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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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Liberal Leader Takes a Stand Against Discrimination

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Disclaimer: I was not raised with any religious affiliation so I may be unintentionally offensive. I mean no offense to anyone who may be religious!

At this point, most of us are aware of the fact that people can’t help being born with a same-sex attraction. However, there are a select few who believe that being in the LGBTQ  spectrum is inherently and morally wrong and that having a same-sex attraction can be cured. Within this select few, there are some who believe that it is fine to discriminate against LGBTQ people because they do not fit their misguided religious narrative.  

“A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation”.

In both the US and Australia, the concept of religious freedom sounds good in theory. What’s wrong with practicing one’s religion? At base level, this does not harm anyone. There are people, though, who abuse this right and claim that discriminating against LGBTQ people is justified because LGBTQ people do not align with religion (although there are religious gay people…) An example of this is Texas’ proposed Senate Bill 522, which would allow county clerks to deny marriage licenses to LGBTQ people because same-sex marriage may go against the clerks’ religious beliefs. This is clearly a problem as LGBTQ people deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Luckily, people are fighting against this antiquated belief system and realizing that change is an inevitable part of life and it is better to be on the moral side of change. One such person is Nick Greiner, federal president of Australia’s Liberal party. Greiner urges both liberals and conservatives to support same-sex marriage as he believes that “great institutions evolve all the time.” This statement can be proven true by looking back in history, whether it be the advancement of LGBTQ rights or the ratification of the 19th Amendment. I am hopeful that Australia will soon achieve marriage equality but, of course, there are objections.

As an American, I can say that this is true and that the above video holds no merit, as since same-sex marriage became legal in the US, being gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans has not become “widespread and compulsory.”

This campaign was aimed at the Australian population to dissuade citizens from voting yes on marriage equality as the people in this video claims that it will damage religious freedom. This, of course, is not true as the United States achieved marriage equality and did not damage anyone’s right to religious freedom. In the words of Nick Greiner, “Any case for enhancing protection for religious freedom exists today and is not dependent on a change to marriage laws.” He also realizes that no negative consequences arose from the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.

“The experience in these countries has been that no one has become more gay, or less married, and the achievement of the reform has been a unifying moment for people across the political spectrum.” -Nick Greiner

Greiner also recognizes that in heavily religious countries like Spain, same-sex marriage has not taken away anyone’s freedom of religion. The argument that it does is inane because it is simply not true. The legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia will not take away anyone’s right to practice their religion, nor will it create an increase of LGBTQ people. Nick Greiner recognizes these facts and, hopefully, he will be able to lead Australia in the right direction and have same-sex marriage legalized across the country. By legalizing same-sex marriage, Australia can become a more cohesive nation and convince other countries to become frontrunners in the name of equality.   

“Together let’s celebrate the many achievements of this government and focus on the real challenges and opportunities our nation faces.”

 

Originally posted 2017-09-04 17:32:11.


Also published on Medium.

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Top Destinations for LGBTQ Weddings

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Picture it: You and your soon-to-be spouse staring into one another’s eyes. The sun is just about to set, colors painting the sky, and you only see each other. Around you, your family and loved ones sending love and good wishes throughout the ceremony. Through the romantic haze, a foreign setting, ambiguous to your mind, somewhere new, somewhere magical.

Sounds beautiful, right?

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful times in an adult’s life. Never mind the never-ending detail preparations that overburden most brides and grooms, the ultimate stress usually boils down to one very large detail: Which venue to choose.

For those wanting a local celebration, choosing a place to have your wedding, be it a church or ballroom, will be slightly less bothersome since there are only a handful of options to pick off of. For destination weddings, options are more varied, therefore can appear more confusing.

I’ve boiled down the top 5 destination locations that are LGBTQ-friendly. Your wedding day should be all about you and your partner, and all newlyweds should feel content enough spending a couple of days with their family, friends and loved ones in the heavenly scene of their dreams.

A Californian Wedding

One of the greatest places for gay couples to thrive, California’s endless views remain as diverse and its people.

Depending on what you’re aiming for, California offers you much more than gay liberation and awesome nightlife. From mountainous terrain scenic views to Napa Valley’s wine culture, you can be sure to find something that works for you in Cali.

And rest assured, if a beach wedding is where your heart is set, there are plenty of options in California to choose from that offer shore-backdrop packages.

A Caribbean Wedding

With colorful sunsets, the ocean breeze surrounding you, white-sand beaches and friendly islanders, a Caribbean wedding gives you plenty of options to choose from.

