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April, 2011 - Volume 13, Issue 4Mark Guzman & Scott Coatsworth

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This Month's Newsletter

Welcome to the Purple Roofs April, 2011 newsletter. We now have a twitter account - follow us here. One of the changes has already happened - our newsletter articles are now published on our our gay travel blog, and will also repost other gay/lesbian travel news there on a regular basis.

Also check out our Gay Marriage Watch blog - all the news we can find about gay marriage, now published daily, on:

You can also join our daily news mailing for Gay Marriage Watch by sending a subscription request to

This month, we also have six great travel articles. Thanks to our contributors:


By Donald Pile & Ray Williams, Gay Travelers

Every place can be fun and exciting and interesting however there are just a few places that you really must visit. Whether you are in your 20?s, 40?s, 60?s or 80?s you really should have a bucket list. And then if you achieve your bucket list, then start on a new one! For us, we have already achieved our bucket list and we are now making a new one, but for those of you that have yet to make one, here are some of our choices that we think you should make.

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Zamboanga: Asia’s Latin City

Zamboanga: Asia’s Latin City
by Ernie Alderete, Traveler

If Manila is the only place you know in the Philippines, you have savored but a small taste of the vast seven thousand plus islands that comprise the sprawling Eastern Pacific archipelago. Five hundred miles south of the capital awaits a cultural, historic, architectural, linguistic, gastronomic and natural treasure: Asia's only Latin City, the City of Flowers: Zamboanga.

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Who Dat’s Guide to N’Awlins Cul’cha!

Who Dat’s Guide to N’Awlins Cul’cha!
by Glenn DeVillier, Monde Creole Tours

It is no secret that New Orleans has an assortment of bars and dance venues for the Gay and Lesbian traveler. We pride ourselves in being able to provide some of the very finest dining in the world, also. But, that's not too much of a secret, either. Some of the restaurants that we love, especially, are Coop's or Maximo's Italian Grill in the 1100 block of Decatur Street, between Ursulines and Gov. Nicholls streets in the French Quarter.

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Tilghman Island, Maryland: Living on Island Time

Tilghman Island, Maryland: Living on Island Time
by Bob & Tracy, Black Walnut Point Inn

If you are looking for an authentic place where locals still congregate every morning at the local store, Tilghman is one of them. The 'liar's bench' is full every morning down to Gary's, or what is officially called Tilghman Island Bait and Tackle. This is the first clue that you have entered a different world after passing over the drawbridge. Adjacent to Gary's is Tonger's Basin, home to the vintage oyster and crab boats slowly decaying from when the Chesapeake was teaming with oysters, crab and rockfish.

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Gay Travel: A Saturday at The Carnival in Venice

Gay Travel: A Saturday at The Carnival in Venice
by Marco Munda

Last weekend, we spent Saturday in Venice for the last weekend of Carneval, in this famous city where the ritual of Carneval, a colorful, sumptuous party held for ten days every year. We left our home in Forli, a city about 3 hours south of Venice, in the early morning. We met a couple of our gay friends from Milan, along with two French friends, in the city of Mestre, the mainland part of Venice - it doesn't have the historic charm of the old City in the lagoon, but many tourists stay here because it's affordable, and it's just a short trip from Venice itself..

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Next Destination: Cuernavaca

Next Destination: Cuernavaca
by Andie, La Nuestra

When you fly to Mexico City, you will certainly enjoy the history, sights, and the gay nightlife of the "big city". But when you are ready for an escape, take an air conditioned and very comfortable "Pullman of Morelos" bus down to the "Ciudad de Primavera Eternal," the city of Eternal Spring. As the bus travels down the autopista and your ears start to pop due to the change of altitude be sure to look out the window to see the wondrous changes of scenery once you leave Mexico City.

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Springfield, Massachusetts: Gateway to the Berkshires

Springfield, Massachusetts: Gateway to the Berkshires
By Diana Henry, Lathrop House

What do Dr. Seuss, a new convention center, Five Colleges, Six Flags, the National Yiddish Book Center, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, The Big E, Basketball Hall of Fame, Bright Nights, Brimfield antiques, 735 acre Forest Park designed by Frederick Lay Olmsted; Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe House Museums and the best clay tennis courts in the Northeast have in common? They're in or just a short drive from Springfield, MA with a great airport - Hartford's Bradley International - as a gateway and Amtrak service too!

