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Old Apr 29, 2013, 03:12 AM   #1
tekno
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Some questions about being gay and holidaying in America

I'm planning a big holiday to America and want to do more than the usual Broadway, Disney World etc. and fancy venturing further into the middle.

In the UK, we're led to believe that gay people are not at all welcome in the deep south (I always remember an episode of Top Gear when some Texan thought one of the presenters was gay and they had to "run for their life") and a gay friend of mine even suggested we'd probably be shot at if we showed any sort of affection in public. America is a modern, developed country, so I'd like to think that's not true.

I'd be interested to know the truth from any Americans or holidayers with experience of this. And, for example, would my boyfriend and I be able to sleep the same hotel room?
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 07:14 AM   #2
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As a straight man who tries to avoid the deep south, I can't comment on how you will be treated (I would imagine you'd be OK in the big cities like Atlanta, Dallas, etc, and you'd definitely be fine in New Orleans), but sharing the same hotel room? Won't be a problem at all. It's not like it's uncommon for guys to share the same hotel room, whether it's their employer being stingy with the travel budget or two buddies on vacation trying to save money. The hotel clerk isn't going to force you guys into separate rooms.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 07:22 AM   #3
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I'm also a straight man, but with some strong connections to the LGBT community.

I think yg17 has it right. I'm not from the South, but in general you should not have much in the way of problems in large, more cosmopolitan cities. Small towns...I would take some care.

Public displays of affection may get you and your partner some looks. You have to decide if you care or not.

And a big vote for New Orleans...definitely no problems there that I have ever seen. Everybody is too busy getting smashed to care!!
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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Just avoid the rural areas of the Deep South... Big tourist areas should be fine, regardless of location.

Northern US cities like NYC, Boston, and Chicago are very LGBT friendly. San Fran too.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 08:10 AM   #5
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Just avoid the rural areas of the Deep South
I wouldn't even agree with this. There might be a handful of hateful people there, or anywhere else, but I've lived in the south virtually my entire life and this sort of mindset is very, very rarely seen.

OP, you should be fine anywhere you visit in the U.S.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 08:14 AM   #6
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I wouldn't even agree with this. There might be a handful of hateful people there, or anywhere else, but I've lived in the south virtually my entire life and this sort of mindset is very, very rarely seen.

OP, you should be fine anywhere you visit in the U.S.
^This.
It is sad that someone in the UK is being led to believe that travel in the U.S. is anything but welcomed.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 08:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tekno View Post
I'm planning a big holiday to America and want to do more than the usual Broadway, Disney World etc. and fancy venturing further into the middle.

In the UK, we're led to believe that gay people are not at all welcome in the deep south (I always remember an episode of Top Gear when some Texan thought one of the presenters was gay and they had to "run for their life") and a gay friend of mine even suggested we'd probably be shot at if we showed any sort of affection in public. America is a modern, developed country, so I'd like to think that's not true.

I'd be interested to know the truth from any Americans or holidayers with experience of this. And, for example, would my boyfriend and I be able to sleep the same hotel room?
Hey first off, I'm in the south and I'll put it like this

1. Yes you can have the same hotel room, go wherever you want, live your life as you choose. Here in Atlanta, homosexuality is essentially worshiped and is someone disagrees with it, they'll be labeled all types of things whether they hate gays or not, so you're safe here. Don't believe what you see on tv

2. About the public displays of affection, I'd recommend you didn't because there are kids around and that's not a conversation a lot of parents want to have with young children! Holding hands should be fine, but please save the kissing for private moments. In some instances officers will threaten to arrest you for indecent activity, but only if a parent makes a stink about it. It's rare that it happens

3. Come by, have fun, just be mindful of what you may end up with and enjoy yourself. You'll be safe here. Don't believe what you see on TV - if you did, you'd think all black people stole, killed, assaulted people, are barely literate, can't form an intelligent thought for nothing and have all done time in prison, but we're not like that, it just suits the media and their agenda to portray us like that.

Catch my point?

