GLOBALGAYZ.COM CELEBRATES 15 YEARS ONLINE
International Gay Travel-Culture-Rights Website Celebrates 15 Years, 300 Stories and 200 Countries.
It started in 1996 with a interview story about a closeted gay Taiwanese couple, one dying of of AIDS. Other stories about gay life followed as Richard Ammon, a retired psychologist, continued to write for a local Orange County, California gay magazine. “After I had a dozen stories someone suggested I publish a book,” he said, “but the Internet made a travel book quickly outdated so I started a website–GlobalGayz.com.” In 1999 the website was launched and today there are over 300 stories from over 200 countries around the world, making it one of the largest LGBT travel, culture and human rights websites on the Net.
Based in Laguna Beach, California and Westhampton, Massachusetts, Ammon–with and sometimes without his partner–has continued an endless journey across the world to all continents and upwards of 150 countries in search of LGBT life and culture.
“I don’t look for entertainment or celebrations. My focus is on individual lives and the up-and-down drama they have faced in everyday living. I interview real people about real situations with their families, their lovers and their friends as they seek safety and fulfillment surrounded by larger homophobic hetero societies of politics, religion and laws.”
The result is an unique website that offers in-depth and personal travel and culture insights for such diverse countries as Tibet, Uruguay, Slovenia, Kenya, Mexico and Morocco.
Most of the stories are based on in-person interviews that Ammon has done with courageous African activists, Gay Games athletes, Asian sex-workers, upscale French ‘preppies’, Asian human rights advocates, exiled persecuted expats, deeply closeted Muslims and risk-taking Israeli protectors of gay Palestinian refugees in danger of being murdered by their own families.
Far from the LGBT travel and leisure set aboard an RSVP or Olivia cruise, GlobalGayz searches out the hearts and minds of gay citizens whose lives are fortunate to live securely in Palm Springs or unfortunate to live at risk and in fear in Yemen. “I have found the most troubled homosexuals in many countries are those who have been forced into heterosexual marriages–African, Latino or Muslim–and walk a razor’s edge of being exposed, humiliated, rejected or killed. Of the people I’ve interviewed four have been murdered and at least half a dozen have been forced into exile because of real or threatened violence”, said Ammon recently as he prepared a new story about LGBT life in Uzbekistan.
In addition. there are some stories by guest authors that serve as stand-ins and supplements for countries he has not yet visited–such as Antarctica. There are about 205 countries around the globe; getting to every one is a life’s journey. “I’d like to visit every state but war zones where kidnapping westerners is popular are foolish destinations.”
Also on this well-organized site are countless photos for every country visited, from the infinite sand dunes in Namibia and Norway’s Arctic Circle to Mount Everest. Each image is captioned for a viewer’s understanding since most people are armchair travelers.
In addition to the stories and photos, GlobalGayz has an enormous archive of relevant news and reports gathered since 1990 from LGBT news agencies. Ranging across a wide spectrum of current events–political, religious, legal, social, human rights, gender–they provide a broader context for the stories to help deepen a reader’s appreciation of gay life in each country.
Scanning the wide range of information here, there is probably no website that offers a more comprehensive understanding of so many countries regarding LGBT life around the world.
Worldwide Gay Life, Sites and Insights
GlobalGayz Blog: http://www.globalgayz.com/blo