22 most wanderlust-inducing travel stories from 2022

Whether you were trying to avoid code-switching while traveling out of town, check in at a hotel with your partner sans awkward glares, or let loose on the dance floor with your chosen family, GayCities had you covered in 2022. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading our articles and browsing our City Guides just as much as we enjoyed sharing them with you. As we look forward to 2023 and all the adventure it will bring, let’s take a look back at our favorite travel stories from this past year…

Queer Year in Review

1) PHOTOS: Here’s how some of the hottest clubs kicked off 2022

courtesy of Piranha Nightclub

2022 started with a banging good time at these popular gay hotspots. From Miami, NYC, and Puerto Vallarta to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, here were some of the best moments from this past New Year’s Eve.

2) PHOTOS: the looks that rocked Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival

Celebrating queer expression and friendship. Photo by Em Daniels

This year’s Midsumma Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary with an explosion of queer events that highlighted hidden and mainstream queer culture and art. The three-week festival all leads up to Melbourne Pride.

3) Real talk: Elevation Utah is the ultimate gay winter paradise

photo courtesy of Elevation Utah

Is there anything hotter than a scruffy, square-jawed homo in snowboarding pants and a tight T-shirt under his jacket, slightly sweaty from the day on the hill, beer in hand, and a twinkle in his eye?  The answer is no, and Elevation Utah was rife with hundreds of them.

4) PHOTOS: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras gave major FOMO

Rainbow strut! Photo by Cori Mitchell, Fire & Thunder Photography

The Australian LGBTQ+ community came together to celebrate the 44th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. These pictures showcase the parade in all its glory.

5) VIDEO: Kiki with drag royalty on the red carpet at The Queerties

After nearly 2 years of waiting, The Queerties came out of the quarantine closet. Presented by our sister site Queerty, these awards celebrate the best of LGBTQ+ culture. A friend of GayCities, Mike Ciriaco, hit the red carpet and kiki-ed with the fiercest queens, kings, and non-binary royalty The Queerties had to offer.

6) ‘Queer Eye’ star shows new home in Palm Springs Modernism Week

via Netflix

Martinis, Cadillacs, and butterfly roofs. Say hello to that classic mid-century opulence next month at Palm Springs Modernism Week. Known as a desert playground for Hollywood’s biggest stars since the 40s, walk in the footsteps of Cher, Judy Garland, Liz Taylor, Ray Bradbury, Elvis Presley, and more. This capsule program of exclusive tours and viewings took place in Greater Palm Springs, May 12-15, 2022.

7) World’s gayest Easter parade hits the streets of New Orleans

Visit New Orleans Official Gay Easter Parade Photo

If you were in New Orleans last Easter Sunday, you probably spent the day celebrating at the 21st Annual Gay Easter Parade. The famous French Quarter hosted the gayest Easter Parade you’ve ever seen.

8) Hunky Jesus gets resurrection in SF’s ‘gay beach’

This Hunky Jesus wants us to say “GAY.” All photos are provided by Gooch Photography.

On Easter Sunday, April 17th, San Francisco’s Dolores Park, aka the “gay beach,” saw the resurrection of the city’s thirstiest costume contest. After a two-year hiatus, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and guest emcee Peaches Christ hosted a fabulous event, attracting a huge crowd of scantily clad revelers to SF’s Mission District. This year’s celebration, called “Back to Our Old Habits,” featuring live entertainment and performances by the sisters, climaxed with the long-awaited Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary costume contest.

9) PHOTOS: Rio de Janeiro’s finest flaunt their feathers at Carnival

Samba Parade dancer at Rio de Janeiro Carnival.
Samba Parade dancer at Rio de Janeiro Carnival.

If you’ve never been to Rio de Janeiro Carnival (Carnaval), it’s one of the biggest, and gayest, parties you’ve ever seen. These photos will make you feel like you’re in the center of the action–from samba in the streets to cruising on Ipanema Beach.

10) UK welcomes its first LGBTQ Museum: Queer Britain

Granary Square
Granary Square via Facebook

Queer Britain, the first LGBTQ+ museum in UK history, officially opened its doors to the public this year. Almost 50 years after the UK’s first Pride March in London, the country finally has a space dedicated to honoring and preserving the history of its vibrant LGBTQ+ community.

