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Top 5 Queer Bucket List Destinations

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Life is short, but bucket lists don’t have to be. If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and are looking for destinations, consider one (or all five) from the list below. Seize the gay.

See the Pride Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil

No queer bucket list would be complete without mentioning Pride at least once. If you’ve never been to one or just want to go to THE largest Pride festival in the world at least once in your life, then Brazil is where you need to be. Hosted annually In Sao Paulo, attendance at this festival is always measured in the millions (yes, you read that right) and people come from every corner of the world to dance, party, and show their love. This year’s parade wrapped up June 18th, but don’t worry there’s always next June, or the next one, or the next one. Whenever you decide to go, rest assured this Pride festival isn’t going anywhere. It’s so highly successful that I have a feeling it will be around for decades to come, until we no longer need Pride parades at all (maybe one day). Buy that plane ticket now and start planning your wardrobe, so next year you can have the time of your life and cross one more thing off your list.

Go on an Olivia Cruise

Lesbi-honest, cruises are only fun if you’re a small child or old enough to buy booze. But an Olivia cruise is the exception, since it has all the alcohol you need and it’s just for lesbians. Olivia is that company that seems to have a booth at every pride event, advertising for their scenic cruises. And as a lesbian, one of my top fantasies (besides appearing on “Ellen”) is to be surrounded by beautiful queer women on a ship for a week. What could be bad about that? Cruises go pretty much anywhere you can dream of, from majestic Alaska to Italy to the Caribbean, and Olivia cruises charter the entire ship for their trips, so it’ll be just you and more women than you can count. This is one experience even I am dying to try just once.

Visit Paris , France 

Paris isn’t just the city of love. It also happens to be where queer writer James Baldwin made his mark, walking the streets and writing some of his best work, including “Go Tell It On the Mountain.” France is a romantic city, not just for the sites, but for the gay community as well. In a country where public, passionate love is encouraged, Paris is a must-see when travelling. 

The city at night is absolutely gorgeous, and hundreds of people picnic along the banks of the Seine in the evenings, enjoying good food, good company, and a pretty sunset over an even prettier city. I visited for a week two years ago and experienced the city first-hand, and as far as memorable trips go, Paris is at the very top for me. So grab your significant other or your favorite group of queer friends and head over to France for the best time of your life. 

Attend a Drag Show  

Are you a cut-throat drag queen? Wanting to strut your stuff on-stage? Or just looking to watch talented individuals dress their best and perform songs, dance routines, and show off their skills? A drag show might be just the thing for you. Drag shows are one of my favorite things to see because of the excitement and energy that the audience always exudes. They’re warm, fun, loving spaces in my experience, and you’ll never have more fun than when you’re yelling out your vote for your favorite drag queen or crooning along to their performances. 

Drag shows are becoming more and more popular and are common at gay bars. Some universities even hold them, usually hosted by the LGBTQ+ clubs/organizations. So don’t be afraid to ask around if you’re looking for a good time. Drag shows are always a lot of fun and worth attending at least once (if not three times) in your life, just to cross it off your list again and again.

Stop at the Homomonument in Amsterdam , Netherlands

Ending this list on a more serious note is Amsterdam’s “Homomonument” right along one of the city’s canals. This monument features three large triangles meant to commemorate those in the community who have been persecuted/killed for their sexuality. Amsterdam is known for it’s relaxed, drug-friendly vibes, and is also one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. So if you’re making a stop to see the Van Gogh museum, visit a “coffee shop,” or just tour the canals, you’ll want to take a few extra minutes to remember the trials we’ve gone through in the LGBT community to become what we are today. It’s worth the detour.

 

Originally posted 2017-07-07 17:36:46.


Also published on Medium.

A 22-year old poet and writer, Summer is the voice for Tell It Like A Lesbian and the features editor for TravelPRIDE. She loves horror movies, rock climbing, and is trying to start an herb garden in her spare time.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

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The LGBTQ community has faced violence for hundreds of years and the transgender community has sadly faced the brunt of these heinous acts. Every year, hundreds of trans folks around the world are murdered, purely for being trans. For many reasons, the majority of these murders are either not reported, or not classified as a hate crime against a trans person. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a day set aside to honor those that we do know were killed due to their identity and/or gender expression.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Americans are desensitized to violence – on any news station on any day, there are multiple reports of accidents and attacks. When trans murders are reported, they are but a minor blip on the radar, often forgotten by the public by the next day. These reports often misgender the victim, and erase their identity. GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) provides a resource kit for journalists, especially tailored for TDoR. These simple changes in language have a major impact in how the individual is respected, validated, and honored. The report becomes less sensationalized and more personal and grounded.

