April's Rainbow Award Winners
Amber's World, one of 26 websites given April's Rainbow Award, is really the home page of a bewigged and bedragged (as opposed to bedraggled) Rob Allen, a student at the University of Louisville. His site, divided up into pages given Madonna like titles (Who's That Girl?, Material Girl, Like A Prayer, etc.) reveals a young gay man coming to grips with his present, future and past. Following Like A Prayer (which exposes this young man's deep-seated allegiance to Bible Belt Protestantism) is a site entitled simply "Erotica." You'll have to see Amber's idea of erotica. It works perfectly with what's preceded it.
Brad Gully's The Braddy Files, while packed with information about Australia, also tells the tale of this 18 year old's experience of being raped 50 times at the age of 15. It is quite a stomach-churning read; whereas, H. Bly Halbrook's site, Dorothy's Friend's Home Page, while full of music and pictures of Dallas Gay Pride, includes the story of a middle-aged man's coming out after leading a life in the closet while raising a family.
Draven, the site of Eryk Draven, while artistically stimulating, is also another good resource for young people struggling with their spirituality. Check out his Gay Christian Forum.
One of several international sites done in English that were awarded this month is Drags from Ipanema. How could we not award a site that embraces the excesses of Mardi Gras? And this site is a Carmen Miranda hatful of snazzy drag pics. But for really wonderful pictures, try Cybernard Gay, a Paris home page filled with digital images of that most romantic of cities. Another site we placed in the International directory of gayamerica.com is Dignity Canada Digniti, a site for gay Canadian Catholics done up in five languages. Check out the animated GIF of a shifty-eyed Pope and the incredible Bible search engine.
Marla Caldwell's Family Q site provides gays and lesbians with an online resource to help in forming and supporting families. They have an enormous listing of gay and lesbian parenting groups, clinics and lawyers and adoption agencies, including lots of kid stuff.
Another Canadian site created and maintained by Peter Cook is Gay & Lesbian Educators of BC (GALE BC), as in British Columbia, but it is an excellent resource for gay teachers everywhere. Sgt. Shanon Daugherty has created another unique resource, this time for gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgendered disabled veterans of America (GLBT Disabled Veterans of America). Her noble goal with this site is to see to it that GLBT Disabled Veterans receive benefits and services on a par with male & female heterosexual veterans.
At the other end of the spectrum, GayMatch is just that: a business offering gays the world over a cleanly designed and easily navigable gay matching service which you may use for a nominal fee.
One of several sites placed in the Infotainment directory at gayamerica.com is Avi Miller's GaySA Interactive. The "SA" stands for South Africa and this site stands for fun, with loads of tourist information and a link to South Africa's largest GLBT newspaper.
If Minneapolis-St. Paul is on your list of places to visit, go to GLBT.Com first, as this is the twin cities' answer to Ambush, a great e-zine.
Although missing an "l", Pennsylvanian Randall Gooding's site, called GORWELIAN--BIG Brother is Watching YOU!, is dedicated to George Orwell's nightmare masterpiece about totalitarianism, 1984. Most of the book is here, along with a bio on Orwell.
Madera de Souza's site, Gay Interracial Males (Washington, DC) is that rare page that explores the world of gay interracial males-a topic, as its creator says, which few other sites will touch. Hey, we're attempting to mirror ALL of the incredible diversity that IS Gay America. Another page by a very talented African American is Samuel Smith's HotThang's Place. Mr. Smith has mastered the art of embedding WAV. files and his pages, although slow to download, offer a wealth of music, to say nothing of an exhaustive layout on his favorite soap, The Days Of Our Lives.
Another page that was difficult to place in the gayamerica directory is Julie's Home Page. Ostensibly nothing but prose, and reams of it, Julie's story, set in Australia, concerns her unique experiences crossing genders, as she goes from male to female through hormones and many painful and expensive operations. It is an incredible story you can't click off. We placed this one, gingerly, in the Infotainment Directory, because it not only informs but does so in an entertaining, albeit sobering, way.
Sweden doesn't disappoint with Kenneth Bergman's Ken's homepage, which contains lots of campy WAV. files and loads of great male pics. And then there's the Long Yang Club, the master directory of many, many Long Yang Clubs all over the world designed to give Asian gays a voice wherever they may live. It is an extensive organization and therefore attention must be paid.
The Male Model Gallery, photographer Marko Realmonte's paean to himself, is also a visual treat for anyone interested in the male body. This is not porn, rather it is art artistically, and poetically, displayed with accompanying commentary on the various models. Check out his quotes about love and life from unlikely sources (Picasso, Nelson Rockefeller), and his photo contest for aspiring photographers: a very cool, or "kewl," site.
The Swedish Federation For Sexual Liberation is one of those rare overseas submissions that has an "English" button. Find out all the latest news about gays in Scandinavia!
One of the best, most informative e-zines we've come across thus far is maintained by a 53 year old San Franciscan, named simply Ernie. His Scorpion's Nest Online Magazineis not only beautifully designed with music and Java applets, but it also is one of the most comprehensive pages, with poetry, recipes, a site of the month, graphic arts, an incredible "sound emporium" with loads of midi files there for the downloading, free personal ads and an adult photo gallery with hidden galleries that can only be found by e-mailing Ernie! Very "kewl."
Another treat for horny gaymen is Terry's Sexyboyz site. Great design and incredibly hot pictures-to say nothing of his coolly designed site. Tadzio's Secret Garden is yet another artfully designed web site glorifying the male form. It is truly a garden of earthly, and young, delights.
Finally, the last two sites to win the April Rainbow Award, although both were created by dynamic lesbians, are nonetheless quite different, with Kimberly's tongue-in-cheek entry being one of the most unique of all websites we've reviewed in the last three months. Loaded with fun animated GIFs and Java applets, Under The Couchrefers to the "dustbunnies" in Kimberly's "home," i.e., her head. This is also an erotic lesbian site, with pages devoted to k.d. lang and Ellen DeGeneres. Shelley Abbott, on the other hand, is a Mid-Atlantic singer using her webpage, Welcome To My Musical World, to help further her career. She's an excellent singer, song writer, guitarist and kareoke jockey as her several Real Audio files attest.