L.A. Pride, which is scheduled to take place on June 8th and 9th of this year, is going to be here before we know it, and it is sure to be a fabulous time as usual. And if you’re the type of person (like me!) who loves to keep the celebrations going after West Hollywood wraps up its party, you should certainly plan to attend more Pride events around the country and around the world. This year consider heading down south – and I mean very far south to the tropics – for a unique Pride celebration in the Caribbean and visit the beautiful island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands.
St. Croix is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly islands in the Caribbean, and while you’ll find nearly all the same conveniences of being on the mainland, the U.S. island-territory is still a very much off-the-radar tropical island. It is the perfect destination to explore natural beauty, immerse yourself in an incredibly diverse culture, and be inspired by the kindness of the locals, while standing with our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters during the Pride festivities on the island (if you’re a U.S. citizen, you don’t even need a passport to visit, and it’s about a 2 ½ hour flight from Miami, FL!).
It’s important to note that the Caribbean overall is not generally known for being extremely LGBTQ+ friendly, and opposition does exist in the region. However, Crucians and most individuals on St. Croix are accepting and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ individuals and straight allies on the island organized the first-ever St. Croix Pride parade last year in 2018, and hundreds of supporters – including the Virgin Islands Police Department – helped to make the parade a huge success. The plans for the 2019 Pride events are shaping up to be equally fantastic as last year.
Supporting St. Croix and LBGTQ Pride
My partner and I spent a week on St. Croix at the beginning of February of this year, working with the Virgin Islands Department of Tourism as the island continues to recover from destructive hurricanes in 2017. I honestly cannot say enough amazing things about this island and the men and women who live there. The island has beautiful beaches that are truly out of this world, and it even has a small rain forest if you enjoy hiking. Most impressive to me is the kindness that nearly everyone exudes. In fact, it’s considered to be disrespectful if you don’t greet everyone around you by saying, “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” and “Good night”! And that is awesome.
We stayed at the gorgeous “Sand Castle on the Beach,” which is an adults only, LGBTQ+ friendly resort, owned and operated by a lovely couple, Chris and Ted, who promote love and kindness for all visitors. The resort is located directly on a stunning white sand beach in Frederiksted, one of two main towns on the island. When you stay at the Sand Castle, you’ll have lots of options for activities, including snorkeling in the crystal-clear ocean, kayaking, lounging on the beach, enjoying the restaurant/bar on the resort, or taking a dip in 2 different pools (one of the pools is clothing-optional if you’re feeling especially free while on your trip!). Plus, you can even get married on the beach!
There are lots of Pride events planned for the month of June on St. Croix, and the Sand Castle on the Beach will be holding its own Pride celebration on the weekend of June 22nd. It is my hope that the West Hollywood and Los Angeles community will join in the celebrations on St. Croix to stand with and support the LGBTQ+ community on our beautiful U.S. Island Territory.
Friends, this island can be your ideal tropical escape, especially after the wild parties and events of L.A. Pride. Let’s help make the 2nd St. Croix Pride parade and events bigger and better than last year.
I’ll be staying at the Sand Castle on the Beach resort again, and I hope to see you on the island (oh, and if you call the resort to book a room during Pride month, mention my name and you’ll get a discount!).