayed honeymoon.

 



At the same time, the nature of gay travel is changing. Where once, the focus was on finding gay-owned hotels in (sometimes literal) islands of tolerance, younger gay travelers are looking more broadly, as more countries adopt the kind of marriage equality laws and legal protections that make LGBTQ travelers feel safe. Which is especially important on a honeymoon, if you plan on showing affection in public.

There’s also a generational shift at work here. Baby Boomers are still big fans of the gay guest house or LGBTQ B&B, while Millennials don’t tend to seek them out. Of course, there are also gigantic marketing budgets at play. “With Marriott and Hilton in a battle to see who can be the most gay friendly,” says Paisley, friendliness tends not to matter as much when it’s coming from hospitality companies. As a result, younger LGBTQ travelers tend to value location and quality over brand reputation, though tolerant laws and locals are as important as ever.

 

GMA: Best Honeymoon Destinations fort LGBTQ Couples

Gay Friendly Honeymoon Hotspots

Travel Channel: Best Countries for LGBTQ Honeymoons

ABC News: Best LGBTQ Honeymoon Destinations

LGBTQ Hawaiian Wedding Resources

Best Gay Honeymoon Destinations

LGBTQ Travel Abroad: What About Public Displays of Affection?
 

 

 

LGBTQ Travel and Recreation

 

Gay Cities: Bars, Hotels, Restaurants, Reviews, Maps

Nomadic Matt: Lesbian Travel

Secret Lives of RVing Lesbians

Info: LGBTQ Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

The Queer Joy of New Orleans' Southern Decadence

Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

Traveling Lesbian Couple: Steph and Katie

The World’s Safest Countries for LGBTQ Travel

New York City’s LGBTQ History Tour

LGBTQ Travel Tips

Best Gay Resorts in the USA

The Most LGBTQ Friendly European Countries

LGBTQ Travel and Trip Ideas

Video Tips: LGBTQ Friendly Travel

Queer Daze: Sitges is Ideal Gay Weekend Getaway

Best LGBTQ Places in New York City

Nomadic Matt: Great LGBTQ Events

Karin and Skyler: California Summer Lake Trip

LGBTQ Nation: Most Popular Gay Bars in the US

Info: LGBTQ Sports

Gay Clubs & Bars in Southern California
Queer Groups Finding Their Space in the Great Outdoors

RV Living: Gay Couple Van Travels

Oldest and Most Iconic Gay Bars in the US

Video Tour: Most Welcoming Gay Friendly Vacation Islands

Playing it Straight: Article by Dan Savage

Nomadic Matt: LGBTQ Travel Tips

Research Report: LGBTQ Leisure Activities

 

 

 

LGBTQ Friendly Destinations

 

From a survey of LGBTQ travelers conducted by the Travel Industry Association, here are the top LGBTQ-friendly US destinations named by the panelists (in order) include:

 

--San Francisco, CA (76%)

--Key West, FL (57%)

--New York, NY (51%)

--Fire Island, NY (48%)

--Provincetown, MA (46%)

--Los Angeles, CA (38%)

--Miami/ South Beach, FL (37%)

--Las Vegas, NV (35%)

--New Orleans, LA(34%)

--Palm Springs/Palm Desert, CA (33%)

--Boston, MA (29%)

 

--Chicago, IL (29%)

--Fort Lauderdale/ Wilton Manors, FL (29%)

--San Diego, CA (29%)

--Seattle/ Bellevue, WA (27%)

--Washington, DC (23%)

--Honolulu, HI (22%)

--Palm Beach/ West Palm/Boca Raton, FL (20%)

--Portland, OR (18%)

--Philadelphia, PA (17%)

--Rehoboth Beach, DE (17%)

--Providence, RI (6%)

 

The top ten LGBTQ-friendly Canadian destinations named by the US respondents in the survey include:

 

--Montreal, QC (44%)

--Toronto, ON (39%)

--Vancouver, BC (38%)

--Quebec City, QB (20%)

--Victoria, BC (16%)

--Niagara Falls, ON (15%)

--Ottawa, ON (12%)

--Calgary, AB (9%)

--Halifax, NS (6%)

--Prince Edward Island (6%)

 

 

LGBTQ Friendly Hotels

 

Gay friendly hotels are popping up everywhere, which is fantastic news for the LGBTQ community. But what can you expect from a gay friendly hotel?

 

Information regarding the local scene - Obviously you will be wanting to check out the local LGBTQ scene. A good gay friendly hotel should have plenty of information regarding LGBTQ bars and clubs. The staff will also be friendly and approachable and be able to give you plenty of advice and information.

 

 

Run by locals that are on the scene - A good gay friendly hotel should also be run by local people in the LGBTQ community and support the local scene. It is good to know that your hard earned money is going into the local LGBTQ economy instead of some hotel conglomerate's pockets. A locally run hotel should also reflect the local culture, which will give you a much better experience.

