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“Family Friendly” Hotels

July 6, 2010

I’ve written before describing how much I hate the phrase  “family friendly” when it is used to cover homophobia–as if “LGB” or “T” and “family” are mutually exclusive.  This story, by Matt Deleva and  featured by Karen Ocamb at LGBT POV, reminds travelers to do a bit of homework when booking hotels. One that I am frankly unsure how I would have handled had it been me in Deleva’s shoes.

This weekend my boyfriend Eric and I went to Cancun.  We stayed at The Gran Melia which was listed online by Expedia as a gay friendly hotel. At check in the man at the front desk asked repeatedly why we as two men would want a king size bed instead of two doubles.  He tried to persuade us that two men in a bed was not allowed in the hotel.  We brushed it off and were still ready to have a beautiful vacation.

That night on a walk on the moonlit beach my boyfriend Eric proposed to me. I said yes. The next day was beautiful, or at least we wanted it to be.  At lunch Eric and I were holding hands. A waiter came over to our table and told us that public displays of affection were not allowed at the Gran Melia since it was “family hotel.” When we pointed out the straight couple holding hands across the room he reminded us that it was over the fact we are gay.  The waiter became very hostile towards us and I had to step in the way to cool down both Eric and the bigot waiter.

We then went to the front desk and told them the situation.  We were promised an upgrade to a suite over our whole ordeal.  The general manager of the hotel followed us to our room and told us that the Gran Melia is not a gay friendly hotel.  It is a “family hotel” and if we wanted a gay friendly hotel to go down the road.  He even gave us a list of other hotels…

You can read the rest of the story here.

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