A directory of famous French lesbians and gay Frenchmen. These notable French homosexuals are either from the French Republic, a French territory or claim French citizenship. These famous France born homosexuals are notable for various reasons, whether they were or are homosexual entertainers, singers, inventors or even composers.
35 French Gay Slang Words You Need to Know
No matter where you go, gay lingo will always be colorful, witty, unabashed, and quite delightful. French gay slang is no different.
French gay-speak is generally translated from English/American gay slang, and as with its heterosexual counterpart, it is best to know a thing or two about it, whatever your sexuality.
So, if you are sensitive to this sort of thing, If not, then check out the list of slang words grouped into two: gay guy lingo, and lesbian slang.
10 great French gay films
Traditionally France has been seen as one of the most liberal countries in the world, and it boasts an enviable record on gay rights, despite the occasional rantings from Brigitte Bardot. But has this homofriendly attitude translated to its cinema?
We’ve kept the list to films that are easily available to watch in the UK, but honourable mention should go to The Ostrich Has Two Eggs (1957), a dated farce that at least has a sympathetic gay son, albeit one who never appears on screen, and Les Amitiés particulières (1964), set in a boys’ boarding school. Les Nuits fauves (1992) is one of the finest films to deal with the AIDS crisis, while the best work of the recently deceased Patrice Chéreau (especially 1983’s L’Homme blessé) narrowly missed the cut.
Each of the recommendations included here is available to view in the UK.
Where are the lesbians? Good question, as French cinema is particularly strong on sapphic cinema. Alas, pioneering films such as Club de femmes (1936) and Olivia (1950) aren’t easily available in the UK, but hopefully a list will appear in the future.
The 20 best gay beaches in the world
Waves lapped gently against the shore, the sun beat down and warmed my every fiber, palm trees swayed in the breeze. As I took a sip of my ice-cold mojito, I asked Seby: “Is there anything better than a trip to the beach?”
I had to admit, he was right. Whether it’s the chance to get active in the water, show off your hard work in the gym or simply top up that tan, it’s no secret that many gay guys feel most fabulous at the beach. This has meant that gay beaches have popped up across the world down the years, providing a hotspot for local gay communities and gay tourists too.
From vibrant city center beaches where summer nightlife lasts well into the early hours or more relaxed, isolated affairs with a cultivated vibe, gay beaches come in as many shapes, sizes, and guises as gay men. Whether you’re searching for the best gay beaches in the United States or fancy visiting a gay beach further afield, our rundown of the twenty best gay beaches in the world has got you covered.
The Vatican’s Secret Life
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Naked but for the towel around his waist, a man of a certain age sat by himself, bent slightly forward as if praying, in a corner of the sauna at a gym in central Rome. I had not met this man before, but as I entered the sauna, I thought I recognized him from photographs. He looked like a priest with whom I’d corresponded after mutual friends put us in touch, a man I had wanted to consult about gay clerics in the Vatican Curia. My friends told me that this priest was gay, politically savvy, and well connected to the gay Church hierarchy in Rome.
But this couldn’t be that priest. He had told me that he’d be away and couldn’t meet. Yet as I looked at the man more closely, I saw that it was definitely him. When we were alone, I spoke his name, telling him mine. “I thought you were out of the country,” I said. “How lucky for me: you’re here!” Startled, the priest talked fast. Yes, his plans had changed, he said, but he was leaving again the next day and would return only after I was gone.
During the previous few days, I had heard a lot about this man. I had heard that he is a gossip, a social operator whose calendar is a blur of drinks and dinners with cardinals and archbishops, principessas and personal trainers. Supposedly, he loves to dish male colleagues with campy female nicknames. But I would never have the experience firsthand. The priest was embarrassed: to have been chanced upon at this place; to have had his small evasions revealed. The encounter was awkward. No, he did not wish to discuss the subject I was interested in. No, he did not think the subject worthwhile. These things he made clear. We left the sauna and, after further conversation, civil but stilted, went our separate ways.
I could understand his discomfort. But in Rome these days the topic of gay priests in the upper reaches of the Holy See is hard to avoid. In February of this year, not long before the College of Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to choose the 266th Pope, the largest Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica, reported that a “gay lobby”—a more or less unified cabal of homosexual power brokers—might be operating inside the Vatican. According to the newspaper, the possible existence of this gay lobby was among the many secrets described in a two-volume, 300-page report bound in red and presented to Pope Benedict XVI by three cardinals he had appointed to investigate the affair known as “VatiLeaks.” That scandal, which raised fresh suspicions of endemic corruption within the Curia, had broken the previous year after Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler, made off with some of Benedict’s private papers and leaked them to the press.
The internal VatiLeaks report, according to La Repubblica, indicated that gay clerics in the Vatican were being blackmailed. The report was also said to document the alleged gay lobby’s social structure and customs. Yet details concerning gay priests’ gatherings added up to old news: the tales had been told in articles previously published by La Repubblica itself. Sensationally, the newspaper suggested that Benedict’s concern about the alleged gay lobby was one reason he had suddenly resigned the papacy.
Months later, another leak of confidential information brought the subject of a gay lobby back into the news. Someone took notes during what was meant to be a private meeting between Latin-American Church leaders and the new Pope, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, now known as Francis. In June, those notes were published on a progressive Catholic Web site. Francis was quoted as saying, “The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there … We need to see what we can do.”
Gay lobby? It depends on what you mean. The term could refer to a shadowy group like the Illuminati, whose members quietly exercise supreme power. This is the sort of idea that lights up the tinfoil hats of conspiracy theorists, and it doesn’t capture the slow, feudal, inefficient workings of the Vatican. “Gay lobby” is really shorthand for something else. At the Vatican, a significant number of gay prelates and other gay clerics are in positions of great authority. They may not act as a collective but are aware of one another’s existence. And they inhabit a secretive netherworld, because homosexuality is officially condemned. Though the number of gay priests in general, and specifically among the Curia in Rome, is unknown, the proportion is much higher than in the general population. Between 20 and 60 percent of all Catholic priests are gay, according to one estimate cited by Donald B. Cozzens in his well-regarded The Changing Face of the Priesthood. For gay clerics at the Vatican, one fundamental condition of their power, and of their priesthood, is silence, at least in public, about who they really are.
Clerics inhabit this silence in a variety of ways. A few keep their sexuality entirely private and adhere to the vow of celibacy. Many others quietly let themselves be known as gay to a limited degree, to some colleagues, or to some laypeople, or both; sometimes they remain celibate and sometimes they do not. A third way, perhaps the least common but certainly the most visible, involves living a double life. Occasionally such clerics are unmasked, usually by stories in the Italian press. In 2010, for the better part of a month, one straight journalist pretended to be the boyfriend of a gay man who acted as a “honeypot” and entrapped actual gay priests in various sexual situations. (The cardinal vicar of Rome was given the task of investigating. The priests’ fates are unknown.)
There are at least a few gay cardinals, including one whose long-term partner is a well-known minister in a Protestant denomination. There is the notorious monsignor nicknamed “Jessica,” who likes to visit a pontifical university and pass out his business card to 25-year-old novices. (Among the monsignor’s pickup lines: “Do you want to see the bed of John XXIII?”) There’s the supposedly straight man who has a secret life as a gay prostitute in Rome and posts photographs online of the innermost corridors of the Vatican. Whether he received this privileged access from some friend or family member, or from a client, is impossible to say; to see a known rent boy in black leather on a private Vatican balcony does raise an eyebrow.
The Vatican holds secrets so tightly that it can make Fort Meade look like a sloppy drunk. Yet dozens of interviews with current and former gay priests, gay monks, veteran Vatican journalists, Italian aristocrats, and gay men at Roman gyms, bars, nightclubs, sex clubs, and restaurants suggest that, riveting as the more graphic stories are, they convey a limited part of the reality of gay clerical life in Rome. To be gay in the Vatican is no guarantee of success, mark of belonging, or shortcut to erotic intrigue. Most basically it is a sentence of isolation. Gays in the Vatican are creatures of a cutthroat bureaucracy whose dogmatic worldview denies or denigrates their own existence. They live in a closet that has no door. Among recent Popes, Benedict made the most concerted effort to sharpen Church doctrine on homosexuality, which he once called “a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.” He tried to cull gays from clerical ranks, most notably in 2005, when men with known “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” were prohibited from being ordained, even if they were celibate.
