In April 2016, the UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice warning gay and transgender travellers visiting the American states of North Carolina and Mississippi to be careful. It really got me thinking that a) America can be a dangerous place for LGBTQ community, and b) thank God there’s a government body here to tell me to tone down my gayness when on my holibobs otherwise I would’ve been throwing my lesbian self about all over the joint.
Other lesbians and gays will be familiar with those nervous few moments you get when you first approach the hotel reception with your partner and check into your double room that only has one bed.
A few things go through my mind when I first give my booking details to the receptionist:
– Are they going to say anything about us being massive lesbians?
– Will they say that we can’t stay at their hotel because of our sexuality?
– Will they press the homosexual button where rainbow flags drop down, Wham bursts out of the radio and suddenly two sparkling pink cocktails appear in our hands. Sounds fabulous.
But even if they don’t say anything, I know that they’re going to be telling their colleagues that there’s two lesbians staying in room 12 straight after they’ve served us. Ok, I don’t KNOW this, but I HIGHLY suspect it.
Once you get past the receptionist and are finally in the safety of your hotel room, you can be as gay as you like. But in the morning, you’ll need to go down to breakfast. There’s nothing more awkward than when two people of the same-sex (the morning after Valentine’s day) walk into the breakfast room, because everyone will stare at them and imagine all the filthy, fabulous gay sex they had the previous night.
When my girlfriend and I went on a romantic weekend to Eastbourne, she had booked us into the spa suit: There was a Jacuzzi in the bedroom, rose petals on the floor, prosecco in an ice bucket and towels shaped like two kissing swans on the bed. It was clear what this room was going to be used for, a whole lot of lez-action.
When we walked into the breakfast room, the waitress asked us which room we were in; we’re in the Oceania room we told her. ‘Oh, the Oceania room,’ she replied, before walking us through the crowd of straight couples enjoying their grapefruits whilst silently looking both of us up and down.
During another hotel visit I gave the waitress our room number and she turned to my girlfriend and asked for her room number too. No, we’re in the same room. ‘Oh, is that a twin room?’ was literally what the waitress asked.
TONING DOWN THE GAYNESS
During our holiday to Portugal we got quite a few funny looks and reactions from us just simply holding hands. It made me feel more uncomfortable than when my credit card gets declined and I’m only trying to buy a bag of mushrooms.
I don’t mind “toning down” my gayness whilst in other countries if it means that I can travel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to deny who I am and suddenly start taking a clutch bag out with me. I’m still going to be in my jeans with my massive backpack on next to my girlfriend who’ll be wearing the same.
I want to travel the world and see different cultures and places, and if that means that I don’t get to hold my girlfriend’s hand while we walk down the beach, then it’s a worthy sacrifice. I’ll just make sure we have mad passionate sex when we get back to the hotel room.
It was only when I went to Barbados last year that I realised how scary it can be for LGBTQ travellers after being told that we’d be stoned for being gay there… Read the Barbados blog about their culture and LGBT attitude.
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