KEY WEST AND NAKED BOYS
Further down the Florida Gulf Coast lies an archipelago of small islands that terminates in Stock Island, home to a friendly little town with a history of inclusiveness that goes back to before gay rights were cool. In the ’80s, Key West launched a flippant secession protest once authorities started searching inbound cars for drugs and illegal immigrants. Matt Hon, event coordinator for the Key West Business Guild, says the island’s dedication to self-determination remains.
“That’s another reason to come to Key West—naked boys. Key West has not changed one bit on acceptance of the LGBT community, and public nudity,” Hon says. “On my way to work today I saw a boy riding a skateboard in his boxers. Key West is a place where if you want to be with someone of the same gender, that’s fine, if you don’t want to wear a lot of clothes, that’s fine.”
Key West boasts three clothing-optional resorts: New Orleans House, Equator and Is- land House; and one of the more unique Pride celebrations in the country, held June 11-15.
“Typically Key West Pride fills up the hotel rooms, and we expect 7,500 to 10,000 visitors,” Han says. That number might not sound like a lot, but there are only about 23,000 full-time residents on the island. “There are basically people hanging from the rafters on Key West, which is kind of awesome. What’s cool about Key West is we’re basically small town, and our Pride has a small-town feeling. Duval Street will line up with not only a lot of tourists, but a lot of locals, who will come out with their entire families, and everyone is supportive, and everyone has a good time.”
Key West also has separate weekends targeted at lesbians and gays, with Womenfest Sept. 4 — 7 and Tropic Heat set for Aug. 14 — 17
“Womenfest is geared towards women, not necessarily all lesbian women, or biological women, it consists of pool parties, home parties, home tours … this year we will also have Hunter Valentine down to for a concert,” Hon says.
Need another reason to come to Key West? There are plenty of naked boys, says Matt Hon, event coordinator for the Key West Business Guild.