Denunciation and exposure have made gay priests figures of fascination—though less as people than as symbols—especially to the secular far left and the religious far right. Both sides find these clerics to be politically useful. The left uses them to level charges of hypocrisy. The right sees them as a stain in need of removal. They all got a shock late last July when Francis made his first direct public statement about gay clerics since becoming Pope.
During an impromptu press conference aboard the papal jet, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Rome after his first overseas trip, Francis was asked about the so-called gay lobby. His response, delivered with casual humor and punctuated by shrugs and smiles, was as follows: “So much has been written about the gay lobby. I still haven’t run into anyone in the Vatican who has shown me an identity card with ‘gay’ on it.” He pantomimed holding up such a card in his left hand and then went on: “When you find yourself with a person like that, you have to distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of somebody forming a lobby. . . . If a person is gay and is searching for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge him?”
He spoke these words with a palpable warmth, unlike the embattled, wary tone that other Popes have adopted. This may well have been the first time in history that a Pope has publicly uttered the term “gay”—the word that most men who feel romantic love for other men use to describe themselves—instead of the pathologizing 19th-century medical term “homosexual.” Then, in a lengthy interview with a Jesuit journal, the Pope went further, stating that the Church’s ministry should not be “obsessed” with a few divisive moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage. “When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?” the Pope asked rhetorically. “We must always consider the person.”
Tales of gays in the Vatican have been told for more than a thousand years. Pope John XII, who reigned from 955 to 964, was accused of having sex with men and boys and turning the papal palace “into a whorehouse.” While trying to persuade a cobbler’s apprentice to have sex with him, Pope Boniface VIII, who reigned from 1294 to 1303, was said to have assured the boy that two men having sex was “no more a sin than rubbing your hands together.” After Paul II, who reigned from 1464 to 1471, died of a heart attack—while in flagrante delicto with a page, according to one rumor—he was succeeded by Sixtus IV, who kept a nephew as his lover (and made the nephew a cardinal at age 17). Some such stories are better substantiated than others. Even while their reliability is questionable, they demonstrate that playing the gay card (even if you yourself are gay) is an ancient Curial tactic. “There are closeted gay priests who are vipers,” observes the theologian Mark D. Jordan, the author of The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism. “They are really poisonous people, and they work out their own inner demonology by getting into positions in power and exercising it” against other gay men, women, and anyone whom they perceive to be a threat. “Alongside that are suffering priests who seem sincere all the way down, who are trying to be faithful to God, and also to take care of people and change the institution. They are the ones who are always forgotten, and read out of the story from both sides.”
The Catholic priesthood’s contemporary gay cultural memory begins in the middle of the last century. When Paul VI assumed the throne, in 1963, by one account he took his papal name not from any predecessor but from a former lover, a film actor. That at least was the contention of the provocative gay French writer Roger Peyrefitte, whose 1976 allegations about Paul VI caused such a stir that Paul took to the balcony of St. Peter’s to denounce the “horrible and slanderous” accusations. Paul looked a laughingstock, and the Curia learned a lesson: better to ignore such charges than to amplify them by denial.
Meanwhile, some gay clerics were outgrowing the “particular friendships” that had long been part of monastic life and joining the sexual revolution. By the 1970s, the center of gay life in Rome was a cruising area called Monte Caprino, on the Capitoline Hill. At a small party of gay monks and their friends in Rome last summer, conversation turned to recollections of that place. “It was like its own little city,” one monk remembered, “with hundreds of people—everyone from seminarians to bishops—and then there were, conveniently, bushes off to the side.” The fellow feeling at Monte Caprino was compromised by the air of secrecy around the place. The area was a target for muggers and thieves, who figured rightly that clerics would make ideal victims because they had much to lose by the public act of pressing charges. One gay former seminarian recalled a night when three men beat him up and stole his wallet while numerous men in the crowded park stood by. Left bloodied by the thieves, the seminarian hollered at the bystanders, “There’s three of them and 300 of us!”
He told me this story, with its echoes of the parable of the Good Samaritan—in which a traveler is robbed, beaten, and left by the side of the road, and pious men do nothing to help him—to illustrate the every-man-for-himself dynamic of Rome’s gay clerical culture. Gay clerics often fail to help one another, he says, for the same reason that no one tried to help him the night that he was robbed: solidarity entails the risk of being outed.
Self-centeredness can breed a sense of entitlement. “A certain part of the clergy feels that no one will care what they do if they are discreet,” says Marco Politi, a prominent Italian journalist and longtime Vatican correspondent, and the author of several books about the papacy and the Church. In 2000, Politi published a book-length interview with an anonymous gay priest, entitled La Confessione, republished in 2006 as Io, Prete Gay (I, Gay Priest). “Rumors are O.K., but not scandal,” Politi observes.
There has been plenty of scandal, though. In 2007, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico met a young man in an online chat room and invited him to his Vatican office, where their conversation—in which Stenico denied that gay sex was a sin, touched the man’s leg, and said, “You’re so hot”—was secretly videotaped and then broadcast on Italian television. (Stenico tried to persuade Italian newspapers that he’d just been playing along in order “to study how priests are ensnared” into gay sex as part of “a diabolical plan by groups of Satanists.” He was suspended from his Vatican position.) In 2006 a priest in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State injured police officers and smashed into police cars during a high-speed chase through a district in Rome known for transsexuals and prostitutes. (The priest was acquitted on all charges after claiming that he fled because he feared he was being kidnapped.) In a 2010 investigation of contract fixing for construction projects, Italian police wiretaps happened to catch a papal usher and Gentleman of His Holiness, Angelo Balducci, allegedly hiring male prostitutes, some of whom may have been seminarians, through a Nigerian member of a Vatican choir. (The choir member was dismissed; Balducci was convicted on corruption charges.)
Pope Benedict was rumored to have ordered that prelates who were living double lives be retired or removed from Rome. Marco Politi speculates that perhaps as many as 30 were eased out. The most senior prelate to lose his job was Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. A staunch opponent of gay marriage who had publicly called homosexuality a “moral degradation,” O’Brien was brought down in February by three priests and one ex-priest who accused him of “inappropriate contact” and predatory behavior when he was their bishop. The episodes recounted by the four men involved such consistent patterns over more than 30 years that some of O’Brien’s colleagues surely must have had their suspicions. When I asked one archbishop if he had known that O’Brien was gay, however, the archbishop said he had not. When I asked the archbishop who among the other cardinals were O’Brien’s closest friends, he coldly answered, “I don’t think he had any.” Every man for himself, indeed.
Even Benedict has been dogged by rumors that he is gay. Though no solid evidence has ever emerged, it is treated as common knowledge by many in Rome, who cite stereotypes galore, including his fussy fashion sense (his ruby-red slippers, his “Valentino red” capes); his crusade to nail down why “homosexual actions” are “intrinsically disordered” (many closeted gay men, from Roy Cohn to Cardinal O’Brien, have made the most extraordinary efforts to condemn homosexuality); and his bromance with Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his longtime personal secretary. (Nicknamed Bel Giorgio, or “Gorgeous George,” the rugged Gänswein skis, plays tennis, and pilots airplanes. He inspired Donatella Versace’s winter 2007 “clergyman collection.”) Perhaps the most vicious of Benedict’s nicknames is “La Maledetta.” The word means “cursed” in Italian, but the pun derives from the fact that the term means the exact opposite of Benedict’s own name in Italian, Benedetto, which means “blessed”—with a gender change achieved in the process.
