There's nothing like the feeling of stepping off a plane after having traveled from some godforsaken winter tundra gripped by the polar vortex into the warm, tropical air of Miami.r
If you've been coming to South Beach for more than two decades, from the time it first exploded with nightclubs like Paragon, Warsaw, Amnesia, and Salvation, you'll realize that South Beach and Miami, while they may not be the wild gay nightlife arenas they once were, appear to be maturing culturally, with new cultural venues and neighborhoods. South Beach, known for its art deco architecture, is seeing a boom in restoration projects. North Miami Beach is seeing a huge surge in growth. There is still nightlife, but it's broadening. And there is so much more.r
Since many of you — our Towleroad readers — live in Miami full time, or part time, or visit on a frequent basis, we surveyed you and examined dozens of replies in which you told us your favorite restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels, beaches, and cultural destinations and compiled them into this ultimate guide to what's happening right now. We've also made a few tweaks of our own based on our last few visits. Thanks to all who participated!r
We've taken what you told us and created a snapshot which should be useful if you're heading to Miami this week for the Winter Party Festival (today through the 9th) or any time in the near future. We'll be adding to this and we hope that you'll chime in and offer more useful advice in the comments.r
If you're thinking of planning a trip, consider coming during one of these annual events our readers say are not to be missed.r
The annual Winter Party begins this week in South Beach but there are many other events not to be missed throughout the year including Miami Beach Gay Pride (April 10-12 - Mario Lopez is the parade's grand marshal), Miami International Film Festival (March 6-15), The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (April 24th - May 3), Calle Ocho Festival (March 15), Winter Music Conference (March 24-28), Ultra Music Festival (March 27, 28, 29), White Party Week (November 26-30), Art Basel (December 3-6), South Beach Food & Wine Festival (February 25-28, 2016), Coconut Grove Arts Festival (next February), the Miami International Boat Show (February 11-15, 2016), or New Year's Eve week (for fireworks on the beach, photo).r
So, let's see what's up for gay travelers in Miami.r
Click here for 33 Places to Eat in Miami Right now....r
And here's our first of many tips from readers:r
"You do not need a car to drive around South Beach, as there is a LOCAL 25 cent bus whose route goes around the perimeter. If we do not take this LOCAL bus, most of us avoid taxis and use Uber to get to our destination. Half the price of taxis, pleasant drivers, and they show up in 3-4 minutes after one calls them on a smart phone."r
(inset beach photo David Jarrett)r
Director: Daniel McIntyre
Cast: Daniel McIntyre
Canada | 2013 | 8 min
A common obsession, the quest for happiness dictates the shape of many lives in the world. some find religion, some seek love, but all are searching to be happy. a direct result of attending too many weddings, happy explores the intersection of happiness, apostasy, and love. a journey through hand-processed 16mm memories, happy begins with a kiss and ends in “god’s love”.
Hillary broke an emailing rule, so Republicans think that's gonna disqualify her?
Lambda Literary Award nominees announced.
Anna Allen is shameless and not very talented.
Hey, Lance Black, your pal Ken Mehlman is still an anti-gay gay.
Obamacare is in danger. Again.
Ben Carson thinks gayness is the same as prison rape.
Kate McKinnon & Chris Hemsworth are the new Hope & Lamour.
More on why Chelsea is a thing of the past.
50 weird facts about gay history.
Shirtless, reasonably hunky Justin Bieber parodies Justin Bieber.
Hour-long Madonna mega-mix!
Koch Brothers vs. Everglades.
Leonard DiCaprio's got a beard.
Russell Tovey's sarcastic apology.
Slow-mo nude run (Work Unfriendly) is mesmerizing.
The Justice Department didn't find evidence to charge Officer Darren Wilson with civil rights violations in the death of Michael Brown. Wilson has said he feared for his life.
It did, however, release a scathing report that paints a picture of a racial powder keg created by the Ferguson police department. #yeahnokidding
Straight guy tries a butt toy for the very first time. Things get a little sticky!
