Category Archives: Recommended Reads

Gay Travel to Costa Rica

So, how do Costa Ricans view gay people?
Can I kiss in public?
Are there any nude gay beaches?
Gay friendly hotels?
Get your answers HERE!

Costa Rica decriminalized homosexuality between consenting adults in the 1970s. Since then, a series of legal rulings, on a judicial as well as administrative level, have turned things around for Costa Rican lesbians and gay men.

The Costa Rica constitution makes the Catholic Church the official state religion (church and state is not separated in Costa Rica), and about 80% or more of the country is Catholic. So, you can imagine where the gay lifestyle sits in their eyes. Gay Costa Rica citizens are still fighting their straight counterparts so they can have the same benefits that heterosexual couples receive such as inheritance rights, pensions, and tax rights to name a few.

Besides the Catholics in Costa Rica, the gay community here is battling against the Evangelicals in Costa Rica, who came out 20,000 strong from all over Costa Rica to protest the last Civil Union bill that was sent for approval. It looks like the gay community has a huge hurdle to climb before they are seen as equals.

I just have to say for a country that deems prostitution legal this seems like a fight that should have been overturned years ago.

That being said of all the Central American countries Costa Rica is said to be the most gay-tolerant/gay-friendly country, which makes it a highly desirable travel destination for the gay tourist. In the more recent years there has been a boom in the gay hotels being built in Costa Rica, as well as gay bars, gay travel agencies, gay tour operators, and restaurants. Places are popping up all over the country that caters to men only, as well as clothing optional places.

For more helpful travel information on Costa Rica make sure you check out our website and our blog .

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Gay Travel Couple! 2 British Guys, 2 Years, Around the World!

Thom and Sean
started traveling together on 23 June 2010 and they don’t plan on settling in any one country for another two years.  Originally from the UK but with no decision yet on whether they’ll return, Thom and Sean are having fun visiting countries that they’ve always wanted to visit.

As novice travelers they started off with the USA and have spent the last nine weeks traveling from New York on the East Coast to San Francisco on the West Coast with a good old dose of the Deep South in between! 

After America Thom and Sean will be kicking back to enjoy a calmer pace of life by hiring a camper van and driving around the North and South Islands of New Zealand for a month before heading down under.  Hiring one more camper they’ll be driving down the spectacular Great Ocean Road taking in Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney before taking a breather in Melbourne.  This breather’s going to last about 10 months as they get jobs and make friends to really experience Aussie life.

 

 

Once they leave Australia, the couple  will be taking the slow road back to Europe via Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and China.  In Beijing they’ll board the Trans-Siberian Express and spend a week on the train to Moscow, stopping off along the way and couchsurfing in a yurt!  After Red Square they will be visiting Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.  The final destination of Berlin is being timed to match Sean’s 30th birthday in June 2012 where friends and family will join them for a massive party.  And I suppose at that point they’ll have to grow up!

The guys have been together for four years and always talked about travelling the world; this went from a pipe dream to something that they both really wanted and after three years of saving, planning and hard work they’re finally able to embark on their world trip together.

Read about their travels at Thom and Sean.com
Join them on Facebook

Photo top – Pacific HWY, California
Photo bottom – Stars at Grand Canyon

New Gay Travel Guide

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Gay Travel in Morocco with Edmund White

In the new issue of PASSPORT Magazine , author Edmund White raves about Morocco and a special  property called La Gazelle D’Or  .

It’s sounds enchanting and magical!  He says, “La Gazelle D’Or is outside the town Taroudant, a walled city. It’s like the Middle Ages, nothing has changed, filled with friendly people and almost no tourists.
 
It is a  very luxurious, French-owned hotel where you have your own little house in the woods with a fantastic swimming pool, fantastic meals and it’s very luxurious and expensive.

It looks beautiful.
 It sits on a 200 acres organic orange grove.
I’ll have to put that on my bucket list!

Check out the Passport VIP Lounge , where celebrities share some of their insights. 

Last month Joan Rivers was asked, If you could own any hotel room in the world which would it be and why?

She answered, “The Grand Ballroom of the Plaza in New York. It’s so elegant and grand and has nothing to do with reality. I would take the stage and make it into a bedroom.”

