I enjoyed Curacao and the Virgin Islands (British and American).
Will someone lick my hole
Best place: Bermuda (if that counts as the Caribbean)
Worst place: Jamaica
St. Barths is the most gay friendly, but also the most expensive. I also think Puerto Rico is also a safe bet. Start by avoiding those listed with legal penalties against homosexuality in the linked table on gay rights by country. (FYI: St. Barths is considered part of Guadeloupe administratively.)
Ironic that Noel Coward loved Jamaica so much and is buried there.
All. Degrees of Danger,
Jamaica is still number 1
St. Barths - the very best, no danger at all for a gay traveler...it's like being in the very heart of the Marais, but with gorgeous beaches.
Jamaica - the very worst. Seriously dangerous even if you're straight and an "asking for trouble" destination from the minute you arrive if you're gay.
Thanks for the great responses.
R9, St. Barths is actually the place my boyfriend and I are considering the most. Your description was exactly our impression based on what we've read, so it's good to have it confirmed by someone who has been there.
Do you have any recommended hotels or restaurants there?
So they aren't dangerous or hostile?
I agree with R1. If you gringos want tropical, go to Hawai.
This is R6 not R9. I spend a week in St. Barths about 7 years ago. I recommend renting a house for a week rather than taking a hotel room. There aren't many hotels there, and those that do exist tend to be pretty damn pricey. Depending on the season, the deals on houses were better.
If you do this, try to find a place that has air-conditioning throughout the entire house. Many homes note that the breezes can be strong enough to provide adequate cooling in living rooms that possess large French doors and ceiling fans. Be warned, however, that the mosquitoes can be ferocious and don't stay outside of open doors. Check out the different house rental webistes...vbro or st. barts villas, etc.
You will need to rent a car and need should get one with four wheel drive. The hills are steep and the roads can be twisty. Some decent restaurants. Explore the different beaches. It's a very small island, and there is not a lot to do except relax and hang at the beach or poolside. That said, it feels incredibly safe and clearly has less severe and obvious poverty than other islands. Oh...if you or your partner have major airplane anxiety, plan on wearing Depends when you land there because of the particularities of the very short and challenging runway.
Best to you.
Which island was it where men aboard a gay cruise were arrested after locals onshore witnessed alleged gay sex between a committed couple? They were jailed and it was a real mess. Want to say it was Grenada?
Hi R10 OP. This is R9 and glad to share my experience. I would agree with R13...the best way to enjoy St. Barths is with a villa rental. I've rented for more than 15 years from WIMCO (www.wimco.com) and will post links to my favorite houses for you separately.
To me, the best location for a villa by far is the area known as Colombier. Close to town and with spectacular views.
If you decide to go with a hotel, I personally like the Eden Rock.
Why not do an Atlantis cruise? Just limit the amount of fucking you do in public spaces.
r20 Lots of very poor people in the Dominican Republic. If you are a sex tourist like Rush Limbaugh, you will probably enjoy it.
Any of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are fine.
R14 it was Dominica. I was on said cruise. Dominica was actually my favorite island we visited and would love to go back. Lush and tropical like Hawaii but less developed and warm friendly people. In what country is it legal to have sex on an open balcony? As for best island for the gays I'd say Curacao or St. Barts. Worst I'd say Cuba. Fine if you stay at a tourist only hotel or remain in Havanna, but otherwise I just felt unsafe to be openly gay.
Jamaica hands down, the most dangerous.
Cuba is dangerous for all Americans, gay and straight alike. Non- Americans love Cuba and feel safe there.
What about St. Lucia?
Leave it to the Datalounge to pick the absolute whitest of the Caribbean islands.
[quote]Leave it to the Datalounge to pick the absolute whitest of the Caribbean islands.
We picked the least homophobic R29. YOU made it about race so I'll let you figure out the cause and the effect in operation here.
St. Barth's is so ugly though...
Jamaica is a absolute no for gays. Was there several years ago and did not feel safe. Heard many derogatory comments, some made directly to our faces.
We go to San Juan PR often and feel very comfortable there.
St. Lucia is very gay friendly.
I wonder why St. Lucia is gay friendly, R33, when it's a former British colony while other former British colonies are not. Is it because it was also a former French colony, or is there something more recent in its history that allowed for that?
How about St Martin?
Martinique, gay,gay,gay, very French
R34 St. Lucia is quite an interesting little island. I think this has to do a lot with its French influences as you mentioned. I have visited the island and noticed many a gay old men.
The island is also very much into country and western music ( so weird)
I thought Cuba was pretty good these days, also for gays? From wikipedia: "Despite elements of homophobia in Cuba's history, Havana now has a lively and vibrant gay scene."
The French and Dutch islands are probably the most tolerant, particularly since so many of the Dutch islands became formal territories of the Netherlands when the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved in 2010.
The American territories are fine.
Spanish after that.
The British holdings are absolute no-nos, although Jamaica is the worst. If you're a tourist, you will not be welcomed, but it won't be exactly dangerous. For the locals, they've been known to have public murders of gay men while the police just sit there and do nothing. Do NOT spend your money there.
The Voice of the Night
What's going on sociologically/culturally that the British territories former holdings are the worst?
