KICK THAT GAY BUCKET!

SEARCH­ING FOR THAT BRAND NEW GAY EX­PE­RI­ENCE? MATT NEW­BURY HAS PUT TO­GETHER A BUCKET LIST OF 20 GAY-THEMED THINGS TO DO BE­FORE YOU DIE

Pride Life Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Twenty gay things to do be­fore you go

There’s a thou­sand in­spi­ra­tional quotes about seiz­ing the day and suck­ing out the mar­row of life, be­cause un­less you are a Bud­dhist (or the bloke from High­lander), you only have a fi­nite time on this Earth be­fore they’re play­ing Fi­nally by Cece Penis­ton at your fu­neral. While the gays are no­to­ri­ous for liv­ing life to the full, it’s good to have dreams and am­bi­tions beyond hav­ing sex at the top of the Eiffel Tower or on a Vir­gin At­lantic flight. While most con­ven­tional bucket lists in­volve climb­ing Machu Pic­chu or an­noy­ing dol­phins (who don’t even get a day off any­more…) I thought it might be fun to put to­gether a gay bucket list of ex­pe­ri­ences you might want to tick off be­fore shuffling off this mor­tal coil. You’re go­ing to need an aw­ful lot of air miles though…

ACT LIKE A COCK IN A FROCK ON A ROCK ON THE PRISCILLA TRAIL IN AUS­TRALIA

“A desert hol­i­day, hip hip hip hooray!” Fol­low in the high-heeled foot­steps of Mitzi, Feli­cia and Ber­nadette by tak­ing the ul­ti­mate road trip from Syd­ney to Alice Springs, via a climb up Kings Canyon in a full-length Gaultier se­quin, heels and a tiara. The trip is around 2,000 miles, so your bus had bet­ter be in good nick, but you will get to see some in­cred­i­ble scenery and stay in some amaz­ing places like the Palace Ho­tel in Bro­ken Hill (com­plete with out­ra­geous wall mu­rals, thep­alace­hotel­bro­ken­hill.com.au), the un­der­ground Desert Cave Ho­tel in Coober Pedy (de­sert­cave.com.au) and Las­seters’ Casino in Alice Springs (las­seters.com.au). It’s then a mere 1,717 mile jaunt back to the Im­pe­rial Ho­tel in Syd­ney (theim­pe­ri­al­ho­tel.com.au) for a wel­learned drink and a drag show.

TOAST THE BIRTH OF MOD­ERN GAY RIGHTS IN THE STONEWALL BAR ON CHRISTO­PHER STREET, NEW YORK

This Na­tional His­toric Land­mark was where pun­ters, in­clud­ing a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of drag queens, fought back against a se­ries of bru­tal po­lice raids in 1969, spark­ing the gay lib­er­a­tion move­ment. The Stonewall was the largest gay bar in the US at the time, but closed a few months af­ter the ri­ots. How­ever, it was res­ur­rected some 20 years later and today re­mains at the heart of the Green­wich Vil­lage gay com­mu­nity. Fol­low­ing the land­mark pas­sage of New York State’s Mar­riage Equal­ity Act, you can even hold your spe­cial day in the leg­endary venue, show­ing how far we have come over the last four decades. Stonewall Bar, 53 Christo­pher Street, New York, the­stonewallinnnyc.com

RE­LAX ON THE ALAN TUR­ING MEMO­RIAL BENCH IN SACKVILLE PARK, MANCH­ESTER

The bench was built in mem­ory of the wartime code breaker and fa­ther of mod­ern com­put­ing, who com­mit­ted sui­cide in 1954, two years af­ter be­ing con­victed for be­ing gay (see the ar­ti­cle in this is­sue). Shock­ingly the man who should have been a war hero for his code-break­ing work was forced to re­ceive es­tro­gen in­jec­tions (chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion) as an al­ter­na­tive to prison. A statue of Tur­ing is seen sit­ting on the bench, hold­ing an ap­ple – a sym­bol of knowl­edge, for­bid­den love and also the likely means of his own death. He died of cyanide poi­son­ing and a half eaten ap­ple was found near his body, be­lieved to have been laced with the drug.