Click here to see the full article

The Shire of Vermont

The Shire of Vermont
By Elizabeth, The Arlington Inn

Already united by a common sense of place, history and culture our region The Shires of Vermont possesses abundant recreational resources, a proud agricultural heritage and a robust entrepreneurial spirit. A wide range of culinary, lodging and shopping experiences await curious travelers along our highways, byways, country roads, on mountainsides and busy main streets. The people of The Shires of Vermont look forward to welcoming you someday soon to this place we call home. We believe you will find us to be... so Vermont. So near.

Click here to see the full article

Innkeepers - write us an article about your area, and we'll include it in a future issue of this newsletter with credit and links to your website and email addresses. Contact for more details.

Other Gay Travel News This Month:

  • Five of the World’s Best Gay Travel Hot Spots - What: Valencia's old town, Barrio del Carmen, is awash with gay bars, and those in the know say it's even more liberal than Barcelona. For boys who like boys, there's Deseo 54 on Calle Pepita (no 15), while girls who lust after girls can head to Som Com Com on Calle Cadiz.
  • Gay Travel’s Guide to Gay Prides - Ft. Lauderdale Pride (March 12-13): Pridefest (Pride South Florida) remains as the largest Pride Festival in the state of Florida with thousands of attendees and up to 250 vendors. It's a two-day celebration at Jaco Pastorius Park, Oakland Park.
  • Gay Travel: Ordering Coffee in Australia - Like many other mornings, my first day in Sydney started with a cup of coffee. When our V Australia flight finally touched down some 13 hours away from LAX at 6 AM in Australia, I was freshly enlivened with excitement. It was Friday morning of Mardi Gras weekend.
  • Gay Travel: Visiting Sydney’s Taronga Zoo - Opened in 1884, the Taronga Zoo is the first public zoo in New South Wales, Australia. Taronga is the Aboriginal word meaning beautiful view and with the gorgeous Sydney skyline in the background it was aptly named.
  • SFGN’s Guide to Gay Prides - If you can't get enough of pride - and the Euro keeps your dreams of a Mediterranean cruise impossible - why not schedule trips to pride celebrations throughout the United States and Canada?
  • Israel Promoting Gay Tourism at International Travel Fair - Tourism Ministry eyes gay tourists: The ITB international tourism exhibition, considered the most important professional tourism fair in the world, which begins in Berlin on Wednesday, includes - for the first time - an Israeli stand encouraging gay tourism to Tel Aviv.
  • Saint Martin: Pastors Want “Code of Conduct” for Gay/Lesbian Tourists - A group of pastors on the tiny Caribbean island of Saint Maarten say that the corrupting influence of homosexual tourists must be curtailed. Therefore they want their local Parliament to impose a new "code of conduct" to prevent gay cruise ship visitors from committing public displays of affection.
  • Lez Get Real: Scenes from Cape Town Pride 2011 - We have some wonderful footage from Cape Town Pride, including a quick shot of our Melanie Nathan. The music is, I believe, Lady Gaga's "Born That Way", but I am not certain.
  • Gay Travel: Catalina Island - Catalina Island has a growing and well-deserved reputation as an adventure destination. For those who crave an escape from the concrete gridlock of Southern California, there is not one single stoplight on the entire island!
  • Why Should Gay Travelers Try Philadelphia? - The heart of Philadelphia's Gayborhood may be centered on 13th and Locust Streets, but there are plenty of gay-friendly destinations throughout the region catering to crowds looking for fun.
  • Gay Travel: Being Out in Italy - Across the other side of the world, beginning from ancient pasts is the beautiful country of Italy. Rich in tradition the country is the location of some of the more historical and popular sights of the world including the Vatican.
  • Liverpool Pride Planned for August - LIVERPOOL Pride has announced a date for this year's gay, lesbian and bisexual festival. Organisers said the city's second colourful festival will take place on Saturday, August 6.
  • Gay Steward Suing Australian Airline Over Firing - A former employee of Australian airline Jetstar is seeking $50,000 (#31,000) compensation, claiming he was sacked because his voice was not "masculine" enough.
  • Gay Travel: Visiting Bangkok, Thailand - I always like to run down a little history of the cities or countries I am visiting. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and, with a population of over eleven million inhabitants, by far its largest city. Its high-rise buildings, heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and naughty nightlife definitely give you a warm and humid welcome.
  • Palm Springs: Like Having an Architectural Time Machine - After months of gray skies and chilly temperatures, a few days in the warm Southern California desert, drenched in sunshine, felt just about right during a winter trip to Palm Springs. During the day, high temperatures in winter months average between 70 and 80 degrees, which is why October to May is the town's high season for tourism.
