Hey there, I am someone getting married… it's just that the bride/groom thing doesn't work for me. We are a queer/trans/genderqueer couple, and I so appreciate Offbeat Bride. I feel like this is the only place where I see me. I am really happy to find a world of people who can dig on queerness and rethink old traditions for new aspirations.
I have a question for you and your readers: I am looking for a trans-friendly, really truly friendly, honeymoon spot.
We worry about plumbing, about being questioned, about being unsafe, about violence nearly constantly.
We realized that dreaming of our honeymoon didn't feel so much like dreaming any more, rather more like risk avoidance.
I am betting that you or your readers have great ideas for gender-affirming places that are fun and delightful.
Thanks so much for all you bring to this world of getting hitched. -H
Hey H! First, congratulations to you and your partner. Second, thanks for the warm fuzzies about Offbeat Bride. We really work our non-gender-specific tails off to make this place feel all-encompassing.
Okay, now on to the task at hand. Recommending really truly trans-friendly honeymoon spots. When I received your question, I was at my family home on the wonderful island of Maui. So, you know, I may be a little biased, but I'm going to recommend Hawaii as a choice honeymoon spot. Allow me to gush some more about my favorite state, and then I want to hear more reader suggestions…
With the passage of Hawaii's House Bill 546, Hawaii became the 13th state to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity not only in employment, but for housing and public accommodations. And on top of that Hawaii law has prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation since 1991. How's that for some aloha spirit.
Of course, I'm writing this from the perspective of a cisgender straight chick, so my experience of Hawaii (Maui in particular) as being a very open-minded and accepting locale, may be a bit biased. Because of that, I thought I'd reach out to Michael Waddell, the General Manager of the Maui Sunseeker — one of the ONLY hotels that primarily markets to the LGBT community (but, of course, welcomes all). Here's what he had to say…
We are a very mixed use type property where our guest makeup is about 50% gay men, 40% lesbian and 10% straight. Honestly we do not get a lot of bi-sexual or transgender guests on property, but those that do stay with us find it a most welcoming environment.
Maui in general is a very open and welcoming place, especially for a honeymoon destination. One of the main reasons my partner of 39 years and I moved here 12 years ago was we felt comfortable and most importantly safe to be ourselves. As a long time couple, we have had our share of discrimination across the world. We have never felt discrimination here. Maui is a wonderful place for a honeymoon for virtually anyone, regardless of their orientation.
Regarding whether Maui is a truly trans-friendly location, I would say yes mainly because the island is very open to most any lifestyle. Just the passing of the civil unions law last year certainly raised the awareness in the LGBT market on Maui and we are fighting today for full marriage rights.
In May 2011, the Hawaii Legislature passed HB 546 [the Transgender Protection Bill]. This should provide some insight regarding the legal protections afforded with in the state.
Michael also went so far as to speak to his staff members about this issue. One in particular said that she knows and/or has worked with many trans-gender people living on this island.
Along with Michael, I also contacted a travel agent friend of mine — Bruce Fisher from Hawaii Aloha Travel (based in Oahu) — who then posed the question to his many Hawaiian-based Facebook followers. Some of the responses ranged from “I think so” to “Hawaiian culture has a history of accepting the aikane” and “[Hawaii is] mahu-friendly for days.”
But no matter where you choose to honeymoon, I hope y'all have an amazingly romantic time!
So, Hawaii is MY recommendation for trans-friendly honeymoon spot. But I'd love to hear from our trans-identified and trans-partnered readers about THEIR recommendations!