 

Clean, friendly and relaxed - A good gay friendly hotel should be clean and have a relaxed and friendly attitude. There should be no expectations of you to have a certain style of dress and no problems with overnight visitors. The hotel should also be easy to find and not hide the fact that it is gay friendly. Also, the hotel should be a reasonable size with comfortable rooms with all the amenities you need, instead of being small, dingy, or sleazy.

 

Easy to make new friends - Another thing to look for in a gay friendly hotel is that it is easy to meet fellow guests from the LGBTQ community. This way if you come alone you won't have to look like you have no friends when you hit the bars and clubs.

 

 

LGBTQ Focused Hotels

 

Blue Chairs Resort, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

East Canyon Hotel and Spa, Palm Springs, California

The Hacienda, Palm Springs, California

Parker Guest House, San Francisco, California

 

LGBTQ Focused Hotel Lists

 

TAG Approved: LGBTQ Welcoming Hotels Worldwide

Gay Travel: LGBTQ Friendly Hotels

IGLTA: LGBTQ Friendly Hotels

Travel+Leisure: LGBTQ Friendly Hotel Brands

 

 

LGBTQ Interest Groups

 

LGBTQ Meet Up Social Groups Worldwide

Lesbian and Gay Meet Up Friends Groups Worldwide

Meet Up Gay Professionals Group

Meet Up Lesbian Professionals Group

 

Breaking Barriers in the Great Outdoors

 

Up until approximately yesterday, there's been a enduring stereotype of outdoorsy people: They're white, cis, straight, and love granola and/or semi-automatic rifles. Of course, there have always been people who love nature and don't fall into any of those categories. And over the past few years, opportunities for LGBTQ people who want to camp, hike, and otherwise spend time with real plants in nature (not aloe plants in apartments) have grown exponentially. Between summer camps for adult trans folks and stripper-heels-wearing backpacking queens, there's a growing outdoors community on Instagram and even in real life.
 

LGBTQ activists are making rural America a safer, queerer place. Queer culture has always been concentrated in cities. And most people who identify as queer continue to live in large metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York City. Big and typically progressive, these urban areas have become home to bustling queer communities and their culture, often defined just by nightlife. That doesn't mean queer culture is confined to cities, or that there aren't members of the community who want to venture into the great outdoors.

[Source: Heather Dockray, Mashable, 2018]

 


 

LGBTQ Outdoor Sporting Activities

 

Outdoor recreation for LGBTQ people might include camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, cycling, fishing, sailing, surfing, horseback riding, archery, water skiing, and snow skiing. Several clubs throughout North America offer opportunities for LGBTQ outdoor enthusiasts.

 

NY Times: Celebrating Pride Outside

Erin Parisi: Transgender Mountain Climber

Queer Groups Finding Their Space in the Great Outdoors

Venture Out Project

Interactive Map: LGBTQ Outdoor Groups 

High Country News: Nature Doesn't Care If You're Gay

Karin and Skyler: California Summer Lake Trip

Desert Adventures, Phoenix, Arizona

Outdoor Industry vs the LGBTQ Community

NRPA Magazine: Being Out in the Outdoors

Different Strokes Bicycling Club, San Francisco, California

LGBTQ Campers and Families Are Queering Up the Great Outdoors

Sierra Club: LGBTQ Adventures in the Woods

Gay Outdoors: Men’s Adventure Club

Glory Sailing and Yachting

LGBTQ People Breaking Barriers in the Great Outdoors

 

 

LGBTQ Adventure Clubs

 

Venture Out Project

LGBTQ Outdoors, Texas

Out Kayaking, Portland, Oregon

Out Spokin’ Cycling Club, Colorado

Out Ventures Hiking and Camping, Seattle, Washington

SAGA North Ski and Snowboard Club, San Francisco, California

Sundance Outdoor Adventure Society, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

 

Nature Doesn't Care If You're Gay

 

What the outdoor recreation industry doesn’t get about the LGBTQ community. Companies can help shift outdoors culture from homophobia toward inclusion while helping their bottom line.
 

“Nature doesn’t care if you’re gay,” I’ll often hear in reaction to articles by myself or my outdoorsy LGBTQ peers. And it’s true. Nature doesn’t care if I’m gay. But people do.

Two months ago, I finished a world-record journey to all 419 National Park Service sites. For three years nonstop, I lived in a van, hiked trails everywhere from American Samoa to the Arctic Circle, and accomplished an outdoors journey no human had ever done before. But comments about the trip have included things like, “Well now I need to be careful in the bathroom at national parks,” and “Why do you have to shove your lifestyle down our throats!” And a sponsor terminated our partnership halfway through the project, saying over the phone and in writing that I was doing too much LGBTQ outreach.

 

 
A camping website called The Dyrt posted an interview with me on Facebook featuring a thumbnail photo in which I’m holding a rainbow flag in front of Yosemite’s Tunnel View. The comments were so inflammatory that the publishers decided just hours later it was inappropriate to leave it up. They later denounced the hateful comments and reposted the story with a call for civility — which was unheeded. A rainbow flag incited such anger from a community of nature lovers that they ignored what so many outdoor enthusiasts have told me is their “dream trip.”

