Understanding Inclusivity at VACAYA LGBT+ Vacations
Here at VACAYA we use the shorthand “LGBT+” to refer to the community we serve, but we know there are many identities that make our rainbow shine. ALL are welcome here, no matter where you fall on the LGBTQIAPK spectrum. In the warm spirit of VACAYA, we embrace the mantra of “the more the merrier” and we’ll happily keep adding letters to our tasty alphabet soup.
Speaking of soup, you may be asking what all the letters in LGBTQQIAAPPK actually mean. So, let’s break it down:
Lesbian: A female-identified person who’s attracted romantically, physically, or emotionally to another female-identified person.
Gay: A male-identified person who’s attracted romantically, physically, or emotionally to another male-identified person.
Bisexual: Individuals who are attracted to both men and women romantically, physically, or emotionally.
Transgender: Individuals whose biological sex is different than the gender with which they identify.
Transsexual: Transsexual individuals have physically altered their body in order to better match their gender identity. It describes a change in physiology.
Questioning: Indicates a person who is examining their own gender, sexual orientation, or sexual identity.
Queer: Queer is an all-inclusive term referencing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transpeople, and intersex persons. Although “queer” had been seen as a derogatory term, our community has reclaimed it in an attempt to reject the idea that the labels of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are able to explain any one person’s identity.
Intersex: Someone whose physical sex characteristics are not categorized as exclusively male or exclusively female. LEARN MORE
Asexual: A person who is not attracted to anyone or who doesn’t have a sexual orientation. LEARN MORE
Ally: A person who does not identify as LGBTQIAPK, but supports the rights and safety of those who do.
Pansexual: When someone is pansexual it means they are attracted to people regardless of their gender. They are attracted to individuals rather than one particular gender or sexuality, and that can be whomever they fancy. LEARN MORE
Polyamorous: People who identify as polygamous / polyamorous have consenting open relationships with more than one person at a time. LEARN MORE
Kink: Kink is simply about those who have kinky fantasies. Kinks live in the beautiful underworld of our community, a place where BDSM (bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism), leather, and other fetishes all come together. EXPLORE the arguments for “K” being part of our community’s Alphabet Soup.
While Alphabet Soup predominantly describes sexuality, gender is a whole other topic altogether. Our friends at the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality have provided us with the following definitions to help the VACAYA community better understand the complex subject of gender:
One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.
External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
Those who are genderless, without a gender identity, or gender neutral.
Terms used for those who do not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions, but who identify with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.
The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns, and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions.
Latinx is the gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina. Use of the word aims to move beyond gender binaries and is inclusive of the intersecting identities of Latin American descendants who are trans, queer, agender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or gender fluid.
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Gender, Sexuality, and Romantic Minorities
All of us here at VACAYA promote a progressive understanding of both sexuality and gender. And while we constantly strive to have a deeper understanding of how you view yourself, the wheels of progress move slowly with our mainstream partners. Many times, gender has been reduced to a simple binary choice: male or female. This has to do with the many Customs and Border Patrol regulations requiring a person’s stated gender to match the gender on their passport/legal ID. We will continue to work with our partners to expand those current limitations, but know that your VACAYA family will always respect your right to identify – both in terms of sexuality and gender – in whatever way you choose. In other words, you do you.
As a company committed to inclusion for the gender expansive members of our community, we make pronoun pins available for our guests to wear on trips. Not familiar with pronoun pins? We’ve got you covered! Check out the video below:
While wearing a pronoun pin certainly isn’t mandatory by any means, we encourage folks to wear the pins to minimize potential misgendering. Even for those whose gender presentation matches their gender identity, wearing a pronoun pin is a sign of solidarity so that our trans and gender non-conforming family won’t feel as if the responsibility of normalizing pronoun use rests solely on their shoulders. Are you comfortable with any pronoun someone might use to refer to you with respect? If so, we’ve got a pin for that, too: “All pronouns welcome with respect!”
RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER
VACAYA welcomes everyone to come as you are while recognizing that we all have room to grow. If we’re willing to listen to each other, there’s a lot we can learn. One of the most important things to bring on your VACAYA vacation is respect for others and an open mind.
Companies like VACAYA exist to provide you with exceptional experiences that are different from standard vacations. We like to say that “VACAYA is built for everyone, but not everyone is built for VACAYA.” And that’s ok. When you choose to travel with us, you accept a social contract to treat all Vacayans (that’s what our guests call each other) equally and with respect. If you find that the VACAYA experience isn’t for you, we’d much rather you find a company who can provide you with exactly what you need. Perhaps that’s one of our competitors. Or maybe it’s a standard sailing. We hope it’s VACAYA, of course, but we fully recognize we can’t be everything to everyone.
AT VACAYA, EVERYBODY DANCES!
There’s an old trope that states DIVERSITY is being invited to the dance and INCLUSION is being asked to dance. But as the only large-scale adults-only LGBTQIAPK travel company on the planet, we don’t think that’s not enough. Our long-term goals are EQUITY, where all those who’ve historically been considered “less than” within our community are actually planning and running the dance, as well.
So… will you come dance with us? If so, we’ve got some great vacations lined up for you!