I’ve worked in LGBTQ media for the last 15 years, so many of my holidays have been to prides and lesbian festivals: The Dinah in Palm Strings, L Fest Del Mar in Spain, Femme Fest, Lesvos, Brighton Pride…I’ve been to most of them. However, I recently booked a cheap ten day break in the sun in straightland, otherwise known as Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, with my platonic holiday wife and my son. One of my friends suggested I might get lucky on holiday. I’ve been before and it was full of families and the odd surfer, so I thought it was pretty unlikely but I decided to have a look for the lesbians anyway.
Once I started looking for LGBTQ people while on a “straight” holiday, I realised how hard they were to find! We did have a rare sighting of a butch/femme lesbian couple but in ten days the only gay male holidaymakers we found were two well groomed guys who, thinking about it, might just have been well groomed straight men.
This led me to question, where do LGBTQ people – and specifically women who love women – go on holiday? If we want to find other gay people, particularly singles, is the only way we can meet others to go on a gay-run holiday or to a famous gay destination?
Finding a girlfriend
When I go to Lesvos or L Fest, I love it because I make new friends every time but that there is also an uplifting sense of community. I know that if I go back alone, I’ll meet friends that I’ve met there or at some other LGBTQ holiday before. I also have a chance of a holiday romance or even finding a girlfriend as women don’t need an L sign on their head; if they’re there in the first place, they probably date women.
But there must be a lot of LGBTQ women who’ve never gone on a “lesbian holiday”. And what about all the LGBTQ families? Where do they go on holiday? Please feel free to message us at OutNewsGlobal with your answers.
So back to Fuerteventura. We went to the main surfers’ bar. Normally, as a lover of watersports (stop sniggering at the back – you know what I mean) I sometimes meet the odd lesbian couple. Sadly, in the bar there wasn’t a single lesbian or gay couple but one night I did spot a potential single lesbian. Like me, half of her hair was long and she had the tell tale, half shaven cut. She also had a few tattoos, looked quite quirky and cute. She clocked me checking her out. Was she gay or just a surfer girl with cool hair and tattoos? I’d love to tell you that I’d kindled my first gay holiday romance on a straight holiday but I’m shy, so looking was as far as I got.
Anyway, in a whole ten days of exhaustive research, I finally managed to spot two lesbian couples, only one potential lesbian and one possible gay male couple.
Under the radar
Yes, lots of women, like myself and my platonic holiday wife, might go under the radar. We’ll never know if they are two female friends on holiday, two female gay friends or an invisible couple but it seems that many gay men really don’t go on regular stereotypical straight holidays.
I think that gay men, particularly those who are more “femme presenting” might worry about homophobia and feel much safer in a gay resort like Sitges. Also, gay men (like most of us) want the chance of some holiday action, so if I was a gay man I’d be looking for fun in Gran Canaria or somewhere similar rather than Fuerteventura.
I thought about my friends who went to Femme Fest 2021 with me. My sister normally travels to Arab countries, so she has met guys on holiday but never a woman. At Femme Fest, she had a full on festival girlfriend. I went with a group of LGBTQ single mums. Two of them met face to face for the first time and are now a couple. I may have even been kissed at Femme Fest but I’ve definitely never had as much as a kiss from a girl while on any regular “straight holiday”.
Next I spoke to my friends who, like me have an LGBTQ family. Some go to Butlins, some go to Spain but when we do it seems that most are invisible, especially if there is only one partner in the swimming pool with the children. My friend Vicky said, “When we go to Butlins or a caravan holiday, I’m a solo mum, so people tend to chat to me and then ask if my husband is back at the caravan”.
Interesting and unusual
Brighton Rainbow Families run an annual rainbow families camping event but it seems that is the only place in the UK that you can go on holiday and be likely to meet another rainbow family.
This year I’m going to Femme Fest & L-Fest and I’m considering going back to America in October for The Dinah Festival. Trips like these are a great chance to meet new lesbian friends and maybe even a date or two, when most of the time I live in a place that I don’t get to meet any lesbians, let alone hundreds of singles ones! Yes, we do live in the modern world, where no one claims to be “bothered” that my holiday wife and Idate women, but many still straight people on holiday claim to find us “interesting and unusual”. It seems that if we want any chance of meeting other like-minded people on holiday, the best way is to go to a known LGBTQ resort or festival.
So after all this research and me saying that there are very few lesbians in the West Coast of Scotland, where I live, I’ve decided to run Oban Lesbian Weekend, a four day mini break for LGBTQ people and their friends in August. Since there are no lesbians here, I’ve decided to bring them to me!