This weekly travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital gay travel magazine for iOS and Android devices from Billy Kolber, Ed Salvato, Kenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.r
Along with marriage equality in Ireland, the country just hung out a giant rainbow-colored “you are welcome” sign to the world. (Oscar Wilde, Irish poet, playwright and satirist, who was persecuted for being gay, would be stunned!) Within a few hours of the historic vote, Tourism Ireland launched an LGBT website and released a video inviting the gay world to visit Ireland. And what better time than now? Clearly the Irish are welcoming and accepting and imagine how amazingly fun Dublin Pride (June 19-28) will be on the heels of this historic vote!r
LGBT-friendly Ireland is ready for you to come visit, join the celebration and, who knows, maybe get gay married yourself!r
You can be sure ManAboutWorld will be covering Ireland in the months to come, but if you’re eager to get going, check out these five great ways to see Ireland now:r
1. The Outing: Single but wanna get gay married to an Irishman (or Irishwoman)? We have just the ticket! This year’s 3rd annual LGBT matchmaking and music festival takes place October 2-4. The Outing is a gay offshoot of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival (August 28-October 4) — going strong since the 1850s. This fall, we expect same-sex couples will not only be able to meet there, but get married too!r
2. Aer Lingus: Luck of the Irish or shrewd marketing? Either way, Aer Lingus is offering terrific sale fares right now to and from the U.S. as well as to many European destinations so you could always just stop over in Dublin for a few days en route to another destination.r
3. Brendan Tours: The very first gay tours of Ireland (in 2003) were operated for RSVP Vacations by Brendan Vacations, the leader in luxury vacations to Ireland, with four different styles of vacations, including chauffeured- and self-drive options. Yes, chauffeured! Now, that's a nice way to see any place.r
4. Vagabond Tours: This gay-friendly tour company specializes in local experiences, offering 4×4 active vacations and small motor coach groups.r
5. Rail Tours Ireland: Riding the rails is such a quintessential way to experience Europe. Rail Tours Ireland offers train-based journeys from two days to nine.r
ManAboutWorld is now on the iPhone! Android coming soon. To download for the iPhone, click HERE.r
Image credits: Top: Kinvarra - Dunguaire Castle by Gengish Skan; Right: The Outing by Cian Markey; Bottom: Oscar Wilde Statue, Merrion Square Park by Amy Barr.r
A 5-year-old girl got a sweet surprise after her presidential plea for marriage equality was answered by the POTUS himself, People reports:r
The letter was written by a child named Yasmeen and reads in part, "I am 5, almost 6 years old. Please stop war for our world, instead have a meeting. Please give a speech to tell everyone that can marry who they want. Thank you."
Yasmeen's aunt photographed the letter and posted it on Twitter, tagging the President's new account in it and writing, "Out of the mouths of babes!"
.@DrFahmida tell your niece I really like her letter. Couldn't agree more!r— President Obama (@POTUS) May 22, 2015
That letter definitely belongs on the fridge!
Cyril could serenade you with “A Boy Named Sue”. Photographed by Daria Svertilova in Kiev
Openly gay Big Brother UK houseguest Aaron Frew (pictured) has been ousted from the show for “inappropriate behavior” and making unwanted sexual advances towards one of his straight housemates.
It all started when the 24-year-old and his fellow housemate, Joel, engaged in a a drunken game of “truth-or-dare” and Aaron, who was wrapped in a towel, offered Joel an impromptu peep show.
“Stop it, please,” Joel replied. “I don’t want to see your bottom.”
Instead, Aaron ripped off his towel, exposing himself, then chased Joel, attempting to mount him.
“This is insane!” Joel cried. “You need to control your behavior!”
That’s when producers stepped in. They told Aaron to cool off in the Diary Room, where he downplayed the incident as “banter” and apologized, saying: “I really apologize for what I did. … I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to offend him or you guys.”
But Joel remained traumatized. When it was his turn to hit the Diary Room, he told producers he felt “terribly awkward” and that his “personal space was violated.”
