Author Archives: bestgaycities

Gay Puerto Vallarta Begins to Reopen!

On June 14, 2020 the official newspaper register of the State of Jalisco has published provisions for Puerto Vallarta Shopping Centers, Gyms reopen at 25% capacity and with measures of social distancing required. In this measure, The commercial shopping centers  Galerías, La Isla or Macroplaza will be allowed to open which have been closed for three months now. However, shoppers of commercial plaza will not be able to use common areas such as children’s play areas, communal dining rooms, since fast food restaurants will only be able to deliver takeout products; parking lots will only receive 25% of their capacity. Movie theaters will remain closed for now.

Also June 15, 2020 public and hotel beaches are allowed to reopen in Puerto Vallarta per the the Jalisco governor  Enrique Alfaro. He made it clear on Friday during his visit to Puerto Vallarta that hoteliers should take care of  social distancing on their beach fronts, while the city municipalities monitor that public areas are not saturated with people. Hotel pools and common areas can also be open but now are reduced to 25% of their capacity, taking care that the common areas are not saturated and urging social distancing measures.

READ MORE AT  GAY PV.com

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Covid 19 and the Gay Lesbian LGBTQ Community

As the worldwide spread of COVID-19 has spiraled into a pandemic, national health organizations are warning that some members of the LGBTQ community may be “particularly vulnerable” to the effects of the virus.

While LGBTQ individuals have not been found to be more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, some health habits within the community,including significantly higher rates of smoking than the general population, have raised concern among health professionals.

Over 100 different national organizations,including Whitman-Walker Health and SAGE, have signed a letter created by the LGBT Cancer Network to bring attention to several factors that could mean the LGBTQ community is at a greater risk of complications from COVID-19, including:

  • LGBTQ people smoke at rates 50% higher than the general population, which could be detrimental if a respiratory illness like COVID-19 is contracted.
  • Higher rates of HIV and cancer in the LGBTQ community means that a greater number of people may have compromised immune systems, which leaves them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.
  • Health care discrimination in America, including denial of care, unwelcoming attitudes and lack of understanding from staff and providers means LGBTQ people may be more reluctant to seek medical care.  (SOURCE   USA  TODAY).

POZ.COM   has  also updated  information  about HIV and the Covid 19 virus. Go to poz.com/tag/coronavirus for continuing coverage of COVID-19.

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Gay Palm Springs Winter Special

WINTER…..

     Where are  you going to be?

Our favorite place in Palm Springs has a deal you just can not refuse!

INNdulge has Luxury rooms with amenities  that include free wifi, daily continental breakfast, evening social hour, complimentary local gym access, air conditioning, on-site guest laundry, outdoor misters and assistance with restaurant and activity bookings.

 

Pool and Jacuzzi
They offer a 12 man jacuzzi and heated/chilled saltwater pool, both open 24 hours a day.

Morning breakfasts, evening social hours, Thursday pizza and weekend pool parties are the ideal way to meet new friends. INNdulge in a vacation to be remembered, an opportunity to relax, meet new friends or catch up on some rest.

book now and take advantage of the savings.
$119
WINTER SPECIAL
Now through January 31, 2019
excluding holiday weekends
Superior rooms (non pool view) start at $119 during the week (Sunday – Thursday) and weekends discounted (Friday and Saturday).

 

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Boystown Chicago Santa Speedo Run Dec 8

Who doesn’t like a guy in a speedo!   Every December, hundreds of guys gather in Boystown, in Chicago, for the Annual  Santa  Speedo Run  for  Charity.

December 7th, will be the Annual Santa Speedo Run in Boystown!

Running one mile through the heart of Boystown to raise money for Center on Halsted.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Sidetrack opens early at
12pm for Sign-in and Registration
1:50pm We sing our very own Christmas Carol, “Jingle Balls!”
2pm 1-mile run through Boystown
2:30pm Awards, Entertainment and Door Prizes with Dixie Lynn Cartwright
5-8pm After-Party! Fun and Games
Sidetrack is open until 3am Saturdays, so the party continues into the night!

All donations will benefit Center on Halsted. Our presenting sponsors this year are Miller Lite, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, & Sidetrack The Video Bar. If you can’t run, you can still HELP by SPONSORING one of our Santas online, or join us before and after the race at Sidetrack to cheer, celebrate and help raise funds for Center on Halsted.

Follow them on Facebook!

 

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LGBT Ski Trip to French Alps in 2020!

Val d’Isère is a ski resort in the French Alps, near the Italian border. With nearby Tignes, it’s part of the Espace Killy ski area. Here, ski lifts give access to sites like the steep Face de Bellevarde, a black-rated piste, and the Grande Motte glacier, known for summer ski runs. 300km of prepared pistes as well as some magnificent and easily accessible off-piste opportunities. You can tackle the iconic Face de Bellevarde  with its great views across the Alps and the village down below. In town, bars and restaurants cluster around Avenue Olympique.

Come ski with Dave, an expert travel guide, on this one-of-a-kind  LGBTQ excursion in the French Alps!

SPACE IS LIMITED!

 

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October Happenings in Gay Palm Springs


Columbus Day Weekend @ INNdulge! October 11-14, 2019

Spend your day tanning under clear blue sky’s and relaxing in 87 degrees of saltwater bliss. As the sun dips behind the San Jacinto mountains you can jump in our 12 man Jacuzzi to relax the night away.
INNdulge will host a traditional BBQ on Sunday October 13, 2019

Moderism Week “Fall Preview”
October 17-October 20,2019.
Partner organizations collaborate to produce a “mini-Modernism Week” to kick-off the active social and recreational season in Palm Springs.
Modernism Week is also a charitable organization, providing scholarships to local students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design; as well as supporting local and state preservation organizations and neighborhood groups in their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California.
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Taste of Boystown New Event in Chicago!

