How to celebrate 14th February whether you love it or hate it. 💙💜💛

“If you want somebody, need somebody
Love somebody, Ain’t nobody stopping you.” – Kstewart (One for Ariana Grande Fans)

As you probably know it is valentines day soon, 14th February. Let’s talk about how we can celebrate this marmite day whether you love it or hate with a passion.

As a pro-valentines gay or for the ones who fancy not being alone this valentines day:

Why not actually tell that person you had your eye’s on Grindr, Facebook, public?! For years, months, weeks, seconds even, what you really think of them.

I dare you, what is the worst that could actually happen. Don’t think, please continue reading I’ve thought up some possibilities already:

1. You get embarrassed and do something stupid. You’ve probably scored a funny story to tell your grandchildren. 😊

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2. They tell you there not that into you. 😱

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3. But hey, let’s be friends. Yay, new friends.

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4. They actually feel the same way. Mega score

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Why not call Sunday 14th February non-hook up day on Grindr and surprise someone with a date this Sunday.

For the ones who would rather spit the marmite out, and wish it never came out of the jar. A.k.a anti valentine’s people.

If you’re already in a relationship, stop being so cliche and plan a date you would rather go on.

Which I may not have the answer to but here are some alternative date idea’s, that maybe take your fancy.

1. Get creative and release your inner child desires.

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2. Do something charitable together.

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3. Help organise the perfect valentines date for a friend. Channel your inner Cilla Black.

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4. Surprise your partner with the perfect gaycation.

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5. Eat cocoa it’s really good for you and as it may help get you in the mood this valentines day. As it triggers love endorphin’s in your body.

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Last but not least, for the ones not in a relationship and would rather have all the toppings on their pancake. A.k.a anti valentine’s people.

1. Don’t get involved

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2. Organise anti-valentines day party for all your single ladies. Who knows you might discover your slightly more pro-valentines next year.

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3. Master your skills at being single with some of these possibly entertaining resource.

How to be single – Comes out on the special day so all the anti-valentines day people can join forces.

How to be a heartbreaker

 

But seriously us gurls don’t care as long as we are having fun. Happy valentines. 🙈🙉 💙💜💛

It’s 2016 and here’s 16 reason every Gay should visit Amsterdam.

1. Netherlands was the first country in world to legalise gay marriage. (2001)

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2. “Gezelligheid” – there is no exact english translation, but most would refer to the word as being cozy and welcoming. Which I feel perfectly sums up Dutch culture.

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3. Get lost, feel insipired in a magical tulip gardens.

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4. The Food. https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/food-drinks/dutch-foods/   Stroopwafel personal favorite – Your tea or coffee will never be the same again.

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5. Some of streets even look like rainbows, 😍 🌈

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6. Party – Reguliersdwarsstraat is the main gay party area, but you will soon realise that there are gay bars and clubs across the city.💃

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7. Because this is best way to get around. 🚴

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8. But if cycling is not your thing. 🚄 – Don’t forget to download 9292 on to mobile – for all journey times and info.

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9. Amsterdam light festival. 🚴 A brillant way to discover the city. 💡

10. Museum and art galleries – Spolit for choice – Want see them all or close? experince museumnacht (Museum Night)

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11. Escape, get lost, fall in love just looking across one of the many beautiful canal bridges.11142386_456262894541644_1797450200_n

12. Amsterdam has beaches very close too. 🏖 ☀️

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13. Because there’s loads to drink, espically if you like beer. Inside a windmill?

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14. Festival and every gay loves a festival 🎉 🙌 , whatever the time of year you go to Amsterdam there is always something happening. Personal favourite:  Kings day – Wear Orange and get happy.

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15. Negen Straatjes (the nine streets) vintage shopping paradise (maze) to be explored.negen-hoofd-1024x760

16.  Of course I save the best to last – Amsterdam Gay Pride. 🌈

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Stonewall Revisited

So, I thought everyone would be excited for the new Stonewall flick.

