With months of cold, wet weather finally giving way to above-average temperatures in May, many LGBT Georgians are ready to hit the road — or the runway, or the cruise ship — as the summer travel season heats up.

“Travel remains a very important need for gay people,” says Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, which studies LGBT consumers.
Even the economy isn’t enough to keep gay travelers housebound this time of year, he notes.

“What we keep finding over and over again is that gay people are not immune to what is going on in the economy, but what seems different is they are cutting back less on certain things, and travel is one of them,” Witeck says. “They desire to keep traveling more than other people.”

Witeck’s firm is preparing to release new information about gay travel trends in the next few weeks, in conjunction with Harris Interactive. But he points to their poll conducted last April — when the recession was worse — to show that LGBT travelers weren’t cutting back on travel as much as their heterosexual counterparts even then.

Asked about airline travel for Summer 2009, 62 percent of LGBT survey respondents said their travel plans would stay the same or increase, compared to only 36 percent of heterosexuals.

Overall travel budgets showed similar trends: 58 percent of LGBT respondents said they would spend the same amount or more, compared to 49 percent of heterosexuals.

“We are driven by destination and event travel too, whether we are talking about gay sporting events or gay parties,” Witeck notes.

In other words, gay travel is often motivated not only by places to visit, but by the desire to meet up with LGBT people from around the country or even around the world, and experience what it feels like to be in the majority.

Sure, we sometimes just go to the beach, but we also go to gay Memorial Day in Pensacola or Sizzle in Miami.

Likewise, LGBT travelers who live outside Atlanta don’t only come to the city to visit; they come for Atlanta Pride and Black Gay Pride.

Whatever your travel preferences, there is likely an LGBT-inclusive option. Like getting back to nature? Visit any of the several gay-owned campgrounds in Georgia, take a lesbian white water rafting trip, make the trek to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, or even attend “Camp” Camp, a summer camp for gay adults.

Prefer hitting the seas? Many mainstream cruise lines have special gatherings for LGBT travelers, while gay and lesbian travel companies like Atlantis, Olivia, R Family Vacations and Sweet offer LGBT-exclusive trips.

Summer travel options are also increased by Atlanta Pride’s move from the end of June to October. Necessitated last year by drought restrictions on Piedmont Park, and continued by choice this year, the change frees up gay Georgians to travel to Pride festivals in other cities.

Nearby smaller Prides like those in Birmingham (June 4-13), Augusta (June 19), and Savannah (Sept. 11) make great day trips, while travelers who want to go further can experience the massive Pride celebrations in cities like San Francisco (June 26-27), New York  City (June 19-27), and even Sao Paulo, Brazil (June 3-7), home to the world’s largest gay parade that draws attendance of over a million.

Here is a rundown of LGBT events happening this summer:

MAY

Aqua Girl
May 12-16 in South Beach, Fla.
www.aquagirl.org

Women’s Music Festival
May 14-16 in Unadilla, Ga.
Lumberjacks Campground
www.lumberjackscampground.com

Cancun Resort Lesbian Vacation
May 15 – 22
www.olivia.com

Memorial Day Weekend in Pensacola
May 27 -31
See story, Page 18
www.memorialweekendpensacola.com
www.mysistersroom.com

Bear Pride
May 27-31 in Chicago, Ill.
www.bearpride.org

Sizzle & SizzleHer
May 27-June 1 in Miami, Fla.
See story, Page 18
www.sizzlemiami.com
www.sizzleshopping.com

DC Black Pride
May 27-31 in Washington, D.C.
www.dcblackpride.org

Memorial Day with Mary Edith Pitts
May 28-31 in Unadilla, Ga.
Lumberjacks Campground
www.lumberjackscampground.com

Vegas Sweet Vegas
May 28-31 in Las Vegas, Nev.
By lesbian travel company Sweet
www.discoversweet.com

Virgina Women’s Music Festival @ CampOut
May 28 – May 30 in Henrico, Va.
www.campoutva.com

Amazing Galapagos Adventure Lesbian Cruise
May 29 – June 7
www.olivia.com

Space Coast Pride
May 30 in Melbourne, Fla.
www.spacecoastpride.org

JUNE

Gay Days in Orlando
June 3-7
Many related events; see story, page 18
www.gaydays.com
http://tickets.markbakerevents.com

Austin Pride
June 3 in Austin, Texas
www.austinpride.org

Women of Color & Friends Weekend
June 3-6 in Provincetown, Mass.
www.provincetownforwomen.com

Sao Paulo Gay Pride
June 3-7 in Sau Paulo, Brazil
World’s largest gay Pride parade
www.gaypridebrazil.org

NewFest: New York LGBT Film Festival
June 3-13 in New York City
www.newfest.org

Capital Pride
June 4-13 in Washington, D.C.
www.capitalpride.org

Boston Pride Week
June 4-13 in Boston, Mass.
www.bostonpride.org

Key West Pride Fest
June 9-13 in Key West, Fla.
www.gaykeywestfl.com

Indie Grrl Fest
June 11-13 in Mineral Bluff, Ga.
www.indiegrrl.com/festivals

LA Pride
June 11-13 in West Hollywood, Calif.
http://lapride.org

Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade
June 11 in Tel Aviv, Israel
www.gaytlvguide.com

Central Alabama Pride
June 4-13 in Birmingham, Ala.
Headlining performer June 13: Tiffany
www.centralalabamapride.org

Augusta Pride
June 19 in Augusta, Ga.
Headliners: Thelma Houston, Frenchie Davis
www.prideaugusta.org

