First Compendium of Gay and Lesbian Life in 16 Asian Countries

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The world's first ever travel guide to 16 countries in Asia has just been published. Inside are complete listings for Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines and Sri Lanka, plus "best of" listings for select major cities in a dozen other Asian countries.

When Christian missionaries first arrived in Japan they were mocked by common folk in the street who would point and shout, "Look, they’re the ones who think buggery is bad!"

Today, buggery is big business around the globe and no less so in Asia where nearly a dozen annual public gay pride festivals generate income along with awareness.

Asia is often assumed, incorrectly, to be inhospitable to homosexuality. On the contrary, despite lingering colonial-era laws, political opportunism and panic perpetuated by non-indigenous religions, Asia is rich in its varieties of sexual expression. Local cultures are traditionally tolerant of behavior considered to be essentially private.

Mass media in most Asian countries now regularly produce TV and film with more complex depictions of queer life. Courts, in even conservative countries like South Korea, are striking down institutionalized discrimination. Governments are sponsoring programs to educate young students about sexual diversity.

Get ready for more. Asia’s young queers, not content to suffer fools, are just beginning to flex their economic muscle.

For the first time, the region's homosexual subcultures have been collected in a single volume to illustrate a surprisingly widespread gay scene.

While the guidebook uses conventional categories for ease of reference, the jaw-dropping variety of alternatives to strict heterosexuality defy conventional social and academic boundaries.

Included within are complete listings for the gay and lesbian scene in Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, together with "best of" listings for select major cities in a dozen other countries.

The Utopia Guide to Asia compiles contact details for organizations and businesses including accommodation, bars, discos, spas, and restaurants. A special section of the book highlights groups, clubs, and spaces that are especially welcoming for women. Hundreds of tips and warnings from locals and visitors provide first hand insights for both frequent travelers and armchair explorers.

The guide is available for sale now in printed and electronic form at http://www.utopia-asia.com/utopiaguide/ and will also be available in bookstores internationally and from popular online book resellers in the months to come.

A pioneer on the Internet, Utopia has been Asia's most popular resource for gays and lesbians since 1994. Utopia's website is located at http://www.utopia-asia.com and more information about Utopia may be found at http://www.utopia-asia.com/utopiais.htm

"These fun pages dish out the spice on even the most buttoned-up spots in Asia." -- TIME Magazine TIME Traveler

"A really good place to start looking for information... excellent coverage of gay and lesbian events and activities across Asia." -- Lonely Planet

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John Goss
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