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Experience the Younger Vibe of Palm Springs

Palm Springs, one of three destinations to choose from if you win the Gays With Kids "Who Needs a Vacation?" contest,  is, if nothing else, a place of contrasts. Majestic mountains, some 10,000 feet high, shoot up from the flat valley floor. Tanned young muscular men relax poolside while 60-something golfers wander the course in the distance beyond. Green expanses of lawns and water fountains give way to a wildly beautiful dusty desert landscape at every turn. Modern resort hotels sit alongside quirky motels, awash in American charm.

PS Tram_LGBTThe Palm Springs area, located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, is several communities strung together, including Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City. The region has long been a draw for both Hollywood celebrities and gay men, and it is said to now have the fifth highest concentration of same-sex households in the United States.

Opportunities for entertainment abound in Palm Springs, whether you are looking for wild, mild, or somewhere in between. Here’s a look at just a sampling of what you can do.

Become one with nature

If you’ve never tried hot-air ballooning, Palm Springs is an incredible place to experience it for the first time. There are numerous operators in the valley, and the flights afford amazing views of both the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountain ranges. The feeling is completely different from an airplane flight or helicopter ride, because of the balloon's relaxing motion and total silence (aside from the occasional “whooshes” of the gas flame). Most tours occur in the early morning hours or just before sunset, when the winds are light and the light is gorgeous. You can choose between normally scheduled tours or arrange private tours with some operators.

One of the most popular area activities is taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (it even rotates!) to the top, a height of 8,516 feet above sea level. Stunning vistas await visitors at the Mountain Station, a full 2 miles diagonally from where you boarded! The top also boasts a gift shop and a natural history museum.

If you still haven’t gotten enough of the great outdoors, you can also participate in open-air bus tours, horseback riding, or jeep tours to learn more, and get different vantage points of the area.

Sport it up!PS LGBT-Pool-Beach-Balls


The Coachella Valley has myriad options to get active and burn off some of those cocktails that you’re planning on consuming in the evening. Golf is huge in this part of California, with more courses here than any other part of the state—more than 100 in all! Hiking is another popular activity for visitors here, with nearby trails in Indian Canyon, on Mt. San Jacinto, the Coachella Valley Preserve, or even through Palm Canyon, which claims to feature the world’s largest palm fan oasis. A variety of terrain levels can be found for everyone from the casual walker to the dedicated hiker and even you rock climbers.

With Palm Springs’ year-round warm weather and nearly cloudless skies, it’s also a great place to get out and play tennis or go for a swim. Several area outfitters even rent ATVs for those adventurous enough to go for a spin on the sand dunes located 30 minutes east in the Mecca Hills area.

Pamper yourself

Your trip to this desert oasis doesn’t have to mean work — the area is a popular place to indulge in spa treatments, and plenty of local businesses, both stand-alone spas and those set within the larger resorts, are ready and willing to massage your cares away. Spend a day focusing on serene surroundings and get a manicure, pedicure, shave or haircut — or all of the above! After all, you deserve it, right?

Poolside lounging, swimming and sunbathing are all popular pastimes in this part of California, and there’s an abundance of eye candy to be enjoyed in between reading chapters of your book. The renowned warm, dry climate features more than 300 sunny days per year and a scant 5 inches of rain —about what Seattle sees in a mere three weeks in an average November!

Eat!

The Palm Springs area has a thriving restaurant scene, and you’ll find a little bit of everything — Italian, Mexican, French, and traditional American fare. There is also a nice mix of brunch spots, seafood restaurants and cafés. If you’re more adventurous, you can also try Greek, Salvadoran, Japanese, Cuban, Hawaiian and Asian fusion places.

Get your gay on

Let’s not forget that Palm Springs is a huge draw for the LGBT community. You can easily immerse yourself in gayness here, from a night out to see the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus to a great music or theater performance at the Annenberg Theater downtown. The area has quite a few clothing optional gay men’s resorts, as well. If you have other accommodations, you can still go check them out: some of the resorts offer day passes. There are drag shows year round and a bevy of gay clubs — a half dozen or more, depending on how you count — that cater to young and old, from twink to bear.

All in all, the Palm Springs has a huge selection of vacation choices for even the most discriminating gay dad. If you’re in need of a short weekend or an entire week away, it’s a great choice for a change of pace. The perfect gay oasis in the desert, whether you win the Gays With Kids contest or not!

NOTE: Photos Courtesy of Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.

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News

Indiana Court Says Couples Using Sperm Donors​ Can Both Be Listed on Birth Certificate — But Ruling Excludes Male Couples

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, a major victory for LGBTQ parents — but the Attorney General may appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a lower court that said that both parents in a same-sex relationship are entitled to be listed on the birth certificate — previously, the state of Indiana had required the non-biological parent within a same-sex relationship using assisted reproductive technologies to adopt their child after the birth in order to get her or his name listed on the birth certificate, a lengthy and expensive process not required of straight couples in the same situation.

It's a double standard LGBTQ parents have long been subjected to in many states across the country. So this represent a major win. As reported by CNN, this ruling "takes a lot of weight off" the shoulders of LGBTQ parents, said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer representing one of the couples in the case. "They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart."

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated the case, according to CNN, for more than two and a half years, which is one of the longest in the court's history.

However, because all the plaintiffs in the case involved female same-sex couples using sperm donors, the ruling left open the similar question of parenting rights with respect to male couples. Indiana's Attorney General, moreover, may also appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

We'll be following the case closely and be sure to keep you up to date. For more on this recent decision, read CNN's article here.

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As LGBT parents, we have all lived through some sort of trauma in our lives. For many it is the rejection of our family, being bullied, or abuse. We learn to be vigilant of our surroundings and often are very cautious of who we trust. As adults, we start to become watchful of how much we share and we look for "red flags" around every corner.

So, what effect does this have on our children? Does it unintentionally cause us to be more jaded with our interactions involving others? For some the answer may be a resounding "no." But as we look deeper into the situation, we often find that through survival our interactions with others have changed and we may not even realize exactly how much we are projecting on those around us.

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"No!" says Kevin's son, Nasim, says

"Are we worried about bullies when he gets to school?" Kevin asks next.

"Yes!" Nasim said.

Thus is the nature of the videos Kevin and his husband Ivo upload to their TikTok account, a widely popular and rapidly growing social media platform among young people.

Within 6 months, the family had 200,000 followers across their social media.

See a complication of some of their videos below!


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Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

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Janno Talu, an accountant, and Matthias Nijs, an art gallery director, were born in different parts of Europe. Janno, 39, is from Estonia, and Matthias, 28, is from Belgium. Their paths crossed when the two moved to London, each from their different corners of the European Union.

Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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Interested in Surrogacy? Check Out These Bay Area Events This Weekend

If you're in the Bay Area this weekend, two major events are happening that will be of interest for dads-to-be and surrogacy advocates: the Men Having Babies San Francisco Conference, and the SF Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting (ARF)

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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