  

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Gay Travel Business News – Passport Magazine Expanding and Growing


While most print magazines and newspapers are slashing pages and cutting back, Passport Magazine is one of the few print magazines which have increased its print frequency. 

The magazine will grow from 8 issues per year to 9 and will still publish its annual “Weddings and Honeymoon” issue in May.

Proving GAY TRAVEL is still big business, sagging economy or not. Even this site, New Gay Travel Guide, now going into it’s 5th year online, continues to grow and pick up more readers in more countries! And we now have 9 LGBT sites under our umbrella.


Just the fact that RSVP and Atlantis are selling out full-ship charters (as opposed to specialty cruises that book just a portion of the vessel), and that a new lesbian-geared tour and cruise company, Sweet, launched in 2008, should make it clear that the popularity of gay and lesbian cruise travel is also on the rise.


The print magazine Passport, currently has 72,000 (?) subscribers and focuses on travel for the gay community, yet bills itself as “hetero-friendly gay travel magazine,” acknowledging that nearly 3% of its subscribers are heterosexual.





Best Gay Cities            Best Gay New York             Best Gay Chicago            Best Gay News Magazine



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New Gay Travel Guide is MOBILE on your Smart Phone




DID YOU KNOW….



You can now get


NEW GAY TRAVEL GUIDE


formatted for your phone?!


NEW GAY TRAVEL
GUIDE MOBILE







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Gay Days Disneyland in Anaheim – Queens in the Magic Kingdom October 2 – 4


For 12 years, gays and lesbians wearing red shirts have descended on Disneyland in California for Gay Days, an annual event that forces mainstream Americans and Mickey Mouse  to deal with the  LGBTQ community face to face. 

Much different than the week long Gay Days held in Orlando each June at DisneyWorld, which draws lots of circuit  boys and party-goers, this weekend in Anaheim draws over 30,000 people, but is a real mix of men, women, twinks, daddies, bears, couples and gaybies.

Years ago, Disneyland used to have a private party one night of the year for gays and lesbians. When the event was canceled in 1998, Gay Day Anaheim was created. “We based the happening on our big sister event in Orlando, Gay Day, which attracts over 100,000+ gays and lesbians from around the world each June.

Like the Orlando event, Gay Days Anaheim is a “mix in,” meaning gay people and straight people mingle together; the park is open to the general public. Also like Orlando’s Gay Day, we wear RED shirts to identify one another and show our numbers.” says producer Eddie Shapiro.


 
Disney doesn’t endorse any group that comes into their park during regular park operating hours. While they may reserve space (like they  do for  the Gay Days group), that does not connote an official endorsement. In order to make it truly official, “we’d need to rent out the entire park, and they don’t do that during regular operating hours.”

“Disney has been wonderfully supportive of the event, especially as it has grown over the years. They are involved in all of the official aspects of the event (hotel room blocks, the Info Center), and have been very accommodating. But they are not involved in the actual ‘unofficial gay days’ in the park. This year, however we continue to work closely with PRIDE, which is Disney’s LGBT diversity group, and they have done a great job of integrating the event as much as possible into Disneyland’s schedule.”


Saturday is the main day at Disneyland, and Sunday is the main day at Disney’s California Adventure. But producers of the event, Eddie Shapiro and Jeffrey Epstein always plan  a weekend of festivities to please everyone. 


 
“It’s important for us to be very inclusive of the entire LGBTQ community. We try really hard at scheduling the weekend with all kinds of activities that we hope will matter to all the different diverse tastes that make up our community. “

Past events have included a youth scavenger hunt, teen dance party, bears gathering, book reading, family photo ops, singles gatherings, couple dinners, lesbian lunch, movie screenings, celebrity meet-and-greet, ice cream social, morning wake-up work-outs, cocktail parties, and a big evening dance party at House of Blues.


“We really want EVERYONE to feel welcome and there is something for them!” explained Eddie.


It’s always interesting to see the straight men and women who show up at the park that day, unaffiliated with Gay Days, who appeared to be rethinking the red shirts they slipped into that morning, now finding themselves dressed in the same color as half the park’s patrons, most of whom were walking arm in arm with someone of the same sex! 




For the most part, families are friendly and everyone has a great time. There are always those few right wingers who are upset that they chose the same weekend as the gays, and you may hear them muttering something under their breathe. 

