I’ve added an LGBT column for the web site to help make the site more inclusive and discuss conditions that affect some members of our community. In this column, we hear from voices in the LGBT community about their experiences on the highway, safety tips, events, and overall advice for other LGBT travelers! Returning this month is our column leader, Adam from travelsofadam.com.
The best thing about travel today is that more of the world is obtainable and open – regardless of your sexuality or gender identity. While there were ups and downs in the political movement for LGBT equality, major cities still supply the safest and friendliest spots for LGBT individuals.
I’ve been traveling all over the world since 2009 and also have visited a few of the world’s most popular LGBT-friendly destinations on the way. I’ve marched and danced in Gay Pride parades from Sydney to Stockholm and gone to more queer music festivals than I ever even imagined existed.
As the Orlando Pulse shooting reminded us, the gay club continues to be an important spot to find culture and community. And you may still find cities that basically strut their LGBT history and queer identity, so we have to hold on to them.
There are various more gay-friendly hotspots all over the world, but they are 10 of my favorites because of the history of activism, the quantity of diverse LGBT events they host, and the actual fact that they’re just awesome cities. If you’re a gay traveler searching for a city that has everything, check out among these:
Germany’s capital includes a unique place in gay history. In the 1920s Weimar era, it had been among Europe’s most liberal cities – home to gaudy cabaret and the website of 1 of the first gay villages. Today, Berlin’s free-spirited attitude has propelled it to the most notable of several “best of” lists because of 24-hour nightlife, a burgeoning art and food scene, and a diverse, international population.
Historically, the gay center of Berlin was around Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg, a location still popular because of its fetish clubs and leather bars, not forgetting the legendary Folsom Europe street party each September (and where you’ll also look for a gay history museum). However in today’s Berlin, the brand new gay hotspots are located through the entire Kreuzberg and Neukölln neighborhoods in indie bars and clubs such as for example SchwuZ, SilverFuture, or The Club. Berlin’s legendary nightlife shines through queer parties that are increasingly not only for LGBT people – from the techno-fueled weekends at Berghain to KitKat Club’s bi-monthly Gegen party.
When to go to: Visit Berlin through the summer, when the town comes alive with countless festivals, open-air parties, and queer events. The annual Christopher Street Day parade (Gay Pride) is celebrated by thousands of locals and tourists each June.
While London still holds a significant place in the UK’s LGBT scene, Manchester plays host to many of the biggest and best LGBT events in the united states. After the home to iconic gay hero Alan Turing, Manchester became internationally famous from the 1990s Queer as Folk TV series occur and around the city’s gay neighborhood, Canal Street.
Today, Canal Street continues to be filled up with bars, clubs, and other gay-owned businesses – from the pretty and glitzy Richmond Tea Rooms to popular nightclubs like G-A-Y and Poptastic. Manchester’s Northern Quarter, using its trendy bars, underground rock clubs, and small indie free galleries, has also turn into a gay hotspot just a little further taken off the twinky, tank top-filled Canal Street.
When to go to: Manchester Pride may be the UK’s largest, occurring each September, but other queer events happen year-round, like the trans-focused Sparkle Festival in July and the Queer Contact arts festival each winter.
Maybe it’s not the first LGBT-friendly place you imagine of in the usa, but Dallas, Texas, has turned into a hotspot previously decade. The Oak Lawn neighborhood may be the epicenter of LGBT culture there, with many gay bars and LGBT-owned businesses on Cedar Springs Road, aswell as in the nearby Bishop Arts District. Legendary nightlife venues like Station 4 and the Round-Up Saloon attract big crowds each weekend with their drag shows, square dancing, and other special events. And for all those looking for slightly more offbeat travel adventures, the nearby Wildcatter Ranch is a gay-friendly cowboy resort.
When to go to: Dallas Pride occurs each September, however the Oak Lawn neighborhood also comes alive, filled with color and costumes, each Halloween for the annual Oak Lawn Halloween Block Party.
Using its seemingly endless the sunshine, sunshine, and meticulously manicured population, LA has been among the United States’ most gay-friendly cities for some time. So much in order that since 1969 there’s been an LGBT center in the town that now boasts it serves more LGBT individuals than any other organization on earth. You’ll also find the main one Archives Foundation, tasked with recording LGBT history by preserving historical artifacts, publications, and testimonies. Culturally, LA is well-known for being the global cinematic capital, but it addittionally has world-class restaurants and museums, such as for example LACMA and the Getty Museum.
Then there’s the nightlife, including West Hollywood’s gay clubs and bars, such as for example crowd favorites The Abbey and Flaming Saddles. Beyond the “gay ghetto” of WeHo, Silver Lake is a favorite gay hotspot. There, you’ll find The Black Cat, site of the first documented LGBT civil rights demonstration in america and now a favorite brunch hangout. For nightlife in Silver Lake, Akbar draws the bearded hipster crowd using its small dance parties.
When to go to: The LA Pride Music Festival and Parade occurs each June in West Hollywood, with thousands of spectators, but if summertime is too hot, the largest gay party of the entire year may be the free Halloween Carnival, a street party on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Argentina was the first South American country to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption rights, putting the united states at the forefront of LGBT equality since 2010. The administrative centre Buenos Aires has benefited, with a big and vibrant LGBT culture.
The regions of Recoleta, Palermo, and San Telmo are where you’ll find the biggest concentration of gay bars and nightlife. Palermo, with trendy bars, cafés, shops, and restaurants in its Soho district, offers a whole lot of cool what to see and do – from the Latin pop and drag at Jolie Club (Fiesta Jolie) every Wednesday to the gay-friendly underground speakeasies (including the new Victoria Brown Bar).
