It was between the late 40s and early 50s when the gay literati of the time began flocking to Tangier, Morocco to escape the conservative landscape of America. Attracted to Tangier’s tolerant approach to sexuality and drugs, some of the largest names in the crew included William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jean Genet and Truman Capote.
By day these beatniks and bohemians met in Grand Cafe de Paris, breaking bread and exchanging ideas. By night, they drank in excess, procured prostitutes and indulged in the country’s surplus of drugs, unfettered by disinterested law enforcement.
While Morocco’s political stance on homosexuality has taken a sharp conservative turn, the country remains an important part of queer history and tourism. Not only were Yves Saint Laurent’s ashes scattered in Marrakesh, but tourists can still visit the Grand Cafe de Paris and El Muniria (the homestay where the majority of said authors resided).
Scroll down for five quotes by the most prominent figures who got swept up in Queer Tangier.
Out Adventures loves to bring you the most diverse gay tours on Earth, and we’ve done so for nearly ten years. But some journeys bring travellers to nations less gay-welcoming than others.
When we tweeted about our Morocco Souks and Sand adventure, one follower replied, “Morocco? With serious anti-LGBTQ laws? Are you kidding me?”
On Facebook, another user asked, “Why would you go to a place…where you are against the law? Out Adventures should be ashamed promoting this…locals are sent to prison,” then went on to list the government’s anti-LGBT legislation.
Our Morocco Souks & Sand tour is an overwhelming escape that warrants serene nights in comfortable quarters. To keep the Moroccan mystique, we’ve named our Starting & Finishing point hotels…the rest await on this jubilant journey that departs in September and April.
Summer is swerving to the finish line and if you’re anything like us, you’d hate to slam the breaks just yet. One solution to keep your summer cruising is a tropical fall tour.
In a rare turn, we have space left on our autumn Myanmar, Thailand and Cuba gay tours, all of which will have you slathered in SPF 50. “Not hot enough,” you say? Well, our Moroccan Souks and Sands adventure will have you sweating in the Sahara this September.
A word of advice: don’t take too long humming and hawing over which tour is right for you. As the temperature drops, men inevitably come racing into our office to book up whatever slots they can spend their hard earned vacation days on.
The mere notion of dickering over a price may induce anxiety in many Westerners, especially those of us who can barely muster the small talk we’re forced to make with sales associates while waiting for a credit card transaction to go through. However, haggling is intrinsically woven into the local culture in Morocco, and it’s a serious courtship: pay the first price, and you’ve offended the vendor by diminishing the value of their livelihood. But offer too little, and you’ll be shooed away for offending the vendor’s entire family with your cheapness…these guys are more dramatic than a Real Housewives reunion special, but their theatrics are also equally staged! Once you learn to dance the dance, it’s actually fun.