This Week in LGBTQ Travel News #3

Two drag queens in rainbow attire for Pride.

This Pride month, we’re tracking the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation in the US and the occasional bright spot for queer travel worldwide. This LGBTQ travel news update covers June 14-20, 2023.

Read on to see what’s new in the LGBTQ travel landscape this week including the niche Christian group funding America’s culture wars, Starbucks’ move to take down Pride decorations, and photo essays celebrating historic and present-day queer activism, from big cities to rural America.

Starbucks Workers Told to Take Down Pride Decorations

Non-unionized workers at some Starbucks stores say they were told not to decorate for Pride

An employee who asked to remain anonymous for her safety reported that the Starbucks manager claimed a new no-decorations policy had been adopted.

 Right before Pride? She asked. That’s strange. 

The manager claimed it was a regional decision, and not an attempt to erase Pride. 

However, the Starbucks Workers United rounded up a Twitter thread claiming that Starbucks managers in more than 21 states have told their employees Pride decorations are banned this year. 

The Niche Christian Group Funding America’s Culture Wars

A Christian ‘legal’ group known as Alliance Defending Freedom is funding the right’s anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice agenda. ADF has been listed as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2016.

ADF’s playbook involves model legislation aimed at banning abortion and reversing trans rights in the name of religious liberty. Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett has a track record of involvement with the group.

Why does this matter for an LGBTQ travel site? Just as we need to know which brands support LGBTQ rights, we need to know who is attempting to erase LGBTQ rights and decriminalize LGBTQ identities, so we can protect ourselves.

Photo Essays Celebrate Queer Activism

Two photo essays celebrate queer activism. The Guardian reviews a photo book with images of San Francisco and New York in the 1980s. The black and white images feature mostly white gay men, which is revealing of what types of queer life were seen as worth documenting in the earlier days of the gay rights movement.

Then, Virginia Quarterly Review has a contemporary photo essay of the vibrant drag community in Cumberland, Maryland, a northern Appalachian community that has seen better days.

Cumberland reminds me of so many Hudson Valley towns struggling to reinvent themselves after industries that supported the community moved on.

Queer history has always inspired me. I love learning from queer elders who remind me that our community has been through so much, and we still celebrate queer joy and radiance. I loved the photos and moving essay from the founder of the Country Queers oral history project.

Do you enjoy newsy updates like this? Then you might like my email list, which tracks the latest news that affects LGBTQIA folks. It’s sassy, conversational, and explores how LGBTQIA lives are impacted by issues that aren’t considered ‘queer news.’ You’ll also get cute dog photos and a brief travel update on where I’ve been. Get on the list here.


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