 

A new fall event is on the way! Taste of Boystown Restaurant Tour is a delicious evening of menu sampling, beverage tasting & local music – Tues Sept 24.

Visit 10 eateries to sample Boystown’s best dining experiences & 7 other venues to try an array of craft brews, cider, sparkling wines, small batch spirits & even Malort!

A portion of ticket sales benefits Lakeview Pantry, working to end hunger in Chicago. Read on for all the details & ticket info!

Participating Eateries & Tasting Menu*

Chicago Diner
pretzel crusted tofu sliders + german sauerkraut & house mustard on kaiser rolls, potato flautas enchiladas + salsa verde, grilled pineapple pico de galloDrew’s on Halsted
crab cake balls + chipotle mayo, butternut squash ravioli, bacon wrapped datesD.S. Tequila Company
bourbon chicken tacos + onion strings + jalapeno ranch & scallionsElevate Coffee – authentic greek spinach feta spanakopita

Fajita Factory – smoked chicken empanadas + black bean corn salsa + cheese mix & jalapenos

FFC Boystown – protein shakes & smoothies

Forever Yogurt – small frozen yogurt with any topping

Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club
tempura shrimp + sriracha mayo & sweet chili dipping sauce, chicken satay + thai peanut sauce

Lark – wood fired neopolitan pizza

Roscoe’s Tavern
r-rods fried queso blanco + wasakaka pepper sauce, mini r-burgers + bacon, lettuce, tomato, sunchoke pickle relish & cheddar mayo

Wood Chicago
grilled persian cucumbers + green goddess dressing, duck liver mousse + crushed roasted peanuts, pickled blueberries, fresh oregano, toasted baguette

Beverage Sampling

Universal Wellness Source | Virtue Cider
brut dry & michigan harvest semi dry cidersMen’s Room Chicago | Metropolitan BrewingEgoist Underwear | Journeyman Distillery
last feather rye, featherbone bourbon, corsets whips and whiskey, ocg apple cider liqueurDouble Trip Press | Dryhop Brewers
shark meets hipster wheat ipa

CrossTown Fitness | CH Distillery
ch mule, vodka, london dry gin, bourbon & jeppson’s malört

Cram Fashion | Burke Beverage
pol clement brut & brut rose, bulgariana sauvignon blanc

*details subject to change
Buy tickets at http://buytickets.at/northalsted/296613

Get Tickets
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Summer in Palm Springs – Great Deals!

Visiting Greater Palm Springs is always a good idea, especially during the summer. The warm, sunny season packs an abundant amount of fun opportunities and one-of-a-kind summertime experiences that only the oasis can offer.

From leisurely vacations to exciting cool activities throughout the region, it’s all here waiting for you! So, pack your sunscreen, sandals and bags because the oasis is bringing the heat this season – in all the best ways possible!

Read on for severn reasons to visit Greater Palm Springs this summer and get your ready for the ultimate destination escape.

1. Fewer Crowds
El Paseo Shopping DistrictThose who frequent the Coachella Valley know that visiting in the summer is the region’s best kept secret. While the months of June, July and August are considered to be a slower time of year for the region, it’s also the best time for visitors to experience the oasis with fewer crowds and less traffic. Explore nearby popular attractions without worrying about long lines or packed spaces, dine reservation-free at many local restaurants and enjoy hotel pools and amenities as much as you want during your stay, no wait times involved.

2. Great Prices
Score on sizzling deals by visiting the oasis during the summer months. Lots of local hotels and high-end resorts offer lower rates during this time of year, not to mention great discounts on golfing, dining and spa services as well.

OUR FAVORITE – INNdulge Palm Springs – with Special rates through September 15th!

INNdulge Palm Springs is a legendary award-winning gay men’s resort located in the heart of Warm Sands, one of the most popular gay areas of Palm Springs. INNdulge is rated FIVE STARS on Trip Advisor for the past five years running. Built in 1958, INNdulge is a Mid-Century jewel and is featured in the Historic Inns of Palm Springs guidebook. Twenty-four poolside rooms surround a 24-hour heated pool and 12-man Jacuzzi. CLOTHING IS FOREVER OPTIONAL! INNdulge has one of the largest pool courtyards in Palm Springs, with lush landscaping framing incredible views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Expanded continental breakfast, in-room safes, TV-DVD players with large DVD library, and property-wide wireless are all complimentary.

Come and celebrate Independence Day at INNdulge Palm Springs.
Spend your day tanning under clear blue skies and relaxing in 87 degree saltwater bliss. Enjoy the poolside views of the beautiful Palm Springs’ sunset dipping behind the San Jacinto mountains.
We will host our traditional poolside BBQ on Thursday July 4th, 2018.

3. Summer Chill Deals
Spa Treatments at Westin Mission Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & SpaNothing can really compare to the excitement Chill Deals bring during the sunny season in the oasis. Snag cool prices on even cooler activities in the region by checking out these deals on the Greater Palm Springs website. Find everything from specials on summer spa treatments at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, to behind-the-scenes summer chill tour packages at The Living Desert and unbeatable golf course offerings at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, as well as much, much more!