Sackville Park, Manch­ester

JOIN THE GAYEST AU­DI­ENCE IN THE WORLD AT THE EURO­VI­SION SONG CON­TEST

Go on, ad­mit it… how­ever cool you are, you’d se­cretly love to go to the out­ra­geous campfest that is Euro­vi­sion. Next year the 60th edition of the con­test will be held in the 16,000- seater Wiener Stadthalle in Vi­enna on Satur­day 23 May. While it will be dif­fi­cult to top Con­chita’s win­ning per­for­mance of Rise Like A Phoenix at this year’s event, more than 40 coun­tries will try, watched by a stag­ger­ing 180 mil­lion peo­ple. As there’s a fat chance that the UK will ever host the con­test again, why not take the op­por­tu­nity to travel to one of the most beau­ti­ful cities in Europe and pre­pare to party with our Graham and thou­sands of like-minded lovers of Euro camp.

Go to: euro­vi­sion. tv

VISIT OS­CAR WILDE IN HIS PRES­TI­GIOUS PARIS CEME­TERY

The fi­nal rest­ing place of the gay writer, poet, play­wright and wit can be found in the Père Lachaise ceme­tery, be­neath a mon­u­ment of a fly­ing naked an­gel inspired by Assyr­ian fig­ures in the Bri­tish Mu­seum. Bizarrely the an­gel was van­dalised in the 1960s, when its gen­i­tals were hacked off and stolen. For years there was a tra­di­tion of vis­i­tors leav­ing kisses in lip­stick on the mon­u­ment, per­haps in ref­er­ence to Wilde’s quote, “A kiss may ruin a hu­man life.” A kiss may also ruin the stonework of a tomb and so a glass bar­rier has now been erected to pre­vent the ero­sion of the grave. Père Lachaise ceme­tery, 16 rue du Repo, Paris, pere- lachaise. com

EN­JOY A NIGHT OF OP­U­LENT PLEA­SURE IN THE VER­SACE MAN­SION IN SOUTH BEACH MI­AMI

In the 1990s Ital­ian fash­ion de­signer Gianni Ver­sace al­most sin­gle­hand­edly turned this faded seafront area of Mi­ami into one of the coolest party cap­i­tals of the world, when he built his beach­front man­sion in the re­sort. Soon the aging pop­u­la­tion of snow­birds were mov­ing out and hoards of the glit­terati from the worlds of mu­sic, fash­ion and film mov­ing in, and ev­ery­one from Madonna to Princess Diana was swim­ming in the de­signer’s 24-carat-lined swim­ming pool, be­fore he was trag­i­cally mur­dered on the steps of the man­sion in 1997. This year the man­sion re­opened as a lux­ury ho­tel with a night in a villa suite start­ing at £1,315, ex­clud­ing break­fast. The Villa Mi­ami Beach, 1116 Ocean Dr, Mi­ami Beach, Florida, thevil­l­aby­bar­tong. com

CLICK YOUR HEELS TO­GETHER AND VISIT THE ACADEMY MU­SEUM OF MO­TION PIC­TURES

The mu­seum won’t open un­til 2017, but it’s worth plan­ning ahead, as one of the main ex­hibits will be Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wiz­ard of Oz. While five pairs were used in the 1939 film, it is be­lieved these are the ones used in all of the close-ups in­clud­ing the heel-click­ing scene. Leonardo DiCaprio led a group of donors who pur­chased the shoes be­fore giv­ing them to the mu­seum. If you can’t wait un­til the mu­seum opens, another pair can be seen in the Smith­so­nian In­sti­tu­tion, be­lieved to be the main shoes Judy Gar­land wore through most of the film. Academy Mu­seum of Mo­tion Pic­tures, 6067 Wil­shire Boule­vard, Bev­erly Hills, os­cars. org/ acade­my­mu­seum

