Palm Springs: A Year-Round Desert Paradise Awaits You, Part II

Today, in part II of my Palm Springs blog post I’ll write about some highly frequented gay hot spots, e.g. the Hunters Nightclub. I’ll also recommend my favorite restaurants, e.g. Alibi and Azul’s.

Alibi and Azul

On the second floor of the convivial Mexican and tapas restaurant Azul, you’ll find Alibi to be a spacious, upbeat spot that is part video bar, part sports bar, and an excellent place for cocktails and people-watching early in the evening, as the balcony setting overlooks bustling Palm Canyon Drive below and the mountains to the west.

The Barracks

Barracks is the local hangout for guys into leather, uniforms, fetish, bears, boots, pierced and tattooed dudes, muscle worship, military gear, water sports, and hard-core cruising. Located in Cathedral City, a 10-minute drive from Palm Springs, the Barracks is in a not-so-obvious location, so look for the Arco gas station on East Palm Canyon Drive at the intersection of El Dorado and Canyon Plaza, then turn right at Canyon Plaza.

Bongo Johnny’s

Conveniently located on Arenas Road next to Stacey’s bar, Bongo Johnny’s restaurant offers an affordable breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Half of the venue’s seating is devoted to a lovely outdoor patio for casual al fresco dining and fascinating people-watching.

Hunters Nightclub

The largest and most popular of the gay bars along the Arenas Road strip in downtown Palm Springs, Hunters Nightclub is a spacious, well-decorated, upscale-looking gay bar that’s a mainstay of the region’s clubbing scene. Popular as much for watching videos and dancing as for watching hot go-go boys, Hunters fills to the rafters on weekends in high seasons and draws pretty good crowds year-round.

Quadz

One of the hotspots in the Palm Springs Arenas Road gay nightlife district, Quadz is a friendly men’s bar drawing a mostly 30-and-up crowd of guys into karaoke, videos, and drag shows. The crowd varies a bit depending on the night, with sometimes a slightly younger crowd, and other times a mix of women and men. It’s a fun place on weekends.

Stacy’s

If a quiet piano bar is your style, the newest offering in Palm Springs is Stacy’s, where you can enjoy a cocktail and friendly conversation with locals. Crystal chandeliers and regular pianists add to this sophisticated interior popular with locals and tourists alike.

Streetbar

The laid-back Streetbar is a mainly male, cash-only neighborhood hangout, generally drawing a 40-and-over crowd. It’s a popular stop on the Arenas Road gay bar circuit and is known for karaoke, cheap happy hours, and campy drag shows.

Tool Shed

Since the mid-1990s, the rough-and-ready Tool Shed has been the premier leather-and-Levi’s bar in Palm Springs. It’s on a side street on the south side of downtown. Open from morning until 2 am, the Tool Shed offers cheap and potent drinks, hosts an Erotic Art Expo each February, and awards a Mr. Tool Shed Leather prize each year.

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge

This tropics-themed bar and dance club is one of the top gay hangouts in the desert region, catering to a primarily male (but female-welcoming), all-ages crowd. It’s known for such engaging theme nights as Sunday night drag revues, 2-for-1 drinks on Tuesdays, ‘80s flashback dancing on Wednesdays, and Jungle Boogie (with go-go dancers) on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tropicale Restaurant and Coral Seas Lounge

The Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Seas Lounge offers a chic and sophisticated décor that provides the setting for distinctive world cuisine, a provocative mix of zesty influences that creates a delightful dining experience. The adjacent Copa Nightclub is also a very popular upscale entertainment venue featuring musicians, singers, and comedic drag shows.

Trunks Bar

Formerly known as Diggs, Trunks is a friendly gay neighborhood bar, a casual little hangout in Cathedral City, about a 10-minute drive from Palm Springs. It features a pool table, Wii games, and gay country-western dancing on Tuesday and Saturday.

Wang’s in the Desert

Wang’s in the Desert is one of Palm Springs’ hot spots for contemporary Pan-Asian food. The restaurant is stylish and festive, and the sidebar, which hosts happy hour celebrations, is a fun venue for colorful cocktails and mingling with locals and tourists.

Some facts about me

I’m your welcoming ebab host offering two spacious guestrooms in my Palm Springs condo located one block from the south terminus of the popular Buzz Bus. My Junior Suite with king bed and private bath is ideal for one or two people, while the Master Suite with two double beds, en suite bath and private patio comfortably accommodates one to four guests.

Tim

Tim offers hospitality through ebab.com since more than 15 years. He’s a very popular host. Whether you seek summer hiking and pool parties or a warm winter vacation among sunny blue skies and palm trees, Tim is happy to be your local guide and will ensure that you have a pleasant stay.

