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

by zulualpha, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 15:57 (32 days ago)

Zihuatanejo will play host to a week-long festival gay next month, in an effort to increase tourism in this sector.

The announcement came at a June 11 press conference, attended by three City Hall officials and executives of the civic organization "Feel the Love."

Entitled Semana Rosa, the event will kick off July 1 with the unfurling of a "rainbow flag" at Plaza Kiota, and will feature cultural, fashion and sports activities.

"Pink Week" will also attempt to increase awareness of the social challenges faced by members of the gay community, not only in Zihua, but nationally. Municipal Director of Gender Diversity, Carlos Garcia Y., said young gay people face "aggression from with the nuclear family," and that "the biggest enemy is not drugs or alcohol, but religious prejudice."

Zihua`s Tourism Director and Social Services Director also attended the press conference. (Despertar de la Costa)

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

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 18:05 (32 days ago) @ zulualpha

Zihuatanejo will play host to a week-long festival gay next month, in an effort to increase tourism in this sector.

The announcement came at a June 11 press conference, attended by three City Hall officials and executives of the civic organization "Feel the Love."

Entitled Semana Rosa, the event will kick off July 1 with the unfurling of a "rainbow flag" at Plaza Kiota, and will feature cultural, fashion and sports activities.

"Pink Week" will also attempt to increase awareness of the social challenges faced by members of the gay community, not only in Zihua, but nationally. Municipal Director of Gender Diversity, Carlos Garcia Y., said young gay people face "aggression from with the nuclear family," and that "the biggest enemy is not drugs or alcohol, but religious prejudice."

Zihua`s Tourism Director and Social Services Director also attended the press conference. (Despertar de la Costa)

While I consider myself gay every way but sexually, with all due respect to my gay family and friends (some with LGBTQ lodgings including my favorite cousin in Provincetown, MA) I'm not a big fan of sexual-orientation tourism, but I get it that it makes gay folks feel more at ease to stay at a LGBTQ-friendly lodging, which is a sad commentary on "straight" folks who for usually really dumb reasons feel threatened by gays.

I don't like mixing sex and tourism because sex-tourism is a real problem and it usually ends up badly for local children when tourists travel to a destination because they want sex. We've had our share of problems with it locally. I know of at least two gay gentlemen who came here with the intent to spread AIDS. Others who came to die. Way too many tourists already come here expecting to have sex with local boys and girls. Some even move here and everyone has lots of stories to tell about them. Most female sex-tourists seem to keep a lower profile than their male counterparts, but the psychological harm they can cause is still very real. I've seen it break and ruin young people's lives. You see a lot of humanity living in tourist destinations, thus my aversion to anything resembling sex-tourism even if it's only based on sexual orientation, which I know isn't the same thing in a rational mind, but we all aren't exactly rational now, are we? ;-)

Anyway, I prefer we all just get along without being hung up on each other's sex lives. I'd rather Zihuatanejo not be thought of just as LGBTQ friendly but as PEOPLE FRIENDLY. As a TROPICAL PARADISE, not a sex paradise.

Okay, Humberto. Have at me. :lunatic: :hitfan:

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

by Aunt Chelada, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 08:14 (31 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Rob, as a proud parent of a gay son, I totally agree with you and I think you expressed yourself rather eloquently. I doubt that Humberto will take exception to your well crafted words.

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

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 11:18 (31 days ago) @ Aunt Chelada

Rob, as a proud parent of a gay son, I totally agree with you and I think you expressed yourself rather eloquently. I doubt that Humberto will take exception to your well crafted words.

Good on you for accepting your son exactly the way he was born.

I admire very much what my friends Humberto and Jesús are doing, providing a wonderful and very welcoming atmosphere for LGBTQ tourists. They have one of the nicest lodgings in the area, and I'd hate to see anyone miss out on staying there because they mistook it for some kind of gay-only lodging or flaming queen's palace where they'll find wacky characters from a bad Warhol movie. While that might be fun for a theme party, it is not what Humberto and Jesús are all about nor what they or other local LGBTQ-friendly lodgings offer. But unfortunately I fear too many people still have odd ideas about gay people and prefer to avoid what they don't understand. The younger generation seems to be handling this social relationship better than older generations, but they don't yet make up enough of our tourist market to be able to discount the problems of perception. As long as there are still neanderthal Bible-thumping homophobes like Mike Pence in the world (who needs to just come out of the closet and get it over with) the problems of perception will continue and gay people will have to put up with their prejudice.

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

by Aunt Chelada, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 15:59 (31 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Here's an interesting though for homophobic individuals. Approximately 10% of the world human population are born gay and 2% of the whole world's population are born with red hair, and neither by choice. Yet one group is shunned by many while the other is openly accepted.

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

by wisconsinjuan @, Monday, June 24, 2019, 17:16 (27 days ago) @ Aunt Chelada

Too bad for the gingers.

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

by hromero ⌂ @, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 21:10 (31 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

"As long as there are still neanderthal Bible-thumping homophobes like Mike Pence in the world (who needs to just come out of the closet and get it over with) the problems of perception will continue and gay people will have to put up with their prejudice."

:thumb: :bravo:

--
Humberto Romero
www.casaarcoiriszihuatanejo.com

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

by karenanddick, Friday, June 21, 2019, 05:48 (30 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I agree with Rob on this one.

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

by hromero ⌂ @, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 21:03 (31 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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Alternative tourism - what`s that? Well...

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 22:35 (31 days ago) @ hromero

Gracias por compartir algo tan personal. Quisiera que no hubiera gente en este mundo tan malvada y retrógrada como describiste. Sé que la sociedad aún está lejos de ser tan tolerante como quisiéramos, y me parte el corazón oír de experiencias como ustedes sufren con demasiada frecuencia. Ustedes son dos personas hermosas, y su amor es inspirador y ejemplar, algo maravilloso. Quienes les critican lo hacen por ignorancia y envidia.

Your reasoning is of course quite correct. I know it’s unrealistic of me to expect to live in that world I described where people’s private lives are left private and folks aren’t discriminated because of their sexuality. But it’s a damn shame.

And thank you for that illustration of one reason I cannot recommend lodging websites like the one you mentioned. I think most of my readers know how I would react to such bigotry.

Saludos y abrazos a ti y a Jesús.

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

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Friday, June 21, 2019, 06:09 (30 days ago) @ hromero

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

by Aunt Chelada, Friday, June 21, 2019, 07:44 (30 days ago) @ hromero

Well Said:megusta: