Denmark: Karen Blixen Museum in Denmark and Nairobi Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke (1885-1962) was a Danish author also known under her pen name Isak Dinesen. Blixen wrote works both in Danish and in English. She is best known, at least in English, for the book Out of Africa, her account of living in Kenya
Copenhagen: A Happy Home for Citizens and for World OutGames 2009 A Happening Scene It doesn’t take long to locate gay Copenhagen. The gay-friendly guidebook Lonely Planet has a boxed section that describes the scene as “one of the liveliest gay and lesbian scenes in Europe…” From this simple comment into the thicket of
The OutGames 2009 Human Rights Conference closed on somber yet defiant note in August amid warnings of dire laws in Africa and major plans to push ahead for gay rights including gay marriage in the West. Under the theme ‘Love of Freedom–Freedom to Love’ hundreds of delegates listened and spoke about global efforts to bring tolerance, respect and protection to countless millions of LGBT citizens around the world. From the United Nations’ highest Human Rights official to a small activist group in Bolivia, the message was clear: “we are here, we are queer and we will be heard; we are no less human than any other person.”
Intro: Copenhagen was the host for the 2nd edition of the World OutGames in July 2009. About 6000 athletes from 70 countries competed in 30 different sports, from placid bridge (cards) to the popular swimming to the daunting triathalon. Affiliated with the Games was the Human Rights Conference also held in Copenhagen. At the end of the sporting and conference week the city held its annual Gay Pride Parade.
Armenia has been politically free of harsh Soviet domination for twenty years but human rights and attitudes have been slow in changing especially regarding sexual minorities. Although homosexuality has been legal in since 2003 the situation for local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens has not changed: gays are not welcome in society or at
Denmark was one of the world’s earliest leaders in pro-gay rights. My first visit many years ago as a not-yet-gay tourist pleased and teased me with its sexy shops and magazines and colorful night life. It opened my eyes to more to my own truth when a friendly stranger swept me away for a night
The Scourge of Homosexuality Serbia is in the throes of changing from a harsh war-torn society to a free-thinking free-enterprise nation of progress. Having suffered from its own aggressions as well Nato’s bombs in the 90’s there is little tolerance now for outside interference or for social experiments. Homosexuality is treated as a scourge with
Sexual minorities in Moldova are one of the most vulnerable and discriminated social groups. During the last ten years GenderDoc-M has registered 15 cases of gay murder because of homophobia and numerous cases of violence, discrimination and intolerant attitude to LGBT community. Law does not protect the rights of sexual minorities in Moldova nor
Situated on the River Vltava (Moldau) in central Bohemia, Prague has been the political, cultural, and economic centre of the Czech Republic for more than 1100 years. The city proper is home to more than 1.2 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 1.9 million. The stunning architecture,
Intro: A small picturesque gem in central Europe, the Czech Republic has progressed far since communism ended in 1989. Most notable is the legalization of same-sex relationships and the open attitude Czech people have toward homosexuality. Except for minor right-wing and religious protests the LGBT community is alive and well with numerous organizations, venues and events. Across the country are charming towns, ancient castles and immaculate pensions with tasty food.
Situated on the River Vltava (Moldau) in central Bohemia, Prague has been the political, cultural, and economic centre of the Czech state for more than 1100 years. The city proper is home to more than 1.2 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 1.9 million. Since 1992, the
Situated on the River Vltava (Moldau) in central Bohemia, Prague has been the political, cultural, and economic centre of the Czech state for more than 1100 years. The city is home to the liveliest gay and lesbian communities in eastern Europe. There are dozens of LGBT clubs, bars, saunas, cafes, restaurants. The large diverse gay
Terezin (Theresienstadt) is the name of a former military fortress and garrison town in the north of the Czech Republic. During WWII, the Gestapo used this now-peaceful town as ghetto, concentrating Jews from Czechoslovakia, as well as many from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark. Though it was not an extermination camp, of more than
Finland is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Finland was historically part of Sweden and from 1809 an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Finland’s declaration of independence in 1917 from Russia was followed by a civil war, wars against
Intro: One of history’s most enlightened kings, Frederick the Great, was a powerful military leader and an artist. He was also gay. He dominated Europe in the 17th century and built a huge estate with palaces and gardens reflecting his tastes. This beautiful site in Potsdam is today one of Europe’s greatest gifts to art and history lovers.
Intro: I visited Iceland many years ago as a young student on my way to study Shakespeare in England. Our Icelandic Airlines prop jet had to land for a day in Reykjavik for repairs and we were taken on a local tour of this unique island nation. I recall the clearness of things: the air, the sky, the water. The landscape oozed with rising thermal steam. Our hosts were cheerful, outgoing and clear-headed.
Decades later it comes as no surprise that Iceland is now one of the most liberal countries in dispensing fairness and equality to its homosexual citizens. Not perfect, but very close. It comes from a Scandinavian egalitarian heritage, of Viking durability; from Hanseatic justice and modern Nordic progressive-mindedness. I have not returned to visit Iceland as a gay adult yet, so the following seven articles about Iceland have been taken from various Internet sites that offer a variety of insights about living gay in modern Iceland. My own story will appear after my second visit–soon.
One of the most famous buildings in the world, the Colosseum was built for sports and entertainment, which included combat between gladiators who usually killed their opponents and included watching wild animals attack and kill unarmed civilians. Today the only competition is preening and cruising among countless thousands of students who visit the Coloseum each
A drive around this beautiful friendly country reveals fertile farms, soaring cathedrals and castles, a tormented past and a boisterous and fairly prosperous present. Scattered pockets of gay culture and life, in the big cities, are energetic but still muted and surrounded by much homophobia. Recent political leaders have opposed gay festivals and parades but
Zakopane is a town in southern Poland with some 30,000 inhabitants. The town, a place of Góral culture and informally known as "the winter capital of Poland," lies at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, the only alpine mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. It is an appealing tourist town with its forests and streams
An hour’s drive southwest of Ljubjana is the impressive 16th century Castle of Predjama. The castle was probably built in the 12th century. It is located in the middle of a 123 meter high overhanging limestone cliff at the entrance of a cave. Beneath the castle the Lovka stream runs into another cave. Read the
Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople) is the world’s 3rd largest city and Turkey’s cultural and financial center. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. As the largest city in Hungary, it serves as the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation center. In 2008, Budapest had 1,702,297 inhabitants. The architecture reflects the many centuries of its history. Read the story about gay Hungary