Spartacus International Gay Guide: freu dich auf deine nächste Gay Reise

Obwohl das Reisen zu meinen absoluten Hobbies zählt, gibt es doch ein paar Dinge, die mich daran nerven. In Vorbereitung auf einen Trip und auch direkt vor Ort fiel es mir oft schwer, ausreichend und zuverlässige Community Facts zu meinem Reiseziel zu finden. Klar, es gibt hierfür unzählige Apps und Webseiten, die versprechen, sie hätten umfangreiche Informationen zu vielen Gay Hotspots auf der Welt. Was mir schon eher zusagte, um mich im Vorfeld über mein Reiseziel zu informieren, waren Blogs von Leuten aus der Community. Ich mag es, die Stories anderer zu lesen und mir so eine gute Vorstellung davon machen zu können, welche spannenden und interessanten Locations mich erwarten.

Was mir andererseits auf den unzähligen, jedoch unvollständigen Gay Travel Webseiten stets fehlte, war der ‘straighte’ Inhalt. Alles in allem nervte mich bisher, dass ich die für mich wichtigen Infos zu meinem Traumziel von den ‘tausend’ verschiedenen Quellen besorgen musste: die eine Insiderinfo hier, die andere dort usw., sodass dafür häufig viel Zeit drauf ging. Die Gay Apps waren schon ganz hilfreich dabei, jedoch waren sie für mich lückenhaft, nicht mehr aktuell oder vom Design her eher zum Abgewöhnen. Einer der Apps, die ich schon seit Langem nutzte, ist die Spartacus App. Vorteilhaft an dieser App war natürlich der Gay Content, beispielsweise zu Cruising Areas oder Gay Saunen. Doch sind meine Reisen häufig so, dass ich auch außerhalb der Community etwas erleben will. Um Infos zu typischen Sehenswürdigkeiten einer Stadt, wie zum Beispiel Museen, zu bekommen, musste ich bisher, ihr ahnt es schon, selbstverständlich wieder auf anderen Webseiten suchen. Es war also nicht selten, dass ich ‚tausende‘ Tabs im Browser geöffnet hatte und zusätzlich zwischen mehreren Apps hin- und hersprang. Davon war auch vor Ort die Frage betroffen, was unternehme ich heute Abend oder am nächsten Tag. Nicht zu vergessen die Suche nach einer gemütlichen, am besten gay-freundlichen Unterkunft und die Gay Events, allen voran die Gay Prides, welche der Anlass für viele meiner Reisen waren und sein werden.

Weswegen ich so ausführlich über die mehr oder weniger umständliche Reiseplanung schreibe? – Ich kann mir vorstellen, euch geht es ähnlich. Umso cooler ist es, dass es nun eine echte Verbesserung gibt, die ich nicht für mich behalten will: neulich nutzte ich wie gewöhnlich die Spartacus App und bemerkte die Vorzüge des Updates der App, das vor Kurzem stattfand.

Was soll ich sagen? – Viele der oben beschriebenen Probleme lösten sich in Luft auf. Mit der aktuellen Version der Spartacus App bekomme ich aus EINER Quelle top Infos zur Community wie Events, Locations und tatsächlichen Hot Spots [,wenn ihr versteht, was ich meine ;-)]. Andererseits lerne ich mein Reiseziel besser kennen, da auch ganz gewöhnliche Touri-Infos enthalten sind, z.B. Sehenswürdigkeiten. Außerdem habe ich Zugriff auf verschiedene Blogs, integrierte Umgebungskarten und kann mit der App auch meine An-/ Abreise planen. Die neue Möglichkeit, dass ich nun mit Hilfe der App eine private Unterkunft in der Community buchen kann, gefällt mir auch sehr gut. Ich mag keine Hotels, bei denen ich mir nicht sicher sein kann, ob ich auch wirklich willkommen bin. Ein dickes Plus für mich ist außerdem, dass fast alle GayPride Termine enthalten sind.

Zurzeit überlege ich, wann ich der Queen in London einen Besuch abstatte. 😉 Das wird mein erstes Mal in der britischen Hauptstadt. Dabei kommt mir das frische Update der Spartacus App super gelegen: das Stöbern durch die vielen Einträge in den unterschiedlichen Rubriken der App (Dance, Drink, Eat, Events, Info, Horny, Shops, Sights) als auch die interaktive Karte machen mich sehr neugierig auf mein nächstes Reiseziel. Die neue Version der App macht ziemlich Spaß. Da ich hier und da ein Faulpelz bin, ist sie für mich super bequem. Wie gesagt, ich bekomme alle Facts, die mir wichtig sind, auf einem Blick. Würde ich die App bewerten, bekäme sie von mir fünf von fünf Sternen und einen Daumen nach oben.

Steven

Steven has been part of ebab.com since 2013. He is the man for social media and the ebab gay travel blog. As you can see, he also likes to write a blog article himself.

