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Alternative tourism - what`s that? Well...

by hromero ⌂ @, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 21:03 (148 days ago) @ zulualpha

Rob,

First of all let me say in what ways I completely agree with your response.

1. People who want to have sex with minors under any circumstances, whether that be through "sex tourism" or by coercing their local children, should be prosecuted by the law and treated to prevent them from carrying out this heinous act. We don't need or want that kind of tourism here in Zihuatanejo for sure!

2. I too hope for a day when there will not be any need to announce and talk about sexual orientation when it comes to tourism, job protections, housing protections, or general safety in public. I would love to live in a world where I don't have to consider each situation when revealing that my partner happens to be of the same gender. I want to live in the world you are describing.

That being said, I don't think you fully appreciate the reality that the LGBTQ+ community finds itself in today. In Mexico or elsewhere. I have two personal and recent experiences to share with you and others who may read this that demonstrates why we still feel the need search for safe places and attempt to create safe spaces for ourselves.

1. As many on here may know, Casa Arcoiris advertises that we are a gay owned and operated B&B. We make that clear in our name, on our website, and in much of our advertising. Why? For several reasons. One is that we want to make sure that the LGBTQ+ community know that we are here and that we offer a safe place for them to come and be themselves on vacation. The other reason is that we don't want people who aren't ok with the LGBTQ+ community to come stay with us and cause problems for Jesus and I or our guests in our home and place of business. Just recently I offered our B&B as an option to someone who was looking for lodgings in Zihua on another chat site. Rather than just ignore my offer, that individual felt the need to tell me how they "don't support that sort of thing" and that they were offended by my offering. I am glad that the individual did not book with us, but imagine if they had. Jesus and I may have been put at risk if that guest arrived and learned of our relationship. The majority of our guests have been "straight" and we are more than glad to have them at our place. The only people we wish to exclude from staying at our B&B are those who would hate us for who we love.

2. Jesus and I recently went to San Jose del Cabo to attend the wedding of a family member. We were arriving one day earlier than the rest of our family so Jesus and I decided to book an Airbnb for the extra night we would be in town. After check out of that place, our host proceeded to tell us how we were perverts and that he was going to leave us a horrible review to get us banned for life from Airbnb. We did nothing more than sleep in the same bed together. I found it interesting that our host waited until we were obligated to pay for our night before preaching his hate for us. We are still dealing with the repercussions of that two weeks later.

These are only two examples of bigotry and hate in recent history that are part of a long history of prejudice that I have experienced personally because of the gender I am attracted to. There are others who have experienced far worse than me. A lot of people think that "LGBTQ+ tourism" has to be about those flashy things they see on TV like drug fueled dance clubs, orgies and naked people in the street. In fact there are many like myself who came to Zihuatanejo as a tourist because I just wanted to relax with my friends in a place that was beautiful and warm. It isn't about who I have sex with, it was about finding a place that I felt safe and could enjoy.

I have found Zihua to be a generally safe place both as a tourist from years past and now as a resident. I felt comfortable moving here to be with Jesus because I knew from experience that it was generally a safe place to be gay. It isn't perfect, particularly for local gays, but is generally good. There is a large part of the LGBTQ+ community who would come to enjoy Zihuatanejo for what it is, not to make it like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or Cabo. They are couples with dual income and no children, which I think are the kind of tourists Zihuatanejo could really benefit from.

I find it interesting that no one raises these same concerns about "sex tourism" when there is a bunch of advertising showing heterosexual couples enjoying their stay in Zihuatanejo hotels, or walking hand in hand on the beach, or enjoying a romantic dinner. That is only raised as a concern when we start talking about "gay tourism". Gay tourism isn't about "sex tourism". It is about making sure that people of all sexual orientations know that they can come to a place and experience the same level of security and welcome that everyone else does. I wholeheartedly believe that Zihuatanejo can benefit as a community and as a tourism destination from making sure that the LGBTQ+ community knows that it is a safe place for them.

I hope that my response comes across in the way that it is intended, which is to share my experience and hopefully educate.

Saludos!

--
Humberto Romero
www.casaarcoiriszihuatanejo.com


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