The VICE Guide to Amsterdam 2014
The Dutch capital is a compact museum city being sunk into its canals by rich Americans staring at Rembrandts and the revolving cast of perverts and drug addicts who infest the red light district. Here’s how to not be awful in Amsterdam.
Jump to sections by using the index below:
– WHERE TO PARTY– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?– POLITICS, PROTESTS, AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?   Screw in the Park but Don’t Wear Soccer Cleats | Protests? What Protests? |Immigration– WHERE TO EAT– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?– LGBT AMSTERDAM– WHERE TO DRINK– WHERE TO STAY– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Amsterdam 2014

The Dutch capital is a compact museum city being sunk into its canals by rich Americans staring at Rembrandts and the revolving cast of perverts and drug addicts who infest the red light district. Here’s how to not be awful in Amsterdam.

Jump to sections by using the index below:

– WHERE TO PARTY
– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?
– POLITICS, PROTESTS, AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?
   Screw in the Park but Don’t Wear Soccer Cleats | Protests? What Protests? |Immigration
– WHERE TO EAT
– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?
– LGBT AMSTERDAM
– WHERE TO DRINK
– WHERE TO STAY
– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER
– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP
– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST
– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID
– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES
– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC
– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Glasgow 2014
Edinburgh might have the castle, the parliament, the Japanese tourists, the neo-classical architecture, and the advantageously low murder rate, but Glasgow has all the fun. Scotland’s largest city is pretty drunk, yes, but we also punch above our weight culturally, with a dynamic music scene, one of the world’s most iconic art schools, and some of the best pubs and clubs in Britain. So taps aff ya dafties, ‘cos here we fucking go.
Jump to sections by using the index below.
– WHERE TO PARTY– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?   Self-Important Sectarian Bigots | Glaswegian Authority Issues | Immigration– WHERE TO EAT– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?– WHERE TO DRINK– WHERE TO STAY– LGBT GLASGOW– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Glasgow 2014

Edinburgh might have the castle, the parliament, the Japanese tourists, the neo-classical architecture, and the advantageously low murder rate, but Glasgow has all the fun. Scotland’s largest city is pretty drunk, yes, but we also punch above our weight culturally, with a dynamic music scene, one of the world’s most iconic art schools, and some of the best pubs and clubs in Britain. So taps aff ya dafties, ‘cos here we fucking go.

Jump to sections by using the index below.

– WHERE TO PARTY
– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?
– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?
   Self-Important Sectarian Bigots | Glaswegian Authority Issues Immigration
– WHERE TO EAT
– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?
– WHERE TO DRINK
– WHERE TO STAY
– LGBT GLASGOW
– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER
– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP
– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST
– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID
– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES
– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC
– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Berlin 2014
The German capital is one of the planet’s great party cities, where your every dream and darkest desire has been turned into a three-story nightclub with a merciless door policy. Sadly, everybody in the world knows this, so the only thing worse than the stupid fucking lines outside the clubs are the infuriating tourists within them. Here’s how to avoid pissing off the locals and convince everyone that you’re ein Berliner.
Jump to sections by using the index below:
– WHERE TO PARTY– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?   Legacy of the Squatters | May Day, Refugee Strikes and Neo-Nazis | Berlin’s Immigrants– WHERE TO EAT– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?– WHERE TO DRINK– WHERE TO STAY– LGBT BERLIN– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Berlin 2014

The German capital is one of the planet’s great party cities, where your every dream and darkest desire has been turned into a three-story nightclub with a merciless door policy. Sadly, everybody in the world knows this, so the only thing worse than the stupid fucking lines outside the clubs are the infuriating tourists within them. Here’s how to avoid pissing off the locals and convince everyone that you’re ein Berliner.

