Is Belize Gay-friendly? Tips for Gay and Lesbian Travelers in Belize
Although Belize continues to be a largely conservative country, it is increasingly becoming a popular destination for gay and lesbian travelers. Widespread acceptance of homosexuality has not yet been achieved, but a recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a law banning sodomy is a step in the right direction.
Belize is a melting pot society composed of widely disparate groups such as Creoles (descendants of enslaved Africans), the Maya, Mestizos, Chinese, East Indian, Mennonites, Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean people), and expats. English is the official language, but many people speak the Mayan, Garifuna, or Spanish tongue.
As a result of their long history and diverse population, Belizeans are tolerant, welcoming, and open-minded about differences. Belizeans are also renowned for their genuine friendliness, curiosity, and hospitality, and most gay and lesbian travelers are made to feel right at home.
Officially, there has never been a Gay Pride parade in Belize, but a number of private functions have been held in the country, including a Pride Week held for the first time in San Pedro in 2015. The organization UNIBAM (United Belize Advocacy Movement) is the bilingual organization that organizes the Pride Week events and continues to advocate greater understanding and integration of all people in Belize.
Belize is also a festive, Caribbean and Latin country with many exuberant and colorful parades, street festivals, and celebrations. In areas such as San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye, there are many yearly events that include drag queens and other non-cisgendered events. While not explicitly identified as being gay or lesbian activities, these events are further proof of a widespread tolerance amongst Belizeans for people to act, dress, and behave however they wish.
Reports of assault, harassment, or other forms of intimidation against gay and lesbian travelers are extremely rare. Most gay and lesbian travelers have a good time and are left alone. Areas popular with tourists such as San Pedro, Belmopan and San Ignacio are particularly LGBTQ+ tolerant or friendly, and there are no reports of travelers being arrested or fined for violating the country’s archaic anti-sodomy laws.
In summary, gay and lesbian travelers can safely vacation in Belize even if the country isn’t quite yet gay-friendly. Properties such as Caves Branch Jungle Lodge and others actively welcome LGBTQ+ travelers.
If you are an LBGQT+ traveler and want to enjoy a fabulous vacation in Belize, contact this Belize Gay Travel site today.