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Well, apparently not. There has been a huge controversy brewing around the release of Stonewall due to accusations of a ‘Whitewashing’ attempt by the director Roland Emmerich. To give some context to these claims for anyone who is unfamiliar with the actual events of the Stonewall Riots I will take this opportunity to fill you in the background:

The setting for the Stonewall Riots was an era of institutionalised homophobia and transphobia within the US which pushed any kind of “homosexual socialising” underground. Small communities sprung up across the states where gay and trans people could feel somewhat safe; Greewhich village was just one of these communities and host to the Stonewall Inn. Greenwhich village was a haven to the majority of New York City’s downtrodden LGBT community, it was a home to those who had been shunned by their families and slung into the streets (largely from the local african-american communities), somewhere for like minds to connect, a breathing space away from the heavy air of prejudice that existed at the time. The Stonewall Inn was the most happening joint in Greenwhich Village and the only gay bar that allowed dancing so it was packed to the rafters  with street-queens, hustlers, gays and lesbians the night of the raid.

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The rioting continued for 4 nights, each night a crowd would form around the Stonewall effectively sieging the premises. The events of these nights are attested to in many books on the subject which are definitely worth a read (David Carter’s History of Stonewall gives an exhaustive account), one event in particular that was just too perfect for me to leave out was when Marsha P Johnson, an african-american self proclaimed “Street-queen” climbed up a lamp-post and dropped a heavy bag onto the hood of a police cruiser which landed with enough force to shatter the windshield; I will be looking out for this sassy scene and if it is not included I myself will take up arms.

The Gay Rights movement went from strength to strength from here on out and the events of Stonewall are remembered each year on June 28th with an annual Christopher Street march which eventually trickled down and evolved into what we call Pride celebrations. Traditionally Pride celebrations were staggered throughout June to make sure that people could attend multiple rallies but today we have seen a switch up to the program in which Pride parades are held pretty much all year round and why not! Be proud of yourself and of those who have come before you every day for we now have an accepting society that is no longer seeks to be involved in the harmless preferences of others (for the most part).

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So, what was all the ruckus about surrounding the release of the Stonewall movie? Well as mentioned there was a strong representation within the participating rioters of the local african-american and latino population in fact it has been said that the first few souls brave enough to take up arms were the “street queens” and downtrodden gay youths who had been ousted by their families and found a haven in Stonewall who just so happened to be largely of african-american and latino descent. The first trailer for Stonewall was quite different in that you would have to strain your eyes to notice any black faces in the crowd.

This obviously created quite a stir on the internet where many bloggers lashed out at the makers of the movie with calls of “racism”, “rewriting the history books” & “Whitewashing the past”. Even a parody trailer was made:

All this is quite a strange turn for a movie centred around a story of upheaval of past prejudices but the bloggers do have a point. Take a look at the trailer for the original Stonewall movie released in 1995 and you will see that the cast is actually representative:

The frontman of the 2015 Stonewall movie is set to be: “Danny – A straight-acting gay guy who moved to New York from the country”, something seems slightly off here.

To front a cast with a straight-acting white male lead is somewhat of an absurdity since it is wholly unrepresentative of those who would have likely been at the events. But lets hear what the director had to say:

“Danny’s [The main character] very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. [Straight audiences] can feel for him.”

He also added that the film is ‘personal’ to him, adding:  “As a director you have to put yourself in your movies, and I’m white and gay.”

However, he adds of the protagonist: “Danny is like the catalyst. [The street hustlers] teach him about survival. Through him, we experience them.” – Roland Emmerich. Source Pink News.

 

Essentially creating a character that is relatable to a target audience is not just dishonest but it is just plain cynical to assume that an audience ,who for the most part will be of a liberal persuasion, will not be attracted to the story unless it is told through the narrative of someone they can feel empathy towards. Because obviously straight white men can only understand straight men, am I right?

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But honestly would any movie studio go out of their way to offend the audience to a movie who for the most part will already know the circumstances of the events portrayed? Or was this just a massive pot of Hollywood stew where ratings rule and shooting towards an LGBT market is still unviable due to the majority straight white male cinema-going population? I highly doubt that this movie was meant to cause such a stir; in fact it was probably intended to be a celebration of the modern age that itself unfortunately also fell victim to a different aspect of that same modern age.

