Seems like everyone I know around the world suddenly started talking about gay rights this week. Obviously the big SCOTUS cases in Washington, DC were a big impetus. Marriage equality in California and the Defense of Marriage Act were on the docket and the Human Rights Campaign among other equal-rights organizations successfully managed to draw international attention to the issue.
Much has been said about those little red squares that popped up in social media this week. Things got pretty creative. I was especially floored away by the support of friends and family who haven’t usually done something so public before to show support for gay rights. I have a lot of friends with a lot of different backgrounds, but to see so many come together behind some silly little meme with a political goal, was actually very inspiring! Now it’d be awesome if everyone donated a bit to the cause! There are so many local, national and international organizations that are struggling to make equality a reality for so many people.Gay rights panel discussion in Berlin
Gay rights panel discussion in Berlin
By chance this week, expat magazine Exberliner hosted a small panel discussion about gay rights in Europe and in America. The event came off the heels of their March cover story, Gay marriage: Still over the rainbow. The article follows the recent history and developments regarding gay marriage and adoption here in Germany, but also touches on gay rights abroad (in the UK and America). Though Germany is a fairly progressive nation, same-sex marriage is still not legal and instead civil partnerships are allowed. The country, unlike America, does actually allow for same-sex couples to immigrate to Germany, though, which is an incredibly important issue for bi-national couples.
There’s a lot going on in America. — David Knutson
The panel discussion was moderated by Exberliner‘s editor-in-chief Nadja Vancauwenberghe (and token heterosexual female at the event). The speakers were all on the pro-gay rights side, because, apparently, Exberliner couldn’t find anyone willing to participate on the side against gay marriage. Christian Mentz (an editor for Berlin’s queer magazine), Mads Ananda Lodahl (a Danish queer activist) and David Knutson (chair of USA Democrats Abroad Berlin) were the panelists.
Much of the event focused on the recent developments in America, but also talk about gay adoption in Europe (which is seemingly much more contentious than in America). The recent protests in France also came up as well as race and the similarities to the civil rights movement of the 60s with today’s gay rights movement. The event was interesting, not particularly enlightening.
Gay travel stories from around the web
Gay travel seems to be a hot topic at the moment. Maybe it’s because the summer travel season is about to start, some of the world’s biggest pride events are coming up or because gay rights have been in the news. Here were a few gay travel stories I stumbled on across the interwebs—all worth reading and sharing even if you’re hetero.
- Gay Backpacking: Out of the Closet or In?
The married couple behind Two Bad Tourists share their experiences traveling and when & where they traveled in & out of the closet.
- Visiting the Westboro Baptist Church and the Rainbow House across the street
Scott, the Quirky Travel Guy, always finds the most interesting sights in America. This week he went to the Rainbow House in Kansas which made big news recently.
- The Travel Closet
Talon from 1 Dad, 1 Kid shared his very personal story about coming to terms with his sexuality and how he decides to come out when living abroad.
- Gay Answers to Passover
It’s Holy Week for Easter & Passover now so I found this piece from HuffPost Gay Voices to be amusing.
- The Time I Accidentally Paid for Sex
Robert from Leave Your Daily Hell shares an accidental story from Cartegna, Colombia.
Over on my gay travel blog which features stories from other gay backpackers & travelers (not just myself), there are stories about Hamburg’s gay nightlife, tips for traveling with your partner and acknowledgment about Expedia’s continued support for marriage equality.
Be sure to follow My Gay Travel Guide on Facebook for even more gay travel stories.
Thanks for the mention, Adam!
No problem Talon. I was very interested to read your take on the “travel closet” – thanks for being so open!
A nice post to wrap up the gayest week ever :) I spent the other night listening to the Supreme Court trial on CSPAN in my hotel room, which would never normally happen. This was clearly not just another typical week!
Yep- without a doubt it was a super gay week!
[…] Visit Berlin seems to have caught onto the city’s special appeal and has launched a new “Pink Pillow Berlin Collection.” The initiative isn’t just about finding and recommending gay-friendly hotels, but also takes an active role in making sure members participate in social LGBT projects. The city’s long history with gay rights (Berlin was once a safe haven for gays & lesbians in the 1920s) has certainly influenced Berlin’s reputation as a gay hotspot today. Last year, Europe’s first residence for multigenerational LGBT residents opened in Berlin and the diverse population in Berlin is regularly pushing the boundaries on sexuality and equality. Just last week I attended a panel discussion in Berlin about Germany’s gay rights (read that story here). […]
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