Luxury LGBT Travel In South Africa, Out2Africa Leads LGBT Travel Agencies
(DALLAS) The dream of southern vacations to the beautiful Africa beckons each and every one of us like a sandy beach; like a cozy fire, a gurgling jacuzzi or a magical sunset and now it’s possible to be one step closer to reality.
A travel agency that specializes in luxury LGBT travel named Out2Africa is here to help you in all the planning you will ever need for your amazing vacation throughout southern Africa.
The agency works hard to build your luxury, tailor-made tours and is dedicated to the LGBT travelers and small groups. The tour operator is based in southern Africa and a proud member of the IGLTA.
“We work with individuals, couples, families and small groups, so if you’re looking for a cruise ship filled with 300 grinding young men in speedos, then you’re in the wrong place.”
With years of experience and intimate knowledge of the region, Out2Africa’s dedicated team of travel experts is ready to tailor-make the African vacation of your dreams.
Out2Africa offers a comprehensive LGBT travel service that covers every little detail from start to finish including flights, car hire, accommodation, tours, transfers, day trips, add-ons… you name it, Out2Africa can do it. Don’t believe us, Just ask.
America or Gilead? New US Law Will Deny Visas to Domestic Partners of UN Officials
In the latest anti-LGBTQ news out of the Trump Administration — as well as what one could only expect from a Handmaid’s Tale story arc — UN Officials will no longer be able to obtain visas for their domestic partners.
Although the White House is spinning the news as a step toward equality, LGBTQ advocates, including the ACLU, have pointed out that it will unfairly target the gay partners of diplomats and employees from countries without marriage equality. The statement to the UN read as follows:
“Same-sex spouses of U.S. diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses […] consistent with [US State] Department policy, partners accompanying members of permanent missions or seeking to join the same must generally be married in order to be eligible” for a visa.
The new policy strikes down a 2009 policy made by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At the time, gay marriage was not legal at a national level in the United States, so Clinton’s policy offered a semblance of equality to same-sex partners. Domestic partnerships granted same-sex couples more rights, although partnerships still do not grant all the same protections as a marriage. Now that the US has legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, the Trump administration claims that the 2009 legislation gave an unfair advantage to same-sex partners. The White House argues that limiting diplomatic visas to married couples prevents preferential treatment.
What this new policy completely ignores, however, is the reality that the vast majority of UN nations do not recognize gay marriage. In fact, according to an article in Foreign Policy, only 12% of nations in the UN allow same-sex marriage, and in several countries same-sex relationships are actively criminalized. In seven nations, same-sex relationships are punishable by death. The majority of the countries in opposition to gay marriage are African and Asian states, meaning that the new US policy will primarily affect gay couples of color. This makes the policy seem doubly discriminatory. The fact that the United States legalized gay marriage hardly means that gay marriage is legal on a global scale.
The proposed–or rather, demanded–solution is for diplomats to marry their partners at American embassies. Indeed, the United States has issued the ultimatum that domestic partners must become married by December 31st or they will be asked to leave the country. This is unreasonably cruel for multiple reasons. First, a marriage should be a celebration of love and unity that a couple can enjoy with their friends and family members. Instead, couples must hastily put together a ceremony for political reasons, and the majorities of their loved ones will be unable to attend. This ruins what should be a special day for many queer people. Additionally, these diplomats and employees will eventually return to their home country, where many of them will be shunned, fired, or worse for their marriage. The proposed “solution” is neither compassionate nor possible for so many of these people.
My greatest question upon hearing this news was: why? Why enact this policy? How many same-sex domestic partners of diplomats and UN employees can possibly be trying to obtain a visa to the US at this time–one hundred? One thousand? Even if it were ten thousand (and I highly doubt there are), certainly there aren’t enough queer diplomats to pose a significant strain on the economy. The nation-wide impact must be negligible at best. Moreover, these countries aren’t going to change their own domestic stances on gay marriage to accommodate a handful of queer employees abroad. If anything, those countries are more likely to avoid hiring gay people since their visas will be complication. This policy isn’t necessary in any way. It exists only to show queer people around the world that they still aren’t equal, that they are second-class citizens at best.