Since starting and stopping writing this blog the actual movie has already been and gone, seen by hundreds of people worldwide (all but your humble narrator). Stonewall (2015) bombed at the box office and is projected to incur a hefty $15 Million loss after costing $17 Million to make and taking just over $100,000 in it’s opening weekend. It is sad to see that a film that in all rights should be a celebration of how far the gay lifestyle has come in the last 45 years should crash and burn so spectacularly  yet I take from this that in the modern age, specifically in the last 5 or so years the LGBT community has come together and built for itself such a powerful voice that even the mighty dragons of Hollywood can be slain. Public opinion rules and so #Lovewins.

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Is Stephen Fry the Ideal Guy?

We all love Stephen Fry, that’s a given. Television’s most undislikable (Sorry Stephen) personality has kept us entertained for over 30 years now. From Blackadder to battling against homophobia he is the gift that just keeps on giving. So we have decided to share with you 10 facts you probably didn’t know about the man himself.

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10. FRY IN THE LOCKUP

Believe it or not Stephen wasn’t always the same picturesque font of serene harmony we see today. No, back in his teenage years Fry served hard time in a place equally as unbelievable… Pucklechurch Prison. Stephen landed himself 3 months in the nick for card fraud which must have been a strong signal for him to change his ways since he hasn’t been formally charged since (Or maybe he just got sneakier?!).

 

9. THE MAC DADDY

Retro is as retro does, Stephen owns the second ever Apple Mac to ever grace our humble shores beaten to the post by his good friend and fellow technophile Douglas Adams who owns the first. Fry is a virtual twenty-first century gent, well up on his twitter and tech. He very recently quit using instagram after amassing over 92k followers, something most selfie-shooters could only dream of.

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8. STEPHEN FLYS

Stephen doesn’t just reside on the ground you know… Being a licensed pilot who owns his own bi-plane Fry can fly like the eagles whenever he so pleases (Or whenever his schedule permits).

 

7. (DON’T) MIND YOUR LANGUAGE

You would think an eloquent songbird like Stephen would shy away from the harsh barbarism of foul language but you couldn’t be further from the facts. Our man Fry actually holds the record for the most uses of the word ‘F**k’ per second on television.

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6. HE CREATED THE FAST SHOW

Well not exactly but; in the 1980s he shared a house in London with Hugh Laurie. They needed some plastering doing. The plasterers turned out to be Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson who were inspired by Fry and Laurie to have a go at comedy.

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5. QUIZ SHOWOFF

With a bulging brain like Stephen the world would be hard done by if he didn’t go out of his way to show it off. As a student he actually appeared on University Challenge. After being held back by his peers he decided to go it alone and entered Mastermind choosing the topic of Sherlock Holmes as his specialist subject.

 

4. THE PATIENCE OF A SAINT

For 16 years Stephen went without any sex whatsoever; he himself puts it down to a lack of confidence. But with his recent marriage to Elliot Spencer I dare say the tides may have turned upon this dry, dry desert.

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3. HE’S AN URBAN SPACEMAN

Stephen is a big fan of the iconic 60s British comedy rock band, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (Don’t know who they are? Check the video below), and participated in their 40th anniversary reunion show at the Astoria in London on January 28, 2006 along with Ade Edmondson, Paul Merton and Phill Jupitus. He has a particularly wide taste in music, with favorites being Richard Wagner, Led Zeppelin and Abba.

 

2. WELL VERSED

Nobody will be surprised that another of Stephen’s loves is poetry. So fond is he of the bardic art that he’s even published a book trying to educate the grunting masses in its rhymey charms. Called “The Ode Less Travelled”; ironically the book sold much better than most poetry collections.

 

1. PIPE DREAMS

Among his more common monikers are “TV’s Cleverest man” and “The Modern Day Oscar Wilde”, less notably Stephen has been called “The Pipe Smoker of the Year”, and more to the point he was the last ever recipient of that coveted crown before public safety put a dampener on that.

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And honestly he is just a stellar chap with wit sharper than a surgeon’s scalpel. I’ll sign off with my favourite quote from Fry:

I get an urge, like a pregnant elephant, to go away and give birth to a book.”

Follow us on Twitter @GayHomestays for more.

Manchester Pride 2015: What to expect

August already?! It feels like Pride season has flown by faster than my average paycheque… But despair not for we have the perfect solution to end your summer with a Shazam. Manchester Pride is just around the corner and we are drooling at the jowls just thinking about it.
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Now you might be thinking ‘Manchester? Isn’t that just another grey northern metropolis where the only valid means of communication is through drawling grumbles?’ and that ‘the weather is said to be so harsh that the place is perpetually afflicted by that rare meteorological phenomenon known as horizontal rain’.

