Top 10 Campest Christmas Flicks

Now we know it’s not even December yet but we can all agree that we are within a reasonable distance to talk about it at least? Well, (Not to sound like a snooty neighbour) we here have already planned our Christmas Day viewing to avoid the inevitable 6 O’clock slump between turkey and twilight. So take a pick from some of these classics and put together your own boredom-banishing, camp Christmas movie marathon.
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Ernest Saves Christmas (1998, 95 min):

Santa travels to Orlando to pick his successor before his magic runs out. When he arrives, he just happens to meet Ernest, a bumbling taxi driver who is filled with holiday joy. Ernest drops Santa off so he can meet with the next Santa, Joe Carruthers but forgets Santa’s magic bag in the trunk. This very silly comedy is a great way to just laugh that excessive Christmas Day dinner off.

A Very Murray Christmas (2015):

This one is on the list without us even seeing it just because well, Bill Murray & Miley. Premiering on the 4th December as a Netflix exclusive, this is going straight in our basket. Bill Murray worries no one will show up to his T.V. show due to a terrible snow-storm in New York City.

Scrooge & Marley (2012, 91 min.):

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is an all-too-familiar story that has had its fair share of Hollywood adaptations. With Scrooge & Marley, debut directors Richard Knight Jr. and Peter Neville attempt to modernize the well-worn holiday tale by putting a gay spin on it.

Make the Yuletide Gay (2009, 89 min.):

Gunn is totally at ease with his sexuality when it comes to everyday life. But going home to spend the holidays with his well-meaning Midwestern parents — who have no idea he’s gay — is a little different. Of course, his closeted charade seems to be working fine until his mom and dad try to set him up with an old flame (Hallee Hirsh) — and his current boyfriend (Adamo Ruggiero) shows up unannounced.

Holiday in Handcuffs (2007, 86 min.):

You all remember Slater from Saved by the Bell? Hunk. Despite it being a trashy Christmas flick it still makes the list. During Christmas dinner, the holiday comes to an abrupt end when aspiring painter Trudie’s (Melissa Joan Hart) parents begin to fight, her brother announces that he is gay, and her sister says that she has quit Law School and bought a Pilates studio with her parents’ tuition money.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2006, 129 min.):

This one doesn’t scream Christmas, but the holidays play a special role in this story about a gay teen trying to come to terms with his sexuality in a family of macho brothers and a bullheaded dad. Instead of yuletide tunes, you’ll be regaled with a great soundtrack of sounds from the ’60s and ’70s, like Pink Floyd, David Bowie and even Miss Patsy Cline.

The Family Stone (2005, 106 min.):

A family gathers for their annual holiday celebration at the home of their liberal, New England parents. One of the guests is Meredith, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, which is almost gay enough, but those looking for the extra dose of homodays will enjoy the side story about gay son and his partner who announce to their family that they’re ready to adopt.

Miss Richfield: Fall on Your Knees Christmas Extravaganza (2005, 60 min):

Holiday comedy show from Minnesota’s Mistress of Mayhem! This camp production showcases a spectacle of variety, live on stage from her sold out show, and comes with music. Includes Miss Richfield’s candid interaction with audience members at a pre-show celebration.

Too Cool for Christmas (2004, 96 min.):

Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Dearborn (Brooke Nevin) is “too cool for Christmas,” and wants no part of the family celebration being planned by her two male homosexual parents (Adam Harrington and Barclay Hope) and her kid sister Alexa (Jodelle Ferland).

Too Cool for Christmas (2004, 96 min.):

Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Dearborn (Brooke Nevin) is “too cool for Christmas,” and wants no part of the family celebration being planned by her two male homosexual parents (Adam Harrington and Barclay Hope) and her kid sister Alexa (Jodelle Ferland).

A Tuna Christmas (1989):

The second in a series of comedic plays … set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, the “third-smallest” town in the state. … The plays are at once an affectionate comment on small-town, Southern life and attitudes but also a withering satire of same. The plays are notable in that two men play the entire cast of over twenty eccentric characters of both genders and various ages.

Manchester Pride Preview: Who we’re looking forward to seeing

Manchester Pride is just around the corner once again and there are some great artists who will be gracing either the main stage, Sackville Boutique stage or Gaydio Dance Arena. Here’s a few of our must-sees!