11) Check out the new queens starring in ‘Drag Race Live’ Las Vegas

photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment/Denise Truscello

The biggest drag show in herstory added four new queens in 2022. RuPaul’s Drag Race LIVE!, which made its debut in January 2020 at Flamingo Las Vegas, has added to its cast of Drag Race All-Stars. The new cast members were Eureka O’Hara, Jaida Essence Hall, Plastique Tiara, and Trinity K Bonet.

12) ‘Men of WeHo’ star Murray Swanby shows off his LA favorites

Murray Swanby in “Men of West Hollywood”

GayCities had a chance to catch up with LA’s hottest socialite and talk about “Men of West Hollywood,” a totally bingeable, shamelessly addicting reality series. Think “Real Housewives” meets “Vanderpump Rules.” Stand-out cast member Murray Swanby told us about his favorite moments from the show, his plans for 2022 and shared the challenges of being a professional party boy during the pandemic.

13) PHOTOS: 60 fierce & fabulous lewks that made us gawk at DragCon

Just a quick snip: The Vivienne, RuPaul and Trinity The Tuck do the honors. photos courtesy of Jake Thompson

“The family is back together again, and we’re looking good,” RuPaul told the crowd while cutting a pink ribbon to open the DragCon convention floor. “This is really a labor of love for us, and we’ve been gone for a few years now, but we are back, back, back, again.”

Following a two-year, in-person hiatus due to the pandemic, RuPaul’s DragCon famously and fabulously returned to LA with all the flair, style, and fierceness you’d expect.

14) Bangkok Pride takes over Thailand with its first parade in over a decade

Photo by Robert Dodge

This year, with all the color and festivities of Pride, Bangkok staged its first pride parade in more than a decade. As with any gay pride parade, it drew muscle boys, drag queens, political activists, and many enthusiastic and colorful spectators.

15) NYC landmark celebrates Judy Garland’s 100th birthday in spectacular fashion

NYC’s Empire State Building commemorated the 100th anniversary of Judy Garland’s birth by lighting its upper floors in rainbow lights. The lighting was in honor of Garland’s status as an LGBTQ icon, and a nod to one of her best known songs “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz.

16) See how cities across the globe memorialized Orlando’s Pulse Massacre

It’s been six years since American gunman Omar Mateen launched a murderous assault on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Despite increasing gun violence throughout the country, the Pulse Massacre remains the largest mass shooting in modern American history–49 people lost their lives and 53 more were seriously wounded.

Rob Domenico, a board member of The Center Orlando, said “absolute devastation” was felt across Orlando‘s LGBTQ community. “We need to put the ‘unity’ back in ‘community’ and to stand up, to show love and compassion to those going through this horrible travesty.”

Cities across the globe heard that call, demonstrating the true resilience and global solidarity of our LGBTQ community in the face of violence and hate.

17) PHOTOS: Colossal Pride celebration floods the streets of Rome

You know the old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This saying rings true when it comes to Roma Pride. Tens of thousands of Italians and Europeans alike gathered around Rome’s ancient Colosseum under crystal clear, sunny skies and partied like paesani.

18) VIDEO: Geeking out at San Diego Comic-Con

Comic book culture is full of colorful superhero headquarters: Batman has the Batcave, the X-Men have the X-Mansion, and Comic Con has San Diego. Since 1970, this SoCal city has hosted San Diego Comic Con, the largest pop convention in the world. So Mike Ciriaco hit up the San Diego Convention Center to geek out with queer writers, artists, and cosplayers.

19) Burning Man – the Playa’s best looks in exclusive photos

photo by Mike Ciriaco

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Burning Man rose once again in the desert of Black Rock City. To offer outsiders a glimpse of the surreal beauty, we compiled the best of this year’s queer Burning Man fashion.

20) PHOTOS: Best NSFW lewks from Folsom Street Fair 2022

Folsom Street Fair dominated the streets of San Francisco’s SoMa District for the 39th time this year. Revelers from across Northern California and beyond gathered together in a celebration of leather, fetishism, and sexual freedom.

21) PHOTOS: Fred and Jason’s Halloweenie fondles LA’s disco balls

Homo hippies and disco divas rose from their graves and hustled downtown to LA’s Belasco Theater for Fred and Jason’s Halloweenie 16. Described as the “party with a purpose,” this fundraiser for Project Angel Food featured the retro-centric theme “Peace, Love, and Disco Balls.”

22) PHOTOS: These sexy Speedo-clad Santas will put you on the naughty list

These santas will make you want to say “Ho, ho, ho!”