Neither Benedict nor Gänswein has publicly responded to any of this. The chatter’s main consequence has been not to hurt them personally (though surely it must, at least a little) but to help lock down genuine conversation about the everyday lives of gay priests, whether celibate or not. It is more or less impossible for gay clerics to articulate their affections in any way that does not amount to what an Anglo-Saxon mind might see as hypocrisy. Yet such a dualistic existence is very much a part of Church tradition. “This is almost an aspect of the Catholic religion itself,” Colm Tóibín has written in an essay on gays and Catholicism, “this business of knowing and not knowing something all at the same time, keeping an illusion separate from the truth.” It is also typical of Italian sexuality in general, and Italian homosexuality in particular. This is the country that tolerated the sexual escapades and serial frauds of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi with scarcely a hint of protest from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. This is the country where countless married women ignore their husbands’ dalliances with men.
The culture of deception operates according to signals and conventions by which gay clerics navigate their lives. Camp is perhaps the most powerful and pervasive of these codes, though it can be difficult to define. Ironic, effeminate self-mockery—allowing priests to exercise some limited rebellion against their own isolation and invisibility—is one form of clerical camp. For fear of laughing out loud, priests sometimes try to avoid making eye contact with one another in church when hymns with titles like “Hail, Holy Queen” are sung. After Bergoglio became Pope Francis, YouTube clips of a sequence from Fellini’s Roma went viral among gay priests in Rome. It shows a plain-looking cardinal watching a runway show of over-the-top clerical attire—which ends when the departed Pope steals the show by appearing in the glorious garb of a Sun God.
One gay former priest, who still lives in Rome, describes clerical camp as “a natural way of expressing [gay identity] while celibate.” Socially, he says, it is “a key that unlocks a further element of trust.” There’s nothing earth-shattering about this—it’s what every institution does—but “the Church has a lot more experience and practice at protecting itself. As far as that goes,” he says, with a nod to Cole Porter, “they’re the tops.”
When this former priest began his education in Rome, a professor told him, “There shouldn’t be a subculture. We are all male here, so it’s inappropriate to say ‘her’ or to refer to other men with feminine pronouns.” The former priest says that “none of this instruction was about our behavior. It was about how we should appear.” He believes that such instruction illustrates a little-noted change in official thinking about Catholic identity, and what should be at its center. “The symbols of the Church should be the sacraments,” such as the Eucharist, he argues, but over time the people who administer the sacraments have come to displace them in prominence. In other words, “the priests become the symbols” that are deemed most important. Which in turn puts a premium on outward appearance and enforces conformity to a certain official ideal. The Church, therefore, is increasingly preoccupied with making sure its leaders are groomed from among “boys who look holy: playing dress-up at the American College and going down to Piazza Navona at nine P.M. to say their Breviaries.” Sacraments and liturgy, the former priest says, are “the kernel of what makes the Church important. This is what makes us powerful. Not the protection of medieval institutions.”
Yet in the Church, as in Italian society, it’s often the case that right appearance—la bella figura—is all. In every detail, parties celebrating appointment to the Vatican and other high Church offices can be lavish—“like a posh girl’s wedding”—with many clerics in attendance being “gay men wearing everything handmade, perfect, queer as it comes,” observes one prominent figure in the Roman art world. But la bella figura matters just as much at ordinary moments. Especially for clerics who break the vow of celibacy, it is crucial to keep up appearances in the normal course of life.
Gay saunas are good places to meet other gay priests and monks. The best times to find clerics at the saunas are late afternoon or evening on Thursdays (when pontifical universities have no classes) or Sundays (after Mass). Some gay celibate clerics use the saunas not for sex but to experience a sense of fellowship with others like themselves. One calls his sauna visits “something to confirm myself as I am.” (Rome has few gay bars, and John Moss, the American owner of the largest and oldest one, the Hangar, says that the rise of Internet cruising, combined with the Vatican’s crackdown on gay priests, has decimated his gay clerical clientele. “There used to be so many seminarians—such beautiful men—who came to the bar, and we would even get hired to take parties to them in some of the religious houses. Now there’s nobody.”)
Once you make a connection, it’s possible to use your monastery cell for sexual assignations, as long as you don’t make much noise. “You can sneak people in, no problem,” one gay monk says, “but try to avoid consistent patterns of movement.” In other words, don’t invite a guy over on the same day of the week, or at the same time of day, very often. That said, “no one has sex” with other residents of his own monastery, a former monk told me, “because it is like a Big Brother house. Everyone knows everything.”
The more senior the cleric, the more likely he may be to play loose with the rules. One leading Vatican reporter (who says that, among journalists on the beat, the two most common topics for gossip about Church officials are “who’s gay and who’s on the take”) describes the logic of such behavior. “Everything is permitted because you are a prince of the court,” he says. “If you are truly loyal and entrusted with the highest level of responsibility, there has to be an extra liberty attached in order to be able to pull it off.”
Vows of celibacy don’t say anything about eye candy. Some Curia officials are said to handpick extremely handsome men for menial jobs in order to make Vatican City more scenic. A layman I know whose job requires frequent trips to the Vatican used to enjoy flirting with a muscular go-go boy who danced on the bar at a gay nightclub in Rome. One day at the Vatican, this layman was amazed to see the dancer out of context, dressed in the uniform of a security guard. When he made to greet the man, the guard signaled him to stay back, raising a finger to his lips in a quiet “Shhhhh … ”
Where silence can’t strictly be kept, word games can compartmentalize the truth. In the Vatican office of a monsignor who I’d been told might have some firsthand knowledge concerning recent gay scandals in the Church, I asked, point-blank, “Are you gay?,” and he serenely answered, “No.” I replied, “I wonder, if a priest is homosexual—but does not participate in mainstream secular gay culture—could he say that he is not ‘gay’ and still think he’s telling the truth?” “What an interesting question,” the monsignor said, immediately standing up and gesturing me to the door. “I’m afraid I don’t have any more time to talk.” He insisted on personally walking me out of the building, and as we passed along a grand hallway I remarked upon its beauty. “I don’t see it,” he replied archly. “To me, other hallways are ‘beautiful.’ ” Was this an innocent remark, or a coded answer to my question? Sometimes talking to gay priests feels like reading stories by Borges.
For those who want it, organized networks can provide some grounding. A few small groups of gay Catholics in Rome operate publicly, but because anyone can come to their meetings, it can be risky for priests, especially Vatican officials, to be part of them. One private group of about 50 gay priests and laymen meets once a year, for a kind of retreat. A Vatican priest I met with—he actually invited me to stop by his office near St. Peter’s because he said he wanted “to show that this is no secret,” though it’s secret enough that he can’t be named—is involved with this group, as part of an unofficial ministry in addition to his official duties. He says that his superiors, including at least one very prominent Vatican official, have long known he is gay, and have even promoted him since learning that fact.
Yet gays in the Vatican, like spies in intelligence services, inhabit boxes within boxes. The priest who helps with the group of 50 raised his eyebrows when I repeated to him something an archbishop had told me. “I know a priest who ministers to people in the Curia in that situation,” the archbishop said, though “he is not assigned officially.”
“That is not me,” the priest said, amazed. “I wonder who it could be.”
As you would expect, the priest I met in the sauna looks rather different with vestments on. When I walked into church a few days later, for Sunday-morning Mass, he was the celebrant—even though, when we met, he had said he was about to leave town. Maybe his plans had changed again.
He was preaching a homily on the Gospel reading, the parable of the Good Samaritan. The priest told the congregation that this story was a challenge. A challenge to accept “risk in favor of compassion.” A challenge to “look more deeply at ‘Who is my neighbor?’ ” A challenge to be generous, unlike “the religious, spiritual person who did nothing to help.” Listening to these words, I could not help but wonder: where, in that parable, does this priest see himself?
From the day after the conclave ended—when Francis went back to his hotel and personally checked out, paid his bill, and picked up his suitcase—the new Pope has surprised people with his actions. During Holy Week, he went to a juvenile prison and washed the feet of inmates, including two girls and two Muslims. One morning, he reportedly made a sandwich for the Swiss Guard who had stood sentinel outside his room all night. He invited 200 homeless people for dinner in the Vatican gardens.
