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Alternatives to Traveling Through Florida for LGBTQ+ Travelers

Over the past few years, Florida has become increasingly hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community, leading many travelers to seek alternative routes that avoid the state altogether. For those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community or who support it, finding inclusive and welcoming travel options is essential. This article explores the challenges facing LGBTQ+ travelers in Florida and provides alternative options for connecting flights and Cruise ports that prioritize inclusivity and safety.

The Growing Hostility Towards the LGBTQ+ Community in Florida

Florida has long been a popular destination for travelers, known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and bustling Cruise ports. However, recent legislative actions and political rhetoric have created a less welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. Laws and policies targeting LGBTQ+ rights, such as restrictions on transgender healthcare, and “Don’t Say Gay” education bills, have contributed to a climate of hostility. Many LGBTQ+ travelers and their allies are now choosing to avoid Florida to protest these measures and to spend their travel dollars in more inclusive destinations.

Alternatives to Connecting Flights Through Florida

For travelers looking to avoid Florida as a connecting hub for flights, several LGBTQ+ friendly alternatives exist across the United States. These airports not only provide excellent connectivity but also foster an inclusive environment for all travelers.

Florida's Role in Caribbean Connections

Florida's airports, particularly Miami International Airport (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), serve as major hubs for flights to the Caribbean. Airlines such as American Airlines, JetBlue, and Spirit Airlines frequently use these airports for connections to Caribbean destinations. However, travelers looking to avoid Florida can find alternative routes through other major U.S. hubs.

Atlanta, Georgia (ATL)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is one of the busiest airports in the world and offers numerous connecting flights to Caribbean destinations. Delta Air Lines, headquartered in Atlanta, provides extensive service to the Caribbean, making ATL a convenient and inclusive alternative for LGBTQ+ travelers.

Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is another major hub offering extensive flight options to the Caribbean. American Airlines, which has a significant presence in Charlotte, provides numerous connections to Caribbean destinations. The city of Charlotte has made significant strides in supporting LGBTQ+ rights, ensuring a welcoming environment for travelers.

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (DFW)

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is a major gateway to both domestic and international destinations, including the Caribbean. American Airlines, with its headquarters at DFW, offers a wide range of flights to Caribbean islands. The Dallas area boasts a large and active LGBTQ+ community, making it a suitable alternative for travelers avoiding Florida.

New York City, New York (JFK/LGA)

New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) are major hubs for international travel, including flights to the Caribbean. Airlines such as JetBlue, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines offer extensive service to Caribbean destinations from these airports. New York City is renowned for its inclusivity and active LGBTQ+ community, ensuring a supportive travel experience.

Alternatives to Cruise Ports in Florida

Florida’s ports, particularly in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, are among the busiest in the world for Cruise departures to the Caribbean. However, several other ports across the United States offer fantastic cruise options while promoting inclusivity and safety for LGBTQ+ travelers.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Port of New Orleans is a lively alternative to Florida’s Cruise ports. New Orleans is celebrated for its rich culture, vibrant nightlife, and strong LGBTQ+ community. The city hosts several Pride events and offers a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors. Major cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line operate Caribbean cruises from New Orleans, offering diverse itinerary options.

Galveston, Texas

The Port of Galveston is another excellent option for LGBTQ+ travelers. Galveston offers cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. The nearby city of Houston has a thriving LGBTQ+ scene, with numerous resources and events that support and celebrate the community. Major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Disney Cruise Line operate from Galveston.

New York City, New York

The Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City is an ideal choice for those seeking to avoid Florida. New York City is renowned for its inclusivity, extensive LGBTQ+ resources, and numerous Pride events. Major cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line offer Caribbean cruises from New York, providing a range of itineraries. The city’s welcoming atmosphere ensures a positive experience for all travelers.

Seattle, Washington

For those looking to explore Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the Port of Seattle is a perfect departure point. Seattle is known for its progressive values and strong support for the LGBTQ+ community. The city hosts several LGBTQ+ events and offers a range of inclusive services and resources. Major Cruise lines such as Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line operate from Seattle, providing breathtaking views and unique itineraries that differ from the typical Caribbean routes.

Final Thoughts

As Florida becomes increasingly hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community, finding alternative travel options is more important than ever. By choosing inclusive and welcoming airports and Cruise ports, LGBTQ+ travelers and their allies can ensure a safer and more supportive travel experience. Airports in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, and New York City provide excellent alternatives for connecting flights to the Caribbean, while cruise ports in New Orleans, Galveston, New York City, and Seattle offer diverse itineraries and inclusive environments. As a Travel Advisor, I encourage travelers to consider these alternatives to avoid Florida and support destinations that prioritize LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity. By making informed travel choices, we can all contribute to a more welcoming and equitable world for everyone.

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