advertisement

Arubans seem genuinely confounded when asked about homophobia on the island. People here pride themselves on Aruba's diversity, and most are gentle and remarkably nonjudgmental, certainly of tourists, but also of their gay and lesbian neighbors. Compared to notoriously homophobic Jamaica and Grand Cayman Island, Aruba is truly gay friendly. Homosexuality is a nonissue here.

Some Arubans are out, especially those under age 40; others aren't. Those who are live pretty much like their straight friends and family. Gay visibility, especially in the hotel, restaurant, and entertainment industries, is undeniable. The influx of no-apologies gay Latinos over the past few years has increased gay visibility significantly. And if it's any indication, the island's top show for almost a decade was a drag-queen extravaganza.

Hyatt, Renaissance, and Bucuti Beach are all approved as gay-friendly lodgings by the Travel Alternative's Group or TAG. For additional information on traveling and staying at gay-friendly destinations, log on to www.tagapproved.com.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.