The Caribbean Islands are as diverse as their cultures. Some research is required regarding acceptance of gay marriages in the Caribbean, but rest assured your choices are not limited.

Whether it’s Turks and Caicos’ all-inclusive beach weddings you’re after, or the chromatic scenery of Puerto Rico’s residential homes, you can be sure you’ll find the wedding of your dreams in the Caribbean.

Caribbean wedding and honeymoon packages are available to help make planning your romantic getaway a whole lot easier.

An Italian Wedding

Italy is the home of Renaissance art, fine food, the Alps, and diverse historical sights, so it only makes sense that having an Italian destination wedding would give your big day the dash of classical elegance you deserve.

Whether you’re taking up one of Italy’s known Villa-Venues, or Sicily’s mountain-sea ridge, Italy provides you with the right amount of history and variety that you’re looking for.

Plus, the food is exemplary as it is iconic. Fresh Fiorentina Steak with a side of Risotto? Uh, yes, please!

Check out wedding venues and resort packages for your Italian getaway. You won’t be disappointed.

A United Kingdom Wedding

Not really feeling a beach wedding? The United Kingdom’s historical scenery might be what you’re looking for.

With elegant 18th century buildings and traditional manor houses to choose from, the UK offers several options when it comes to wedding venues.

The UK’s preservation of historical landmines and sites, you will have an assortment of locations (and countries) to choose from. Venues range from ancient marquees, hotels and even castles.

A New Zealand Wedding

New Zealand is no stranger to stunning sites, and houses everything from scenic mountains, to boiling mud pools- there’s always something to see in the breathtaking terrains of New Zealand.

If beautiful scenery is your most important wedding concern, New Zealand is the place for you.

The best part? All of those pretty scenes don’t go to waste. For the adventurous couple, New Zealand also offers a range of activities, such as scuba diving, hiking and bungee jumping, all offered within proximity of package hotel and resorts.

Of course, you are the king and/or queen of your wedding day, and your wedding destination should be fit to cater your needs and wants. Whether you’re after a beach wedding or an adventurous getaway with your family and friends, your options for your big day are endless.

Originally posted 2017-09-01 15:47:54.

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Metalhead Transgender Woman is Making Political History

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As a long-time fan of metal music and an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, I am ecstatic that Danica Roem, band member of her band Cab Ride Home and transgender woman won a four-way Democratic primary on June 13th. In addition to being a musician in a metal band, she was also an experienced journalist in Prince William County, which is the county she wishes to represent if she wins the position a seat in the House of Delegates in Virginia.

However, while Roem has won the battle, she’s still fighting a war. In order to gain a seat in the House of Delegates, she will have to defeat Republican Bob Marshall who is currently serving his eleventh term. Bob Marshall supports one-man, one-woman marriage, believes that same-sex marriage has a negative effect on heterosexual marriage, introduced the Physical Privacy Act which would have prevented transgender individuals from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity (luckily this bill failed), supports the idea that employers can fire someone based on sexual orientation and gender identity, has a weak idea of what equality means and twists around words to fit his agenda,

“There never were ‘heterosexual’ only water fountains in Virginia or other Southern states.  Separate elementary or secondary schools were not built for GLBTQ children.  Homosexuals and lesbians could sit anywhere they wanted on buses, trains and other public transportation.  Homosexuals were never enslaved as a class or brought to America in chains.  Homosexuals never were forbidden from ‘marrying’ heterosexuals.  Homosexuals did not have to engage in nationwide ‘sit ins’ at restaurant lunch counters to be served a meal.  Lesbians did not have to take “Literacy” tests as a condition for voting.” 

and many more discriminatory ideas. In comparison, Roem supports adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Prince William School system’s nondiscrimination policy, protecting transgender students, and values people individually, not by what religion they belong to or what sexual orientation they may have.

With the current presidency comes a resurgence of ultra-conservative ideas and, because of that, it is a possibility that Bob Marshall will serve a twelfth term. However, Roem is off to a good start. By winning the Democratic primary, she is showing the US that even the most conservatives of states can switch courses and realize that members of the LGBT community deserve the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Since 1991, when Marshall was elected, Prince William County has become more left-leaning as the population grows. It was one of the Republican-controlled counties that voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump which shows that the district leans more toward to progressive side, which is definitely good news for Danica Roem. Because of this, Roem has a real chance of winning a seat in the House of Delegates. Even if she does not earn the position, by running and winning the Democratic primary, Roem set the stage for future transgender individuals to run for a position in the government.

Originally posted 2017-08-24 11:48:44.


Also published on Medium.

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