  • Zurich: The Gay Capital of Switzerland - In 1994, I followed my family tree to Switzerland. In Lauperswil, a tiny German-speaking village 20 miles east of Bern, my cousin and I managed to find the house where our great-great grandmother had lived in the 1800s. There it was, three stories of quintessential Swiss architecture, right down to the overflowing flowerboxes.
  • St. Lucia Government Apologizes for Recent Attack on Gay Travelers - The St Lucia government today that the recent attack on three gay visitors to the island appeared to be perpetrated by individuals whose views do not reflect the sentiments of the majority of law abiding citizens.
  • Phuket Island: Thailand’s Gay Tropical Paradise - Phuket is Thailand's largest island and is located in the tropical part of country's Indian Ocean coastline in the southwest. Before it became a tourist hotspot Phuket's economy came from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colourful history as a major trading routes between India and China.
  • New Site Daily Pride Offers Gay Travel, Shopping Deals - Daily Pride caters exclusively to the gay (LGBT) community by featuring deals, discounts and bargains relevant to the LGBT citizens nationwide. Daily Pride has active deals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Seattle, New York and Washington D.C., as well as deals available to anyone nationwide.
  • Athens, Greece: A Hidden Treasure - I used to think of Athens as a big, ugly city with obligatory ancient sights, fine museums, the touristy old quarter of Plaka, and not much else. "The joy of Greece is outside of Athens," I wrote. "See the museums and scram."
  • Gay Travel: Marooned on Ko Phi Phi - Ko Phi Phi, or Phi Phi Island, is considered one of the most beautiful island chains on the planet.
  • Gay Travel Magazine Launches "The Broadway Blog" - PASSPORT magazine announced today the debut of their latest venture: The Broadway Blog. Dedicated to serving the insatiable desires of theatre lovers around the world, The Broadway Blog is devoted to being your insider’s guide to all the exciting theatre people and productions in New York, London, and beyond.
  • Gay Filmmaker Tours the Eastern Bloc - Logan Mucha is a young Australian documentary film-maker who spent several months last year in Eastern Europe filming his first feature-length documentary, East Bloc Love. He writes about his experiences, mainly in Belarus. East Bloc Love is now finished and us due for release after screenings at LGBT film festivals.
  • The Heart of Gay Cuba - Crowds of gay and trans people wait outside a ruined hotel with trees growing out the windows. Inside, a disco beat pounds. The throng files in and starts dancing, while a couple of lesbians kiss passionately in the middle of the courtyard.
  • What It's Like Being Gay at Virgin America - Christine Morehead, Director of People at Virgin America, talks about the support that Virgin America has provided for the LGBT community.
  • Gay Travel in Thailand: A Day At "The Beach" - A day of adventure is always fun and easy to organize from Ko Phi Phi. Brendan and I decided to hire a private boat and guide for just the two of us (for only $45) for a 4 hour half day adventure replete with snorkeling, swimming and sunset boat trip around Phi Phi Lei, an uninhabited island chain whose natural beauty is gorgeous and unspoiled.
  • Gay Travel: Venice, City of Canals - Venice - a city of water, history, architecture and romance. Taking to the airways on board a very national British Airways flight departing early on a Saturday morning; following a 40 minute drive from home - and a challenging navigation to the parking point - we arrived in the city of love by midday.
  • Scotland: Visiting Glasgow's Oldest Gay Pub - The Waterloo, Glasgow's oldest gay pub, is a haven for old and young but an unofficial hierarchy determines who stands where.
  • Gay Travel: Thailand’s Little Slice of Heaven at Railay Beach - Our latest Thailand hot spot is a literal slice of heaven, Railay Beach. You may not have heard of this place before but it is actually considered one of Thailand's most sought after beaches which is located on a peninsula in the Krabi province halfway between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang Beach.
  • Amsterdam Trying to Burnish Gay Friendly Image - Amsterdam is one of Europe's most popular destinations, drawing millions of tourists each year looking to savour its tolerant and chilled-out atmosphere. The Dutch port city is also known as the 'Gay Capital of the World' but despite its reputation as a beacon of tolerance and diversity, a couple of high-profile attacks on homosexuals in recent years have led city officials to take steps to improve the situation.
  • Berlin: Even Better The Third Time - Third time in Berlin and the experience gets richer and easier, while traveling on business the leisure opportunities are immense when immersing yourself with the locals. Berliners are certainly a mixed bunch more often than not comfortable speaking English and keen to interact with visitors (or tourists)!
  • Will Croatia Host European Gay Championship in 2012? - The European Gay Championship has been suggested as a possible addition to Split's calendar, perhaps tempting both sportsmen and spectators to travel to Croatia in the near future.