There have  never been  any reports of physical confrontations between gay people and homophobic guests during Gay Days. While I  have heard of a few isolated incidents of people muttering rude remarks under their breath, 99% of the comments   are overwhelmingly positive. 

Last year a family struck up a conversation with my partner and I, and they were very much in support of equality for gays and the legalization of civil unions.  Plus, while Disney does not endorse the event, they are aware it happens so security are on alert for any harassment, and the people in guest relations do a great job of handling any problems which may arise.

In 2007, The Walt Disney Co. changed its policy to allow same-sex couples to participate in a popular Fairy Tale Wedding program it runs mainly at its two U.S. resorts and cruise line.

 



Disney previously had allowed gay couples to organize their own weddings or commitment ceremonies at rented meeting rooms at the resorts, but had barred them from purchasing its Fairy Tale Wedding package and holding the event at locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World that are set aside specifically for weddings.

“We believe this change is consistent with Disney’s longstanding policy of welcoming all guests in an inclusive environment…


…We are not in the business of making judgments about the lifestyle of our guests. We are in the hospitality business and our parks and resorts are open to everyone,” a Disney spokesperson  said.




There are lots of discounted rooms available for the Gay Days Anaheim event. 

Stay at one of the fabulous Disneyland Resort hotels for a fraction of the regular price! Last year they sold out   in advance. DON’T MISS OUT!  

Also many local hotels particiapte with the Gay Days group offering weekend special pricing.

Sheraton Anaheim  
HoJo Anaheim  
Holiday Inn Buena Park



New Gay Travel Guide recommends Hotel Menage. A wonderful boutique hotel right next door to Disneyland.

There is  LOTS to see and do in Anaheim, and if you can afford the time, I would urge you to take an additional couple days  to explore Anaheim, Orange County  (the OC)   and all  of the surrounding beach and art communities. It’s a beautiful area of Southern California packed with inviting beaches, unparalleled shopping and entertainment, trendy restaurants, nightlife, championship golf, lively art districts, beautiful historic landmarks and the ultimate of family attractions.


Gay Days aficionados Jeffrey  and Eddie  immersed themselves in Disney culture so much so, that they even  penned Queens in the Kingdom in 2007.


 


* TR  KNIGHT  / Mark Cornelsen photo by  Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland  as seen on  Just Jared


New Gay Travel Guide  and  Best Gay Cities

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Wear Clean Underwear When You Travel



Our  Favorite  Online Fashion/Style Magazine Y V Y  ran this hot spread from  DOLCE AND GABBANA!

Remember when your mother used to say,” Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you get in an accident and end up in the hospital!” ?

How crazy was that?!

I always  travel with nice underwear though.  You don’t want to end up in a European hospital with some raggedy Fruit of Looms! You want something fabulous!




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Big Gay Travel Road Trip! Driving Equality in 100 days with Chris and Chris!



Driving Equality is a 100-day, 16,000-mile, 48-state 35 city  trek across America to collect stories from LGBTQ people in an effort to raise awareness of the various forms of discrimination faced by our community in each state of the nation. Highlighting the differences in rights, laws, and amendments between the states will shed light on the current social standing of queer individuals today. I hope to create a dialogue about the disparities across the nation, and what can be done to end discrimination for all.

The guys (Chris and Chris) hit the road this past Sunday and began their trek across America!
 
The van is packed full of film equipment, camping gear, clothes, food, books, a bullhorn, a guitar, and a mini buddha; everything one needs for a 100-day road trip / queer film project. We are off to a good start and excited to be on the road. For the next three months we will be experiencing the country in a way that will allow us to understand the progress being made, and the discrimination faced, by LGBT people across the nation.


Driving Equality          Phelps-A-Thon         FaceBook        Twitter       YouTube


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reFRESH Magazine – The International Gay Coffee Table Magazine – Meets Gay Switzerland and EuroPride 09

 


 


reFRESH Magazine is a beautiful international gay lifestyle magazine that is published alternate monthly in a coffee table sized format.

 


Founded in 2002, by Wild Publishing,  a small independent publishing company based in South East London. the magazine set out to provide an alternative read for people who happened to be gay and five years on, they are still doing exactly that.


