Trouble in Paradise

7 Jul

By TSM Contributor James Queale

Now that summer is in full swing, it is time for a vacation. Since my partner and I are not wealthy, it is more of a local getaway, but it will still be a good time. Of course for any vacation involving a gay couple, you want to find an LGBT friendly zone (at least that is what I would prefer). Since Pennsylvania does not have statewide LGBT protections – and it will stay that way as long as Gov. Tom Corbett is in office — we had to research safe areas. The initial place that my partner wanted to go because he used to do regional manager work there was Wilkes-Barre, but it is one of the three (out of 15) major Pennsylvania cities without protections. So, we moved a bit further across the map to Scranton. Check!

Next we looked up hotel chains that are LGBT friendly and to our surprise majority of them are LGBT friendly. Check!

We barely make it to the movies because the small town we live in only has a single theater facility which rarely has a movie we really want to see and seems to have an unhealthy number of loud teenagers. One of the local theaters we found on Google maps was Cinemark, which had my gay-senses tingling. I did a little research and the CEO of Cinemark gave thousands of dollars to Yes on 8 campaign, California’s anti-marriage-equality measure. Thankfully we found another theater a little further away that does not have an anti-gay history. Check!

Overall I think this will be a fun couple of days to enjoy with my lovely partner Tom. It is sad that we have to be vigilant about where we go, but thankfully more and more companies and States are siding with equality.

P.S. – For the links in this story I just did a bit of online searching. There are also a handful of useful tools you can use:

  • The Human Rights Campaign has a shopping guide that rate companies by LGBT friendliness
  • Purple Roofs operates a website that certifies LGBT-owned and –friendly hotels and inns
  • Going out of state? Find out what protections (if any) are offered by the laws of your destination.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and travel safely!

9 Responses to “Trouble in Paradise”

  1. Didion July 7, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    It makes me so angry that corporations are so likely to behave like Cinemark, and play big roles in influencing political policy. I wish I could believe that in 10 years we’ll look back on this era of corporate control over our democracy and wonder what the hell the Supreme Court was doing — and how elected officials could possibly be permitted to accept money from lobbyists, etc.

    But we live in this world. And I’m completely with you when it comes to being vigilant, even if it takes a whole hell of a lot of time. Many thanks, Michael, for posting these links — these always help!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 7, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      I’m grateful to Jamie for calling attention to the fact that the LGBTQ community cannot just up and leave and go on holiday, but rather we have to do a great deal of planning first to ensure our safety. Jeers to companies like Cinemark.

  2. Didion July 7, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Oops! I mean, thank you James!

  3. Christine Noble July 7, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Hope you fellas enjoy your vacation. I am kicking myself right now. I knew that about Cinemark but forgot. I saw The Avengers in one of their cineplexes. I will not make that mistake again.

    • James Queale July 7, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      @Christine Shame! Just kidding! We all have gotten/used products from companies that are anti-gay to some extent. It can be difficult to avoid it at times and other times we can be completely oblivious until someone points it out or like with Cinemark, we only find out they are anti-gay because of their donations.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 7, 2012 at 10:28 am #

        Absolutely. We all do this and we just have to learn and then help educate our allies.

  4. James Queale July 7, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    @Michael Exactly! 🙂

  5. nevercontrary July 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    I think this is something few straight people understand that gay people have to do. So glad you are sharing your vacation stories.

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