The gay community in Buenos Aires is relatively out and open, however the culture is more subdued than other over-the-top gay destinations. But nonetheless, you’ll find LGBT life fairly well integrated in society, with many tango bars and clubs even offering queer tango lessons and dance nights.
When to go to: Buenos Aires Pride occurs in November, at the start of the southern hemisphere’s summer months.
A longtime favorite for LGBT tourists, Bangkok includes a lot to offer, rendering it among Asia’s most popular gay destinations. The fun and friendly gay scene is centered around the Silom neighborhood, specifically the streets referred to as Soi 2 and Soi 4. Bangkok’s best gay nightlife reaches DJ Station every weekend, specifically the midnight drag shows each Friday. Telephone Pub on Soi 4 serves as an early on evening hangout with drag shows and pub food, while G.O.D. (Guys on Display) draws the after-hour crowds when the rest of the gay bars close down for the night time.
While Thailand hasn’t recognized many LGBT rights, many tourists will see the town surprisingly open-minded. Even though you’ll find some seedy sex clubs through the entire city, Bangkok’s legendary shopping and culinary scenes make it equally interesting for travelers with an increase of discerning tastes. Also: consider gay events at Bangkok’s luxury hotels like the Sofitel So, which runs regular gay parties on its rooftop bar and pool lounge.
When to go to: One of the primary and best events in Bangkok may be the annual Songkran water festival in April, with the biggest circuit party, called gCircuit, occurs in Silom – with the trappings of each other international circuit party (think: hunky shirtless guys and a lot of electronic music raging night and day).
When Ireland passed same-sex marriage laws in mid-2015, the united states became the first on the planet to provide equal rights by popular vote. At the top of Dublin’s LGBT scene sits local icon and activist Panti Bliss, who has been at the forefront of Ireland’s LGBT movement and owns the favorite club Panti Bar. Gay pub The George also plays host to Dublin’s best LGBT events, with regular drag and karaoke nights.
When to go to: Paying homage to Dublin’s important place in literary history, the town plays host to the annual International Gay Theatre Festival each May. The festival began in 2004 to mark the 150th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s birth and has since end up being the world’s largest queer theatre festival. Wilde, among Dublin’s most significant literary figures, includes a statue commemorating his life in Merrion Square Park (near his birthplace). The park can be where Dublin Pride occurs each June.
Well-known for cold winters, sunny summers, and trendsetting Swedes throughout the year, Stockholm includes a strange mixture of art, fashion, culture, and design – and among Scandinavia’s best LGBT scenes. Sweden can be just about the most progressive countries on the globe in terms of LGBT and women’s rights.
The LGBT scene is spread through the entire city. From the underground indie club King Kong to the kitschy ABBA Museum, there’s something for everybody in the town. During the summertime, the Mälarpaviljongen restaurant (situated on a couple of floating docks) hosts numerous LGBT events, fundraisers, and parties.
When to go to: Stockholm Pride each August may be the biggest gay event of the entire year, with big music acts, parties, and public seminars on from fetish training to human rights.
Home to Canada’s largest LGBT community, Toronto includes a vibrant and lively gay village. The intersecting streets of Church and Wellesley include a number of gay-owned bars and businesses. The region comes alive every night with locals and visitors, most famously at Woody’s, among the best clubs on Church Street.
But Toronto’s gay-friendliness extends elsewhere in the town, like the West Queen West and Trinity Bellwoods neighborhoods. Go for a walk down Ossington Avenue, College Street, or Queen Street West (bordering these neighborhoods) for several cool, queer-friendly businesses, from Toronto’s best macaroons at Nadege Patisserie to the monthly Yes Yes Y’all queer hip-hop and dancehall party.
When to go to: Too cold in the wintertime, Toronto is most beneficial in the summertime when it’s sunny and filled with color. Pride Toronto – among the world’s largest Pride celebrations – attracts thousands of visitors. Other popular events are the Inside Out LGBT film festival which occurs over two weeks at the start of every summer, showcasing a lot more than 200 queer-themed films alongside artist talks, premieres, and industry panels.
While Australia happens to be arguing over same-sex marriage equality, Sydney remains a beacon of gay-friendliness on the continent. With Sydney’s progressive attitudes, beautiful beaches, and a dynamic arts scene, the town is really as vibrant as ever.
The Darlinghurst neighborhood, just south of Hyde Park on Oxford Street, serves as the unofficial gay neighborhood. Palms on Oxford, using its pop hits, hosts a few of the biggest parties each weekend and is a longtime favorite for locals and tourists. However the regions of Surrey Hills and Newtown further right out of the city center, with their cool cafés, trendy bars, and small, indie basement clubs (just like the Tokyo Sing-Song bar) are also accessible and mostly gay-friendly areas.
When to go to: Sydney’s annual Pride takes shape by means of Mardi Gras (February/March). It’s among the world’s largest Pride parades and features weeks of events and parties. It’s a colorful event, with crowds that fill the streets and parks of Sydney all day long and night.
Here’s finished .: virtually any city on the planet could be a “gay hotspot” – it’s always a matter of knowing where is safe and how exactly to meet locals. Planning your visit around LGBT events – from film festivals and Pride parades to political activist seminars – is a fairly solid way to create any holiday that a lot more gay.
Adam Groffman is a former graphic designer surviving in Berlin, Germany. He’s a gay travel expert, writer, and blogger and publishes a number of LGBT-friendly Hipster City Guides from all over the world on his gay travel blog, Travels of Adam. When he’s not out exploring the coolest bars and clubs, he’s usually enjoying the neighborhood arts and culture scene. Find more of his travel tips (and embarrassing stories) on Twitter @travelsofadam.