German version: Steven gehört seit 2013 zum Team von ebab.com. Er ist der Mann für Social Media und unseren ebab Gay Travel Blog. Wie ihr seht, schreibt auch er gern einmal einen Blogartikel selbst.

Spartacus International Gay Guide: look forward to your next gay trip.

Although travelling is one of my favourite hobbies, there are a few things that bother me. In preparation for a trip and also at destination, I often found it really hard to encounter sufficient and reliable community facts. Sure there are countless apps and websites that promise to have extensive information on many gay hotspots in the world. What appealed to me in advance to inform myself about my destination, were blogs from people in the community. I like reading the stories of others and getting a good idea of ​​what exciting and interesting locations await me.

On the other hand, what always lacked on the countless but incomplete Gay Travel websites was the ‘straightforward’ content. All in all, I was really annoyed that I had to get important information about my dream destination from ‘thousands’ of different sources: one insider info here, the other there, etc. so that I had to spend a lot of time on research. The gay apps were quite helpful, but they were sketchy for me, out of date or to keep off thanks to their design. One of the apps I used for a long time has been the Spartacus app. The advantage of this app was the gay content, for example, cruising areas or gay saunas. However, my travels are often such that I also want to experience something outside of the community. 😉 To get information about typical sights of a city, such as museums, I previously had – you might already have guessed it – to search again on other websites. So it was not rare that I had a lot of tabs open in the browser and were jumping between several apps on top. That often affected and affects my planning what to do with my time at a given destination. Not to mention the search for a cozy, gay-friendly accommodation and gay events, especially the Gay Prides, which were and will be the reason for many of my trips.

Why do I write so much about the more or less complicated travel planning? I do asssume that you feel the same. What could be better than that there is now real improvement that I do not want to keep to myself: the other day, when I used the Spartacus app  there was a major update that was launched recently. And what can I say? – Many of the problems described above have almost vanished. With the current version of the Spartacus app I get from ONE source of top information on the community:  events, locations, actual hot spots [if you know what I mean ;-)] On the other hand I get to know my destination better, as well as ordinary tourist information is included, e.g. attractions. I also have access to various blogs, integrated maps of surroundings and can also plan my arrival / departure using the app. What I really like is the possibility that I can now book private accommodation in the community with the help of the app. I do not like hotels where I can’t be sure if I’m really welcome. A big plus for me is that almost all GayPride events are listed.

At present, I’m thinking about when best to visit THE Queen in London. 😉 This will be my first trip to the British capital. The recent update of the Spartacus app comes in really handy: browsing through the many entries in the different sections of the app (Dance, Drink, Eat, Events, Info, Horny, Shops, Sights) as well as the interactive map make me really curious about my next destination. The new version of the app is a lot of fun. Since I am a lazybones here and there, it is extremely useful for me. As I said, I get all the facts that are important to me at a glance. If I were to appraise the app, I’d give it five out of five stars and a thumbs up.

      

Steven

Steven has been part of ebab.com since 2013. He is the man for social media and the ebab gay travel blog. As you can see, he also likes to write a blog article himself.

German version: Steven gehört seit 2013 zum Team von ebab.com. Er ist der Mann für Social Media und unseren ebab Gay Travel Blog. Wie ihr seht, schreibt auch er gern einmal einen Blogartikel selbst.

Palm Springs: A Year-Round Desert Paradise Awaits You, Part I

There’s something for everyone in this desert oasis that from the 1940s to 1960s was the favorite playground of famous Hollywood celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Doris Day and Lucille Ball, to name just a few. Located less than two hours by car from Los Angeles and San Diego, Palm Springs has long been a popular destination for Southern Californians. Its desert hiking, golfing and laid back atmosphere attract visitors from all over the world and can be conveniently reached by air from such cities as New York, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Miami and San Francisco.

There’s a very large gay population here, which some jokingly refer to as a “gay retirement village”. In fact, it’s a wonderful place to grow gay and gray, but you’ll see every age and type of person under the sun here. There are plenty of cool gay bars with mixed crowds but visitors tend to be more focused on the daytime sun and fun. This favorite gay vacation getaway in Southern California’s Mojave Desert has a large variety of gay bars, piano lounges, dance clubs, and restaurants to complement its many museums, galleries, shops and outdoor activities. There’s a reason this is the West Coast’s leading resort getaway among the LGBT set, especially from Fall through Spring, when temperatures here are mild and inviting.

Below is just a sample of the many popular events that occur each month of the year here:

#Jan. >> Palm Springs International Film Festival
#Feb. >> Modernism Week, International Bear Convergence
#Mar. >> Cathedral City LGBT Days
#Apr. >> Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival
#May. >> Palm Springs Hot Gay Rodeo
#Jun./Jul. >> Swing & Mix (gay squaredancing)
#Aug. >> Pool parties everywhere!
#Sept. >> Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival
#Oct. >> Leather Pride, Halloween
#Nov. >> Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival and Parade
#Dec. >> Christmas/New Year events galore!