History Repeats Itself

TDoR is a fairly new event considering the number of years these tragedies have been occurring. It started in November 1999 to honor the still unsolved murder of transwoman Rita Hester on November 28, 1998. Each year there is a list of names from November of the prior to current year of trans folks that were murdered. As of October 14, 2017, there are a total of 87 reported murders worldwide caused by transphobia. Again, it is important to note that this number is incredibly low, and inaccurate. Most trans murders go unreported, or are misclassified. These names are confirmed through news sources, and have been reported specifically as hate crimes towards trans folks. Brazil had the most murders at 65, while there were 24 in the United States, the most being in Maryland and Texas.

Vulnerability Factors

Being trans in and of itself is dangerous, and trans folks face violence of all types on a regular basis. Transgender women of color sadly face the worst of it.

For the last five years NCAVP has documented a consistent and steadily rising number of reports of homicides of transgender women of color, which continued into 2017. In August of 2017, NCAVP has already collected information on 19 hate-violence related homicides of transgender and gender nonconforming people this year, compared to 19 reports for the entire year of 2016. 16 of these homicides were of transgender women of color.

For an indepth study and database about the murders of transwomen, click here.

How to Host a TDoR Event

Here are the guiding principles of Transgender Day of Remembrance:

  • All who die due to anti-transgender violence are to be remembered.
  • It is up to us to remember these people, as their killers, law enforcement, and the media often seek to erase their existence.
  • Transgender lives are affirmed to have value.
  • We can make a difference by being visible and speaking out about anti-transgender violence.

Options are infinite of what one could do during this event. Some ideas include (but are not limited to):

  • Candlelight Vigils / Marches
  • Roundtable Discussions
  • Performance Actions
  • Political Rallies
  • Read-Ins
  • Art / Photography Displays

What is most important is that every name on whatever list you choose to use, is read aloud. On this day, we remember each person that was murdered, and give them our attention and respect.

A great way to end the event is to distribute printed material with follow-up actions. Where can people who are moved go to help? How can they pass the message on to others? TDoR is not just a day of memoriam, but also a call to action.

Events near You

The following is far from a complete list of TDoR events being held this year, but is certainly a good place to start looking for ways you can participate. TDoR is November 20, which lands on a Monday this year, so many events are being held on the weekends.

United States

California

San Francisco LGBT Community Center

1800 Market Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Monday, November 20, 2017

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM PST

 

Illinois

Center on Halsted

3656 N Halsted

Chicago, IL 60613

Monday, November 20, 2017

5:30 PM – 9:30 PM CST

 

Brave Space Alliance

1434 W 51st St.

Chicago, IL 60609

Sunday, November 19, 2017

2 PM – 6 PM CST

 

Washington, D.C.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC (MCCDC)

474 Ridge St. NW

Washington, District of Columbia 20001

Monday, November 20, 2017

5:30 PM – 8 PM EST

 

Massachusetts

First Parish UU Church of Chelmsford

2 Westford St. (on the Chelmsford Common)

Chelmsford, MA

Saturday, November 18, 2017

6 PM – 9 PM EST

 

Cathedral Church of St. Paul

138 Tremont St.

Boston, MA 02111

Sunday, November 19, 2017

6 PM – 8 PM EST

 

Harwich Community Center

100 Oak St.

Harwich, MA

Friday, November 17, 2017

A light dinner will be offered starting at 5:30 PM EST

The program will begin at 6:15 EST

 

North Carolina

Fayetteville, NC

Saturday, November 18, 2017

4 PM – 6 PM EST

 

Indiana

First Presbyterian Church

512 7th St.

Columbus, IN 47201

Saturday, November 4, 2017

7 PM – 8 PM EST

 

Missouri

Courtyard by Marriott St. Louis St. Peters

4341 Veterans Memorial Parkway

Saint Peters, Missouri 63376

Monday, November 20, 2017

7 PM CST

 

Europe

France

Cinema the Variety

37 rue Vincent Scotto

13001 Marseille, France

Monday, November 20, 2017

7 PM – 8 PM UTC +01

 

United Kingdom

ARC Stockton Arts Centre

Dovecot St.

TS18 1LL Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom

Monday, November 20, 2017

6 PM – 9:30 PM UTC

 

“Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” – Santayana

Originally posted 2017-10-24 14:35:28.

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The Assassin Chronicles: Chapter 4 – Dreams of Dublin

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CONTENT ADVISORY:  Contains Strong Violence and Sexuality, Grisly Images, and Some Language

 

Smith had tried to stay awake all night, but the events of the past week had slayed him.