VISIT A GAY IS­LAND CRE­ATED BY ITALY’S FAS­CISTS 75 YEARS AGO

In 1938, 45 men be­lieved to be ho­mo­sex­u­als in Cata­nia were rounded up by Mus­solini’s fas­cists and ex­iled on the Is­land of San Domino (some 600 miles from their homes), in the mid­dle of the Adri­atic sea. How­ever what was sup­posed to be a pun­ish­ment, ac­tu­ally turned out to be a bless­ing for the men, who sud­denly found them­selves in the part of Italy where they were free to be gay with­out stigma or ridicule. As one vet­eran named Giuseppe B said, “In those days if

you were a fem­minella you couldn’t even leave your home, or make your­self no­ticed - the po­lice would ar­rest you. On the is­land, on the other hand, we would cel­e­brate our saints’ days or the ar­rival of some­one new... We did the­atre, and we could dress as women there and no-one would say any­thing.» He goes on the de­scribe ro­mances, fights over lovers and fi­nally how pris­on­ers wept at the out­break of World War II when they were forced to re­turn to their homes. Today the is­land makes a stun­ning place to visit, al­beit one with an as­ton­ish­ing his­tory.

Go to: iso­le­trem­iti.it

COOL OFF IN KYLIE’S SWIM­MING POOL IN BARCELONA

Let’s face it, the video to Kylie’s Slow is a classic, fea­tur­ing the diminu­tive An­tipodean stretched out on a beach towel, while stun­ning oiled-up male bod­ies writhe all around her. It’s got to be one of the most sexy and in­deed gay videos ever, while the pool it­self is not too shabby ei­ther. Dat­ing back to 1929, the spec­tac­u­lar venue was re­fur­bished for the 1992 sum­mer Olympics, when the fa­mous div­ing pool was also built. Try and co­in­cide your visit with a div­ing com­pe­ti­tion and you’ll get to en­joy buff bod­ies framed by breath-tak­ing panoramic views of the city. Don’t for­get your towel to wig­gle about on later! Piscina Mu­nic­i­pal de Mon­tjuïc, Barcelona, pi­cor­nell. cat

LASSO A YOUNG BUCK AT THE GAY RODEO IN THE CANA­DIAN ROCKIES

If the cow­boy was al­ways your favourite mem­ber of the Vil­lage Peo­ple, then sad­dle up and head to the an­nual Cana­dian Rockies In­ter­na­tional Rodeo and Mu­sic Fes­ti­val. Open to both gay cow­boys and gals, you’ll get to en­joy all the tra­di­tional events in­clud­ing bull-rid­ing and cal­frop­ing, as well as some camp events like goat­dress­ing and wild drag (the mind bog­gles). You can even en­rol in a begin­ner’s school and then par­tic­i­pate if you are feel­ing brave. It’s then on to the hoe­down un­til the early hours, be­fore ful­fill­ing all your Broke­back Moun­tain fan­tasies.

Go to: ar­gra.org

CRUISE THE CAS­TRO IN SAN FRAN­CISCO WITH THE AMAZ­ING KATHY

The Cas­tro district has an in­cred­i­ble colour­ful gay his­tory dat­ing right back to the Gold Rush days (when hanky codes first made an ap­pear­ance) and there is no per­son bet­ter to guide you around the area than lo­cal leg­end Kathy Amendola. Her Cruisin’ The Cas­tro Walk­ing Tour takes in Har­vey Milk’s for­mer cam­era shop, Pink Tri­an­gle Memo­rial Park, the orig­i­nal site of the AIDS Quilt Names Project, The Rain­bow Hon­our Walk, Twin Peaks Tav­ern and the iconic Cas­tro The­atre.

Go to: cruisinthe­cas­tro.com

EN­JOY A DRINK OR THREE IN AM­S­TER­DAM’S (AND POS­SI­BLY THE WORLD’S) OLD­EST GAY BAR

Café ‘t Mandje dates back to 1927 when it was opened by a butch leather-jack­eted dyke called Bet van Beeren. She would serve drinks to the un­der­ground gay com­mu­nity when she wasn’t chas­ing the girls on her mo­tor­cy­cle. When she died, her younger sis­ter took it over and ran it un­til her death in 1982. The bar lay frozen in time behind closed doors for 26 years be­fore the niece of the sis­ters re­stored and re­opened it in 2008. The bar is now a piece of liv­ing his­tory com­plete with stuffed lizards, tiger and bear heads and neck­ties pinned to the ceil­ing – cut off to pun­ish naughty pa­trons long since de­parted.

