Out Traveler is back in print!
Our relaunch of the print edition has been a long time coming, and we originally planned to release it last year – before the pandemic hit the travel industry like dominoes in disaster. Like everyone else, we were forced to retreat and crouch down. But a surprising thing happened during the lockdown. Rather than shy away from travel content, our readership grew as the queer community sought to escape their homes and see the world, even if only for a few moments through what we called the virtual trip. Paradoxically in 2021, there is a greater thirst for Traveler than at any time in the past 10 years.
This year, LGBTQ + travelers paved the way for their return, with many of us keen to reconnect with queer friends and the LGBTQ + community at large. Our identities have long been a driving force behind the way we travel, as we seek out people like us and celebrate those aspects of ourselves that others always want to push into the closet.
But as the Traveler was fixing this issue, we also saw the rise of the Delta variant, which has since swept the world, causing closures and travel disruptions again.
And yet, I still want to welcome you back. Return to Traveler, and back to travel. Because we are going to venture out again. Distant lands and unknown cultures call to us. LGBTQ + people are global and we are committed to connecting with our communities far from our own. The founders of VACAYA argue that queer and trans travelers can change the world just by being outdoors and sharing their stories when they’re on the go.
It’s true that the journey itself has changed dramatically during this time, but we’ll find new and different ways to experience and share the world. One of these new modes is via TikTok, video sharing, the social networking app that is changing tourism. Our cover stars, Nicky Champa and Pierre Boo, are two of TikTok’s rising stars and their 22 million fans, mostly heterosexual, adore their queer love and lifestyle of trekking around the world. (Their new YouTube series takes them to Switzerland, France and Italy.)
I am delighted that we also bring you the latest adventures of Will & James, winners of Fantastic race.
After the past 18 months, we are seeing how deeply interconnected our world is, even more within the LGBTQ + community. I first worked with writer Robin Lowey 25 years ago in San Francisco at Girlfriends, the queer women’s magazine that I co-founded. It was only natural that she wrote our article on the OG of lesbian travel influencers, Mariah Hanson.
Collaborator Kathy Belge co-authored a column of advice on long-standing relationships for Curve magazine (which I also wrote once for) but the former Airbnb executive is now a full-time road warrior. Kathy wrote the roadmap for this issue on meeting other lesbians while experiencing #vanlife.
Kathy urged me to drop by P’town Essentials and say hello to her friend, owner Laura (that’s her below), as I visited Provincetown this summer.
Interacting with other LGBTQ + people can give us surprising information. Meet Captain Kendall (below) from Moment of navigation this left me thinking about the scarcity of trans or non-binary tour operators, guides and owners.
As the first transgender editor of a major travel magazine, I hope to be a part of the industry’s evolution to better reflect us all. Trans and non-binary tourists have long been like ghosts: there but not seen. But #outtravelers come in all genders, shapes, sizes, religions, abilities, and ethnicities. It’s time we were all seen for who we are!
Discovering our world,
PS Meet me at [email protected], especially if you are also an #outtraveler!