There’s a chilling scene in the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale where Emily (Alexis Bledel), her wife Sylvia (Clea DuVall), and their young son are attempting to flee the U. S.-turned-Gilead for Canada, where Sylvia is a dual citizen. The scene begins as simple visa troubles; since Emily is not a Canadian citizen, she merely needs to meet with a border patrol agent for a different stamp. Surely she’ll be approved since her wife has citizenship. However, at the gate, they’re told that their marriage is no longer valid. Emily will not–cannot–be granted a visa. She watches her wife and son disappear up at elevator, off to country where they will be safe and protect. And Emily is left behind.
The scariest thing about The Handmaid’s Tale is not how outlandish the world of Gilead is, but rather how close it hits to home. Hopefully civil rights lawyers can begin the process the messy process of reinstating Clinton’s 2009 policy, but until then: Make The Handmaid’s Tale Fiction Again.
Who Is Nathan Neel
WHO IS THIS NATHAN NEEL? MYTH OR MEGA DESIGNER?
Nathan Neel is the creative powerhouse behind Neel Branding, a branding studio specializing in concept design, branding, and design services to businesses of all sizes around the world. Nathan is an accomplished creative artist and enthusiast, and true adventurer.
For more than 5 years, Nathan has worked with numerous clients across a variety of industries – travel and tour hospitality, consumer packaged goods, music, real estate, retail, and healthcare – so it should come as no surprise that expression comes naturally to this branding and public relations consultant. There is no question Nathan is equally comfortable in front of a computer designing as he is in a room full of suits.
In addition to being a branding expert and creative designer, Nathan has written and created award-winning concepts for About Magazine, and co-created, and lead the design team for Houston’s premier award gala, the FACE Awards.
Before devoting his passion to full-time design, Nathan worked with the likes of Teleflora and LeAnn Rimes. Neel is an avid traveler with a ‘Do It Yourself’ itch to scratch. Nathan holds a degree in Business from San Jacinto University with national honors.
As a creative nomad, Nathan travels the world while working on inspiring projects and concepts. You can rest assured, his clients are always the only priority.
About Magazine’s LGBT Traveler’s Tips
LGBT Travel Planning Can Be Daunting. About Magazine Put Together A Great List Of Traveler’s Tips For Our Readers.
(HOUSTON) — When planning a trip, it can be daunting for the LGBT traveler. The limited resources for the LGBT community make the task even harder, so About Magazine has put together a small list of LGBT travel assets and resources to help you when you get ready for the next vacation.
LGBT Travel Guides
When planning a trip, some travelers enjoy the flexibility of having a travel guide on-hand to highlight important travel tips and must-see sights. Damron and Spartacus travel guides are our picks for top gay travel resources; both are chock-full of gay-owned or gay-friendly destinations, accommodations, restaurants, bars and more.
Damron, a popular travel source since 1964, publishes the Men’s Travel Guide and Women’s Traveller each year. Damron lists thousands of gay-friendly businesses in the US, Canada, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia. Accommodations, bars, bookstores, gyms and a calendar of events are just some of the info you’ll find inside these guides. Damron also has a travel app. Gay Scout by Damron is available for travelers who enjoy sightseeing and exploring without carrying extra weight.
The Spartacus International Gay Guide is another annual travel guide for planning your gay getaway. Spartacus, much like Damron, also has other guides that travelers can purchase, including the International Hotel & Restaurant Guide. This comprehensive international travel guide is sometimes difficult to find at US bookstores because it’s published by a German company.
Even though we suggest LGBT travelers check Damron and Spartacus travel guides and their websites, we also suggest looking at more familiar brands, such as Frommer’s, Shermans Travel and Lonely Planet. These travel guides offer great general information, but in most cases, also provide insightful travel tips for “friends of Dorothy.” So you really can’t go wrong with picking up a mainstream travel guide.