Zeed­ijk 63, Am­s­ter­dam, cafet­d­mandje.nl

EX­PLORE YOUR SAP­PHIC SIDE ON THE ISLE OF LES­BOS

The Greek is­land off the coast of Turkey has be­come a pil­grim­age for les­bians ea­ger to visit the home of Sap­pho (620- 570 BC), a poet who wrote of her love for other women. In­deed, the term les­bian was adopted as a term for women who love women in ref­er­ence to the poet’s is­land home. A per­ma­nent les­bian com­mu­nity lives in her home­town of Eres­sos, where a large statue of Sap­pho can be found and an In­ter­na­tional Women’s Fes­ti­val is held an­nu­ally. Lesvos (the Greek spell­ing) is also renowned for its ouzo should you fancy sam­pling the lo­cal tip­ple. Why not keep a bot­tle of Les­bian Ouzo next to the Mount Gay Rum in your cock­tail cabi­net to amuse friends at din­ner par­ties?

Go to: lesvos. co. uk

RE­LIEVE YOUR­SELF IN THE MOST FA­MOUS PUB­LIC TOI­LET IN THE WORLD

When Ge­orge Michael strolled into the pub­lic re­stroom in Will Rogers Park in Bev­erly Hills on 7 April 1998, he had no idea that he was about to make the pop­u­lar cruis­ing spot part of ev­ery Hol­ly­wood sight­see­ing bus tour. His ar­rest and very pub­lic “com­ing out” al­most led to his ca­reer go­ing down the toi­let, un­til he turned things around with some very hon­est TV in­ter­views and the won­der­fully self-mock­ing Out­side video. The in­ci­dent also inspired the best ever Sun head­line: “Zip Me Up be­fore You Go Go”. Will Rogers Park, 9650 Sun­set Boule­vard, Bev­erly Hills, bev­er­ly­hills. org

JOIN THE OTHER DANC­ING QUEENS AT THE ABBA MU­SEUM IN STOCK­HOLM

Your life can be as good as an ABBA song if you visit this won­der­ful mu­seum ded­i­cated to the Swedish su­per troupers and opened just last year. The hi-tech in­ter­ac­tive mu­seum is now the per­ma­nent home of cos­tumes from the ABBAWORLD ex­hibit that toured Europe and Aus­tralia in 2009-2011, and also houses stage cos­tumes do­nated by the band mem­bers. If you feel like join­ing the fab­u­lous four, there are also sev­eral in­ter­ac­tive au­dio and video sta­tions that al­low you to per­form the band’s mu­sic. Djurgårdsvä­gen 68, 115 21 Stock­holm, ab­bath­e­mu­seum.com

GET OILED UP AT THE MOST HO­MO­EROTIC SPORT­ING EVENT IN THE WORLD

The an­nual Kirkpinar oil wrestling fes­ti­val in Edirne, Turkey, is the long­est run­ning sport­ing event in the world (this year was the 653th con­test) and in­volves large hairy men cov­er­ing ev­ery inch of their bod­ies in olive oil and then stick­ing their hands down each other’s kispets (leather shorts) try­ing to grap­ple their op­po­nents to the ground. Oil wrestling is the Turk­ish na­tional sport – much more fun than foot­ball we feel. So if the idea of beefy guys wear­ing only tight wa­ter buf­falo-leather pants and coat­ing them­selves in 100 drums of olive oil and then grap­pling with each other for your plea­sure sounds tempt­ing, the event is held in June each year. Don’t for­get your video cam­era.

Go to: turk­ishoil­wrestling.net

BE­COME A BRIDE AND A WIDOW ON THE SAME NIGHT IN CHEN­NAI, IN­DIA

The Koothan­davar (or Ali) Fes­ti­val is held in April-May each year hon­our­ing Ara­van, a Hindu hero who sac­ri­ficed him­self to en­sure vic­tory for his peo­ple. On the eve of the bat­tle he pre­pared him­self to die in bat­tle, but wanted to be mar­ried be­fore his death. Lord Krisna trans­formed him­self into a beau­ti­ful woman and ful­filled his wish be­fore his demise and now the fes­ti­val draws transwomen (of­ten known as hi­ras and alis) from across In­dia and the world to de­clare them­selves brides of Ara­van, cel­e­brate and then go into mourn­ing. The 16-day fes­ti­val also fea­tures Pride-style cel­e­bra­tions, races and a Miss Koogavam beauty pageant.

