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How to Cope with Online Trolls



We here at Travel Pride have some exciting news to share with ya’ll; we’ve just had our very first troll. I sure hope they’re reading!

As I’m sure you know dear reader, LGBTQ+ people cannot exist on the internet without some sort of troll spewing hatred and vitriol about ‘lifestyle choices’ and other such crap on our pages. In fact, given that it took so long, we were a bit worried that we weren’t being queer enough.

In the olden days, trolls would be swiftly dealt with by a gallant prince but these days they’re too busy doing PR and not very handy with a long sword, so it’s up to us. For those of you who are new to dealing with trolls, I’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you cope.

Don’t feed the trolls

Trolls are narcissists who weren’t hugged enough as children; they crave attention and they don’t care how they get it. They’ll use offensive words and inflammatory rhetoric in order to get a rise out of you; but you don’t have to take the bait.

If you ignore them, they get so angry that their heads will literally explode. It’s true, I saw a gif about it.


Kill them with kindness

You know what annoys trolls much more than being ignored? Being treated with the type of basic human decency that they forgot existed on the internet.

“Hey buddy, thanks for the comment. Sorry you’re having such a bad day that you felt the need to take it on other people. I’m sure things will turn around soon. <3”

Or you could agree with them dismissively, in the way that comedian Joe Lycett has been responding to Donald Trump (the world’s most vocal troll) on Twitter.

Ask a question

Rather than evoking Godwin’s Law, why not try asking the troll a question about their beliefs? This puts the onus on them to defend their hateful behavior.
· Why are you so upset about people getting equal treatment?
· Why do you visit this page that you don’t like when there are so many other sites?
· Who hurt you?


Give them an education

Although it took far too long to do so, the majority of peer-reviewed medical and scientific literature agrees that it is normal to be gay or trans or nonbinary and that there is nothing wrong with us.

So resist the urge to cuss a troll out and provide them with a link to:
· the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which makes very clear that the gender dysphoria that trans or nonbinary people may suffer from is NOT a mental disorder
· this report by the American Psychological Association which notes that being LGBQ+ is NOT a mental disorder and that conversion therapy is harmful AF
· any of the millions of well-written, well-sourced, articles, vlogs, podcasts, or documentaries that make it clear that being LGBTQ+ is not a choice, not a disorder, and not a problem for the vast majority of The Straights™

Link sharing is extremely helpful if, like me, you find it hard to debate in the heat of the moment without cue cards, response timers, and a moderator. If you think they won’t click the link, just copy and paste the main points into a comment with the link attached.


Report them

Often marginalized groups are accused of attacking free speech, so I want to be clear here: I support free speech. I just think there’s been some confusion about what the term actually means.
Free speech means that you can say whatever you want (provided you don’t incite violence) and the government can’t put you in jail for it.

So, if someone once called me a fat d*ke on Twitter, I’m not going to go to the police about it. However, that type of hateful comment is against Twitter’s Terms of Service so I can report them for it.

Will Twitter do anything? Probably not; the report function on most sites is weak at best. But if someone does it time and time again, it’s harassment and I can continue reporting them to Twitter and to the police.

Also, I feel I should make it clear, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences of your speech.
If you posted a rant about LGBTQ+ people on a public page and someone screenshotted it to send to your boss and you got fired because your boss doesn’t want to employ someone who spews hateful messages, you still have freedom of speech.


There’s something to be said for being exposed to different points of view but you don’t have to put up with anyone telling you that your sexuality is wrong or that you’re a freak for expressing your gender identity or that you should shut up about gay rights because things are so much worse in other countries. You do not have to put up with this crap.

Repeat after me: You are not obliged to interact with people who are shitty to you.


I hope that this has been helpful to you fellow LGBTQ+ people and our allies. Do you have any more tips on dealing with trolls? Share in the comments below.

Oh, and if you really want to piss off a bigot, consider donating to our fundraiser to keep Travel Pride alive.

Originally posted 2017-08-18 12:35:05.

