Bringing the Community Together!

“It’s a real travel guide, with a broad spectrum of what the Cape & Islands has to offer the whole gay community.”  “We leave it on our coffee table at the house for all our friends to see, straight or gay.”

   Lew and Paul are hardly strangers to Cape Cod, having spent many vacations here over the past 20 years. But when the Florida couple recently bought a second home in West Dennis, they decided to marry on the Cape in May.

And though they were familiar with the area, they turned to the Cape Cod and Islands Pridepages and its publisher, Carmen J. Stief, for the help they needed to find local businesses to work with them in planning their wedding.

A friend had given them a copy of the free directory and guide, now in its eighth annual edition, that lists gay-friendly businesses of all kinds. Pridepages also provides general information on the towns that make up the Cape and Islands, along with restaurants, shops, recreation and attractions, real estate, transportation and community resources, including churches and various support groups that are welcoming to the LGBT community.

“We read it,” says Lew, who is a lawyer from Miami Beach, “and found all kinds of good information about the Cape & the Islands.”

“I think the publication is great,” he says. “Anything anyone who is gay wants to know about Cape & the Islands is there, but it is not a trashy publication like some I’ve seen in Miami. It’s a real travel guide, with a broad spectrum of what the Cape & Islands has to offer the whole gay community.

“We leave it on our coffee table at the house for all our friends to see, straight or gay.”

The couple, who have been together for 28 years, read some information in the 2009 edition of the guide about a wedding site. While they did not choose to have their event at that place, the information gave them “a certain comfort level” about Cape & the Islands, he says.

With help from the Pridepages and its publisher, they found their wedding planner, Judy Jamieson. She is a partner in the Cape Cod Chef on Call Inc. catering business based in Brewster, which advertises in the Pridepages.

Cape Cod Chef, says Jamieson, “has booked at least two weddings a year through our association with the Pridepages.

“Being listed in the Pridepages gives us a sense of being in a community that is reliable and knowledgeable and it offers high quality service in return for our advertising dollars.  “As a partner, I met some of the most interesting folks that look to me for honest advice and great contacts.”

Stief, says Lew had contacted her to say he needed help in finding a wedding planner who could give him referrals to other businesses. He was “specifically looking” for a gay-friendly business to help him with his wedding plans.

“I called Judy, and she said she’d do it.  She co-ordinated the wedding, and connected Lew to other businesses on the Cape,” says Stief.

“Most of our clients are not from Massachusetts,” Jamieson says. “I get the impression that the clients do their research and email us for further information or call us directly. The Pridepages referred a wedding couple from Atlanta, Georgia, who tied the knot in Provincetown.  Another couple from New Jersey who heard about us through another advertiser from the Pridepages called us and booked us.”

“I especially love Lew and Paul from Miami, as they are so much fun and are open to listening to ideas,” she adds. “So far, they have loved all the services and owners I suggested they use for their wedding plans.”

Lew says her suggestions were very helpful, and he appreciated the way she helped him connect to services he needed.

Stief says advertisers in the Pridepages are not exclusively gay and lesbian, but they see the importance of reaching out to that community.

“We needed a local publication, one that was locally owned but with global results,” Stief says, adding that the Pridepages have received positive feedback from across the United States and Europe.

Stief notes that the Pridepages is a print and online resource for the LGBT community who are less likely to be out and are looking for a doctor or lawyer or real estate agency or other businesses to whom they can “safely expose their lifestyle.”

That’s why, she says, “Our slogan is ‘Bringing the Community Together!.’ ”

For him and Paul, Lew says, the Pridepages has been very helpful in enabling them to see Cape & the Islands from a “gay perspective.”

“It’s a great publication, with better and nicer information about the Cape & Islands,”
he says.

Jamieson also stresses the unique service the Pridepages offers.

“I recommend others to take the opportunity to be a part of this special publication,” she
says. “It is a publication that is considered “family within a family.”

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