The next day, Aaron was asked by producers to leave the show. Before departing, he once again apologized for the incident.
“I’m so sorry,” he said through tears. “That’s all I can say. … I’m really so upset.”
While there’s no denying Aaron may have gone too far, writer World of Wonder poses an interesting question: If he weren’t gay, and the exchange had happened between two straight housemates who were just horsing around, would it have still resulted in one of them being fired?over at
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…
h/t: World of Wonder
Mike from Toronto (photo by Bradley Roberge)
A gay couple alleges they were booted from Cardiff, Wales nightclub DC after they were seen kissing.
Oliver Brown, 21, and his boyfriend Hugh, 22, both students at Cardiff Metropolitan University, claim they were grabbed by another patron of the bar after their embrace and promptly ejected from the club.
According to their version of events, a homophobic slur was also hurled their way.
The club naturally contends their story is made up. Richard Jackson, the owner, accuses the two of “spraying drinks around” at at office party. He says they were warned, but were thrown out when they continued spraying their drinks. How does one spray a drink, exactly? We aren’t entirely sure.
Brown says he remembers things clearly as he was on antibiotics at the time and not drinking.
“They said we were throwing drinks around, which was totally not the case – why waste alcohol?” he told Wales Online like a true 21-year-old.
“If he had said he was kicking us out because we were fighting I wouldn’t have a problem with that,” he added. “But he saw us kissing so it was clear that was his problem, it wasn’t anything we had done.”
Jackson says a third of his staff is LGBT and insisted his club isn’t run by bigots.
The incident is one of 29 complaints police have cited in a request for the club’s license to be reviewed. Among them are assaults and underage drinking. The drinking age in the U.K. is 18 — sounds messy.
The Wachowski's new Netflix original series Sense8 tells the story of eight strangers scattered across the globe who discover a mysterious connection allowing them to live through each others' experiences.r
Netflix has released character trailers for the main cast and at least two of the eight "Sensates" will be LGBT. Transgender lesbian blogger/hacker Nomi (played by trans actress Jamie Clayton) lives in San Francisco and looks to have a strained relationship with her mother over her gender identity. In the second trailer, we meet closeted telenovela star Lito (played by Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and his secret boyfriend Hernando (Alfonso Herrera).r
Watch the new trailers, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Are you planning on seeing Sense8?rr
Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz's father Rafael Cruz spoke at an event in Brenham, Texas warning attendees that the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage is "an ominous decision," that determines, "whether the definition of marriage we have had for 6,000 years is going to be thrown out the window," reports Right Wing Watch.r
Cruz senior proceeded to quote pastor and German dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who famously spoke out against German citizens' silence toward Nazi Germany's systematic execution of Jewish people and other minority groups throughout Europe during World War II. Cruz likened this silence to Christians remaining quiet in the face of "homosexual marriage."r
Said Cruz, quoting Bonhoeffer:r
"How long are we going to remain silent? Or perhaps the more important question is are we going to have to answer to God for our silence? You know, silence is not an option."r
You can watch Cruz senior grossly misquote Bonhoeffer, if you can stomach it, AFTER THE JUMP…rr
You could hear a pin drop at this year's TED Conference in Vancouver as relationship therapist Esther Perel addressed a rapt audience on the topic of infidelity.r
"Why do we cheat? And why do happy people cheat? And when we say 'infidelity' what exactly do we mean? Is it a hook-up, a love story, hate sex, a chat room, a massage with happy endings? ... And is an affair always the end of a relationship?" Perel asked, adding, "The definition of infidelity keeps expanding - sexting, watching porn, staying secretly active on dating apps."r
In a gripping 20-minute talk recently posted online, Perel reveals what she has learned over her many years of research with couples about why they cheat, how they recover, and what it is that actually constitutes infidelity:r
"A secretive relationship, an emotional connection, and a sexual alchemy. Alchemy is the key word here, because the erotic frisson is such that the kiss that you only imagine giving can be as powerful and enchanting as actual lovemaking. As Marcel Proust said, 'it is our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person.' So it's never been easier to cheat, and it's never been more difficult to keep a secret."r
Gain some insight, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Yesterday we told you how an anti-gay marriage amendment died Wednesday in Texas, joining 20 other anti-LGBT proposals that failed to pass the state Legislature this year.r
The Texas Pastor Council, an anti-gay hate group that backed much of the legislation, sent out an email Thursday blaming two Republican senators for the demise of the anti-gay marriage amendment. The email from the Pastor Council's Dave Welch (above), goes on to say that the Legislature did "nothing meaningful to protect religious freedom, traditional marriage or oppose the radical agenda of the sexual perversity/gender confusion."r
Welch blames "the pro-LGBT, anti-Christian corporate lobby" along with the "moral weakness" of Republicans in leadership, along with a Democratic Party "deeply controlled by the LGBT forces."
