2016 - Forth edition Curacao Pride 2016 #Showyourpride Nafl. 10,00
Cool Woman Stephanie de Wit
“I sent him a message that I thought he was beautiful and if he would be open to be a donor”
Coming out stories
“Don’t wait until you are old and it’s too late. You will lose so much precious time!”
“Banda Bou will always be with me wherever I go and will always have a very special place in my heart.”
One Kingdom, One Love Equal rights and the freedom to be yourself
in the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Editorial The festive Curacao Pride 2016 is just around the corner. Which means the time has come for a brand new The Pride Villager; the first gay magazine of Curacao. The Pride Villageris published once a year. In the magazine we’ll give you a sneak peak of the upcoming Curacao Pride events. The Pride and its related events will take place from 26th of September until the 2nd of October 2016. At the time of publishing The Villager not all the exact details are known. But we like to direct you to www.curacaopride.com for all the latest news and numerous updates. Besides all you need to know about the Pride you’ll find in this magazine relevant articles about the gay life at Curacao. We did our best to fabricate the magazine in a way that it’s enjoyable to read for locals, people from abroad, family, friends and everyone who is interested. In the magazine we’ll treat you to an interesting article about the movie ‘One Kingdom, One Love’ made by the passionate director Sebastiaan Kes, various stories of Curacaolanians who came out as gay, two amusing columns and lots of other fun articles. I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to this edition of The Pride Villager. It’s of tremendous value that this magazine can be published on the island and that we can participate in this way to a bit more understanding, acceptance and equal rights for each and everyone. As Obama recently said: ‘It’s not about excluding, it’s about including.’ I hope you’ll enjoy reading!
Editor in Chief
10 Facts 15 Favorites 36 Shopping 45 Gay Welcoming Places
11 Nice Guy Kimijones Alberto 19 Frankee’s conspiracy 27 Cool Woman Stephanie de Wit 35 Jules’ Anonymous story 39 Coming Out Stories
21 Movies 23 Books 24 One Kingdom, One Love 31 Curacao Pride 2016
Editor in chief: Marlous Molendijk Editor: Yvette White, Aranka Keet Graphic Design: 5 Colors Media Photography: Theo Meijer Sales and advertising: Marlous Molendijk
‘Cover model: Qwensley Raphael, main character in ‘One Kingdom, One Love’ (page 24).
Printing: One Media Group
Contributed to this edition: Frank Holtslag Jurandy Regina Sebas Kes Frank Hendriks Yvonne van Vliet Stephanie de Wit Kimijones Alberto Daniela Moreno Sigfredo Martinez Marval Amy Duits Imara Marchena Luigino Magdalena Rammie van Eijk Taryna Panneflek Publisher: Floris Suite Hotel, Piscaderbay Z/N, Willemstad, Curacao, Tel: +5999 462 6111 Editorial office and advertising: email@example.com
Copyright The Pride Villager The Pride Villager is a publication of Floris Suite Hotel. No part from this publication may be copied, used and/ or made public by printing, photocopy, photo, video or in any other way without prior written permission from the publisher. It’s not allowed to include The Pride Villager in a reading portfolio without prior written permission from the publisher. The Pride Villager is not liable for any inaccuracies in this publication. The Pride Villager is not responsible for actions of third parties, which possibly result from reading this publication. The Pride Villager reserves the right to publish submitted material entirely or partially without giving notice in advance. Correspondence about results of competitions and/or special promotions is not allowed.
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In the 60’s “E Gai” was one of the first gay clubs in Curacao.
Cura+ offers free HIV tests in Curacao. If one wants to be tested they can do this anonymous at Rainbow House at Incastraat 16. Not being accepted by family is one of the biggest and more common issues that the young LGBT people on the island are dealing with.
From 10-10-2010 same sex marriage was automatically legal on 3 islands of the Dutch Caribbean; Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. They became a special municipality in the Dutch Kingdom. On this date the Dutch legislation was introduced on these islands that are also known as the BES islands.
An Aruban couple was the first legal married same sex couple in the Dutch Caribbean. They got married on the Island of Saba. Bonaire is the most popular island among the BES islands to get married as a same-sex couple.
With 17 members, Curaçao holds the largest IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association) membership in the Caribbean.
IGLTA has awarded the Curaçao Tourist Board with its prestigious “Destination Pioneer” award for its exceptional efforts in developing the island into an all-welcoming destination for travelers.