Francis has also said some things that, from a Pope’s mouth, seem extraordinary simply because they are so down to earth—like his choice to end one homily with the untraditional exhortation “Have a good lunch!” Yet the first time this Pope’s words, rather than his actions, made significant headlines was in connection with his comments about the “gay lobby.”
As noted, the phrase first gained currency before Francis came on the scene, but it returned to public discussion just as he got serious about what may be a hallmark of his papacy: a cleanup of Vatican corruption. The scope of his concern about abuse of power seems total. He is reforming everything from the Vatican bank’s bookkeeping to the contents of the papal wardrobe.
For a long time, gay priests have made for convenient scapegoats and handy pawns in Church power games. All of them, whether actively or passively, have helped create these roles for themselves, and they can hardly imagine a different reality—unless they were to emerge from the closet and get thrown out of the priesthood. One monk told me, “A lot of us will not condemn. But not speak out. We’re in a system that controls us. The longer you’re in it, the more it controls, the more you assume the clerical position.” They keep hope small, or snuff it entirely. They believe that nothing and no one could make the Church safe for them. Might this change? “Not in my lifetime,” they all say.
Yet, before he became Francis, Jorge Bergoglio was a Jesuit. As *National Catholic Reporter’*s John Allen, the dean of the American Vatican-watchers, told me, “There’s a kind of Catholic version of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ that the Jesuits would be particularly noted for. There are guys in the Jesuit world that everybody knows are gay, but they don’t go around making a big deal out of it.” While Pope Benedict’s Vatican attempted to make sure gays knew they were unwelcome in the priesthood, the Jesuits developed a reputation for tolerating and even protecting their gay brethren.
In the collegial Jesuit spirit, Francis appointed eight cardinals to serve as his core advisers on significant issues, and in the coming years, this group may have as much influence on the situation of gays in the priesthood as Francis himself. When I asked an archbishop how he thinks the cardinals’ conversation about their gay brothers will go, he answered with reference not to the Holy Spirit but to the god of Fortune. “Right now the surest thing I can say is that there’s change in the air,” he said. “If you could say what will happen, you could say who’d win the lottery.”
The next time I heard mention of a lottery was a few days later, at dinner with a gay monk who told me that he had recently fallen in love for the first time, with a man. “Am I a clerical hypocrite? I guess in one way I am,” he said, in the middle of a long and emotional narrative, before bringing the conversation to bedrock reality. “But I’m over 60. I have nothing financially. I can’t leave.” And then he said, “If I won the Powerball lotto, I would leave.”
Note: An alteration was made in the passage about Marco Politi’s La Confessione, republished as Io, Prete Gay, in order to give a more accurate description of the book.
Gay-freundliche Strände in Frankreich
Natürlich sind die Strände Südfrankreichs jedem ein Begriff, doch auch hier gibt es noch eine ganze Menge unbekannter Strände zu entdecken. Auf dieser Liste – geordnet nach Departements – haben wir einige schöne Ideen für Ihren Strandurlaub zusammengestellt – es findet sich bestimmt auch ein gay-freundlicher Strand in der Umgebung Ihres Urlaubsorts.
Major tourist attractions like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, numerous castles and, its renowned food, wines and fashion, make France the most popular tourist destination in the world.
Nice and Montpellier are the major gay destinations along the Mediterranean coast, other interesting cities are Toulouse and Bordeaux in the southwest, Grenoble and Annecy in the Alps, Nantes and Lille in the North and Lyon in the center. Gay life does exist all over in France, even outside the cities and it is definitely not limited to Paris and Marais. The French genuinely like gay people, so you should feel welcome everywhere…
„Get rewarded while sleeping with us“ is only one slogan which may attract you to think about gay loyalty. Go Friends is a multi-partner bonus program for gays which provides members to earn, collect, use and redeem bonus points, credited through partner businesses while shopping or enjoying their services.
It’s totally FREE for you so, you can only benefit! There is also no obligation, except presenting your bonus card whenever you want to show your gay loyalty and earn or redeem points.
Gay Adult Store in Les Halles. Cruising in basement : cinema, 12 private cabins with lcd, glory holes. Cold & hot drinks. Underwear & Sportswear at 1rst floor.
Real estate agency. Appartments, lofts, maisons in Paris and reachable with metro
The 50 Best LGBTQ Movies Ever Made
Here are the best movies that depict the queer experience in all its complexities.
The good news: this year you have time for some movies.
Under normal circumstances, June busts out all over with Pride Month parties and parades. The gay neighborhood thumps with house music. Your bank, cable company and sandwich shop rush to remind you of their support for the LGBTQ+ community. And if you can bear the crowds, you leave a Pride festival with a draft-beer buzz, an application for a rainbow-flag credit card, and a paper fan with Chelsea Handler’s face on it. It’s a lot, but it’s ours.
This year, the public events of LGBTQ Pride Month—much like sports, school, and life itself—are cancelled. We’re stuck inside unless we’re marching for police reform. The few bars that have reopened are for the reckless and foolish, and let’s be honest: there’s only so much dancing a person can do on Zoom. The conditions are optimal for you to catch up on your queer cinema.
We’ve come a ways in fifty years, from the self-loathing middle-aged men of The Boys In The Band to the peppy teens of Love, Simon. The range runs from the shoestring brilliance of The Watermelon Woman to the big-budget glitter-bomb that is Rocketman. 1982’s tentative Making Love derailed the careers of its two lead actors; 2017’s Call Me By Your Name cemented its pair as movie stars. While gay characters tended until much too recently to be one-dimensional, white, and doomed, in 2018 Barry Jenkins won a Best Picture Oscar telling the layered and hopeful story of a gay Black man in Moonlight.
There’s a lot of history to explore, and there’s never been a better time to do it. Borrow a streaming service password from family– however you define it!–and dive in.
If it feels a bit like a CW version of an Afterschool Special, that’s no mistake: teen-tv super-producer Greg Berlanti makes his feature film directorial debut here. It’s as chaste a love story as you’re likely to see in the 21st century— the hunky gardener who makes the title teen question his sexuality is wearing a long-sleeved shirt, for God’s sake—but you know what? The queer kids of the future need their wholesome entertainment too.
Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine play headmistresses at a school for girls who are accused by a student of being in a lesbian relationship. While the accusation is false, it nearly ruins the women’s standing in their community and threatens their friendship—and forces one of them to reevaluate her own identity.
A gay fantasia on Elton themes. An Elton John biopic was never going to be understated, but this glittering jukebox musical goes way over the top and then keeps going. It might be an overcorrection from the straight-washing of the previous year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, but when it’s this much fun, it’s best not to overthink it.
Charming Irish movie that answers the question: “What if John Hughes were Irish and gay?” Misfit Ned struggles at a rugby-obsessed boarding school until a mysterious new kid moves in and an unlikely friendship changes them both. Along the way, a rousing performance from Andrew Scott as an inspiring teacher with a secret of his own, and a rugby game set to a Rufus Wainwright song. Just the thing to lift your spirits.
The life of Cuba’s „transformistas“ is captured beautifully in this father-son story about a boy who wants to perform drag and his father, newly released from prison and unable to accept who his son is. Shot beautifully, with great music and a close look at Havana in all its run-down and colorful glory.
The quintessential ’80s lesbian romantic drama, Desert Hearts follows an English professor and a young sculptor as they fall in love at a Nevada ranch in the 1950s. Unique for its time, it sets its romance in a warm, affirming environment and lets its leads enjoy their relationship without angst or fear of death.
Ira Sachs’s autobiographical drama packs a hard punch as it follows a filmmaker, Erick, throughout his relationship with a young lawyer, Paul, which begins as a random sexual encounter and implodes following Paul’s drug and sex addiction.
Wong Kar-wai won Best Director at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for this film about two Hong Kong men who emigrate to Buenos Aires, after the handover of Hong Kong to China put LGBT lives in jeopardy.
