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Come Out
and Play

Come Out
and Play


Missed another coming out day opportunity? Don't worry! Our friends at The Out Traveler tell us how to celebrate this cherished annual ritual year round!

Unless your profile is public enough to draw attention in grocery store aisles, coming out can be a daily task. Like groundhogs, we find ourselves coming out again and again, to new friends and coworkers, unsuspecting acquaintances, and the occasional relative. Even when it's years behind us, coming out remains a monumental personal achievement. Yet we don't tend to see it as cause for an actual celebration. This year, why not combine the act of coming out with a fabulous gay getaway for you and somebody you love?

Go Where the Gays Are

Dip your toes into gay-friendly waters at one of the ever-increasing number of gay-popular destinations around the world. In Provincetown, Mass., as nowhere else on earth, gay women and men crowd streets and beaches all year long. Fall may be the most perfect time to visit: Crowds have thinned and events like Provincetown Women's Week light up the calendar. Or just head for the mother ship: San Francisco still reigns as the most gay-friendly, gay-popular, and gay-integrated destination in the country, if not the world. If your hometown is still a little stressed in the gay department, a couple of days in the Castro will do you a world of good. If you've got your passport handy, there's an easy acceptance of lesbian and gay visitors in friendly Curacao--rooted in Dutch tolerance, filtered through a laid-back island sensibility, with a touch of Curacao's singular progressiveness thrown in.

Take to the Waves

If you want a full-immersion, all-gay vacation, there's a flotilla of enticing cruises to consider. To celebrate the unrestrained joy of being out, book a berth between two hot South American destinations--Rio and Buenos Aires--with Atlantis's Rio Carnival Cruise (February 3-15, 2008;; from $1899). Those on board will experience a packed itinerary on Celebrity Infinity, consistently ranked one of the top three ships in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. For a more intimate break on the breakers, RSVP's Barbados Bliss (March 1-8, 2008;; from $1895) will whisk 227 pampered passengers from one stunning island to the next by luxurious private yacht. While guests on these two cruises are mostly gay men, women have a tempting array of cruises to choose from, courtesy of Olivia. Ready for a quick turnaround? Then snap up one of the last cabins available on Olivia's 100th trip, Sunsets of the Mexican Riviera, which sets sail from San Diego (October 20-27, 2007;; from $2,299). The voyage includes some of Mexico's sultriest spots, from Puerto Vallarta to the Sea of Cortez.

Take a VIP Tour of Very Important Places

On your travels, don't forget to visit the increasing number of monuments to gay-related causes. There are more than a dozen sites in existence or in advanced planning stages where we can go and pay our respects to those who have fought the battle, paved the way, or been lost in the struggle against AIDS and persecution. In New York? Don't miss pop artist George Segal's 1979 sculpture Gay Liberation in Sheridan Square. Commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots that kicked off the modern LGBT rights movement, it features two same-sex couples, cast in bronze, on a park bench. If you're in Florida, take a moment to acknowledge the more than 1,000 names inscribed on the flat granite monuments of Key West AIDS Memorial, a tribute to those who have loved Key West and who have died of AIDS. If you're sightseeing in Amsterdam, stop by the city's Homomonument. Unveiled in 1987, it commemorates the suffering of gay men and lesbians during the Third Reich but also acknowledges the persecution endured by gay men and lesbians throughout history.

Make a Statement

Sometimes the best way to replenish is to make a difference, and the LGBT movement could certainly use your help. Campaign against proposed antigay amendments in state capitals or find other ways to lend your voice to gays demanding justice. Where to start? You might try South Dakota, Nebraska, or Virginia. All three states have banned same-sex marriage, civil unions, and any marriage-like contract between unmarried people. If you're really bold, consider traveling abroad to show solidarity with queers in other countries. Joining a pride parade in Moscow or Warsaw will open your eyes to the challenges we all face.

Lend a Hand

Can't get time away from your daily routine? Then make a difference right where you are. Volunteer, meet people, and learn more about our community at an LGBT festival. Pitch in and join your local LGBT center or LGBT help line. Sometimes you can cover the most distance just by traveling across town.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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