Floris Suite Hotel - Spa & Beach Club was rewarded in 2015 with the number 4 spot on the list of best LGBT focused hotels worldwide. According to Jessica Fest from roadwarriorsvoices.com the hotel has extensive experience catering to the LGBT market, welcoming atmosphere and gay-friendly amenities. 10
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Kimijones Alberto (24), born in Curacao. He describes himself as an artist. Kimijones is a busy guy! Did a great real estate project on Curacao, is creative director at Remon van den Kommer photography and XLeventus and besides that he also works as a model, dancer, singer and actor. He loves to live life out and loud. We are very curious to the story of this island child! 11 The Pride Villager
BANDA BOU Kimijones: ‘For people who know Curacao, Banda Bou must be one of the most beautiful parts of the island. Banda Bou is a place where nature shows enormous beauty as in places such as Shete Boca; a nature park that will take your breath away, inspire you, and make you aware of the power of nature. Banda Bou is rich with diverse animal life, beautiful hills, indigenous Divi Divi trees, stunning beaches and the most amazing night skies filled with stars. This is the reason why Banda Bou has so much appeal to me. Not only is Banda Bou the most beautiful area of the island, it is a part of my identity. This is the place where I was born and lived until the age of seven. One of the highlights of my early years was horseback riding together with my father; we would gallop our way through the land and have the best of times. My parents used to work on their own land growing food and taking care of the animals. Meat would be fresh as well as sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, eggs and much more. Banda Bou will always be with me where ever I go and will always have a very special place in my heart.’ 12
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SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS
Kimijones: ‘As a child in Curacao and later in my youth I was always dancing, singing and acting. At school I was always trying to create the best proms, parties and musicals. Competing for the title of King in the King and Queen of Carnival was a very big deal for me. From that age on I’ve known that art and creativity would later become a very big part of my life. Back then I never imagined that there was an actual course of study for performing arts. I had always seen it has a hobby and it was when I moved from Curacao to The Netherlands that I auditioned for the Lucia Martha’s Institute for performing arts. I got in and studied in the northern part of Holland in Groningen as well as in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. Studying performing arts meant attending many classes, training many hours a day and having little sleep.’
Kimijones: ‘I love to play a character that is completely different from me. Importantly acting allows me to channel my energy. All the preparation and thinking, necessarily when playing a diffrent role and person, one so far from your own, takes a lot of energy. The process of imagining and placing yourself in another role is a feeling I truly love. It was when I went to the casting of an American production that I became aware of my passion for acting. For some becoming an actor is a dream. But I know I’m more a man of goals rather than a man of dreams! Acting is one of my goals. It would thrill me to be able to achieve a part in a professional production. I want to be part of telling important messages and memorable stories that have the power to reach the world so that others can be inspired.’ 13 The Pride Villager
I believe the day will come when the words ‘coming out’ won’t have the same meaning as it does today. The subject of Gay rights is very important for the world today. There are countries that still criminalize being gay. Many gay people are afraid to come out through fear of imprisonment, torture and even worse death. Unfortunately today coming out comes with a lot of stress. Many gay people because of their personal circumstances are really afraid. This makes me sad because I believe just being who we are should be the only important thing in life. We are all human and that is why I don’t need a coming out.
Kimijones: ‘Remon van den Kommer is a well-known Dutch photographer and through him photography has become a big part of my life. I sometimes work in cooperation with Remon as creative director for particular projects. Therefore I have an important part in the process of creating the perfect picture. Taking care of the casting is one of my responsibilities, as well as creatively taking care of concepts, like where the shooting takes place, what type of location do we need and which decoration or attire will be needed. Occasionally I attend the photo shoot from another point of view, namely as a model. When my preparations for the shoot are rounded up and the photographer and I have come to an agreement the shooting will take place. I am also involved with editing and post production. Photography is wonderfully creative and brings with it the opportunity to leave a legacy of art.’
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The luxury bottle combined with its exquisite taste makes it our most favorite sparkling wine to serve during the Curacao Pride. The tastiest way to drink Sperone is on ice. Of course we will have some specials during the Curacao Pride, so you can decide if you are more a pink or a white lover!
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We spotted this t-shirt during the Pride in Amsterdam and just loved it! Itâ€™s totally the right message; get over it. We cannot wait till the first gay couple gets married on Curacao. We should all wear this t-shirt that day!
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Favorites The rainbow flag, commonly the gay pride flag and LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights marches. Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the design has undergone several revisions to first remove then re-add colors due to widely available fabrics.
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Favorites Every day we are counting down till the Curacao Pride. The most fun way of counting down is with the free downloadable gay calendar of www.meaws.com. Just circle the days of Pride (September 26th - October 2nd) and you wonâ€™t forget the most important week of the year!
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Photo of William Navarro
F rankee Frankee (30, Amsterdam) has never met a cupcake that he doesn’t like, got a bunch of weird opinions and thinks that Miss Piggy is his soulmate. You can find him on twitter (@FrankEElicious), Instagram (FrankEElicious), Facebook (HisHersOfficial) or at some random coffee shop pretending to write columns about his non-existing love life for CosmoGIRL but actually watching pictures of cats online. Every year Frankee from Amsterdam writes a column for the Pride Villager about his gay life, love affairs that never seem to work out and his crazy friends!