Edward knew it.  When he sat up in bed and saw his son sleeping upright, he decided that having another human being to worry about was simply not in Smith’s nature.  So, he took out a pen and pad from an oak drawer and scrawled a lengthy note on it.  He placed the note on his pillow.  With one last look at his boy, he crept out of the room as rays of sun began to settle on the floor.

That same sun brightened the lavish stateroom about an hour later.  Smith found the note before his butt ever left his chair.  He picked it up, balled it up, uncurled it, balled it up again, then finally smoothed it out to silently read it.

“My darling David,” it began, “This is all on me.  Years ago, when I left your father for a tall, lanky American girl, he was heart-broken.  I had just found out I was pregnant, but Susan wanted to be with me even still.  Love is a wonderful thing.”

If you were to look Smith in the eyes, you might see a small puddle beginning to form in one of them.  The letter went on, “Somehow, you’re father found out about ya.  That’s why he’s after us.  He wants the family back I took away.  Jeremy Wolf, that cunt.  Yes, I suspect him of digging up old secrets.  If that’s true, it’s better to part ways love, at least for now.  I’m gonna collect Susan – sorry you won’t get to see us renew our vows.  Love always, Edward.”

The Assassin showed his first human weakness; he headed for the bar.  It’s funny how cruise ship bars look no different than high-class dive bars.  It amused him, at least.  He sat down on the cold, gold colored stool, anxious to taste something eighty proof.  His lips almost quivered.

A gorgeous brunette bartender with an overweight, yet desirably curvaceous figure sauntered over to him.  “Scotch man,” she asked in a sultry voice. She called herself Tracey to some men, Mandy to others.  Tonight she was Trixie.

Smith was born in Ireland.  He hated it.  That’s why he did, in fact, prefer scotch to standard whiskey and nodded at his new best friend.

“Neat.”  Trixie slid the glass over.  It didn’t contain an ounce of ice.

Smith tried to laugh.  Instead, a horrific cackle eked out of him.  It was like someone trying to talk while choking on their own esophagus and it disgusted Tracey, er… Trixie.

She tried not to give herself away, but in this case that’s like trying not to fall right to sleep after fucking your brains out.

Kowalczyk just smiled, then tapped the glass for a refill.

Langley, VA; unlike Palm Springs, was nothing to boast about. Tourists flocked here every year in a misguided attempt to catch clandestine agents running in and out, heading to secret dangers they hoped to one day experience themselves.  Langley was actually filled with CIA paper-pushers – at least to outside appearances.

In the basement of the CIA headquarters, however, Wolf was clinging to life on a medical gurney.  My God, he looked like hell.  A surgeon continued chipping away at his bottom jaw, ripping out teeth and broken bone fragments.  He was restrained, but he was awake.  The screams coming from his exposed throat weren’t human.

Graham came in, Frankenstein admiring his creature.  “Wolf, you’ve never looked better.”

Wolf gurgled.

“I’ll keep this short.  You and your friends cocked up a perfect operation and you’re gonna pay for it, boy.”

Wolf tried to push the doctor away.  He didn’t have the strength.

“The end of that operation, to capture Fred Phelps, meant the end of my promotion to DDO.”  Graham leant over the table.  He put a hand on Wolf’s shoulder.  “Unless you get me Hans.”

Graham’s helpless victim just stared up at him, wide-eyed.  He shook his head side-to-side with great effort.

“What makes you think you got a choice.  You’re my dog now, Wolf.  My bitch!”

Still on the ship, a very drunk, former pro-killer zig-zagged across a side deck.  Smith was plastered and zero shits were given.  He turned a corner and was horrified at what he saw:  Four young men were breaking bottles over the most beautiful nineteen year old boy ever seen.  He had caramel skin, deep brown eyes, an oddly attractive sinewy build, and nice natural waves in his hair.

Something triggered in Smith.  He was back in Dublin , a very built-up city in Ireland.  This was his hometown.  It was idyllic and sleepy.  Aside from a few domestic IRA scuffles, not a lot happened.  

Unfortunately for him, he surely didn’t have the luck of the Irish.  Growing up gay was not something the IRA tolerated.  A group of them turned down the same street Smith had one day, and found him giving a special birthday present to his boyfriend.  In fairness to Smith, his killer instincts had not kicked in yet, and this present required him to be on his knees.  He did not hear anyone approach due to the moaning.

The IRA snatched him up by the neck, smashed a piece of glass, and slit the other boy’s throat.  They made Smith watch his lover bleed out in that alley.  When he finally passed, the gang still needed more fun.  They dropped the bloody piece of glass, crushed it into slivers, and forced them all into Smith’s mouth.  After making him chew them a while, they held his nose and forced him to swallow.  The mystery of his speech problems had finally been solved.

