Inquiries at sea......by straight folks

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Portland, OR.
47 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
I've always made it a point when introducing us at the dining table is to just say "Hi, I'm Jeff and this is my husband Keith". It's possible we've had people change tables the next time, but I don't worry if that was the reason. I remember on earlier cruises where we all danced around the issue for the week, now I just tell them.
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K&JfromPDX
Our future cruise:

RCI Navigator of the Seas, Miami to Southampton, April 2018

Our past cruises:

Carnival Miracle, Mexican Riviera, May 2016
RCI Navigator of the Seas, Caribbean, December 2015
RCI Explorer of the Seas
, New England & Canada, September 2013
RCI Jewel of the Seas, Scandinavia and Russia Cruise, August 2012
RCI Jewel of the Seas, Ultimate Caribbean & Panama, April 2011

RCI Adventure of the Seas, San Juan to Barcelona, May 2010

RCI Serenade of the Seas, Alaska, June 2009
RCI Jewel of the Seas, British Isles and Norwegian Fjords, June 2007
RCI Brilliance of the Seas, Western Mediterranean, October 2005
RCI Brilliance of the Seas, Western Mediterranean, September 2003
Carnival Destiny, Southern Caribbean, November 2001

Carnival Inspiration, Southern Caribbean, November 1999
Carnival Destiny, Western Caribbean, November 1997
Carnival Sensation, Western Caribbean, November 1995
Tennessee
137 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by retafcruiser
So, to clear things up for me, if someone asks if my partner and I are brothers - they are really asking if we are gay???
Tell them it is still illegal for brothers to marry.
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CCL Sunshine 02/18/18
RCCL Freedom of the Seas 01/07/17
CCL Fascination 01/17/15
CCL Elation 12/08/14
CCL Legend 05/04/14
CCL Legend 02/17/13
CCL Fantasy 02/04/12
CCL Inspiration 12/23/10
RCCL Radiance of the Seas 10/04
Kailua Kona, Hi
457 Posts
Joined May 2009
Not too long ago my husband and I took a river cruise on Avalon Waterways. (Very much enjoyed it.) On a river cruise you very quickly learn to recognize everyone on the ship, because of the intimate size. We definitely were noticed right away as the only same sex couple (nobody had to inquire), and also as one of the youngest couples on board (I'm 46 and hubby is 56).

What happened at dinner surprised us... Avalon has an open main seating for dinner, and seating is first-come first serve at tables of 4, 6, or 8 persons. We hate to have to choose a table to join, so we would show up early, and usually would be seated at a table for 4 leaving two empty seats (every seat would eventually be filled). As it turned out, people were clamoring to be our table mates... some couples had gay children, others just found us terribly interesting and would say the funniest things like how they wished they could find a gay couple to be friends with back home, or how they missed their gay friends who have moved on (in more than one sense of the phrase). It turned out to be a bit of fun, feeling like we were celebrities, and helped us to overcome our dislike of open seating on cruises.

As a diffrent couple joined us each evening, our circle of on board friends grew, and soon folks were saving seats for us causing us to have to choose one table for dinner then promise to join another couple for after dinner drinks or breakfast the next morning... I have never been so popular in my life!
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Coyboy1971

I love cruising when I can tear myself away from my home in Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii.

Upcoming:

January 2018: NCL Jewel, Auckland-Sydney

Past Cruises:

August 2017 - Crystal Symphony, London (Dover)-Lisbon
December 2016 - Avalon Impression, Vienna-Prague (Danube River)
September 2014 - NCL Pearl, Seattle-Alaska-Vancouver
February 2014 - NCL Jewel, Round Trip New Orleans to Western Caribbean
September 2013 - Azamara Quest, Round Trip Rome to the Amalfi Coast
February 2012 - Azamara Journey, Rio de Janeiro-Buenos Aries
June 2011 - NCL Jade, Venice & Greek Isles
February 2010 - Azamara Quest, Hong Kong-Singapore
April 2009 - NCL Star, Mexican Riviera (RSVP)
April 1988 - Premier Cruises, Star/Ship Royale, Bahamas



Calgary, Alberta
82 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by Boytjie
These days I take these things as "teaching moments"; since most people are more aware of gay people I feel that inappropriate comments and questions should be handled straightforwardly.