Jump to sections by using the index below:

– WHERE TO PARTY
– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?
– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?
   Legacy of the Squatters | May Day, Refugee Strikes and Neo-Nazis | Berlin’s Immigrants
– WHERE TO EAT
– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?
– WHERE TO DRINK
– WHERE TO STAY
– LGBT BERLIN
– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER
– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP
– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST
– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID
– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES
– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC
– VICE CITY MAP

Meet the Pier Kids: The Homeless LGBT Youth of New York City
If you’re gay in New York City, you’ve probably been to Christopher Street in the West Village to get drunk or visit the historic-landmark-turned-gay-tourist-trap known as the Stonewall Inn. Chances are that you’ve also seen what director Elegance Bratton calls the “pier kids”—the homeless LGBT youth who congregate at the Christopher Street Pier, looking for everything from food to drugs to potential johns. According to statistics from the National Coalition for the Homeless, 20 percent of homeless youth are gay or transgender (roughly 320,000 to 400,000 young people according to one conservative estimate). 
Filmmaker Elegance Bratton was one of these kids for ten years. To teach his family about his experience, he has spent three years filming the lives of three homeless kids—Krystal, DeSean, and Casper—for a documentary called Pier Kids: The Life. Recently, I went to the pier to sit down and talk to Krystal, one the film’s stars, about the movie, the Christopher Street Pier, and being homeless in New York City. 
VICE: How did you end up homeless in New York?Krystal: It was a choice between going back to Las Vegas or staying in Philadelphia. I went to my brother’s house in Philadelphia after being kicked out of the house at 16 by my mother. After I had spent six months there—he had a family, and I didn’t want to impose my lifestyle on his kids—I just went out on my own after that. After two or three years, I came to New York City and found the pier.
Once you arrived in New York, how did you discover the pier and Christopher Street?I had heard about some of the history about the riots, but I never really knew what the street was. But when I got here, I went to the food stamp office, and they gave me a pamphlet that told me that there was an LGBT community center that had programs. Some of the kids there said they were going to the pier after some of the support groups, so I went with them. It gave me a sense of being back on the west coast, with the water and people just hanging out, playing Spades and talking to friends, just finding some sense of normalcy in a situation that wasn’t normal.
Continue

Meet the Pier Kids: The Homeless LGBT Youth of New York City

If you’re gay in New York City, you’ve probably been to Christopher Street in the West Village to get drunk or visit the historic-landmark-turned-gay-tourist-trap known as the Stonewall Inn. Chances are that you’ve also seen what director Elegance Bratton calls the “pier kids”—the homeless LGBT youth who congregate at the Christopher Street Pier, looking for everything from food to drugs to potential johns. According to statistics from the National Coalition for the Homeless, 20 percent of homeless youth are gay or transgender (roughly 320,000 to 400,000 young people according to one conservative estimate). 

Filmmaker Elegance Bratton was one of these kids for ten years. To teach his family about his experience, he has spent three years filming the lives of three homeless kids—Krystal, DeSean, and Casper—for a documentary called Pier Kids: The Life. Recently, I went to the pier to sit down and talk to Krystal, one the film’s stars, about the movie, the Christopher Street Pier, and being homeless in New York City. 

VICE: How did you end up homeless in New York?
Krystal: It was a choice between going back to Las Vegas or staying in Philadelphia. I went to my brother’s house in Philadelphia after being kicked out of the house at 16 by my mother. After I had spent six months there—he had a family, and I didn’t want to impose my lifestyle on his kids—I just went out on my own after that. After two or three years, I came to New York City and found the pier.

Once you arrived in New York, how did you discover the pier and Christopher Street?
I had heard about some of the history about the riots, but I never really knew what the street was. But when I got here, I went to the food stamp office, and they gave me a pamphlet that told me that there was an LGBT community center that had programs. Some of the kids there said they were going to the pier after some of the support groups, so I went with them. It gave me a sense of being back on the west coast, with the water and people just hanging out, playing Spades and talking to friends, just finding some sense of normalcy in a situation that wasn’t normal.

Continue

We Got Members of the Westboro Baptist Church to Take Buzzfeed Quizzes
As I’m sure you’ve heard, Fred Phelps, founder and head-dickhead of the Westboro Baptist Church, has died.
Presumably this has been a game changer in the Westboro world, and I wanted to get to know the new them. And what better way to get to know someone than making them do a bunch of Buzzfeed quizzes? They have told me many, many things about myself and others that I never knew (and also probably didn’t want to know, TBH.)
Below is how the members of the church answered the quizzes I sent to them. The answer they selected is presented with a short quote from them explaining their choice. Enjoy!

