Expert Author Erika O'Connor

Even though the social climate is rapidly changing in American society, allowing gays and lesbians to mix and mingle more and more freely with the straight crowd, it's still a priority to the LGBT community to be able to party, hangout, and celebrate with their 'own kind.'

And boy, do we have a lot to celebrate! The roster of LGBT -themed events worldwide is astounding. No matter what your particular interest may be, you are sure to find a gay or lesbian event to suit your taste.

Are you a cinephile, one who loves sitting in a dark movie theater, popcorn in your lap, soaking up the gorgeous images of a foreign film, or getting all the facts from the latest documentary? LGBT film festivals are happening now in hundreds of cities across the US and abroad. Crack up with the latest comedy, or hide your tears about the tragic stories of gays in other lands. Budding film-makers will have no problem finding an outlet for their creativity. The heavy hitters, like Frameline in San Francisco, and Outfest in LA, showcase hundreds of films each year. And if you find yourself in one of the fly-over states, chances are you'll find a film fest in your state as well. Get tickets early, and enjoy the show around you that happens BEFORE the show-the movie theater is terrific for people watching.

Maybe you call yourself a bear? (If you're not sure what that is, check the gay lingo guides.) Otherwise, check event listings for the latest bear jamboree. Lots of weekend get-aways have sprung up to accommodate these friendly, hairy gays, often with lots of good food and drink involved!

Ladies, the number of women's festivals and events worldwide will knock your socks off! Live music, great food, and of course dance parties are all features of these terrific lesbian-centered weekends. You might find yourself camping out in the woods of Michigan, or sipping and twirling around a splashy swimming pool in Palm Springs, but either way, Girls just wanna have fun!

Love hitting the slopes? Gay ski weekends abound, weather permitting, of course! Whistler, BC is a top destination for gay skiers, and with ski events happening as far away as New Zealand, you'll actually find powder all through the year.

Hey, maybe you're just LGBT and proud of it. We've got you covered as well, at one of the hundreds of lesbian/ gay/ bi/ transgendered pride events around the world. Big name celebrities and musical acts love to show their support for the gay community, and you'll often see parades, dance parties, and all kinds of mingling at these events.

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