Cuba’s national awareness programs on sexual health also includes LGBT matters so the population being so exposed does have the kinds of caustic homophobia when compared to ours with sometimes disastrous outcomes. They still do have the occasional slip up but that problem won’t disappear altogether. Now that the embargo has been lifted there is almost a flood of persons overall but includes savvy and monied LGBT persons including newly minted married couples who seek the destination for their honeymoon and I have since gathered birth tourism where couples either by insemination or surrogate arrangements either way i.e. male couples who use their sperm with a paid female carrier go to other countries from the US; as for US citizenship the child’s citizenship is dual if the family allows it or as for future educational opportunities prudent planning is crucial. Trouble is if one is from outside the US going to that destination to have the baby must have strong financial backing and insurance coverage not from the country of origin. However in reverse let’s say in Jamaica where a US or Canadian or British couple gets here the private hospitals is what they have to contend with and some insurance would have been included in the ticket purchase and so on.
Another drawback for US couples in particular especially heterosexual and lesbian couples where one of the lesbians will be the ‘mother’ is that unlike our three month maternity leave automatically granted to women not all US states offer such extended leave; some only give a month which may not be enough time to have the baby do relatively well before time of travel. Canada has a similar arrangement I gather but if mothers-to-be entered into contractual arrangements the there may be implications. Some prudent planning has to come into play I imagine.
A newly pregnant or new baby couple may need bedside attention outside of the private hospital care, and after discharge from the facility may need some help and guidance navigating local cultural considerations such as diet, climate management and or a security detail if necessary; all of whom can earn from providing those side services.
Homophobia doesn’t impede the destination
Despite Jamaica’s homophobia the island is somehow still loved a every year the figures look impressive, recent cruise ships stop-over to the point of lack of space for porting is visible evidence of that. Despite attempted tourism boycotts such as the major one in 2008 and the Red Stripe Beer dump in protest which drew major attention visitors still come for the flora and even commitment ceremonies and civil appearing weddings. Apart from a few of the big players that accommodate LGBT guests and host private events such as raves (Bloom events hosted by a Jamaican living in NY), beach parties and such there are other mid priced villas that also cater to such markets. A recent clothing option event was held at property in St. Ann. Visitors are willing to spend on security as I have seen over my 21 years in LGBT event planning and DJing. Investment though is not so readily available for persons such as myself who may want to expand to a LGBT specific venue and accommodation to hosts such guests thus capitalizing on the pink dollar.
A year 2000 case comes to mind where a Caucasian male couple in Ocho Rios by what is now Pineapple Place or thereabouts after they inadvertently appeared to be too affectionate to each other, were spared a thrashing by visibly upset mostly males who left the shaken men with a strong warning to not show ‘it’ up; I guess they were not about to interfere with the visitors seeing they were foreigners and they would have left soon afterwards. The outrage that flowed when the story made the tabloid however was another matter as the usual ‘thrown in our faces’ abhorrence was the main homophobic driver at the time. I would like to see more natives getting involved in this pink dollar tourism arrangement specific to LGBT guests, no offence to our expatriate friends please as there are a couple already utilizing the AirB&B model after they came to Jamaica and invested in property and linking to influential gay tourism books such as the Spartacus, problem is some of these AirBnB outfits seem not to want to cross fertilize by having natives also as guests, something that needs addressing. The last time that Jamaica had a listing of LGBT outfits before recent times was when the co-founder of the now closed Club Entourage Brian Williamson managed to get the New Kingston business district venue on there; it attracted the occasional foreign guests.
Oh for that pink piggy to get fat.
Peace & tolerance