Tide Turning in D.R.

There’s a gay wave cresting in Santo Domingo. Although homosexuality remains taboo – and, in fact, illegal – in much of the Dominican Republican, more and more gay men are migrated to the urban capital to find relative acceptance.

Older gay men remain in the closet, explains one out resident, but the younger generation’s found solace in the city’s colonial district:

At the beginning, a lot of people judged us, but society is more accepting now. If people see you walking and holding hands, there is no problem. People may see you, but they won’t judge you. You can do what you want.

Sounds chill to us, but of course there’s more to the story.

Anthony Montgomery, who moved to New York City four years ago, definitely appreciates the social evolution, but points out that there are still no loud, proud public figures: “There are no [prominent] gay Dominicans. There are rumors about prominent gay people in the government, but there is no one who’s going to come out and say I’m gay.”

The dominant Catholic church no doubt has something to do with the linger taboo. Cardinal Jesús López Rodríguez denounced the gay colonization of the colonial district: “We cannot allow that this place, the historical center of Santo Domingo, to be converted into the patrimony of foreign and Dominican degenerates.” Oh, please! We gays do more for neighborhoods than Rodríguez can even imagine! Just look at Chelsea!