02 DEC 2015: In response to the New York Times 52 places to visit in 2015, Out Traveler released their own list of 10 places LGBT travellers should not visit – Nigeria, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Senegal, Lithuania, Sudan, Egypt, Russia, and Uganda. Alternatively, The Guardian (UK) put Toronto at the top of their LGBT-friendly city travel list.

Travel

AL and CHUCK Travel announced the first gay cruise in history to Cuba, partnering with Celestyal Cruises. There are three 8-day cruise sailings scheduled for 2016 - January 15, February 26 and April 8. Local gay Cubans assist both with onboard events and during short excursions at four ports of call. www.ALandCHUCK.travel

The world’s first year round cruise line dedicated to the LGBT community is Miami based Anteros Cruises, launching service in April 2017 with sailings to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

GPS-enabled dating app Scruff is launching Scruff Venture,  specifically aimed for gay male travellers who want to connect with other visitors, find out about upcoming events, and even choose to meet up with a local “ambassador”, Scruff users who are residents of that city and have volunteered to be a resource for visitors, providing tourist tips and advice.

The International HIV/AIDS Awareness is raising awareness of the difficulties LGBT individuals face around the world for both locals and visitors, with a new online quiz and petition called “Paradise or Persecution?” There are close to 100 countries that still consider being gay a criminal offense. Click here to take the quiz

There’s a new web series on Outlicious TV called Flying High With Charlie that follows the escapades of a young gay New York City flight attendant working for Royal Skies Airlines, who’s looking for love and trying to find some respite in his time on the ground.

North American News

The US White House officially endorsed the Equality Act 2015 which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The announcement was made the same day that President Obama was featured on the cover of Out Magazine, as an “Ally of the Year” for the LGBT community.

A lot has been happening in Texas lately. First the voting in of Prop 1 HERO in Houston that basically allows for gender discrimination, and has become somewhat of a fear-mongering campaign against transgendered individuals despite the fact the city has an openly lesbian mayor, Annise Danette Parker.

"The concern now is that we’re the only major city in Texas that doesn't have an equal rights ordinance," President Mike Waterman of the Greater Houston CVB, recently told the Houston Business Journal. “It's about employment and housing and access to health care... things that just allow us to live our lives", one transgendered local was quoted.

Global News

Russia is back at it again, making it difficult for the LGBT community to live life openly. A bill is drafted that would criminalize any “demonstration of one’s distorted sexual preferences in public places”, going further than the already existent gay propaganda law that “bans the promotion of homosexuality”.

Communist party member Nikolay Arefyev added this additional legislation for males only as he still feels that “homosexuality” is a huge threat to every normal person, which can affect children or grandchildren, and thus interrupt the race.”

Meanwhile Elton John stated that he was still planning on meeting with Vladimir Putin to discuss LGBT rights in the country. Apparently he was personally invited by Putin himself.

Pope Francis visited Uganda recently, where LGBT rights are non-existent and homosexuality is illegal. Francis has previously called for a church that is more tolerant and welcoming for those on the margins, including gays. Besides the previously enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act, Uganda’s parliament also decided to ban non-governmental organizations that ‘promote’ homosexuality or provide help for LGBTI people.

According to a local newspaper, twenty-one students have been arrested in Nigeria for “engaging in same-sex activities for financial gain.” Gay sex is a crime in Nigeria punishable with jail terms of 14-years imprisonment up to the death penalty, depending on which state the act happened.

Upcoming Events

OutRight International brings global activists to New York City each year to discuss LGBT issues worldwide. Various events including Human Rights Day on December 10th, and the first ever OutSummit takes places on December 12th 2015.

Hanoi, Vietnam is playing host to the first ever LGBT Business Leaders Forum on December 7th, the latest initiative in the country to help advance LGBTI workplace rights.

Start planning for a 2019 trip to NYC, the city recently awarded host of the next WorldPride in 2019, which also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

New York Times 52 places to visit in 2015 

Out Traveler 10 places LGBT travellers should not visit

Guardian (UK) put Toronto at the top of their LGBT-friendly city travel list 

 

dunn2 Bryen Dunn focuses his writing on travel, entertainment, and lifestyle, contributing to both trade and consumer publications. He's interviewed many celebrities and community members, reviewed theatre, music, and art shows, and provided insight on several interesting and unique travel destinations.

 

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