Tag: Life

Four Days in Lesbian London – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian London - London Eye - Our Taste for Life

Lesbian London - London Eye - Our Taste for Life

4 days in London is the perfect amount of time to appreciate all that this pulsating city has to offer. And if you’re here looking for the best 4 day London Itinerary, you’ll be pleased to know you’ve come to the right place. I’ve spent most of my life living and working in London, which is why it’s not too difficult for me to suggest the best places to visit in London in 4 Days. In this guide, I cover all of the London hotspots, including some cool hidden gems. I include where to eat, sleep, and party. And finally, I share all of my insider tips to ensure you have the best possible time exploring the city.

London is one of the most happening and exciting cities in all of Europe. And I know you’re probably thinking I’m biased because I’m a local, but it’s true. You see, everything about the British capital is larger than life. With its rich history, vibrant culture, magnificent architecture, eccentric fashion, wild nightlife, and unrivalled culinary scene, London ignites your senses in the best possible way.

I grew up on the outskirts of London, and while I like to think I know the city pretty well, I’m certainly no expert. You know what they say, you rarely explore the beauty that’s right on your doorstep. But last year I pledged to change that. And I’ve seen more of London in the past 12 months than I have in the past 30 years. That said, I certainly can’t claim to know it all. It would be easy to spend weeks if not months exploring London and just about scratch the surface.

With this in mind, the goal of this 4 day London itinerary, is to cover several of the cities major landmarks such as the London Eye, Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace. But you’ll also discover a slightly alternative side of London by visiting quirky neighbourhoods such as Shoreditch and Camden. Not to mention, eating at remarkable restaurants and drinking at traditional London pubs along the way.

Full Story at Our Taste for Life

London Gay Travel Resources

This is all I want later in life 😳 : actuallesbians

This is all I want later in life 😳 :

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Carolina reviews The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – The Lesbrary

Susan reviews The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Amazon Affiliate Link)

“Your characters begin to live the way you do, unrepentant. Never reduced to their queerness, only expanded by it. It infuses them in many ways, sometimes subtle, others loud.”

What does it mean to be invisible? As queer people, most of us are familiar with invisibility in many forms. For some of us, it’s being in the closet, having to deliberately conceal parts of ourselves; for others it’s a lack of representation, a blank outline where we should be in the media. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab is the fantastical and introspective journey of Addie LaRue, a bisexual immortal cursed by the devil himself to be forgotten by all who meet her, until she meets someone who finally accepts her and loves her for who she is.

I’ve always loved Schwab’s writing, from her X-men inspired Villains series, to the whimsical and enchanting A Darker Shade of Magic series. One thing that I always appreciated in her writing is the casual inclusion of queer representation; Prince Rhy Maresh makes Alucard his prince-consort in the magical Red London, and the anti-hero Victor Vale’s asexuality is a valid part of his identity.

Following the immediate publication of long-awaited The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, author V.E. Schwab came out as gay in a moving interview for Oprah Magazine. Schwab’s coming out was touching and it was refreshing to discover one of my favorite authors was queer as well. In the article, she cites the queerness of her characters as a tool to becoming comfortable in her own sexuality and skim, a theme that is echoed throughout Addie LaRue’s life, as love allows her to discover her true self and worth.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is more of a character study than a romance; although Addie does not shy away from describing her female partners in the same way as her male partners, the true core of the book is Addie’s character development. Addie begins the story in 17th century rural France, a desperate teenage girl willing to sell her soul for the chance to to escape an arranged marriage, and live openly on her own terms. Lucifer, ever cunning, gives her the freedom and immortality she longs for, but curses her to be forgotten by all who meet her, dooming her to a life of isolation and sorrow. Throughout her eternal life, she is haunted by the charismatic, seductive devil himself, and nearly loses herself to his deceit. As she grows older and wiser, she learns that although she is forgotten, she will still be remembered through the marks she leaves behind on people’s lives, history and art. When she meets Henry Strauss in 2014, they slowly fall for each other after learning they were both marked by Lucifer. With Henry’s support and encouragement, she begins to find the strength to tell her story and defeat the devil on her own terms.