Never trust the American media
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by thehustleman View Post
Hey first off, I'm in the south and I'll put it like this

1. Yes you can have the same hotel room, go wherever you want, live your life as you choose. Here in Atlanta, homosexuality is essentially worshiped and is someone disagrees with it, they'll be labeled all types of things whether they hate gays or not, so you're safe here. Don't believe what you see on tv

2. About the public displays of affection, I'd recommend you didn't because there are kids around and that's not a conversation a lot of parents want to have with young children! Holding hands should be fine, but please save the kissing for private moments. In some instances officers will threaten to arrest you for indecent activity, but only if a parent makes a stink about it. It's rare that it happens


3. Come by, have fun, just be mindful of what you may end up with and enjoy yourself. You'll be safe here. Don't believe what you see on TV - if you did, you'd think all black people stole, killed, assaulted people, are barely literate, can't form an intelligent thought for nothing and have all done time in prison, but we're not like that, it just suits the media and their agenda to portray us like that.

Catch my point?

Never trust the American media
Are you saying that they shouldn't do any PDA because they're gay, or because no one wants to see PDA from anybody, gay or straight?
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:04 AM   #9
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In some instances officers will threaten to arrest you for indecent activity, but only if a parent makes a stink about it. It's rare that it happens
Nobody's going to consider holding hands/kissing in public to be "indecent activity." Nobody's getting arrested for that.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies - makes me feel much more confident.

To be clear, by PDA I meant less snogging on a park bench and more two guys having a romantic meal or clearly being a gay couple - wasn't sure if it may be something that is seriously frowned upon (I see now we will be fine).


Quote:
Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
but sharing the same hotel room? Won't be a problem at all. It's not like it's uncommon for guys to share the same hotel room, whether it's their employer being stingy with the travel budget or two buddies on vacation trying to save money. The hotel clerk isn't going to force you guys into separate rooms.
By this, I meant one double room, so we'd clearly be sleeping together. In the UK it's illegal for a hotel to refuse gays a double room, I wasn't sure how it worked in the US.

A shame to hear gays can be arrested for public affection!

It's true though - the media portray Americans in the deep south to be heavily religious, constantly armed and not welcoming of homosexuals.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plymouthbreezer View Post
Just avoid the rural areas of the Deep South... Big tourist areas should be fine, regardless of location.
Even that Wikipedia link says "There is also a strong support for social conservatism, including demands for home schooling, prayer in public schools, and opposition to homosexuals." Nice!
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tekno View Post
Thanks for all the replies - makes me feel much more confident.

To be clear, by PDA I meant less snogging on a park bench and more two guys having a romantic meal or clearly being a gay couple - wasn't sure if it may be something that is seriously frowned upon (I see now we will be fine).




By this, I meant one double room, so we'd clearly be sleeping together. In the UK it's illegal for a hotel to refuse gays a double room, I wasn't sure how it worked in the US.

A shame to hear gays can be arrested for public affection!

It's true though - the media portray Americans in the deep south to be heavily religious, constantly armed and not welcoming of homosexuals.
As a Northern US bigot re the South...you might be right about at least 2 out of 3!

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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:17 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies - makes me feel much more confident.
If you find yourself in a bind anywhere near central Illinois, I have a spare room you can use.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tekno View Post
I'm planning a big holiday to America and want to do more than the usual Broadway, Disney World etc. and fancy venturing further into the middle.

In the UK, we're led to believe that gay people are not at all welcome in the deep south (I always remember an episode of Top Gear when some Texan thought one of the presenters was gay and they had to "run for their life") and a gay friend of mine even suggested we'd probably be shot at if we showed any sort of affection in public. America is a modern, developed country, so I'd like to think that's not true.

I'd be interested to know the truth from any Americans or holidayers with experience of this. And, for example, would my boyfriend and I be able to sleep the same hotel room?
If you are coming to Orlando and Disney World check to see when gay days are at the park. I think it is sometime over the summer. Bring your red shirt and be as gay as you want to be. There are surprisingly a lot of gay people in Orlando so you will not have a problem here.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:44 AM   #14
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By this, I meant one double room, so we'd clearly be sleeping together. In the UK it's illegal for a hotel to refuse gays a double room, I wasn't sure how it worked in the US.
Unfortunately I don't think we have any laws on the books outlawing that from happening, but I'd be shocked if a hotel turned away a gay couple. Especially at any of the major chain hotels. It's all about selling the most rooms and money has no sexual orientation. Plus, the bad publicity would destroy them. A mom & pop bed and breakfast might be an entirely different story though.

