After years of traveling to the England, I’ve finally got the chance to explore a city beyond London, and I decided to make it Manchester for its annual Pride weekend (known as The Big Weekend – and boy was it a big one!). Unsure what to expect when I arrived, I boarded my train from London after spending a week there (more to come on that), and arrived into the Manchester Piccadilly station. I followed the gaggle of gays that were on my two-hour train ride to make sure I was headed out the right direction, and my instinct proved me right. I was literally welcomed by a sea of rainbows flags at the station and in the city center.
A short walk down from the station (and really close to the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre), was one of the entrances to the four-day Pride festival at the famous Canal Street (the heart of the gay village in the city). The Village is both party central for the festival weekend (and year-round for the community). Hundreds of the LGBT community were outside celebrating almost nonstop all weekend long. Check out photos from the festival below, as well as the parade (which had 150 participating in the parade and thousands of spectators):
Another summer of LGBT Pride is coming up, and in case you’re still deciding on a Pride event to check out or a new one to experience, hopefully this little calendar can help you plan where to go and what to see the rest of this year:
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With the U.S. Supreme Court’s historical ruling last week for nationwide marriage equality, San Francisco was elevated with joy and emotion during the city’s 45th annual Pride parade. It was a weekend of celebrations throughout the city, with over a million people taking part in the Pride Parade.
Among the supporters and sponsors of San Fran Pride this year was Airbnb, which helped lead the Pride Parade this year with a cheeky house float that had the openly gay rapper Le1f on it with his crew and over 500 employees, hosts and guests marching, dancing and twerking along the route.
Find more photos below of SF Pride moments from the Pride Parade, Pride Festival, Dolores Park and The Castro:
On June 12th during Tel Aviv Pride 2015, the Pride Parade took place and brought together 180,000 locals and visitors to participate, march, dance and celebrate the community in support of all LGBT people with the theme of “Tel Aviv Loves All Genders.”
There really is no major international city like Tel Aviv for the LGBT community, which is saying a lot from someone who’s been to several different gay metropolises. Just getting back from an amazing trip to Israel for Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2015, I got to see LGBT life in the “city that never stops” during the largest Pride celebration in Asia.
The Israeli city was (and probably still is) covered with rainbow flags and banners in support for the community for the 17th edition of TLV Pride. You’d think any place can easily just put up these signs of being an ally in order to attract travelers, but the city municipality (which fully hosts and sponsors TLV Pride) makes sure the establishments that do so during Pride are year-long supporters of the community. That’s just one example of how Tel Avivians are supportive of the community, which has no need for a gayborhood as the whole city is like a big one.
More details and photos below: Read the rest of this entry
Las Vegas has grown to be a favorite of mine over the last couple of years since it offers so much and has become a top gay destination over the years. Its annual Pride is happening this week, and below see different events to choose from each day if you plan on being in Sin City this week or take a last minute getaway: Read the rest of this entry
If you’re visiting New York this Pride week, or thinking of making a last minute trip, here’s what you should check out:
The official kick-off for the weekend is the NYC Pride Rally, which is in its second year and will be at Pier 26 in Tribeca. Rupaul’s Drag Race alum Michelle Visage will host, with a performance with fellow Drag Race star, Sharon Needles, and Australian pop singer Betty Who. Free to the public, starts at 6:30 p.m.
BoiParty’s Penthaus Pride Mega Kick-Off Party (above) will take place at the Copacabana Rooftop. The weekly party has become one of the largest gay Thursday night parties since it started up last year. Hosted by boys from CockyBoys, with DJs Ray Isaac (London), Johnny Dynell (New York), and Philippe Lemot (Germany). $10 cover at the door, no cover with table reservation (which is free to do, with bottles starting at $100). Read the rest of this entry
Recently down in Curacao for South Caribbean Pride, it felt like no better time for a grooming essentials post on what you’ll need to be ready for summer, and also for what to bring if you’re planning a trip around any pride events or day/pool parties:
- Trim – Have a travel friendly trimmer with you for any rogue hairs. The Micro Touch Max Personal Hair Trimmer is an inexpensive trimmer that can take care of any unwanted facial, eyebrow, body or nose hairs, and has a built in light if needed. ($15)
- Be Fresh – ManCave Natural Grooming’s Deodorant is an eco-friendly, aluminum-free liquid deodorant that is easily applied and controlled by an on/off switch and will keep you fresh for a full day. ($13)
- Treat Yo Self – Feel good and get some lovely skin to turn heads with GlamGlow’s ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment. Use overnight or just 20 minutes during the day, the hydration mask mositurizes and replenishes your skin, and leaves you with a silky, reenergized feeling. ($69)
- To Keep The Hair In Check – Star Wax Premium Pomade in Clay uses a blend of jojoba, borage, primrose and Dead Sea mud for a strong hold with a matte finish that is easy to rinse off when your day/night is done. ($40)
- For The Sun – Epicuren’s Zinc Oxide Perfecting Sunscreen helps fight off sunburn and sun poisoning with it is SPF 27 level and zinc oxide property. It’s also fragrance free, leaving you to add a nice scent. ($50)
- A Sexy Scent – Top it all off with a scent others will love. Giorgio Armani’s Armani Code brought me complements from all over with its combo of bergamot and lemon with hints of orange tree blossom, warmed wood and tonka bean. ($65)
The Dutch island of Curacao is one of the most gay-friendly escapes in all of the Caribbean, and that’s not just because of the colorful architecture that’s all over the island. Though there’s only one gay bar on the island, G-Lounge in the popular neighborhood of Punda in Willemstad, that doesn’t stop the community from having a good time, as they can be found through all the clubs and bars in Curacao. The island even now has two pride events, which the gay-friendly and gay managed Floris Sutie Hotel in the Otra Banda neighborhood recently hosted both. The former Get Wet weekend has transformed to Curacao Pride in September, while a new Pride week event just debuted.
This past week, from April 30th to May 4th, the Floris, Pink House (a local LGBT organization) and other members of the community on the island held the first South Caribbean Pride, which brought visitors from all over the Caribbean, the Netherlands, South America, Canada and the U.S. I attend all the events as I was visiting to work on a story for Passport Magazine, and the first night featured a welcome party at the Floris, which got an extra rainbow makeover (though they do have one rainbow flag out everyday in their front gates).
A drag cabaret dinner went down the next night, with local drag queens and others from New York and Florida performed favorite American and Latin hits (plus a French number thrown in). Other drag queens were walking around serving face and a delicious, artistically presented meal.
In celebration of same-sex marriage becoming legal in England and Wales over the weekend, VisitBritain is hosting a contest to attend Britain Pride events across the country.
Enter here once until April 30th for a chance to win a trip to either Brighton, Cardiff, Manchester or Birmingham for pride events in 2014 or 2015, depending on which is won. Prizes include round trip flights with Virgin Atlantic (with connections with Delta if needed), pride tickets and three night stays in either at the Grove, Wales, from Further Afield, Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester or the Staying Cool Apartments, Birmingham. Good luck!