4. Explore New Places
Lots of exciting change has occurred in the region since last summer, which has brought many new shops, restaurants and hotels to the area recently. Plan your trip accordingly and get ready to explore new restaurants like The Pink Cabana at Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells. A beautifully-decorated space decked in Moroccan influence, the restaurant features Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner, as well as lively libations. Also new to the region is the Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar Opens a New Window. in downtown Palm Springs. This outdoor space comes complete with umbrellas and misters, making it the perfect spot for relaxing while sipping on a cocktail, meeting up with friends for a quick bite or treating yourself to organic soft-serve ice cream. While in the downtown area, take an evening stroll and check out the new stores nearby. Recently opened locations include H&M, Kiehl’s, Francesca’s and MAC Cosmetics.

5. Dine During Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week
Reservoir Palm SpringsSavor the season and get a taste of what the oasis is serving up during Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. Over 100 local Coachella Valley restaurants will participate in this year’s delicious dining event, which takes place from Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 17, 2018. Come out and grab a bite of some of the best foods the region has to offer, while also discovering unique local dishes at amazing price points. Find more information on participating restaurants and menu offerings on dineGPS.

6. Party at the Pool All Day
Whether you like to sit by the pool with a drink in hand, lounge in the water or have a poolside dance party, the summer fun does not stop in the desert. Neighborhood hotels like The Saguaro Palm Springs offers guests access to an Olympic-sized pool and two outdoor hot tubs during music-filled weekend pool parties, while the Ace Hotel and Swim Club offers guests two on-site pools for upbeat partying. Day passes for visitors are available through the front desk as well at both properties. For more laid-back vibes this season, head on over to ARRIVE for a refreshing swim or catch a movie during their Dive-in Movie Series Opens a New Window. , open to everyone 21 and over and always free of charge. Or how about making a splash during Splash House 2018 – known as the Coachella of all pool parties in the region! Happening over two weekends, June 8-10 and August 10-12, this poolside music festival will be hosted at The Renaissance, The Riviera and The Saguaro.

7. Find Your New Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
Ice Cream & Shoppe – Try out a new flavor each day you’re in the oasis by checking out the latest and greatest in ice cream parlors and sweet tooth destinations. Each location serves up unique decadent desserts and cold treats, while also providing ideal photo spaces for Instagram-worthy shots. The ever-popular Ice Cream & Shoppe is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, providing a Palm Springs-inspired gift shop and a rotating flavor list of ice cream that includes champagne sorbet, brownie sundae and a variety of vegan options. Also serving up must-try flavors and vegan indulgences is Kreem – the newest on the frozen delight scene in Palm Springs. Here, summer days consist of hand-crafted ice cream, coffee floats and an array of caffeinated drinks from Heart Coffee Roasters. Other ice cream establishments to check out include Great Shakes, Nitroinfusions and Lappert’s Ice Cream.

 

Source; Visit Greater Palm Springs

 

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WorldPride 2019 New York City

NYC Pride is proud to unveil the location and initial talent line-up of the official Opening Ceremony of WorldPride. The Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 7-10pm Ceremony will be formatted as a benefit concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Proceeds from the ticket sales to this historic concert event will support Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE – three leading organizations in the LGBTQIA+ movement based in New York City.

Prolific entertainer and internationally-recognized humanitarian, Whoopi Goldberg, will host the ceremony, featuring a growing medley of acclaimed speakers and performers. Cyndi Lauper, iconic performer for the LQBTQIA+ community and New Yorkers alike, leads the initial release of the talent line-up.

Cyndi Lauper is a groundbreaking Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning artist with global record sales in excess of 50 million. Her unmistakable voice, influential style, and infectious performances have catapulted her to stardom from her roots in Queens.

Chaka Khan, one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, will also perform at the WorldPride Opening Ceremony.

DAYA also joins the star-studded lineup for the WorldPride Opening Ceremony benefit concert.Ciara, a Grammy  Award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, model and actress has sold more than 23 million records and 16 million singles worldwide, including chart-topping hits “Goodies,” “Ride,” “Oh,” “1, 2 Step,” “Body Party,” and “I Bet.”

Billy Porter  is a Tony  and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright from Pittsburgh, PA. He currently stars as ‘Pray Tell’, in in the FX series “Pose,” for which he has received both a Golden Globe and Critics Choice nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Todrick Hall is a multi-talented singer, rapper, actor, director, choreographer, and YouTube personality who rose to prominence on American Idol.

Tickets start at $45

The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths—assisting nearly 1,800 young people per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center, which provides over 65,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered-site housing program.

SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978, and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is an organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers.

Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization, representing and advocating for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

 

June 30, 2019 as NYC Pride welcomes all to a final celebration of pride from 7-10pm in NYC’s iconic Times Square.

The evening will provide a full slate of influential speakers and global musical talents who represent the cultural diversity, tenacity, and grace of the LGBTQIA+ community. One of the renowned artists slated to perform is Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter, Melissa Etheridge.

Margaret Cho is set to host the occasion in Times Square.

Cho is a Grammy and Emmy Award nominated stand-up comedian, actress, and singer-songwriter. Through her hard work, Margaret has had the opportunity to be heard, to extend her point of view and become regarded as a true pioneer in her field.

Jake Shears and MNEK will also perform at the WorldPride Closing Ceremony.

 

THE PROM is the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine calls “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times declares a Critic’s Pick! It’s a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars, a small town, and a love that unites them all.

Deborah Cox will perform in Times Square at the WorldPride Closing Ceremony on June 30th!

Deborah Cox possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. The Canadian born star has an impressive list of #1 Billboard hit records, including twelve #1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Additional talent will be announced in the weeks ahead.