Former SNL head-writer and The Other Two co-creator Chris Kelly makes his directorial debut in a semi-autobiographical account of his mother’s death from cancer. Molly Shannon gives a devastating performance, the tragic qualities of the Sacramento gay bar are hilariously explored, and the viewer is forced to re-evaluate Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” Given how much you will cry, this is perhaps a risky watch in a time when tissue paper is scarce. We say pull a full-size bath towel out of the cabinet and dive in.
Cheryl Dunye directs and stars in this microbudget indie about an African-American lesbian searching for an uncredited black actress from a 1930s film. Along the way, she falls in and out of love, and meets the real Camille Paglia.
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play lesbian mothers to two teenagers whose blissful modern family is rocked when their kids seek out their sperm-doner father played by Mark Ruffalo. The family unit falls into crisis when his sudden appearance into their lives causes a rift between the two women as well as their kids
Starring Mariel Hemingway and a raft of real-life track and field stars, Personal Best follows a young bisexual pentathlete vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team and exploring a relationship with her lesbian coach—played by Olympic hurdler Patrice Donnelly.
Eliza Hittman’s dark and moody film plays out a bit like a thriller, one in which a Brooklyn teenager named Frankie (a superb Harris Dickinson, in a nearly wordless performance), who spends his idle hours hanging with his delinquent friends, fooling around with his girlfriend, or hooking up with men he meets online. Beach Rats is a provocative look at the personal and secret urges we often fear will come out into the light.
Gus Van Sant’s loose Shakespearean adaptation brought the New Queer Cinema movement into the mainstream, with River Phoenix as a young, narcoleptic hustler and Keanu Reeves as his best friend and unrequited love interest.
„Don’t you know I would have gone through life half-awake if you’d had the decency to leave me alone?“ All the lushness of a Merchant Ivory production, with gay men at its center. Even if this weren’t a beautiful, affecting film, Hugh Grant’s hair alone would earn it a spot on this list.
Peter Jackson was journeying through fantasy worlds long before Lord of the Rings—albeit one conjured up by two very real New Zealand school girls (played by then-newcomers Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) who escape their own realities through their imaginations. But their connection turns intense and dangerous when they conspire to commit murder in one of the most notorious true crime stories of all time.
The first wide-release studio film with a homosexual relationship at its center (and for decades, the last). Making Love follows Michael Ontkean’s Zack, who is married to Claire (Kate Jackson) but exploring his homosexuality with Harry Hamlin’s Bart. It’s not a perfect film, but it took a giant risk, and gives us a rare snapshot of Los Angeles‘ gay life in the moment just before AIDS.
Long before his groundbreaking Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee directed this sweet, comic tale about a Taiwanese immigrant living in New York with his partner. When he offers to marry a Chinese woman so she can obtain a green card, the marriage of convenience spirals out of control when his parents find out and throw a lavish wedding party.
Mike Mills’s sweet 2010 film concerns a Los Angeles artist, played by Ewan MacGregor, building a relationship with his newly-out father (Christopher Plummer) in the last year of the older man’s life. Beginners earned Plummer an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and features a talking Jack Russell terrier. In short, it’s pretty much perfect.
When Megan (Natasha Lyonne) shows more interest in being a vegetarian and female-fronted folk rock, her parents send her away to have her presumed homosexuality cured. Conversion therapy is no joke, but Jamie Babbit’s satire perfectly skewers puritanical homophobia on its head—and it has a joyful, happy ending. (Plus, RuPaul!)
Dee Rees’s gorgeous directorial debut stars Adepero Oduye as Alike, a Brooklyn teenager who comes to terms with her own sexuality and puts the comforts of friends and family at risk as she discovers how to express her identity.
On a scorching August day, Al Pacino’s Sonny attempts to rob a bank in Brooklyn, and…things do not go well. The instant, intense media fame Sonny earns feels more relevant than ever, and things turn surprisingly tender when we learn he plans to use the stolen money for his lover’s gender confirmation surgery.
A Pakistani Brit and his former lover, who has become a fascist street punk, reunite and run a family laundromat. The characters deal with the materialism and anti-immigrant furor of Thatcher’s England—elements that feel just a little bit too relevant at the moment.
Based on the autobiography of gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Julian Schnabel’s film brought Javier Bardem to the world’s attention and highlighted the cruelty and homophobia of Castro’s Cuba and Reagan’s America
John Cameron Mitchell brings his cult musical about „internationally ignored“ transgender rock star Hedwig to the screen. In this version, Mitchell shows us the backstory he was only able to tell on stage, and introduces us to Michael Pitt’s Tommy Gnosis. The rare rock musical that actually rocks.
Tom Ford’s directorial debut adapts Christopher Isherwood’s novel about an English professor in returning to life a year after the death of his lover. As you would expect from Ford, it is a relentlessly stylish affair, with indelible performances by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.
Some might find this adaptation of Paul Rudnick’s off-Broadway play to be a little dated with its treatment of the dating scene in early to mid-’90s New York City. But Jeffrey’s strength is found in its comic and playful look at a search for love amid the AIDS crisis, offering the kind of unabashed joy most of its contemporaries were unable to match.
Lisa Cholodenko’s chic directorial debut features a revelatory performance from Ally Sheedy as a prematurely retired photographer, and Radha Mitchell as the young woman who can revitalize her career.
Pedro Almodóvar’s comic melodramas are filled to the brim with delightfully absurd characters, and his Oscar-winning All About My Mother offers some of the best. After the death of her son, Manuela seeks out to find his father—who now goes by the name of Lola. Along for the journey is a young nun (played by Penelope Cruz) who is newly pregnant with Lola’s baby.
A group of London LGBT activists form a coalition with striking Welsh miners in Thatcher’s U.K. Stephen Beresford’s Golden Globe-nominated screenplay underscores the need, as urgent as ever, for oppressed groups to join forces. There is power in a union!
Norman Rene’s film follows a group of gay men through the early years of the AIDS crisis, one day per year, starting on the day the New York Times first covered the story of the „gay cancer.“ A deep meditation on grief, gallows humor, and the families we make with our friends.
What do a recently divorced woman and a middle-aged gay man have in common? They’re both having an affair with a charming and stylish artist—and they’re aware that the lover they share in common isn’t exclusive to them. John Schlesinger’s acclaimed drama depicts two people who seek surprising ways to break free of their dull lives and reclaim their untamed youth.
When her older lover, Orlando, dies suddenly, Marina must put her grief on pause as Orlando’s ex-wife and family immediately shun her because she is transgender. The winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, Sebastián Lelio’s drama features a stirring lead performance from actress Daniela Vega.
A closeted Northern Englishman prepares to take over his family farm, with some help from a Romanian farmhand whom his father has hired. A heartbreaking depiction of British repression, with a supporting performance from a newborn lamb that will make you vegan for at least an hour. It’s as delicate and beautiful as it is— let’s be honest here—extremely hot.
Spielberg followed up Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with this adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel. In her film debut, Whoopi Goldberg plays Celie, an African-American woman in the early 20th century, who fights her way through oppression and abuse and finds an unexpected love along the way.
This slice of gay life in mid-’80s Manhattan gave Steve Buscemi his first major film role, and tackled the AIDS crisis in a frank, non-sensational, even humorous manner. Along the way, glimpses of a long-forgotten bohemian New York, Reagan-era Fire Island, and a pre-Drew Carey Show Kathy Kinney
Shot on iPhones along Santa Monica Boulevard’s unofficial red light district, Tangerine follows two transgender sex workers and one lovesick cab driver through a particularly eventful Christmas Eve. Director Sean Baker found his leads—two first-time film actors—at the actual donut shop where much of the movie’s action takes place.
Two drag queens (Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and a transgender woman (Terence Stamp) travel across the barren Australian Outback in a giant pink bus named Priscilla en route to a cabaret gig in Alice Springs. Hilarity ensues as their travels involve misadventure after misadventure, but the trio come together as a family unit as they learn more about each other and their personal lives
This film kept its NC-17 rating for some explicit, passionate sex scenes between leads Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, but it is at its heart a movie about youth, art, heartbreak, and the thrill of exploring one’s identity.
