Top 5 gay islands in Greece

The Greek islands are among the top summer holiday destinations worldwide, because of their incredible weather, stunning beaches, and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Though in Greece people tend to have a more conservative attitude, in the past few years there has been a positive change towards gay and lesbian couples coming to the country for holidays.

Many beautiful islands have developed an organized gay and lesbian tourism, with several gay-friendly hotels, gay bars, and shows as well as gay cruises. Here are our suggestions for the top 5 gay islands in Greece.

Random Genderfluid Thing #201

So my friend went to an art show last week and sent me this ?? here you go lesbros

I mean I feel like Lexa will get removed but not die

I’m ok with this because focus on the ‘not die’ part

quick question, the new red-blue hideout – is this the gay island straight people keep talking about??

You know that post about Gay Island, Straight Island and Lesbian Island? And asexual a live in the sky and Bisexual Bay?? Has anyone started actually making that a story bc I very much want to write it but idk if anyone has

Random Genderfluid Thing #201

Finally, An All Gay Island Kingdom

Its official: All my dreams have come true. Every time someone says that gay people should all just be put on an island, left to their own advices, I always ask myself why such a place doesn’t exist. In my mind, an all gay island would be awesome! All drama aside, we would probably just band together, create an amazing civilization, and then expand and take over the fucking world.

Apparently, other gays feel the same way because such a place actually does exist. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea Islands is an independent nation off the coast of Australia, specifically for the LGBT community. Also known as a micronation, the Gay Kingdom is not officially recognized by any governments, but I think a ‘vanity nation’ is actually perfect for most of the homos I know.

The island is located off the Great Barrier Reef, so you know its gorgeous, it has an emperor named Dale Parker Anderson, and a national rainbow flag (of course).

I probably would have chosen a different flag because I detest rainbows, but I can tell you that the next time I visit Australia, the Gay Kingdom will be on my list of places to visit.

Finally, An All Gay Island Kingdom

gay island

Don’t worry, it’s Canada’s only nuclear testing site.

Wtf I went to see it on Google Maps and there were fortnite pictures

oh shit it’s right by parry sound I could get there today

gay island

Hawaii Big Island Gay Hotels Guide

The Best Big Island Hotels, Resorts, and Inns for Gay Travelers

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The largest of the Hawaiian islands, the Big Island – which is officially called Hawaii Island – is about 4,000 square miles, the size of all of the other islands in the state combined (though with a population of just 186,738, compared with nearly 1 million on Oahu. This is one of the most geographically diverse of the islands, too, with soaring mountains (including Mauna Kea, which at 33,000 feet from the base of the ocean floor to its peak is quite a bit taller than even Mount Everest), active volcanoes, lava-sand beaches, lush rainforests, the largest city outside Oahu (historic Hilo), a significant swath of desert plains, and sunny beaches lined with plush resorts. It can take some time to get from place to place, so this is the one Hawaiian island where it can make sense to book stays on two or more different parts of the island (especially if you intend to visit both the dry Kohala Coast and the lush region around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Hilo).

The Big Island has more gay-owned inns and B&Bs than any of the other islands, with particularly large concentrations near Hawaii Volcanoes NP and the nearby Puna District. Elsewhere, you’ll find a good mix of condos, mid-range hotels, historic inns, and luxury oceanfront resorts, mostly along the dry, leeward (Kona and Kohala) coast.

For more on where to stay on a Hawaii vacation, take a look at our Maui Gay Hotels Guide and Kauai Gay Hotels Guide.

Hawaii Big Island Gay Hotels Guide

The Best Caribbean Islands for Gay and Lesbian Travelers

Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean between Aruba and Bonaire, is popular for snorkeling and diving.

Worrying about an atmosphere of anti-gay attitudes can cast a shadow over a getaway when all you want is some fun under the sun. Here are the islands you’ll find most welcoming.

There’s no denying that some Caribbean islands are not known for being especially welcoming to LGBTQ travelers (although the same could be said of many parts of the world). Still, it’s important to keep in mind that the Caribbean is a diverse region that includes 13 independent nations, as well as territories of France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For example, the islands of Martinique, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Gorda (to pick three) all differ when it comes to their languages, legal systems, and cultural influences—as well as their attitudes toward homosexuality.

Ed Salvato, the editor-in-chief of the gay travel magazine Man About World, has never been deterred from visiting the region. “I love the Caribbean for its natural beauty, laid-back vibe, and proximity to New York,” he says. “As a gay traveler, I just make sure I find one of the many islands that are queer friendly and offer protections for LGBTQ people.” 

If you’re looking for an island escape where the locals will likely shrug and refill your rum punch regardless of your sexual orientation, here are some ideal options.

Gay Fire Island: The Pines and Cherry Grove

Unless you’ve been here before, you’ve never experienced a place quite like Fire Island. This small barrier island off the south coast of New York’s Long Island is home to two thriving gay resort towns: Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines. Getting here is half the fun: take the Long Island Rail Road to Sayville, a shuttle bus to a 30 minute ferry ride, then walk. There are no cars here, just wooden boardwalks and people pulling little red wagons full of their groceries. The two communities each have their own vibe: The Pines feels more like New York’s Chelsea: pretty party boys and gay professionals; the Grove is more diverse and down to earth (and attracts a younger AND an older crowd). Between the two towns is a small strip of forest affectionately known as the „meat rack“ – just about one of the friskiest places on earth. Be sure to get a feel for the „schedule“ when you are there, almost everyone follows the crowd from low tea to high tea, from dinner to dancing. Just ask a friendly passerby (or at least a cute one).

Gay Island – Gay Island

canadiske arktiske øer i Qikiqtaaluk-regionen , Nunavut Baffin Island offshore ø beliggende i Frobisher Bay Iqaluit .

Gay Island ligger syd-sydøst for Culbertson Island . Andre øer i umiddelbar nærhed inkluderer Brook Island , Brigus Island , Falk Island , Peak Island Smith Island . Gay Island er -4 timer UTC / GMT.

Gay Auckland | The Essential LGBT Travel Guide!

Long overlooked for the raw natural beauty that exists in many other parts of New Zealand, Auckland finally seems to have found it’s footing in the past decade. Today, it is a rapidly changing city building a reputation for beautiful design, fine dining, thriving nightlife scene, and multi-cultural atmosphere.

Plus, having all those volcanos, beaches, islands, and rainforest dotted around probably doesn’t hurt!

As the first country in Oceania to legalize same-sex marriage back in 2013, renewed interest has come from gay travelers who sought to find what this progressive South Pacific nation was all about. We decided to join in on the trend, and in Auckland, we found accepting people, picturesque nature, creative design stores, plenty of cute cafes (frequented by even cuter Kiwi guys and girls), and, of course, a small but vibrant gay nightlife scene!