 

FREE tickets and Paid tickets HERE

 

**To remain in compliance with the City there will be an extensive bag check and no provided restrooms. Please plan accordingly. **

Prohibited Items:

Weapons of ANY kind, Fireworks/explosives, Illegal Substances, Large or hard-sided coolers, Picnic Baskets, Pets, Glass containers of any kind, Alcohol (alcohol will be sold at the Festival), Instruments, Large backpacks, Laser pointers, Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, no tripods, big zooms, or commercial use rigs), Audio/video recording equipment, Drones, No illegal vending is permitted. No unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed, nor Hoverboards.

Permitted Items:

Sunscreen, Hats, Sunglasses, Earplugs, Hilarious GIFs to send in response to your friends’ texts, Non-professional film, and digital cameras, Factory sealed bottles of water (non-glass containers), Phone charging case or phone charger, or Small backpacks or bags

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Gay Pride Amsterdam 2019 Travel Deal

What better time to be in Amsterdam than Gay Pride!

Amsterdam Pride is one of the biggest gay events in the world. You will find street parties all weekend long, the best massive circuit parties and of course the famous Canal Parade through the historic Amsterdam Unesco canals on Saturday.

Gay Pride is one of the most busy weekends of the year in Amsterdam. Book NOW – you don’t want to disappointed!

Amsterdam Gay Pride is from 27 July till 4 August 2019, with the Canal Parade and street parties taking place between 2 & 4 August.

Every year Dave from Donovan Travel puts together an awesome package! Dave will hook you up! No matter where you are traveling from, Dave will take good care of you!

Office: (401) 885-3500

Email: dave@donovantravel.com

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BEST New Years Eve RoofTops

Conde Nast CN TRAVELLER probably said it best, “It’s easy to sneer at New Year’s Eve: too expensive, too crowded, too much pressure to have the greatest night of your life. OK, you could hunker down at home – or you could make it really memorable by hitting up one of the best New Year’s Eve parties in the world. From fireworks blasting across breathtaking backdrops to raucous street parties in cool capitals and all-night raves on blissed-out beaches, there’s no shortage of amazing ways to ring in 2019.” I live in Chicago and SO MANY people go out NYE its so hard and so expensive to get a Cab or Uber or Lyft! Is it worth it? If you know where to go, it might be! What better place to see all the fireworks, than from a rooftop bar?!
The is an actual site called The RoofTop Guide! “BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH A NICE VIEW! We believe that’s how it is, that everything is better with a nice view. Therefore we have assembled this guide, a guide to the world’s best rooftop bars. To inspire and for you to, wherever you are or wherever you are going, be able to find an oasis where you can feel the breeze against your skin, sip on a drink and gaze into breathtaking views. So of course you can count on them to show us 30 Amazing and Fantastic rooftops for a NYE to remember!
From New York and Los Angels, Chicago to Sandiego, London, Dubai , Madrid – all the best rooftops are listed here with details, pricing and more info! get the complete scoop HERE.  
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Gay Friendly Arizona

Arizona’s largest city Phoenix, is home to about 1.6 million people.

Phoenix has a higher percentage of gay and lesbian residents than New York, Washington, Chicago and Silicon Valley, according to a poll by Gallup.

In the national survey, 4.1 percent of Phoenix-area residents identified themselves as gay, lesbian or transgendered.

That’s better than New York and D.C. (both 4 percent), San Diego (3.9 percent), Chicago (3.8 percent) and Silicon Valley (3.2 percent). While Maricopa County is politically conservative and has not voted for a Democrat for U.S. president since 1948, Phoenix has a sizable LGBT community, a Democratic mayor and has ordinances in place protecting gay individuals from discrimination.

Greater Phoenix’s fusion of natural splendor and metropolitan verve sets it apart from a lot of big cities—and everyone is invited to experience it. As you explore the city’s urban core, you’ll find a strong LGBT community integrated throughout the area in gay-friendly businesses, events and entertainment.

From the most sophisticated resorts to stylish boutique hotels, Greater Phoenix has plenty to offer when it comes to accommodations. View their list of TAG Approved®* hotels and resorts in Greater Phoenix or discover more places to stay.

You can plan your trip around some of Phoenix’s nationally-recognized annual LGBT events, including the Phoenix Pride Festival and the Rainbows Festival.

During the day in Phoenix, choose from outdoor activities, luxurious spa treatments, shopping at local boutiques or exploring the arts and culture of the Southwest.

At night, the city comes alive with vibrant LGBT nightlife. The Melrose District on Seventh Avenue is a hub for LGBT businesses and clubs such as the popular Charlie’s. Check out this LGBT nightlife guide from Echo Magazine to find more of the best places to dance and drink.

For more information on LGBT events and culture, visit the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Phoenix Pride. Read More about LGBT Phoenix here.

Travel to Sedona, that artsy and free-spirited enclave two hours outside Phoenix, for the beautiful red-rock canyons and the adventure that comes with them, the spiritual nature of its vortices of earth energy, and to browse through shops filled with Southwestern arts and crafts.

Recently, Sedona has developed into a full-fledged upscale vacation getaway with an especially keen following among hikers and mountain bikers, New Agers, artists, lesbians and gays. Sedona’s growth has been intense in recent years, marked by debates concerning where and how to develop the town while preserving its character and appeal. The population is nearly 11,000 and continues to rise steadily. GayTravel.com did a great article on Sedona you can see here.

