Looking for a luxe tropical getaway destination, inclusive to gay travelers? Well, then French Polynesia is your place to be!
Bora Bora and Tahiti are both great places for LGBTQi+ travelers. These South Pacific islands will take your breath away with their dreamy overwater bungalows, pristine white-sand beaches, and world-class spas. The best? They’re very gay-friendly and open to same-sex couples & gender fluid people.
If you’re curious to find out more, read on as I share all the insights.
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Is Bora Bora gay-friendly: What you need to know
Bora Bora & Tahiti are amazing holiday places for same-sex couples & LGBTQ travelers. In case you’re thinking of having your gay wedding here, you’re free to do so! Same-sex marriage is legal in Tahiti as well as on all its other 118 islands.
Also, just like other couples, you can have a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the wilderness of a secluded islet and openly celebrate your love.
Since French Polynesia is an overseas territory of France, they follow French law. LGBTQ members have rights for adoption, gender-affirming surgery, and more.
I believe this shows how much socially acceptable it is to openly be yourselves and feel welcomed in French Polynesia. So, whether you’re going for your gay honeymoon, a romantic getaway, or a destination wedding, this is the perfect place for it.
What does a gay honeymoon in Bora Bora look like?
You can stay in an intimate resort on a private island, and live for a week in one of the iconic water bungalows.
As a gay traveler in Bora Bora, you can expect the same friendly treatment & equal service as everyone else. The resort's employees meet LGBTQ travelers all the time, so they’re used to gay couples. Here, you can feel free and safe to show affection to your partner.
Outside, since French Polynesians are culturally shy in their romantic displays, you might get a few strange looks, but that’s about it. Know that this might not even be about you being a gay couple, but more about your public affection.
Overall, you don't need to worry about anything more serious.
This leaves you to enjoy your time here with your loved one, relax, and slow down together. You can choose to either embrace your ‘lazy’, and just sway in a hammock together, look at the tropical fish, or go be adventurous.
Adventure junkies can go coral reef snorkeling, deep sea diving, or just explore the natural beauty of Bora Bora.
Gender nonconformity is actually part of Tahitian culture
For a long time, Tahitians have accepted and highly respected people who don't conform to gender norms. In the ancient Tahitian culture, there’s been a form of gender identity called ‘Mahu’. This translates to ‘in the middle’ or means ‘the third gender’.
In fact, Tahitians valued ‘Mahu’ people so much, they thought of them as divine beings.
To clarify, Mahu referred to people expressing both feminine and masculine traits with no medical surgery involved. Most often, they were the firstborn men raised with feminine qualities.
Nowadays, the more contemporary term for Mahu is ‘Rae Rae’
Rae Rae refers to the third gender that undergoes medical confirmation -transgender. Coming to the islands, you’ll always see Tahitians show respect to Rae Rae.
You’ll meet many of these lovely people in service industry jobs - hotels, restaurants, airlines, and dance performances.
Rae Rae embodies the best of the feminine and masculine qualities. Because of this, they’re very valued in society and can choose to live as Rae Rae with no discrimination or judgment.
So, is Bora Bora safe for LGBTQ travelers?
Yes, unlike other popular tropical escapes, Bora Bora is very safe for LGBTQ travelers. They realize the reason people travel to this paradise - to leave everyday life behind for a bit, recharge, and just enjoy themselves.
In Tahiti, you’ll even find a gay-inclusive organization called “Cousins Cousines Association of Tahiti,” protecting the social rights of gay people. If you speak French you can read more about them on their FB page.
If you’re still unsure whether or not you’d feel comfortable as a gay traveler in French Polynesia, check out these resorts.
The best hotels with a gay-friendly environment:
All of these come with overwater bungalows, scenic SPAs, and a wide selection of on-site restaurants.
However, all the hotels in French Polynesia are gay-friendly without an exception.
If you’d like a further deep dive into these resorts, I wrote a detailed walk-through of each one. Check them out here.
Or go for one of Tahiti's gay cruises
Outside of Papeete, there are no actual gay bars, gay parties, or gay-only hotels. But you’ll find one gay-only activity - Tahiti gay cruises.
Go explore the deep sea waters with Windstar Cruises. They’ll take you to the most popular islands, including Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahaa. You can choose if you’d like a party scene onboard or a more relaxed environment.
Most of their sail yachts' capacity is 135 people and they come with a fitness center, jacuzzi, swimming pool, and deluxe lounge area on board. If you have your private group and you’d like a private cruise, they have options for you too. Just have a look through their sailing packages.
💸 Estimate cost for a week: $3000+ per person
Let’s compare: French Polynesia vs Maldives for gay travelers
Other popular honeymoon destinations for American travelers are usually Maldives or Jamaica.
However, these countries have very strict laws for LGBTQ members. In the Maldives, it’s illegal to be gay or have a gay marriage.
While they’re still quite safe, unfortunately, unlike in Tahiti, you might not experience such a welcoming environment.
If you’re having a destination wedding as a gay couple, you can’t do that in Maldives. Yet in Bora Bora, you can have your beautiful intimate beach ceremony and even get all the paperwork done in the city hall (if you’re not French).
For this reason, I highly recommend Tahiti or Bora Bora (or both!) for your romantic getaway. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in our FB group. I or some other travelers will respond.
And... voilà! 🙃
I hope this article is helpful for you and if you need more info on Bora Bora, download my free e-book! You’ll find there all the extra tips you need to get around Bora Bora easily and not spend a fortune.