Going Wilde

Oscar Wilde Tours launches unique “Gay History for Gay Travelers” tours.


Now is your chance to experience the best of historic Europe—from a same-sex historic perspective. Oscar Wilde Tours has announced the launch of its inaugural tour, marking the company’s entry into the high-end gay travel market. Dubbed “Oscar Wilde’s Dublin, London and Paris,” the tour is the first in a series of offerings that connect gay travelers with their own heritage.


“We’re thrilled to provide gay travelers with the opportunity to learn about same-sex love throughout the ages, in different times and cultures,” said Professor Andrew Lear, president and founder of the company, which combines travel with literary history. “We’ve taken the concept of a typical cultural itinerary and given it our own twist: see the past from the gay perspective. Conventional tours tell us about our common heritage; Oscar Wilde tours will do the same, but also let gays and lesbians learn who we are and where we’ve come from.”


The life of Oscar Wilde has passed into the annals of literary history as one of the most erudite and scandalous of literary queer identities. The tour company begins with the life of Wilde as a way of examining the broader culture of homosexuality at the end of the 19th century, a time when the conservative and prudish mores of the Victorian Era were yielding to more modern ideas of sexuality.


The tour takes its guests on a journey through the capitals of Ireland, England and France to explore places of importance to gay history and illustrate the relationship between the cultural movements of the time and the birth of modern ideas of sexuality. Also covered will be gay history throughout the ages: ancient Greece, imperial Rome, Renaissance Italy, Weimar Berlin and more.


In 2015 Oscar Wilde Tours hopes to present a suite of tours that cover gay history from ancient Athens to 20th-century America, and will even venture as far afield as Morocco and Japan to discover the history of same-sex love in other cultures.


“Until now, gays who wanted to discover their history had to do so through books.  Finding the places where key things happened hasn’t been easy—and even if you could find them, you couldn’t always get in,” said Professor Lear. “Now we’re giving the gay community a chance to see the places where gay history took place. And we’re surrounding the experience with a high level of elegance and luxury.”


Professor Lear, who is a specialist in gay history and an experienced director of tours, hopes to incorporate more lesbian history into the tours as well. He will also be offering budget options for those unable to afford the luxury tour options.


To view 3-day gay history tours of major cities go to: (www.oscarwildetours.com/gay-city-breaks/


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