Koothan­davar, In­dia

PARTY AT A GAY NIGHT­CLUB THAT ONLY EX­ISTS FOR FOUR DAYS EV­ERY YEAR IN A FIELD IN SOM­ER­SET

There was a time when only the hardi­est of ho­mo­sex­u­als would dare ven­ture to the Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val, but all that changed in 2007 when NYC Down­low opened its doors. The time-trav­el­ling gay disco re­sem­bles a life-size New York ten­e­ment from ei­ther the 70s or 80s (de­pend­ing which year you visit) with smoke pour­ing out of a taxi crashed into the sec­ond floor, next to a win­dow where drag queens taunt and tease you. Your ticket is a mous­tache, pur­chased from the Porn Kiosk (rais­ing money for an HIV char­ity) while in­side the sort of sleazy disco that no longer ex­ists any­where in the world awaits. Horse Meat Disco and Lon­don’s best vin­tage DJs spin the tunes, while Vogu­ing on the cat­walk and gen­der­bend­ing shows are just part of the en­ter­tain­ment. Less brave party mon­sters can also catch the club at Love­box each sum­mer.

Go to: the­do­wn­lowradio.com/ the- down­low

JOIN THE SLAP­PERS AT GAY SUN­DAY OK­TO­BER­FEST IN MU­NICH

Grab your Leder­ho­sen (or Dirndl dress) and pre­pare for some beer swill­ing, ass slap­ping fun in the Gay Sun­day Beer Tent. 8,000 ho­mos pour into the tent and pour beer down their necks to the sounds of tra­di­tional Bavar­ian mu­sic, with a bit of disco thrown in for good mea­sure. Mu­nich gay group the Münch­ner Löwen Club (Mu­nich Li­ons’ Club) have been tak­ing over the Bräurosl Festzelt tent for years for a day of unadul­ter­ated he­do­nism and we’ll cer­tainly drink to that. This year the event took place on Sun­day 28 Septem­ber (yes, it’s not ac­tu­ally in Oc­to­ber) although it’s worth book­ing your flights and ho­tels for next, as the city gets un­der­stand­ably packed at that time of the year.

Go to: ro­saw­iesn.de

TAKE A MO­MENT TO RE­FLECT AT THE MEMO­RIAL TO HO­MO­SEX­U­ALS PER­SE­CUTED UNDER NAZISM IN BER­LIN

On the edge of the Tier­garten in Ber­lin stands a unique memo­rial de­signed by Dan­ish-Nor­we­gian artists Michael Elm­green and In­gar Dragset which was in­au­gu­rated in 2008. It’s a sim­ple grey con­crete cube with a small win­dow that you can look through to see a short film of two men kiss­ing. The film is changed ev­ery two years to show les­bians kiss­ing. It’s a sim­ple and mov­ing trib­ute to the per­se­cu­tion of gays by the Nazis, who were forced to wear pink tri­an­gles in the con­cen­tra­tion camps. Other mon­u­ments to gay Holo­caust vic­tims can be found in Am­s­ter­dam, Syd­ney and San Fran­cisco, as well as a new memo­rial opened in Tel Aviv back in Jan­uary of this year. As many as 15,000 peo­ple were killed for their sex­u­al­ity in the Nazi camps. Tier­garten, off Ebert­straße, Ber­lin, tinyurl. com/ p4o­zol6

PISCINA MU­NIC­I­PAL DE MON­TJUÏC, BARCELONA

ISLE OF LES­BOS

SHOW­TIME ON THE CAS­TRO, SAN FRAN­CISCO

ROCKIES IN­TER­NA­TIONAL RODEO FES­TI­VAL

CAFÉ ‘ T MANDJE, AM­S­TER­DAM

SAN DOMINO IS­LAND

THE VER­SACE MAN­SION, NOW A LUX­URY HO­TEL

OS­CAR WILDE’S FI­NAL REST­ING PLACE

ALAN TUR­ING MEMO­RIAL IN MANCH­ESTER

THE STONEWALL BAR, NEW YORK

ABBA WORLD

NYC DOWN­LOW

THE KIRKPINAR OIL WRESTLING FES­TI­VAL

GE­ORGE MICHAEL WAS AR­RESTED HERE

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