A new video from the Ad Council titled "Love Has No Labels" has racked up over 1.5 million views on YouTube since it was posted a mere 24 hours ago. The video, intended to show that love is love regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, or race, shows people dancing, hugging and kissing behind a giant X-ray. On the X-ray, each of the individuals looks nearly identical. And thus the point is made: love always looks the same. It's something so inherent to all humans it's as if it's in our bones.r
While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. This may be a significant reason many people in the U.S. report they feel discriminated against. Subconscious prejudice—called “implicit bias”—has profound implications for how we view and interact with others who are different from us. It can hinder a person’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment, or get a fair trial, perpetuating disparities in American society. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues. Rethink your bias at lovehasnolabels.com.r
Watch the inspiring and touching video (which is set to Macklemore's "Same Love"), AFTER THE JUMP...r
Political drama heats up in West Hollywood. And yes, Grindr's involved.r
There's now a gay erotic novel about "the dress" from the author who wrote gay erotic fiction about T-Rexes.r
The Bank of Canada says that "Spocking" your bank notes is not illegal.r
Can you guess which popular children's movie Jamal from Empire was in as a kid?r
Mobile County, Alabama will now not allow gay or straight couples to get married.r
Speaking of Alabama, following the state's Supreme Court ruling yesterday same-sex marriage has halted state-wide.r
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress yesterday. Considered a slap in the face to President Obama by some, Sarah Palin not surprisingly has a plan to use it to raise campaign money.r
Did Homer Simpson solve the Higgs Boson years before scientists did? "The physicist/ author Dr. Simon Singh told the Independent he saw the solution for Higgs Boson a.k.a. 'God particle' mass on a blackboard in the 1998 episode 'The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace.' In it Homer tries to emulate Thomas Edison and becomes an inventor. Singh said, 'If you work it [the equation] out you get the mass of a Higgs boson that's only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is.'"r
Psychology Today will no longer accept paid advertisements from practitioners of ex-gay, conversion or reparative therapy.r
Reuters on opposition to the newly passed marriage equality legislation in Slovenia: "Two center-right opposition parties and several civic groups fiercely opposed the changes, particularly giving same-sex couples the right to adopt children. The Civil Initiative for Family and Children's Rights, which opposes the changes, said on Wednesday it would push for a referendum on the law, which is similar to one rejected by Slovenians in a popular vote in 2012. It is unlikely to succeed because Slovenia changed its referendum legislation in 2013 and no longer allows plebiscites on human rights issues."r
Prince was a baller in Jr. High.r
Media campaign to fight anti-LGBT discrimination kicks off in Texas with former George W. Bush advisor at the helm.r
Adam Lambert is OUT's most eligible bachelor.r
Luke Evans will play Gaston in upcoming live action Beauty and the Beast opposite Emma Watson.r
Hillary Clinton apparently used her own internet server in addition to her own email account while at State.
The Human Rights Campaign today announced its support for a proposed non-discrimination bill in Utah that would extend employment and housing discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity today. HRC President Chad Griffin is pleased with the support behind the bill, including backing from the Mormon Church.r
"This is an extraordinary moment for the state of Utah, for LGBT Americans, and for the Mormon Church, which, by supporting this legislation, shows a willingness to align with others on the right side of history. The desire exhibited by the Mormon Church to work toward common ground should serve as a model for other faith traditions here in the United States."r
The bill, S.B. 296, is headed to its first hearing tomorrow and contains three consequential provisions. In short, the bill states employers, landlords and property owners are prohibited from denying jobs and housing based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and no religious exemptions from non-discrimination provisions will be permitted for individuals or for-profit businesses. Should Utah legislators approve the measure, the state would join 21 other states that have explicit non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, and 18 other states that have explicit gender identity protections. HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow hopes Utah legislators move quickly on the matter.r
"This is a very encouraging step for all of us committed to equality. With just a short time remaining in the state legislative session, we hope for quick and positive action on this important measure."r
The HRC had spurned a previously proposed non-discrimination initiative that was supported by Mormon leaders. Many critics, including the HRC, found the proposed initiative's more robust exemptions for religious organizations unacceptable.