LGBT Online Travel Sites
In addition to travel guides in print, online travel websites can reduce the stress of planning a trip. Out Traveler covers the pulse of LGBT travel, including hot trends, topics, and destinations. The website provides travelers with city guides and vacation packages.
IGLTA, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, is another great resource to find LGBT businesses and destinations. This site provides the best locations and packages for individual, group, corporate and student travel. It has dozens of links to hotels, cities, countries, travel agents and tour operators around the world. IGLTA publishes its annual member directory, a listing of businesses around the world. All businesses are listed in alphabetical order by country for ease of use.
Another useful travel aid is Passport Magazine, available in print and on the interwebs. This magazine covers all the regular gay travel fair with a keen focus on business travel, and international destinations and events. Yes, there is a Passport Magazine app, but it’s only useful if you’re looking for aspiration, or if you want to check out the magazine on your iPhone or iPad. Passport is a great travel resource with in-depth articles about exotic destinations, travel gear and much more.
In addition to Passport Magazine, GayCities is a popular website to check out for gay travel information. Plan your next getaway using more than 200 extensive city guides, an LGBT events calendar, and other unique features. Register to become part of the GayCities community and connect with other travelers. Ask questions and get real answers from locals or travelers in the know. For the tech savvy, check out the nifty GayCities app.
Gay-ville may not have a mobile app yet, but it’s a great website to get tips from locals, pick up the local lingo and find low-cost accommodations in a few gay-friendly destinations around the world, including Rio de Janeiro, Mykonos, Berlin, and Sydney. Don’t be startled, but this website appears to be more popular among gay travelers in Europe. However, we’re sure you’ll be able to glean some helpful information, especially if you’re into couch surfing and crashing in a host family’s spare bedroom.
Free New York Pride Passes
Free New York Pride Passes
Are you heading to New York City for Pride? If So Get Your Free Pride Weekend Pass!
(NEW YORK) – In celebration of Pride Month, party producer Jake Resnicow is launching ‘Pride With A Purpose’. He is calling for the LGBTQ community to volunteer at least eight hours of their time this month for a charitable LGBTQ cause. In exchange, he will give a free weekend pass to his Pride events in New York City, including the Matinée Main Event, a $600 value.
“The Pulse Nightclub shooting was a wake-up call,” he says. “It challenged us to consider how we can help make this world a safer place for the community.”
“It’s important that our guests understand that we have a history of being discriminated against and repressed. Violence against the LGBTQ community is on the rise. The ‘Pride With A Purpose’ program is about empowering people to do more, to donate their time and resources.”
Those interested in participating in ‘Pride With A Purpose’ may volunteer for any LGBTQ charity, including the Ali Forney Center, the world’s largest agency that supports homeless LGBTQ youth. They serve over 150,000 meals annually, providing youth with three nutritious meals per day.
Another worthy cause is The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.
Once a volunteer has completed their eight hours, they may email documented proof to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can then choose between the Ultra VIP Weekend Pass (includes admittance to Matinée, M.E.A.T., and Luvboat parties) or the Millennial Pass (includes admittance to Penthaus, U-Nite and Luvboat par- ties).
“My hope is that the initial eight hours impacts participants in such a way that they are motivated to continue volunteering,” says Resnicow.
Jake Resnicow is the leading nightlife producer behind a series of monthly mega-events in New York City, including M.E.A.T., U-NITE and VERS. In 2010, he brought the international Matinée party to the USA with events in New York, Miami, Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego.
This year, he has made a name for himself as a party-giving philanthropist. As the producer behind the annual TrevorLive After-Party, a fundraiser for the Ali Forney Center and the It Gets Better Project, Resnicow has helped raise over $2 million for charitable causes. Most recently, he was tapped to produce the Official After-Party spectacle at Life Ball — Europe’s Grandest Philanthropic Event for HIV/AIDS.
“We can make a living by what we receive, but we make a life by what we give, “ he says.