Getting around is simplified by the Buzz Bus, a motorized trolley offering free transportation every 15-minutes Thursday through Sunday between North and South Palm Springs, making numerous stops throughout the downtown business and entertainment district. If love visiting tourist attractions Palm Springs won’t disappoint you…

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Ascend two-and-one-half miles from the desert floor to a pristine wilderness on Mount San Jacinto aboard the world’s largest rotating tramcar. In summer there can be as much as a 30-degree temperature difference at the top of the tramway, making this a popular destination to cool down from the summer heat. Hiking trails, gorgeous vistas and several dining options are available at the summit of this popular year-round tourist destination.

Joshua Tree National Park

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park, located just an easy 30-minute drive north of Palm Springs. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast Southern California wilderness.

In part II of my Plam Springs blog post I’m going to write about some highly frequented gay hot spots, e.g. the Hunters Nightclub and I will recommend my favorite restaurants, e.g. the Alibi and Azul’s. So, be aware of my Palm Springs blog post part II, which will be published soon.

Some facts about me

I’m your welcoming ebab host offering two spacious guestrooms in my Palm Springs condo located one block from the south terminus of the popular Buzz Bus. My Junior Suite with king bed and private bath is ideal for one or two people, while the Master Suite with two double beds, en suite bath and private patio comfortably accommodates one to four guests.

Tim

Tim offers hospitality through ebab.com since more than 15 years. He’s a very popular host. Whether you seek summer hiking and pool parties or a warm winter vacation among sunny blue skies and palm trees, Tim is happy to be your local guide and will ensure that you have a pleasant stay.

GayGuide tips for your next trip to Amsterdam

My absolute favourite city, where I feel even better than in Berlin, is Amsterdam. This is probably due to the fact that the Netherlands have become the most tolerant country in the world.

The Dutch’s tolerance of LGBTs is rooted in their history. As early as 1811, “homosexual acts” were decriminalised by law. Not only that, the world’s first monument in memory of people who have been persecuted and oppressed because of their sexual orientation was unveiled in Amsterdam in 1987.
In addition, the Netherlands is the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriages since April 1st, 2001.

And there’s one more thing the Netherlands have to offer: the Amsterdam Gay Pride is the only Gay Pride in the world that does not take place in the street, but on the canals in about 80 boats . The “Canal Pride”, every year on the first weekend in August, is undoubtedly an international highlight for the community. It is definitely a must-do.

Nonetheless thousands of Dutch families are also taking part in the Canal Pride to demonstrate for the rights of LGBT people while just having fun. Nowhere else but in Amsterdam are there so many cool family dads wearing a pink shirt on a gay pride – so cute. 😉

In Amsterdam, the gay community has tradition; the first official bar for gays opened in 1927. Today, with the Reguliersdwarsstraat, the Amstel, the Warmoesstraat and the Kerkstraat, you can find FOUR hotspots in the center with countless bars, shops, restaurants, clubs, cruising bars / clubs, saunas and parties for gays.

My personal favourites / tips:

#ClubChurch – Amsterdam’s first cruise club
#ClubNYX – Gays and Straights are welcome, and everyone in between
#SaunaNieuwezijds – the new stylish sauna in the center

And where to stay? –  My favorite accommodations for a trip to Amsterdam:

#Valentino‘s in Oud West – CAVA1-1
#Marc‘s Private Room in Amsterdam City Center – JOMA1-2

Well then, I’ll see you at the latest for the next Amsterdam Gay Pride from the 3rd-5th August 2018!

Steven

Steven has been part of ebab.com since 2013. He is the man for social media and the ebab gay travel blog. As you can see, he also likes to write a blog article himself.

German version: Steven gehört seit 2013 zum Team von ebab.com. Er ist der Mann für Social Media und unseren ebab Gay Travel Blog. Wie ihr seht, schreibt auch er gern einmal einen Blogartikel selbst.

Silvester 2017/18: Fünf Orte für deine Nacht des Jahres

Jetzt, zu Beginn des letzten Monats des Jahres, ist genau der richtige Zeitpunkt darüber nachzudenken und zu planen, wo du den Jahreswechsel 2017/ 18 verbringen willst. Die Silvesternacht ist in aller Welt eines der größten und spannendsten  Events. Der feierliche Übergang von der Vergangenheit in die Zukunft  ist die Gelegenheit schlechthin, mittendrin zu sein und das Jahr 2018 gebührend zu begrüßen.