And in June of all months, the one month when my social media feels like an explosion of rainbows due to worldwide Pride festivals. When historic anniversaries like the Stonewall uprising and marriage-equality decisions are remembered. And when seemingly every corporation, from Listerine to Disney, is releasing products that celebrate these culture-changing moments.

Yet, as the rest of America chases this “Pink Dollar,” the outdoor recreation industry seems less interested in the near $1 trillion purchasing power of the US LGBTQ community. Or the shift in culture evidenced by the fact that the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2019 “Pride Night” was their highest attended game in seven years. Or — as I can attest after seeing Tinder photos from every corner of the United States during my parks journey — the vast market of gay men hoping to look cute in athletic clothes on top of a mountain.

 



Some in the LGBTQ community argue that corporate Pride promotions are simply “rainbow washing” to increase profits. But as someone who didn’t meet an openly gay adult until I left my home state of Nebraska at age 19, and 14 years later can get married in any state across the U.S., I’ve seen the progress our culture has made. And I believe companies had a large part in it.

In an age when corporations are afforded some of the same rights as individuals, financial power plays a significant role in our society, from politics to cultural acceptance. When Marriott, a company started and owned by Mormons, is willing to sponsor Pride festivals and has an entire annual #LoveTravels campaign aimed at making LGBTQ travelers feel welcome, even people in so-called “flyover states” are influenced by ideas more progressive than they might see at home.

In the same way, the outdoor recreation industry has the power to help build a future where LGBTQ outdoors fans are seen the same as everyone else. In that world, other nature enthusiasts’ reactions to a photo of a flag-bearing hiker would be the same whether it was an American flag or a rainbow one. If outdoor companies follow the example of the rest of corporate America, they could use their influence in a way that both helps their bottom line and improves the lives of outdoor lovers.

 

As civil rights leader Marian Wright Edelman said, “It’s hard to be what you can’t see.” The backing of inclusive values by outdoor brands will help nature enthusiasts like the Eagle Scout who wrote me via Instagram to share that he’d never had an outdoorsy gay role model until learning about my national parks record. Better representation will invite more people to experience our great outdoors.

While LGBTQ discrimination still causes vastly higher rates of suicide attempts among LGBTQ youth than their straight peers, this moment in time gives me hope.

When I started my national parks journey in 2016, the outdoor recreation industry had never had a Pride Month ad. Now, several companies and nonprofits sponsor an annual LGBTQ Outdoor Summit, an outdoors-themed drag queen is commanding attention from brands, and REI (which I work with to help promote LGBTQ inclusion in the outdoors) received the Kenji Award at 2019’s Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in part for their “Outside with Pride” apparel.

As the promotions and inclusion work of the past three years expand the tent of who sees themselves in outdoors culture, we come one step closer to a goal: A hope that one day, the readers of an article about a gay man visiting all of America’s national parks won’t care about the sexual orientation of the adventurer. After all, if nature doesn’t care that I’m gay, why do people?

[Source: Mikah Meyer, Editor, High Country News, editor@hcn.org, June 2019]

 

LGBTQ Bar and Party Scene

 

Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in US

LGBTQ Cafe in Dominican Republic

Searching for the Last Lesbian Bars
Gay Scandinavian Cafe in Puerto Vallarta

Oldest and Most Iconic Gay Bars in the US

Best LGBTQ Bars in New York City

LGBTQ Cafe in New Delhi, India

Best LGBTQ Bars in Los Angeles

Tour of Castro District in San Francisco

Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

 

 

 

Famous LGBTQ Bars and Clubs

 

Stonewall Inn - Christopher Street in Greenwich Village NYC

The Pulse Nightclub - Orlando FL

Twin Peaks Tavern - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Swinging Richards - Atlanta GA

Sidetrack - Chicago IL

The Abbey Food & Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Larry's Lounge - DuPont Circle, Washington DC

Therapy - Hell's Kitchen NYC

Hamburger Mary's, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Bulldogs Bar - Atlanta GA

Bourbon Pub & Parade - Bourbon Street, New Orleans LA

Club Cafe - Boston MA

Roundup Saloon - Dallas TX

Al's on Seventh - Birmingham AL

Moby Dick - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Cubbyhole - East Village NYC

Pecs Bar - San Diego CA

Hunters - Fort Lauderdale FL

Roscoe's Tavern - Chicago IL

Pilsner Inn - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Tribe - Nashville TN

Duplex Cabaret Theatre - Christopher Street in Greenwich Village NYC

Gym Sports Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Rain on 4th -Austin TX

Q Bar - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Our Place - Birmingham AL

 

 

LGBTQ Dining and Clubbing

 

New York LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Chicago LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Orlando LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

San Diego LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

News Orleans LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Sydney LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tallahassee LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Detroit LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in the US

Atlanta LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

London LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Houston LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

St. Louis LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Toronto LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Birmingham LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Harlem LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tokyo LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Oldest and Most Iconic LGBTQ Bars in the US

 

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