Oceania

 

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Gay Antarctica

| January 1st, 2012 | Comments Off

Intro: An intrepid lesbian adventurer braves the cold shoulders of the white continent.   By Lucy Jane Bledsoe January/February 2005 issue of The Out Traveler “Antarctica is a place that demands all of you,” says longtime polar explorer Ann Bancroft. “You can’t fake it out. You have to be willing to back off. It’s a place that can be benign one moment and life-threatening the next.” Bancroft pauses and decides she can share this too: “I have a love affair with Antarctica that’s hard to explain to people.” “Oh, yeah,” I say, as if we were discussing a woman with whom we’d both had an unforgettable affair. Three years ago Bancroft and her Norwegian expedition partner, Liv Arnesen, became the first women in history to ski across the Antarctic landmass–from one edge of the continent to the other. They pulled 250-pound sleds, completing the 1,717-mile trek in 94 grueling days.

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Book About Gay Life in New Zealand–by Aaron Allbright

| July 10th, 2011 | Comments Off
Land Near Oz

Book review: THE LAND NEAR OZ: TWO GAY YANKEES MOVE TO NEW ZEALAND In this book, memoirist and humorist Aaron Allbright examines the mystical fringes of life with a side of love and a little hash. Filled with great affection, indescribable moments of serendipity, and a few cattle calls, this debut is a raucous spot of fun. When Aaron Allbright and his better half, Beau, buy a piece of paradise from the direct descendants of the first English missionaries to inhabit the far side of the Far North of New Zealand, they meet the offspring of whores, convicts, whalers, English pirates and those first missionaries. Their closest seaside neighbor is Australia, 1,500 miles away (known to everyone thereabouts as Oz). About the author: Like Huck Finn, Aaron Allbright was born in Missouri and grew up on the banks of the Mississippi. He spent three years in the Peace Corps in

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Gay New Zealand

| June 1st, 2011 | Comments Off

Intro: A drive across the breadth and length of this adventure-land reveals a biodiversity of nature, from ancient forests to dense glaciers, from ragged fjords to calm penguin beaches, from postcard villages to boiling volcanoes. Among the population another sort of diversity exists: age-old Maori tribal ways, conservative British traditionalists and a colorful, out-proud Lesbigay community savoring their federally legislative rights.     By Richard  Ammon GlobalGayz.com Updated June 2011 Also see: Gay New Zealand Stories Gay N Z News & Reports 2001 to present Gay New Zealand Photo Galleries     A Changed Nation Thirty years ago New Zealand was a nation of leftover stuffy Victorian attitudes toward human sexuality and a dense homophobic mindset about lesbigay love and life. It was not a happy place to be queer. Then came AIDS, accompanied by a strengthened Stonewall mentality plus several anti-gay miscarriages of justice that allowed gay bashers/murderers to

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Tasmania – North Coast (photos)

| February 9th, 2011 | Comments Off

Tasmania’s north coast is rich in history and offers fine landscape and coastal areas. There are pretty towns such as Penguin and Stanley where life seems tidy and peaceful. The rocky and sandy coastline also has places of natural beauty to visit. The Bass Highway runs along the north coast allowing access to all areas.  

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Tasmania – West and Central (photos)

| February 9th, 2011 | Comments Off

Tasmania West and Central Central and western Tasmani is mostly wilderness. The main city is Queenstown which is in the center of a large mining area. Great swaths of forest were mowed down for fuel for the mineral smelters (mostly copper) leaving the land looking like a moonscape. But most of western Tasmania is quite beautiful with coastlines, forests, villages, lakes and…wilderness.   Posted .

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Tasmania – East Coast (photos)

| February 8th, 2011 | Comments Off

Tasmania East Coast Australia has six states and two terrtories. The southernmost is Tasmania, an island state about the size of Switzerland, Ireland or the U.S. state of Maine. It’s located 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the mailand, Most of the urban and social life is along the east coast, with smaller towns along the north coast. The heartland is mostly wilderness. The roads are good and lead to many carming towns and villages with good food and modest hotels. Tasmania is promoted as the natural state and the "island of inspiration" owing to its large and relatively unspoiled natural environment. Almost 37% of Tasmania lies in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites.    