Viele Städte und Hotspots auf der ganzen Welt wollen ihren Gästen am letzten Tag des Jahres einen unvergesslichen Silvesterabend bieten. Für diejenigen unter euch, denen die Entscheidung schwerfällt, an welcher Destination ihr in diesem Jahr Silvester verbringen wollt, hat ebab recherchiert. Im Folgenden empfehlen wir euch fünf Städte, in denen ihr eine einzigartige Silvesternacht erleben könnt.

Rom

Die größte Party des Jahres in Rom findet an der Piazza del Popolo zu Silvester statt, mit Feuerwerk und lokalen Popbands, die vor einer großen Menschenmenge spielen. Du kannst auch an anderen Orten in Rom eine unvergessliche Silvesternacht verbringen. Zum Beispiel während eines kostenlosen Konzerts im Circus Maximus oder bei einer Tanzparty um das Kolosseum. Vergiss nicht, dass traditionell sofort nach Mitternacht Linsen gegessen werden, um im neuen Jahr für Wohlstand zu sorgen. Noch wichtiger ist der Brauch, in der Silvesternacht “unten drunter” rote Unterwäsche zu tragen, um mit Gesundheit, Glück und Liebe belohnt zu werden.

Barcelona

Die Einheimischen verbringen den Silvesterabend traditionell bei ihren Familien und engen Freunden. Dennoch ist Barcelona seit einigen Jahren ein außergewöhnlicher Ort, um in das neue Jahr zu starten. Auf dem Plaza España findet eine riesige Silvesterparty statt. Es gibt Konzerte und Feuerwerk, und natürlich kommt die Tradition mit den 12 Weintrauben – „Las doce uvas de la suerte” (engl. “The twelve grapes of luck”) –  nicht zu kurz: um Mitternacht wird bei jedem Glockenschlag eine Traube gegessen, eine für jeden Monat. Wer nach dem zwölften Schlag alle 12 Trauben aufgegessen hat, wird im neuen Jahr besonders viel Glück haben.

Berlin

Berlin ist das ganze Jahr über eine faszinierende Stadt, die niemals schläft. So wird dich Berlin auch zu Silvester nicht enttäuschen. Das Brandenburger Tor wird zur größten Bühne der Stadt, wo es Konzerte, Feuerwerk, Lichtshows und Street Food aus aller Welt gibt. Nach Mitternacht beginnt auf dem Pariser Platz die größte Open-Air-Party Berlins. Ein atemberaubendes Panorama bietet auch die Oberbaum-Brücke.

London

Das größte Event, das an Silvester in London stattfindet, ist das offizielle Feuerwerk der Stadt. Diese riesige Feier lockt rund 250.000 Zuschauer an die Flussufer der Themse. Die gesamte Stadt vibriert und sie ähnelt einem spetakulären Festival. Tickets für die besten Aussichtspunkte für das Feuerwerk sollten rechtzeitig gekauft werden.

Copenhagen

Fahre nach Kopenhagen, um das neue Jahr wie ein echter Däne zu feiern. Schaue die Neujahrsansprache der Königin im Fernsehen um 18:00 Uhr, während der die Straßen für 15 Minuten völlig leer sind. Höre um Mitternacht auf die 12 Glockenschläge der Rathausuhr, singe dann die Nationalhymne mit und genieße ein Stück der traditionellen Marzipan-Torte “Kransekage”. Anschließend startet das tolle Feuerwerk, um das neue Jahr zu begrüßen. Und wer vorher noch Lust auf den Tivoli hat, kann dort bis 22 Uhr verweilen.

Alle in diesem Post von uns empfohlenen Städte haben eine Gemeinsamkeit: neben den offiziellen Silveyterparties kannst du dich selbstverständlich auch für eine Party in einer der vielen Gay Clubs entscheiden. Rom bietet dir z.B. den Club “Muccassassina”, in Barcelona ist das “Input” ein Hotspot, in Berlin findest du u.a. das “Schwuz” oder das “Schmutzige Hobby”, London ist bekannt für “Dalston Superstore” und in Copenhagen steigt beispielsweise im “NeverMind”eine Party.

 

Steven

Steven has been part of ebab.com since 2013. He is the man for social media and the ebab gay travel blog. As you can see, he also likes to write a blog article himself.

German version: Steven gehört seit 2013 zum Team von ebab.com. Er ist der Mann für Social Media und unseren ebab Gay Travel Blog. Wie ihr seht, schreibt auch er gern einmal einen Blogartikel selbst.

Your Gay Guide to Mumbai

My last post listed down some of the gay pubs, cafes and spas and cruising spots in India’s capital Delhi. In this post, let me tell you about the various gay friendly places or things you must visit if you are visiting Mumbai.