While there isn’t a single activity in Sedona that wouldn’t be considered LGBTQ-friendly, there are some tours and things to do that can be tailor-made for LGBT travelers. For example, a couple may want to book a vortex tour or a spiritual counseling session with a psychic or metaphysical guide who can use Sedona’s healing energy to investigate relationship issues specific to same-sex couples. Or perhaps you would like to book a romantic couples massage therapy session at a spa that welcomes same-sex couples as well as straight couples.

For single LGBT visitors, you can find almost anything you want to do in Sedona, based on your time, interests and budget. There are opportunities to meet other travelers with similar interests if you embark on activities like wine tasting, hot air balloon tours, kayaking, fly fishing, guided hiking and mountain biking, or photography tours. And everyone can enjoy Sedona’s famous annual events like the Sedona PRIDE Festival and its seasonal events, the Sedona Film Festival, the Sedona Arts Festival, the Raw Spirit Festival, the Sedona Marathon and more.

For more on the great state of Arizona check out Pride Guide Arizona.

 

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Zakar Twins with Drag Queen Christmas Tour and More!

zakar twins book pray the gay away

I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon the Zakar Twins, but I found them on Instagram and have been a loyal follower, watching their careers soar for over 1 year now! Their best-selling book “Pray The Gay Away” came out in the Fall of 2017. That’s probably about the time I first discovered them.

These young gay models, writers, entrepreneurs, leaders in the LGBTQ+ community, and lovable goofballs Michael and Zach Zakar are known not only for their identical good looks but for trailblazing a path forward for queer people who come from Near and Middle Eastern cultures. As smart as they are funny, their memoir last year is a dual-account tragicomedy about growing up with deeply religious Iraqi immigrant parents.

“Mom knows.” A simple text that would change two twin brothers’ lives forever. Coming out is hard. The struggle is ongoing, a daily part of life whether to a new friend, a co-worker, or most importantly yourself. Pray the Gay Away chronicles Michael and Zach as they face awkward sexual encounters, drug-fueled escapades, coming out to each other, and their biggest foe – Mom, a woman who not only gave birth to what she calls one regret – but two.

The memoir hilariously and poignantly explores what it’s like growing up as gay, Iraqi twins in modern America. Pray the Gay Away was inspired the night Mom snuck into their bedroom and force fed them “holy grapes,” determined to “de-gay” them. She threw Holy Water on them as well!

The Zakar Twins are new voices speaking out against generations, particularly within the Iraqi culture, who look down on being gay. This book is not only for the LBGTQ community, but for young adults, looking to achieve normalcy.

“The book started kind of as a hateful thing. We wrote it because we were angry that our Mom reacted in such a demeaning way,” Zach said. “Then, over time, the project, it really resulted in kind of a beautiful thing. We were growing with the book, it was growing with us.”

zakar twins gay male models

 

zakar twins male models

Currently they are on tour with Drag Queen Christmas – The Naughty Tour! 37 cities now through Dec 29th! Presented by Murray & Peter. They will be heading South and West in the coming weeks. Get specific city and tour info at www.DragFans.com.

Their Mom has come a long way to acceptance and actually attended the show in Detroit! Her first drag show ever!

I am told that the producers, Murray and Peter are helping to bring their book to Off Broadway, hopefully in time for Pride 2019!

Recently the brothers relased a calendar for 2019. Defiance: taking a stance on changing the world’s conservative view on what it means to be gay in the Middle Eastern world. Shot by Dexter Brown.

“Everyone has their own unique story. Fortunately for us, we just wrote ours down,” Zach said with a laugh. “The book is done, but it’s not finished. We’re writing two more books about different things.”

 

Buy the BOOK and CALENDAR Here.

Get to know Michael and Zach with their great YouTube videos!

ZT on Instagram

ZT on Facebook

ZT on Twitter

ZT My Twin Chat App – a way to communicate with others who might be struggling with coming out or just needing someone to talk to. Many people coming out usually feel like they are the only one. So this app is a support system for those scared to talk to a stranger or a close friend.

“You cannot forget the bigger picture. It feels like life is caving in to a lot of people when it first happens. I think that’s one of the scariest things. Because all I was worried about, was when you grow up, there’s so much involved in the bigger picture,” Michael said. “That’s what I tell people, just realize there is light at the end of the tunnel even if it feels almost impossible.”

 

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Winter in Palm Springs

Escape the winter chill in this 87 degree salt water pool & 12 man hot tub.
These upcoming events and great December rates make it a wonderful time to plan your INNdulge getaway!
Book now
UPCOMING!
Desert TheatreWorks – Indio
The Sound of Music Dec. 7 – 23
All these years later, the hills are still alive with the sound of music, Maria, and the von Trapp family. Climb every mountain and discover a few of your favorite things with this stage classic.
Info and tickets at www.dtworks.org
Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus: “Men in Tights” Dec. 14-16
The PSGMC kicks off their 20th year with a spectacular holiday concert presented at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theatre.
Info and tickets: www.PSMuseum.org
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio presents
Tony Bennett
Friday, Dec. 7 at 8pm
The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert presents:
Friday, Dec. 7: The Colors of Christmas, featuring Peabo Bryson, Taylor Dayne, Jon Secada, and Deniece Williams
Saturday, Dec. 15: LeAnn Rimes: You, Me, and Christmas
Tuesday, Dec. 18: Davis Koz and Friends annual Christmas tour
Info & tickets: www.mccallumtheatre.com
Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage presents
Barry Manilow: A Very Barry Christmas
Dec. 15 & 16

Palm Springs International Film Festival

January 3, 2019 – January 14, 2019

Desert Arts Festival

January 12, 2019 – January 13, 2019

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    Tour de Palm Springs February 9, 2019

    Modernism Week 2019 February 14, 2019 – February 24, 2019

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Harvey Milk Remembered Nov 27th in San Francisco

Source   Towleroad

Gay rights icon Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone will be remembered on November 27 at 7 pm with a candlelight walk from the plaza named for Milk to City Hall, where they were assassinated by SF Supervisor Dan White 40 years ago.