The Pentaus rooftop party takes place Friday, June 23 11pm – 4am at Copa (268 W 47th St, NYC); Matinee Main Event is Friday, June 23 11:30 pm – 6 am at Stage 48 (605 W 48th St, NYC); U-Nite takes place Saturday, June 24 11 pm – 6 am at Stage 48 (605 W 48th St, NYC); M.E.A.T takes place Saturday, June 24 11:30 pm – 6:30 am at King (237 W 42nd St, NYC); and Luvboat takes place Sun- day, June 25 6 pm – 11 pm at Hornblower (Pier 40, NYC).
For more information, visit the ‘Pride With A Purpose’ website.
Palm Springs Gets Steamy For LGBT Summer Travelers
Palm Springs Gets Steamy For LGBT Summer Travelers! Legendary Playground Is A Paradise.
(PALM SPRINGS) Are you and the boys looking for a place to blow off steam this summer? Have you considered Palm Springs?
Since the 1920s, Palm Springs has been the desert playground for gay men. 50s-era stars like Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter made the town their second home because it allowed them to escape the hustle and bustle of Hollywood and enjoy sexual freedom without fear of being outed. It is that same sexual freedom that continues to be a popular draw for gay travelers today.
It used to be that things cooled off in the Springs during the hot summer months. Not anymore. “We’re keeping the party going through the off-season,” says Jon Jackson, owner of INNdulge, one of the area’s leading gay resorts. He and his partner purchased the hotel with its epic mountain views six years ago. Since then, they have made significant improvements to the property, including completely refurnishing the entire interior.
“There’s so much to do here. Tons of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. There are also golf courses, spas, and of course, the springs!”
Palm Springs is a hiker’s paradise with numerous hidden trails along the Coachella Valley. The shopping cannot be beat, with major retailers in Downtown Palm Springs and on El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert.
Days in Palm Springs are sultry while nights are balmy. To help beat the heat, Jackson chills the magnificent kidney-shaped pool at INNdulge during the hot summer months.
The pool is the centerpiece of his hotel’s impressive courtyard that features immaculately landscaped lawns and walkways with large modern figure sculptures by artist Mavis McClure.
The fact that INNdulge is a clothing optional resort probably helps lure guys in, too.
Beginning June 11, INNdulge is offering rooms for only $99. The deal is valid through September 15, Sunday-Thursday, in the hotel’s non-pool Superior rooms. Discounts on poolside rooms and weekend stays are also available. Visit their website.
Curtis Braly, Carnival Cruise Lines Team Up For ‘Cruise with Curtis.’
Houston Native, Nashville Country Music Artist Curtis Braly Announces Exciting Carnival Cruise Baring His Name.
NASHVILLE — FEB 21 — County music star Curtis Braly and Carnival Cruise Lines has teamed up to create the ultimate ‘Country Music’ cruising experience that promises to be filled with leisure, plenty of fun, amazing destinations and live country music. The five-night cruise departs Galveston, Texas on April 7, 2018 and includes stops in Cozumel, and Progreso.
Fans of Houston native and Nashville recording artist Curtis Braly will travel aboard the Carnival’s Valor. The beautiful Conquest-class ship that offers exciting new innovations as well as popular features like a reservations-only steakhouse and nearly 600 balcony staterooms.
Cruise with Curtis, a first time experience, promises to provide the Country Music fan not just a vacation but also an experience – that will include
a five night cruise, accommodations and meals during the events. Also included; an autograph session, meet & greet photo opportunity, plenty of cocktail parties and an amazing LIVE performance.
Cruise with Curtis itinerary includes a stop in Cozumel, with more time in port allowing time for exclusive shore excursions that take you exploring further and adventuring more. Plus, while in Cozumel, fans will get to attend an exclusive VIP event at the infamous Señor Frogs Then, a second stop that is sure to shake things up in Progreso.
For more information about tickets, visit www.CurtisBraly.com/CruiseWithCurtis