Mumbai is called the economic capital of India. It is also where the Indian film industry Bollywood is located (yes, those movies with songs and dance are made here). Mumbai is also called as the city that never sleeps, because even late at night, the streets are bustling with people. The city also has a very active gay scene, thanks to years of activism. So what are the interesting places and gay hangouts that you could visit if you are visiting the city, let’s find out.

Parties : As in Delhi, the city hosts gay parties every weekend. There is no single club where the party is organsied every week. The venue keeps changing and is usually communicated through SMS or whatsapp. Salvation Star, Gay Bombay are some of the party organisers in the city.

The HIVE : The Hive, located in Khar West, often plays hosts to various queer events that are organised by Queer Ink every 2nd Sunday of the month. These events often have movie screenings, workshops, performances etc.

The Humsafar Trust : Humsafar Trust is among the oldest organisations to be working with the queer community. It also used to take out Bombay Dost Magazine, which was the first gay magazine of India back in the 90s. Humsafar Trust works on HIV/AIDS prevention among the LGBT community now, but also runs various queer focussed program. You can drop by their office at Santa Cruz.

Mumbai Local : In my Delhi post, I talked some of the cruising spots. In Mumbai, nothing is more cruisier than the local trains. Taken by millions of people every day for commute, the Mumbai local are packed to the brim always, and are often notorious for the cruising that happens inside. Imagine, hundreds of bodies pushed against each other, it’s natural that there will be action. The 2×2 compartment is well known for some hot action.

Gay Bombay : Gay Bombay, or GB, is the oldest organisation working for gay men in Mumbai. They organise various events for gay men in the city, including parties, health talks, outings etc. They are an unregistered organisation and do not have an office. You can check out their website for updates.

Kashish International Queer Film Festival : The Kashish Film Festival has emerged as a major event in the gay calendar of the city (apart from pride). Held in May, the film festival is billed as the largest South Asian film festival and often stretches over 5 days. If you are in the city during this time, join for some wonderful movies from around the world.

Pride March : Pride march in Mumbai, also called as the Queer Azaadi Mumbai, is held around end of January, and is often preceded by a month full of activities. If you are visiting the city in January, you will be in for a treat! Do check out their website for updates.

Sukhdeep Singh

Sukhdeep Singh is the Founding Editor of Gaylaxy magazine which is India’s largest English language LGBT magazine. He grew up in Kolkata, in a Sikh family and in a liberal atmosphere. While studying in college he launched Gaylaxy magazine in 2010, which is now also available as an App. His message to the world is: “Treat everyone equally, with love and dignity.”

Lisbon with Miguel, local Gaybassador

Hey Miguel, you’re Gaybassador for Lisbon. Tell us a bit more about you. 

Well, let me see! 🙂 I am living in Lisbon for 4 years now, I am 38 years of age and I am a happy guy. For the last 6 years I have been working in a gay bear bar, wich I appreciate a lot, and have been connecting with people from all over the world. For me, meeting new people is one of the most exciting experiences, to know their culture and to have the pleasure of showing mine. By the way, I am a party guy as well… having fun is a big part of who I am. Life can’t be taken so serious, we only live once!

Why do you love your city that much ?

Even though I wasn’t born in Lisbon I’ve adopted the city as if I am native. Lisbon is one of a kind, i’m sure nobody can relate this city to another place in the world. Maybe is it’s unique light, or it’s relaxing feeling and good vibe or maybe it’s traditions and history. Lisbon has so many different sides to it self. So, when all this ingredients combine, you have the most amazing city at your hand. Despite what you can see and feel, there’s the taste of the Portuguese Cuisine, wich is the best you will ever put in your mouth. 🙂 A taste to remember for life.

Wich are the 4 main spots you like to show to gay travellers ? 

It’s difficult to choose only 4 main spots to show to the travellers, because Lisbon is full of many places wich are so important or charismatic and that represent the city in it’s own way. But anyhow, I chose an itenerary that shows a bit of the city as i like to see it.

The first spot will be from Príncipe Real Park to San Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint and through Bairro Alto.

The second spot I will take the travellers to Santa Catarina Viewpoint to have a different prespective of the city and then to Camões Square and Chiado.

The third spot will start at Rossio Square and through downtown, where you can find almost everything you need or want, until we reach the Commerce Square, wich is breath-taking.

The fourth spot will be a walk along the Tagus riverside for a relaxing feeling and ending at Time Out Market, a food quarter, for an energy refill. We will need it, heheheh.

What about Lisbon’s gay local life ? 

Although Lisbon is not a huge city there is a gay scene happening here. In Portugal gay marriage is allowed since 2010 and that says a little bit about it. It’s safe and relaxed to be who you are and that makes life flow easily. The portuguese people are very welcoming, they can make you feel at home.

There is a neighborhood called Príncipe Real where you can find most of the gay bars and clubs, although some other bars are at Bairro Alto as well. Nightlife starts a bit late, the bars are open but people only come around 11pm more or less and the clubs are open until 6am, so bare that in mind if you want to go out and have some fun.

