Archive for June, 2010

Provincetown International Film Festival

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Tilda Swinton at the Provincetown Film FestivalFor gay and lesbian movie buffs, Provincetown MA from June 16 thru 20 is the place to be. The 12th Annual Provincetown International Film Festival will once again shine the spotlight on the best of gay and lesbian movies and documentaries over this 5 day film fest.

Besides screening over 40 movies,  15 documentaries, 9 special screenings and 35 shorts, the Festival also celebrates the silver screen achievements of Kevin Smith – Filmaker on the Edge Award, Tilda Swinton – Excellence in Acting Award and Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman – Faith Hubley Memorial Award. Film maker John Waters, critic B. Ruby Rich and director, writer, actor John Cameron Mitchell will be hosting conversations with the award winners.

Provincetown will be hopping to the movie beat over this mid June festival. Film lovers can enjoy back-to-back showings, relax in great accommodation, dine in world class restaurants and party the night away to the sounds of cutting edge music in some of the town’s clubs and bars. Pass on your accommodation experience for the benefit of other gay and lesbian travelers by posting a review on Pink Choice.

INDIA, THE NEXT BIG GAY DESTINATION?

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Kerala gay travelIndia is changing, and for gay and lesbian travelers, it would seem for the better. Homosexuality has long been taboo within Indian life but recent decisions by the Delhi High Court has decriminalized same-sex intercourse leading the way to a more sensitive and open minded acceptance of the LGBT populas. Legalizing same sex marriage may still be a long way off but with neighbors like Nepal leading the way, India may follow sooner rather than later.

For India’s population, the gay market is huge. Research estimates that about 30 million people (4 percent of the population) identify themselves as gay, bisexual or transgender. And when the global traveling GLBT market is added, the tourist dollar potential is enormous.

In cities like Mumbai and New Delhi, businesses are slowly realizing the opportunities that acceptance of the gay lifestyle has to offer.  Stores aimed at the gay market are opening. What were once underground gay clubs and bars are now rising to the surface and making their presence felt.

Goa and Kerala are already favorite destinations for the more adventurous gay traveler, and their beach party towns are firmly on the gay travel radar. But it’s going to take time for the country’s hospitality industry in general to become more sensitive to the needs of same sex travelers.  That being said, it seems that India is moving in a positive way towards embracing the LGBT community.

From original article published in the New York Times

Central American Gay Hotspot

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Although the summer months may not be the best time to visit Costa Rica, it is definitely worth adding to a ‘must visit’ gay and lesbian destination list for the fall, winter and spring seasons. Incredible beaches, eco-friendly reputation and a very gay friendly tourist industry attract an ever increasing number of gay and lesbian travelers each year to this Latin American paradise.

There are any number of  LGBT resorts dotted throughout the country, and even more that are gay-friendly. As gay travel has increased over the past 5 years, gay tour operators, travel agencies, adult-only resorts, and men-only hotels and guesthouses have blossomed. With the steady influx of inclusive North American and European entrepreneurs who have opened small hotels, B&B’s and inns, gay travelers are no longer restricted to destinations marketed exclusively to the LGBT community.

Costa Rica’s two most gay-friendly locations are San Jose and Manuel Antonio.

San Jose is the country’s largest metropolis and home to LGBT human rights organizations, as well as groups for gay and transgendered travelers and residents. The city’s downtown gay club scene grows larger each year, attracting LGBT travelers and locals looking to party the night away. The city is also home to gay saunas, complete with hot tubs, swimming pools and steam baths.

Perhaps the undisputed gay oasis in Costa Rica is Manual Antonio. It really has become the gay mecca by the sea. With several LGBT resorts, restaurants, clubs and bars, Manuel Antonio also hosts a popular gay beach, called Playa Playita. It’s a bit of a walk from where you can park a car but the end destination is worth every step of effort. Because most of the locals are open minded and very gay friendly, it is not unusual to see gay couples walking hand-in-hand into the setting sun. Although illegal, it is not unusual to see nude bathing here but be very cautious as there have been recent reports that the police are cracking down on au naturale sun worshipers.  A general note of caution here too -  gay marriage is not legal in Costa Rica and same sex sexuality can be a sensitive topic as most locals are Roman Catholics. Just be aware that outside of the main gay businesses and destinations, you may encounter very conservative attitudes. So common sense and discretion should be the rule of the day.

For the more adventurous gay and lesbian traveler there are some great places to visit outside of San Jose and Manuel Antonio.  These include Heredia, Puerto Viejo, and the Gold Coast. Travelers will be able to find a good selection of gay friendly hotels, inns and guesthouses but some advance research wouldn’t go amiss.

So for a truly tropical gay friendly destination, Costa Rica is plenty to offer the gay and lesbian traveler seeking winter sun and a different cultural experience. After your vacation, post a review of your accommodation experience on Pink Choice for the benefit of other LGBT travelers.