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What to Eat in Key West

OUT sent newlyweds Kit Williamson and John Halbach, from the acclaimed series, Eastsiders, to our favorite gay mecca, Key West. From breakfast pineapple pancakes to poolside margaritas, and from private tours of the Hemingway Home to nude snorkeling off the Florida coast, these guys experienced and discovered all that Gay Key West has to offer. Follow along as Kit and John take you OUT in Key West. 

Whether you’re looking for a great meal on the go, or a dinner to remember for a special occasion, the dining scene in Key West has got you covered. Here are some of the most memorable dining experiences from our stay.

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Why Miami is The Greatest Gay Destination in America

South Florida is one of the great gay havens in America. Hell, it’s one of the great gay havens of the world. But it’s easy to miss the good stuff.

Understand: South Florida — by which I mean Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties — is basically one big city. From the red-roofed housing developments in south Homestead to the prefab luxury ‘hoods north of Jupiter, SoFla is 130 miles of unbroken urban sprawl. Each town is a universe unto itself. Some of the burgs are full of what used to be called Florida crackers — folks with sawgrass scars and intimate knowledge of gator behavior, who make their livings in and around the primeval Everglades swamp. Those burgs do not incubate much in the way of gay life. Another of the burgs might in fact be the gayest place in the whole world — and if you’re not from here, you probably have never heard of it.

My parents moved to Florida in 1990, when I was 7 years old. Back then, the center of Florida’s licit gay life and nightlife was South Beach. (The illicit center, I’ve heard, was in the darker corners of Alice C. Wainwright Park, in the shadows of the seagrape and palm trees.) South Beach — the glittering, pastel-Deco apotheosis of Miami Beach flash, known ’round the world as the setting for so many excellent late-’90s music videos — had long been a prime destination for sin and decadence because of its weather and its distance from the respectable rest of America. South Beach is still full of debauched nightlife, much of it gay or lavender-tinged. But gentrification, which so often follows gayfolk to their ghettos, nudged much of the gay population out of Miami Beach in the 1990s.

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This Is the Gayest AND Most Trans Place in America

You logically guess that San Francisco, with its queer life centered around the Castro, is the gayest place in the United States. Or that the world below 14th street in rainbow flag-waving New York City is the most trans place in the 50 states.

But the gayest and most trans place in America is neither a city nor a state. It’s Washington, D.C

According to perhaps the most definitive study on such matters, Washington, D.C., has more LGBTQ residents by percentage of its total population than all other famously progressive U.S. territories, including California, Oregon or Hawaii.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that 10.8% of D.C. residents identify as LGBT in some way. That makes the District almost twice as gay, queer, bi, or lesbian as the next state or territory (Vermont at 5.8%) and almost three times the Institute’s estimated national average of 3.8%. A Gallup poll seems to support these findings. 

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5 Cost-Conscious Tips for the LGBTQ Traveler

The queer community has close to $1 trillion in disposable income and many of us don’t have children. That’s a lot of money and not a lot of responsibility. So how are we spending our discretionary income?

It’s so common it’s cliché: Queer people love to travel! According to 2015’s 20th Annual LGBT Tourism & Hospitality Survey, “the annual economic impact of [American] LGBT travelers is over $75 billion per year in the U.S. alone.”

Now is when we’re trying to get away from the cold or plan our summer vacation. If that sounds like you, here are five cost-conscious tips for queer travelers to get your travel on right.

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The Hornet Guide to Gay Washington, D.C.

Even with the new administration in place, Washington, D.C., is still one of the gayest cities in the country. During the day, tourists flock to places like the Washington Monument and Dupont Circle (D.C.’s OG gayborhood) for sightseeing, and at night the city becomes a party town. With plenty of gay men to see and LGBT events to check out, gay Washington, D.C., is worthy of your next out-of-town trip.

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What to Explore in Key West

What to Explore in Key West

OUT sent newlyweds Kit Williamson and John Halbach, from the acclaimed series, Eastsiders, to our favorite gay mecca, Key West. From breakfast pineapple pancakes to poolside margaritas, and from private tours of the Hemingway Home to nude snorkeling off the Florida coast, these guys experienced and discovered all that Gay Key West has to offer. Follow along as Kit and John take you OUT in Key West. 

There’s so much to see and do in Key West, whether you’re looking for adventure or rest and relaxation, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some highlights of what we explored on our trip.

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First LGBT protest to be commemorated

The Black Cat Tavern in SIlver Lake will mark the 50th anniversary of the first LGBT protest Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. (Courtesy photo)

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell will join activists at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 to mark the 50th anniversary of the demonstration at The Black Cat, 3909 Sunset Blvd., which is credited as the first LGBT civil rights protest in the United States.

The event will feature a re-enactment, march and political rally.

“Los Angeles and the 13th Council District have been ground zero for some of the most important events in LGBT history, especially the watershed Black Cat protests that took place right here in Silver Lake 50 years ago,” O’Farrell said.

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San Francisco’s Historic Tenderloin May Become World’s First Official Trans District

Trans District.jpg

Downtown San Francisco’s Tenderloin district could soon be home to the first government-sanctioned transgender district in the world.

Last week, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim announced legislation that would create the Compton’s Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual District in San Francisco. The district will encompass six blocks in the Tenderloin, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and where one of the first LGBTQ civil rights uprisings in the United States occurred.

The Tenderloin has been a hub of vibrant transgender culture since the Gold Rush, when many trans and gender-nonconforming people worked in saloons and brothels there, according to the Compton District Coalition, the group of community members, activists, and nonprofit representatives that formed to spearhead the project and work with city officials to make it a reality. The proposal for the district aims to preserve this cultural heritage.

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Pride Fort Lauderdale festival marks 40th year

The Pride Fort Lauderdale festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a free one-day party on Fort Lauderdale beach on Sunday, Feb. 26 from noon to 8 p.m.

The celebration will include performances by 2016 “America’s Got Talent” finalist Brian Justin Crum and Grammy-nominated country singer Ty Herndon, who are both openly gay, as well as DJs Wendy Hunt, A.J. Reddy and Joe Gauthraux.

An LGBTQ history exhibit presented by the Stonewall National Museum & Archives will be among the features, and more than 100 community organizations, artists, businesses and vendors will exhibit their products and services during the free event.

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Perfect Day in Key West

Perfect Day in Key West

OUT sent newlyweds Kit Williamson and John Halbach, from the acclaimed series, Eastsiders, to our favorite gay mecca, Key West. From breakfast pineapple pancakes to poolside margaritas, and from private tours of the Hemingway Home to nude snorkeling off the Florida coast, these guys experienced and discovered all that Gay Key West has to offer. Follow along as Kit and John take you OUT in Key West. 

There’s so much to see and do in Key West. You can take in the history, the community, and the natural beauty all around you. This is our perfect day in Key West.

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