Gay centre opens on Curaçao

Curaçao, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has opened its first gay centre. With its activities Casa Rosada (pink house), located in the neighbourhood of Otrabanda, hopes to break the taboo on homosexuality.

Education and information are badly needed, says FOKO (Fundashon Orugyo Korsou), the Caribbean island’s gay group. Founder Thirza Stewart stresses how important that is: “The silence that falls when you tell your mother you are gay is very hard.”

The guests attending the opening all get a glass of pink champagne. “Why should I apologise if I like women? I notice it’s hard to be open about my sexual preferences. The consequences can be quite painful. Certain people, for example, are no longer welcome at home.”

Family circle
Gay and lesbian people, Stewart says, not only face prejudice at home but also on the work floor. She knows several people who were refused a job for being gay. Foko head Mario Kleinmoedig confirms gay people on Curaçao face an uphill battle, though things are not as bad as in Jamaica, where they fear for their lives.

Kleinmoedig stresses how difficult it is to have open gay relationships given all the social pressure. He says it is important to lower that pressure but also to teach gay people how to cope with it. “We want to raise the self-esteem of gay people. Homosexuality simply exists—that is a discussion we are no longer interested in. That’s history.”

Many taboos
Someone who lives close to Casa Rosada says he is worried by the opening of the gay centre. “A bit further down is a brothel, and over there is a hotel where people rent rooms for a few hours. There are many taboos here. At the same time, a lot happens, especially at night.”

Source – Radio Netherlands Worldwide
Additional related article

“Live and Let Live” or
“Biba i laga Biba”

That is the philosophy on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao.

This unique and in-depth website serves as a resource for any gay traveler looking for a little help in navigating the island and knowing where to stay and what to do and see.

We are committed to welcoming all visitors to the island and hope that this new integrated tool will help spread the word to the gay and lesbian community worldwide. highlights the many tourism partners on island that are members of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and provides a listing of places to gather and meet other gay travelers, as well as locals.

Source – Gay Curacao