© 2019 by Karli and Emily Buckley


Why you should be weary of traveling to the Dominican Republic as a lesbian

If you're thinking of quick (and cheap) vacay to the Dominican Republic, i'd seriously reconsider and explore elsewhere.

Here's the deets -

Hotel: Occidental Caribe

When Karli and I initially booked our honeymoon, we were so excited to spend 5 days in the sun and relaxing on the beach. We were going to get out of the early fall north east cold air and enjoy the warm waters of the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, we were so wrong about how the trip was going to go. We did get out of the cold air and into the warm water, and we got to ride cool dune buggies and boogey board in the ocean, however, we faced a significant amount of homophobia - more than I ever have in my entire life (granted I’m from Brooklyn so my experience with it has been limited).

In the research that we did before we booked our trip, we couldn’t find a resort that was specifically “gay friendly” but we read in several articles that as long as you were staying at a resort, you were welcomed.

I suppose the resort we chose was the wrong one. We stayed at Occidental Caribe in Punta Cana. The pictures looked beautiful, it was an all inclusive, right on the beach, short distance from the airport, and it seemed super romantic. Besides the daily stares while we were walking by holding hands there were three "incidents" that took place -

# 1 : A lifeguard came up to us and tried hitting on us telling us we were beautiful and asked if we were sisters, when I responded and told him that we were married, he told us “that is wrong” and even after I told him it was legal in the US, he just kept saying that it was wrong and he left with a dirty look. {inset major eye roll here}

# 2 : We went to the resort beach, took two of the chairs that were off to the side by themselves, put our stuff down and then went in the ocean. When we came out of the water, we went over to our chairs and everything was missing. Our clothes, our bag, our phones, money that was hidden inside the bag, everything was gone. I sprinted frantically around trying to see if anyone nearby saw anything but they didn’t. I finally caught a glimpse of our bag and went over to it, but there was nothing in it. We continued to walk down the beach and one by one found our belongings. However, we didn’t find our money. We were horrified that this would happen on the private hotel beach.

# 3 : Throughout the entire trip, people who worked at the hotel were trying to get us to go off of the resort with them, not with the resort trips, but “oh my friend will come pick us up and take us outside of the resort”. Having that constantly pushed on us every time we ran into someone who worked there, was actually really scary. Knowing that they could find out what room we were in, that we were a lesbian couple, and that they wanted to somehow take us off of the resort made us feel entirely unsafe.

I’m so incredibly fortunate that I have found someone that I genuinely enjoy her company and even in the midst of a horrible trip, we can still have a good time. We enjoyed the QT we got to spend with each other and just made the most of our trip. We even left the hotel 5 hours earlier than we needed to, and sat in the airport

waiting to get home LOL.

We’ve never been so happy to touchdown in New York, New York: the city so nice, they named it twice. Needless to say, we will have to do a redo of our honeymoon!

Punta Cana, no me gusta

- Emily & Karli