At a recent baseball game - after having fun with the people around us - the Mets screwed up and the guy behind me yelled at them and called them "f*ggots". I turned around and said to him: "please don;t use that word because I am gay". He was stunned, told me I couldn't be gay so I pointed out to him that three of the four of us were gay. He apologized profusely (and his wife yelled at him); then he shook my hand... and then kissed it!

A few days ago on a flight from Paris to Miami two loud, obnoxious people were sitting next to us. There was no way to not hear there conversation. The woman asked the old guy next to her about cities in the USA - it was her first visit. She had a connection to Key West and he said to her: "don't go there... all the homos, you know, queers". So I turned to them and said: "please don't use that word because it is offensive and you are talking about people like me". It shut them up (for a while).

The more you say it, the easier it gets. If someone asks me, I would just honestly say "yes, I am" and carry on. It's their portable, not yours. And if they get nasty, just walk away.
I agree totally - how we manage these uncomfortable moments can say a lot about our own character. I am gay but I would never ask another person if they were gay or lesbian - I am not sure how knowing that makes the interaction any better. If I am enjoying the conversation it is because you are funny, smart, interesting, etc. and not likely because you are LGB.
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Randy and Gus in Calgary
Washington DC
17 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
I used to assume that everyone knew we were a couple. We have been on several cruises in our 17 years as a couple. We do my time dining so we don't have to deal with rude people. My spouse is alot more outgoing so we are usually talking with people seated near us anyway. We have met a lot of people, gay and straight (they can't help it... they were born that way) on cruises. I have no desire to take a chance and sit with people we don't like (or don't like us) every night for dinner. We are actually flying into Miami to see some friends we met on a cruise a few years ago.

It has been a few years since our last cruise. We are now dads, and will be bringing our 2.5 year old daughter. I am not looking forward to all the comments that I know are coming. If you think being asked being gay is annoying, Try dealing with everyone basically asking where is her mother... it is so nice that you are giving her mother a break... She's out with the boys.... etc.
USA
1,608 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by RMS Olympic
As a solo cruiser at least once on every cruise I am asked if I am gay. I once read that coming out is a ongoing thing and not a once and done deal. I still have a discomfort with being asked even after this long a life. Couples have told me they are never asked since it is assumed two people
of the same gender traveling together are automatically gay/lesbian.....stereo typing once again.
I cannot think of a question that could be asked of a straight person that has the significance of being asked if you are gay, so I am at a loss for a return question . To not respond is a cop out in my mind, and to say it's none of your business seems to be saying yes. To ask why are youre asking is still backing down, but I can't see why I should have to answer or be put into a situation to have to answer. I find my self getting angry at myself for getting uncomfortable with the inquiry....and find myself saying, put your big boy pants on and answer the question. On my last cruise after socializing for three days with the same group of people at the Vibe on the NCL escape I was asked .....well are you or aren't you.......I was stopped dead in my tracks.
I hope I won't get flamed by responders who think this is a stupid question, but is there a comfortable way to handle a situation like this. I cant figure it out....some people say I had no idea, some say we wondered based on things you said and yet other say, honey as soon as you entered the room we all knew. I am a very social person at sea, but find myself dreading inquiries or how I will respond if asked.
Have any of you experienced these inquiries and how did you comfortably handle it. I might note on a few occasions when I answered the question yes, the other person got real ugly......so the idea of being questioned has put me on edge. Any thoughts as long as they are not nasty put downs would be appreciated. Ones life experiences in being gay can be so different by age, family background, upbringing etc, so ones sensitivity levels can be greatly different. But I wanted to raise this issue and see what others think, and how they may have handled si ilar situations. By the way, I once responded ( having had numerous Long Island ice teas ) why are you interested.....I got a drink in my face and security called by the bartender who defended me.....
Thanks
Tom

Unfortunately, you will probably always run into stupid and ignorant people. Maybe you could say, "sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't". (Mounds commercial, FYI).
372 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Originally posted by MKDGDC
I used to assume that everyone knew we were a couple. We have been on several cruises in our 17 years as a couple. We do my time dining so we don't have to deal with rude people. My spouse is alot more outgoing so we are usually talking with people seated near us anyway. We have met a lot of people, gay and straight (they can't help it... they were born that way) on cruises. I have no desire to take a chance and sit with people we don't like (or don't like us) every night for dinner. We are actually flying into Miami to see some friends we met on a cruise a few years ago.