Your 4 favourite places?

The riverside at Cais da Ribeira – The perfect place to be when you want to relax, have a drink, go for a walk or just be there listen to some music by your own. It’s a place where you can do what suites you better.

Santa Catarina Viewpoint – The view over the river Tagus is outstanding. On a sunny day you can be here enjoying the the view, having a coffee, as we portuguese people love to do, taking some great pictures and feel the vibe of the city, always being watched by “Adamastor”, one of the beasts of an epic poetic portuguese book written by Luiz de Camões.

The beach at Costa da Caparica – I was born in a small city wich is surrounded by sea, so i’m very keen on beach. There are a lot of beaches around Lisbon but this one has something different to offer. It has several kilometers of yellow and white sand  and one of it’s parts is a gay beach (Beach 19). You can choose if you want to be dressed up for the occasion or simply be around naked. It’s fun.

Bairro Alto – This is the most searched neighborhood for going out and have a drink, for having dinner in one of the several kinds of restaurants you can find, from portuguese food to thai food. It’s a very mixed place. A lot of cultures in the same quarter.

My restaurants 

Casa da Índia – Very typical portuguese restaurant, like in the old times. You will have the best roasted chicken you will ever try, besides the other amazing food they have. From meat to sea food. They have take-away service as well.

Decadent – A great place to be, with a young vibe and a fusion cuisine of the traditional meeting the modern. You will taste portuguese cuisine like you have never tasted before.

 My bars and gay venues 

3 Bar – The place for the bears and friends. The bar I work in 🙂

Bairro Alto – Barroca street, where you can find all gay people around in the street having some drinks and walking up and down.

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Schwulsein auf dem Land: Der einzige Schwule im Dorf?

Viele schwule Männer bevorzugen das Leben in der Stadt. Gleich nachdem sie die Schule oder die Berufsausbildung abgeschlossen haben, verlassen viele junge Schwule die ländliche Region, in der sie aufgewachsen sind, und ziehen in die Stadt. Denn nur dort, so der gängige Glaube, können homosexuelle Männer offen schwul leben und ihre Sexualität ausleben. Denn während es in der Provinz nur Spießer und Schützenfeste gibt, locken Großstädte mit einer großen Schwulenszene, Gay Clubs, Sexpartys und CSD-Paraden.

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Auch ich wollte als junger Mann lieber in der Großstadt als in der Provinz leben. Ich träumte von den glitzernden Lichtern der Metropolen, interessanten Menschen und der Möglichkeit, jeden Abend der Woche in eine andere Kneipe oder Disco gehen zu können. Dummerweise lernte ich dann meinen Traummann kennen – und der wohnte nicht in Hamburg, Köln, Berlin oder München, sondern in der nächsten Kleinstadt. So sehr ich ihn liebe, haderte ich trotzdem viele Jahre mit unserem Leben in der vermeintlichen Provinz. Während ich am Samstagabend auf Facebook verfolgte, wie meine Freunde mit der U-Bahn zur nächsten Party fuhren, schlenderten wir durch die menschenleere Fußgängerzone der Kleinstadt vom Italiener nach Hause. Statt Party stand bei uns “Wetten Dass…” auf dem Programm.

So kannst Du auf dem Dorf offen schwul leben

Doch mit zunehmendem Alter, wurden mir auch die Vorteile des schwulen Lebens auf dem Land immer bewusster: Gute Freunde, ein überschaubares und vor allem vertrautes soziales Umfeld sind für jeden Menschen besonders wichtig. Die Natur und frische Luft sind weitere Gründe, die für ein Leben in der Provinz sprechen. Und ja, sogar schwuler Sex lässt sich auf dem Land problemlos finden: auch in unserer Kleinstadt gibt es Cruising Areas im Park oder am Badesee, öffentliche Klappen und sogar ein gut besuchtes Pornokino. Das Publikum dort fand ich übrigens schon immer deutlich interessanter als in der Stadt!

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Und außerdem hatte zumindest ich das große Glück, im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes nicht der einzige Schwule im Dorf zu sein. Neben mir haben sich – sage und schreibe – noch drei weitere Mitschüler meiner ehemaligen Schulklasse als homosexuell geoutet! Und genau die Drei waren schon damals meine besten Freunde. So war erst kürzlich die Schwulendichte beim 20-jährigen Abi-Treffen des Kleinstadt-Gymnasiums ungewöhnlich hoch.

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Mein Tipp für junge Gays: Geht offen mit Eurer Homosexualität um und behandelt andere Menschen genauso respektvoll wie Ihr es für Euch selbst erwartet. Dann kann man auch auf dem Land ganz selbstverständlich schwul leben. Weder ich noch meine Familie haben uns je schwulenfeindliche Sprüche anhören müssen. Ob Familienfeiern, Dorffeste oder Gottesdienste in der Kirche: mein Mann und ich gehören ganz selbstverständlich überall dazu und genießen unser schwules Landleben mittlerweile sehr!