In this peaceful and open-minded city, queer travelers are welcomed pretty everywhere and protected by anti-discrimination laws. Public displays of affection are still uncommon in New Zealand. Nevertheless, you are unlikely to experience any more issues with this that could arise in any major developed city around the world.

Gay Gili Islands: our ultimate gay travel guide

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2021: Following the crackdown by police of LGBTQ hotels in Bali in 2020, the Bali authorities appear to be showing that they are becoming more intolerant of gay travelers. Therefore, we advise erring on the safe side and save your Bali social media posts for after your trip!

Are we having a fabulous time in Indonesia? Gili-Ty as charged!

…we’d even go as far as saying the Gili Islands is one of our topest-bestest-most-favouritest beach destinations in all of Southeast Asia. In all seriousness, it’s a place we always recommend when we’re often asked – “Guys, can you recommend me an inexpensive beach getaway in Asia?”

Why? ‘Cause these 3 small islands combine white sandy beaches, flat clear water, terrific diving sites and plenty of activities (have you ever tried Subwing?). There’s also plenty of partying for when you want it or complete remote island solitude when you just want to be completely cut off from the world. And then there are those phenomenal magical sunsets, every evening!

In summary, the Gili Islands impressed us a lot. They’re nicknamed “the Maldives of Southeast Asia” for good reason. We’ve put together this detailed gay guide of the Gilis based on our firsthand experience travelling here as a gay couple, which we hope inspires and helps you have a fun and safe trip:

The Ultimate Guide to Gay Iceland | LGBT+ History, Rights and Culture

Being queer in Iceland is not something that is tolerated; it is something that is celebrated. There are very few places in the world where people from across the spectrums of gender and sexuality receive as much love, and encounter as little hate, as they do in Iceland.

With almost full legal equality, strong representation in parliament and the media, and an infrastructure that exists to support and elevate queer people, Iceland has become a true rainbow paradise. The conditions that have allowed queer culture to thrive have turned Iceland into a popular tourist destination for sexual and gender minorities.

It may not have the party appeal of Fire Island or the sands and sun of Mykonos, but Iceland is fast becoming recognised as a home away from home for the LGBTQIA community*. There are many organisations today that specialise in gay travel; the local scene is ever-developing and there is a whole range of events catering specifically to queer people and our allies.

Gay / LGBT Clubs – Long Island Nightlife

If you’re looking for a gay club to visit but don’t have the money or time to travel to Manhattan, Long Island has a number of fabulous clubs and bars. Long Island’s gay bars provide an exciting atmosphere with with multiple music venues. Mix and mingle with other club goers over drink specials, happy hours and themed parties. Presented below is a selection of gay LGBT clubs located on and around Long Island for interested parties to check out.

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The centre of what was a much larger island dropped 300 meters below sea level to form a giant lagoon, known as “The Caldera’.

The Caldera is 12 kilometres wide and surrounded by enormous 300-metre high cliffs. In the centre of the Caldera is an active volcanic cone that has formed a small, hot & ever-changing island.

Today, the towns of Fira, Imerovigli and Oia literally cling to the top of the cliffs overlooking the caldera. The views rank as some of the most dramatic in the world.

Beaches

There are two gay-popular nudist beaches. You need a car to get to Koloumbos beach, 8.5 km from the capital, Fira. Follow the sign to Baxedes and continue south towards taverna Soulis. When you reach the beach, walk 100m further to the left to reach the gay popular section.

An easier nudist beach to get to is Vlychada. This is reached either from the resort of Perivolos on foot or by bus. As it’s easy to access, it’s more straight. Still, the “Swiss cheese cliffs” behind make the experience worthwhile.

If you are not keen on nudist beaches, then we think that the best place for sunbathing is on the terrace of a hotel overlooking the caldera.

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Mykonos: the top gay friendly Greek island

Mykonos is by far the top among the gay islands in Greece, accepting a large LGBT audience every summer. This stunning island is about 3-5 hours from Athens by ferry and is a perfect gay and lesbian destination, as it has an organized gay nightlife with upbeat gay bars and clubs, gay-friendly beaches, and hotels.

Renowned for its great natural beauty, charming sunset, and wild party scene, Mykonos offers chances for relaxing, romantic and lively holidays. The most frequented gay hotspots are the famous beaches Super Paradise, Elia and Paradise, and some clubs in Town, such as the famous Pierro’s Bar, now called VooDoo.

Santorini

The second most gay-friendly island in Greece, Santorini is one of the most romantic destinations all around the world, famous for the magnificent sunset, the impressive caldera, and extraordinary volcanic beaches. Locals are very welcoming to all, accepting the gay and lesbian audience equally.

Although there is not an organized gay and lesbian life on the island, many hotels and entertainment venues are totally gay-friendly. The most popular Santorini beaches for LGBT visitors are the nudist beaches of Vlychada and Cape Columbo.

The island is mainly visited by couples and honeymooners and is a perfect choice for magical wedding ceremonies. It has a romantic and somewhat tranquil atmosphere, compared to the neighboring island of Mykonos. If you are interested to visit both islands, you can easily hop to Mykonos with a ferry to Santorini. There are frequent ferry connections between Santorini and Mykonos in the summer season.

Paros

Although understated, gay life in Paros is a great choice for those seeking a comfortable and cosmopolitan environment away from wild partying. LGBT visitors are most welcome in the island of Paros, however, there are no exclusively gay bars or hotels. Instead, there are mixed clubs for all preferences and gay-friendly cosy hotels. In Naoussa, there are also two sandy beaches with crystalline waters, ideal for gay cruising and nudism, Kalami and Lageri. Paros can be reached by ferry from Athens and also from other close islands.

Skiathos

The most cosmopolitan island of the Sporades complex, Skiathos is also an idyllic destination for gay and lesbian holidays. The untouched nature and amazing beaches with crystal clear waters create a romantic environment, ideal for couples.

Skiathos offers a lot of opportunities for gay and lesbian couples and singles, although gay entertainment is unorganized. The most famous gay beach is Little Banana. Getting to Skiathos can be done by plane or via ferries from the ports of Volos and Agios Konstantinos.

Antiparos

Antiparos is an island away from crowds and constitutes a more alternative gay and lesbian destination. It is very close to Paros and there are frequent local ferries from Pounda port in Paros to Antiparos. Beaches in Antiparos are sandy, crystal and great for privacy, even in high season. The tiny town has many cozy bars and clubs for discreet holidays.

There are frequent ferry routes to all these islands from Athens.

So, book your ferry tickets and let the holiday adventure begin!

Gay Fire Island

Flaming Fire Island is the top LGBT resort destination in New York.  A thin barrier island off the coast of Long Island, gay and lesbian travelers flock here in droves every year for respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC. Though a mere 2 hours away from the city it feels like a world away. The two main gay areas are Cherry Grove which is most popular with lesbians, and Fire Island Pines for gay guys. Both communities are close to one another so it is easy to get around town by foot and really get a feel for the town!

