Born and raised in Nashville, Jeremy McHolland felt after 24 years that he craved a culture more open and accepting of the gay lifestyle.
With that thought in mind, he moved to Holland, where his mother was already living, and he joined forces with a young travel Web site called GAYTRIPS focusing on organizing trips for gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, couples, and groups.
McHolland is very outspoken about the benefits of the Dutch culture for a gay community, supporting his desire to move there.
“The culture here is very open. Here if you say you’re gay people just say, ‘Great! Where’s your boyfriend?’ Whereas people in Nashville ask if you’ve had psych treatment yet, or they tell you that you are going to Hell.”
GAYTRIPS specializes in setting up holiday packages for “the hottest places for gay, lesbian, and bi travelers” which include Amsterdam, Nice, Milan, London, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid, among others.
“Our main goal at GAYTRIPS,” says McHolland, “is to bring people together. We want people to experience the freedoms of being gay and to meet people. There are many people out there that are not into the club scene or bar scene, so GAYTRIPS was designed so people could meet and not go to a bar or a club.”
Ideally, the relaxed and open mindset that the Dutch display toward their gay community will spread to other cultures that are not so comfortable with homosexuality. Of note is the ‘homomonument,’ created in 1987.
McHolland explains, “It was created for all of the GLBT community who were shunned and prosecuted because of their sexuality. It stands not only for them but for the present and future so that people will not be discriminated against because of how they live their life.”
To learn more about the travel packages available from GAYTRIPS, go to www.gaytrips.nl.