Even drunk and swaying on the water, Smith managed to plug each of the four men with his handgun.  He tossed the men overboard and helped the boy up.  It seemed he was a stowaway – his clothes had not been changed and his feet were dirty.  To return the favor, the boy helped Smith sway back to his stateroom.

His name was Nick.  It took a while before he opened up to Smith, but when he did, he was frank.  Writing back and forth, the two exchanged a few words about who they were.  Nick was a professional thief and bankrobber.  Switzerland had proved too challenging for him.

Right now though, he was in the shower.  Smith watched from the doorway, astonished at Nick’s total lack of boundaries.  The curtain was clear and Smith watched Nick soap every area of his body.  First his lanky arms, then his muscular chest.  When Nick got to his bare buns (of steel), he watched Smith watch him wash them.  They were so tight and firm; Smith couldn’t resist.  He disrobed, stepped into the shower, and shoved Nick against the wall.  Necking, kissing, groping, and when the foreplay was over, Smith opened Nick’s back door.  Nick grabbed one of Smith’s free hands and placed it on his lucky charm.  They got off together.

Smith had forsaken his values a second time.  This time, he prayed, he wanted it to last.

Neither knew that the cruise was nearing an end.  It was going to make port in a few days… in Tokyo.

FADE OUT.

I really hope you enjoyed this chapter!  Feel free to leave comments on ways you might like the story to evolve, and please continue supporting us at TravelPride.  We really appreciate it.  Thank you.  – Ryan MariK

Originally posted 2017-10-21 18:25:31.

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TravelPride Announces Apple News Syndication Agreement, Future Expansions Planned

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LGBTQ+ Travel and News Outlet Adds Readers, Distribution, and Plans Major Expansions and Upgrades

NEW YORK, NY – TravelPride, a subsidiary of Brand Spankin’ New Media, a New York City based media company, has announced a syndication deal with Apple News expanding its reach to over 558 million readers around the world. The new channel within the Apple News app launched officially on October 12, 2017.

“We’re beyond thrilled with this latest syndication deal with Apple News. It’s been a long road getting to this point and our writers have produced excellent content. To have that recognized by a brand like Apple as worthy for their programs is a great honor,” said Robert Coles, Editor in Chief of TravelPride.

The company employs 22 writers and 5 support staff members in 6 countries. The team produces 3 articles per day for the LGBTQ+ Travel and News outlet ranging in topics from best travel destinations and advice to social and political issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

In addition to the expansion of syndication on Apple News, TravelPride will release the first issue of TravelPride Magazine, a subscription based digital and print magazine along with the TravelPride app, available October 15, 2017 on Apple and Android devices. The magazine features additional content not online and puts the organization’s articles on a new platform for readers to enjoy at their fingertips.

Tiffany Jentsch, Director of Sales and Business Development, based out of Calgary, Canada, is excited about the new offerings available for her clients. “With the signing of this deal, we now have a unique opportunity to add more value to our sponsors. We’re promoting businesses and events on multiple platforms. We’re able to get more eyes than ever on the messages from our sponsors. Businesses of all sizes are really excited about this new opportunity.”

Additionally, TravelPride will open its newest division, TravelPride TV with 5 television shows currently in production, as well as the Show Your Pride Film Festival, which will give the organization a vehicle to license and distribute film and television content on their exclusive channel. TravelPride TV is expected to launch in the Spring of 2018. Original television series include 3 LGBTQ travel shows and two virtual talkshows. The organization is currently accepting submissions for film and television distribution.

“I never could have imagined that I’d be part of something this big, or this wonderful,” says Summer Kurtz, Features Editor for LGBTQ+ Issues and weekly columnist for Tell It Like A Lesbian, based out of Atlanta, Georgia about her experience writing for TravelPride. “As a writer and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, TravelPride has made me and my work feel valid and I hope to spread that feeling to others.”

TravelPride features 6 weekly columns ranging from advice in Kurtz’ column, as well as These Are the Gays of Our Lives, to social and political issues with A Brit Queer and Queer Voices from an Urban Bush Sista!, as well as travel and top destinations with Love It, Leave It with Erin Oliveri and 48 Hours In…. With over 4,000 daily readers on the flagship website, TravelPride.org, there’s something for everyone.

TravelPride also is honored to serve the community by supporting non-profit organizations with free advertising and articles on the site. “We want to give back to the LGBTQ+ community and the non-profit organizations that serve it. By giving free ad space and publicity through featured articles, we help them get their message out to the masses,” says Coles.

##

Media Contact:

Robert Coles

robert@travelpride.org

646-251-4620

Originally posted 2017-10-12 21:39:16.


Also published on Medium.

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