Finally, Welch says the good news is that pastors all over Texas are no longer willing to be passive while "the enemy of our souls and his pawns influencing media, entertainment, education and politics assault God’s moral law and created order."
From the email:r
It is an astounding and appalling reality that in one of the most Republican-dominated state governments in the U.S., with a strong majority in both House and Senate, that the Texas legislature did nothing meaningful to protect religious freedom, traditional marriage or oppose the radical agenda of the sexual perversity/gender confusion.r
The “why” is clear.r
The political influence of the pro-LGBT, anti-Christian corporate lobby combined with the moral weakness of key Republicans holding leadership positions on House and Senate trumped the clear principles of the GOP Platform, the will of the Texas voters, pastors from all over Texas who stood and spoke boldly. That, combined with a Democrat party entirely and deeply controlled by the LGBT forces and every “D” Senator and Representative in their pocket, neutralized what should have been a pro-family legislative session.r
The good news is that the only way for evil to triumph is for us to be silent, and we have proven that pastors all over Texas are no longer willing to be passive as the enemy of our souls and his pawns influencing media, entertainment, education and politics assault God’s moral law and created order.r
We have, indeed, just begun to fight for God’s righteousness and justice.r
But it gets even worse for the Texas Pastor Council. Thursday was also the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which prompted some of the anti-LGBT state legislation. And the Pastor Council led the unsuccessful petition drive to repeal the ordinance. One pastor affiliated with the group said recently that anti-LGBT groups have spent $500,000 on a lawsuit challenging the city's decision to reject their petition, which is currently on appeal.r
The pro-LGBT Texas Freedom Network issued a press release Thursday marking the occasion:r
“The passage of the Houston ordinance was a landmark moment in an ongoing campaign to ensure equality for all Texans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. No one should be fired from a job, evicted from their home or denied public services simply because of who they are or whom they love. All Texans should be equal under law.r
This year Texas legislators filed more than 20 bills promoting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We look forward to the day when the Legislature instead follows the example of cities like Houston and protects all Texans from discrimination.”r
Houston was the last major city in Texas to pass a comprehensive civil rights ordinance that includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as well as other characteristics such as race, religion, sex and military status.r
Opponents organized a petition drive to put repeal of HERO on a citywide ballot. But the city and a state district court judge determined that opponents had failed to obtain the required number of petition signatures. Jurors in the court case found that the petition included many forged and illegible signatures. Opponents are appealing the decision.r
Texas law does not include discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.r
Back in April, we told you about Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Tie the Knot group and its plan to send custom wedding invitations to every Supreme Court justice ahead of the court's big ruling on same-sex marriage in June. The crafty project aims to show the justices how much their decision affects real lives of loving couples.r
With the card builder up and running on SupremeSaveTheDate.com, JTF and Funny or Die have teamed up for a supremely hilarious reminder on how you can put a creative mark on history.r
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...r
"Things got cray-cray with the other Supremes last night. Breyer got a face tattoo."rrr