There is not one travel agent or destination-marketing company that has not acknowledged — even if ruefully — the financial punch wielded by the LGBTQ travel industry. When it comes down to brass tacks, they love us — so much so that they use the term “gay capital” as a lure. Sometimes they are spot-on. Other times it’s a little dubious. So here is the question: What makes a “gay capital” just that?
I’ve taken the liberty to draw up a list. In some cases, I had to do a little reaching; some regions are so generally hostile that a city there can be a gay capital simply because it has a single gay club. But I did not write off any region as a lost cause; that would be a slap in the face to the gays and lesbians working very hard for their rights and visibility.
So with that:
It is not like there is a lot of competition here. African leaders have made an art form of blaming everybody else for their own inefficiencies; it was only a matter of time before they targeted LGBTQs. South Africa is the only country on the continent where gays and lesbians are equal to their heterosexual peers, and in a nice surprise, the competition for gay capital of the continent is pretty brisk.
In one corner you have Cape Town, and in the other, Johannesburg. One boasts a sunny coast, the other the delights of the “big city.” Both have a lively gay scene. But I am going to go with Cape Town this time around, because the crime rate — which is sky-high in South Africa — is generally lower in Cape Town than in Jo’burg, and Cape Town actively bills itself as a gay destination.
This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.