08 MAR 2016:  In this edition of Rainbow Roundup we take a look at LGBT news and events  happening around the globe.

North American News

The tiny island of Cape Breton became the focus of a CNN spotlight and international headlines recently, after local Sydney, Nova Scotia resident radio DJ Rob Calabrese created a website called “Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins” (www.cbiftrumpwins.com). The attention garnered on the destination has been nothing but triumphant, and even if not one single person relocates, the free publicity from the tourism aspect alone has been successful.

The #MoveToCanada hashtag was also trending highly. Similar increases were last noted when President Bush was re-elected to office back in 2004.

An interesting study was recently released by Consumer Affairs in the United States that showed some LGBT individuals have been shifting toward traditionally “red” states, that are typically known for their anti-equality ways. For example, Salt Lake City, Utah, a predominately religious Mormon centre saw the largest increase in LGBT demographics compared to the overall general population.

The report also showed “red” states of Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas and Virginia as showing increases, while LGBT-friendly urban centres like New York and San Diego showed a decrease.

Back here in Canada, our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been fulfilling some of his promises toward diversity, by first introducing a cabinet of mixed genders and nationalities. He’s also been the poster boy for the LGBT community as well, most recently gaining recognition for being the first Prime Minister in office to march in a Pride Parade.

He will be joined by (openly lesbian) Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and LGBT-friendly Toronto Mayor John Tory, thereby having representation from all three levels of government participating in this year’s Toronto Pride Parade.

Trudeau has participated in previous years, but not (obviously) in his capacity as Prime Minister.

2016 also marks the first year Pride Toronto celebrates with Pride Month, beginning June 1st and ending July 3rd with the largest Pride Parade in the country.

Air Canada joined the ranks of Canada’s 100 Best Diversity Employers this year, along with American Express and others, being recognized for their diversity and inclusion efforts. Conducted by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the list spotlights members of the LGBT community, women, aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

Air Canada president and chief executive, Calin Rovinescu, was quoted as saying that he recognizes his diverse customer base and wanted to reflect that in their workforce as well.

International News

Speaking of airlines, new upstart Iceland based WOW Airlines issued a statement that one of their airplanes is gay! The fun-filled company have been naming each of their new planes as an extension of the family, MOM, DAD, SIS, BRO, so they wanted to reflect the modern family with one being GAY.

Coincidently (or not) this plane will be positioned on the route between Iceland to San Francisco, two very welcoming LGBT destinations. The name was actually suggested by an employee, a pilot that flies with the company.

If there’s a gay plane, why can’t there be a gay ATM machine? Australia’s ANZ Bank introduced their GAYTM during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (http://www.mardigras.org.au/), to show their support toward diversity and equality for all. Ten artists were commissioned to each design one machine around the city, and as expected most are wonderfully colourful.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts SPG Rewards Programme and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) (https://www.iglta.org/) have partnered to bring LGBT travellers bonus points for joining. Starwood previously announced the amalgamation with Marriott Hotels rewards programme, another hotel chain that has made great strides to being welcoming to the LGBT population.

Switzerland residents narrowly voted (50.8% to 49.2%) against a referendum initiative put forward by the Christian Democratic People’s Party, that would have had the potential of banning same-sex couples from marriage. This defeat most likely means that marriage equality may well become reality in that country sometime in the future.

Israeli LGBT citizens went from being joyful to confused in a matter of 24 hours, as a half-dozen supportive bills were vetoed by the ruling coalition a day after marking the first official LGBT rights day. These bills included legislation to ban ‘conversion therapy,’ legalize gay marriage and teach health professionals about LGBTI issues.

Events and Happenings

Out Canadian lesbian actress Ellen Page’s new series “Gaycation” airs on the new 24-hour TV network Viceland. Page and her real-life bestie Ian Daniel travel around the world to meet LGBT people and learn about the local community and way of life. The first episode looks at LGBT culture in Japan.

European Snow Pride – March 12 to 19 - www.europeansnowpride.com/ Happening in Tignes, France high in the Alps, known as the sportiest town in France.

The Original LGBT Expo - New York City – March 12 and 13 www.thelgbtexpo.com/ Exposition featuring travel companies, and more.

NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade - www.nycstpatricksparade.org/ The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, will be marching in this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade, after it was announced that LGBT groups were welcomed for the first time. Previously such groups were banned due to the long-lasting influence of the Catholic Church.

Philadelphia’s Travel and Adventure Show (www.travelshows.com/shows/philadelphia/) takes place on March 20th, and includes a section with LGBT tour operators, and a travel panel and discussion.

Miami Pride – April 8 to 10, 2016 - (www.miamibeachgaypride.com/).Head down to the sun for some fun.

The first ever Digital Pride (www.gaystarnews.com/digitalpride/) is a new, global, LGBT Pride festival that takes place April 20 to 25, and is produced by Gay Star News, based in the UK It aims to look at the themes of identity and belonging. “Attendees” can log on, and take part in the event by watching the panel debate and by answering anonymous demographic questions, or asking questions to the panel. Presented in partnership with Fujisu.

Travel Gay Canada – Winnipeg – April 27 to 29
A chance to mingle and network with members of the hospitality and tourism industry from across Canada. This year’s tagline is, “Creating Inclusive Tourism Through LGBT Diversity”.

Take me out to the ball game.

The New York Mets have joined other MLB teams in hosting a Pride Night  this summer on August 13th against the San Diego Padres. The team joins the Chicago Cubs who have been running a Pride Night since 2001 along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Canada’s own Toronto Blue Jays.

Until next month, safe and happy travels!

email icon facebook logo twitter logo
comments powered by Disqus