The Conspiracy. I am sure now. It’s all one big giant conspiracy. With every man I meet, there is a new humiliation waiting to happen. Maybe it’s me, cause I seem to reject the average guy as soon as they wear the wrong shoes. And before you say I need therapy, I already have a best friend named Jennifer who keeps giving me nonsense for advice, so I do not need a therapist.
With the voice of Jennifer in my mind saying that I should not be so quick to write men off, I decided to give him another chance. Until he told me that he likes to go cross-country skiing in his spare time. I did not know where to look. I was afraid that if I looked straight at him that he might have seen the emptiness that I felt at that moment.
As a single gay man it’s really hard to find someone that I really like and who also suits me. Trying to meet and date someone is exhausting. With Internet dating you never know exactly what you get and a spontaneously encounter in the supermarket doesn’t happen too often. In short: being single and trying to date provides one fiasco after another.
I am an intelligent young man, I studied, I’m kind to animals and I care deeply about my loved ones. Is this IT? Is this the type of man that the universe wants me to be with? I cut the evening short. I had no time for this. I’d rather stayed in bed watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ instead of killing my brain cells with talks of cross-country skiing and his morning routine to eat cress every day.
I had a good week. I managed to put everyone who annoyed me in his or her place. I received salary increase at work and I got some good news about my music project. So I felt it was time to let myself loose into the real world.
Weeks later, I offended a guy, and then he asked me out! If I mock you in a very rude way it does not mean that I’m interested in you. It means that you should get the hell away from me. I turned to my friends and told them that I was not going to date until the world made sense again.
I decided to go on a date with a mediocre guy with the intention of ‘who knows maybe mediocre fits well with me’. After exchanging our first words I found out that was not the case at all. I greeted him with a spontaneous ‘Hey’ and he, a white Caucasian computer geek, said, “What’s up shorty”. I quickly looked around to see if I didn’t secretly ended up on the set of ‘Empire’.
They say it’s all in the attitude. And mine has changed. I do not fall for the seductions of the mediocre guy anymore. I have no interest in useless conversations. I say no when I don’t want something. I’m harder. I feel that my attitude has changed. And I can tell. This time it’s going to last. Maybe even a week. Frankee http://twitter.com/FrankEElicious
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Chill out and relax. Get your favorite drink and popcorn ready. These are the best, romantic and scariest movies of 2015!
Holding the man “Will they last?” Tim and John fell in love while teenagers at their all-boys high school. John was captain of the football team, Tim an aspiring actor playing a minor part in Romeo and Juliet. Their romance endured for 15 years to laugh in the face of everything life threw at it - the separations, the discrimination, the temptations, the jealousies and the losses - until the only problem that love can’t solve, tried to destroy them. Dir: Mika Kaurismäki With: Malin Buska, Sarah Gadon, Michael Nyqvist Biography | Drama | History | Romance 106 mins.
All about E “Does she love her as much as E loves her” A beautiful sexy DJ is forced to run when she stumbles on a stash of cash. Can she keep the money, conquer her demons, AND get the girl? Dir: Louise Wadley With: Mandahla Rose, Brett Rogers, Julia Billington Comedy | Drama | Romance 93 mins.
Freeheld “It’s all about justice” New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester’s pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Dir: Peter Sollett With: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell Biography | Drama | Romance 103 mins. 21 The Pride Villager
While lying down on the beach or between all partying one need to relax with a good book! We give you all must reads published in 2015.
Sunset Park - by Santino Hassel “Out and proud David” Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out and proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.
A Clueless Woman - by T.B. Markinson “abusive relationship” Graduate student Lizzie Petrie feels more comfortable around books than people. Although an expert in the Hitler Youth, she’s a novice in love. Her former lesbian lover is blackmailing her, and not even those closest to Lizzie know the full story of their abusive relationship.
Not safe for work - by L.A. Witt “a match made in the dungeon” They’re a match made in the dungeon…until their secret gets out. Bored senseless in a meeting, architectural modeler Jon McNeill amuses himself with a kinky dating app on his phone. Then the app matches him with another user…who’s six feet away. Suddenly Jon finds himself on the same page as someone way above his pay grade: millionaire property developer Rick Pierce. His firm’s biggest—and hottest—client. 23 The Pride Villager
One Kingdom, One Love (2015, 58 minutes)
A documentary on equal rights and the freedom to be yourself in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was officially announced in a press conference in April 2015 by the Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science: a ‘Kingdom Boat’ is going to sail in the Canal Parade during the 20th Amsterdam Gay Pride. A remarkable initiative; in the year of the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, representatives from the Dutch Caribbean islands were going to raise awareness for equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT’s) troughout the Kingdom. ‘One Kingdom, One Love’ follows the initiatiors of the Kingdom Boat and a group of gay rights activists from the Dutch Caribbean islands during the week of the Amsterdam Gay Pride 2015. We see them at the reception in the official residence of the mayor of Amsterdam and walking along with the Amsterdam and walking along with the the annual 24
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‘Pride Walk’ through the historic center of the city. Their stories give a glimpse into a subculture which is normally kept quiet about.
