With summer comes the beach-side getaways some lucky students can afford. While popular places include the Bahamas and coastal Mexico, avoid the equally popular Bermuda islands. Many people in the territory are homophobic, the cost of traveling there is expensive and Bermuda overall is not worth your business.
In May 2017, Bermuda’s supreme court ruled in favor of gay-marriage, a major step in the country’s LGBTQ equality. However, Bermuda Governor John Rankin reversed the decision in early February 2018, reinstating the belief that marriage should be between men and women and effectively taking a step back for civil rights (which eerily echos the political choreography of the United States.)
Now it is once again illegal for LGBTQ Bermudians to get married. Even when they were allowed that privilege, queer folk on the small island faced harsh homophobia, according to Rod Ferguson, a gay man fighting to reverse Rankin’s same-sex marriage reversal.
And yet, Bermuda remains one of the most popular destinations for vacationers seeking good beaches, food and local sites. However, LGBTQ students from the University of Georgia hoping for a beach vacation should mostly avoid Bermuda in that regard, especially if they go with partners or other people who don’t look straight. While there has been very little threat of physical violence, clear anti-gay sentiments permeate throughout local communities.
In addition to that, buying anything in Bermuda is ridiculously expensive. Bermuda has one of the highest standards of living in the world (three times as much as the U.S.) mostly because of the high duties and importation costs for most of the goods on the island. An inexpensive meal at a restaurant would cost around $30, and hotels aren’t cheap either. While students could find cheaper ways to vacation on the island such as through couch surfing and cooking, it would still be costly to travel to Bermuda.
Both the economic and human right reasons should be enough for students to skip Bermuda this summer. There are thousands of other places to spend the vacation. Wherever students decide, it shouldn’t be a place whose repeal of gay marriage set a world first for homophobia across the world.
Even U.S citizens should protest the egregious step backwards for human rights, or at the very least the cruel repeal of hope for gay couples who wanted to get married in Bermuda. While it might not be the most convenient to march a protest in Bermuda, U.S citizens can vote with their dollars. Students especially should save money and skip homophobic Bermuda.