Vi­enna, New York, Ja­pan, Thai­land… 2019 is shap­ing up as a year with some se­ri­ously ex­cep­tional LGBT travel op­tions.

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT #225 - An­drew Creagh Found­ing Ed­i­tor AN­DREW CREAGH

This month I feel like one of those joke road signs you some­times see when you’re trav­el­ling. You know, the ones that point off in mul­ti­ple di­rec­tions to Paris, New York, Tim­buktu, etc, be­cause this month is a Travel spe­cial and there’s stacks in it – plus a lot of other great non-travel re­lated sto­ries.

To start with, 2019 is shap­ing up as a year with some se­ri­ously ex­cep­tional LGBT travel op­tions. There’s Euro­pride in Vi­enna, and World Pride and Stonewall’s 50th an­niver­sary in New York. The first ever Gay Ski Week in Ja­pan is on in March, there’s a Rhine River cruise in­cor­po­rat­ing the Am­s­ter­dam Pride canal cel­e­bra­tions, and closer to home there’s a TropOut New Year event in Thai­land – the of­fi­cial re­cov­ery from Bangkok’s White Party. So, you see, I’m the silly road side point­ing ev­ery which way.

All of those great travel op­tions are cov­ered in this is­sue, plus there’s Vanessa McQuar­rie’s fea­ture point­ing to the 10 best travel des­ti­na­tions for the LGBTIQ tourist. As a com­pan­ion piece, Marc An­drews iden­ti­fies 10 pop­u­lar travel spots that are the most ho­mo­pho­bic. Un­for­tu­nately, some of them are very pop­u­lar with the gays. As good trav­ellers, it’s time we asked our­selves, “Should we spend our travel dol­lars in coun­tries that per­se­cute their lo­cal LGBTIQs?” For me, the an­swer is no.

Ho­mo­pho­bic vi­o­lence can hap­pen any­where and this year we mark the 20th an­niver­sary of the killing of Matthew Shep­ard. His sense­less and bru­tal mur­der shocked the world and led, even­tu­ally, to hate crimes leg­is­la­tion in the USA. In this is­sue, Matt’s mother Judy speaks to DNA about her son’s death and his le­gacy. Now an ac­tivist for civil rights, Judy has a lot to say about the cur­rent US pres­i­dent and what ap­pears to be the rolling back of LGBT pro­tec­tions.

An­other hero of this is­sue is Dan Reynolds, lead singer of huge US rock band, Imag­ine Dragons. While not gay him­self, and risk­ing back­lash from his band’s many con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian fans, Dan es­tab­lished the LoveLoud mu­sic fes­ti­val. This year’s event raised one mil­lion dol­lars for LGBTIQ youth sup­port groups like The Trevor Pro­ject. He tells DNA why LoveLoud is so im­por­tant to him.

This month sees the first of a series of sto­ries we’ll be bring­ing you on ad­dic­tion, its causes and the pos­si­ble routes to re­cov­ery. The LGBTIQ com­mu­nity is af­fected by ad­dic­tions at a greater level than the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. It’s not be­cause if our sex­u­al­ity, it’s be­cause of the trauma we ex­pe­ri­ence from neg­a­tive re­ac­tions to our sex­u­al­ity. Ad­dic­tions – to drugs and al­co­hol, sex, apps, gam­bling – will af­fect all of us ei­ther di­rectly or through some­one we know. This spe­cial series will, I hope, give us the knowl­edge and tools and man­age these is­sues when they arise.

On a lighter life­style note, the DNA team headed to Bris­bane this month to shoot the cover and file the Liv­ing In The Val­ley story. For­ti­tude Val­ley has long been a thriv­ing gay hub and, now, as Bris­bane ex­pe­ri­ences sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tion growth, The Val­ley is evolv­ing in new and ex­cit­ing ways. Don’t worry – it’s still very gay!

Fi­nally, one last men­tion re­gard­ing this is­sue: we have con­tribut­ing pho­tog­ra­phers from around the world re­flect­ing dif­fer­ent styles and tastes, but we rarely pub­lish the work of fe­male pho­tog­ra­phers. This is­sue’s photo-story, NYC Boy fea­tur­ing su­per-sexy model Matt James, is shot by up-and-com­ing pho­tog­ra­pher Jade Young, who iden­ti­fies as a trans woman and we are ex­cited to wel­come her to the DNA ex­tended fam­ily of global con­trib­u­tors.

En­joy your DNA. See you next month,

Should we spend our travel dol­lars in coun­tries that per­se­cute their lo­cal LGBTIQs?” For me, the an­swer is no.

Vi­enna Pride, 2018.

Jade Young: a self-por­trait.

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