The Frivolist: Government Cheese: 9 Gay Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

by Mikey Rox

Getting a well-deserved kickback from the IRS this year? Spend your tax refund gay-ly with these fey ways to enjoy that new stash of cash.

1. Spend the weekend at a 'family'-style campground

Your idea of gay camping is likely that one time you and your dude banged it out a la "Brokeback Mountain" under a tent at a local KOA, but there are actually entire campgrounds and sprawling wilderness resorts dedicated to hosting LGBT people for weekend getaways. You can find gay- and lesbian-only and even mixed-crowd sites across the country - some of which are clothing optional - by visiting Gay Camp USA online. The directory distinguishes between male- and female-exclusive locations, and lets you know which grounds are simply gay-friendly, if you prefer a little more inclusion.

2. Venture to Vegas for Britney, Mariah, Celine or J. Lo

With four of the biggest names in pop music on the bill in Vegas, the decision is not whether to book a trip to Sin City but rather who to see - first. Between shows, pop over to Luxor for its Temptations Sunday gay pool party, which runs from May 15 to September 25; grab a bite in the glittering Cosmopolitan (affordable French restaurant Comme Ca is always a solid choice); or make it rain on go-go boys at off-the-Strip Share, a local favorite for flirty dancers and reliable DJs.

3. Pick up a few great LGBT books for spring reading

A couple Frivolists ago I recommended a double handful of LGBT-themed or -written books for your spring reading list. Pick up a few of those, or strike out on your own to find a few underrated titles that support our community of incredible authors.

4. Pamper yourself from head to toe, boo

Get your hair did, nails buffed, booty massaged. You probably need a little dusting off after a long winter, anyway.

5. Rent a hotel room for a naughty nearby getaway

Book a room at fine accommodations for you and old boy - or a new on-the-go beau (or both!) - to shake up your sex life. Pack a few toys, create a sexy playlist, and go at it like two grizzly bears in heat since you don't have to wash the sheets.

6. Pick a new Pride celebration to attend this summer

If you take your gay pride seriously, show it off in a different city this year. Pride parades and other festivities are held all over the country - in municipalities large and small - to help you get in the spirit of telling whoever's watching that you're queer and you're here. For a few under-the-radar ideas, check out this list of "Big Prides in small regions" I compiled last year.

7. Hire a hot handyman to play Mr. Fix It

Have a few "honey-do" projects around the house but don't have a honey to do them? Farm the work out - hunky college students are generally willing to strap on a tool belt for a few hours for a decent wage - to start crossing items off your list. Don't forget to tip.

8. Splurge - and do a little redecorating

Cover a wall with exquisite paper, paint a room a vibrant color, sell off old art and buy new works, and swap out worn furniture for a few fresh pieces. I recently did a bit of redecorating myself, and I'll let you in on a little secret: If you're making an expensive purchase (like multiple pieces of furniture), buy the items in store opposed to online. I saved more than $500 in shipping fees and surcharges - and received 20 percent off two pricey items in store that didn't qualify for the deal online - by shopping in person.

9. Gather your besties for a ballgame

One of my favorite all-time activities is going to the ballpark - mostly due to the baseball players' ample butts (I'm lookin' at you, Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy!) - because there's nothing quite like kicking back and enjoying a beer, a brat and a few hours of America's pastime with my buddies. I have a goal to visit all the Major League stadiums and parks (there's a difference) before age 40, and this summer I'll be halfway there. Take a portion of your tax refund and support your local team (major or minor; AAA clubs need your love, too) this season. Say hi if you see me; I'll be the guy flying my phone number in paper airplanes out onto the field.

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.
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