Who among us hasn’t been hanging out in the late 1700s, waiting on our customary proposal portrait to be finished so that we can find a proper spouse, only to fall for our portrait artist of the same sex? Rats! Fooled by queer impulses again. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is one of the most recent additions to the queer canon, and it already boasts quite a reputation for examining the complex relationship between two women who dared to love in an era when their love was absolutely forbidden.
The first mainstream queer film of the new millennium, Brokeback Mountain ushered its themes into the mainstream. Heath Ledger’s shy Ennis del Mar falls in what he cannot articulate as love with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jack Twist over a long, lonely winter, and their lives bounce off each other’s for years afterward. Ang Lee and screenwriter Larry McMurtry expand Annie Proulx’s short story into a film without one false moment.
Melissa McCarthy got an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Lee Israel, a caustic celebrity biographer who turns to literary forgery when her career stalls. Richard E. Grant is wonderful as her co-conspirator, but it’s McCarthy’s attempt at romance with Dolly Wells’ shy bookstore owner that gives the movie its heart.
The greatest, most achingly beautiful gay male romance movie. Timothée Chalamet plays the precocious Elio, a teenager living in Italy who becomes infatuated with an older American student, Oliver (Armie Hammer), who is staying with his family for the summer. What begins as a contentious friendship turns into a full-blown love affair as the two young men spend their idle summer days in the lush Mediterranean locale, bracing themselves for an inevitable heartbreak.
If any film can be credited with kicking off our cultural conversation on gender, this is it. Hilary Swank’s breakthrough performance anchors Kimberly Peirce’s film about the murder of Nesbraskan trans man Brandon Teena. Boys Don’t Cry was originally given an NC-17 for even addressing trans issues, but was later downgraded to an R.
Mike Nichols’s American remake of La Cage aux Folles features Robin Williams as a gay nightclub owner whose son announces his engagement to the daughter of an ultra-conservative politician. In typical farce style, his partner (Nathan Lane)—the star of his club’s drag show—poses as his dowdy wife in order to convince his son’s future in-laws that they’re a wholesome American family.
Set in the early ’90s, this energetic and emotional drama follows a group of activists in Paris fighting the government and its slow-moving efforts to battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While highlighting the dramatic and powerful work from ACT UP, the film also depicts the personal stories of those fighting for their lives, delivering a human and urgent remembrance of the plague that afflicted millions across the globe—and continues on today.
Todd Haynes brings Patricia Highsmith’s cult novel to the big screen in this lush and seductive film following a young shopgirl named Therese (Rooney Mara) who finds herself charmed by an alluring older woman named Carol (Cate Blanchett). The two set out on a road trip on which they consummate an unspoken passion for each other—one that ultimately brings ruin to Carol’s marriage and awakens dark desires within Therese.
Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for his performance as Andrew Beckett, a successful lawyer who is fired from his firm once the senior partners discover he has AIDS. Jonathan Demme’s searing drama was the first mainstream film to tackle the AIDS crisis, and it gave a familiar face and voice to a marginalized community often ignored by their neighbors and left to suffer because of an intolerant society.
Based on the play by Mart Crawley, and released less than a year after the Stonewall riots, The Boys in the Band perfectly depicts the complex experience of being a gay man at the time—at times joyful, often times confusing, painful, and informed by self-loathing. This comedy still manages to balance the bite and the tenderness for its collection of characters, with its group of young gay men in New York City falling in and out of love (and friendship), and unknowingly on the brink of a cultural revolution.
The only film on this list to earn an Oscar for Best Picture—and deservedly so. Barry Jenkins explores masculinity and repression in his study of Chiron, a young man coming of age in Miami (and played by three different actors at various stages of his life) who grapples with his sexual identity amid his troubled relationship with his crack-addicted mother. Chiron longs to break free of the predetermined path set out for himself by his environment, a journey set into motion by encounter with one of his male peers
French gay slang, like its counterparts in English and other languages can be pretty funny but also offensive. Use with caution!
In case you want to add more or know the English slang for some of the items mentioned above, feel free to sound off in the comments section.
For more related readings, check out the following:
1. Fire Island Pines gay beach in New York, USA
Fire Island is a thin sliver of land running parallel to the south shore of Long Island in New York. It’s a serious gay mecca on the east coast, where the Manhattan gay boys come to party during summer. The main gay areas are predominantly located around Cherry Grove (or “the Grove” for short) and Fire Island Pines (aka “the Pines”). The beaches around here are gay as hell.
The Grove and the Pines have been gay havens since the 1960s and have largely been left alone as self-governing communities. This has allowed an “anything goes” attitude to flourish here, which makes for some wild fun as well as some of the skimpiest swimsuits we’ve ever seen! Spots such as Pavilion are ideal for drinks in the sun before moving on to more hedonistic establishments such as Sip n Twirl.
Our favorite spot is located on the wild stretch of beach between the Grove and the Pines, separated by a large forest. As you enter the forest between the two communities, continue heading towards the beach ahead and there you’ll find it. The total walk from either the Grove or the Pines ferry dock is around half a mile. Check out why we also rate Fire Island as one of the best vacation spots in the US.
How to get to the gay beach of Fire Island: The most convenient way to reach Fire Island from New York is by car but keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for the parking as you cannot use your car on Fire Island. Otherwise, you can take the train then the ferry. For more info on directions, timetables and different means of transports, check out this page.
2. Hilton gay beach in Tel Aviv, Israel
This sandy beach in central Tel Aviv is the de-facto epicentre of the city’s gay scene: this is also where the massive Tel Aviv Pride festival takes place every June. There are plenty of bars and cafes around Hilton Beach serving refreshing cocktails and snacks. We particularly loved Hilton Bay, which is a chic place to enjoy a drink right there on the sand.
With calm, clean Mediterranean waters, Hilton Beach is an ideal spot to make like the locals and try your hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), which is something of a tradition in this super-sporty city.
For those who are not so athletically minded, grabbing a cocktail at one of the many terrace bars here is a rite of passage at Hilton Beach. Bring your sunglasses, your eyes will be darting every way as you try to keep track of all of the muscled men that patrol this section of the beach wearing only the tightest of trunks!
How to get to the Hilton gay beach of Tel Aviv: the gay beach is located in a prime area of Tel Aviv. Take the 55 bus to the stop HaYarkon/Arlozorov – you can’t miss the Hilton Hotel, which stands opposite the stop. Then, the beach sits right in front of the hotel. Remember, the central part of the beach is the main gay area, with the north more for a dog walking scene and the south the preserve of local surfers.
3. Mar Bella gay beach in Barcelona, Spain
Truly a gay beach like no other, Barcelona’s Mar Bella benefits from a location that is both secluded and close to the city center. Cozy, intimate yet not without its fair share of glamor, the gay beach of Mar Bella offers visitors the best of both worlds.
Right there on the beach is the BeGay bar-restaurant, which during summer stays open from early in the morning until, well, early in the morning! Serving great food and delicious cocktails, it’s easy to while away hour after hour sitting on the bar’s vibrant terrace area, chatting with the cosmopolitan crowd that gathers here.
For extra supplies, like sun lotion or shades, there are a few small supermarkets just 10 minutes up the road from Mar Bella, as well as endless options for food and drink.
This beach famously hosts the epic every August, which is one of the main annual gay events in Barcelona. Though it does make finding a spot to sunbathe a real pain, which is why it’s important to go there early if you’re there in the peak summer months.
How to get to the Mar Bella gay beach of Barcelona: To reach Mar Bella hop on the metro to Poblenou. From there it’s a 10-minute walk down to the sea. Mar Bella attracts a mixed crowd of all ages including both locals and foreigners. We spotted guys throwing beach balls, playing music, and chilling out under the sun.
4. Miami 12th Street gay beach, Florida, USA
Miami’s South Beach is world-renowned as a hotbed of glitz, glamor and beautiful people. Nowhere is this more true than at the city’s 12th Street beach, where gay Miami really comes to the fore.
