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Puerto Vallarta: A Beacon of Love and Inclusivity in a World Struggling with LGBTQ+ Rights

Updated: May 10



Our last stop in Mexico before going back to the States this summer is Puerto Vallarta. I'll share more about our overall experiences in Puerto Vallarta in a future post. For now, I want to focus on the significance of the city's LGBTQ+ scene, which holds considerable cultural importance in both Mexico and the United States.


In addition to its beautiful beaches and lively culture, Puerto Vallarta is a welcoming and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community. This welcoming energy is authentic and a noticeable part of this city, demonstrating its commitment to being progressive and open-minded. And it’s not just LGBTQ+ travelers who are attracted to this inclusive environment. This place provides a safe haven for anyone looking for a non-judgmental space to freely express themselves.


A community’s treatment of its LGBTQ+ community is a reflection of its overall acceptance and inclusivity. It is more than just a measure of its progressiveness. it shows its true humanity. At the heart of this conversation is love. Love can be expressed in various ways - towards others, towards oneself, and towards a greater purpose. Yet, all of these expressions trace back to a profound understanding of human love, which is frequently expressed in romantic relationships. How a society embraces and supports this love reflects deeply on its character and values. In Puerto Vallarta, this love and acceptance are not just words but a living, breathing reality that inspires and gives hope to all who experience it.



Imagine being unable to freely express your love for another person. Many in the LGBTQ+ community experience the harsh reality of society deeming their love as wrong. Merely for embracing their love, they encounter discrimination and judgment.


Carla and I can walk down any street in the United States, freely holding hands, linking arms, or even sharing a kiss. If “Carla” were instead a “Carl”, then expressing our love openly could lead to serious consequences in certain parts of the country. The existence of this disparity is a result of societal norms and cultural biases, which breed discrimination and hate by dictating an exclusive notion of love.


The right to love freely and without discrimination is a fundamental human right, not a matter of personal opinion. It’s about acknowledging the inherent worth and dignity of every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ+ individuals have long struggled with barriers to love and acceptance enforced by societal norms, religious doctrines, and political agendas. These barriers have stripped them of fundamental freedoms, relegating them to second-class citizens and marginalizing their relationships and identities.


LGBTQ+ rights are not about seeking special privileges, but rather about achieving equal treatment and dismantling systemic injustices that have oppressed the LGBTQ+ community for too long, depriving them of the right to love openly and authentically. LGBTQ+ rights transcend politics, religion, or institutional norms. It’s about the basic right to love and be with whoever you choose, something heterosexuals have without question.



Puerto Vallarta’s dedication to LGBTQ+ rights is a powerful reminder of the true meaning of democracy. The United States emphasizes its democratic ideals, but true democracy encompasses more than just political freedoms.


I think it is hypocritical for the United States, or any country, to proclaim itself a democracy without ensuring absolute freedom for all, and LGBTQ+ rights need to be seen as a civil rights issue. Freedom, liberty, and democracy are frequently praised in the US. Yet, those most vocal about these freedoms usually seem determined to curtail freedoms for others. They seek to determine whom you can love, which God you can believe in, the choices a woman can make about her body, and even the books you can read.


But let’s refocus on the subject of LGBTQ+ rights. Love and relationships find hope in Puerto Vallarta. In this city, people have the right to love whoever they choose, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The entire country of Mexico has made significant strides in this realm and same-sex marriage is now legal nationwide: after a series of state-by-state legalizations and a Supreme Court mandate. Public opinion in Mexico has also shifted more favorably toward LGBTQ+ rights which is a heartening trend toward inclusivity and acceptance. Cultural attitudes are evolving, and while challenges persist, the nation embodies a growing acceptance that mirrors the broader Latin American region’s shift towards more progressive views on LGBTQ+ issues.


On the other hand, the United States is still dealing with a complex set of laws and policies that can sometimes hinder or obstruct this basic human right. The American landscape presents numerous challenges to love and acceptance, including the lack of federal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and the ongoing struggles for marriage equality in certain states. The US is making progress, but considering its democratic ideals and global influence, there is still a lot to be desired, particularly in addressing transgender issues.



The measure of a democracy lies in the freedoms it provides its citizens and its dedication to equality and justice. In this regard, Mexico’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights positions it as a more progressive and inclusive democracy than its northern neighbor. By fostering an environment of acceptance and inclusivity, Puerto Vallarta (and Mexico in general) demonstrates a deeper understanding of the principles that underlie a genuinely democratic society.


While writing this, I am overcome with a profound sadness, acknowledging that the United States, my home country, remains far behind in addressing the essential human right of choosing whom to love. Politics, religion, or societal norms should never dictate matters of the heart. This privilege has long been enjoyed by heterosexuals without question. 


While I could go on, I’ll save you from my long-winded thoughts. But here’s an idea to ponder: societies that place limitations on love cannot cultivate compassion, empathy, or kindness. We must strive to be better.


I am grateful for the chance to see and experience Puerto Vallarta, a community that wholeheartedly embraces love and inclusivity. It’s a place where love and acceptance can triumph over prejudice, fear, and hate.



  

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8 Comments


My favorite blog to date, Simcha. Such beautiful words. The U.S. has to do better!

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Simcha
Simcha
May 10
Replying to

Thank you, Monica. Your words mean a lot to me. And frankly, I think it's my favorite as well. I loved writing it, even as my heart felt heavy as I was writing, just knowing that we have these crazy rules and laws . . . and so much hate surrounding an entire group of people who are doing nothing more than simply trying to love. We do indeed need to do better!

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Guest
May 10

That is so interesting about Puerto Vallarta being so open and welcoming to everyone, especially the LGBTQ+ community. I have recently been part of a group discussing transgender individuals. My heart goes out to them. There is so much misunderstanding. They experience so much negativity and so many challenges. Not to mention the withholding the necessary medical treatment. Thank you for being a voice for how we should be treating others.

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Simcha
Simcha
May 10
Replying to

Thank you for sharing, caring, and being involved. You're absolutely right - there's a lot of misunderstanding about transgender individuals. This misunderstanding, mixed with fear, often turns into hate. It's clear we have many challenges to address in the world, but gender and sexuality shouldn't be among them.

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Guest
May 10

Zona Romántica baby! 👍

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Simcha
Simcha
May 10
Replying to

You got it! So vibrant and so much fun.

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Chris M
Chris M
May 10

Beautifully said Simcha.

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Simcha
Simcha
May 10
Replying to

Thank you, Chris.

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