Discover Puerto Rico’s “Live Out” campaign embraces LGBTQ+ travelers as violence continues on the island
The tourism guide is attempting to combat violence against LGBTQ individuals.
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The destination management service Discover Puerto Rico is attempting to combat LGBTQ+ violence on the island by welcoming travelers who identify as LGBTQ+.
The “Live Out” campaign puts focus on transgender, non-binary, and non-gender-conforming people after a number of troubling trans-femicides occurred on the island last year.
Last year, 2020, was the deadliest year for transgender people in Puerto Rico. This year, the tragedy of one trans man’s killing took place.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi declared a state of emergency in early 2021, not long after he took office. Pierluisi also established a new task force based on gender-related violence on the island.
Naturally, violence on the island poses a variety of obstacles — from worsening quality of life for LGBTQ+ residents to how Puerto Rico is perceived by those outside.
As expressed by individuals such as Puerto Rican gay rights & human rights activist, Pedro Julio Serrano, in conversation with Bay Area Reporter, Puerto Rico’s tourism may suffer under its current status.
Serrano expressed concerns that LGBTQ travelers will not want to visit Puerto Rico if the government is not actively protecting its residents, more specifically, their trans residents.
The activist is not alone in his push for safety. In an attempt to remedy growing anxiety, Discover Puerto Rico launched the “Live Out” campaign:
"We want to welcome all of our visitors to our destination so that they can feel safe, and they can enjoy all that Puerto Rico has to offer our visitors," said José E. Arana Rodriguez, Discover Puerto Rico marketing and special events manager.
Discover Puerto Rico’s website lists Puerto Rico as the perfect destination to let “your rainbow flag fly high and proud.” They hope to continue the rollout of their campaign within the coming months.
While the push for inclusivity is important, government and destination management services alike must continue to ensure, past initial invitations, that LGBTQ+ people are welcomed and protected on the island.