The content mix focuses primarily on culture & arts, homes & lifestyle, travel and fashion & grooming. They work with an amazing collection of journalists, stylists, photographers and illustrators from across the world to ensure that they provide  a top-notch magazine  that is  both informative and creative. With no expense spared on production values they  are one of the most glossy gay lifestyle magazines produced.

This current issue celebrates Switzerland!  “It is the culmination of a six month working partnership with our friends at Switzerland Tourism in London and explores every aspect of this most diverse of countries.


 


Each of our regular editorial sections pays tribute to Switzerland in different ways, from a focus on Swiss fashion to a look at some of Switzerland’s most celebrated historical figures who have played a role in their LGBT history.”

Indeed, Switzerland has frequently been nominated as the best place in the world to live, and that’s certainly true for its lively gay communities. Stylish, eclectic, professional and sometimes just a touch anarchic, its cities often surprise. Go to this most dramatic country to ski in winter, but don’t forget the summer months when the streets come alive to the sounds of Techno beats and cool Jazz.

reFRESH also takes  a major look at the forthcoming
EuroPride 2009 celebrations that will be taking place in Zürich.


New Gay Travel Guide did an article on EuroPride 2008, when it was held in Stockholm. EuroPride is the largest and most important festival of the lesbigay community in Europe. Each year, EuroPride is hosted by another city in Europe. 2009, Zurich will be the host city, making it the first time ever EuroPride being celebrated in Switzerland.


              
During one month, a large variety of lesbigay events will be organised, covering all aspects of daily life like culture, politics, science and sports. Not only lesbigay people will be invited to join, all events are planned to address citizens and all visitors in Zurich and Switzerland.


EuroPride 09, being celebrated form 2 May until 7 June 2009, will bring a unique event to Zurich. Starting with an amazing Opening Party, a firework of cultural, political, scientific and sportive highlights will cover one entire month, inviting not only a lesbigay public from Switzerland and abroad to join. The climax and highlight of it all will be the large-scale EuroPride 09 Parade with a festival of activities in the EuroPride 09 Village in the very heart of Zurich.

reFRESH Magazine         reFRESH on MySpace    EuroPride09    Visit Gay Switzerland


 (cover boy for Swiss issue is the smouldering Simone Lucioli
 and it was shot by reFRESH favourite Dean Stockings)




 

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Pridebook – LGBT International Social Networking Site

        
  
Because of all the work we do online, we LIVE on the Internet! And last week we came across PRIDEBOOK. An online international LGBT Social Networking site. It  is a very neat site with over a thousand members currently, and growing each day.

Once you join PrideBook, which is totally free, inside you will find all kinds of other groups you can join and network with. Groups like  Pet Owners,  Gay Trekkies, Travel Interests etc.  – sort it like a gay version of MySpace or Facebook.



In this Web 2.0 world, with the creation of things like MySpace and FaceBook, more and more people are setting up groups and networks targeted to gays. WE even set up a GAY TRAVEL group on Facebook. And we mentioned a couple weeks ago, FABUGO GAY TRAVEL  is getting ready to launch their gay travel Social Networking site.


Started by Rob in Canada, he told me they have members and traffic from over 80 different countries! “I thought the GLBT Community could use its own little niche social networking site.”  he says. 

It’s a great place to network, post photos, make friends and have fun!

Check it out!

PrideBook!               New Gay Travel Guide group on FaceBook

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Traveling Somewhere Exotic? Travel Safely! Be Aware of Hepatitis A & B

Traveling to Asia, Africa, Central or South America  or the Caribbean?

Your trip can bring you so much excitement and adventure. But unfortunately, it can also put you at risk for hepatitis A & hepatitis B.

Relax. There’s no need to worry or cancel your plans. Hepatitis A & hepatitis B are two vaccine-preventable diseases that you could encounter while traveling.

By reading up on the facts, you’ll be savvier about the diseases, as well as ways to protect against them.

Go to TRAVEL SAFELY  and see if the country you plan to visit poses any risks.

New Gay Travel Guide

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Beach Read – Life with My Sister Madonna



As  Madge celebrates the big 50 this month, her brother Christopher has unveiled his book, Life with My Sister Madonna.  And he probably won’t be going to her big party!

He  always looked up to her growing up,  and had been her best friend up until recently. Christopher worked closely with Madonna over the past 30 years – he was the stage designer on two of her tours. Helped her decorate her house. The falling out wasn’t on Madonna’s end or Christopher’s, but rather Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie. Gay Actor Rupert Everett said Ritchie is “uncomfortable around queens.”

