Since Costa Rica is more well known, and perhaps more touristy than other parts of Central America, we expected it to be slightly easier to find out about ‘LGBT Costa Rica’.
As ever, we wanted to find out what LGBT life is really like, and not just through a tourists lens. We contacted 23 year old Gabriel who is studying architecture to find out more about gay life in Costa Rica.
What is the stereotypical view (people’s attitudes) on the LGBTQ+ community in Costa Rica?
The stereotypical view of the LGBTQ community depends on so many things. In the last few month’s we’ve seen so many opinions, all because of the presidential elections. There are only 2 options, just like Trump and Clinton. One of them is very open to diversity, and the other is too conservative, traditional and religious.
This has caused a ”social war”, there are people who think that gay marriage is ok, they don’t care or maybe they’re fighting for it. And there are so many people who think that gay marriage is an abomination, it’s something unnatural, or something that is gonna cause the end of the world.
There are so many factors that affect that stereotypical view. But let me tell you about the most significant;
- Age: most of the young people are ok with gay marriage
- Location: People from coastal zones or mountains are traditional and conservative so, some of them support LGBTQ community rights, and some them think LGBTQ is against God’s law.
What changes have you see over the years, whether this be law or attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people?
There have been a lot. But the last one is about education, sexual education and this has increased in public and private schools.
”Gender theory” is now being taught in high schools, which helps young people who are confused about themselves and also helps to answer questions like: Who are they? How do they feel? How do they identify themselves? Is it ok if they like boys, or girls or both? Which gender is the most related to them? And more.
That is really good and progressive! Is there a gay scene to be found anywhere in Costa Rica? (Clubs bars etc)
Gay scenes are not easy to find, because of the discrimination, most of the people don’t feel comfortable with that kind of scenes. However, there are some places to find it.
In the metropolitan area there are so many options. Clubs like ”Club Teatro”, ”Venue”, ”La Avispa” and ”Puchos Club” are LGBTQ bars. And in the coast are some ”gay hotels” and nudist beaches where gay scenes are easy to find.
But there’s one day when the LGBTQ community celebrate pride the whole and nobody’s afraid to be seen – ”La marcha del orgullo” (Gay Pride Parade). On this day the whole community walks through Paseo Colón (one of the central streets). And on this day everybody’s dancing, celebrating and most of all, fighting for LGBTQ rights. This will be celebrated on 1 July 2018.
What advice would you give LGBTQ+ travellers in Costa Rica?
For LGBTQ travellers in Costa Rica, here is my advice.
Be respectful and nice – Costa Rican people are nice and lovely. They won’t hesitate about helping you with anything you need.
Try to keep out the romantic scenes. These people are nice, but in little towns they’re super conservative, so let’s try to be discreet. The LGBTQ community in Costa Rica are not used to making PDAs.
After all, we’re still moving on to get to that point where people respect everything no matter what.
Thank you so much Gabriel, we really enjoyed learning about LGBT Costa Rica from you!
We highly recommend Costa Rica as a destination, we can’t say enough good things about it. Try out the trip planner below and see what it comes up with for you!
For more about Costa Rica, make sure you check out:
- Gay Guide to Costa Rica: San Jose, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Viejo
- The Ideal 10 Day Costa Rica Itinerary: Destination Costa Rica
- Costa Rica Packing List: Everything you will forget!
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