Fire Island Gay Scene

There are two main areas for the gay scene on Fire Island. The first is Fire Island Pines, which is extremely popular with the boys. Fire Island Pines’ gay scene is about 90% gay professionals. Many have timeshares during the summer and a few select own beautiful homes that dot the coastline. The Pines draws the Chelsea crowd. The other is Cherry Grove, whose gay scene is extremely popular with the girls as well as more bohemian gay men. Cherry Grove is truly the “sister” hamlet to the male dominated Fire Island Pines.

Gay-Friendly Dining

This gay-friendly restaurant offers a full selection of classic dishes, but the great stuff is the seafood. On weekdays, lookout for the rotating seafood specials and on the weekend The Out features live bands and DJs. Owned and operated by a Cornell graduate who chose the life of a “beach bum,” The Out is completely free of pretense.

The only bar and restaurant open year round, CJ’s is a great place to mingle with locals. CJ’s offers mostly bar food, but on weekdays be on the lookout for their lobster special. This place fills up fast though, so get to this gay-friendly restaurant early.

Hale Ohia Cottages

A lovely, intimate 1930s estate that’s been transformed into an inviting inn, the gay-owned Hale Ohia Cottages (11-3968 Hale Ohia Road, Volcano) is just over a mile from the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This compound comprising a main house and a few guest cottages is surrounded by gardens and shade trees; these upscale but still affordable (compared with larger resort properties) units have plenty of enticing touches, such as the fireplace and Jacuzzi tub in Cottage 44, the attractive bay window and artful tile work in the Master Suite (in the main house), and the full kitchen and covered lanai in the former gardener’s cottage, now called the Ohia. Guests enjoy plenty of privacy here, especially if you book one of the cottages. Note there may be a two-night minimum booking for peak periods such as certain holidays.

Hawaii Island Retreat

Located on the Big Island’s northern tip – on a cliff top along the mellow, leafy, and quite stunning North Kohala Coast – Hawaii Island Retreat (250 Lokahi Road, Kapaau) occupies a 50-acre spread of gardens, lawns and forest (several trails lace the property.. For a peaceful getaway on the Big Island, it’s a great find, and it’s especially popular for yoga and other spiritual retreats (and would make a lovely venue for a gay wedding.) There are just nine rooms in the main house, a contemporary, handsome house with open lanais and stairwells situated around a central courtyard (the building also has a theater-room and library); a couple of hundred feet away, there are five additional yurts, all with modern conveniences and furnishings – they’re not as fancy as the rooms in the main house, which has antique plantation tables, beds and dressers along with spacious bathrooms, but they’re funky and reasonably priced (they have a private toilet and sink – guests use the spa locker room and showers for bathing.) The yurts are by this eco-conscious mini-resort’s infinity-edge pool, exercise room/yoga studio and full-service spa. Guests can also partake in excellent family-style meals for an additional fee, although a handful of terrific restaurants are a short drive away in Hawi town, and the big resorts and swanky shopping and dining of the Kohala Coast begin about a 45-minute drive south. Packages that include yoga, spa treatments and massage are also available.

Horizon Guest House

It’s all about the view at the contemporary, gay-owned Horizon Guest House (Mamalahoa Hwy. at mile 101, Captain Cook), which lies high on a slope above Highway 11 and – far below – Kapilo Bay, a bit south of Honaunau on the sunny Kona Coast and close to the island’s famed coffee plantations (about 20 miles south of Kailua-Kona). This four-suite inn is surrounded by ranchland and sits on 40 acres, at 1,100 feet above sea level – from the rooms themselves (and their lanais) to the rectangular infinity-edge swimming pool, gorgeous views of the shoreline and ocean are apparent. Each room has a queen or king bed with tasteful furnishings, a private bath, plenty of space to spread out, and a fridge and coffeemaker. Rates at this upscale hideaway include a substantial breakfast buffet.

Lava Lava Beach Club

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular, relaxing, and perfectly located oceanfront hideaway than the gay-owned Lava Lava Beach Club (69-1081 Ku’uali’i Pl., Waikoloa Village), which comprises just four smartly furnished bungalows nestled below shade trees on a private beach at the south edge of Waikoloa Village – convenient to, but happily removed, from the community’s big Marriott, Outrigger, Hilton and other resorts and shops. Opened in 2012 by the owners of the long-time favorite Kailua-Kona restaurant Huggo’s, Eric von Platen Luder and Scott Dodd, this wonderful little hideaway sits on a wide sandy beach and is adjacent to the open-air Lava Lava Beach Club restaurant, a favorite spot for evening cocktails (including a terrific afternoon happy hour with great deals on pupu snacks), lunch with views of the sea, and sunset dinners with live music. The modern, air-conditioned bungalows are stocked with kitchenettes (included high-quality dishes and glassware), large flat-screen TVs, iHomes, impressive wireless speaker systems, and plenty of other fun touches (there’s even a koa-wood ukulele in each room to test your musical skills with.) Bathrooms are lovely, but even better are the enclosed outdoor rock-wall showers). The cottages also have covered lanais overlooking the beach. Although each unit sleeps up to four, they’re really designed for couples.

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British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are a yachter’s favorite where many of the locals, as well as visitors, are more concerned with finding good moorings and cold beers than judging anyone. As part of the United Kingdom, the islands’ residents enjoy protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which includes employment in the hospitality industry. If you and your partner check into a resort like Rosewood Little Dix Bay, you can expect the same gracious welcome offered to any straight couple. That said, the entire population of the islands is about 30,000, which means there’s not a sufficient critical mass to keep much of a nightlife scene going. Gay and lesbian travelers and residents will often take a ferry to nearby St. Thomas or St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) for an evening out.

Curaçao

The Dutch island of Curaçaogay pride celebrations in the Caribbean. Even if you aren’t visiting when it takes place in early autumn (from September 25 to 29 this year), you’ll find that locals generally share the same relaxed attitude toward lesbian and gay visitors as in the island’s mother country, the Netherlands. The Cabana Beach host occasional gay events and are decidedly gay-friendly the rest of the time. While many Caribbean towns and cities are quiet after sundown, Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital, has a lively restaurant and bar scene, and no one will raise an eyebrow if you ask for a table for two with your same-sex partner. The two other Dutch islands that make up the so-called ABCs along with Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire, are similarly welcoming choices.

Puerto Rico

The U.S. territory of Puerto Ricoannual gay pride celebration in the capital, San Juan, typically during the first weekend in June. (The event takes place on June 2 this year.) The lively nightlife scene in San Juan is centered in the Condado neighborhood and, increasingly, in nearby Santurce, which has emerged in recent years as a tropical hipster haven. In Condado, you’ll never have to settle for a straight bar that simply tolerates gay and lesbian revelers. Instead, after a day on the beach, you can choose from various gay bars, dance clubs, and drag shows into the early hours of the morning. Same-sex marriage became legal in Puerto Rico with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015, but the territory has gone farther than many states have by outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, as well as prohibiting conversion therapy for minors. 

