Columbia Fun Maps

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Columbia Fun Maps: Hawaii.

Alan Beck. Fun Maps, 1995.

Brochure, 250 x 100 mm folded, 600 x 500 open. Crisp and clean, in very good condition.

Columbia Fun Maps: Palm Springs, San Diego & Cathedral City

Fun Maps, 1995.

Brochure, 250 x 100 mm folded, 600 x 500 open. Crisp and clean, in very good condition.

ABOUT THIS OBJECT

Two brochures: on of Hawaii, the other of California. The first featuring maps of Oahu, Waikiki, and the Big Island, this map notes that “Gay Friendly is the rule rather than the exception for business owners and inn keepers. These islanders’ mentality is progressive and welcoming to all. After all, this is the first state to pass legislation to sanction same sex unions. Soon gay couples from around the world may be flocking to these utopic islands…” Such pride over Hawaii’s progressive legislation was short lived: the 1991 case (Baehr v. Mike) in which the Supreme Court found the state’s refusal to grant same-sex marriage licenses discriminatory—and thus forcing them to grant them—was ultimately overturned in 1998 when voters approved a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Same-sex civil union was not ultimately approved until 2011. The second contains separate maps of greater San Diego, downtown San Diego, San Diego’s “Rainbow Block,” and “Palm Springs & Cathedral City,” and is packed with advertisements for restaurants, health clubs, saunas, publications, and other goods and services listed in a phone director. Combining use with beauty, the map features “Mr. Desert Palms Inn 1994,” Christopher Sexton.

“Fun Maps” were created and published beginning in 1981 by Alan Beck, who describes himself as “One of the pioneers in #GayTravel for over 25 years” in his twitter account (@FunTravelAlan); his work has earned him accolades such as the President’s Award of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. In Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing, Beck is described as  the most experienced person in the gay map publishing business: “His maps can be found in nearly every gay bar and coffee shop in the United States and Canada” (89). While “Fun Maps” was sold in 2015 to Multimedia Platforms, which later filed for bankruptcy, Beck has more recently created “Fun Travel Guides,” which continues the work of “Fun Maps” in finding and partnering with businesses and accommodations that “effectively reach and sensitively serve the LGBTQ+ communities.”

FURTHER READING

Jeff Guaracino, Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing (Oxford: Elsevier, 2007).

Brooke Palmieri