With at least Jamaica, it's religion. It's not that they're overwhelming Christian, it's that the type of Christianity there is not mainline Protestant or Catholic, it's two different flavors of Pentacostal and Seventh-Day Adventist.
The Voice of the Night
Yes, definitely, Martinique needs to do some tourist-friendly construction on the waterfront. Same with Grenada and Antiqua, though these islands are beautiful once you get out of the port area.
Forget the islands and come party in South Beach Miami...!
You don't fly into St. Barths. You fly into Philipsburg on the Dutch side of St. Maarten and take a ferry from Oyster Pond.
The Voice of the Night
Stay the hell away from Jamaica. Everyone needs to boycott that fucking shithole.
I grew up in a Toronto neighbourhood with a lot of Jamaicans. Jamaicans hate gay and lesbian people. HATE. They will even tell you to your face they hate you. The hatred is ingrained in them from childhood. I guess religion is partly to blame, but they also have that "macho" bullshit going on in their culture, like some Latin American and South American cultures.
So yeah, please boycott Jamaica.
P.S. Have you ever heard Jamaicans making that sucking sound through their teeth? You want to know what that means? It's their secret way of saying "Fuck you." Now you know.
R50, not what I was looking for. Answer the question.
They suck air through their teeth. If it's directed at a white person, it basically means "fuck you". It's used in other contexts, but if you're white and a Jamaican is doing it in your direction, he/she is telling you to go fuck yourself.
The guy in this video kind of does it, but his is a little "off". He's not doing it quite the right way. Warning: He's a total douchebag.
Lots of people do that and it does not necessarily mean "fuck you." It could just be an expression of displeasure at any particular thing or situation.
R49/R51/R53, do you have Asperger's or similar condition?
[quote]Lots of people do that and it does not necessarily mean "fuck you." It could just be an expression of displeasure at any particular thing or situation.
That's what I said. It is a bit different in meaning depending on the context and the person it is directed at.
But I guarantee you, if you're a white person and a Jamaican is doing this to you, and you're not his/her friend, it means "Fuck you."
It's funny, all the comments about Jamaica. Nothing has changed since I was there in 1984 and vowed to never go back. Aggressive racism directed at whites. I sat in the lobby of the hotel and watched all the honeymooners coming back from their afternoon walks with horrified looks on their faces. The wives had to drag their husbands past the line of prostitutes leading up to the hotel. A cop busted me and the BF smoking weed on the beach and tried to scare the shit out of us. After some bargaining I ended up having to hand twenty bucks to a prostitute to get him to "drop the charges." Laying on the beach in a secluded spot, a large Jamaican guy with a machete walked by stabbing a coconut and saying, "I'm looking for some Americans." Haven't been back since. Went to Grenada last year. Poor country but the people seemed nicer.
There are crowds on the docks of Grand Cayman Island ready to meet gay cruises.
Jamaica is genuinely dangerous.
"Jamaica is genuinely dangerous"
For everyone - not just the gays...
St Barts is pretty unimpressive looking. It looks like Catalina Island.
R64, Caribbean islands should look like Madonna's tit cones?
I'm going to St. Maarten and Turks & Caicos in Feb. Anyone ever been there?
R59, I love Grenada. Been there many times. The people are nice. I've been to Jamaica once - stayed in a gated community. We had no bad experiences but we had been forewarned about the locals so we steered clear of them. In Grenada, we rent a Jeep and drive around the island, explore all the beaches, hike in the rain forest. Did not feel comfortable doing much exploring in Jamaica.
I've only been to St. Bart's once and it was on a Windjammer cruise so it was just a day on the beach. The beach was nice, though.
As a St. Lucian I am glad to see positive comments about my island. It's not the greatest but it certainly isn't dangerous for gay people. I am in no way saying that you can walk in public like you can in San Francisco, but the people are respectful and genuinely friendly. The homophobia comes from the religious indoctrination. People always reference the Bible when they speak about homosexuality, so blame the Pope and pastors.
Yes, as a pun, people from "the country(side)" love country music back there. They dress up in their jeans, boots and cowboy hats and dance to Country & Western music (old time music like Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty, Kenny Rogers, et al.). It's very profitable to hold a Country&Western Dance over there.
That sucking teeth sound, we call it "choops" (a phonetic derivative, I guess) and it is generally made disparagingly, sarcastically or to express displeasure. I never knew it to be used against White people as a fuck you. I guess it's a Jamaican thing...
Back to the gays, we have a lot of open local gays who do receive some implicit ridicule, but it is not hostile or anything, sort of like how it is in the U.S. There is even this well-known queen who people expect every Carnival to wear the skimpiest outfits and shake his ass on the road. People shout his name and take photos of and with him. Below is a photo:
Despite the reputation of the British Caribbean, we've always found Anguilla to be welcoming and have seen and met other gay couples there. Here is a link to a TripAdvisor forum discussion on the topic from a few years ago.
IMHO, Anguilla's beaches are prettier than those on St. Barts or Saint Martin. There's also fabulous food, including hydroponic greens. Less nightlife, but it's incredibly relaxing on Anguilla.
Among American Caribbean territories, the Puerto Rico out-island Culebra is beautiful and safe. Vieques is OK; a lot of gay men go there, but I found the military past and "Cancer Island" reputation both contribute to an odd, downbeat vibe.