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Top 7 Gay-Friendly Vacation Hot Spots on Earth

Want to go to gay-friendly places but not sure where? Worried about being harassed while traveling? This list of destinations has got you covered! By Nina Rizon

Top 7 Gay-Friendly Vacation Hot Spots on Earth

Being gay should never be a reason not to travel. In fact, the whole “gay travel” thing should not exist in the first place. Have you ever wondered why there is no such articles as “hetero friendly countries” or “Top 10 hetero cities in 2014?” Of course not, because there is no need to write and Google such content at all.

Sexuality per se is not supposed to affect anyone’s travel decisions. Ideally, no list like this is needed to be published, should there be a need for someone who is gay to travel anywhere. At best, gays just want to explore tourist spots like anyone else, go to places anywhere in the globe and enjoy without fear of harassment. Sadly, we are not in the ideal stage yet, not even close.

This boils down to the fact that everybody deserves to see and experience the best the world has to offer. Unfortunately, not all travel destinations are accepting and liberal to LGBT travellers. But with growing awareness and equality movements throughout the years, more and more nations open its gates to LGBT tourists and emigrants.

Which places are friendly towards LGBT travellers?

Here are some of the places, in no particular order, that you may consider visiting whenever you feel the wanderlust setting in.

#1 Provincetown, Massachusetts. Provincetown, also known as “P-TOWN,” is a small community at the very end of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. P-town is a historic little coast that has been an ultimate vacation destination for LGBT of all kinds. Aside from being a party town, it is also a famous place for artists, musicians, performers and writers.

The town attracts countless tourists all year round because of its unique and welcoming beauty, noticeable rainbow banners everywhere, fun and eclectic LGBT events, magnificent blue waters and sandy beaches. It is definitely a place worth visiting, a sanctuary where one can feel at home and accepted, and where most people, if not all, are presumed gay. Here, gay is the norm and never the exception. [Read: 15 tips for hooking up on your vacation]

POP: Same sex marriage legal since 2004.

#2 Berlin, Germany. Berlin is the gay capital of Germany. For some, it is the newest ultimate gay Mecca of Europe. In fact, in several publications, it has been referred to as one of the most gay-accepting cities in the world. But the LGBT scene in Berlin is more than just indulgence in bars, parties and other forms of nightlife. It is a city with rooted liberalism towards the LGBT community.

For instance, it is one, if not the only, European capital with a gay museum, a monument for gay victims of the Holocaust, innumerable gay-owned accommodations and business establishments, not to mention, a lesbian Mayor. The latter coined the phrase, “Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so,” which means “I am gay, and that’s a good thing.”

Berlin is also the home of the most awaited back-to-back Berlin Gay Pride events such as Christopher Street Day and Gay Lesbian Street Fair that draws more than 500,000 people every June. People from all walks of life, gay or not, come together to celebrate and to show their common desire en route for wider equality for members of the LGBT community.

FLOP: Ironically, although the entire German population is very open-minded and the politicians are very supportive, it remains a mystery why same sex union is still not legal in Germany.

#3 Copenhagen, Denmark. In October 2014, Lonely Planet, a highly acclaimed travel publication, unveiled its annual top ten list of gay friendly destinations all over the world, and they crowned Copenhagen, Denmark as this year’s list topper. Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest city and is the host of the anticipated Copenhagen Gay Pride. In 2009, Copenhagen also successfully hosted the World Outgames.

What is special about this adorable haven is that you can walk hand in hand with your partner or share a kiss anytime anywhere, and people won’t really care or give you a second look. The only problem with visiting Copenhagen is that it makes you consider the thought of moving in and living the Danish fairytale forever!

LGBT equality here is so strong and is long imprinted in the city’s origin. According to its official website, Denmark was the first country to recognized same-sex partnership in 1989. It is also legal in this city for registered gay couples to adopt children, and to be married at church and at city hall. Indeed, the city is a wonderful playground for both gay Danes and tourists.