This is where America’s most unapologetically flamboyant come to strut their stuff and have fun. We found the 12th Street beach to host some of the most gorgeous guys we have seen anywhere in Miami, which really is saying something!
One of the best things about 12th Street beach is that it is located in one of Miami’s most exciting parks: Lummus Park. This sprawling green space is filled with volleyball courts, outdoor gyms, and more, meaning you’ll have no shortage of activities to enjoy on and around the beach.
This gay hotspot in Miami is home to the annual Winter Party Festival, the Circuit Party and the Miami Beach Pride. If you’re not planning to visit for one of these events, not to worry, as 12th Street beach is close to all manner of top bars and restaurants including the famous Palace Bar which sits just a couple of blocks away.
How to get to the 12th Street gay beach of Miami: The clue’s in the name – head over to the coastal end of 12th Street, past the intersection with the famous Ocean Drive street and voila! If you’re driving, park up at the city garage located nearby at the intersection of 13th Street and Collins.
5. Bondi gay beach in Sydney, Australia
When you think of Sydney beaches, you probably think of hot Aussie surfers, lifeguards, and endless nights of partying. Well, that’s exactly what Bondi Beach has to offer for gay travelers looking to enjoy Australia’s most famous stretch of sand.
The de-facto gay area of the beach is north Bondi, where the speedos are tighter and the abs more chiseled than in any other zone. North Bondi even has its own LGBTQ lifeguard force numbering over a thousand! If you’re lucky enough to be in town for Sydney Gay Mardi Gras in March, you’ll see north Bondi transformed into a zone of wild partying that goes on well into the early hours of the morning.
On that note, it’s worth remembering that drinks are banned on Bondi beach and that this rule is strictly enforced by local authorities. Luckily, the boardwalk area directly behind the beach is packed with cool bars, cafes, and restaurants serving everything from cold beers to deliciously fruity cocktails and ice-cold Aussie white wines.
How to get to the Bondi gay beach of Sydney: You can go either by train/bus or bus all the way. By train head to Bondi Junction and then either walk the final 2 km to the beach or take a short bus ride. By bus from downtown Sydney, jump on the #380 which will take you directly to Bondi beach. Driving is not recommended because of parking limitations at the beach.
6. Atlantic Beach in Condado, Puerto Rico, USA
With a strong gay scene made up of both locals and tourists, San Juan is home to a string of gay beaches, with the best of all located at Condado.
The gay area of Condado sits in front of the Atlantic Hotel, whose bar is a hub for gay men looking to sip cocktails and mingle in the sun. The Happy Hour here is legendary, taking place daily from 5-9 pm when mixer drinks can be enjoyed for as little as $4 each, with cocktails only slightly pricier. If you’re the kind of guy that seeks nothing more than sun, sea, and cheap drinks, then this is the place for you!
Alternatively, you can rent a sun lounger and enjoy being waited on hand and foot right there on the sand as you watch the boys pass by. Atlantic Beach is home to the kind of relaxed, carefree attitude that means you’re sure to meet plenty of fun, interesting folks during your time here. It is no wonder why we rate Puerto Rico as one of the !
How to get to the Condado gay beach of Puerto Rico: the easiest way to reach Condado beach is by Uber, which takes around 10 minutes from downtown San Juan. Tip: be sure to tell the driver you want to be dropped at the Atlantic Beach area in the center of Condado, which sprawls for some way in either direction.
7. Black’s gay beach in San Diego, California, USA
A gorgeously secluded section of Torrey Pines State Beach, Black’s Beach is perhaps the most famous nudist beach in the United States. This enormous stretch of sand is home to a sizeable gay area at the north end of the beach, where you will find gay surfers, beach bums and straight-up posers quite literally rubbing shoulders.
When we say that Black’s Beach is long we mean really, really long, two and a half miles to be precise. As such, you’re sure to feel the immense sense of freedom and seclusion that Black’s has to offer whether you’re here to surf, sunbathe, or just run around in your birthday suit!
As one of the premier surf destinations on the West Coast, Black’s Beach is a prime spot for meeting and at the very least eyeing-up the scores of beautiful surfer boys that flock here every day of the week. If that doesn’t do it for you, keep an eye out for the schools of dolphins that call this stretch of the coastline home, they’re known to get extremely close to the shore.
How to get to the Black’s gay beach of San Diego: simply put the destination “Torrey Pines Glider Port” in your GPS and follow the directions. Once you arrive, continue through the driveway. There is a parking lot where the path ends – you’ll know you’ve reached it when you spot the ‘Danger’ signs.
8. Maspalomas Kiosk #7 gay beach in Gran Canaria, Spain
Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands in Spain, located just off the coast of West Africa. The island is a gay haven with a massive gay scene around the Yumbo Centre in Playa del Ingles. Just south of this is the gay beach of Maspalomas close to kiosk #7, which sits hidden by the island’s famous sand dunes.
The beach itself is a lot of fun, with sun loungers available for rent and guys of all ages enjoying themselves. Mainly, the gay beach attracts tourists from North Europe on their gay vacation in Gran Canaria.
The only downside about the Maspalomas gay beach is that when it gets windy here, the sand goes EVERYWHERE! So be prepared for this or avoid going on a very windy day. Gran Canaria has tons of gay accommodations to choose from and to suit all budgets, you won’t be disappointed!
How to get to the gay beach of Maspalomas: Head over to the Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas and from there cross through the Sand Dunes following the path marked with wooden posts. The walk through the sand dunes is around 15 minutes.
9. Herring Cove gay beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA
Herring Cove is a part of the wider Cape Cod National Seashore, a stunning national park located in the northeast United States. This is the most popular gay beach in Provincetown as well as being an unofficial spot for nudists – though be aware that nudism is technically illegal here. The authorities just turn a blind eye to it…!
The dunes just behind the beach are a hotspot for cruising and a bit of rumpy-pumpy, so it’s worth being careful where you tread! Herring Cove attracts a diverse gay and lesbian crowd that can stick around until very late indeed during hot summer nights when the atmosphere gets downright hedonistic.
How to get to the Herring Cove gay beach of Provincetown: Take the beach shuttle from downtown Provincetown. If you’re driving, head south out of town just a couple of miles and follow the signposts. You will be able to park up right there in front of the dunes.
10. Elia gay beach in Mykonos, Greece
Elia Beach is our favorite gay beach on Mykonos Island in Greece.
It has a super cool gay section – lookout for the rainbow flags waving in the wind. The water is warm, the sand soft and the facilities exceptional. The beach is generally very quiet in the morning, so if you’re just looking for a place to relax, then use this time to do it! Things start to get a little bit more active in the afternoon with tons of gorgeous gay men descending onto the beach for a day of socializing, partying, and swimming.
The busiest period is during the XLSIOR gay festival which takes place at the end of August and early September. Read more about it in our .
How to get to the Elia gay beach of Mykonos: Elia beach is located 6.2 miles (10km) south from Mykonos Town at the southern tip of the island. The best way to reach it is to drive down in your rental car or buggy. There is a public bus but it runs on limited hours and take ages! Sometimes scheduled boat services can take you here during the peak summer seasons.
11. Sandy Bay gay beach in Cape Town, South Africa
Sandy Bay Beach is renowned as the best gay beach in South Africa, and we wholeheartedly agree!
This beach is quite secluded from the rest of Cape Town and as such, it can be rather difficult to reach. Tucked away beside a hidden road half-way between Cape Town and Cape Point, Sandy Bay doesn’t like to make its presence known too loudly. Yet, if we’re being honest, this only adds to the mysterious charm and tranquil vibe that this place has in bucketloads.
12. Sebastian Street gay beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Sebastian Street Beach is one of America’s best-known gay beaches for a reason. That is – it’s absolutely awesome! Whether you come for the sun, the warm water or the eye-candy, Sebastian Street is a must-visit for gay guys in the Fort Lauderdale area.
The vibe is quite low-key at this LGBTQ hotspot, with refreshingly little posing going on. Not that we’re against posing, it’s just that there’s a time and a place – we’re looking at you, Miami! In Fort Lauderdale, the pouts turn to easy-going smiles…you’re sure to find the crowd here friendly, open and accessible in comparison.