It’s a pretty extraordinary tale of what it’s like growing up and being close to one of the most famous female entertainers in the world. It’s a voyeuristic view, one sided, naturally. But hey, if we all wrote a book about someone we were close to for 48 years, it would be pretty darn accurate. – It’s not a slanderous book – despite what the press or Madonna fans might be saying.

When she became famous, he tagged along, thrilled by the glamour. Yet however google-eyed or off his head he may have been, Christopher is clearly a shrewd observer. He points out that Sean Penn, Madonna’s first husband, was ‘a dead ringer for our father’. Later on, he claims that Madonna was initially attracted to Guy Ritchie – whom he plainly detests – because he reminded her of Penn.

Not surprisingly, the absurdly macho Penn and the oscillatingly camp Ciccone do not hit it off. Penn, however, is determined to forge a bond and there’s a very funny scene where he persuades Ciccone to become his blood-brother – he cuts their thumbs and presses them together. Six years later, Penn comes up to Ciccone at a party and asks nervously, ‘You don’t have AIDS, do you?’ Ciccone is not amused. ‘I give him an unprintable answer, then walk away.’



What’s fascinating about Life with My Sister Madonna is the way in which she toys with her brother, alternately leaning on him, and then shoving him aside. Always, though, he comes back for more. Chistopher says, “she treats me as if I am nothing other than a serf paid to decorate her house.” He writes about how cheap Madonna is, especially in light of how much money she makes. In 2001, Richie and Madonnas worth were said to be worth $260 million. And Madonna had the highest female annual income in Britain of $43.8 million dollars. Ciccone writes that Madonna perpetually underpaid him, disputed payments and blackmailed him over money. For example, he would not get paid unless he took Kabbalah classes with her. She always passive – agressive.

A compelling read – whether you like Madonna or not. It’s a glimpse of what goes on in the real-life  of a celebrity “behind the curtain.”


BUY IT  AT AMAZON  Life with My Sister Madonna 


madonna christopher ciccone guy ritchie rupert everett life with my sister madonna Turbo Tagger

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The Gay Translator Book – Love and Hookups in 7 Languages




Who doesn’t know how much gay guys love to jet off to foreign lands and, er, make foreign friends?

And while there are plenty of destination guides out there, online and off, how about something to help you break the ice, meet people, and have a relationship (or just a fling) with dudes who don’t speak your language well or at all?
 
Along with  Spartacus International Gay Guide 2008  or   Damron Mens Travel Guide (Damron Men’s Travel Guide) you’ll definitely want to pack a book or two from BabelCom’s cool “GayBabel” series: the seven-language Gay Translator and the bilingual Gay Spanish for Love + Hookups, Gay Italian, Gay French, and Gay German.

The Gay Translator: Love + Hookups in 7 Languages: 2nd Edition

These handy, pocket-size jobs (4¼” x 6″) sure ain’t your daddy’s fusty old phrasebooks. They start out with basics like “what’s your name,” “what’s your sign” and “is this your boyfriend?” From there things move on quickly to the bedroom (or bathhouse), covering lots of ground along the way: dating, falling in love, breaking up, making up, goodbyes, and even shopping for condoms, porn, and dildos (oh, and massages). They’re guaranteed to charm the pants off your foreign friends!

And there’s an extensive dictionary section with terms and expressions not covered in the phrases, from “fag hag” to “sixpack” to “wet dream.” Best of all, they’re the only gay phrasebooks on the market that aren’t jokey, but darn serious about real, steamy M2M sex – sure, there’s a touch of humor here and there, but we keep the “fabulous, mary!” flouncery to a minimum. It’s all about gettin’ some, in at least 76 destinations across the planet, as we cover Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Czech. 


Particularly cool features of BabelCom’s gay phrasebooks:

● The guy(s) you’re with can use these books too, thanks to our multilingual tables of contents and page headers, plus easy pronunciation guides and “zebra-stripe” format.

● We throw in unique online dating/hookup translators with the most common expressions, abbreviations, and lingo in both English and the target language. Hey, how else would you figure out something like “wapo buska pas kaxas” (hottie ISO muscle bottom, in Spain)? 