St. Bart’s

Just as marriage equality arrived in Puerto Rico with the 2015 Supreme Court decision, same-sex marriage became legal in St. Bart’s when France (and all of its territories) passed legislation in 2013. At under 10 square miles in total area, this tiny favorite of Hollywood stars and New Yorkers alike is definitely relaxed in its attitudes toward gay and lesbian residents and visitors. Its nightlife only suffers from the same issue that some other small islands do—there aren’t enough people to support much of a gay scene, per se. During the day, Saline Beach is a popular gathering spot that’s LGBTQ-friendly (and clothing optional). After sundown, you’ll find that visitors and residents are warmly welcomed at any of the island’s bars and restaurants.

St. Martin/St. Maarten

This island has the distinction of being the world’s smallest territory shared by two different nations. Fortunately for all types of travelers, both the French (St. Martin) and Dutch (St. Maarten) sides share a similarly welcoming attitude. Both sides have gay beaches (Orient Bay Beach and Happy Bay Beach on the French side, Cupecoy Beach on the Dutch side), and St. Martin has a rarity on the Caribbean’s smaller islands, a gay dance club: Eros ClubGay Sint Maarten is an excellent resource and, despite the name, covers both sides of the island. It advises travelers to exercise discretion outside of tourist areas, a suggestion that it is wise to follow on many Caribbean islands. While the locals who work at the resorts and tourist-friendly restaurants are accustomed to LGBTQ visitors, you may find that small-town residents in the Caribbean, as in the United States, are not always as tolerant.

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What and where are the Gili Islands exactly?

The Gili Islands are made up of 3 small islands that lie off the northwest coast of Lombok island.

Gili Trawangan is the largest and craziest of the three with a population of around 1,500 people. This is where you’ll find the parties, most of the hotels, best restaurants – essentially it’s the main “hub” of the three islands. Party gay boys will want to base themselves right here.

Gili Meno is the smallest of the three (only 2km long and 1km wide) with a population of just 500 people. It lies in the middle between the two other islands. It’s the quietest island, the most remote with very few facilities. This is the island for those of you who want to live out their Tom Hanks Cast Away-inspired fantasy!

Gili Air is the second smallest of the three and in our humble opinion, the best one. It’s like a compromise between crazy hectic Gili T but not as remote as Gili Meno. This is the island most popular with gay honeymooners or couples seeking out a quiet beach retreat.

Most will arrive at Bali Airport. From here you have two options to reach the Gilis. The first is via a short domestic 30-minute flight to Lombok island’s airport, followed by a 30-minute speedboat to the Gilis. In the alternative, you can get a taxi over to the Padang Bai Port and then a 1.5-hour high-speed ferry direct to Gili T, which is easy to pre-book online.

Are the Gili islands safe for gay travellers?

Remember this is Indonesia, a country with a shockingly terrible reputation in relation to LGBTQ rights, which is getting progressively worse each year. To be clear, there are no LGBTQ rights in Indonesia. Instead, the government keeps pushing for quite nasty laws that negatively target the LGBTQ community, the most recent being the .

Gay hotels in the Gili islands

As we said above, the first thing we advise you do is pick which of the 3 islands you want to be based on. Gili T offers the more in terms of options for all budgets. It also has the best restaurants and most facilities. But it’s also the noisiest, particularly if you stay on the Eastern side where all the bars are. Gili Meno in the middle is the best if all you want to do is chill by a beach with a book or your thoughts. Otherwise, Gili Air’s your best bet if you want a mix of the two.

These are a selection of some of our favourite hotels from all 3 islands, which we can attest to being gay friendly.

BIG TIP: whichever hotel you choose, make sure you check how far it is from the nearest mosque loudspeaker. The call to prayer is relentless and happens throughout the day starting from 4am! I’m a heavy sleeper so it never bothered me much, but for Seby this was a constant source of drama throughout our Gili trip…

Gay bars and clubs in the Gilis

The main thing to bear in mind about the Gilis is that there is no official gay scene here like there is Bali. Bali has its own strip of gay bars/clubs, which you can read more about in . Therefore, we recommend getting all the gay party fun out of your system over in Seminyak before you head to the Gilis.

The Gilis do however have a bunch of bars and parties mainly on the eastern side of Gili T, locally referred to as “the main strip”. As a gay couple looking for a queer-friendly space where we felt comfortable with PDAs, this is where we’d recommend heading. The reason, it’s a very young, international crowd here, with people from all over the world. In addition, the bars here are mainly foreign-owned so they have a more open-minded and tolerant attitude towards LGBTQ travellers. We’ve listed below the bars we found to be the most queer-friendly across the 3 islands.

One tip to note about the nightlife on the Gilis is that it’s a very small, tight and organised community. Each night, one bar is allowed to stay open late until around 3am whilst all the others have to shut around midnight. The trick is to find out which bar is the late-opening one for the day you’re there. It’s easy to spot it as you walk along the main strip as it will usually be advertised with a large banner.

Best gay friendly restaurants in the Gilis

The best restaurants are mainly on Gili T. You have more choice and variety here, followed by Gili Air. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any decent restaurants on Gili Meno, just fewer to choose from. Most of the places we’ve listed in the Bars section also double up as excellent restaurants. We’ve tried to avoid repetition, but Pearl Beach Lounge is the exception which we mentioned twice because we loved it both as an evening hangout as well as a restaurant:

Gay friendly spa in the Gilis

There are plenty of spas on the Gili islands, usually linked to resorts. We visited the Azure Spa on Gili T, which is part of the Pesona Resort, located above the Dive Central diving shop in the main strip. We came here as a birthday treat – Seby had booked me a 90-minute hot stone massage treatment.

A hot stone treatment starts with a relaxing oil massage. The stones are then prepared in a rice cooker and heated to a temperature which is just hot enough not to be uncomfortable, then placed strategically on parts of the body.

Our masseurs were extremely polite and very friendly. It was obvious we were a couple and they didn’t have any issues about it. It was a lovely treat, which I recommend, least of all because the treatments here are very affordable and you have quite a unique ocean view:

Plan your trip

These are our some of our best tips and advice for LGBTQ travellers based on our firsthand experience travelling the Gili Islands:

How to get there: Most people will be coming from Bali or Lombok. When you touch down at Bali airport you have two option: a 30-minute flight to Lombok airport plus a 30-minute speedboat to the Gilis, or, take a taxi over to the Padang Bai Port and take a 1.5-hour high-speed ferry direct to Gili T. We recommend the ferry direct to Gili T as it’s more reliable, quicker and you can easily pre-book it online.