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Paradise for All – New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie)

| January 26th, 2011 | Comments Off

Intro: New Caledonia comprises a main island of Grande Terre and the Loyalty Islands, and several smaller islands. It has a land area of 18,575.5 square kilometres (7,172 sq mi). The population was estimated in January 2009 to be 249,000. The capital and largest city of the territory is Noumea . The territory is set to decide whether to remain within the French Republic as an autonomous overseas collectivity or become an independent state in a referendum to be held between 2014 and 2019. Read more history and culture. From IGLTA Travel January 26, 2011 Nouméa and the Islands of  New Caledonia are a French Territoriry (pending independence) and a place with ‘c’est la vie’ attitude in the South Pacific, iin the Coral Sea midway between Fiji and Australia. Nearby are Vanuatu, Tahiti. It is quite unlike any of its Polynesian neighbors, and will surprise and delight gay visitors in

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Gay Australia 2009: Sydney Cares

| December 16th, 2009 | Comments Off

Also see: Gay Australia News & Reports 2000 to present Gay Australia Photo Galleries Sydney has an energy as vibrant as any world-class city and the LGBT gay energy is equally vital as life moves along the famous Oxford Street lined with its gay cafes, clubs, bars, discos, fashion shops, organizations and restaurants (including Betty’s Soup Kitchen).   The popular LGBT venues are easy to find in this city but the organizations are less visible as each goes about its purposes for celebration (Mardi Gras gay parade and festival), for sport (Wett Ones, FrontRunners among others) for health (ACON, the main HIV/AIDS agency), and for business (SGLBA).   This trip  (my third) I was not looking to do another sprawling survey about the widespread gay scene in Sydney and elsewhere; it’s still widespread and still very gay. Rather this was a more focused visit to the quieter and no less

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Another Gay Ambassador Appointed

| December 7th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

Richard Ammon, GlobalGayz.com Laguna Beach California Now for some good news among the waves of homophobia swirling around these days, especially from Africa. The new USA ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa was sworn in the other day. Not a major political jolt or international flap but a decidedly moving event considering that the new ambassador, David Heubner, is openly gay. He was given the oath of office by VP Joe Biden, our good friend, as Heubner’s ‘spouse’ Dr. Duane McWaine held the Bible for the ceremony. Speaking after the swearing in, with the Vice President at his side, the new ambassador told the 100-plus people gathered that his grandfather came to America as an immigrant and his father worked for many years as a butcher. Observing this three-generation achievement Heubner said, ”I was sworn in next to a spouse of a different race and the same gender as I

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Gay Tasmania, Australia, 2009

| November 29th, 2009 | Comments Off

Also see: Gay Australia News & Reports 2000 to present Gay Australia Photo Galleries Distant and remote as Tasmania may be, 150 miles off the south coast of Australia, it still has a full story to tell about gay life, from a sad and tormented beginning to fulfilling and modern LGBT scene.  There is much to tell about this picturesque state (Australia has six states and two terrtories). The story here is in eight parts, from past to present, each of which can be read separately. Part eight is about our hosts for some days in Huonville, Tasmania at the Huon Bush Retreat, an conscious and ecological place to savor the wonders of nature. 1 History The history of Caucasian homosexuality in Tasmania can be said to have started in jail. This beautiful island of rain forests, rolling green hills, endless white beaches, azure blue waters, rocky coastlnes and dense

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Farewell to Gay Sydney–For Now

| November 20th, 2009 | Comments Off

Sydney, Australia Richard Ammon, GlobalGayz November 21, 2009 Saying good-by to this remarkably intelligent city is tinged with sadness for me. For a gay person to live or visit, it doesn’t get much better than here. The LGBT community is vitally alive in virtually every fabric of daily life, from the highest reaches of government (gay deputy mayor) to the frenetic dance clubs on Oxford Street to the highly visible HIV-prevention campaign of ACON to the presence of former high court justice Micheal Kirby launching a country-wide outreach program for LGBT Alzheimer’s patients. A recent guest in town, hosted by ACON, was the ‘gay prince’ Manvendra from India who held various forums in several cities including Sydney to present his work at home on behalf of his fellow LGBT citizens in Gujurat state. There are organizations for religious, sports, political, artistic and countless other lifestyle interests. Sex is an undercurrent