In 2001 the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. And also in other areas the country is very liberal. The contrast with the situation in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom could hardly be greater. In Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten marriage still is prohibited for gays. And for many LGBT people in Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius (where gay marriage is permitted) religion and social control make it impossible to be themselves. Even talking about LGBT-issues is a taboo and 99% of local politicians won’t touch the subject.
Feel good documentary
Bit by bit the documentary reveals the social nonacceptance and the harsh battle for equal rights on the islands. In particular the outspoken personal stories from people from the LGBT-community – who have to deal with it daily - make a big impression. However the film has not become an elegy of negative stories. The interviews are full of fighting spirit and hope for improvement. And the enthusiasm and openness of the protagonists touches people. After the world premiere in Amsterdam the film was even called a ‘feel good documentary’. Sebastiaan Kes and Frank Holtslag at New Day Studios
One Kingdom, One Love (2015) is the first documentary of director Sebastiaan Kes and cameraman Nikolai van Nunen. The film was shot in the Netherlands, Curaçao and Aruba and features two gay prides: the 20th Amsterdam Gay Pride and the 3rd official Curaçao Pride. A funny fact is the film will be screened during both the 2016 editions of Amsterdam Pride and Curaçao Pride.
Special screening Curaçao Pride
Do you want to see ‘One Kingdom, One Love’ on the big screen? The documentary will be screened free of charge – at the Floris Suite Hotel during the 2016 Curaçao Pride. At the time of printing of this magazine the exact date and time were not yet known. For details: see the Curaçao Pride 2016 program at www.curacaopride.com
For information on ‘One Kingdom, One Love’ or the official trailer, visit www.onekingdom.nl. Support the good cause by liking ‘One Kingdom’ on Facebook (onekingdomfilm) and Twitter (OneKingdomDocu).
Qwensley Raphael (cover model of this Pride Villager) is one of the protagonists in the documentary who tells his personal story about coming out as gay.
In January and February 2016 director Sebastiaan Kes made a tour in the Dutch Caribbean to promote ‘One Kingdom, One Love’ and attended the premieres in Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten and Bonaire. In the same period a premiere event was organized in Saba. The film got a lot of media attention and the turnout at the premieres was beyond expectations. Using panel discussions the audience was challenged to give an opinion about the film and the subject. And with that the first objective of the filmmakers was achieved: the film touches different audiences and really helps to stimulate discussion on LGBT-issues. But it doesn’t stop there. In Curacao there were also screenings at the university and Bonaire already held special meetings with the film in schools. In 2016 with help from LGBT organizations on the islands the film will be rolled out further, with screenings in schools, libraries and community centers.
The Kingdom Boat during the Amsterdam Canal Parade 2015
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Stephanie de Wit is born in 1985 on the beautiful Island of Curacao. She is the child of the very creative Juliet family in Curacao and inherited the talents from her father. She started her career as MC Divine, a vocal MC and in 2014 as DJ La Blanche. After a huge success as MC in Madrid and winning third prize in the Fresh Cotton/Sneakerz MC Contest 2008 for a contract at 1Management, baby steps became giant steps. PICTURES BY: TJITSKE AGRICOLA
As a real Yiu di Korsou (Child from Curacao) she craves for a sate ku batata and chicken! She embraces life and also the fact of getting older. Her favorite things are listening to music, watching Netflix and of course the most beautiful woman in her life Janine! www.facebook.com/DivneMelody 27 The Pride Villager
Stephanie: ‘I was not raised with my father’s family (Juliet) in my life, so I don’t really know what kind of people they are. I just know that they were/are really talented and that I inherited those talents as well. My mother’s family (de Wit) is the most humoristic family ever! We always try to achieve goals and to the best in our passion for the things we love doing. My mother was the best mother anyone could wish for. She always believed in me, I’m grateful for the love she gave me when I was young and how she raised me to be a strong woman. My uncles always have been the two men in my life. I got all the love a little girl could wish for. They really spoiled me! I see them as my dad’s and they also helped raise me from a distance when we moved to Holland when I was 10 years old.’ 28
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Stephanie: ‘I came out at the age of 16. All my friends and family supported me. My mother was the only one struggling with the fact of me being gay and that she was a Christian. It took her 7 years to get just to the fact that I wasn’t going to change and that this is who I am. That issue is now over. She doesn’t judge anymore. I can finally be myself around her. It was a bumpy ride, but she just needed time… a lot of it!’
The perfect wife
Stephanie: ‘I saw Janine five years ago during one of my performances at a party. I thought, wow what a beautiful woman! For a while there was occasional contact but when Janine’s relationship ended, she was devastated. I just wanted to be a real friend to her; I was there for her and helped her through it. We talked and hung out a lot. The turnaround was when came with me to my performance at the Gay pride in Amsterdam. We looked like a couple! Our friends saw the sparks between us and I noticed it as well, I was in love! After a lot of talking and dating we are officially a couple since September 2013. We have been living together now for two years and we are getting married on the 27th of June 2016.’