The walk, which will echo the spontaneous march that took place shortly after the murders, is being organized by the Harvey Milk LBTQ Democratic Club, which writes: “In November of 1978, bookending the Thanksgiving holiday, the city of San Francisco and, it might be said, the world was changed forever. The double horror of the tragedy at Jonestown, followed by the slaying of Harvey Milk and George Moscone was a crushing trauma to the heart and soul of San Francisco, and yet in that darkness we rose together in candlelight not only to remember those we had lost but to strengthen and galvanize ourselves to give them voice to continue their fight and and vision for the future….In honour of that same eloquent response, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club invites all to join us in quiet reflection from those who knew these great advocates of social justice at Harvey Milk Plaza. Following this, we will walk in candlelight to the steps of City Hall where current community leadership will echo their vision, just as those who were there did that warm November night in 1978.

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Fogo de Chao and Awesome Wines from VIK

There is nothing better than a fantastic glass of wine with dinner!

We recently visited the Fogo de Chao (pronounced fogo-dee-shown) in River North for their announcement of a new partnership with award-winning Chilean VIK Winery. These VIK wines are only available at Fogo!

The VIK vineyard is affectionately called the “Place of Gold”, offering a variety of unequaled terroir, small microclimates, coastal breezes; giving their wines the complexity sought after to create the best wine in South America.

If you get to Chile, they have an unbelievable hotel and grounds! You can visit the vineyards, the wine spa, hotel and spectacular grounds. (photo to left).

Fogo has partnered with VIK, which is a holistic Chilean vineyard creating world class wines, to offer its award-winning and best in category wines at Fogo de Chão locations nationwide.

 

These 3 wines join the Wine List:

La Piu Belle, Red Blend, Cachapoal, Chile, 2011
Intense and well-balanced with notes of berries, wildflowers, spices and a touch of oak. Flavor of cranberries, the palate is incredibly fresh, silky smooth, with body and structure.

Milla Cala, Red Blend, Cachapoal, Chile, 2013
Incredibly vibrant red fruit aromas, elegant tannins and incredibly smooth mouth feel. Fresh spices, perfume and berry aromas accented with hints of toast and maple. In the mouth, black cherry and plum are underscored by a hint of black licorice.

VIK, Red Blend, Cachapoal, Chile, 2012
Elegant and balanced wine, dynamic with high precision of tannins and great structure that deliver an exquisite mouth feel. A mixture of aromas, including strawberry, raspberry and vanilla. Spicy and savory dark berry fruit on the tongue, tempered by an elegant structure.

 

The founders of Fogo de Chão grew up on a traditional Southern Brazilian farm in the Serra Gaucha. It is here that they learned to cook in the churrasco grilling tradition that would become the backbone of their story.

The founding brothers left the quaint, mountainous countryside of Rio Grande do Sul to Rio and São Paulo for formal churrasqueiro training, all while developing the Fogo concept. They had several resturants in brazil before coming to the US. premiere.

At the requests of loyal American guests, the Fogo concept was exported to the U.S. with a stateside debut in Dallas, Texas, in 1997. Between 1997 and 2013, this pioneering churrascaria continued its expansion in Brazil and the U.S. opening 29 new restaurants.

Just before Christmas 2013, Fogo opened a three story, 16,000 square foot flagship location in New York City. The stunning architectural design includes a seventeen foot bas-relief sculpture of Antonio Caringi’s, O Laçador, a historical monument in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The culinary team has continued the tradition of developing new menu creations rooted in the Brazilian tradition that push forward the Brazilian churrasco experience. In 2013, new seafood dishes were introduced. Later that year, the Bar Fogo concept emerged within Fogo restaurants, introducing guests to new Brazilian-inspired small plates, award-winning wines and cocktails. The culinary team is always testing and tasting new items for possible inclusion.

 

With the holidays just around the corner, consider Fogo de Chao for a group dining experience!

An elegant Brazilian dining experience presented by their helpful and knowledgeable staff will make Fogo de Chão the perfect location for your group or private dining event. Holiday parties, Corporate events, Lunch and Learn, any celebration!

 

Find a location  Worldwide, wherever your travels take you!

 

About Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, which has specialized for more than 37 years in fire-roasting high-quality meats utilizing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco. Fogo offers guests a wide variety of simply seasoned meats that are carefully fire-roasted to expose their natural flavors. The company was founded in 1979 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and expanded into the U.S. in 1997. There are currently 47 locations throughout Brazil, the United States, and Mexico, including locations in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City.

 

Additionally, Fogo offers a gourmet Market Table & Feijoada Bar, which includes seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables, feijoada (traditional black bean stew with rice, fresh orange and yuca flour), and much more. Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family-style. To further complement the dining experience, the restaurant offers an award-winning wine list, tempting dessert menu, and creative and classic cocktails. Guests can also choose between lighter seafood selections, or enjoy the gourmet Market Table only option. For more information, visit Fogo.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

For a visual representation of the story of Fogo de Chão, watch “The Gaucho Way,” a documentary-style video shot through the eyes of real Fogo de Chão Brazilian gauchos and explores the restaurant’s deep cultural roots in Southern Brazil.