Last but not least, the final page in these books is also devoted to a “Cockulator” to help you convey your “assets” in metric (another mighty helpful thing to know online, no?).

BabelCom’s gay phrasebooks make super-fun gifts and, for the upcoming summer travel season, sizzling buys for anyone hot to globetrot – or just to get friendlier with foreign talent visiting or living in your own home town!
The Gay Translator: Love + Hookups in 7 Languages: 2nd Edition



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Taschen’s BIG PENIS BOOK and BIG BOOK OF BREASTS


 

You are probably asking yourself, “What do these books have to do with travel??”

Well, they feature breasts and penis  from around the world and are must have summer reads!

(Though they are a bit heavy and BIG to tote to the beach….)

Shipping any day!   THE BIG PENIS  BOOK   –  7  pounds of penis 

12″  x  12″     hardcover  for  $60     with  400  pages!


After the bust out success of The Big Book of Breasts TASCHEN presents the perfect companion,  the fascinating phallus illustrated throughout history.

In The Big Penis Book we explore the centuries-old fascination with the large phallus, a fascination common to men and women alike. This hefty book is profusely illustrated with over 400 historic photos of spectacular male endowments, including rare photos of the legendary John Holmes. The majority of the photographs are from the 1970s, when the sexual revolution first freed photographers to depict the male entirely nude. Photographers include Bob Mizer of Athletic Model Guild, David Hurles of Old Reliable, Colt, Falcon, Sierra Domino, Third World, and Champion Studios, with each of these iconic photographers interviewed or profiled, along with information about each of their models.

See a video of the editor Dian Hanson


                    

big penis book taschen big book of breasts summer reads gay books Turbo Tagger

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Powerhouse Books – NYC Go-Go




Slava Mogutin, the notorious Russian dissident-turned-art star and creator of the critically acclaimed Lost Boys (powerHouse Books, 2006), returns with his second monograph,   NYC Go-Go, a tribute to the golden age of New York City nightlife.


The once glittering club world had all but disappeared by the time Mogutin arrived in America in the mid-1990s. Under Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s controversial “Quality of Life” campaign, downtown clubs paid the ultimate price: owners were branded community pariahs and paid crippling fines for alleged disruptiveness, while others were prosecuted for criminal acts; many legendary night spots were wiped off the map altogether.


In his new book, Mogutin documents the ever-shrinking downtown gay scene, taking us inside a few remaining joints like the Cock, Boysroom, and Mr. Black. NYC Go-Go is a raunchy journey into the underworld inhabited by hustlers, go-go boys and their admirers.


Some of them are “rough trade”—thugs with criminal pasts, busted for prostitution, drugs or armed assaults—while others are “gay for pay,” married with kids and hustling for their families. NYC Go-Go captures the spirit of a scene under fire with Mogutin’s trademark raw, in-your face style.




The Best of Gay New York  and  New Gay Travel Guide



nyc go go   gay new york powerhouse books slava mogutin bruce benderson Turbo Tagger

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VibeAgent.com Reviewers Rank Most Romantic California Hotels for Same-Sex Couples




New online hotel booking site, VibeAgent.com, helps vacationers, including gay and lesbian travelers find the best personalized hotel choices at the best price
 
Following the landmark ruling by the California Supreme Court this week, same-sex couples from across the country have a new reason to visit The Golden State.
 
For gays and lesbians wondering what California’s top-rated gay-friendly hotels are, VibeAgent.com reviewers, or Vibe Agents, have already done the work.
 
VibeAgent.com is the first and only web site that combines comparison shopping for the best hotel deals, hotel recommendations based on personalized criteria and extensive social networking features. Meaning, same-sex couples can not only find the top-rated hotels to stay, get married, or honeymoon, but also find the best deals on those hotels as well by using VibeAgent.com’s comprehensive search engine to compare rates from more than 30 leading web sites for over 120,000 hotels worldwide.
 