Visa requirements: For most visitors to Indonesia (USA, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada), you can simply get a visa on arrival, which costs around $35. Make sure you check your personal visa requirements before making your travel plans though.

Travel insurance: An absolutely must! We never travel without the security of travel insurance and strongly recommend you do the same: Medical emergency? Cancelled flights? Stolen bar? Sorted! We love using  because their cover is comprehensive, inexpensive and it’s easy to make a claim online if you need.

Vaccinations: All travellers to the Gili Islands will need to be up-to-date with all routine vaccinations like measles, mumps and chickenpox. It’s also recommended you have a polio booster if you’re planning to stay in Indonesia longer than four weeks. Some travellers may also need to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, typhoid, Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, rabies or yellow fever so make sure you check the most recent information on the CDC website.

Currency: The official currency in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah which is abbreviated to Rp. The official currency code is IDR. $1 US converts to around Rp 14,057, €1 is worth around Rp 15,516 and £1 is around Rp 18,142. Confusing? Sure was for us. We relied heavily on the XE Currency app for conversions!

Tipping culture: Tipping is not really expected in the Gili Islands. However, as wages are generally pretty low, it won’t go unappreciated if you tip a few extra dollars for good service at hotels, restaurants, your driver or your tour guide.

Online privacy: The Gili Islands may be a tourist bubble, remember it is still part of Indonesia where the internet is heavily monitored. As such, many LGBTQ apps and websites are being blocked all the time. This includes Grindr. If you want to be able to use all gay dating apps without any issues, we recommend getting a VPN. In addition, your location is blocked, which allows you to browse the internet safely and anonymously.

Accommodation: There are tons of excellent hotels and villas to book across the 3 Gili Islands. We love using because they have the best offers and usually offer free cancellation for most places, which allows some flexibility with your travel planning.

Sightseeing and adventure: We love checking out the listings for inspiration for the best things to do in every new place we visit. They have a lot of ideas for the Gili Islands, which we recommend checking out. In addition, their tours are affordable and super easy to book.

When to visit: The Gili Islands are beautiful All Year. Seasons: Rainy Season: November-April / Dry Season: May-October. I love Gili year round. Most people want to come in dry season, which makes the rainy season far less crowded. You’ll be surrounded by climbing green nature. My favorite time of year, are the in-betweens, March, April, September and October. Green, sunny and not too dry with an occasional rain to keep the freshness in the air.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson

Iceland has not always been a sanctuary for queer people. The fight for equality here was as much of an uphill struggle as it was, and is, in the rest of the world. Perhaps it was due to the island’s isolation, and the influence of the church throughout the country’s development, but unconventional relationships were demonised well into the 20th Century.

This was not exclusively a problem for the gay and bi community. In fact, the mindset of most Icelandic people was once so limited that anything outside of a union between an Icelandic man and an Icelandic woman was seen as immoral.

During the invasion of Iceland in World War Two, British forces occupied Iceland after the Nazis took over Denmark; they were later replaced by Americans, who at one point, were here in numbers that rivalled the native male population. This influx of worldly men from exotic places did not go unnoticed by Icelandic women, and their interest horrified the men.

This was called ‘the situation’, or Ástandið, and both women who took American partners, and ‘the children of the situation’, called Ástandsbörn, met a huge amount of discrimination. The women were accused of everything from prostitution to treason for snubbing Icelandic men, and some of them were even institutionalised, for what can only be compared to modern-day conversion therapy.

LGBTQIA people faced discrimination that came from this same thread of ignorance. Icelandic men had lived in the same way with hardly a change from settlement to World War Two, and were not used to their conventions being challenged.

They were very resistant to the changing role of men and women in society, and the urban development of the nation in general, and this traditional obstinance is perhaps best illustrated in Halldor Laxness’ Nobel Prize Winning novel, Independent People.

The protagonist, Bjartur, could not come to terms with his daughter’s growing independence, nor the fact that Iceland was no longer a nation where everything relied on the strength and physical labour of the men.

Attitudes like Bjartur’s meant that many modern ideas were scorned and, consequently, the first people who publicly stated their queer identities were ridiculed and ostracised.

The first well-known gay man to come out was the loved singer and theatre personality Hörður Torfason, who encountered such a change of public opinion towards him that he exiled himself from the nation for fifteen years.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Oddur Benediktsson

Iceland’s first openly transgender woman, Anna Kristjánsdottir, met similar discrimination and ridicule when she first came to terms with herself; she had to move to Sweden in 1989 to even find a forum in which she could comfortably talk about gender dysphoria.

In a generation, however, these attitudes became quickly antiquated. Both Hörður and Anna have since returned to Iceland, and are now celebrated for their bravery rather than demonised for their differences.

After Hörður Torfason had come out to a hostile nation, those living in the closets became energised to change the attitudes that were oppressing them. In 1978, the National Queer Organisation was formed, called Samtökin ‘78, and it propelled the liberation movement into motion.

With greater visibility than ever before, more and more Icelanders started to come out. In a nation where everybody is somehow related to each other, it was just a matter of years before everyone had a gay cousin or bisexual niece, and their fears of queer people began to subside. Attitudes began to swing quickly and firmly against tradition, and the law followed.

Since the 1990s, a slew of legislation has been passed that has made Iceland one of the most gay-friendly places on earth. It was one of the first European countries to recognise same-sex partnerships in 1996 and to grant completely equal adoption and IVF rights for same-sex couples in 2006. In 2010, same-sex partnerships were recognised as marriages, and in 2012, the needs of the trans and genderqueer community were met with sweeping legislation that formalised the name and identity changing processes.

The most recent development came in 2015 when the Church of Iceland declared that they would welcome same-sex partners to marry within their institutions. Observing as a Brit, this was a refreshing and revolutionary step, considering that the UK parliament introduced an entirely unnecessary ‘quadruple lock’ on preventing the Church of England from officiating such services back in 2013.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo by Johannes Jansson

An evolution in attitudes has clearly driven these changes in the law. In 2004, 87% of Icelanders surveyed declared their support for same-sex marriage; in a poll of the same year, taken in the USA, less than half – just 42% – believed the same. These attitudes were further reflected when Iceland became the first nation with an openly gay leader; Jóhanna Sigurðardottir was elected Prime Minister in 2009.

The only legislative piece missing from full legal equality in Iceland is the ban on men who have sex with men from donating blood. This, however, is under fierce debate in the country and does not look to remain on the books for long.

Other issues that are under discussion on a national level are things like a better understanding of HIV/AIDs, more available testing, and better access to medication. There is also a movement to remove gender from identification documents for undefined, questioning and transitioning people.

