Fodorís is now Anti-Gay

Old May 17th, 2008, 05:12 AM
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tomripley
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Fodorís is now Anti-Gay

Iíve been a Fodorite for some time, but I now may have to switch my allegiance. For one thing, Fodorís keeps changing the format of their Gold Guides. I know that they have to update them Ė make them look new to keep people buying year after year, even when the information doesnít change all that much Ė but the books are getting less and less user-friendly.

I was recently browsing through two brand-new Fodorís guides: Spain 2008 and just-developed Eastern & Central Europe. The Smart Travel Tips section has been revised for the worse. I kept looking through it for gay travel advice until I realized that there wasnít any. I turned to the individual citiesí Nightlife sections and there was absolutely no information about the gay scene anywhere (anywhere I checked, anyway). Iíve been through Central Europe, which has a lively gay scene, so Fodorís does its readers a disservice by not mentioning it. Iíve never been to Spain so I was curious to know which destinations would be more gay-friendly. All the book did was pay lip-service to the notion that Spain was tolerant.

I canít explain this move. There are no good travel guides designed exclusively for gay and lesbian travelers (the ones Iíve seen seem to be designed for sex tourists). Gay travelers need certain information before they travel overseas. For example, the 2007 Fodorís Caribbean guide had some very useful advice for gay travelers Ė that Puerto Rico had the only lively gay scene in the Caribbean and that the former British colonies are violently anti-gay (in other words, gay travelers are in physical danger there).

Perhaps Fodorís fan base has grown more conservative. Maybe it sees its home-base as families. Yet, I fail to see why Fodorís would suddenly alienate a demographic that is known for its love of travel and its disposable income.

Gay travelers would fare better with Lonely Planet.
 
Old May 17th, 2008, 05:36 AM
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So makes Fodors "Anti-Gay"?

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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:40 AM
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I finally had a chance to see some of the new Fodors Gold Guides by browsing the Waterstone's on Piccadilly (Fodors guides are not sold in most British bookstores). I didn't notice the lack of gay travel advice, but now that you've pointed it out, you're right, nothing was included. TimeOut guides generally include gay travel sections (clubs, general advice, etc.), better than Rough Guides IMO, but then I don't particularly care for the Rough Guides, period.

The thing I didn't like about the new Fodors GG was the way they used our postings. I've been quoted in a few books and it's nice to see your name on a chapter opening page but...I think readers would be better served if the guides used MORE posts and sprinkled them throughout the chapters at relevant points, rather than just a precious few at the front of each chapter. Even if using more posts means eliminating the much-appreciated complimentary guidebook reward
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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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Rather a confrontational first post Mr Ripley. I just did a search for 'gay' on the Europe board and 100+ references came up.

Does the fact that somebody is 'gay' matter when touring? Only if your behaviour is overtly 'gay' I suspect when it becomes a public display, and as you might know better than me, different people react differently to that. I could be offended that there are no guides aimed at fairly well-off straight happily-married middle-class white people whose children have fled the nest and have no interest in lounging around on beaches. But I'm not, I got over it.

Bye bye, off to the Rough Guide with you.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:50 AM
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I've never understood this. What about including tips for blacks, or Jews? Surely there are other groups that could have specific travel tips included for them, and a lot of them more directly related to travel concerns (such as for the mobility impaired).
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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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welcome tom

You've confused me. Are you saying that Fodor's previously included references for gay travelers in their guides but have now removed them?

stfc says:

>I could be offended that there are no guides aimed at fairly well-off straight happily-married middle-class white people whose children have fled the nest and have no interest in lounging around on beaches. But I'm not, I got over it.<

Ummmm, I think you are already pretty well served with guides presently available. No need to feel offended

joe
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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"Iíve been a Fodorite for some time, but I now may have to switch my allegiance. "

If so, then you are either a coward and changed your screen name to post this - OR - you are not telling the truth about being a member for "some time".

"Perhaps Fodorís fan base has grown more conservative. "

OMG!! - Have you taken a look in the Lounge??

BTW - to show how ridiculous this is -- click on DESTINATIONS above. The very first nightclub listed in Paris is 3W - "a pillar of the lesbian scene"
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:11 AM
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I don't feel anyone is anti-disabled because guides lack of good info for disabled travellers.
But at the same time I don't expect general guides to have info for every kind of traveller...but the average one. They are supposed to sell a lot of guides
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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To say that Fodor's is anti-gay because there is perhaps a dearth of gay travel stuff included is simply rubbish - why as you claim gay travel stuff is not covered in more depth may be for many reasons but not IMO because "Fodor's is now Anti-Gay"

You raise good points in your text but your headline is very off-putting.