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Gay Life Way Down Under – Tasmania

| November 8th, 2009 | Comments Off

Richard Ammon – GlobalGayz.com Hobart, Tasmania, November 9, 2009 Gay life is everywhere, as we know, even here in Tasmania. Some people think of this place as some remote Africa country hardly worth mentioning. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Tasmania is Australia’s southernmost state, off the south coast of the continent and separated by treacherous seas. But flying in from Sydney is a smooth trip on JetStar Airlines into the modest and tidy airport. Immediately a visitor notices how friendly folks are here–even if recalcitrant legislators here were the last in Australia to acknowledge the presence and legitimacy of homosexuality. Now, a few short years later it has the best school anti-homophobia programs, Anti-discrimination Act and same-sex relationship laws in the country, all with public support. In 2004 Tasmania became the first Australian State to establish a civil union scheme for samesex and other couples. The state tourism agency

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Love Among the Ruins: USA, an Indian Prince, Love & HIV

| November 4th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com November 4, 2009 Sydney, Australia While America was limping from the loss of two important marriage-rights elections (New Jersey and Maine), across the globe in India there was a cause for celebration of sorts. Prince Manvendra Gohil, the famous ‘gay Prince’ from Rajpipla state in the western Gujarat area of India announced last night to an audience in Sydney that he had found his “soul mate”. Addressing a forum sponsored by ACON, Australia’s largest community-based LGBT health and HIV/AIDS organization. During the two-hour conference, Manvendra answered many questions to put him from Andy Quan of ACON and from an attentive audience about his personal life and his HIV charity work in his home state. Some questions focused on his history as the only royal personage to come out as gay, in 2005, and his subsequent rejection and acceptance by his family, the media and the people in

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A Princely Gay Man – Manvendra Singh Gohil of India Comes Out

| October 29th, 2009 | Comments Off

October 29, 2009 Richard Ammon,  GlobalGayz.com No question that rank carries privilege and privilege carries fame. This time it belongs to an Indian prince who came out as gay in 2005 and shocked his family and fascinated the Indian public. Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of the Rajpipla region in the state of Gujarat, the westernmost state in India (Mahatma Gandhi was also born in Gujarat) decided he could no longer live the heterosexual life his family expected. After a marriage debacle Gohil announced his homosexuality and was immediately disowned by his royal family. Not a shrinking flower, Gohil publicized his ‘coming out’ on the Oprah show in 2007 and proved to be a charming, articulate and intelligent spokesman for gay authenticity and gay rights. Since then he has traveled the world speaking out against discrimination. Instead of withdrawing behind gilded walls and silken pillows he has taken on charitable projects

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Australia – Gay Games VI 2002 (photos)

| July 3rd, 2009 | Comments Off

Sydney was host to the sixth Gay Games in 2002 which was attended by about 11,000 athletes participating in more than 25 sports. GlobalGayz owner Richard Ammon was a participant swimmer for Team Orange County, California, which accounts for the swimming-only photos. (It is difficult for athletes in one sport to see other sports because of scheduling.) The photos here show some activities at the opening and closing ceremonies, including singer k.d.lang (photo 22) as well as swimming events held in the same Olympic Pool Stadium used for the regular Olympics in Sydney 2000. Also featured was Australia’s openly gay Supreme Court Justice Michael Kirby at the opening ceremony. See the gay Australia story on this site for more about his speech.   Posted Laguna Niguel, California, United States.