While there is still progression to be made, it seems that almost everyone is on board to help make it happen.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson

Today, Iceland’s queer population is thriving. The National Queer Organisation is stronger than ever, providing community outreach on every weekday, and free counselling for those struggling to come to terms with their identity.

Its main work now, rather than challenging homophobia, is to draw light to and tear down illusions regarding lesser known sexual and gender variations such as those of intersex people, asexual people, and most recently, the BDSM community.

While the National Queer Organisation is largely here for natives and residents, visitors to Iceland looking to investigate the gay scene also have several organisations they can turn to. Gay Iceland is a go-to site to find out what is happening in gay Reykjavík, and Gay Ice is a popular gay travel guide.

Since 2011, there has even been a tour-guiding company that caters specifically to the LGBTQIA community, Pink Iceland. Pink Iceland became known across the world in 2019, when they contributed a prize to Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4; two of queens were granted holidays to Iceland for winning the makeover challenge.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson

There are many, many ways visitors can immerse themselves within Iceland’s queer scene. Because of the level of tolerance, there is no need for a gay district; and though there are only two explicitly ‚gay bars‘, Kiki and Curious, all venues in Iceland welcome people of different backgrounds.

It is very common for general institutions to put rainbow flags in their windows, or to have signs warning patrons against any discrimination on their property. This means that almost every space in Reykjavík is a safe and comfortable environment.

As traditional ‘straight’ venues welcome queer people, the courtesy is returned. Reykjavík Pride Festival is an event the whole family comes to enjoy, and the turnout for the march is almost unbelievable.

Though there are only about 340,000 people in the entire country, almost 100,000 come to celebrate each year, including the nation’s President. Pride week hosts many events, such as concerts, documentary and film screenings, live comedy shows and drag performances. The Reykjavík Pride festival, and the Reykjavík Rainbow Festival, which takes place in February, are holidays where the whole nation comes together.

Unlike many other smaller cities, Reykjavík has queer events throughout the year. Legendary Icelandic pop star and gay icon Páll Óskar hosts an annual Bears on Ice comes around every September, and the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race have made several appearances over the past few years. Season six winner and uproarious insult comic Bianca Del Rio is bringing her show, It’s Jester Joke, to Harpa on August 19th this year.

Up and coming queer artists are also given many platforms to perform, showcasing a wide diversity of talent. Regular performers on the downtown scene, such as Mighty Bear, a genderqueer punk musician, and Skaði, a trans performer and singer, are becoming more and more known. Skaði even competed this year to perform for the nation in Eurovision.

Reykjavík Kabarett is also an incredible platform for queer talent, and very popular amongst the queer audience. Furthermore, over the past three years, Icelandic drag has been surging to the forefront of the scene. There is now a drag troupe known as Drag-Súgur who perform at least twice a month at Gaukurinn, and many other individuals and groups who entertain across the city.

Iceland’s drag scene is particularly of note for its diversity, with drag kings and genderqueer performers as beloved as the more traditional queens.

Dating someone of the same sex is completely uncontroversial in Iceland. It is not at all uncommon to see two men or two women holding hands down the high street, having a romantic meal in one of the city’s restaurants, or dancing as inappropriately as opposite-sex couples do after too many drinks on a night out.

As with anywhere in the world, ignorant people exist, and, of course, there is no guarantee that same-sex couples will be free from harassment; in the accepting culture of Reykjavík, however, bigotry is rare and not tolerated by the general populace.

In general, there are few taboos when it comes to dating in Iceland. Icelandic people are usually very sex-positive, and do not tend to stigmatise anyone on their sexual behaviour. Many single Icelanders use dating apps, and the queer community is no exception.

Tinder, Grindr and Planet Romeo are all very popular; if you are staying here for long, however, remember that gay Reykjavík is a pretty small scene, so get used to seeing the same faces.

The rest of the nation is so sparsely populated that if you are travelling around, prepare to not see another queer person online within a hundred kilometres. One thing to keep in mind is that there are growing concerns in Iceland about the rising rates of STI transmission, so if you are looking for a romantic encounter, stay safe.

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Martas Hotel Gili

Party gurls listen up, this is the hotel you should book your Gili holiday at.

Martas is located right slap bang in the middle of the Gili T nightlife strip BUT tucked away down a quiet, unassuming residential street. It’s like a haven on Gili T – a peaceful, tranquil oasis, completely undisturbed by all the noise coming from the bar nightlife outside.

It’s owned by Joana (from the UK) and her husband Marta (from Indonesia) who love the gays. They received with open arms and obviously had no issue about us booking a double bed. In fact we noticed quite a few other gay couples and LGBTQ travellers when we stayed here.

We stayed in a really pretty detached bungalow located next to the communal pool. To say it was spacious is a massive understatement! It had two floors, downstairs was the bathroom and living area, upstairs, where the magic happens… It’s beautifully decorated with carved wood and natural stone. Also, a major plus: air-con! It gets super hot/humid in the Gilis that for some of us more dainty travellers (ahem – Seby!), we cannot function at night without the blast of air con!

The pool area was another favourite of ours here. It’s the perfect hangout spot during the day to nurse that hangover and meet a few fellow travellers. The breakfast is included and it’s pretty impressive. You can choose to have it on the terrace of your bungalow or by the pool. It includes a range of fresh juices, pancakes, omelettes, fresh tropical fruits (like mango, passion fruit, pineapple, papaya etc) and really good coffee!

STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL

Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.

Slow Private Pool Villas

This Belgian-owned beaut is the perfect retreat for gay couples who want a cheeky lavish base over on Gili Air island.

A typical day on Gili Air: wake at 9am, pick up Seby, throw him into our private pool, gobble up our breakfast served in our terrace, head out for a day of diving/snorkelling, return here for obligatory romantic sunset cocktails and order in a grilled fish or pizza for dinner.

This all nicely blends together adventure, romance, chillaxing and luxury, which is everything we look for in our travels.

There are just 10 contemporary Balinese-style villas to book at SLOW. Each has its own swimming pool with sun-beds, a large private terrace surrounded by coconut palms and a kitchenette with a private cooker. Also included – a mosquito net and mozzie repellant. Trust me, you’ll be very thankful for this! Whilst there’s no on-site restaurant, you can instead order in food from the staff who prepare it all for you with love…and we can fully attest to that!

SLOW is unique in that it also offers guests a variety of activities to do onsite such as yoga, Pilates and even Zumba lessons. They also have a spa where you can choose from a range of Balinese massages. From our experience here, we definitely recommend this to gay honeymooners and couples. Gili Air is super cool and totally unspoilt. It’s made for unwinding and relaxation, but also a handy base for diving and turtle-spotting off the nearby beach.

Mahamaya Resort

For our final night in the Gilis, we decided to treat ourselves to this cheeky romantic getaway on Gili Meno.

