Page 52



Three Great Options for Gay

FAMILY VACATIONS Travel ideas and gay-affirming destinations for the modern family. Story By Marc Kassouf • Photography By S. Nathan DePetris

Today’s family is a hodgepodge of social ADVENTURES IN THAILAND: ties and blood that bind us. For many in Western society, foster or step siblings and parents are now common, and marriages often have multiple iterations, pushing the boundaries and limits of family. What has traditionally been defined as “family,” especially for us in the gay and LGBT community, is under constant revision: our modern family spans

A sleeping tiger at Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai, Thailand, where visitors can interact with and pet these mammoth cats inside large gated playgrounds.

multiple generations, and includes adult or older members as well as children. More particularly, when we define gay family travel, most of us will expand the circle beyond any children we may have to our parents, siblings, relatives, loved ones and even friends. Undeniably, the focus of “family” remains our children, but much of family travel in the community revolves around adults as well as children of all ages. The resulting familial mélange is as bright and colorfully diverse as a gay rainbow flag, and their vacation needs are equally diverse.



An exotic far-east destination that welcomes all families with genuine hospitality. Because of its Buddhist mores and culture, Thailand has been a beacon for gay and lesbian travelers for decades. There’s an ingrained sense of acceptance and a welcoming attitude that transcends mere hospitality and manifests itself as an embodiment of Eastern ideals and Buddhist teachings in the traditional greeting, the Sawasdee. From the moment a visitor arrives, he or she is greeted and accepted with genuine warmth. For a community such as ours, which has encountered countries or cultures that are hostile towards us, Thailand is refreshing. Depending on your family’s interests, the Land of Smiles offers rich culinary traditions, cultural and natural sights, and eco adventures galore. Spectacular beach, spa and amazing luxurious resort getaways can also be had at a fraction of the price of other destinations. All trips should begin or end in Bangkok, the undisputed hub of activity of the kingdom. Gay nightlife options and activities are so plentiful, I can only hint at them here: entire districts are dedicated to entertainment and clubs that are primarily gay. There are massive malls for shopaholics young and old, a great place to escape the heat of the day. Shows and entertainment are plentiful, and many of the world’s top hotels and resorts call Bangkok home. Nearby archeological gem, Ayuttaya, is a UNESCO world heritage city and can easily be reached by cruising up and down the Chao Phraya river. Farther afield, the island of Koh Samui is exceedingly gay friendly with a relaxed atmosphere. There’s a casual laid-back gay community far from the party crowds of Pattaya and Bangkok, making for an ideal southeast Asia gay-getaway for adult family with or without children. Nightlife is still available,

TravelWorld International: Family Travel Nov 2012  
TravelWorld International: Family Travel Nov 2012  

TravelWorld International Magazine. Travel Where the experts love to go. The Playful Side of Monterey. Rating the Ballparks. The 10 Top Plac...