With the steady march of gay rights over the last thirty years or so, in the world in general as much as here in Colombia – where, despite the efforts of anti-gay rights campaigners it looks like same sex marriage will be more than just a theoretical possibility before too long – the gay travel industry is rapidly increasing its share of the market.
Colombia, one of the most Catholic countries in the world, sometimes has a reputation for being fairly conservative, and we’ve noticed a growing trend that people are hitting up the big travel websites to nervously ask if Colombia is safe for gay people. Well, if you know us by now, you should know that we work tirelessly to change this “too dangerous” reputation Hollywood et al loves to promote for our beloved adopted Colombia – and this includes for our LGBT friends happily out there as well.
Is Colombia Safe for Gay Travel?
We here at the ridiculously safe See Colombia Towers, get rather queasy when we hear the tired, old question, ‘Is Colombia safe?’. You ought to know what our answer is by now. This answer extends to gay travel, too.
If you take the regular precautions you take when you go outside, you’ll be fine. However, sometimes it’s best to be understanding of different environments. If you’re getting your hipster on in Bogota’s Chapinero, you’ll often find immaculately hipstered same-sex couples happily sauntering around the place – and you probably won’t find any problems in expressing yourself to the maximum. If you’re in a little town hours away from Theatron, you might get a few bewildered stares. Colombians are generally accommodating for foreigners and their idiosyncrasies, but it is possible that Public Displays of Affection may cause a small scandal in some areas of the country. Despite the world-famous relaxedness of Colombia, it is still a heavily Catholic country, after all. So, keeping this in mind, where are the hot spots for gay Colombia?
Although, being from fabulous Sydney, I find the claim about Bogota being the Gay Capital of the World a little rich, there is certainly a thriving, rich, and diverse LGBTIcommunity, centred on the happening Chapinero area. Here, you’ll find a number of cafes, bars, and clubs catering to this growing and proud community – including Theatron, which only happens to be the biggest and craziest club in our nation’s capital. Not to mention the Gay Pride Festival every June, which is massive and amazing. Bogota is where to go!
Bogota has cornered the market, but that doesn’t mean that the other cities of Colombia don’t know how to partay. Cartagena’s Gethsemani and Old Town areas have plenty to offer: try Studio 54 in the former, and Lincoln Road in the latter. Salsa crazy Cali has a thriving underground scene as well: the Queen club easily demonstrates this. And, although the paisas have a reputation for being almost too hetero, there is a Medellin scene as well – for example Culture Club, And, being paisas, they know how to partay. Don’t forget the other main cities as well: both beautiful Bucaramanga and rumba-obsessed Barranquilla have spots to go.
And, of course, all the other regular tourist destinations in this diverse, happy, and friendly country need to be experienced, too. Right; now you’re just wasting time. Get on that plane now!!