Early 2020 AD. Danny and I embark on a 21st century Odyssey. On the Majestic Princess from Sydney to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. Back to Sydney, then to Melbourne and flying back home.
We did this cruise before the coronavirus epidemic became a pandemic. We are very aware the travel industry and in particular the cruising industry is hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic. Travelling and cruising may never be the same again. But this is how we experienced cruising on the Majestic Princess in January and February 2020.
After a flop on Royal Caribbean and the concept being non-existing at MSC, Danny and I tried the LGBTQ+ get-together on Majestic Princess. Sven of Touristico Gay has announced MSC will start such meet-ups.
You’d think us gays are good at small talk and starting conversations. Quod non. We arrived at the Seaview Bar, the venue of the first meet-up. We approached a couple but they declined. We weren’t what they expected, I suppose. But I had others on my radar. After harnessing some courage I talked them: Nigel and Michael.
It was a timid start.
Later Aaron, Willy and Don joined.
It took the second meet-up to attract more LGBT’s. Gay and bi men, I should specify. Maybe lesbian, bi and queer women and trans* and non-binary people weren’t interested in meeting other LGBT’s? Or maybe the concept is too men-oriented?
On day 3 the usual group met up. It seemed to younger guys were interested, but no-one made a move. So maybe gay people need a formal and outspoken context such as a gay bar, a pride event or other LGBTQ+ activity to start a conversation? I can also imagine the sight of quite vocal guys of 30 didn’t motivate the tweens.
The get-together wasn’t every day on the schedule, but we met up anyway. Chatting about our day, our plans, talking about life at home and cultural differences. Having a good time in general.
We still have a WhatsApp group.
Next time I will be or try to be less timid and talk to those I think want to join. I can only be rejected.
Going to strangers and offering them to join an LGBTQ+ activity equals a coming out. Maybe I’m not as out and proud as I think I am…
That’s a thought on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Intersexphobia (IDAHOT or IDAHOBIT).