Mahamaya is a boutique resort with modern beachfront villas, communal pool, highly rated restaurant, and even a gym. The other striking thing about it we loved – it’s situated on the Northwestern side of Gili Meno, which is the best spot for sunsets.

We also selected Mahamaya because fellow LGBTQ travellers we met prior to our trip here raved about how welcoming the staff are – something we can also verify following our own experience.

At Mahamaya you have the choice of either staying in one of the poolside villas or pay a little bit extra for a villa located right on the beach (HIGHLY recommended!) Whichever villa you book, each one is spacious with its own terrace, and amongst other things, they all have air-con! This was the clincher for us when researching places to stay on Gili Meno as my Seby cannot live without his air-con in humid climates…

In terms of activities, bring a book to read and just chill on the beach: this is what Gili Meno’s all about! There is a dive shop next door that offers fun dives, scuba courses and even snorkelling trips. But for us, by this stage of our Gilis holiday, we just wanted to chill. The Mahamaya has a terrific restaurant which specialises in local Indonesian dishes and seafood. Wednesday and Saturday is ‘fish night‘ where you can select one of the fresh fish on display and they’ll BBQ it in front of you. They also have a daily 2 for 1 Happy Hour every evening on cocktails. Warning: the bar staff are super generous with their alcohol portions: after only a few Mango Daiquiris, Seby was topless, dancing away on the tables, giving us all a rendition of his favourite Lara Fabian songs…!

Pearl Beach Lounge (Gili Trawangan)

Pearl Beach was our favourite little spot on Gili T to come to when we wanted a break from the main strip. It’s located on the southeastern tip of the island, close to the Pondok Santi Estate. It’s got a classy beachfront, which is ideal for our quintessential Nomadic Boys sunset cocktails. We also stayed on to try the food, which was recommended to us by Joana at Martas Guesthouse. It’s European Asian fusion food with a twist – like pumpkin gnocchi (Seby’s favourite) or my duck(!) Pad Thai. The Pearl Beach Lounge is open every day till around 11pm. After dinner, the bar area becomes a cool hangout for couples. We even noticed a few other gay couples when we were here.

The Exile (Gili Trawangan)

The Exile is famous for the sea swing! All those Instagram Gili T pics you saw of influencers posing on a hammock swing by a dramatic sunset? That was taken here! The Exile is our favourite bar on Gili T for the sunset. It’s located on the Western side of the island, so every night you know you’re in for a spectacular photo shoot session. Also adding to the atmosphere is live reggae music with (some pretty hunky topless!) drummers dancing around a fire pit. The Exile is open every evening till late. It’s generally a young and international crowd who aren’t at all phased by a gay couple.

Stefan Arestis

Stefan is the co-founder, editor, and author of the gay travel blog As a travel nerd, he has explored more than 80 countries across 5 continents. What he loves the most about traveling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends, and learning new cultures. His advice about LGBTQ travel has been featured in Gaycation Magazine, Gaycities, Gay Times, Pink News, and Attitude Magazine. He has also written about gay travel for other non-gay-specific publications including Lonely Planet, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post. Stefan is also a qualified lawyer, having practiced as a commercial property litigator in London for over 10 years. He left his lawyer days behind to work full time on Nomadic Boys with his husband Sebastien. Find out more .

Thanks so much for the subwing suggestion. It was the best thing ever!!

What an amazing experience, my speedos were half way down my backside most of the time haha.

Just wanted to say thanks for the advise, my boyfriend and i are going on our first holiday and i was getting concerned reading about Lombok being a very Muslim country and what that would mean for us.

Your advise was so relieving, all i could find through Lonely Planet was that „In Lombok, LGBT travellers should refrain from public displays of affection (advice that also applies to straight couples“

This is the only place I have seen the Subwing, I cant wait to go now.

Thanks for all the helpful tips and tricks, will defiantly look to you in the future for advise when travelling

Hello, Bonjour and Welcome to our travel blog. We are Stefan and Sebastien a French/Greek gay couple from London. Together, we have been travelling the world for over 10 years. Nomadic Boys is our gay travel blog showcasing all our travel adventures as a gay couple.

Recommended

Representation is no joke: some people credit increased visibility of LGBT+ people on TV with helping to bring about equal marriage in the US, because of how it influenced popular opinion. There are countless stories of LGBT+ people coming to terms with their identity as a result of recognising their experiences in a fictional character. Actor Keiynan Lonsdale came out as bisexual via social media after being inspired by his role in teen film Love, Simon.

A new format would of course bring about new challenges. Because of how little LGBT+ representation there is on TV, a bisexual Love Island could confirm the stereotype that bisexual people are promiscuous, and straight audiences might make assumptions about bisexual people in general based on the contestants’ behaviour, who they partnered up with and how often they switched partners.

It’s also likely that „masculine“ men and „feminine“ women would still be selected for the show, and that butch gay women and femme gay men would be very much excluded from the narrative. And even a more LGBT+ representative format would still not deal with the particularly poor representation of race and uncomfortable racial microaggressions from contestants on the show.

It would be nice for LGBT+ young people to see that their sexuality doesn’t have to be an overly serious or emotionally burdensome part of their life – that they, too, can have a fling on an island and embarrass themselves on popular television if they wish.

ITV’s spokesperson hinted that “everyone is welcome to apply”, which is technically true. But the enormous success of Netflix’s Queer Eye is proof that we all want more specifically queer reality TV. Gay couples on the straight version of Love Island isn’t good enough.

More Gay Santorini

Coronavirus Update: Please note that some venues may be closed in line with local government advice. Please check the venue’s own website for the latest opening hours and information before making your journey. Stay safe and follow the local authority’s guidance in order to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus.

Gary

Gary is the gay guy that every girl wants to be, and every guy wants to be with (Mostly because he can’t get pregnant). He is based in Manhattan, but loves traveling to exotic new people, and sleeping with interesting new places. He is an adventurous writer, digital artist, and game designer that will try almost anything if it makes a good story.–Instagram: @garyadrianrandall –Twitter: @gadrianrandall

Attractions in Gay Auckland 

Being gay does not define which attraction you most want to see in each city, and most queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Auckland during the day! There are so many things to do here, and we just couldn’t keep our list short and concise.

We know locals from Auckland are sick of everyone saying there is nothing to do and boarding the next flight to Christchurch to explore the South Island. Though in the depths of winter when Queenstown Pride is on, they make an exception and will likely be joining you. 

You will probably need to hire a car to see the best nature in Auckland, but there are many exciting attractions in and around the CBD to keep most people happy for a few days. With so many options, our go-to usually is exploring any of Auckland’s gorgeous beaches, wine tasting on Waiheke Island, diving into the past the Auckland Museum, or climbing any one of the cities 52 volcanos!

If you’re still at a loss for things to do in Gay Auckland – wander along eclectic Karangahape Road / K Road, through upscale Ponsonby or amongst the super-yachts in the Auckland Viaduct!

Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Auckland

As a world leader in LGBT tourism, every hotel, and hostel in Auckland can be considered gay-friendly – after all being gay-friendly is not all about upscale luxury, but about providing friendly and open service and welcoming everyone with open arms!

There are no exclusively gay hotels in Auckland; however, a few fabulous and inclusive hotels in Auckland are well known hot spots for gay travelers to stay, thanks to their location and style.

Many new hotels have opened in New Zealand bringing a breath of fresh air into an otherwise tired sector – expect better amenities, international design and more competition, although there is still a hotel room shortage in Auckland and across New Zealand resulting in relatively high prices and limited supply in the peak period.

The best location for most gay travelers is in Britomart / Downtown area, which is close to the Viaduct and most attractions, or near Karangahape Road and Ponsonby with their upscale shops, art galleries, cafes, boutiques, and gay nightlife. Auckland is a big little city, and with many locations worth visiting. Don’t be afraid to explore outside your neighborhood – either with the somewhat effective train/bus/ferry system,  a ride-sharing app or by hiring a car…

The following gay-friendly hotels and accommodations in Auckland are only the most popular with gay travelers. Still, there are also hundreds of other hotels in Auckland if you don’t find quite what you are looking for.

Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying or a designer highrise option to sip chic cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people  – Gay Auckland as something for everyone!

For something a bit different, how about considering Te Whau Lodge, a gay-popular luxury lodge on sultry Waiheke Island.  Get a taste of Kiwiana just a 35 minute trip from the central city and yet an entire world away. Plenty of rolling hills covered in vineyards, a warmer microclimate, and picturesque sandy beaches that merge with emerald waters.

Te Whau Lodge is an epitome of luxury and offers gay visitors something different, an island escape with striking architecture. Expect breath-taking views, plenty of wine, and a stay you will never forget. If it’s a bit out of your budget, there is always the Hekerua Lodge Backpackers.

Auckland Gay Nightlife Scene

Auckland is well known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world and has a small but vibrant gay nightlife scene. Being such a progressive society, you are unlikely to experience any issues with displays of affection in public in New Zealand and will be welcomed in most nightclubs in Auckland.

Given that many LGBT people in Auckland don’t feel the need to segregate themselves, they can be found in most venues around town. The most gay-popular nightlife area currently is the down-and-dirty ‘K Road,’ trendy Ponsonby, and the upscale Viaduct and Britomart area.

However, there is no vibe like those of a gay club and who doesn’t like having a fabulous night out with our queer family – so when heading out in Auckland for the first time, we always recommend visiting the gay bars. Lesbians and gays rub shoulders here, but a few queer events are starting to gain traction, which offers lesbians and gays their own distinct spaces.

No matter if you want cocktails in an upscale hidden bar, a side-splitting night of drag comedy, shameless hot and sweaty dancing in a crowded club until 4 am – or practically anything else: Gay Auckland can provide…if you know where to look!

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How to Stay Safe Whilst Traveling?

As gay travelers, safety is our #1 priority! This is why we’ve put together our Ultimate Travel Safety Checklist for LGBTQ travelers. Sign up to our newsletter and get free access to it. No spam. Never. Not ever. Just fun and interesting blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.

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But – the Gili Islands are so reliant on tourism that they are very international, with people from all over the world living/working here. We found it to be almost as tolerant and openminded as Bali, just minus the gay scene. As a gay couple, we had no problem booking a double bed in any of the hotels we tried in the Gili Islands (most are foreign-owned and run which helps). However, we always took care to avoid PDAs unless we were in a spot which was completely isolated or we knew to be queer-friendly.

As such we were ok and never encountered any problems. In the worst case scenario, locals would ask us if we are brothers – a common question we’re now used to…

The Indonesian government monitors internet use and has also blocked gay dating apps like Grindr and other websites that it deems to be “immoral”. Therefore to access Grindr in the Gili Islands you will need a . In addition, this will also keep your internet browsing anonymous because the location cannot be tracked when using a VPN.

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In the afterglow of a hugely successful last season, it looked like LGBT+ fans of Love Island might finally get what they wanted: queer Love Island. When asked about the possibility of queer people on the show only this month, Love Island host Caroline Flack told the Mirror, “I don’t see any reason why not.” In May, after a Bafta win, the creators of the show said they were interested in a “gay villa” for a “gay audience”. But after months of speculation, the new season is in full swing and there have been no signs of change.

Love Island’s current structure certainly doesn’t allow for any sexual diversity. Back in 2016, bisexual contestants Katie Salmon and Sophie Gradon hooked up on the island, but were told they couldn’t officially couple up as part of the competition. When 2017 contestants Chris Hughes and Kem Cetinay become the platonic power couple of the year, questions were finally raised about why the islanders couldn’t actually couple up with someone of their own gender – men and women teamed up as friends all the time, as a game tactic.

Love Island executive producer, Richard Cowley, also blamed the format of the show, saying that the “coupling and recoupling” wouldn’t allow for queer contestants to fit in naturally.

In the 2018 season so far, fans have certainly taken it upon themselves to read queerness into the contestants’ interactions: a portion of the fandom believe Niall has a crush on Adam because of how much he compliments his looks; some think that Eyal and Niall have been subtly flirtingpast threesome revealA&E doctor Alex could be bisexual. So far Niall is the favourite to turn out to be queer, although there’s little if any conversation about whether any of current women on the show might be.

The Cast

While many of us continue to hold out hope for a surprise queer twist to this so far standard season, an all-bisexual or all-queer Love Island makes so much more sense. The combinations of contestants would be almost endless, to the point of near chaos. The show would be so much less predictable, the drama more intense. Isn’t that what Love Island is all about?

A queer Love Island has the potential to break down some of the deeply ingrained gender stereotypes perpetuated by the original format, and could even feature non-binary contestants.

It would give us some sorely needed representation of bisexual men, a group that barely exists in popular media and suffers from targeted erasure of their sexuality. As one of the biggest shows on British television right now – with a stronghold on 16- to 34-year-olds, statistically the demographic to identify as queer – Love Island could make a substantial impact on attitudes toward the LGBT+ community.

A spokesperson for ITV even admitted that “the LGBT community make up a huge part of their audience” and that not representing them could “alienate” them. The excuses for continuing to exclude queer people from the show are starting to wear thin.

The significance of LGBT+ representation on television has been recognised more and more over the last few years. GLAAD’s annual “Where we are on TV” report specifically points to how hard it is to measure representation in reality television – partly because there is so little of it.

On scripted TV, 6.4 per cent of characters are LGBT+, the highest percentage ever recorded. Lesbian and bi women have suffered on scripted TV, particularly after 2015/16 when 41 of them – about a third at the time – were killed off in rapid succession. Reality TV has the opportunity to tell a different story.

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