Gay traveler who plans to vacation in Hawaii? LGBT couple looking to get married in Hawaii? Read on while we cover the basics of Gay Hawaii.
Are you a gay traveler planning a trip to Hawaii? An LGBT family who has concerns about acceptance and safety? Or maybe a same-sex couple who is looking to tie the knot during a dream wedding in the Hawaiian Islands. Either way, you probably have some questions or concerns and I'll try to list out the most common topics I hear when it comes to gay travel in Hawaii.
Safety & Discrimination
Hawaii is generally a pretty safe place for anyone to travel. State and federal laws protect against discrimination based on race, color, sex, and even sexual orientation. Hawaii is also a generally happy and tolerant place and the people here are generally open to other cultures and lifestyles. For the most part, a LGBT traveler in Hawaii would be treated the same as anyone else.
Hawaii also has a pretty large and supportive gay community. While you’ll find this community in various places throughout the islands, it’s most prevalent in the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Within Honolulu, Waikiki is going to offer the most gay restaurants, bars, and shops. See our Waikiki Guide.
Of course, as with every place on the planet, that doesn’t mean that every single person you’ll run into in Hawaii exudes the Aloha Spirit, tolerance, and acceptance.
Gay Marriages In HawaiiHawaii is a pretty tolerant place and, as of 2013, same sex marriage was officially made legal through the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act. So the good news is that today in Hawaii a same-sex couple can legally be married and enjoy the same rights that married couples have been enjoying for years prior.
As of mid-2015, over 4,000 same-sex couples had been married since the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act was put in place. Those 4,000 marriages made up over 10% of all Hawaii marriages during that time and it’s estimated that same-sex marriages contribute over $26 million annually to Hawaii’s economy.
Now that same-sex weddings are legal in Hawaii, you’ll want to read all about Getting Married In Hawaii to better understand how the process works, what is required, and what to expect.
LGBT Friendly HotelsHawaii is in the business of tourism and with hundreds of hotels on the islands each hotel is in a constant battle for accommodating their guests. Because of that need to accommodate, hotels are generally very accepting of LGBT travelers, couples, and families.
There are certainly some hotels that make their LGBT friendliness levels more publically known than others, but that doesn’t mean the others are in any way against gay travelers. Some of those that are more well known as gay friendly include The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, The St. Regis Princeville Resort, Travaasa Hotel Hana, Maui Coast Hotel, and (of course) the Kohea Kai Resort Maui LGBT Resort.
Some hotel chains that are gay friendly include Hyatt Hotels, Sheraton Hotels, Westin Hotels, and Starwood Hotels.
Gay Friendly BeachesAll beaches in Hawaii are public beaches, so there really isn’t any beach that is specifically geared towards a particular type of person or lifestyle. So there isn't anything that is specifically a gay beach in Hawaii. Sure, there are plenty of people who will suggest that a beach here and there may attract more of the LGBT crowd than another beach but that’s often not the case.
For example, Queen's Beach @ Waikiki is often considered a “gay beach” when you search the Internet. But when you go there you’ll likely find just as many straight folks there as well. LGBT couples are common on many beaches in Hawaii but you may find higher numbers at most of the Waikiki area beaches simply because the crowds are just so large and Honolulu (where Waikiki is located) has a large gay community.
Now, if you’re looking for an incredibly accepting beach (in general) then you may enjoy Maui’s Little Beach (Pu'u Ola'i Nude Beach) which is about as accepting of a place as you can find. Straight, gay, or whatever you want, you'll be accepted here as long as you're just as nude as everyone else. Talk about a place where you'll want to make sure you have your sun block on so you can Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer.
Gay Pride Parades & Celebrations
Oahu has the annual Honolulu Pride Parade while the Big Island has the Hawaii Island Pride Parade & Festival. Film buffs might enjoy the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for these events and more.
ConclusionThe bottom line is that traveling as a gay person in Hawaii is really the same as traveling as a straight person to Hawaii. Alternative lifestyles, races, and cultures are what Hawaii is all about and you'll probably find that the people here are very accepting of everyone.
Hopefully this article has answered some of your questions or addressed some of your concerns. If you have more questions or would like to add helpful information for the LGBT community, please feel free to review this article and add your comments or contact us directly.
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