The novel embodies Schwab’s familiar, haunting prose, and introduces us to a cast of unique and lovable characters, the majority of which are LGBT. Henry’s friend group feels like a love letter to gay friendship as a whole, illustrating the inside jokes and affection only a group of queer people can have for each other. I also loved following Addie through history, seeing the world change and advance around her. The use of multimedia and art as a motif was particularly moving; the art we make acts as a stark indicator of both who we were, are and will be, and the world we live in.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a microcosm of a life’s journeys and discoveries. Addie’s imperceptibility can be seen as a metaphor for being closeted; Addie sells her soul for the opportunity for freedom, and the ability to choose who to love outside of the pre-conceived notions of narrow-minded people in her small French village. Thus, Addie is erased from the forefront, a vital part of her identity disregarded and ignored, her contributions lost to the sands of time, like many queer individuals through the annals of history. Addie is isolated and cut off from anyone like her, similar to being in the closet. It isn’t until Addie meets Henry, someone else who is cursed for wanting love and acceptance on his own terms, that she is able to see herself in him and come into her own.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a moving reflection on isolation and what it truly means to be human, summing up the collective need for companionship and acceptance in a tale worthy of the Brothers Grimm for the modern age.

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the advance review copy.

Trigger Warnings: Abusive relationship, suicidal ideation, depression, addiction

Lesbian Helsinki On a Budget – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Helsinki On a Budget - Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Helsinki On a Budget - Our Taste for Life

Helsinki may be a lot of things, but the one thing it certainly isn’t is cheap. In fact, it’s up there as one of the most expensive cities we’ve ever visited (and we’ve lived in London)! Thankfully, we made it our mission to explore lesbaian Helsinki on a budget, and we’ve gathered all the insider knowledge to help you maximise your time in the city but minimise your spends. In this guide, we share the best Helsinki budget tips, including affordable hotels & restaurants, the cheapest ways to get around, and the best free things to do in Helsinki.

Helsinki is a modern and forward-thinking city, bursting with energy, art, culture, and awe-inspiring architecture. Scandinavia has a reputation for being expensive, however, and at first glance, Helsinki lives up to it. It’s apparent from the moment you try to book a hotel or hostel, with prices considerably more than other European capitals such as Berlin, Prague or Budapest.

Having said that, you shouldn’t allow this to put you off visiting Helsinki. There are many ways to explore the city on a budget, and still have a wonderful time. By following the Helsinki budget tips and advice in this guide, I guarantee you’ll leave the city feeling like you haven’t missed out on a thing.

Sound good? Let’s get to it then, here’s our guide to exploring Helsinki on a budget.

Where to Stay in Lesbian Helsinki on a Budget

There is no shortage of accommodation options in Helsinki; however, most aren’t what I would consider budget-friendly. You can expect a bed in a dorm room to set you back €20-30 per night, while private rooms are easily €50-60. If you stay outside of the city centre, the prices tend to be a little cheaper; however, the additional travel can cost you both time and money. I’ve made some hotel suggestions below to help you decide, or you can click the link to compare all hostels, guesthouses, and hotels in the city.

Full Story at Our Taste for Travel

Anyone else look back on photos of your significant other and realize how lucky you are to have them in your life? Share your favorites ladies!! : actuallesbians

Anyone else look back on photos of your significant other

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Visiting Slovenia’s Lake Bled in the Winter – Our Taste for Life

Lake Bled, Slovenia - Our Taste for Life

Lake Bled, Slovenia - Our Taste for Life

Visiting Lake Bled in Winter is an excellent idea, but there are some things you should be aware of when visiting out of season. Thankfully, we spent a few days in Bled last December, so we can share what we got up to and what we consider to be the best Lake Bled winter activities. We’ll also include recommendations on where to eat and where to sleep, as well as all of our top tips for visiting this enchanting location in Slovenia.