Stephanie: ‘Janine and I both have this wish of becoming a mom, getting pregnant and having kids. We have spent a year searching for the perfect donor. We wanted a dark or tinted Caribbean donor. We thought it would be super easy, because who would not want to help these amazing ladies? It turned out to be a lot harder than we figured. It was really difficult and we realized we weren’t asking for a jar of sugar. Also as we want the kids to be each other’s siblings from the same donor, this is really important to us. This ride has been a major rollercoaster of joy, anger, hope, sadness and wisdom.’
Finding a donor
Stephanie: ‘A few months ago I saw a beautiful dark man in a picture of friends on Facebook. I sent him a message that I thought he was beautiful and if we would be open to be a donor. This wonderful man responded so positively on my request. He said he was honored and already had been a donor of a healthy girl of three. We talked a lot and met up and found out that we finally found a real match. He is exactly what we were looking for: smart, sweet, beautiful, creative and brought up with values. Also he has done it before and knew the drill. Furthermore he fully supports our wishes and that all rights and obligations lie with us. But we want to involve him in the children’s lives and for them to know who their dad is, so they would never miss it and can relate to their roots. My uncles are going to be the grandpa’s of our babies and they are also really excited! Everyone grants us this miracle.’
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Cabaret Night During the Curacao Pride we are organizing the Cabaret Night. This surprising and amazing show will be accompanied with an exquisite dinner and the best wines.
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Rainbow Lounge Pride Edition During the Curacao Pride is the XL edition of the weekly Rainbow Lounge at Floris Suite Hotel. DJ Eli plays the best tunes; the bar serves the best drinks and cocktails. The perfect spot for having a great time with your friends, but also the perfect place for meet new people!
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Navigaytion Sea Parade
Conquer the Caribbean Sea at the Navigaytion Sea Parade. This all included boat party sails you along the most beautiful island spots!
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The White Party is the main event of the Curacao Pride. This all in white event hosts the best Curacao artists, gorgeous girls and handsome boys. Take a look at our 2015 flashback of this great event!
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Whenever the door of the shop opened, my heartbeat went up incredibly. Maybe I had to pick a better spot to sit down, so I had a direct view of who would walk in. Obviously Grindr is great if you want to arrange a quick date and probably also if you want to leave as soon as possible after it. This time it was so different than any other time. The chats weren’t about what, how and where. Not even about something near to that. This person on the other end of the phone had me down to my deepest emotions by asking exactly those questions that I have long wanted to answer to someone. Topics I usually can’t talk about to anyone. He and I have chatted for about two months before we even started talking about meeting up. However, not a day (well not even an hour) passed without whats apping each other. During the day it was mostly about each other’s whereabouts and activities. But at night, boy oh boy! We could fantasize till 4 am and do it all over again the day after. Would he instantly fall for me? Or maybe he saw me through the window and didn’t want to come in anymore? Before I could actually think about that, I heard the *klingeding* from the door and saw what I was hoping for the last 2 months. In the doorway stood an appearance with such agility and style that it looked like he was alight. Mr. Confident himself. He is narrow, muscular but not excessive. Just perfect. Still a little ill at ease he looked around until our eyes met. It was almost like he walked up to my table in slow motion. I caught up and before I knew it, I was in a passionate brasa with Mr. Confident! This was it. This was what we had both had been
It’s been more than 45 minutes since I started drinking the Frappuccino that’s in front of me. I figured Starbucks is an excellent central and mostly neutral location. That’s how it goes in the movies, right? Of course I was way too early, but I could not take the chance to arrive late and possibly lose the opportunity of my life.