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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:21 AM
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HmmÖI was expecting the bigoted backlash, but not quite so quickly. Of course, these posts are generally poor in quality (consider JeanneBís grammatical monstrosity: ĎSo makes Fodors "Anti-Gay"?Ēí) But, since people have time on their hands, there are a few things that should be pointed out:

1. First, stfc, my tone was factual, not ďconfrontational.Ē There has been gay travel advice in every Fodorís guide Iíve seen until this new crop of just-published books. My post (1) alerts gay travelers that this is no longer the case and that they should buy other guides and (2) may make the good people at Fodorís reconsider their egregious editorial decision.
2. Again, stfc, there are many Internet hits for ďgay Europe.Ē But, if that argument were not fallacious, why would anybody need to purchase any travel guide at all. I always check the Internet as well (usually the sites that Fodorís recommends, although theyíve left off even that information this time around) but we buy Fodorís guides because they are (or were) reliable guides written by trusted travel writers, employed by a brand we trusted. It says something rather unfortunate when Wikitravel.org now provides better information that Fodorís.
3. Lastly, stfc (is that you Bill OíReilly?), you make the wild claim that ďI could be offended that there are no guides aimed at fairly well-off straight happily-married middle-class white people whose children have fled the nest and have no interest in lounging around on beaches. But I'm not, I got over it.Ē Well, my dear delusional middle-aged friend, thatís because ALMOST ALL TRAVEL GUIDES ARE AIMED AT YOU. Enjoy your complacency Ė I honestly donít begrudge it you. (Although, the fact that you are familiar with Rough Guides says a bit about your extracurricular interests.)
4. Twk, you are right Ė there should be travel tips aimed at blacks, Jews, and the handicapped. Actually, I forgot to check Ė usually, Fodorís does include travel tips for differently-abled persons, but they may have done away with that as well. If Jewish or black people are in physical danger if they travel to certain parts of the world (as I believe they are) it is their right Ė actually, their duty Ė to know about it beforehand. There are some parts of the world apparently where homosexuality is a criminal act and may be punishable by the death penalty (Wikitravel ďGay and Lesbian TravelĒ). If any of us are foolish enough to go to these places and act ďovertly ĎgayíĒ (to use stfcís term) by holding hands, then we may be in a bit of trouble. For that reasons, interesting travel destinations such as Poland and the Cayman Islands now seem a bit less interesting.

All this leads the average homosexual to ask: Where can I go on holiday where I am welcome? Thatís a question Fodorís no longer answers. I know, we homosexuals are a troublesome lot. Why canít we just go back in the closet?
 
Old May 17th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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Joe:

Sorry, didn't see your post there. Yes, Fodor's always has included Gay Travel Tips before - now they have removed them. That's why this seems to be such a calculated act.

Thanks for the post!

Tom
 
Old May 17th, 2008, 06:24 AM
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<Where can I go on holiday where I am welcome?>

Cologne, Germany.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:26 AM
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I guess I don't get this, either. Gays want to be treated like everyone else (and they should be), but they require special travel information...isn't that akin to some kind of disability?

And I think the leap from lack of information to "anti-gay" is pretty huge.

I guess Fodors isn't the right guidebook for you. Considering the number of different guidebooks available and everyone's varying travel requirements, that happens to all of us. Shrug.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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tomripley
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Janis J:

Yes, I did cancel my Fodorís account a while ago because I got disgusted with people who just wanted to pick fights with other posters and not talk about the realities of travel. Well Janis, youíve shown me how wonderful the habitual Fodorís posters can be.

Iíd decided to stick with the books instead, but even those have now sadly degenerated. If you donít believe me, check out the new London guide and compare it to one from five years ago.

The worst travel writing restricts itself to compliments: ďbeautiful white sand beachesĒ and the like. Responsible writers point out problems with destinations, guide books, and the act of traveling itself. It has been my experience that, whenever anything unflattering about any destination is written on this website, people viciously pounce on it. That is why I no longer visit the Talk section.

I did want to make this post however because I know that the Fodorís editors (particularly Doug Stallings Ė good guy) visit these chatrooms. If he knows his readers are displeased, he may be instrumental in changing their policy back to what it was. This is a business after all.
 
Old May 17th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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HmmÖI was expecting the bigoted backlash, but not quite so quickly.

bigoted = if you do not agree with tomripley like in Ripley, Believe Me or Not

Long-time Fodorite first ever post? Something is rotten in Denmark and i'm getting a good whiff of it over here

Again valid points but terrible throwing around terms like bigoted and Fodor's is anti-gay.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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Thanks grrr! Iíll look into it.

StCirq - you should really read the posts and not just the headline if you want to participate in the discussion. Yawn.
 
Old May 17th, 2008, 06:38 AM
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If my choice of the ďanti-gayĒ headline were wrong (which it isnít) then why has this post generated such a flurry of activity in the brief time it has been up? I doubt if I would have gotten the same response to a post entitled: ďFodorís new guides make me feel blue.Ē
 
Old May 17th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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Tom - how do you cancel your Fodor's account? What account?

It seems that tomripley could well be a fake name of someone who may actually be on the Fodor's guides staff and is airing sour grapes here - just a hunch.

something does not pass the smell test of tomripley even though again he/she seems to have very valid complaints
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:43 AM
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the evasive MR Ripley: You did not address my point that the VERY first recommendation in Fodor's on-line guide to Paris is a Lesbian club??

Or this about Cafe Cox >>Café Cox is a prime gay pickup joint. Behind the smoked-glass windows men line the walls and appraise the talent.<< Hardly seems "conservative" to me . . . . . .

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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:45 AM
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You don't actually USE a Fodor's Travel Guide, do you? Oh, you silly boy.

Even though I have been posting here for over 8 years and have been quoted in multiple Fodor's guides, I never use them.

I get all my info. on travel from specific Fodorites right here.

If I am looking for a gay venue, I usually post a thread here to find info. I would never rely on some out-of-date guide (so many aren't even updated, just reprinted from year to year).

Time Out, as mentioned above, is a good source of gay info. on a particular city.

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