10. Kelly Wilde

Kelly is no stranger to Manchester Pride, having performed several times before and is a very popular act on the gay circuit. As well as some of her songs like “Gloria” and “Maria”, she is known for including covers of classics such as “Holding Out For A Hero” and “(I’ve Had The) Time Of My Life” in her live sets, which you can watch from when she was at Manchester Pride in 2012 below:

9.Jade Ellis

Jade was a finalist on the 9th series of The X Factor in 2012 and was mentored by Tulisa (who will also be performing at Manchester Pride). She has a daughter who she raises with her girlfriend and received a lot of positive reactions when she was very open and candid about her sexuality. Here is one of her best performances from the show:

8. Katy B

Katy has spawned a handful of top 20 hits on the UK singles chart and her debut and sophomore albums reached No.2 and No.1 respectively on the album charts. Over a few short years she has already got to collaborate with some big names, including Miss Dynamite, Craig David, Tinie Tempah and Mark Ronson.

7. Jordan Gray

Jordan certainly made a big impression when she enchanted coaches and the public on series 5 of The Voice earlier this year as the show’s first transgender contestant. We are very interested to see how she progresses as an artist in the future.

6. Sophie Ellis-Bextor

A veteran to the pop-dance and nu-disco music scene, Sophie is probably the biggest global name on this year’s bill with 3 top 10 albums and 6 top 10 singles on the UK music charts and several entries on Australia and many European countries’ charts too. She has a new album out in September called “Familia” but here is her most famous hit, “Murder On The Dancefloor”:

5. Frankmusik

Vincent James Turner – a.k.a. Frankmusik – is one of Britain’s top synth pop artists who has been an ally of the LGBT community for many years and will be performing at Manchester Pride this year.

4. Will Young

One of the biggest names to come from any of the UK’s reality TV competitions and one of the UK’s biggest gay celebrities, Will Young has come a long from when he won Pop Idol in 2002. All six of his albums have reached No.1 or 2 on the UK albums chart and 11 of singles charted in the top 10 – four of which went to No.1. This will be his first time performing at Manchester Pride. Below is our favourite song of his. “Switch It On”, in which he channeled Top Gun in the video:

3. Groove Armada

Arguably one of the UK’s best dance acts of all time, Groove Armada will be rocking the Gaydio Dance Arena on the Saturday. Here is one of their most famous worldwide hits, “I See You Baby”:

2. MNEK

MNEK may only be 21 years old but the openly gay singer-songwriter and producer has already been nominated for a Grammy and worked with some huge names, including Beyonce, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Naughty Boy, Bastille, Little Mix and JoJo. This will be his debut performance at Manchester Pride. Listen below to “Never Forget You”, which was a top 5 hit:

1. Heather Small

Heather Small is THE voice of dance act M People. It’s been almost a decade since she last performed at Manchester Pride and we’re glad to see this gay icon return to the city where M People originated. With one of the most distinctively soulful voices the UK has ever heard, Heather is a legendary force to be reckoned with.

Check out the full list so far of who is set to perform here. Who are you looking forward to seeing most this weekend? Let us know!

Losing your “V” to London

It’s April, spring is finally upon us and it’s time to lose your V to London.

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London has been redefining culture before your grandparents were born a.k.a Shakespeare. A city where the abnormal can seem normal, and can be amazing opportunity to discover oneself or just have some fun!

 

Then again it is very easy to get lost and possibly spend your whole day underground on public transport. If that’s your thing, please stop here and remember to mind the gap. Don’t get lost google use TFL.

 

However if you’re in wonder of what else London has to offer please stay on for  at least the next ten stops.

1. If you’re tourist wanting to actually see London and possibly an expert at getting lost. 🙈 Take a double decker bus, who knows what amazing sites you will see.

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2. If you’re British or know of London very well. You would know how much the Brits love complaining particularly about the cost of London. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. London has many museums, north, south, east and west of you that are FREE.

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3. That also include art galleries

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4. Grab tea, a cup of coffee explore the street of Covent Garden explore, watch, take part in an array of street performances.

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5. You’re in England. Can’t come here without having a good drink or two….?! Soho is considered the largest gay village in London, where you certainly won’t be the only gay.

 

6. Make your evening an extra special London Westend is situated not far from Soho and discover your favorite musical.

 

7. Time for that caffeine fix/ sugar fix?! Well, it’s time to catch up on last night gossip and talk about how amazing that Westend musical was you saw. P.s you certainly can’t come all way to England or London even without having proper afternoon tea.

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8. SouthBank, Camden there is always something fun, something different happening around there.

 

9. China town, one of the most vibrant china towns in England. That looks amazing in the evening. Not to mention the food.

 

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10. Okay, so you’ve been here all weekend, all week. Time to see all it’s glory from a new perspective and remember that time you lost your v for London.

 

Just remember if you’re traveling particularly in a big group to plan ahead to avoid any disappointment. So you can spend more time enjoying yourselves.