  • Australia: Sydney’s Mardi Gras One of Australia's Biggest Tourism Draws - "I want to see glitter and sequins and feathers," shouts American actress Lily Tomlin as she pumps up revellers ahead of Sydney's famous and irreverent Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. "I want to see you basking in your own glory!"
  • Lesbian Travel: What to Pack for Dinah Shore - You may think that packing your bags to go to Palm Springs for Dinah Shore Weekend would be just like packing for any other vacation, and you would be so incredibly wrong! When you're getting your stuff together for the biggest lezzer bikini dance party crazyfest in the USA, you have to make sure you consider every possible situation that could arise, including but not limited to every single person getting her period at the exact same time. Also, needing a ponytail holder.
  • Clubbing in Gay Florianopolis: "The Week" - A few years after its debut in Florianopolis, "The Week" - the largest gay friendly club in town - shows they set up shop to make sure everyone's gonna have a blast while they're there.
  • International Gay Bowling Festival Comes to Toronto in May - Torontonians are ready to host the 2011 International Gay Bowling Organization's annual bowling event that will take place in their city from May 25-30 this year.
  • FL: Ybor City Becoming a Drag Competition Hot Spot - Hundreds of people in designer jeans, evening gowns and suits will head to Ybor City’s Honey Pot on Sunday to watch the region’s up-and-coming drag queens compete for a crown.
  • Gay Travel: How to Get Around in Cuba - Viazul - the bus service - is the best way of getting around the island without the expense of car hire, however cars will allow you to pause and take in the scenic views of jugged hills coated with palm trees and thick green foliage.
  • PA: Bucks County Hosts Gay Sensitivity Training for Tourism Venues - Visit Bucks County (VBC), the official tourism office of Bucks County, partnered with The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus and Temple University's School of Tourism & Hospitality Management today to host an LGBT Sensitivity Training.
  • South by Southwest: Gayer Than You Think - Maybe you avoided SXSW this year because paying $1,250 for an all-access badge and waiting in line to see obscure musicians doesn't sound like your idea of "a gay ol' time." But you are so wrong, gurl.
  • Explore Australia’s Gold Coast - It's called the Gold Coast- Australia's famous holiday destination spanning some 40 miles from Surfers Paradise to the prolific mountain rainforest- and while it is certainly gilded with prosperity and flaxen, sun-kissed, golden sands, the Gold Coast is more accurately an entire vibrant color wheel of idyllic explosions.
  • Gay Travel Thailand: Ko Samui and Ko Phangan - Brendan and I visited two beautiful islands this week, Ko Samui and Ko Phangon. Koh Samui is Thailand's third largest island and is less than an hour flight south of Bangkok (or a short ferry ride from Ko Phi Phi or Phuket) and it belongs to Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand.
  • UK: First Ever Gay Pride for East Lancashire? - East Lancashire's first ever gay pride festival could be held in Burnley this summer. The event would consist of a day of colourful parades and activities and would be supported by local bars.
  • Spend Memorial Day Weekend At Pensacola Women’s Week - Alright ladies, are you thinking ahead to your Memorial day weekend plans? How about a girl's trip to Pensacola, Florida to party with some some Georgia Peaches?
  • Russian River Area Rebranding - Russian River resort-area business and community interests are so certain their towns need a new image that they've spent $177,000 in tax money for a new slogan and branding plan.
  • Gay Resort Reopens in Fort Lauderdale After Renovation and Expandion - Contemporary Euro style meets tropical splendor at the new Royal Palms, a stunning reinvention that's poised to change the face of the city's hotel market. The longtime gay favorite unveils its expansion to 62 rooms April 11 - courtesy of two additional buildings that underwent head-to-toe renovations.
  • Gay Travel Guru’s 6 Month Tenure Ends - Nick Vivion was chosen from thousands of applicants as the first ever Gay Travel Guru. During his six month reign he ventured to the hottest gay and lesbian tourist destinations in North America: blogging, filming and using social media to show you, our amazing site visitors where to spend your oh so valuable LGBT dollar!
  • Why Not Try European Pride This Summer? - Europe's gay summer is only just beginning -- so what better time to visit one of the many Gay Pride festivals happening this year across Europe's coolest cities?
  • Lesbian Travel: Hanging Out at The "Shore" - Two years ago journalist Anna Whitelaw savoured the delights of the world's biggest lesbian party, the Dinah Shore Weekend. This week she remembers her weekend in the desert partying with thousands of lesbians as she packs her bags to do it all again.