It has been a few years since our last cruise. We are now dads, and will be bringing our 2.5 year old daughter. I am not looking forward to all the comments that I know are coming. If you think being asked being gay is annoying, Try dealing with everyone basically asking where is her mother... it is so nice that you are giving her mother a break... She's out with the boys.... etc.
If someone asks about her mother, just say "I'm her mother, and I have the stretch marks to prove it.".
Washington DC
17 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
Originally posted by MarkieMarkNYC
If someone asks about her mother, just say "I'm her mother, and I have the stretch marks to prove it.".
Ha! Will do.
North Coast of the USA, OHIO
230 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by RMS Olympic
As a solo cruiser at least once on every cruise I am asked if I am gay. I once read that coming out is a ongoing thing and not a once and done deal. I still have a discomfort with being asked even after this long a life. Couples have told me they are never asked since it is assumed two people
of the same gender traveling together are automatically gay/lesbian.....stereo typing once again.
I cannot think of a question that could be asked of a straight person that has the significance of being asked if you are gay, so I am at a loss for a return question . To not respond is a cop out in my mind, and to say it's none of your business seems to be saying yes. To ask why are youre asking is still backing down, but I can't see why I should have to answer or be put into a situation to have to answer. I find my self getting angry at myself for getting uncomfortable with the inquiry....and find myself saying, put your big boy pants on and answer the question. On my last cruise after socializing for three days with the same group of people at the Vibe on the NCL escape I was asked .....well are you or aren't you.......I was stopped dead in my tracks.
I hope I won't get flamed by responders who think this is a stupid question, but is there a comfortable way to handle a situation like this. I cant figure it out....some people say I had no idea, some say we wondered based on things you said and yet other say, honey as soon as you entered the room we all knew. I am a very social person at sea, but find myself dreading inquiries or how I will respond if asked.
Have any of you experienced these inquiries and how did you comfortably handle it. I might note on a few occasions when I answered the question yes, the other person got real ugly......so the idea of being questioned has put me on edge. Any thoughts as long as they are not nasty put downs would be appreciated. Ones life experiences in being gay can be so different by age, family background, upbringing etc, so ones sensitivity levels can be greatly different. But I wanted to raise this issue and see what others think, and how they may have handled si ilar situations. By the way, I once responded ( having had numerous Long Island ice teas ) why are you interested.....I got a drink in my face and security called by the bartender who defended me.....
Thanks
Tom

Tom, I believe the response should be tailored to who is asking. Long Island Iced teas aside, a polite "what an inappropriate question" and to move the conversation on with the weather or to politely excuse yourself with a trip to the loo will get the message across. It also gives them the opportunity to realize they were being an ass and apologize, or they will avoid you which you'll be grateful for.
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larrylpotts @ gmail
Midwest US
304 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
I hope you don't mind me adding to the conversation as a "straight folk"

Although I've never asked a person if they're gay or lesbian there's been times when I have been tempted to. I can't speak for others but for me it has been the desire to make that person feel as if they had nothing to hide.

I have several gay friends and over the years I've watched them wrestle with the problems of coming out in or acting natural in public areas. I can only guess how difficult it would be to hide a major portion of oneself. By asking and understanding I would hope it would make them feel more at ease.

On our last cruise my bride and myself had a cabin right next to a gay couple or at least I'm 99% sure they were gay since I actually didn't ask nor did they volunteer.

Perhaps I was reading into it more than I should but they seem very reserved in public. And although this just could be their personalities I could only think it maybe due to them being gay and not feeling at ease enough to show their emotions for each other.