 

“There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” – Vivienne Westwood

Queens of Clean: Puffs With Polish

Gay Homestays is proud to be the first LGBT-run online accommodation network for gays and lesbian travellers and hosts and as a company we are always keen to work with and help promote other start-up companies that also target this niche segment of the community. Puffs With Polish is the UK’s first openly gay cleaning service that employs LGBT cleaners that you can hire to help clean your home or your office.

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Founded by Neil Ralphs, who has nearly 3o years of experience in the cleaning industry, Puffs With Polish is – like us – based in Manchester and works primarily within private houses and with LGBT-owned businesses or businesses operating in the LGBT market throughout the northwest of England. And it’s not just cleaning services that they provide: Puffs with Polish can also provide laundry (including ironing), painting, decorating, security personnel and companionship to the highest standard for all customers.

For Neil though, Puffs With Polish is only is newest endeavour – he is already a well-respected entrepreneur who owns several other national businesses, is the winner of the Mayor’s Oscar and Young Business Person of the Year, is a Business Mentor for Richard Branson’s Virgin Start-Up and even had his own BBC documentary entitled “Dirty Work”. Neil is also a host with Gay Homestays and lets out his spare guest room in his luxury (and perfectly clean, we’re sure) apartment in Manchester.

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Just like Gay Homestays, Puffs With Polish aims to provide LGBT customers with a product tailored to their needs and preferences. So if you’re a busy professional or own a gay company and would feel more comfortable with another LGBT person cleaning your property without being embarrassed by anything they might come across or even judged, then Puffs With Polish is the ideal company for you to use. Puffs With Polish also wants to help create friendships and mutual understandings between the cleaner and the owner rather than a typical maid service where nobody talks except for orders being given so if the cleaner also identifies as LGBT that means if you’re around when they are working, you are more likely to have things in common that you can relate to and talk about.

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All Puffs With Polish employees are friendly and skilled or trained in the tasks they do and with experienced Neil and his partner Pete at the helm, you can be assured that you will be receiving the best service possible that your require. For a full range and quote of their domestic and commercial services, check out their website.

City Spotlight: Vancouver

Canada has long been established as a gay-friendly country, with the most advanced LGBT rights in the Americas and probably across all English-speaking countries as well. And Vancouver, the country’s third largest city after Toronto and Montreal, is seen by many as one of the top destinations to visit.

A coastal seaport city in Canada’s westernmost province of British Colombia, Vancouver is one of the country’s most diverse cities, both geographically and demographically – it is a modern, metropolitan city with the vast Pacific Ocean on one side and the other is snow-capped mountains, over half its 2.5 million residents do not speak English as a first language and more than a third of the population are of Asian (particularly Chinese) heritage. Much of Canada is known for its cold climate, but Vancouver enjoys its status as one of the country’s warmest – with lows of 15 degrees Celsius in the winter and highs of around 30 during the summer months, making it an ideal all-year round holiday destination.

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Vancouver’s LGBT community is one of Canada’s most largest, prolific and diverse and has been a hotspot for gay travellers around the world, particularly the US, since it legalised gay marriage in 2003. Its community is centred mainly around two areas – Davie Village in the West End and Commercial Drive, also known locally as “The Drive”. Davie Village is seen as the most prominent area with many gay-owned and gay-friendly bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and shops in and around it with beautiful beaches and the huge Stanley Park not far off, while Commercial Drive is similar but situated on the east side of the city but perhaps not as well as known a “gaybourhood”. For a full listing of gay and gay-oriented places in Vancouver, visit here.

Vancouver gay Pride is not just one week of celebrations but a number of events take place in the run-up to the main festivities at the end of the July and beginning of July, including sports games between local teams, a Pride event for the east side of the city, a fun run and walk and a “city proclamation” (whereby a huge rainbow flag is raised in the city centre). The main Pride week will be from 29th July to 4th August, with the huge Parade ending it all on the last day. As well as Pride, there is also a Queer Arts Festival from 24th July to 9th August and a Queer Film Festival from 15th-25th August.

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For non-LGBT places to go to, Vancouver also has plenty. With a multicultural society, the city is home to distinct ethnic commercial areas such as Chinatown, Greektown, Japantown, Punjabi Market and Little Italy. Other festivals that take place include the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in January, as well as the Vancouver Fringe Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival, both in September. There are also numerous galleries, museums, theatres and other interesting architectural structures and buildings, beaches and parks worth visiting. And if you want a short break away from the bustling and relatively hot metropolis, the city and province’s neighbouring areas are great for a taste of snowy and wintry Canada.

Gay Homestays has a few properties available in Vancouver, including one that has a private outdoor swimming pool! We also have a number of accommodations in other parts of Canada, such as Calgary, Lund, Maitland, Montreal, Quebec, Saint John and Toronto, so check them out too if you’re travelling to this great country any time soon!