Which Sex and the City Guy Is Your Soulmate? – Taken by Westboro member Mara Phelps
Q. Pick a dress color for your first dateA. Black ("Black is the color of the human soul. We have no good in us.")
Q. Pick the activity for your first dateA. Dancing (“King David danced in the street after seeing the Lord’s divine rule acted out.”)
Q. Where do you want to sleep right now?A. A four poster bed. (“It reminds me of Roman times, when people had the word of God with them.”)
Q. What would you want for your anniversary?A. A dog. (“Because dogs are loyal.”)
Q. Pick a dogA. A terrier. (“It reminds me of a dog called April that we used to have. And someone, in the middle of the night, broke in and slit her throat.”)
Q. Pick a flowerA. An iris (“When we first moved to this house, we could see these flowers outside.”)
Q. Which New York City tourist attraction would you actually like to visit?A. The Empire State Building. (“It couldn’t have been made unless God had given the engineers and the people who built it the ability to do so.”)
Q. Pick a romantic comedyA. Pretty Woman (“She was supposedly a prostitute with a heart of gold. This generation has been raised to think being promiscuous is something to be proud of. And it is not.”)Q. Which word makes you squirm?A. Ooze (“There’s a sickness to it. The Lord has cursed fags with AIDS which causes them to have sores that ooze.”)
Q. When looking for a boyfriend, which of the following is most important?A. Loyalty. (“It’s important for people to have loyalty to one’s brothers.”)
Q. Pick a brunch dishA. Grapefruit. (“It looks really healthy.”)

"I’m not familiar with this character or the show at all. It says he expects the perfect wife. A lot of people expect things to be perfect for them even though they don’t deserve it."
Continue

We Got Members of the Westboro Baptist Church to Take Buzzfeed Quizzes

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Fred Phelps, founder and head-dickhead of the Westboro Baptist Church, has died.

Presumably this has been a game changer in the Westboro world, and I wanted to get to know the new them. And what better way to get to know someone than making them do a bunch of Buzzfeed quizzes? They have told me many, many things about myself and others that I never knew (and also probably didn’t want to know, TBH.)

Below is how the members of the church answered the quizzes I sent to them. The answer they selected is presented with a short quote from them explaining their choice. Enjoy!

Which Sex and the City Guy Is Your Soulmate? – Taken by Westboro member Mara Phelps

Q. Pick a dress color for your first date
A. Black ("Black is the color of the human soul. We have no good in us.")

Q. Pick the activity for your first date
A. Dancing (“King David danced in the street after seeing the Lord’s divine rule acted out.”)

Q. Where do you want to sleep right now?
A. A four poster bed. (“It reminds me of Roman times, when people had the word of God with them.”)

Q. What would you want for your anniversary?
A. A dog. (“Because dogs are loyal.”)

Q. Pick a dog
A. A terrier. (“It reminds me of a dog called April that we used to have. And someone, in the middle of the night, broke in and slit her throat.”)

Q. Pick a flower
A. An iris (“When we first moved to this house, we could see these flowers outside.”)

Q. Which New York City tourist attraction would you actually like to visit?
A. The Empire State Building. (“It couldn’t have been made unless God had given the engineers and the people who built it the ability to do so.”)

Q. Pick a romantic comedy
A. Pretty Woman (“She was supposedly a prostitute with a heart of gold. This generation has been raised to think being promiscuous is something to be proud of. And it is not.”)

Q. Which word makes you squirm?
A. Ooze (“There’s a sickness to it. The Lord has cursed fags with AIDS which causes them to have sores that ooze.”)

Q. When looking for a boyfriend, which of the following is most important?
A. Loyalty. (“It’s important for people to have loyalty to one’s brothers.”)

Q. Pick a brunch dish
A. Grapefruit. (“It looks really healthy.”)

"I’m not familiar with this character or the show at all. It says he expects the perfect wife. A lot of people expect things to be perfect for them even though they don’t deserve it."

