the impetus to the formation of this volume emerged
gradually, during the late 1990s and early years of the new
millennium, mostly through informal travel talk with stu-
dents, colleagues, and friends, but also through my gradual
recognition of a trend in North American gay and main-
stream media coverage of ‘‘gay life’’ elsewhere around the
globe. In these contexts, I noticed a tendency for places—
mostly nations, but sometimes states, provinces, regions, or
cities—to be evaluated as ‘‘gay-friendly’’ or ‘‘homophobic.’’
For example, a series of controversial events in the Carib-
bean in the late 1990s, including the refusal of the govern-
ment of the Cayman Islands to grant docking permission to
a gay cruise ship, received increasing amounts of gay and
mainstream media coverage which, I assume, were respon-
sible for the increased number of questions and cautionary
advice I received about how bad homophobia was ‘‘down
there’’ when I was planning to do fieldwork in that region.
Many other regions around the globe, ranging from the
Middle East, Africa, and China to rural Queensland in Aus-
tralia, the Midwest in the United States, or ‘‘the 905’’ (the
telephone prefix for the suburban area surrounding the city
of Toronto) have also been classified as places that gays and
lesbians should avoid as tourists or residents.
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