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Gay Australia and Gay Games VI 2002

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Intro: Sydney Australia was the host city for the fabulous sixth Gay Games and Cultural Festival held November 2-9, 2002. For a week the city was indeed at the end of the rainbow as athletes and spectators flooded stadiums and cafes with excitement and color. Following the competitions, I traveled across this great continent-country all the way to Perth on the Indian Ocean interviewing lesbigay folks in the major cities along the way: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, as well as some Aboriginal gays I met along the way. Also see: Gay Australia News & Reports 2000 to present Gay Australia Photo Galleries By Richard Ammon November 2002 Updated February 2006   Australia has, arguably, the widest range of gay culture of any country in the world. From disenfranchised homeless youth living in shelters to lesbian in vitro rights; from homophobic church bishops to 38,000 participants in Gay Games VI

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Australia – Sydney City (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.28 million. It is noted for the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, and its beaches. To gay people it is one of Asia/Pacific’s premier LGBT destinations with great festivals including the famous Mardi Gras every year. It was host to the Gay Games in 2002. Despite conservative governments the LGBT community thrives, celebrates and goes to the beach at Bondi (photos #14-22). In downtown Sydney, Oxford Street is the heart of the gay urban community (photos #24-30). Read the gay Australia story Also see the Gay Games 2002 photo gallery

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Australia – Sydney to Melbourne (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

By train from Sydney to Melbourne is a comfortable way to see the rural lanscapes of southern Australia. 
It’s only 442 miles / 712 km and passes through green agricultural land. Read the gay Australia story

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Homosexuality in Fiji: Three Views

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Enclosed here are three stories from three different perspectives about gay life in Fiji.  The first (2009) is a recent commentary from a cheerful gay Fijian who has experienced a mostly pleasant life being ‘out’ in the capital city of Suva and living with a boyfriend. "Being brought up all my life in Suva city, I really don’t see any problems with being gay." The second story (2007)  is not cheerful: "I don’t recommend anyone gay visit Fiji. I’m living in Australia now and have sold my business there. Rabid homophobia drove me out. Fiji is a very religious country and this controls everything that happens there, especially how they feel and act towards gays." The third story regards a notorious event that happened in 2002 when a prominent male couple were murdered. Because the men were gay, rumors swirled around the tragic and bloody episode about sex and drugs

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Australia – Melbourne to Warrnambool (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

By car and ferry from Melbourne to Warrnambool along the south coast of Victoria state. Warrnambool is a regional city with a population of about 31,000 people. It is at the western end of the Great Ocean Road, 265 kilometres and 3 hours from Melbourne. Read the gay Australia story

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Australia – Warrnambool to Adelaide (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

By way of car along the Prince’s Highway skirting pastoral farms and rugged coastal scenes. The beautiful ride passes through the town of Mount Gambier with its various quirky landmarks. Read the gay Australia story

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Australia – Adelaide City (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Adelaide is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia, and is the fifth largest city in Australia, with a population of over 1.1 million. Each year it has a spirited Pride March and diverse LGBT Feast Festival (photos #24-34) that includes artistic performances (photos #29-30) and seminars– including one by transgender people (photo #33). Read the gay Australia story

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Once Upon a Glacier

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

A half day trek into a snowy wilderness of danger and beauty.   Also See: Gay New Zealand Stories Gay New Zealand News & Reports 2001 to present Gay New Zealand Photo Galleries By Richard Ammon Westland National Park South Island New Zealand April 1998 (1055 words)   Adventure on the Ice Everest it is not, but New Zealand’s Westland National Park offers up some very chilly and formidable reminders of inhospitable terrain and inhuman climate. Both confront a weekend warrior who ventures into the ice flows that descend from the giant white shoulders of Mount Cook on the south island. A walk into the alien world of the Fox Glacier or the nearby Franz Joseph Glacier is more than sufficient to determine if your soul connects to the brittle world of freezing thin air, sculpted blue ice and gaunt rock escarpments. Our turn to find out came early in

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Australia – Perth City (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia, and the fourth-largest city in Australia, with a population of about 1.5 million. (2045 miles/3290 kms from Sydney) It’s a handsome city on the coast with a modest-sized gay community. Just south of Perth is the resort coast town of Freemantle, a popular casual getaway place with beaches, harbor, cafes and art galleries. Read the gay Australia story

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New Zealand – North Island (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Ma¯ori named New Zealand Aotearoa, which is commonly translated into English as The Land of the Long White Cloud. New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation, situated about 2000 km (1250 miles) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and its closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. During its long isolation New Zealand developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds, many of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and the mammals they introduced. The population is mostly of European descent, with the indigenous Maori being the largest minority. Asians and non-Ma¯ori Polynesians are also significant minorities, especially in the cities. Political power is held by the

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