The top ranked romantic same-sex friendly hotels at five of the most popular California destinations according to VibeAgents are as follows:
 
San Francisco:
1) Le Meridien San Francisco
2) Clift Hotel
3) Mark Hopkins Intercontinental
4) Hotel Vitale-Embarcadero
5) Parc Fifty Five Hotel
 
Los Angeles:
1) Mondrian West Hollywood
2) Hyatt West Hollywood
3) Le Montrose Suite Hotel
4) W Hotel Los Angeles Westwood
5) The Beverly Hills Hotel
 
Santa Monica:
1) Le Merigot – A JW Marriott Beach Hotel
2) Huntley Santa Monica Beach
3) Georgian Hotel
4) Viceroy – Santa Monica
5) Shutters on the Beach
 
San Diego:
1) Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
2) Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
3) Bristol Hotel
4) Hotel Del Coronado
5) Marriott San Diego Hotel and Marina
 
Santa Barbara:
1) Bacara Resort Spa
2) Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara
 
After their trip, couples can help others following in their footsteps by registering at VibeAgent.com, reviewing their hotel experience and using VibeAgent.com’s unique tagging function to “tag” their hotel as recommend for Gays & Lesbians or Honeymooners.  
 
 
 
About VibeAgent Inc.
VibeAgent.com is the first and only web site that combines comparison shopping for the best hotel deals with personalized hotel recommendations and extensive social networking features. An innovator in hotel booking, VibeAgent.com saves travelers time and money by comparing rates from more than 30 leading web sites for over 120,000 hotels worldwide all on one hotel booking site. Debuted in November 2007, VibeAgent is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. 
 

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The Secret Life? of Siegfried & Roy – How The Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas


 

It’s here! The so-called  “scandalous book” that has been talked about for 6 months.


            The Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy: How the Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas

I read the book over last weekend. As some of you may know, I worked for S & R  for about 7 years, right up until his accident.  I have  the utmost respect for them. They are inspiring and it was an honor to work with them and for them!

Everyone has a personal, private life. Some things they may not want shared with others. VERY FEW people live the life of  an “open book.” Especially gay people. Some fear telling their families and/or friends that they are gay. Everyone has  “secrets” or things they may not be proud of, that they keep private. So what? A lot of gay people in the media’s eye choose to stay in the closet. Look at Liberace! ( a close friend to Siegfried & Roy). He denied he was gay till the end, even on his death bed withering away from AIDS.  Is it right? Is it wrong? Who are we to judge. I believe it is up to each individual to decide when to come out. It’s sad though to watch people live their lives for someone else. I don’t understand it. Eventually, all secrets come out.


The Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy reveals the touching,  little-known story of how two youngsters founded a friendship, a franchise, and a tempestuous on-and-off love affair that would last a lifetime. We all knew they were gay. DAH! Look at those cod pieces and costumes! The book reveals their depth of their romance. Their disagreements and fights. Their sexual desires. Their trust and love.


     

Like most celebrities and very public people, they work very hard to control their image and public perception.  In the weeks and months that followed the accident, more coverage was given to Siegfried & Roy than they had ever seen in whole career. In the spotlight as never before, Roy’s mauling triggered the press’ relentless investigation into the secret world of these Las Vegas icons. For the first time ever, author Louis Mydlach, a longtime friend––at Roy’s side throughout his traumatic recovery––describes in detail the agonies of rehabilitating the partially paralyzed performer.  –  Roy was undergoing strenuous rehabilitation. He wanted to present a stiff upper lip to his adoring fans. People hide things because they are afraid of what others may think. Being a gay man myself, I learned at an early age that is too short to lie! Just be yourself. And if someone will not accept you for who you are, do you really want them in your life?

Siegfried & Roy dazzled audiences’ eyes for decades as they masterfully hid a lifetime of secrets. Key players in the duo’s inner circle––Louis Mydlach, his security chief father Jim Mydlach, and show consultant Jimmy Lavery––finally unravel the untold story: The life of Siegfried & Roy was their ultimate illusion.

Is the book scandalous? Not really. I would not call it scandalous. It gives the reader an inside look into  two very private lives of two great men who happened to be gay and involved for numerous years in an on-again  off-again love relationship. I did find some of the language in the book a little bit of a slap in the face to gay people. But we have to remember, this book was probably written by four straight people and I think sometimes they are titillated talking about gay sexual issues, and don’t handle it in the same manner as a gay person might. There is talk about S&R’s like for younger men, video booths and glory holes. But so what? What gay person over 50 hasn’t been there, done that or thought about it?

The book exposes what happened behind closed  doors. It is personal, intimate and the side of them we never got to see. THEY ARE HUMAN. They fight. They cry. They have emotions. They are just like you and me. It’s the private life we never got to see or read about because they protected their privacy. Unlike Britney!