Emma is a queer British freelance writer specializing in politics, travel, and entertainment. Barack Obama (yes, that one) follows her on Twitter and she’s never been sure why. She takes her coffee seriously and wears odd socks because life’s too short.

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Tell It Like A Lesbian



My mother refuses to refer to my partner as anything other than a friend. We’ve been dating for three years and my mother still won’t acknowledge our relationship. Am I crazy for being angry about this and wanting to confront her? I feel insulted and it really upsets my partner. –Clarke

Dear Clarke, You’re not crazy for being upset at your mother. It sounds like you have every right to be angry, especially if after three years your mother can’t even acknowledge your relationship. If talking to her gently about it hasn’t worked after all this time, it may indeed be time to confront her more forcefully, as your partner’s feelings are also being hurt by this behavior. If you decide to confront her and her attitude remains unchanged, it may be time to cut ties. After all, your happiness is what matters most in this situation, regardless of whatever is causing such denial from your mother. You must put the health of you and your partner’s relationship first, and eventually, your mother may come to realize what she is losing because of her denial.


Dear Tell It, Do you have any suggestions for handling depression? I’ve been really struggling with loneliness and I have no energy for anything, even stuff I usually enjoy. I feel like I have no one to turn to. –Otto

Dear Otto, Depression often causes the loneliness and sense of isolation that you are feeling. It’s important that you recognize this as a symptom of your depression and do your best not to isolate yourself as a result. Because depression can take a lot of energy, remember that your brain and body need time to recover. And remember that focusing on self-care is not selfish. Depression is an illness just like the flu and other diseases and should be treated with the same care.

On bad days, make a warm drink that you enjoy, read your favorite book or watch a show or movie you love. Spend some time by yourself to recharge, and then contact a friend or family member to let them know what you’ve been feeling. Make a plan to spend time with them, even if it’s only for an hour or two, preferably away from your house. Getting outside and into a new environment is an excellent way of resetting your brain. While I wish I could tell you otherwise, depression doesn’t just go away. You will likely go through phases of good and bad, and it’s important to learn the symptoms that are specific to you. If you have suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to ask for help. The suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. Hang in there, and remember that there are people who care.


Have questions for Tell It Like A Lesbian? Let me answer them! Submit your questions below (you don’t have to use your real name unless you want to), and see your question answered on our website!


Originally posted 2017-10-26 14:10:06.

Also published on Medium.

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In December, This Round-The-World Cruise Visits 35 Countries



Imagine being able to visit 66 ports in 35 countries over 141 days.  Such a trip has never been offered in the past, but now Viking Cruises, based in Los Angeles, is planning one.  

The Viking Sun will set sail on 15 December 2017. Furthermore, Cruise Critic has named Viking Cruises as one of the top 10 cruise lines for gay and lesbian travelers because it frequently partners with LGBT travel agencies and past travelers have reported good experiences.  In fact, the 2017 CRUIZIE Awards for LGBT Cruise Travel awarded Viking River Cruises the ‘Best River Cruise Line for LGBTQ Passengers.’  

So what is this journey going to look like?  Let’s have a look:  

Day 1: Depart From Miami


On 15 December 2017, the Viking Sun will leave Miami, the international city in Florida.  If you are embarking on this trip and are here in Miami, appreciate the barrier islands and Miami beach.  Here, find colorful buildings, surfside hotels and white sand.  If this sounds good, then spend a few days here, before making your way to the Viking Sun. 

Days 2 to 20: The Caribbean, Central America and Los Angeles

The Caribbean

On day 2, cruise the Caribbean Sea,  which covers an area of approximately 1,063,000 square miles. The deepest area in this sea is the Cayman Trench between Cuba and Jamaica.  Between day 3 and day 5, explore the city of Cienfuegos in Cuba, where a walking tour is offered.  This traveler explored gorgeous flamingoes, boat houses and more attractions.  

Between days 6 to 17, visit other countries lying in the Caribbean and South and Central America: Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Then briefly visit  Mexico and Los Angeles, before cruising the Pacific Ocean.   

