Curacao’s South Caribbean Pride 2014: Photo Diary
The Dutch island of Curacao is one of the most gay-friendly escapes in all of the Caribbean, and that’s not just because of the colorful architecture that’s all over the island. Though there’s only one gay bar on the island, G-Lounge in the popular neighborhood of Punda in Willemstad, that doesn’t stop the community from having a good time, as they can be found through all the clubs and bars in Curacao. The island even now has two pride events, which the gay-friendly and gay managed Floris Sutie Hotel in the Otra Banda neighborhood recently hosted both. The former Get Wet weekend has transformed to Curacao Pride in September, while a new Pride week event just debuted.
This past week, from April 30th to May 4th, the Floris, Pink House (a local LGBT organization) and other members of the community on the island held the first South Caribbean Pride, which brought visitors from all over the Caribbean, the Netherlands, South America, Canada and the U.S. I attend all the events as I was visiting to work on a story for Passport Magazine, and the first night featured a welcome party at the Floris, which got an extra rainbow makeover (though they do have one rainbow flag out everyday in their front gates).
A drag cabaret dinner went down the next night, with local drag queens and others from New York and Florida performed favorite American and Latin hits (plus a French number thrown in). Other drag queens were walking around serving face and a delicious, artistically presented meal.
After parties for the week were held at G Lounge, the cute little Caribbean hole in the wall bar that has some gay SoBe flair.
Friday brought on the Birdcage party at the pool of the Floris with a runway above the water for the drag queens to werk and perform on, and there were delicious bites prepared from the neighboring Marriott scattered about.
The weekend came, and Saturday was featured a Pride sailing trip that brought a large gaggle of gays on the Insulinde to sail towards a luscious beach spot to swim and soak up the sun while on the sand, and party on the ship of course on the way and back.
An after party followed at the fortress-turned-outdoor shopping and dining area, Rif Fort, that we eagerly marched towards. We all stationed ourselves by the Riffort Bar as pride, pop and local Caribbean hits played in the background.
The final event was a 12 hour pool party that also had a gogo boy contest in the afternoon while a DJ blasted throwback numbers and pop hits remixed with Caribbean and Latin flavor, and the bartenders kept the drinks flowing.
Until next time Curacao!
Photos: Andrew Villagomez