drewMay 4, 2015 at 6:51 amPost count: 0
can you recommend some excellent gay places to stay near vedado?MarioKeymasterMay 5, 2015 at 12:09 amPost count: 149
Hi Drew. Sorry for the late reply.
I’m not 100% sure I understand your question. Are you asking about gay friendly casas?
If so, I am pretty sure all of the casas listed in the book and on this website are gay friendly. Honestly, Cuba is currently a pretty open society. With a casa particular especially. The owners care about their casa, your safety, and they want to make money. But after that, you can do whatever you want with your personal life, and they probably won’t notice, and/or won’t care.
I have seen some websites advertise “gay friendly” casas. Honestly, it’s mostly a marketing ploy.
Personally, I could recommend a few casas which I think are nice, and where I know for sure you will have complete privacy and the owners won’t care at all about your private life. In fact, you will probably only see the owner once, when you arrive, and again when you leave.
That’s just to name a few. Personally, if you plan on having guests over, you might be better off with a private casa. It’s a bit more convenient because sometimes, if you are not in a private/independent place, the owners will ask guests to sign a guestbook when they enter. This is for your own safety. But still, it’s a bit inconvenient sometimes.
If you have any other questions, feel free to post. I will answer quickly next time.
MarioPhilterDecember 12, 2015 at 10:14 amPost count: 0
Read your useful article about casas, but u also mention ‘private casas’, I plan on staying with a Cuban friend as a guest next visit, how do I locate private casas?
ThanksMarioKeymasterDecember 12, 2015 at 2:02 pmPost count: 149
Hi, when I say private casa, I just mean a casa particular where you are completely private. In some casas you are living in the same apartment as the Cuban hosts, or you might be sharing an apartment with other foreigners. In a completely private casa you have a whole apartment to yourself. You get the keys and there is an independent entrance to your apartment. The owner of the building is not there to even notice anything you might be doing. It’s still a casa particular, but its completely independent and private.
If you are looking for this type of casa, you can simply look on the casa section of this website. The independent casas are the ones which are completely separate.
If you have more questions, just ask me.
MarioCAMPSFebruary 25, 2017 at 5:27 pmPost count: 0
nous recherchons un chambre d’hote gay à cuba ou un hotel gay
cela se trouve à La havane?
où sont les plages gays s’il en existe
merci bien à vous
BernardMario RizziFebruary 27, 2017 at 9:19 pmPost count: 0
I will answer in English, since it is easier for me.
Nobody really cares about sexual orientation in Cuba. All casas particulares are gay friendly, as far as I know. The landlords just want money. It doesn’t matter if you are gay or hetero.
If you are a gay couple, any place will be happy to have you as a guest.
The only discrimination is for single travelers. Many casas do not like single travelers because sexual tourism is common in Cuba and they know that most single men and women will often bring home local Cubans, and problems sometime a come up.
MariololaApril 12, 2017 at 10:35 pmPost count: 0
Mario, your efforts are appreciated but I think you are misunderstanding why gay people want to stay in a gay friendly place. Yes, Havana may be a tolerant city. But ideally, we’d be staying in a place where we’re more than merely tolerated – it’s about being able to be yourself, without any nasty homophobic surprises, and finding other gay people to talk to openly. Plus, you yourself go as far as to recommending a private casa to stay (and be gay) in, where you won’t even see the owner more than once – which is kind of like hiding away in your own accommodation, and not necessarily what people want, gay or not. So that’s why people ask about gay friendly places. That’s all I wanted to say, so cheers, I hope you take this in the good grace it was meant.MarioKeymasterApril 12, 2017 at 11:49 pmPost count: 149
Hi, just to be clear, I have no hard feelings to you at all. I wrote a long response (below) just to make sure I am clear on a few things, but this forum is a place to share ideas and we should all be able to openly say almost anything.
Specific to the post, I wrote “if you plan on having guests over, you might be better off with a private casa” This goes regardless of your sexual orientation. If you have a Cuban guest over, or any guest, the guest will be required to sign a guestbook and the landlord will have to see the guests ID. Naturally, this takes away from the “in the moment” experience and adds a layer of formality to the casa. If you plan on bringing back guests who are not on the lease, you are better off with a completely independent casa where the landlord is not there, and you can skip the guestbook/ID hassle. Personally, I always prefer independent casas, so that I can do whatever I want and not have to worry about disturbing the host (waking him up, having him open the door for me, interrupting his peace, etc.)
As for casas where you are living in the same area as the Cuban host, you will always have less privacy. This goes for hetero or gay couples. If the landlord is sitting across from you on the sofa or the family room is right beside your bedroom, regardless of who you have with you, you will likely not be able to let loose as much as you would if you had your own, independent place.
My brother is “gay” and I have tons of “gay” friends and relatives. I put the word gay in parentheses, because it was something I grew up with my whole life and honestly, I don’t like having a separate word for a person’s orientation, because it feels a bit discriminatory. I don’t call my non gay friends hetero, and I don’t call my gay friends gay. I just call them by their name and consider everything else just normal human behavior. This (sadly) might not be the norm in most societies, but in Cuba, it is pretty close to it. There is almost no machismo or discrimination in Cuba. Some people will say there is, but I have never seen it.
Concerning the casas, specifically the ones in my guidebook and website, I have met each landlord and stayed at each casa. Out of all the casas I have stayed in, many casas, for one reason or another do not make it into the book or website. I have only published the casas which meet my guidelines. One of my guidelines are that the owners do not show any discrimination. This goes for orientation, race, religion, family type, etc. If the owners even ask about these issues, it is a red flag for me. Fortunately, the vast majority of casas in Cuba do not show any discrimination on any of these criteria. The owners are forward and say, “all I care about is that the guests pay, don’t break things, and have a good time. Everything else, is not even in my field of vision.” They are not “tolerating” gays, or saying “I don’t want to know about it”, they are just genuinely saying, it’s not a factor at all.
In Cuba, it is common for large families to share very tight spaces. It is common for a teenage daughter to have her boyfriend sleeping with her in the next room with nothing more than a curtain as a separator. For adult children to live in the same 2 bedroom house with their own families and sometimes 3 or 4 generations sharing the same roof. The average Cuban has learned to just go with it and accept almost everything as normal. Not tolerate… but accept.
I personally will not make specific lists for “gay friendly casas”. I feel it adds a layer of discrimination where there is none. I don’t want any gay person to see the list and assume that they should stay at those casas, or that other casas not on the list are unfriendly. I don’t want heterosexual people to think that those casas are not welcoming to them. I am reasonably certain that at any of the casa listed here, anybody can be free to openly be themselves in front of the host. And in most cases the hosts will also reciprocate by being completely themselves too.
I know that some people would still prefer a list. But there are many other sites with these lists…
Anyway, sorry to write so much. I’m not just responding to you. A lot of what I wrote is just a general commentary. Honestly, my feeling is that Cuba is currently, possibly the most non discriminatory country in the world, on all themes. There are reasons for that, and history has a lot to do with it. It’s a very beautiful thing and I am proud to be able to help spread the word about Cuba as much as possible. Thank you for your post and for reminding me of this subject. Have a great day, Mario.
Ps. As mentioned above, the only area where some hosts do discriminate is on sexual tourism, specifically prostitution, and more specifically on underage exploitation. It’s a totally different subject. It’s becoming more and more of a problem and unfortunately, a downside to independent casas it is that sexual tourists can do this activity without anything to stop them.
gay casa particular
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