waiting for. I had never heard his voice, and when he opened his mouth I just fell even more in love. The understanding, which has always been present in his posts, was so similar to the softness of his voice. He was still talking, but my ears were ringing so bad that I did not hear everything. Until I heard him say: ‘Don’t you agree? Let’s get out of this cold!’. Like a puppy suffering from separation anxiety I stammered that I would really want that. As my home situation doesn’t exactly allow us to go cozily sitting on the couch together, we decided to go to his house. Which isn’t too bad at all, because he has a house at Blue Bay. Once at his house, I could not believe what happened to me. An extravagant villa with sweeping driveway loomed before me. When we entered, I found myself in an oasis of peace and good taste. The very brightly decorated house with lots of glass would fit the character of Mr. Confident. We walked to the back porch and laid down on the huge comfy sofa that stood at the pool. From the open kitchen, he had brought a bottle of bubbly, which he had conveniently put in a cooler next to the couch. Just when I wanted to compliment him more about the beautiful accommodation, he placed a finger on my lips and handed me a glass of chilled prosecco. As in a dream, we toasted the glasses and took a sip while strangled in each other’s arms and looking into each other’s eyes. It felt like we were together for months! After a few sips, he put his glass down and leaned forward. Pushed back by Mr. Confident in the sofa, I felt heavenly overpowered. This would be the beginning of a delicious adventure. 35 The Pride Villager
Curacao is more than just sun and sea. Curacao is also good shopping, if you know the right spots. One of our favorite stores is Mundo Mio. They have everything for your home like sofas, chairs, clocks, pillows and lots of fun trinkets! 36
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Visit Muno Mio at Schottegatweg Oost 144 or call +5999 7883096. Like Mundo Mio on facebook! Show your like in the store and receive a 10% discount on all items. Valid until November 2016 Not valid on discounted items
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Coming Out Stories
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“Don’t wait too long with your coming out. You will lose much precious time!” Last year I completed my degree in nursing. At the moment I’m working at a nursing home for the elderly, but I’m also busy with modelling. It is a pity that there is hardly any growth in the male modelling business in Curacao. The payment for modelling is low, so you can’t really make a job out of it. For me it is more a hobby, because I enjoy doing it so much. If you really want to make it in the modelling business you should move abroad. I am planning to move to the Netherlands. But right now it isn’t the right time for me. First I would like to get my life in order in regards of my boyfriend. Eventually I want to continue studying in the Netherlands to become a lab technician and of course I would like to continue with my modelling career. I’ve known for a long time that I’m attracted to guys. To ensure that my parents found out about it from me personally and not from someone else I came out to them when I was very young. I was hoping that it would be less of an issue if I told them myself. I’ve always thought to myself ‘when I’m sixteen I’ll tell my family’. One day I gathered my parents and my brother around the kitchen table and told them I had feelings for men. My mother was very sweet and 40
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relaxed about it, but unfortunately my father and brother reacted very angry. That is when I decided to move to The Netherlands for two months to live with my aunt. The distance between my family and I was necessary, we all needed it. My aunt was a great support to me and helped me a lot by talking to my father and brother. They found it hard to accept that I was attracted to men. My aunt explained them that I could not help it and they had no other choice but to accept me the way I am. Fortunately, everything is currently great at home. I’m in a relationship with my boyfriend for over a year now and he’s treated like a son by my parent’s. In Curacao we go out as a couple all the time. We have nothing to hide. We walk with our hands entwined across the street and most of the time people react very positive. They give us compliments about our shamelessness and encourage us to continue to act that way. We try to ignore the negative reactions we get. I don’t care anymore. I want to tell everybody that if you’re gay, just let everybody know. Don’t wait until you are old and it’s too late. You will lose so much precious time.
Imara was born and raised in Curacao and has always been aware that she is attracted to women. I don’t like being labelled as a lesbian. I am who I am and have honestly never thought about the fact of being lesbian or straight, that is not important at all to me. I have always said that I will never have to come out as I do not see why that is necessary. Straight people do not tell their parents they are straight, so why should I tell my parents that I am a gay? I have to be accepted for who I am and not for my sexual orientation. When I just finished high school I wanted to go to Holland to continue to study, but my mother wouldn’t allow it. In her opinion I was not ready for this big step, as she stated in her own words I was still a bit too wild. My girlfriend at that time was living in Holland and came on vacation to Curacao. During her stay we planned my secret escape to Holland. Together we booked my ticket, arranged the school I wished to attend and planned my finances. The day of departure I could not find my passport and to my surprise I found out that my mother had hid it. I missed my plane and was devastated. Sitting on the hill of the house of my mother I saw the KLM flight fly away to Holland, I was heartbroken and in tears. My mother came outside and asked me why my “boyfriend” and I had fooled her. My girlfriend was very masculine, so my mother thought she was a man. I asked my mother which guy she meant, because my “boyfriend” is a woman and therefor my girlfriend! My mother began to cry and wanted
to take me to her priest to pray to god and heal me. I told her that I wouldn’t visit the priest, because he was gay himself (last year he was banned from the church as he was caught being intimate with a man). After the discussion with my mother she requested me not to tell my father or any other family members in regards of my relationship with my girlfriend and my sexual orientation. Up to this day I have never told my father or any other family members about my sexual orientation, but I do live my life the way I want to. I take girls to my parents’ home and my father always makes conversation with my guest and makes them feel welcome. My father is the sweetest man in the world. I have never had to explain anything to him. He just knows. 41 The Pride Villager
Rammie Van Eijk (51)
I’m not from a typical Antillean family. My father worked for the Shell and therefor I received a Dutch orientated upbringing. Every year we would go on vacation abroad and we would celebrate Sinterklaas and Christmas, these events were not typically celebrated or executed by most families in Curacao in those years. I simply had a very nice and comfortable childhood. In terms of clothing I’ve always been different, very extravagant. From the moment I received a clothing allowance from my mother I started to buy my own clothes and to develop my own style.
