An Orlando ad encouraging LGBTQ visitors says,
The possibilities are endless. And there are amazing LGBTQ+ events for you to experience where everyone is welcome.”
A similar advert by the tourism association from June titled “Orlando is full of Pride” features a few of the city’s LGBTQ+ residents speaking about why it is a safe place for queer people.
NBC News’ Ben Collins spotted the ads while listening to a podcast, and wrote in a tweet that the city was,
down so bad it’s unbelievable”.
Just heard a podcast ad from the city of Orlando and the whole thing was just reassuring gay people that their city is a safe place to go. They’re down so bad it’s unbelievable.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) August 10, 2023
One person says in the video,
The way our city is set up, there are so many pockets of multicultural groups.
We have our LGBTQ+ community in our Lake Ivanhoe College Park locations, we have our strong Black heritage within various parts of the city. We have a very strong Latino, Brazilian heritage here as well.
I think that allows Orlando to not only take and absorb all those cultures but create its own wonderful, beautiful combination of all of them.”
But in reality, Florida has become an unfriendly place for the LGBTQ+ community, so much so that the Human Rights Campaign has issued an updated travel advisory warning urging queer people to “reconsider” traveling there.
The joint report published in May warned LGBTQ+ travelers that, if they are still considering entering Florida, they should make a
clear safety plan.”
This includes recommendations such as consulting an attorney and knowing your rights before entering the state and to
assess the level of danger you may encounter in being searched, questioned, and/or arrested.”
Sounds really friendly, huh?
Orlando city relies on tourism due to its many theme parks, including Disney World and Universal Studios. Mayor Jerry Demings said ,
We are seeing different shows and conventions who have plans to come here, who are contracted to come here and others who are considering coming here, asking us questions about the character and the culture of our community.”
I’ve had to quite frankly in the last several weeks respond to that to reassure organizations and conventions that we are a welcoming, caring, and open community.”
I wish the community well. But I will say, I have a house not all that far from Orlando in Merida, Mexico and it is frankly safer that ANY city in North America, FOR ALL PEOPLE, which includes the Queer community, except for one other – Quebec City.
I wish this wasn’t such sad news for the United States.
(Photo, Come Out With Pride Orlando; via PinkNews)