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STK Steakhouse Meets Lounge

Sexy chic lounge meets modern steak house. STK.

(Chicago location  in side  photo)

The ONE Group, based in New York, has positioned STK as “women friendly,” trying to break the conception that steakhouses are only meant for men. A DJ booth brings a curated playlist to diners, creating more of a nightclub vibe, hoping diners opt to party after their meal, or even while they’re digesting their wet-aged beef. No need to bar hop, as STK’s other spots haven’t been as concerned about the menu as they are in developing a trendy, and sexy, scene to draw the clientele who would normally roll their eyes at the notion of dining at a steakhouse.

From Forbes to Zagat to Facebook, dinners are loving this place!

Locations AROUND THE WORLD!

Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Ibiza, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Milan, 3 locations  in NYC, Orlando, South Beach, Toronto, San Diego Puerto Rico, and 2 locations in Dubai!

Recently we had the chance to sample some of their new recipes from their Fall menu in Chicago, being unveiled in October. But first, we started with their Strawberry Cobbler Martini.

Fresh strawberries, Belvedere vodka and a graham cracker rim.

Another classic that I could live on is their signature tuna tartare!

Besides what they are known for we got a sampling of some excellent new dishes!

 

*NEW Roasted Root Vegetable Salad: Squash, parsnip, celery root, living water greens, brown butter vinaigrette

*NEW Roasted Slagel Chicken: Celery root purée, celery salad, jus

*NEW Roasted Rack of Lamb: Charred broccoli, huckleberry vinaigrette, black garlic jus

*NEW Grilled Branzino: Roasted thumbelina carrots, kale, carrot purée, grilled lemon

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad: Apple, cranberry, aged goat cheese, marcona almonds

Potato Bar: Creamy yukon potatoes and sweet potatoes, bacon, scallion, sour cream, cheese, marshmallows, candied pecans, short rib. TO DIE FOR!

 

How about finishing your meal with fresh warm doughnuts covered in various toppings?

Or perhaps their signature Chocolate mousse layered cake?

WHAT ABOUT BRUNCH? STK has a monthly brunch – Dare to Brunch – that features STK’s take on the traditional weekend meal. Offered on the last Sunday of each month, Dare to Brunch will be complete with a specialty STK brunch menu, mimosa stations that includes a variety of freshly squeezed juices and all-day DJ performances.

The Dare to Brunch menu favorites include Gold Leaf French Toast, Market Vegetable & Truffle Omelet, STK n’ L’eggs and more. The monthly Sunday event will offer three seatings (2PM, 4PM and 6PM).

 

Their menu features a nice variety of re-imagined classic American cuisine with signature dishes. STK defines the modern fine dining experience with incredible food, world-class service and the perfect atmosphere.

Aside from steak, signature items also include Parmesan Truffle Fries, Lil BRG’s, and sweet corn pudding. Incredible food and a wonderful hip atmosphere!

This is not your daddy’s steakhouse!

Visit  their site for all locations  and  phone numbers for reservations. 

all photo credit goes to the incomparable Matthew Mitrick of Mitrick Photography!

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Gay Palm Springs Deals

Celebrate Independence Day at INNdulge Palm Springs.
Spend your day tanning under clear blue sky’s and relaxing in 87 degrees of saltwater bliss. As the sun dips behind the San Jacinto mountains Palm Springs lights up the sky with a beautiful firework show you can view pool side.
They will host our traditional poolside BBQ on Wednesday July 4th, 2018.
BOOK IT NOW!
or maybe you can’t  make it for the  4th – but want to come another  time.  NOW  IS THE TIME  TO BOOK!
SUMMER $99 SPECIAL

Summer is back and so is our $99 Special!

Superior non-pool view rooms are $99 per night plus tax during the week (Sunday through Thursday) and weekend nights discounted (Friday and Saturday). All other rooms are discounted accordingly.

This special is available from  Now – September 15, 2018
(not available during holiday weekends or special events).

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A Travel Agent Can Save Time and Money

 

When the internet exploded, many travelers went out on their own, searching, looking for deals and bargains, booking things themselves – I never understood that. Why would I want to spend HOURS doing all the work – when a travel professional probably knows most of the answers! Plus, if you are going somewhere for the first time, it can be a daunting task to put the trip together on your own.

They know what deals are happening – they know how you can save money – there are over 100 REASONS to use a travel agent –

here are just a few…..

Convenient One-Stop Shopping
Travel agents can handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging,
ground transportation, activities, tours and more.

Consumer Advocate
If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper restitution’s are made.

Expert Guidance
Travel agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and
in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed
were possible.

Save Time
Avoid the headaches and let the travel agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary.

Choice
Travel agents offer you an array of options and price quotes from a variety of
travel suppliers, giving you the upper hand when making your final
travel decisions.

 

Less Stress
Planning a trip can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about.
Travel agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you.

Updated Information
Travel agents are constantly communicating with the travel community, thus
giving you the most up to date info on airlines, hotels, car rental
agencies, travel visas, and other travel services to consider as you
plan your trip.

Customer Service
Travel agents offer that “personal touch” to your travel planning experience-
Offering help and advice that a website cannot provide.

Travel Expertise
Many travel agents are considered experts in the area you are traveling to and have probably
already been to your chosen destination.

Best Value for Your Money Spent
Travel agents can help you to make your dollars go farther while you are
away. They have access to finding all sorts of deals ranging from
flights to hotels to dinner recommendations.

