1. Inside Out film festivals
Inside Out is a nonprofit that supports LGBT initiatives and producers of all ages, nations, and race from around the world. The festival supports diversity through enabling and promoting the screenings of movies and videos “made by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people of all ages, races and abilities.” Originally from Toronto, Inside Out has organized festivals in Toronto and Ottawa since 1991. Besides the festivals, they organize various events, school programs, movie screenings and initiatives in different times of the year.
2. PrideFest in New York
This festival is notable because it is held in America where the LGBT liberation journey began. This festival uses a color code to indicate your current sexual status and desires. My recommendation: Learn the full meaning of each color before choosing. If you want to have lots of fun and experience something really “colorful,” don’t hesitate.
3. Cape Cod
Cape Cod, Massachusetts is famous for LGBT tourism and one of the most LGBT-friendly spots in America. There are lots of events and never-ending festivals nearly every month of the year. The most famous ones include the Bear Week which I explain in detail below and Lesbian Festival.
4. Provincetown Bear Week
Provincetown is located at the end point of Cape Cod. One week, generally in the middle of July, is reserved for bears here. You can see bears coming from around the world wearing wrestling singlets and watch naked beach games. Because local people and businesses are also very gay friendly, they work together with the organizers and have various kinds of parties at that time. You can “enjoy the town, restaurants, cabaret shows, National Seashore, beaches and daily gatherings at hotel pool decks.”
5. Pink Life QueerFest
It is one of the most important festivals for Turkey where still homophobia and trans murders are unfortunately common. The LGBT community in Turkey only exists publicly in small parts of İstanbul, but everyone comes together for this festival in Turkey’s capital, Ankara. The first Queer Fest was held in 2012 and nearly 50 films from 15 countries was screened in Turkey for the first time. The festival is organized by Pink Life Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Solidarity Association and aims to draw attention to discrimination and violence against LGBT people in Turkey.
6. Amsterdam Gay Pride
The famous line from television show Modern Family — “Do you know what is illegal in Europe? Nothing.” — was written for this festival. It starts at the beginning of the week with cultural and sports events and parties. The climax of the festival is the weekend, especially the Canal Pride on Saturday. Amsterdam is known for its endless fun and when LGBT people add their sense of enjoying life to the fullest, this festival becomes a lifetime experience. Don’t miss it if you have the chance.
7. London Lesbian Film Festival
The festival is organized by Reeling Spinsters, a group of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in London, Ontario and Canada every year. “The festival aims to portray the richness and diversity of lesbian experiences and to strengthen our communities.” They have a variety of events in addition to movie screenings.
8. Mykonos & Lesbos
The top of the list has to be Mykonos, a gay heaven, and Lesbos, its name derived from the first lesbian mythology. They have top-notch gay and lesbian fun. Also, there are myths that heterosexual couples are considered weird, but don’t take it personally. Festivals, parties, and events are held throughout the year. Just pack your bag and go anytime you have a chance. I guarantee that it will be an unforgettable experience for any of you who can enjoy life to the fullest.
Author’s note: I hope the future brings us a world where all LGBT people can take a breath and have time to celebrate their existence.