Days 30 to 43: French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji

Nuka Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia

French Polynesia, an overseas French possession, consists of more than 100 stunning islands, stretching across more than 2,000 kilometers. Start cruising the South Pacific and visit Taiohae, the main town of Nuka Hiva (pictured above) in French Polynesia.  You will also visit Tahiti and Bora Bora, known for its scuba diving.  

The 15 gorgeous islands that make up the Cook Islands could provide a hint of paradise.  Warm tropical waters, crystal clear waters and aquatic life are just a few of the treasures that can be found here. Then in Tonga, discover white beaches, coral reefs and tropical rainforest.  Continue this tropical holiday in Fiji, which also has beaches and coral reefs.  

Days 44 to 113: New Zealand, Australia and Asia

New Zealand

In New Zealand, go on an extensive tour that includes the Bay of Islands, an enclave of more than 140 islands with beaches and water activities. Find an abundance of wildlife, including penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales, and gannets.  There’s even a camping ground here.

Go on to cruise the Tasman Sea, and discover several attractions in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef, located in northeastern Australia, consists of golden beaches, thousands of reefs, and hundreds of Islands with dolphins, sharks, and colorful fish.     

Then cruise the Timor Sea and start exploring the culture and beauty of Asia. See Indonesia, and then go on to visit Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Hong Kong , Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and India.  During this journey explore Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, which has beautiful islands topped with rainforests.  

Days 114 to 131: The Middle East, North Africa and the Central Mediterranean

Malta in the Central Mediterranean

Cruise across the Arabian Sea, and tour several countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Oman, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia. There is also a stop at Malta, located in the Central Mediterranean.  See wildflowers, plants, prehistoric sites, and walk to discover Malta’s natural beauty.  

Days 132 to 141: Europe

Murcia (Cartagena), Spain

See Portugal, England, and explore the beaches and hiking trails of Sardinia, the Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. In Spain, Murcia is a university city with beaches, water sports, wine, and historical sites.    

Want to explore these countries, and Interested in this cruise? Call Viking at 888-850-6260 or find out more here.

Originally posted 2017-10-26 14:08:07.

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Same-Sex Marriage in the US: A Decade of Change



On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court announced the decision to make same-sex marriage a right in all 50 states. People all over the country celebrated, pride flags were flown, and for the first time, the White House was lit with rainbow lights. The decision was a landmark victory for the gay-rights movement, but behind it all was decades of litigation, activism, and advocacy.

In 1996, a law called the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It defined marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” in the United States constitution. Individual states were able to recognize same-sex unions, but on a federal level, the words wife, husband, and spouse, were reserved specifically for heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples were also denied social security survivor’s benefits and were unable to jointly file taxes. For almost a decade, the DOMA remained.

After 40 years of being together, Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer traveled to Toronto to get legally married in 2007. A year later, their union was officially recognized by their home state of New York . In 2009, Spyer passed away at the age of 77. She left her entire estate to her wife, Windsor. Because of DOMA, the federal government did not recognize their union as a marriage and Windsor was required to pay over $300,000 in taxes on her inheritance. Windsor decided to challenge this because she was legally married and should have therefore qualified for an unlimited tax deduction on the inherited estate. After approaching several gay-rights advocacy groups, she was repeatedly denied and was unable to find representation.

Finally, Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP agreed to take on the case. In 2010, her case was filed and made its way through the circuits and in 2013 it had reached the United States Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of Windsor and announced that DOMA had been unconstitutional. By the same margin, the Supreme Court would legalize same-sex marriage three years later.

In September of 2017, Windsor passed away at the age of 88. She left behind a legacy of activism and change, and hope. At her funeral, Hillary Rodham read a eulogy. “Because of her, people came out, marched in their first pride parade, married the love of their life. Thank you, Edie,” reported the New York Daily News.“Thank you for being a beacon of hope, for proving that love is more powerful than hate.”

Edith Windsor has helped to change the lives of thousands of LGBTQ couples and her legacy will continue to live on. Do you have a story of how legalizing same-sex marriage changed your life? Tell us in the comments!

Originally posted 2017-10-25 13:58:13.

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