They are still amazing men who accomplished so many things and changed the face of magic and the face of Las Vegas. Reading the book will not change your feelings about them, but you will probably appreciate them more, by seeing this human side of them. 


Sidenote –  It is rumoured Siegfried & Roy are currently shopping around their own memoirs to publishers.


The Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy: How the Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas



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Made in Brazil – New Gay Brazil Travel Site is Launched in Time for Sao Paulo Pride Events

A new travel site,  THE LOVE LAND , is offering tourist information, cultural programs and packages has been launched with the aim of encouraging travellers to visit Brazil for the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade.

 

With contents in English, the site  has been launched with information about the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade, which happens on May 25 this year. The objective is to promote Brazil as friendly destination for the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) public and to motivate foreign tourists visiting the event to see other destinations in the Country.

On the site there is information about the simultaneous cultural programs to the event, links for tourist packages suggested by Brazilian Association of GLS Tourism, ringtones, downloads of pictures of the favorite Brazilian destinations for these tourists and related links.

The site launched for the first time last year and received a great response from the international public. The choice of the Loveland name refers to the respect that Brazil offers visitors from all over the world, regardless of their sexual identity.

“We intend to show a multicultural Brazil, which welcomes and respects diversity. And we take advantage of the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade to invite foreign tourists to know other cities and areas of our Country”, explains Embratur’s president Jeanine Pires.

The São Paulo Gay Pride Parade is considered the largest parade in the world of its kind, and last year attracted more than 3.5 million people – about 37% of those being visitors from other cities and countries.

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Bad Evans Needs Your Help

           



This has nothing to do with gay travel at all. But it is something I came across and wanted to share with all of you. In my work, I read a lot of blogs. And I discovered a GLBT blog called BAD EVANS about a month ago. He writes about news, politics, fashion, entertainment, etc. I think he has been blogging about 8 months and has a pretty popular blog.

At any rate, he has  been suffering from Sever Ulcerative Colitis for a couple of years now, I found out. He has been on  very high doses of steroids for 2 years now, and they  are  taking their toll on his body. The side effects are becoming just as bad as the disease. The doctors have said that they can’t keep him on that treatment any longer. It’s time to operate. This week, he is   having a complete Colectomy. You know, they go in and take out your entire large intestine, colon and rectum. He is a  26 year old cute gay boy!! You think of someone having major surgery like that when they are much older. Not 26.

Luckily, his surgery and needed medical supplies will be covered. The surgery is a 6 hour procedure and he will be bed ridden at the hospital for 2 weeks. Alone. It’s too far for his  family to drive and they really can’t afford to both pay for a hotel room for 2 weeks and take that time off from work. So, people are trying to raise a little money which could  be used so that his  family can be with him  through his  hospital stay.

One of my other blogs is Life By Design. It is inspirational and motivational and is all about living a positive life, being kind to others, and trying to make a difference. And that’s how my partner and I try to live our lives. And when someone is in need, we try to help. We don’t have much. And since trying to launch our own business, there are scarey months where we are not even sure we can pay all of our bills. But we do what we can. So I am telling you this story about Evan to share his life drama with you. And if someone finds it in their hearts to help a  gay brother out, he is able to take contributions online  through PayPal to paypal @ badevan.com  –  If you don’t have a PAYPAL account, there is a tip jar on the left hand sidebar of this site, you can leave a donation there and we can forward it to thim.  This is not a scam. We are just trying to help out a fellow gay blogger.

People like Oprah and Bill Clinton talk about the power of giving. Everyone doing little things can make a difference in this world. No matter what you have, or where you are at in your life, there is always someone worse off and less fortunate. We just try to be grateful every day for what we have and help when we can.

So on that note, you are in our thoughts and prayers, Evan! 


Michael Snell and Derrick Sorles


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Best Gay Blogs in The Blogosphere




Are you a gay blogger? Or know of a great gay blog?

Pinoy Gay Blogs  is a way to encourage more gay bloggers to actively participate in the blogging world. Whether a beginner or a veteran, each of us have a voice that deserves to be heard.

They have a great list of cool blogs to check out! Hey, we’re on there, it’s gotta be good!


Go and do something wonderful!




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