While there are surely gay people among the 170,000 residents of the island, they certainly keep to themselves. As in many Caribbean nations, homosexuality is still not widely accepted or even tolerated in local communities. As such, gay travelers are advised to be very aware of their surroundings and wary of any situations that just do not feel right.
One case of a violent home invasion involving two gay couples was particularly troublesome. While the incident was not considered a hate crime by the local authorities, there were some choice words said and the visitors were encouraged to leave the island immediately. Suffice it to say, they obliged the very next day.
It is essential for any gay traveler to abide by any customs or expected behaviors of their country they are visiting. Sometimes, this means not holding hands, or even hiding relationships from people who inquire. This is unfortunately the tradeoff in visiting more conservative cultures that may have more ingrained homophobia than our own home countries. Travel safe and travel smart, and just know before you go!
Otherwise, St. Lucia is an exceptional location for a Caribbean vacation. Endless beaches, verdant national forests and fantastic resorts combine to offer a truly unforgettable location…it’s a shame that the island cannot be more openly enjoyed by all!