POP: Copenhagen is home of Centralhjornet, one of Europe’s oldest gay bar, established in 1917. [Read: 10 naughty drinking games to try on your holiday]

#4 San Francisco, California. In 2012, the city was once named as the most gay-friendly place on earth by the Lonely Planet. This is no surprise at all, because up until today EVERYONE is welcome in San Francisco. The LGBT community comprises almost a quarter of its population.

Truly, LGBT presence is conspicuous and vibrant. Establishments adorned with pride flags is a testament to this. Every June, San Francisco rocks the city with music, colors and non-stop street parties during its pride week. Along with the Pride Parade is the renowned Queer Film Festival, the city’s largest tourist draw card!

POP: The rainbow or pride flag was first designed in San Francisco in 1978 by Gilbert Baker.

#5 Syndey, Australia. Had there been a law allowing same-sex marriage in Australia, it would have been a perfect gay travel destination. Nevertheless, this country still has a momentous LGBT community, especially in Sydney, being the gay capital of the land down under. You can simply take a walk down Oxford Street and you will instantly realize that rainbow is everyone’s favorite color.

Aside from Sydney’s summer weather, astounding water sports and lovely beaches, it is also popular for its annual Mardi Gras party held every March. Mardi Gras is one of the largest and gayest festivals ever organized. Apart from being a street gala, it is also the Aussies’ way of showing recognition and approval for diversity and distinctiveness. I believe every gay travelling soul should experience Australia’s Mardi Gras at least once!

POP: Planet Dwellers, the largest tour operator for the gay and lesbian traveler, is located and operates in Australia.

#6 Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam is another attractive city in Europe for gay visitors. This isn’t a surprise as most of the “Amsterdammers” are tolerant and comfortable with the growing LGBT existence. There are certain claims that Amsterdam is the genesis of gay rights and equality movements. True enough, Amsterdam has a long line of significant milestones towards equality and acceptance. Among these key milestones include the Homomonument, the annual Gay Boat Parade and the birth of Community Organization.

Amsterdam is beyond doubt a friendly city for gays, half-gays and non-gays alike. The locals are bubbly, hospitable and smart. Nobody cares about anyone’s sexuality. You can be whoever you want to be without causing any trouble! It is an awesomely fun city that knows how to live and let live a good life.

POP: The first actual same sex marriage ceremony took place in Netherlands back in 2001.

#7 NYC, U.S.A. A city that never sleeps is a pretty good place both for the out and proud, and for those who are secretly gay. The city is culturally advanced, very liberal and modern, which means being gay is a non issue. The gay community is spread out over Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn and other parts of Manhattan among other places.

There are also plenty of museums, galleries, restaurants, shops and accommodations where you can be what you like, when you like. In a nutshell, New York is home to millions of people, each living a big city life with less attitude, and who hardly think about anyone’s sexual orientation. With all these, there’s no reason to hesitate having a gay-cation in The Big Apple! [Read: A vacation turned accidental threesome story]

POP: The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in New York City was the oldest gay bookstore in the world. It was founded in 1967 by Craig Rodwell. Sadly, the bookstore closed down in 1999 due to financial woes.

Special mention: Places like Tel Aviv in Israel and Cape Town in South Africa are also noteworthy gay-friendly destinations you can put on your list.

Anywhere can be a stunning place to be gay as long as you can find love, friendship and acceptance wherever you may be. Plus, it doesn’t matter where you want to travel, as you can always be safe as long as you take the proper precautions and respect for other cultures. This is, of course, subject to certain exceptions where homosexuality and same-sex acts are considered a crime like Uganda, Ghana or Nigeria, unless you want to pretend you’re siblings with your partner!

[Read: 10 easy ways to find a holiday hookup]

So, what are you waiting for? Stop resisting your wanderlust tendencies because there is so much to see! It is high time to pack your pink bags and take it to the road. Just don’t forget to tell us which among these places you have been or where you are headed! Bon voyage!

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Nina Rizon
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