The nightlife around Sebastian Street gay beach is more dinner and cocktails than wild, endless beach parties. Again, if that’s what you want, head to nearby Miami or sashay over to the for one of the best gay nights out of your life! In terms of gay accommodation, there are plenty of excellent with some of them close to Sebastian Street Beach.
How to get to the Sebastian Street gay beach of Fort Lauderdale: The best way to get around anywhere in Fort Lauderdale is by Uber or Lyft. Otherwise, you can reach it by public transport by jumping on bus number #11 or #40 from downtown, which will drop you right there by the sand.
13. Will Rogers State gay beach in Santa Monica, California, USA
Situated in the gay mecca of Santa Monica, Will Rogers State Beach is one of California’s most fabulous places to be. After all, as Katy Perry once said, “California is fine, fresh, and fierce!”
This is one of the best gay beaches in the US, located near lifeguard tower 18 in Pacific Palisades on the Santa Monica Bay. Will Rogers is fondly nicknamed “Ginger Rogers Beach” and it is famous for being the filming location of Baywatch before it was moved to Hawaii. Need we go on?!
The beach is well maintained, so it’s always very clean, whilst the crowd here tends to be extremely laid back, which of course is true of much of the West Coast. In what is a famous surfing spot in the region, you can hit those waves in between games of volleyball or gymnastics. Everywhere you look there is a hive of activity going on, with people just embracing the bodies they were born, in the most shame-free and California fashion.
Nearby you can enjoy a bike or hiking trail, which meanders right across the beach and around the coastline. Close by is a totally lush gay bar called “The Birdcage” – yes, just like the movie. The bar throws a Beach Club party every weekend with great music, drinks, and no shortage of fun.
How to get to the Will Rogers State gay beach of Santa Monica: The best (and only!) way to reach it is by car, bound for Pacific Palisades on the Santa Monica Bay. When you arrive, look out for the rainbow painted lifeguard tower #18.
14. Playa de los Muertos gay beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Translating quite literally as “Daed Man’s Beach”, Playa de Los Muertos is ironically one of Mexico’s most vibrant, life-filled beaches that has become a hive of LGBTQ activity.
This is a true downtown beach, located just off the main seafront drag in , a beautiful town and a key part of Mexican tourism. As such, the party never stops at Playa de Los Muertos! Grab a tropical cocktail (Piña Colada, anyone?) at literally any time of day, settle down in a lounge chair and watch the whole carnival-like situation unfold before your very eyes.
Whether it’s speedo-clad gay guys showing off their chiseled abs or local traders selling everything from fresh fruit to handicrafts, Playa de Los Muertos offers a true feast for the eyes. With beautiful white sand, crystal clear waters, and a glut of trendy bars, this awesome gay beach has everything you need to spend a few days getting lost in the festival atmosphere.
How to get to Playa de Los Muertos gay beach of Puerto Vallarta: From Zona Romantica, either grab a taxi over, or jump on the Centro Bus and get off at the Playa Los Arcos Hotel, which is 2/3 blocks away from the gay beach.
15. Farme Ipanema gay beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Not only is the beach of Ipanema a big part of the LGBTQ scene in Rio, but there is an entire district of the same name that has become a gay hub in its own right.
Let’s face it though, you came to Rio for the beaches and this one does not disappoint. Situated toward the eastern end of Ipanema between ‘Postos’ 9 and 8, this fabulously gay-friendly area is filled with queens both local and foreign. In fact, in Rio, they use the term ‘Barbies’ to describe musclemen! This particular stretch of beach is packed with Barbie Boys in all their tanned, skimpy-shorted glory!
There are always plenty of games happening – even if you’re not that into sports, the crowds here are so inviting and engaging that you’ll feel yourself becoming the next Sporty Spice within minutes! Try your hand at surfing, the waves here are to di…ve for, and the blue waters feel so relaxing underneath the piping hot sun.
How to get to the Farme gay beach of Ipanema in Rio: Jump on to the metro line #1 or #4 and take it to the General Osório stop. From there it’s a 5-minute walk down to the sand. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you spot all the rainbow flags.
16. Poodle gay beach in Rehoboth, Delaware, USA
Part of the wider Rehoboth Beach area, Poodle Beach is Delaware’s gayest patch of sand and a hub for the area’s vibrant LGBTQ scene. Located at the southern end of the Rehoboth Boardwalk, the gay section of the beach is unmissable due to the rainbow parasols and throngs of guys who come in every conceivable shape and size.
Poodle Beach is known to have some of the cleanest water of any beach in America, making this a hotspot for swimming and watersports. If you would rather kick back on the sand and work on that tan, there are plenty of bars and cafes nearby to grab an ice-cold cocktail or beer from.
The crowd here is incredibly friendly and open, with none of the pretentiousness that blights many other gay beaches in the world. As long as you turn up with a smile and the cutest bathing suit you can find, you’re sure to make plenty of new friends at Poodle Beach.
How to get to gay Poodle Beach of Rehoboth, Delaware: Drive over to Rehoboth Beach and keep heading south on the Rehoboth Boardwalk until you spot the gays and the rainbows!
17. Praia #19 gay beach in Lisbon, Portugal
Renowned through the city as a popular nudist beach, ‘Praia 19’ as it is known locally, is one of the largest and best gay beaches in Europe. It is situated just across the River Tagus from downtown Lisbon, part of the wider Costa da Caparica coastline.
Praia 19 will blow you away on arrival, the sheer scope of this beach is enormous. The huge waves of the Atlantic ocean, are truly a sight to behold. Yet it’s not just the natural scenery here that’s amazing. Praia 19 is known for anything-goes-hanky-panky in the dunes and forest area just behind the sand. You will find all kinds of gay boys enjoying themselves at this enormous beach, with both locals and gay tourists frequenting it.
18. Bassa Rodona gay beach in Sitges, Spain
Platja de la Bassa Rodona is the main official beach of Sitges, with rainbow flags proudly flying in the wind.
Sitges is one of the best gay resort towns we’ve ever been to. Located around 27.3 miles (44km) south from Barcelona, this has to be one of our favorite gay destinations on the planet. Throughout the town, you will see the rainbow flag flying proudly outside windows, bars, and restaurants. We rate it as one of the gayest cities in Europe!
Platja de la Bassa Rodona sits in front of the town and is one of many beaches in Sitges. Undoubtedly though, this is the most popular gay area and it’s here that you will find the buffest guys in the skimpiest swimsuits. The water is warm, clean, and perfect for swimming, just be sure to get here early during summer as it can get really packed.
Owing to it being so close to town, Platja de la Bassa Rodona is backed by many bars, cafes, and restaurants, many of which are gay owned. We particularly love Picnic, which offers delicious snacks and cocktails that are perfect to take away and enjoy right there on the beach.
How to get to the Bassa Rodona gay beach of Sitges: the gay beach is super easy to reach. From Sitges train station, just head south, through Sitges main town, cross over the promenade and voila – spot the rainbows!
19. Little Beach in Hawaii, USA
Little Beach is located in the gorgeous Makena State Park of Maui and is one of the island’s most popular nudist spots. Officially named Puʻu Olai, you will be able to fulfill all of your tropical fantasies at this stunning, paradise beach.
The gay area of Little Beach tends to be at the far end, where you will find all types of queens frolicking on the crystal-clear waters and sunning themselves on the sand. Be sure to bring plenty of supplies to this remote beach as there are certainly no swanky cafes here. Also, be careful in the water because the currents can be quite unpredictable and get strong without any warning.
How to get to the Little Beach gay beach of Hawaii: Little Beach can be tough to get to and rewards only the most adventurous minds. First of all, enter the Maui Prince Hotel on your GPS. Once you arrive here keep driving until the sign for Makena State Park when you will want to turn right. Leave the car in the nearby parking lot before walking down to Big Beach. Turn right and head all the way to the volcanic rocks at the end, hike over these and you will see the most beautiful little bay ever. This is Little Beach!