And for the most part you would be somewhat correct, we have spawned famous complainers such as Morrissey & Jim Royle (If anybody else watched ‘The Royle Family’) and we do get the most rainfall of any city in the UK outside of Scotland. But Manchester has a hell of a lot going for it; this year has graced us with one of the hottest summers of the decade and it has been magnificent; the topless builder have been out en masse. Nobody knows how to make the most out of fleeting sunshine like us northerners, just ask Noel Gallagher.

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The Manchester Gay scene is a gem of the north which induces a lovely juxtaposition with its vivid colouration against the generally cloudy backdrop. The history of canal street is both intriguing and inspiring; how such a thriving scene can spring up through such adversity and grow to the level it’s at today is a truly beautiful feat. If you want to know more about the history of Gay Manchester check this out. But as the purpose of this blog is to showcase why you should attend Manchester Pride for its 25th anniversary blow-out, without further ado…

What do we have in store?

 

The Music

Manchester has produced some of the most iconic British music from the last 50 years including Oasis, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Take That, The Chemical Brothers, need I continue? Madchester culture never left the beating heart of the North even with the fall of The Haçienda we still find ways to party on. Hosting massive events like The Warehouse Project; Manchester’s music scene is as strong as ever and the line-up for Manchester Pride 2015 certainly doesn’t disappoint by anybody’s standards.

 

Main Stage

The line-up for this years Manchester Pride is insanely brilliant with huge name headliners like DJ Fresh, Texas, Dannii Minogue and Union J the party will be here. The support acts leave little to sniffle at either with other big names such as Little Boots, Atomic Kitten and Alesha Dixon. This Pride really brings you a bona fide festival load of acts to keep you rockin’ until the early morn.

 

Gaydio Dance Stage

Pop legends not your thing? Jive over to the Gaydio Dance stage where you can expect glam-drenched beats applied to your eardrums by the sensation that is Jodie Harsh on Saturday. Through to Sunday the thumping baselines will be provided by house all-star Hot Since 82. Trust me this one will be lively, you’ll be throwing shapes you didn’t know were possible.

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Hot Since 82 – Full Set (In Manchester)

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Sackville Boutique stage

If you’re after something a little bit different, something unforgettable then the the Sackville Boutique stage is what you’re looking for. A varied line-up ranging from the “Proms in the Park” to locally sourced acts; the full line-up is yet to be released but for a snippet of what to expect check this out – listener discretion advised…

 

The Parade

No pride would be complete without the fanfare and frolics of a parade and Manchester Pride does not buck this trend. Look forward to a raucous display of carnival shenanigans setting off from its usual point of Liverpool street through Deansgate up and around Oxford street snaking its way back the promised land of Canal Street.

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This year promises to be a real one-off as the parade will be lead by none other than the Wise, Gray (Gay) Wizard himself Sir Ian Mckellen taking up the Grand Marshall’s role; I dare say a glimmer of magic may occur along the way.

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For a full list of this years parade entrants check out the official page.

 

The Afterparty

The official afterparty for Manchester Pride 2015 is something a bit out there for an inland city, let me hear you say BOOOOAT PAAAAAARTY!!! Unfotunately there is no boat but there will be a party @ the WE LOVE BOAT Party; the music looks to be bob-on (as we say up north) with the Ex-Haçienda resident DJ legend Dave Booth manning the decks as well as many other big names in the house scene.

For more information Click Here or if I’ve already sold you Buy Tickets Here.

But who likes following the crowd eh? If you’re not already gorging yourself with cheap, sweaty döner meat or hailing a cab back to a hunk’s semi in Rusholme by the end of the designated event then there are plenty of clubs open ’til late around the gay village there are even some underground places, which will not be too hard to find (I promise), that offer a breakfast club to those people who simply do not know when to go home.

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So will you be going to Manchester Pride 2015? If so you might want to check out their official website here and if you are in need of any accommodation during your stay we still have plenty of lovely folks who will help see you through the weekend Check Them Here.

Once again thanks for reading, hope to see you on the 28th, ciao!