No Slovenia itinerary is complete without a visit to Bled. The charming alpine town looks like it’s landed straight out of a storybook, with the pinnacle being the astonishing Bled Lake. Encompassed by the Julian Alps, I’d confidently say the lake is one of the most picturesque in the world. Arguably even more so during winter, when the mountains are snow-capped and glorious.

Regardless of whether you visit Bled in Winter or Summer, there are tons of exciting things to do and look forward to. The winter months are equally, if not more, adventurous with activities such as skiing, hiking, and ice-skating, to name but a few. Then, of course, there are the December Christmas markets when it is totally acceptable to drink copious amounts of mulled wine. Need I say any more?

Anyhow, we have a lot to get through, so let’s get to it. Here’s a comprehensive guide to visiting Slovenia’s Lake Bled in Winter.

Why Visit Lake Bled in Winter?

If snow-capped mountains and mulled wine didn’t already convince you, then honestly, I don’t know what will.

But no, in all seriousness, I understand why some would have reservations planning a Winter trip to Bled. Or anywhere in Europe for that matter. Let’s face it; the weather is cold and unpredictable, putting your valuable sightseeing time at risk. But what if I told you there are a lot of positives to travelling offseason? Don’t believe me? Well, allow me to change your mind.

Full Story at Our Taste for Life

Slovenia Gay Travel Resources

This is the most gay outfit I have ever worn in my entire life (I’m usually a femme) : actuallesbians

This is the most gay outfit I have ever worn

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Watch: “Mama Gloria” Film Showcases Life of Trans Elder

Watch: "Mama Gloria" Film Showcases Life of Trans Elder

A new film, now streaming, on the life of the 75-year-old transgender activist Mama Gloria (Gloria Allen) is “the story of a mother’s love—the love that Gloria’s mother had for her and the love that Gloria has for her chosen children. And it is fueled by the love that filmmaker Luchina Fisher has for her teenage transgender daughter, Gia.”

Mama Gloria film

Mama Gloria (Gloria Allen)

“When I came out of my mother’s womb, I was out,” Mama Gloria tells us in the documentary. Born in 1945, Gloria became part of Chicago’s South Side drag ball culture and transitioned four years before Stonewall, with the support of her mother, a former showgirl and Jet magazine centerfold, and her grandmother, who sewed clothes for crossdressers and male strippers. She also experienced traumatic violence, lost friends to AIDS, and was harassed by police, but survived to become a nurse and a community leader. In 2011, she pioneered a charm school for young, homeless transgender people, where she passed on the lessons of fashion, makeup, etiquette, and love that she had learned from her mother and grandmother. Her work inspired Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins’ hit play Charm.

Now Gloria is retired and “continues to grow old with joy, dignity and grace,” says the film synopsis. That’s a blessing that far too many transgender people never get to have. Filmmaker Fisher, who describes herself in press materials as “a black woman filmmaker raising a biracial transgender daughter” tells this story of her daughter, now 16, and why Gloria’s example is so important:

One day while I was filming Gloria in Chicago, my daughter sent me a text saying that her life was “half way done.” Gia had read online that the average life expectancy for a Black trans woman in Washington D.C., was 32. It was at that moment that I truly understood why I am making this film…. For Gloria, who never imagined she would live past 40, aging is a gift.

It’s a gift that I want to show my daughter and other young trans people—so they can imagine themselves growing old and having a long, meaningful life. Gloria is their connection to aging and to their future. She is their connection to the past and living proof that transgender people have always been part of our lives and our communities. She is a shining example of how family support—from birth families and chosen families—can impact life outcomes for transgender people.

Mama Gloria film

Mama Gloria with young people at the About Face Theatre

Watch Mama Gloria online at the Chicago International Film Festival for $12, October 14 to 25 (I make nothing from this referral) and see a trailer below:

Want more about trans elders? Check out this other film now streaming about comedian and parent Julia Scotti.