Mario

Mario runs the travel blog beingboring.de. It originally started as a music blog, the blog is named after its favorite song by the gay pop duo Pet Shop Boys. Meanwhile, Mario reports on his blog mainly about travel, which he undertakes together with his partner. He writes about gay-friendly hotels, vacation packages, city breaks and cruises from a gay point of view and gives tips for interesting clubs, bars and cruising areas on site.

Mario betreibt das Reiseblog beingboring.de. Ursprünglich als Musikblog gestartet, ist das Blog nach seinem Lieblingslied des schwulen Popduos Pet Shop Boys benannt. Mittlerweile berichtet Mario auf seinem Blog hauptsächlich über Reisen, die er gemeinsam mit seinem Partner unternimmt. Dabei schreibt er über schwulenfreundliche Hotels, Pauschalreisen, Städtereisen und Kreuzfahrten aus einem schwulen Blickwinkel und gibt Tipps für interessante Clubs, Bars und Cruising Areas vor Ort.

Queer Carnival in Delhi – A Celebration of LGBTQ Talent

Gaylaxy, India’s leading LGBTQ magazine, organised a Queer Carnival on 13th November in Delhi. November is the pride month in Delhi, India’s capital, and a number of pride related events are held in the month of November. The actual pride march will be held on Nov 27th.

The Queer Carnival too was part of this month long celebration of sexuality and diversity. The carnival provided a platform for people to showcase their talent. Gaylaxy has always believed in “empowering expressions” and has been doing that since the last 6 years through its online platform, where various people share their thoughts, personal stories etc. The Queer Carnival was an extension of the online to offline.

Calls for performances were given a month in advance, and we received a number of entries from various queer individuals. Entries were received for song, dance and poetry. The talent of the individuals simply stumped us!

The Carnival also had some interesting stalls for people to check out. For the first time in India, there was an Asexuality Awareness stall. There also was a stall by Kinkpin displaying some really quirky and fun products related to sexual health. Another stall by Posterwa selling feminist and queer posters. Paintings and pictures by queer artists too were on display.

Mr. Gay World India 2016 Anwesh Sahoo and Spicy Tutuboy, the artistic persona of Diniz Sanchez were the two wonderful hosts for the evening. Around 15 people performed at the carnival, including Abhina Aher – a transgender activist and founder of a transgender dancing group “Dancing Queens”. Held at Gulmohar Club, in the heart of a resident’s colony,  it was really heartening to see so many residents come to the event and express their support for the community and its people.

The Carnival not just provided a platform for people to showcase their talent, but also proved to be an important socialising space for queer individuals at a time when homosexuality remains deeply taboo in India and homosexual sex remains criminalised by law.

Some of the pictures on display at the Carnival
Some of the pictures on display at the Carnival
Spciy Tutuboy and Anwesh Sahoo (Mr. Gay World India 2016) - the two hosts of the evening
Spciy Tutuboy and Anwesh Sahoo (Mr. Gay World India 2016) – the two hosts of the evening
The Asexuality Awareness stall
The Asexuality Awareness stall
Kinkpin stall with sexual health products on display
Kinkpin stall with sexual health products on display
Mr. Gay World India 2016 singing a song
Mr. Gay World India 2016 singing a song
A painting on display
A painting on display
A dance performance
A dance performance
Poetry being recited by a young poet
Poetry being recited by a young poet
Soniya, an acid attack survivor, expressing her support for the LGBTQ community. Soniya faced acid attack in her teenage in 2000 and she remained on bed for 2.5years. When she started walking again she opened a small parlour at her home without getting any support from govt. and organization. Now it’s been 15 years of running that parlour at her home.
Soniya, an acid attack survivor, expressing her support for the LGBTQ community. Soniya faced acid attack in her teenage in 2000 and she remained on bed for 2.5years. When she started walking again she opened a small parlour at her home without getting any support from govt. and organization. Now it’s been 15 years of running that parlour at her home.
Trans activist Abheena Aher and a founding member of Dancing Queens group performing a dance
Trans activist Abheena Aher and a founding member of Dancing Queens group performing a dance
Audience at the Carnival
People enjoing the performances at the Carnival
Sukhdeep Singh

Sukhdeep Singh is the Founding Editor of Gaylaxy magazine which is India’s largest English language LGBT magazine. He grew up in Kolkata, in a Sikh family and in a liberal atmosphere. While studying in college he launched Gaylaxy magazine in 2010, which is now also available as an App. His message to the world is: “Treat everyone equally, with love and dignity.”