Pride Travel

Gay Days at Walt Disney World is a gay pride event held at Walt Disney World near Orlando the first week in June. Various circuit parties and dance events comprising the majority of the schedule, culminating in a park-sanctioned (but not park-organized) “Gay Day” at the end of the week, in which gay travelers wear red to let others know why they patronized the park that day.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Recently Happening OUT Travel (, a travel club serving the LGBT community, advertised a series of travel packages that promises to take the queer traveler to some interesting places: Gay Days at Munich Oktoberfest, Medellin Pride, and 2025 World Pride in Washington DC. Though Munich, Medellin and Washington DC are wonderful destinations at any season, the Happening OUT tours are as much about the when as they are about the where. All three packages promise to take us to internationally famous LGBT Pride Events, where we can be openly gay in a welcoming atmosphere, surrounding by accepting, friendly queer people or straight allies.

I recently wrote about sex tourism, a form of travel where tourists go abroad to meet sex partners. I now propose the term pride tourism, a form of travel where LGBT and other tourists travel to attend Pride events, celebratory events that bring together queer people and our allies. Pride Tourism is what Happening OUT Travel, which calls itself “your gateway to extraordinary LGBTQ+ adventures,” specializes in. Nor is Happening OUT the first or the only agency that serves the “out and proud” tourist. In fact, pride tourism has been around as long as Pride itself. Many of us have disposable income, and except in countries where bigotry trumps common sense, travel destinations are often willing and able to help us spend it.

Unlike tourists who are primarily interested in sightseeing, shopping or food, queer people on gaycation often choose to visit places that are queer friendly; places where we can spend time with other queer people. To a large degree, those places hold world-renowned pride events where we can be ourselves and have a good time. They include large parades or festivals in places like New York, Seattle, or Tel-Aviv as well as week-long events like those in Orlando (Gay Days), or Sydney (Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras). Some events are political in nature while others are strictly social: these include Bear Week, circuit parties, sea cruises, nudist gatherings or Chicago’s International Mr. Leather, just to name a few. Tourists who attend those events can be assured that, barring some catastrophic event, they will be safe and sound while they enjoy themselves and celebrate Pride.

Many of us can remember a time when most of us were in the closet; and when we could only be ourselves at events far away from home. As we approach Pride Month, rest assured that there will be many destinations where we can indulge our taste for Pride Tourism. Even if we cannot travel far, there are places where we can go, to be ourselves and to meet like-minded individuals. No matter where you go, get ready, join your friends and loved ones, and have a wonderful time.

Jesse’s Journal
By Jesse Monteagudo

Jesse Monteagudo is a freelance writer and South Florida resident since 1964. Share your own experiences with him at


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