Category Archives: Events

NYC Celebrates Furry octoBEARfeast

Photo: Dick Mitchell,  Model: Gio  Photo: Dick Mitchell,  Model: Gio

Before winter hibernation, New York City bears are having a ball, and you’re invited to flaunt your PETA-approved fur for a good cause.   For the first time, the city’s LGBT Community Center (commonly called “the Center”) is expanding their popular gay bear dance party, Fur Ball, into octoBEARfest:  “a week-long celebration of everything furry.”

The Fuzzy Wuzzy festivities kick off with sustenance.  On Monday, October 1, the boys will celebrate Bear-BQ at Bone Lick Park restaurant with $3 shots and drafts, $3.50 margaritas, and 35¢ wings.  Tuesday brings the Bears & Beers fundraising dinner, with unlimited food and drinks and optional VIP bourbon tasting, at 508 Gastrobrewery.

To help you find the perfect napping partner after all that food, the Center will host Bear Bating on Thursday, October 4, a speed-dating event for bears and their admirers; and then the big daddy event of the week, Fur Ball on Saturday, October 6.

Headlined by DJ Corey Craig,  Fur Ball’s estimated  900 guests will take over every floor of the Center, with two dance floors, go-go-bears, and an outdoor garden.  And more importantly, all proceeds benefit the Center, whose programs range from hosting arts and entertainment events, advocacy groups and family gatherings, to offering youth, recovery and wellness programs.

So let your hair down, wear your God-given fur out, and celebrate for a Grrrrrrreat cause.

Visit the Center’s octoBEARfest website for tickets and additional information.

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Atlantic City’s Balancing Act

Nik Wallenda  (Photo via Flickr)

Atlantic City is striking a delicate balance these days:  honoring its legacy as one of America’s best-known casino enclaves while broadening its appeal with sleek new resorts, celebrity-chef restaurants, and even the AC casino industry’s first gay nightclub.

On August 9, Atlantic City will gamble on a new balancing act.  At 3pm, the “King of the High Wire” Nik Wallenda—the man who earlier this summer walked the high wire from New York to Canada over Niagara Falls—will perform a high wire walk above the city’s famous boardwalk.  Traveling 1,300 feet from the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel to the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Nik will balance more than 100 feet in the air without a safety harness.

Free and open to the public, the event will launch the Wallenda family’s new acrobatic show at the Tropicana, tempting fate through September 22.

For more information visit

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Amsterdam’s Milkshake Festival

Amsterdam’s Milkshake is bringing all the boys and girls to the Westerpark yard on Sunday, July 22.

Under the tag line, “For boys who love girls who love girls who love boys who love boys…” the inaugural Milkshake Festival will present five stages, featuring music, dancing, performance art, and an all-out celebration of Amsterdam’s liberal character.

As stated on their website, the outdoor festival will promote a strict “Free Love & Tolerance” policy, inviting everyone to be themselves:  “Life is a party thanks to the great diversity of skin colors, religions, sexual preferences and male and female forms… Thick, thin, small, large, gay, straight, trans, travo, black or white: people are the salt of the earth and this is what we celebrate!”

So check your attitude at the gate, and take a big gulp of Amsterdam’s thick, frothy, all-welcoming blend.  Confused?  Don’t worry, they can teach you, but they’ll have to charge… an entrance fee of 32.50 euros (about $40).

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Gay Rugby Rumbles in Manchester

Photograph by Jess A. Bunshaft

More than 1,000 pairs of thick, meaty, man legs from around the world will be tackling, sweating and piling on each other for three days when Manchester, England hosts the Bingham Cup, the world championship of gay and inclusive rugby teams.

The Bingham Cup is a biennial event awarded by the International Gay Rugby Association and Board, and named after September 11 hero and gay rugby player, Mark Bingham, who died on United Airlines Flight 93.

From June 1 to 3, Manchester will host more than 30 rugby teams from 15 countries competing to topple the current champions, New York’s Gotham Knights, who defeated the previously twice-crowned Sydney Convicts at the 2010 tournament in Minneapolis.

It is particularly poignant that Gotham Knights was founded by Scott Glaessgen and Mark Bingham, who prior to his untimely death was a part-time New York City resident and business owner.  A personal note from Alice Hoagland, Mark’s mom, posted on the Facebook page of the Manchester Bingham Cup states: “You know, the Bingham Cup really is a special event for me. The fact you chose to name the tournament in Mark’s memory makes me very proud. What touches me most, though, is the spirit that it evokes and an idea which was close to Mark’s heart – that anyone, regardless of who they are, can grab a ball and a jersey and run onto a rugby pitch.”

Alice will be attending the 6th Bingham Cup in Manchester, as she has every Bingham Cup since the first tournament was held in San Francisco in 2002.

For more information about the tournament visit

For more information about the host city check out and its LGBT-specific section.


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Fleet Week New York comes OUT!

Photo via flickr

The Sailors are coming to town and this year—for the first time ever—they can be openly gay.

From May 23 to 30, thousands of men and women serving on U.S. Navy and U.S. Coastguard ships will debark onto the streets of Manhattan for the annual Fleet Week New York.   According to the event’s website “Fleet Week New York is the City’s celebration of the sea services… [providing] an opportunity for the citizens of New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness first hand the latest capabilities of today’s Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Team.”

This year will also mark the first Fleet Week since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the U.S. policy that kept gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the military until September 20, 2011.