THERE IS MORE, CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE POST
The final two virus strains thought to have made the cross-species jump from simians to humans and ultimately developed into HIV-1 have finally been identified. In order to understand the significance of the discovery, it’s important to understand where these two particular strains fall within HIV’s larger virological family tree.r
Eight of the most broadly recognized strains of HIV are classified as HIV-2 and are commonly coded A-H. These various strains each sprung from individual human exposures to different strains of SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) found in the sooty mangabey. As Robbie Gonzalez points out for io9, while there are many different strains of HIV-2, the virus is not commonly observed outside of West African countries and is markedly less virulent than HIV-1.r
HIV-1, on the other hand, is far more common globally due to higher virulence and a larger volume of different mutations. Some of the variants like CRF19, an M-class strain, have proven themselves to be markedly more effective at infecting individuals at an accelerated rate. Unlike HIV-2 strains the M and N classes of HIV-1 are thought to have originated from human to chimpanzee contact in areas where the animals are sometimes hunted for consumption. The origin of the O and P classes, however, had proven much more difficult to trace back.r
According to a study covered in the most recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from the French University of Montpellier have positively identified a link between the O and P classes of HIV and a form of SIV found in gorillas.r
“Two fully sequenced gorilla viruses from southwestern Cameroon were very closely related to, and likely represent the source population of, HIV-1 group P,” the study’s abstract explains. “Most of the genome of a third SIVgor strain, from central Cameroon, was very closely related to HIV-1 group O, again pointing to gorillas as the immediate source.”r
Pinpointing the organisms in which these two variants of HIV originated, explains the study’s lead virologist Martine Peeters, has allowed her team to more wholly understand the ways in which different HIV strains have had such different evolutionary paths.r
In an interview with The New York Times Peeters lays out her team’s theory that gorilla-sourced strains of HIV were met with more biological barriers to entry--making it less prevalent in the human population--purely by chance:r
“So why did the chimpanzee S.I.V. lead to a worldwide epidemic, while S.I.V. from gorillas morphed into a human virus that remained in one small country?r
Both viruses then adapted to their new hosts. The human immune system can stop viruses like H.I.V. with a protein called tetherin, which links newly made viruses to the cell in which they formed. The “tethered” viruses are unable to escape to infect a new cell.r
In their new study, Dr. Peeters and her colleagues found that the chimpanzee and gorilla viruses evolved different strategies for attacking tetherin. But only one got an excellent opportunity to spread.”r
New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy said in an interview with NJ.com that he would accept a gay teammate, but said that he "Disagrees with the lifestyle, 100 percent," reports Deadspin. Murphy’s comments come after Mets Manager Sandy Alderson had the first major league player to ever come out publicly, Billy Bean, spend a day in uniform with the team yesterday. Murphy says he wanted the team to meet Bean, and that he’s personally wanted to meet Bean for a long time, but the Mets player’s comments about the "Gay lifestyle," indicates that whatever respect he has for Bean as a player is undercut by his disrespect for his "lifestyle."r
"I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him. I don't think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent…r
"Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That's the way I would describe it for me. It's the same way that there are aspects of my life that I'm trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There's a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn't mean I'm just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That's not love. That's not love at all."r
Bean is Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion, and Alderson wanted Bean to share his story of how he left baseball because he struggled to continue playing while hiding his sexual orientation, and to make the Mets clubhouse feel more inclusive for all people. Bean heard Murphy’s comments after he received several emails asking how he felt about the player’s "gay lifestyle" comments. Bean responded to Murphy’s comments with class in an article he wrote for MLB.com.r
"After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.r
"I respect him, and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start.r
"The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he "disagrees" with the lifestyle. It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others."
Ahead of his hosting SNL this weekend, Chris Hemsworth teamed up with SNL funny lady Kate McKinnon to promote the show. McKinnon drooled over the 'Sexiest Man Alive,' asked him to do the 'Dirty Dancing' lift with her (which doesn't go so well), tricked him into letting her touch him, discussed Chris' powers as a weather god, and, most importantly, what threat he was created (in the future, then sent back in time) to fight.r
The hilarious antics are AFTER THE JUMP...r