Steve Brister of GayFamily Trips.com
said that LGBT parents generally look for
destinations that are both gay-friendly
“Standouts in my mind include Orlando, Hawaii, California (San Francisco, San
Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs)
and New York in the U.S.; major cities in
Canada; London, Amsterdam and Spain
in Europe; and Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific,” Brister said.
Community Marketing & Insights’
data suggest that Disney is a motivating
factor for LGBT families. In a recent poll,
16% of LGBT parents vacationed with
their children last year and spent a night
in a hotel in Disneyland, Disney World or
Brands get into the game
Kaminsky said that more travel-related
brands are now including the LGBT community in their ads.
“Marriott made a big splash with their
#lovetravels campaign,” he said. “Most
major airlines have an LGBT page on their
website, and Orbitz has had a dedicated
LGBT family page for many years.”
Barry Pollard, senior vice president of ho-
tel operations for Kimpton Hotels, said his
brand feels that families are defined by their
deep relationships and commitment.
“There isn’t a ‘typical’ LGBTQ family
dynamic,” he said. “We see that families
are all looking for similar things when they
travel: a safe and welcoming environment,
the opportunity to try new things that
can be enjoyed by guests of all ages and of
course, spending quality time with one an-
other in a new or familiar city.”
Kimpton plays up the family angle well.
On our Baltimore visit, my son loved the
in-room Xbox 360 console and separate
room with bunk beds at the Hotel Monaco.
At Kimpton’s RiverPlace Hotel in Portland,
Ore., the Bedtime Butler visits on random
evenings from approximately 6 to 9 p.m.
He (or she) carts around nighttime good-
ies such as books, hot chocolate and stuffed
animals along with slippers, fresh towels,
tea and calming oils for the parents.
While Kimpton doesn’t explicitly ask its
guests about their sexual orientation or gender identity, Pollard said Kimpton has heard
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See LGBT on Page 16
Steve and Scott, together for two decades, were married in 2014. They’ve lived in Minneapolis, Seattle and now Philadelphia. They have a 14-year-old son, Henry, who they adopted
from Cambodia. In addition to focusing their travels in and around their son’s birth country,
they have been across Europe and to many gay-friendly destinations in the U.S.
“We’ve tried to travel to destinations where the three of us will not be an issue or
questioned,” Steve said. “With so many countries in Africa having deeply held negative
feelings and laws against LGBT folk, we are reluctant to head that way at this time.”
“We’ve used Rick Steves for travel direction, but we generally book most things on our
own,” Steve said.
Lara and Jennilyn have been together since 2008. They had a commitment ceremony/
civil union in 2011 while living in Nevada, and they officially married in 2013 after moving
east. They live in central Pennsylvania and have one son, Elias, who is 14 months old.
The couple were practically professional travelers before Elias came along, with trips
all over the U.S., as well as a Caribbean cruise and trips to the Philippines and Hawaii,
but they recently have been a bit more restricted in their travel.
“The three of us will soon be embarking on a three-week vacation, which will include
Vegas, San Diego, Anchorage and Seattle,” Lara said.
Lara said she has to be “completely cognizant about having all of our documentation
in order” before they travel. “I will have [our son’s] birth certificate, our marriage certificate
and our adoption papers when we travel,” she said. “Because we may travel to states with
different laws than ours, we feel it [is] best to be prepared. … We have no desire to travel to
the South because of the conservative views on almost everything.”
Lara said she really wants her son to get a taste of other parts of the country and, eventu-
ally, the world. “My mother did this with me, and I believe I have a greater appreciation for
the diversity that exists in this country,” she said. “I want that for my son because it’s impor-
tant to realize there are different people in this world and to be accepting of that.” — P.J.H.