November 27, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
Carnival’s ‘no costume rule’ sparks controversy

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

19 Comments
  • Is "travel equality" the next frontier for the LGBT movement?

  • Why is it okay for transgendered people, but not for gay-identified people to dress in costume. Forgive me for being one of those gays, but why dotrannies get special rights when THEY decide to dress up in a gender that is not their actual gender?

    • Who trans people are is not a costume, Tony.
      It is not "dress-up" any more than your preference for men is an "act."
      You might know that it's not a choice, if you educated yourself rather than spew bigoted talking points favored by Faux News types.
      Oh, and the t-word is an offensive epithet for many of us trans folk and its definitely NOT a word that you, as a non-trans person should use.
      I believe Carnival's stance is ridiculous and an affront to its LGBT customers, not just the G.

    • Tony…You need to educate yourself in the trans community. Seriously. But you can stay on that ship all you want too..You will not find me on a boat filled with drag queens.

    • Tony, you seem to lack critical thinking skills as well as anything like an objective point of view.

      What gives you the right to pontificate from on high? Do you think that because you choose to 'costume' and 'pretend' that the same motivation attaches to us? It doesn't. We are who we are, no better or worse than any other people, we want only the basic human dignity and rights that others (like YOU) claim for themselves.

      Your self righteous ignorance and arrogant claim to offense because we trans-folk get 'special rights' is nothing so much as a public declaration of your own ignorance, self absorption, and insufferable arrogance.

      You want to live your life as a 'gay man' or drag queen'? Fine! Go for it; but do NOT presume to judge me.

      I wear no 'costume', I do not 'pretend' and my lifelong struggle with transsexualism, quite frankly, make your experience of 'persecution' laughable.

      Do yourself and the world a huge favor and shine a light into the darkness of your own heart, look carefully at what you find there, and ask yourself..'why do I display my arrogant ignorance as a badge of pride?'

    • Alright, settle down. My point is, dressing in a gender other than one's own was what was being denied to gay men, but NOT to trannies. Why? What makes trannies so special that THEIR decision to dress in the opposite gender's clothing MUST be acknowledged and celebrated, while gay men choosing the same are denied? I wasn't attacking trannies (although so many of you seem to think EVERYTHING is an attack). My point is – some people dress in oopposite gender clothing and recognize it as a lark, while some adopt it as a lifestyle choice. Who is going to be that judge? Will they have people on the cruise to verify that YOU are are transgendered, while YOU are just gay and in a costume? And sorry, "tranny" is not a bad word, equivalent to the "N" word. Live your life, but don't expect that I should bow down to your gender dysmorphia as if it were something to be revered.

    • Really Tony???? I can't add much more to what has already been said about you except I am glad I DON'T know any ignorant bigoted gay men like you

  • The no-costume policy apparently does not apply during Halloween cruises. I don't buy it for a second. We booked a Drag Race Cruise through a gay travel agent; imagine our surprise at being told to be careful not to offend their guests or we would be put off the ship.

  • Spare me. A gay MP in the UK is going to vote against marriage equality. Being gay doesn’t make you a friend to the entire LGBT community.

  • Christian Aldridge

    The cruise line seems to be over reacting to something that hasn't happened. Carnival has definitely been keen on taking money from the gay community and I think someone in their corporate office needs to wipe the sleep from their eyes and understand that if you invite a large group of gay folks on a drag cruise there is a pretty likely that someone might dress in drag. Dressing up in-and-of-itself isn't offensive so I'd say as long as offensive activity is kept in check – and I'm not talking about kissing or holding hands – then everyone will be just fine.

  • mmmm, next thing carnival will be offering is "conversion" vacations…

  • Guess the LGBT community will need to start a boycott of Carnival Cruise Lines.

  • all this is absolute nonsense. This cruise should have never been booked on Carnival to begin with. The Agency that booked that cruise needed to read the fine print before making any arrangements. Part of the fun on going on a gay cruise is that we should be able to express ourselves in a comfortable, safe and nondescriminating environment. Also may I point out that the cruise line knows very well who the passengers are when they are boarding since Passports are required on all Cruises docking in non US ports. So thre should be no need to carry ID on board.

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