Stonewall Street Festival & Parade
June 19 in Wilton Manors, Fla.
www.pgfl.net

Berlin Christopher Street Day
June 19 in Berlin, Germany
www.csd-berlin.de

Nashville Pride
July 19 in Nashville, Tenn.
www.nashvillepride.org

New York City Pride
June 19-27
June 27 march headliners: Lt. Dan Choi,
Judy Shepard, Constance McMillen
www.nycpride.org

R First-Ever European Cruise
For LGBT families, friends
June 20-27
www.rfamilyvacations.com

South Carolina Black Pride
June 24-27 in Columbia, S.C.
www.southcarolinablackpride.com

Emerald Coast PrideFest
June 26 in Panama City, Fla.
www.emeraldcoastpride.org

Pride Houston
June 26 in Houston, Texas
www.pridehouston.org

San Francisco Pride
June 26-27
www.sfpride.org

St. Pete Pride Promenade & Festival
June 26 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
www.stpetepride.org

Chicago Pride Parade
June 27 in Chicago, Ill.
www.chicagopridecalendar.org

Seattle Pride Fest
June 27 in Seattle, Wash.
www.seattlepridefest.com

Windy City Black Gay Pride
June 30-July 5 in Chicago, Ill.
www.windycityblackpride.org

JULY

National Women’s Music Festival
July 1-4 in Middleton, Wisc.
www.wiaonline.org

Los Angeles Black Pride
July 1-5 in Los Angeles, Calif.
www.atbla.com

EuroPride 2010
July 8-18 in Warsaw, Poland
www.Europride2010.eu

QFest: Philadelphia International LGBT Film Fest
July 8-19 in Philadelphia, Pa.
www.phillycinema.org

Provincetown Bear Weeks
July 10-18 in Provincetown, Mass.
www.ptownbears.org

R Family Club Med Ixtapa, Mexico
For LGBT families, friends
July 10-17
www.rfamilyvacations.com

Miami Beach Bruthaz
July 15-18 in Miami, Fla.
www.miamibeachbruthaz.com

Bone Island Bare it All Weekend
July 15-18 in Key West, Fla.
“Naturist event for gay men”
www.nakedkeywest.com

Pride London
July 15-25 in London, England
www.Pridelondon.ca

San Diego LGBT Pride
July 17-18 in San Diego, Calif.
www.Sandiegopride.org

Olivia’s Provence to Burgundy, France Cruise
July 20-27
www.olivia.com

Girl Splash
July 21-25 in Provincetown, Mass.
Headliners: Sandra Bernhard, Kate Clinton,
Vickie Shaw, Jennie McNulty
www.provincetownforwomen.com

Atlantis Events’ Copenhagen to Amsterdam
European Gay Pride Cruise
July 29 – Aug. 8
www.atlantisevents.com

LGBT Family Week
July 31- Aug. 7 in Provincetown, Mass.
www.familyequality.org

Sweet Hawaiian Islands Cruise
July 31 – Aug. 7
By lesbian travel company Sweet
www.discoversweet.com

Gay Games 2010
July 31 – Aug. 7 in Cologne, Germany
www.games-cologne.de

The Pines Party
July 31 in Fire Island Pines, NY
www.pinesparty.com

AUGUST

Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival
Aug. 3-8
Performers include: Indigo Girls, Betty, Ferron, Bitch, Toshi Reagon, Sia, The Butchies
www.michfest.com

Amsterdam Gay Pride
Aug. 5-8 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
www.amsterdamgaypride.nl

FamilyFest in Las Vegas
Aug. 6-8 in Las Vegas, Nev.
www.familyfestlasvegas.com

Queer West Arts & Culture Festival
Aug. 7 – Aug. 15 in West Toronto, Ontario, Canada
www.queerwest.org

R Family Vacations Summer Reunion
Western Caribbean Cruise
Aug. 14-21
www.rfamilyvacations.com

Provincetown Carnival
Aug. 15-21 in Provincetown, Mass.
www.ptown.org

Montreal Pride
Aug. 12-15 in Montreal, Canada
www.fiertemontrealpride.com

Sweet Salmon River Rafting
Aug. 16-21 in Stanley, Idaho
Rafting and wilderness camping
by lesbian travel company Sweet
www.discoversweet.com

Atlantis Events Cruise: Italy to Greece
Aug. 16–24
www.atlantisevents.com

Tropical Heat in Key West
Aug. 19-22 in Key West, Fla.
Weekend of “adult fun” for gay men
www.TropicalHeatKW.com

‘Camp’ Camp
Aug. 22-29 in Kezar Falls, Maine
Summer camp for LGBT adults
www.campcamp.com

Atlantis Events: Greece to Spain Cruise
Aug. 24 – Sept. 2
www.atlantisevents.com

South Carolina Pride
Aug. 25 – Sept. 6 in Columbia, S.C.
Rally: Sept. 4
www.scpride.org

SEPTEMBER

New Orleans Southern Decadence
Sept. 1 – Sept. 6
www.southerndecadence.com

Splash Days in Austin
Sept. 3-6 in Austin, Texas
www.splashdays.com

Sweet Cozumel Palace Resort
Sept. 4- 11 in Cozumel, Mexico
With lesbian comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer
www.discoversweet.com

Key West Womenfest
Sept. 7-12 in Key West, Fla.
www.womenfest.com

Savannah Pride
Sept. 11 in Savannah, Ga.
www.Savpride.com

Key West Bear Fest
Sept. 16-19 in Key West, Fla.
www.keywestbearfest.com

North Carolina Pride
Sept. 25 in Durham / Raleigh, N.C.
www.ncpride.org

Folsom Street Fair
Sept. 26 in San Francisco, Calif.
www.folsomstreetevents.org

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