Trans Comedian and Parent Shares Life of Laughter and Change

Trans Comedian and Parent Shares Life of Laughter and Change

A new documentary profiles comedian and parent Julia Scotti. After a ten-year hiatus and a transition to her true self as a transgender woman, she came back to her career in 2011 with more shows, a CD, an appearance on “America’s Got Talent,” and a reconciliation with the children from whom she’d become estranged.

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way

Julia Scotti (L) and Susan Sandler (R)

Funny That Way, from director Susan Sandler, is a touching, funny, and inspiring film that shows us Scotti’s life through her own words, clips from her shows, and conversations with her children (now grown) and others. At the beginning, Scotti explains why she agreed to the project, saying, “Most of all, this is for me … a me that didn’t exist for nearly 50 years.” She hopes it will help her children understand why she had to transition and that it may help young transgender people who may be contemplating self-harm.

She talks of her own growing realization of her true identity, transitioning in the late 1990s at age 47, the difficulty of telling her kids, who were “the only thing I was truly happy about,” and the 14-year estrangement that followed. She also stepped away from a burgeoning career. After performing in clubs and theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada since 1980, appearing on bills with Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, Scotti left comedy. She went back to college and taught junior high school for a decade. Several years ago, she decided to get back on stage at a small comedy club; this led to a reentry into the business now as an “old lady,” performances at LGBTQ events across the country, and an appearance on Season 11 of America’s Got Talent, where she became a quarter-finalist and the first transgender comedian to appear on national television. During this period, she also reconnected with her children.

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way

Dan Gagliardi, Julia’s son, and Julia Scotti

The film doesn’t avoid showing us the challenges she and her family have faced, but the focus is much more on how she and her children have come through them; it’s not just a litany of struggles. We see her son Dan as an adult, sharing a stage with Scotti as she talks with a PFLAG group, and clearly comfortable with their renewed relationship. Her daughter Emma looks back on her earlier rejection of Scotti’s transition, and reflects, “I made the unkind decision to prioritize fitting in over my family.” Both children share her love of comedy, though, and this is one of their points of reconnection.

The film is an inspiring story of a trans parent but also simply a story of reinventing oneself in midlife, of healing, second chances, and the power of laughter. It’s funny—as any film about Scotti would have to be, to do her justice—but it’s also moving on many levels.

You can watch it being streamed as part of this year’s virtual NewFest festival of LGBTQ films, October 16 to 27. Get a ticket for $12 here. (I make nothing from this referral.) Scotti is also currently featured in the Showtime special, More Funny Women of a Certain Age.

Here’s a trailer of Funny That Way:

Lesbian Rajasthan in Five Days – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Rajasthan - Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Rajasthan - Our Taste for Life

Rajasthan is one of our favourite states in India. So, if you’re here looking for the best Rajasthan itinerary, you’ll be pleased to know you’ve come to the right place. We recently spent close to 3 weeks in Rajasthan, which is why it’s easy for me to suggest itineraries for 5 days, 7 days, and even 2 weeks. In this Rajasthan Itinerary, I’ll be sharing all the best places to visit, how to get around, where to eat & sleep, along with all of our top tips for travelling this fast-paced state in India.

If you ask me, no trip to India is complete without visiting Rajasthan. It’s arguably the most exciting state in all of India and without doubt the epitome of Indian culture. It’s a land of grandeur architecture, enchanting cities, mystical deserts, and rich royal history. All of which decorated in a plethora of vivid colour. Rajasthan is big, it’s loud, it’s crazy, and it will attack your senses in the best possible way.

When planning a Rajasthan Itinerary, it’s easy to underestimate just how big the state is. If the state were a country, it would be around the 63rd largest country in the world, which is pretty staggering. It’s therefore not too surprising to find that each city in Rajasthan has an entirely different vibe. You’ll have the time of your life hopping from the golden city to the pink city, and if time permits, onto the blue and white cities too.

Having said that, it can be a daunting prospect planning your route in this truly vast and profound state. Thankfully, we’ve done all the leg work, and we’re here to help. So let’s get to it, here’s the best Rajasthan Itinerary for 5 days or more.

Full Story at Our Taste for Life

India Gay Travel Resources