His sexual orientation is totally accepted by his parents whom are from Curacao. When I was 22 I moved to Holland to study. In my heart I desired to be a hairdresser but I ended up studying for a degree in administration. It was very exciting moving to Holland as I did not have any family living there, just a couple of friends so I had really had to rely on myself. Fortunately my parents raised me to be an independent person whom was able to handle this totally new environment.
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I never really have had to come out of the closet as a gay. It was quite clear to my environment that I was different to the other boys of my age, as on an average day I would change my outfit three times. My parents did think that this was slightly over the top but never judged me for it. We’ve never really talked about it, my parents just knew that I was gay. They have always accepted me for who I am and they never asked me to tell other people about my sexual orientation. That would have had no use anyway as you could clearly see at that age that I was gay! Everyone just knew my sexual orientation without asking. At that time I didn’t have boyfriends but I did have a date once in a while. With my friends I have a very strong bond of friendship, they are very important to me. I have a wonderful man that I met 21 years ago and we have been married to for the past 16 years. I enjoy life, have a nice home and have been fortunate to have travelled the world. I am a very happy person.
“I am who I am and I’m finally happy” From the moment I could think for myself I knew that I felt different about girls then about boys. Back then I couldn’t quite understand what I was feeling. I didn’t recognize what it was that I felt. I didn’t even know that something like a lesbian sexual orientation existed. My main focus was on school and my grades were my main priority. I studied for my VWO at the Radulphus College and at that school being gay was a big taboo. All those years I’ve suppressed my feelings, this was devastating for me. I got depressed and became anorexic because I wanted to be thin for my dancing classes. At one time I was more dead than alive. Some of my psychologists thought that my anorexic disorder had something to do with being a lesbian. But again at that time I denied it. I was admitted to the hospital and when I got a little bit better and was back at home things continued just like they were before. I passed my exams and finished school. I decided to take a gap year. In that same summer vacation I began watching lesbian series such as ‘The Real L Word’ and ‘The L Word’. I recognized myself tremendously in the story, the characters and their feelings. That was the moment that I knew: I’m like them, I’m a lesbian. Approximately a week later I gathered my parents in the living room and told them I knew the reason why I was depressed. I told them; I’m a lesbian. My father was shocked at first but then he was very sweet and kind. My dad knows that my love for him didn’t change and I still love him like I always have. My mother found it more difficult to comprehend what
I was feeling. It almost took her a year to accept it, and she still sometimes doesn’t find it easy to cope with. She also tried to hide it from her family. One day I broke into her Facebook account and sent her family under her name the message: “My daughter is a lesbian and I hope you can accept her the way she is.” Three of seven family members reacted to this message, and four didn’t react at all. My mother didn’t get mad at all. I’m guessing she was relieved that I send that message, so she didn’t have to do it herself. At family festivities my relatives act really nice to me, but I know they talk about me behind my back. But I don’t care about that at all; I am who I am and I’m finally happy. My true passion lies in the movie industry. I would really like to become a film director. Soon I’ll be starting a film-directing course at an institute, which is established in Curacao. I hope I can transfer to America and take directing training over there. I’m looking forward to broaden my horizons and spread my wings. I’m very proud of my tattoo. It’s a Bonsai tree and it stands for meditation, harmony, peace, order of thoughts, balance and all that is good. Thus you can compare it to the freedom of expressing my sexuality and being me. At the bottom there’s a rainbow flag in the form of a hearth. The tattoo isn’t finished yet, but already I’m very happy with it. 43 The Pride Villager
Life is Dushi at the beach!
Open daily: 7:00am – 8:00pm breakfast, lunch, Sunset Snacks Address:
Piscadera Bay z/n
+5999 462 6111
Moomba Beach Club offers an exclusive destination for sheer relaxation in the tropical sun. At Moomba Beach you’ll find yourself at one of the most astonishing spots of the island. It’s even more special, because it’s one of the first gay friendly beaches in the Caribbean. The tranquil, palm-ringed cove overlooks a white sand beach, a bright blue sea and warm gentle surf. On the beach you’ll find comfortable lounge chairs and large umbrellas for a perfect day of basking, lounging and relaxing. Discover the utterly beautiful underwater world with the snorkels that are available to you. A perfect start of your day: a nourishing breakfast, soft morning sunbeams and your feet in the already warm white sand. In the afternoon Moomba prepares the tastiest lunches with savory flavors. Watch the sunset into the sea with a luscious cocktail and cheers to this perfect paradise. 45 The Pride Villager
Gay Welcoming Places
Tomatoes, Pizza at the Beach, is the perfect spot to enjoy a laid-back dinner; a unique and charming pizza restaurant with excellent thin crusted and tasty pizzas, 100% homemade with fresh ingredients.
At our tropical waterfront bar, the bartender will make you feel right at home. Sipping refreshing cocktails and enjoying the beautiful ocean view is close to island perfection.