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If you are coming to Orlando and Disney World check to see when gay days are at the park. I think it is sometime over the summer. Bring your red shirt and be as gay as you want to be. There are surprisingly a lot of gay people in Orlando so you will not have a problem here.
You can be as gay as you want to be at Disney World the other 364 days of the year. Of course, I can't figure out why anyone who doesn't have kids with them would want to go to that hellhole
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:47 AM   #15
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I don't think you will have any problems anywhere in the US unless you are purposefully looking for them. You might have a bigot out of every few people who might make a remark if you are eating each other's faces off in public, but I don't foresee anything worse than that... and really the same comments are typically made of hetero couples who can't seem to find a room.

As for the hotel issue, shouldn't be a problem.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 09:48 AM   #16
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You can be as gay as you want to be at Disney World the other 364 days of the year. Of course, I can't figure out why anyone who doesn't have kids with them would want to go to that hellhole

What? Disney is great without kids. My wife and I love going there (though waiting in some of those lines is getting ridiculous).
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 10:21 AM   #17
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I've traveled with my wife to less gay-friendly places (like the time we drove through very rural PA and Ohio) and we've been fine. I also know plenty of gay people in the south, you'll be fine.

One thing we do when we travel out of our home state is carry copies of our power of attorney and civil union license. If you have any legal paperwork for each other, I'd bring it to be safe. It's very, very, very unlikely that you'd ever need it, or in the horrible event that one of you did get hurt that anyone would separate you, but since most of the south doesn't recognize or honor gay marriages it's helpful to have legal paperwork to prove your standing. We usually bring ours just to feel a little more secure against what-ifs.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 10:29 AM   #18
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...In the UK, we're led to believe that gay people are not at all welcome in the deep south (I always remember an episode of Top Gear when some Texan thought one of the presenters was gay and they had to "run for their life")...
Sweet home Alabama...

That may not be the episode you're referring to, but I think that was maybe just one very extreme part of Alabama where Democrats, gays and Hillary Clinton are generally despised.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 11:05 AM   #19
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I've lived in the south my whole life (barring the years of travel), and come from a pretty conservative family (whose views I rarely agree with).

Unless you go into some of the real deep, dark areas of the country, you won't get any grief from anyone. In some places, you might get a stare or two out of someone if you're making out on a bench, but that's about it.

I work in entertainment, with a lot of theater, so I have a LOT of gay friends. And when I was on tour, I was out with those friends all across the country. Out of 7 years on tour to over 100 cities in America, and another 40 or so overseas, I can recall only one single incident of outwardly hostile treatment of any of my gay friends.

I think you will be fine almost anywhere.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 03:46 PM   #20
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Are you saying that they shouldn't do any PDA because they're gay, or because no one wants to see PDA from anybody, gay or straight?
I'm saying no kissing in public because they're gay. That could cause some problems out here.





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Originally Posted by Tomorrow View Post
Nobody's going to consider holding hands/kissing in public to be "indecent activity." Nobody's getting arrested for that.
You'd be surprised.

I've seen it happen
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 03:50 PM   #21
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I'm saying no kissing in public because they're gay. That could cause some problems out here.
Where is "out here"?
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 03:55 PM   #22
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If you are coming to Orlando and Disney World check to see when gay days are at the park. I think it is sometime over the summer. Bring your red shirt and be as gay as you want to be. There are surprisingly a lot of gay people in Orlando so you will not have a problem here.
First weekend in June.

OP - you'll be fine. And to all those putting down the South - it is more a rural versus urban divide these issues. All 50 state have pockets of intolerance and bigotry.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 04:55 PM   #23
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Nobody's going to consider holding hands/kissing in public to be "indecent activity." Nobody's getting arrested for that.
Unfortunately there are some people who treat any sign of affection between two people of the same sex as indecent. Specifically the ones who still latch onto the long disproven notion that homosexuality is some sort of sexual deviance.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 05:26 PM   #24
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For the most part you are fine anywhere.

We, my partner and I, were in our car in Palm Springs once when a man on a bike circled our car and yelled fa***s at us. We were not holding hands or touching in any way. No stickers on the car or anything to indicate we are gay. So you really never know.

If your out at a restaurant and you want to kiss your partner, or in public go for it. If you see straight people doing it, there is absolutely no reason you should not feel comfortable doing the same behaviors as those around you, regardless of your orientation. There is no shame in being gay and anyone who thinks there is has the problem not you.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 05:35 PM   #25
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At least you'll have someone to play basketball with.
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