This Fall, my wife and I embarked on a month-long road trip through the United States. Being Canadian, we’ve spent plenty of time down in the US, although it’s mostly been in the PNW and on the northern East Coast. This was our first time travelling to the South together.
We drove from Ontario down to Florida, over to Texas, and back up to Canada over the span of about four weeks. We drove through twenty different states, a handful of them being new to both of us! We were somewhat weary of visiting the southern states as a lesbian couple, because we like to be out and open when we travel. However, we were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and safe we felt in every city we visited, and we had a really fun experience.
One of the major highlights of our road trip was our visit to central Florida, and we can’t wait to return together one day. We spent our time in Orlando and Kissimmee, and loved how lesbian friendly it was! My wife is a long time lover of Florida due to her obsession with Disney, but this was my first visit to the Sunshine State, and our first time there together.
We enjoyed 5 days at the Walt Disney World Parks, and would highly recommend them to any lesbian travelers heading to Florida. We are both huge Disney fans, and have always found the parks to be safe spaces where we can feel comfortable holding hands and showing affection to one another. We saw a lot of other same-sex couples in all four Disney parks, and tons of people sporting rainbow Mickey ears and other Pride gear. We felt completely at ease being ourselves.
Disney does such a wonderful job of truly including everyone, and they have been very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community for decades through their company culture and progressive policies. They have offered health benefits to same-sex partners since 1995, and they have allowed same-sex weddings at their resorts since 2007. In 2013 they hired their first openly gay company president, and this year in 2018 they released their first rainbow Pride merchandise. They are a company that we love to support, and we’ve visited the parks in California, Paris, Tokyo, and now Orlando. We had an amazing experience at Walt Disney World, and will definitely be back again one day!
Despite Florida being a more conservative state, Orlando is a beautiful hub of LGBTQ+ culture, and we were impressed by how vibrant the community is. The city felt very inclusive and safe, and we were out and open the way that we would be at home. Because we are big theme park nerds, another highlight of our Orlando visit was a day at Universal Studios! We are both big fans of Harry Potter, and had an amazing time visiting the Wizarding World in both Universal Parks. We geeked out and sported our Gryffindor gear (although I’m really more of a Hufflepuff), and had an absolute blast! We’re so glad we made it to Florida on our trip, and would recommend the city of Orlando to any lesbian travellers that find themselves there.
My wife and I travel full time and love to find ourselves surprised by destinations. We wouldn’t have thought that we could be so open on our trip down to Florida, and it was an unexpected bonus! We both present as more feminine and don’t typically receive too much negative attention when we travel as a lesbian couple, but we do sometimes adjust our behaviour depending where we are. It’s easy enough to tone down the PDA if we feel we need to, but we only will if we really feel a threat to our safety. This wasn’t the case during our time in Florida, and we were so happy to feel safe and accepted. We can’t wait to return one day and explore more of the state. Next time we need to hit the beaches!
To visit the Lez See the World Blog, click here.
Check out other great places while in the area. Click here to explore Orlando.
Written by Kaitlin & Stephanie
We are Kaitlin & Steph, a married lesbian couple from Vancouver, Canada! We have been travelling together full time for nearly three years, and our adventures have taken us across Canada and the US, throughout Western Europe and the UK, down to Central America, to Asia, and Australia. We run a travel blog called Lez See the World which is made to empower lesbian women to travel, live their lives more openly, and connect with other amazing lesbians around the globe. Our aim is always to bring gay women together, and provide them with information and inspiration. The cornerstone of our blog is a series called ‘How Lesbian Friendly Is…’ We write about each country we’ve travelled to, and help answer the questions that lesbian travellers would ask before travelling to a new destination. We talk about the LGBTQ+ laws of that country, the social climate and the public opinion of the locals, the best “gaybourhoods” and gay friendly areas, as well as our personal experience travelling to that country as an out lesbian couple. We are proud advocates for the community and hope to help fill the online void in accessible travel information for lesbian women. Thanks for reading!
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Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.