  • Is Sydney’s Oxford Street Losing Its Gay Culture? - Word on the street is the pink strip has changed. More and more heterosexuals are invading with their filthy breeding ways and forcing gay culture away from Oxford Street. As an openly gay man, I am aware of the GLBT community's struggles.
  • Sydney: Gay Surfers Plan Trip in May - Following their first-ever march in the Mardi Gras parade, members of the Gay Surfers group will embark on their first surf trip in May.
  • Gay Travel Thailand: A Criminally Good Massage - While in Chiang Mai, Thailand make sure you visit the Chiang Mai Women's Correctional Institution which has an interesting rehabilitation program for soon to be released criminals.
  • Mary B’s Excellent Australian Adventure - I've never really had a Bucket List, but if I did, it would obviously be called The Buckheit List. On top of it, in bright red ink, I would have slated the six subtropical states of Australia as the most desirable destination for my feets to feel beneath them someday.
  • Spain: Barcelona’s Mayor Unveils Gay Monument - Barcelona Mayor Jordi Hereu unveiled a large triangle marble in Ciudadela Park dedicated to the LGBT community who has been persecuted throughout history.
  • Just In: The Spartacus International Gay Guide for 2011-2012 - At Purple Roofs, we just received our copy of the 2011-2012 Spartacus International Gay Guide (check out our ad facing the cover page!).
  • Going Gay For Spring Break? Try Puerto Vallarta - Psst, don't tell anyone, but now is one of the best times of year to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
  • Gay and Lesbian Travel Directory Has the Skinny on Gay Friendly Cities Worldwide - The Boom Boom Room may be history, along with the Little Shrimp and Woody's, but Laguna Beach is not giving up on attracting and serving gay and lesbian visitors.
  • Nepal to Bid for Asia Pacific OutGames - The South Asian nation of Nepal plans to bid for the next Asia Pacific OutGames. Nepal's first openly gay MP, Sunil Pant, said Kathmandu will be the host city if the bid's successful.
  • Fundies Up in Arms (Again) About Gay Days Orlando - With thousands of people from around the world planning to visit Central Florida for the Gay Days festivities in early June, religious conservatives from the Sunshine State are warning families not to visit the Magic Kingdom on the first Saturday of the month.
  • Visiting Gay Vienna, Austria - Vienna is the undisputed capital of gay and lesbian life in Austria and is home to an estimated 170,000 gays and lesbians. Both in the past and present, gays and lesbians have played a prominent role in Viennese public life.
  • Gay Camping Group Growing in Australia - A camping group is providing a social alternative for gay men from smoky pubs and noisy clubs.
  • Stockholm, Sweden Targets Lesbian Travelers in New Campaign - DIVA magazine in the UK has recently called Stockholm one of the world's most exciting cities for lesbian travel, and to celebrate its ueber cool gay girl scene, and the fit, fashionable and fabulous lesbians who make it, Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network is launching an innovative new media campaign and competition.
  • UK: Liverpool Pride Announced for August - Dust off those Rainbow Flags and get ready to celebrate all things LGBT once more, Liverpool Pride will take place on Saturday, 6th August.
  • Going Clubbing in Minneapolis - If you can't point to Minneapolis on a map, or you're left scratching your head with a "where?" on your lips, you're forgiven. For East and West Coast residents, the city has long been considered a part of "flyover country," a negligible cluster of lights outside of your window on the flight between New York and Los Angeles.
  • Palm Springs During The White Party: The Gay City - During White Party weekend, Tony Rossello -- at 65 and openly gay for three decades -- participates only as a spectator. A Palm Springs resident for 11 years, Rossello said he has never gone to what is called the largest gay dance music festival in the country.
  • Gay Travel Thailand: Chiang Mai - A Wat is Buddhist temple or structure including working temples or ruins in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia. In Chiang Mai, Brendan and I visited many a Buddhist religious structure are beautiful and awe inspiring when you walk around cities or towns in the region.

Special Offer Accommodation Notices

As always, we also have our Late Availability & Special Offer notices (176 offers in 21 countries/regions) all at, or just check your favorite destination page - these notices are also right there on the regular listings.

Big Island, Hawaii Sweepstakes:

We're teaming up with the beautiful Hale Lalala in Kehena, Big Island to give away 5 nights on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii. At

Travelers - Try a Home Trade Membership for Just $75 for 5 Years...

...and stay for free with other gay, lesbian, and gay friendly travelers around the world. More details on our Mi Casa Su Casa site at:

Visit our website - news, personals, much more

Some time ago, we took over the management of a new site, We're working on integrating it more closely with our other sites. You'll find personals, daily news, and a great general gay and lesbian directory, all at:

That's it for this issue - see you next time! :)

Mark & Scott, PURPLE ROOFS