Location, Location, Location!!!!
Travel Specialists can help you to find a place to stay pretty much anywhere
you desire. If it’s a hotel with a view of the ocean in Hawaii or a
jungle hut in the Nilgiri foothills, a travel agent can help you make it
happen.

Knowledge of All the Ins and Outs
Travel specialists can help bring you up to speed on the local laws and regulations of wherever your travels take you.

Avoid International Flight Confusion
Travel specialists can help organize those confusing international flights that internet search engines don’t cover.

Personalized Trips
A travel agent can prepare you a personalized trip based on where you want to go and what you want to do.

Where to Go to Avoid Kids
Want to go somewhere without children running all over the place? A travel
agent can help you to find excellent retreats that are open to adults
only.

 

Local Traditions
Travel specialists can update you on all local traditions and customs of
places you are visiting, so you make a good impression. For example, in
Japan many people expect their visitors to take their shoes off before
entering their homes.

Complicated Itineraries Made Simple
Travel experts can take care of all the details for those complicated around
the world itineraries and all the extra headaches that go with them,
such as hotel and transportation along the way.

 

Special Deals Worked Out in Advance – Travel
agents may have a relationship with certain tour operators and could be
able to get you a special price that might not otherwise be available.

Difference in Days to Save Money
Instead of playing around with dates on the internet for hours, your travel
agent can advise you on any changes to your travel dates that might save
you hundreds of dollars.

Staying In-the-Know of Daily Promotions
Travel agents get emails and faxes of daily money saving promotions.

 

They Are Considered Travel Experts and Specialists – Wouldn’t you rather have a travel expert plan your trip rather than a pre-programmed website?

It just Makes Sense to Use a Travel Agent.
They’re Out There… Use Them
Why do the work if someone else like a travel specialist can.

Travel Agents Must Be Doing Something Right. They Sure Have a lot of Business

Travel agents still sell 51 percent of all airline tickets, 87 percent of all
cruises, 81 percent of all tours and packages, 45 percent of all car
rentals and about 47 percent of all hotels.

It Makes Traveling Easy
Once you find a good travel agent, your dream vacation is just a phone call away.

We highly recommend Dave at Donovan Travel!

 

Donovan Travel
Let Dave help YOU with YOUR next Trip!
1-800-252-2660   E-MAIL THEM

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MUST SEE THINGS in Mexico

You say you have been to Mexico?   Have you REALLY  seen this amazing country??

Pictured above – Hierve el Agua (Spanish for “the water boils”)   OAXACA, is a set of natural rock formations in the Mexican state of Oaxaca that resemble cascades of water. The site is located about 70 km east of Oaxaca city, past Mitla, in the municipality of San Lorenzo Albarradas, with a narrow, winding unpaved road leading to the site.The site consists of two rock shelves or cliffs which rise between fifty and ninety metres from the valley below, from which extend nearly white rock formations which look like waterfalls. These formations are created by fresh water springs, whose water is over-saturated with calcium carbonate and other minerals. As the water scurries over the cliffs, the excess minerals are deposited, much in the same manner that stalactites and iron can also be found and determines the color of a particular stalactite. The calcium carbonate in the water is due to rainwater which passes underground. First it absorbs carbon dioxide, and forms molecules of carbonic acid. This acid comes into contact with underground marble and partially dissolves creating calcium bicarbonate. When the water runs above ground, the excess minerals fall out.

Oaxaca City is THE premier place in Mexico to do away with your diet. Sink your teeth into crispy grilled tlayudas filled with chicken tinga. Savor huitlacoche quesadillas. Indulge in one of the many varieties of molé. Crunch into something weird, like grasshoppers sautéed in chili and garlic, or suck down a cow’s head taco. Go high brow at the elegant Casa Oaxaca, or go cheap at the local market, Mercado 20 de Noviembre, or the innumerable street carts and hole-in-the-wall taquerias. Chase it all down with a small-batch mezcal. And if you have the incomprehensible urge to do something, oof, active, pay a visit to the nearby Zapotec archaeological site, Monte Albán.

Mexico is full of towering peaks, jewel-colored lakes, and sprawling jungles. It has a “Grand Canyon” even deeper than ours. It has 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 100 Magic Towns — a meaningful distinction given to villages that still embody the spirit of traditional Mexico. It has blissfully low-key beaches where time slows to a crawl, and vivacious, thrumming cities where world-class art and dining are yours to consume at a stupid-generous exchange rate.

Eat shark meat in Campeche City

The capital of Campeche is one of the most visually stunning colonial cities in Mexico, with a brightly colored historic center overlooking the Gulf from its long, meandering malecon. It’s also, admittedly, a sleepy kind of place, so you’ll certainly be catching an early bedtime after you chow down on local eats. A delicacy in Campeche is pan de cazón, meaning bread of small shark. This local dish is prepared lasagna-style with layers of tortillas stuffed with shark meat, black beans, and bathed in a spicy tomato sauce.

Within the western states of Jalisco and Nayarit, this bay is bound to the north by Punta Mita and to the south by Cabo Corrientes. It’s one of the largest bays in the world, its most popular port being Puerto Vallarta. That hushed moment when the sun sinks below the horizon paints the sky over Puerto Vallarta brilliant shades of blood orange. When the show’s over, nab a bar stool at El Solar for a shot of tequila and a plate of shrimp al pastor tacos. There’s no better place in the world to call it a day.

Writer/Blogger Meagan Drillinger wrote a great piece  about  20 amazing things to see/do in Mexico before you die!  Above  are just some highlights.  Read the whole article here. 

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