Continue

Getting Drunk and Crying at One of Britain’s First Gay Weddings
How has it taken so long for gay wedding to become legal in the UK? Weddings are great; they’re an affirmation of our ability to love one another and a legitimate space for adults to do the Macarena. But for many, the passing of the law allowing gay couples to marry, which went into effect at midnight on Saturday, isn’t about weddings, it’s about the principle that gay people should be allowed to do everything that straight people can do—which should be a basic human right.
Sadly, it’s not. Being gay is still illegal in over 70 countries, and while the UK is making progress, a recent BBC survey found that a fifth of British people would turn down an invitation to a same-sex wedding. On Friday night, I went to one of the first gay weddings in the UK to find out what kind of fun these bigots are missing out on.
Continue

Getting Drunk and Crying at One of Britain’s First Gay Weddings

How has it taken so long for gay wedding to become legal in the UK? Weddings are great; they’re an affirmation of our ability to love one another and a legitimate space for adults to do the Macarena. But for many, the passing of the law allowing gay couples to marry, which went into effect at midnight on Saturday, isn’t about weddings, it’s about the principle that gay people should be allowed to do everything that straight people can do—which should be a basic human right.

Sadly, it’s not. Being gay is still illegal in over 70 countries, and while the UK is making progress, a recent BBC survey found that a fifth of British people would turn down an invitation to a same-sex wedding. On Friday night, I went to one of the first gay weddings in the UK to find out what kind of fun these bigots are missing out on.

Continue

The Leader of the Satanic Temple Weighs In on Fred Phelps’s Impending Death
Yesterday Nathan Phelps, the son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps,posted a note on Facebook claiming that his father is “on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.” He also mentioned that Fred was excommunicated from the church in August of last year, but didn’t give any details as to why. Although the information at this point is sparse and unofficial, Westboro spokesman and Radiohead fanboy Steve Drain told the Daily News ”Fred Phelps is having some health problems. He’s an old man and old people get health problems.”
In celebration of the icy hand of death caressing Fred’s gross old body, we reached out to Lucien Greaves, the founder of the Satanic Temple, who last summer performed a "Pink Mass" over the grave of Fred’s mother in order to turn her into a lesbian in the afterlife. When we spoke to him then he told us, “Fred himself is getting pretty long in the tooth, and I hope to be presiding over his Pink Mass before long,” so yesterday we asked Lucien what he thought of the recent news of Fred’s demise, and if there are still plans to turn him gay after he dies. We have republished his response in full below.

It is often considered proper form for the remaining party among two established enemies, when one is dead or dying, to make disingenuous statements of remorse—to express that ‘nobody wishes death’ upon their opponent. You’ll find no such dissembling from me. As I write this, Fred Phelps is now in the process of doing probably the one thing that he’ll ever do for which he will have my gratitude: he is dying. And while some part of me thinks, the sooner the better, another part of me hopes he lingers long enough to savor the full terror that must consume a mind as superstitious and bitterly haunted as his during its last moments of life.
Continue

The Leader of the Satanic Temple Weighs In on Fred Phelps’s Impending Death

Yesterday Nathan Phelps, the son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps,posted a note on Facebook claiming that his father is “on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.” He also mentioned that Fred was excommunicated from the church in August of last year, but didn’t give any details as to why. Although the information at this point is sparse and unofficial, Westboro spokesman and Radiohead fanboy Steve Drain told the Daily News ”Fred Phelps is having some health problems. He’s an old man and old people get health problems.”

In celebration of the icy hand of death caressing Fred’s gross old body, we reached out to Lucien Greaves, the founder of the Satanic Temple, who last summer performed a "Pink Mass" over the grave of Fred’s mother in order to turn her into a lesbian in the afterlife. When we spoke to him then he told us, “Fred himself is getting pretty long in the tooth, and I hope to be presiding over his Pink Mass before long,” so yesterday we asked Lucien what he thought of the recent news of Fred’s demise, and if there are still plans to turn him gay after he dies. We have republished his response in full below.

It is often considered proper form for the remaining party among two established enemies, when one is dead or dying, to make disingenuous statements of remorse—to express that ‘nobody wishes death’ upon their opponent. You’ll find no such dissembling from me. As I write this, Fred Phelps is now in the process of doing probably the one thing that he’ll ever do for which he will have my gratitude: he is dying. And while some part of me thinks, the sooner the better, another part of me hopes he lingers long enough to savor the full terror that must consume a mind as superstitious and bitterly haunted as his during its last moments of life.