To help celebrate, THE OUT NYC, the city’s first gay urban resort, is unveiling its Served with Pride package for any guest with a valid military ID.  This package will continue indefinitely, offering our service men and women:

  • 30% off the best available rate
  • Complimentary Served with Pride t-shirt or tank top
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary continental breakfast

So let’s welcome our troops to fully–and openly–explore New York City this Fleet Week.

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Miami Parties With a Purpose

Winter Party

“Now this is the winter outfit I’ve been waiting to wear all season,” said my new friend Richard as he strutted onto the pool deck of Miami Beach’s Surfcomber Hotel. He wore short shorts and a naked torso, accessorized by a pearly white smile.  “I have friends who go skiing every year, and I say ‘No thank you!’ My way of celebrating winter is to get as far away from it as I possibly can.”  And so every year, he and a group of friends from Chicago trade their winter coats for… well, as little as possible.

With an average temperature of 76°, Miami has been officially inviting the gay community and its friends to celebrate winter under the hot Florida sun for nineteen years.  Yet from its inception, the goals of the aptly named Winter Party have extended beyond a good time…

Read the full article on

Photos by Juan Saco Mironoff

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Vienna: Life Ball Celebrates 20 Years!

Life Ball in Vienna, Austria

Life Ball

One of the most extravagant fundraisers in the world and Europe’s biggest HIV/AIDS benefit, the Life Ball shakes up the Viennese ball tradition, adds a modern twist, and serves an incomparable cocktail of glamor, fantasy, and philanthropy.  Equal parts theatrical performance, fashion show, red carpet event, educational forum and celebration of life, the full fabulousness of Life Ball explodes onto Vienna on May 19, celebrating the event’s 20th Anniversary.

Last year’s event raised a record 1.9 million Euros for HIV/AIDS relief projects worldwide and assembled a group of international spokespersons including President Bill Clinton, Janet Jackson, Brooke Shields, Elton John and Donatella Versace, alongside Austrian political leaders.

Under this year’s slogan, “Fight the Flames of Ignorance,” the two-hour opening celebration and fashion show will feature hundreds of performers and attract more than 40,000 people in extravagant fire-themed costumes on Vienna’s City Hall Square.  This ain’t your typical Halloween parade. Much time, money, skill and creativity go into each of these designs.  To give you an idea, Steele Luxury Travel, the exclusive USA-based tour operator for the Life Ball, hires a designer to take individual’s measurements and create costumes for its entire group.

2011 Fashion Show by Dsquared2

Once the opening festivities are completed outside, the 3,780 lucky ticket holders head into the historic City Hall for the actual event, dressed in full costume or black tie.  “Once you go inside there are rooms upon rooms of DJs and performances,” says Dane Steele of Steele Luxury Travel.  “You’ll see Amanda Lepore in one room and Katie Perry performing in another room, and about 40 different DJs from all over the world.  You think you’ve seen it all, and then you step into another room and have a completely different experience.  There’s nothing like it in the world.”  Steele’s website goes on to describe the Life Ball as a “phantasmagoria of light and sound, music and dance.”

And most importantly, the glitz and glamor is fabulous for a purpose.   Over the last nineteen years, the Life Ball has raised over 17 million Euros and is currently supporting AIDS projects in 35 countries.

For more information visit

To book a travel package visit

Life Ball must truly be seen to be believed, catch a glimpse of last year’s event in the video below:

Photos: © Life Ball

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Miami Beach Gay Pride Photos

One of the earliest, hottest, and most diverse Pride celebrations kicks off the season this weekend with the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, April 15.

The weekend is packed with block parties, dance parties and pool parties as only Miami can offer.  For all events and information visit

And to get you in the mood, here’s a photo tour of last year’s festivities:

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NYC: Dance Under the Influence

New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is once again celebrating the marriage of visual art and dance with the 2nd season of “Dance Under the Influence.”

MAD explores the point at which craftsmanship, art and design intersect in the visual arts today.  Now, “Dance Under the Influence” is highlighting the artistry behind movement.

“MAD is a very hands-on museum. One reason why it wanted to do this series is because I would be presenting real live dancers and choreographers, who would be able to explain their process after the performance,” explains Valerie Gladstone, guest-curator of the series.

This season’s audiences can expect a diverse program including flamenco, tap, ballet, Indian classical dance, and postmodern contemporary dance—each with post-performance discussions.

Get your tickets early: this season’s first installment sold out both nights.  The next “Dance Under the Influence” performance on March 30 and 31 at 7:30pm will feature Ailey II, Jonah Bokaer, Holley Farmer, Jared Grimes and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, among others. Tickets are $20 ($12 for MAD members and students).

For more information and to purchase tickets visit

(Image courtesy of Stephen Petronio, photographed by Sarah Silver)

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Valencia Celebrates Las Fallas

The festivities are already under way for Valencia’s biggest street party, Las Fallas.  This festival to honor St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, consumes Valencia from March 15 to 19, attracting more visitors than any other event.

Every March the city erupts into the concert of gunpowder known as mascletàs.    During this time, the city proudly presents its fallas: gigantic, building-high, papier-mâché sculptures satirizing politicians, celebrities and local customs.  The non-stop partying, parades and fireworks, climax at midnight on the 19th, with the public burning of all the papier-mâché participants stationed throughout the city, except for one small ninot chosen by popular vote (a life-sized figure sitting at the base of one of the colossal fallas).  The spared sculpture will then join his brothers and sisters dating as far back as 1934, at their current safe haven, the Museo Fallero.

To learn more, visit the Valencia Tourism Website and read my full article published in The Washington Post.

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