4:00pm â€“ 10:30pm
Happy Hour: Fri, Sat, Sun 4:00pm Address:
Piscadera Bay z/n, next to Pirate Bay
Tomatoes, where people meet and
friends are made, one slice at a time.
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08:00am - 10:00pm
+5999 864 22 33
Gay Welcoming Places Looking for shade, palm trees, clear blue water, great food and drinks and a unique relaxing atmosphere? Stop searching! During daytime Karakter offers a unique beach experience with comfortable lounge chairs, cushions, a lot of shade and the best service. During nighttime Karakter transforms into a cosy fine dining restaurant where you can enjoy culinary delights while enjoying magnificent sunsets and sea views.
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8:30am â€“ 11:30pm breakfast, lunch, dinner
Daily happy Hour:
Piscadera Bay z/n, next to the Hilton
This little gem is located on the picturesque natural Bay of Piscadera. Relax on our beach with sandy toes, salty kisses and the most beautiful sunset imaginable. End the day with a romantic candle light dinner under the stars, while enjoying a variety of local and international dishes. Fridaysâ€™ we start of the Weekend-Fun, swinging with live music during happy hour and on Sunday we jam on the beats of live Reggae. At Pirate Bay, fun and romance go together like sunshine and rainbows.
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We like to think of ourselves as the Curacao Dive Shop with personality. Once you visit us we will make you feel at home and part of our team from day one! We are proud to say that a large part of our guest base is repeat guests. This is not only because of our fantastic location, top notch boats and equipment, high safety record and professional service â€“ but also we care! We are here to make your experience with us the most enjoyable youâ€™ll ever have.
8:00am - 5.30pm
private charters available
JFK Boulevard z/n (Marriott & Hilton Hotel)
+599 9 4622620
Experience Our Passion! 49 The Pride Villager
Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort is honored to welcome our friends in the LGBT community and is offering an exclusive rate of $79 per person for Resort Day Passes! Enjoy access to the resort’s stunning beach and pools, savor unlimited lunch and beverages including our signature tropical cocktails and refreshing frozen drinks, participate in any of the resort’s daily activities and more! Offer also includes beach/pool towels and complimentary Wi-Fi in the resort’s lobby. Nestled beachfront on the 2,000 acre Santa Barbara Plantation, Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort offers guests a wide variety of amenities including multiple restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, 18-hole championship golf course, water sports, SCUBA Diving and more! Visit www.santabarbararesortcuracao.com/pridevillager to learn more about our exclusive LGBT offer and book your escape to paradise today!
Welcoming Places Open daily:
Medi and Splash Bar
Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort
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t PinkCuraçao we believe in the well informed traveler and although Curaçao leads the pack as the most gay-welcoming destination in the Caribbean you may still have a few questions. This is normal. Like: Is there a nude beach? When is Curaçao Gay Pride? Do I need yellow fever shots? Not finding the answers however can be quite frustrating. Enter PinkCuraçao, your LGBT travel guide, to book a hotel and get all the info you need about what is happening on the island and when. Find out where to eat like a local and where to eat traditional local food. Is there a difference? Only one way to find out. Much like the island is filled with treasures to discover, our website is filled with information to explore: from how to get here, to what to bring, to what to do and whom to do it with, naah…. just kidding on that last one. We just want to make your stay on our Dushi Sunny Rock the best ever! With the lowdown on cultural events and adrenaline filled activities, to info on the best beaches for tanning, snorkeling and diving to the best restaurants for all occasions. The information is constantly being updated for you to tailor your vacation to your particular interest. Even so it can happen that you are not able to find what you are looking for. Feel free to drop us a line and we will get you the information, we might end up
discovering something new in the process. Through PinkCuraçao we aim to bring the travelers into contact with the local businesses big and small that are gay-welcoming. Head over to our PinkDirectory and check out the listings. If you are a business owner and wish to get listed, just fill out the application form to get registered. The team at PinkCuraçao is very invested in the LGBT community on the island. Some of our team members are part of organizations that work hard to achieve equality for the gay community. One of our team members is even the beloved drag queen Pepper Katana. Visit our website for a fun interview with this fabulous creature. Travelling is about discovering new cultures and about making new memories and PinkCuraçao is all about making the most of your vacation time on the island! Bon Bini Dushies!
CONTACT@PINKCURACAO.COM WWW.PINKCURACAO.COM +5999 6657465 | +5999 6667455 | +5999 6677465
Bon bini Dashies!
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The most LGBT welcoming hotel in the Caribbean
All Suite Boutique Hotel • Adult Only • Centrally Located Sauna • Steam Room • Hot Tub • Fitness Room • Two Private Beaches
Let Us Spoil You!
Proud Member Of
International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association
Piscadera Bay, Curacao Dutch Caribbean T +5999 4626111 florissuitehotel.com