Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hanns Ebensten, November 28, 1923 - July 24, 2006

Hanns Ebensten, the pioneer of gay and lesbian travel, has passed away in Key West. When I say he pioneered gay and lesbian travel, it is no mere hyperbole. He virtually single-handedly created the industry and was the GLBT's ambassador-at-large to individuals, governments and the travel & hospitality industries. The author of eight books, including The Seals on the Ice Pack, Trespassers on Easter Island and Volleyball With the Cuna Indians, Ebensten also frequently contributed articles and spoke widely on gay travel and his adventures. In January, 2006, Ebensten spoke at the Key West Literary Seminar in the town where he made his home for decades.
It was a privilege to have met Mr. Ebensten and been his host during a book tour a number of years ago. He was a gentleman and an unassuming activist for a man whose contribution to our lives could be easily be defined as having a broader and more lasting effect than many prominent political leaders in the GLBT community. I know that from the day I met him, I considered him among the foremost gay role models of our generation.
Mr. Ebensten was preceeded in death by his partner of 41 years, Brian Kenny, in 2001.
Gay publications the world over will no doubt have tributes to him in the days and weeks to come; I needn't repeat what many people will have say about his life. Click on the header above for a link to an article about him.

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