Continue

This past Sunday marked the sixth annual Tranny Awards in Glendale, California. The event gives out awards to people in the transsexual porn industry for categories like “Shemale Strokers Model of the Year” and “Black TGirl Model of the Year.”
As I’m sure you know by now, the word “tranny” is considered a slur. Kelly Osbourne, Neil Patrick Harris, and Gabourey Sidibe have all recently gotten into trouble for using it. Frankly, the main reason I decided to go to the awards was the name. I was super-ready to alleviate some of my liberal guilt by being offended on other people’s behalf.
But I’m not trans, so I don’t get to decide what is or isn’t offensive for people who are. The majority of the people I spoke to at the event were not massively happy about the use of the word “tranny” in the name, but they were so excited to be having an award ceremony in their honor that they were willing to not give a shit for the night. Trans porn workers are not a group of people who are honored very often. 
And once I was able to get past the initial weirdness of seeing someone tearfully accept an award while thanking “everyone at FTMFucker.com,” the event was actually surprisingly moving.
Photos from the Event

This past Sunday marked the sixth annual Tranny Awards in Glendale, California. The event gives out awards to people in the transsexual porn industry for categories like “Shemale Strokers Model of the Year” and “Black TGirl Model of the Year.”

As I’m sure you know by now, the word “tranny” is considered a slur. Kelly Osbourne, Neil Patrick Harris, and Gabourey Sidibe have all recently gotten into trouble for using it. Frankly, the main reason I decided to go to the awards was the name. I was super-ready to alleviate some of my liberal guilt by being offended on other people’s behalf.

But I’m not trans, so I don’t get to decide what is or isn’t offensive for people who are. The majority of the people I spoke to at the event were not massively happy about the use of the word “tranny” in the name, but they were so excited to be having an award ceremony in their honor that they were willing to not give a shit for the night. Trans porn workers are not a group of people who are honored very often. 

And once I was able to get past the initial weirdness of seeing someone tearfully accept an award while thanking “everyone at FTMFucker.com,” the event was actually surprisingly moving.

Photos from the Event

Are People ‘Born Gay’? Who Gives a Shit?
It’s OK to be gay because I say so. Fuck science. If you want to bump uglies tonight with someone who has the same set of genitals as you, go for it. Seriously, this is on me, folks—as one of Britain’s leading slut bags, I now pronounce you free to go gay. Or not. Whatever. I really couldn’t give a shit.
You may’ve read some stories recently about researchers actually finding this mythical and vitally important “gay gene.” Others say they might now be able to tell if someone is gay by their earwax. A lot of this research isn’t peer reviewed, but who cares about dreary old details like that? And who cares that despite years of searching, scientists don’t even know which genes control height?
These quests to find the mythical “gay gene” have proven to be pretty controversial, to the point that the scientists involved have come out and defended their efforts. Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King’s College London, recently insisted to the Guardian: “We need to do ‘gene finding’ studies… to have a better idea where potential genes for sexual orientation may lie.” Why? Why do we need to know? There are other areas of human sexuality that might be worth investigating. Is there, for example, a rapist gene? A pedophile gene? That knowledge could be useful. But what’s the point of finding a gay gene? So homophobic moms-and-dads-to-be can abort gay fetuses? If that’s not the reason, what is?
Continue

Are People ‘Born Gay’? Who Gives a Shit?

It’s OK to be gay because I say so. Fuck science. If you want to bump uglies tonight with someone who has the same set of genitals as you, go for it. Seriously, this is on me, folks—as one of Britain’s leading slut bags, I now pronounce you free to go gay. Or not. Whatever. I really couldn’t give a shit.

You may’ve read some stories recently about researchers actually finding this mythical and vitally important “gay gene.” Others say they might now be able to tell if someone is gay by their earwax. A lot of this research isn’t peer reviewed, but who cares about dreary old details like that? And who cares that despite years of searching, scientists don’t even know which genes control height?

These quests to find the mythical “gay gene” have proven to be pretty controversial, to the point that the scientists involved have come out and defended their efforts. Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King’s College London, recently insisted to the Guardian: “We need to do ‘gene finding’ studies… to have a better idea where potential genes for sexual orientation may lie.” Why? Why do we need to know? There are other areas of human sexuality that might be worth investigating. Is there, for example, a rapist gene? A pedophile gene? That knowledge could be useful. But what’s the point of finding a gay gene? So homophobic moms-and-dads-to-be can abort gay fetuses? If that’s not the reason, what is?

Continue

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