Just my 1.5 cents.
83 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by CalgaryMac
I agree totally - how we manage these uncomfortable moments can say a lot about our own character. I am gay but I would never ask another person if they were gay or lesbian - I am not sure how knowing that makes the interaction any better. If I am enjoying the conversation it is because you are funny, smart, interesting, etc. and not likely because you are LGB.
Well said. We get asked a lot if we are lesbian. We either get accepted, or they move on.
I actually am a nurse for a doctor who had been married to his husband for years. They travel a lot and never get asked. Go figure.
One cruise years ago that left out of Boston was filled with people that certainly did not approve of us. We wound up eating alone. We did have great fun in the nighttime bars and pubs... no one bugged us there.
Citrus Springs, Fl.
4,507 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
these wonderful responses and opinions are greatly appreciated. I have noticed a fair amount are from those traveling as couples and or with friends. I wonder if being alone has more to do with unexpected questions....
But next time I will be prepared a little bit better.....but I still think it’s rude.
New Hampshire
6,125 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by RMS Olympic
these wonderful responses and opinions are greatly appreciated. I have noticed a fair amount are from those traveling as couples and or with friends. I wonder if being alone has more to do with unexpected questions....
But next time I will be prepared a little bit better.....but I still think it’s rude.
A great thread you've had. We've cruised since 2004 & have never "really" had an issue. We've met many gay couples that were great to hang with & some who kept to themselves. We probably met the most enjoyable straight couples on the Eclipse in 2015. "Steph & Rick" were from the Bedford, Pa area. Steph was very outgoing, but Rick was a bit more reserved, at first. They really hadn't know any gay couples very well & really chose to hang with us most of the cruise. Age wise they were about 8-10 years younger than us. Also met some nice women on an excursion. Their husbands went off & did their own excursion. The wives said "ohhh we're going to adopt you for this excursion". They were a real hoot. As to the never had a "real" issue, we did a trip on Oceania's Riviera. We normally prefer to dine at a table for 2. On this ship, in order to enjoy the "free" specialty rest. you sometimes have to share a table. In Le Reserve we shared with a large group. 2 were a well known & well traveled gay couple(Jeff & Mike)These 2 were wine experts who travel the world teaching others about the virtues of fine dining & wine pairing. As we shared similar interests we hung out quite a bit. There were others at the table who enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs. One night in Polo Grill, we shared with another couple from Texas. She was pretty out going. Her husband Tom "figured" Richard & I pretty quick. He then rather quickly hushed her up & we just went through the dining process. Richard & I being foodies often "share" samples of our meals. That obviously didn't go over too well with Tom. We ignored him from then on. At the next meal in Jacques we saw them again. Luckily we shared with a table of 8 & had a fantastic time. Tom & his wife were at another table with another couple. They were very animated with this other couple. Glad for them & us!
Boston, MA
1,344 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by tony11727
For the same reason straight people with try setting me up with their female cousin, coworker, friend. Couples (gay or straight) think that singles are inherently unhappy.
I get this. I am a straight woman in her 50's and when I got divorced the ink wasn't even dry when friends (gay & straight) kept wanting to partner me up. NO!! Happily single at t he time & for years after.


Originally posted by RMS Olympic
these wonderful responses and opinions are greatly appreciated. I have noticed a fair amount are from those traveling as couples and or with friends. I wonder if being alone has more to do with unexpected questions....
But next time I will be prepared a little bit better.....but I still think it’s rude.
Let me say I agree it is very rude to ask personal questions when I have known you 30 seconds or 30 minutes. Please don't let the occasional idiot sour you on the rest of us - cruisers that is.

I empathize on the rude personal questions & if it makes you feel any better it happens in to straight people too. I am in a 10 year relationship & not married. I get asked all the time why not? What is wrong that you don't want to get married? REALLY, that's your business. I have learned to use humor - Oh we are waiting until I get pregnant. Yeah like I said 57 & 59 here.

It is not the same as getting asked a sexual preference but it is intrusive & personal & none of your........ business.

BTW learning alot from this thread. Thank you
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Ft. Lauderdale
22 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by frankc98376
My stock answer to "Are you gay?" has always been "Are you curious or interested?". Usually ends the questioning quickly- once or twice ended up in a date
Loved your answer.
Ft. Lauderdale
22 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
We have just booked our 64 and 65th cruises. Over the years we were sort of asked once. The story: On a round trip cruise to Europe and back we were seated at lunch with 6 other people, with two of whom we were relatively friendly, One of the couples at the table (truly vulgar in dress (so much thick ugly jewelry on him), speech and manner) asked the relation between myself and my traveling partner (now husband). I told them we were gay and a couple. The wife's response was priceless, though I'm sure they would have put a price on it. She said we weren't gay, she didn't believe it, I was fooling her. We loved it. Our friends at the table had to convince her we were telling the truth. She tried to process the information but could not find another neuron to make a synapse.
Jackson, MS
18 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Great tips and advice. I have enjoyed reading the posts in this thread. My husband and I live in the deep South (Mississippi) and have been lucky enough to never have never had to face bigotry or hate except from some extended family. After 15 years together, last year we got married on the Celebrity Eclipse, while in port in Fort Lauderdale before she sailed on a 12 day cruise. We have never really hidden the fact we were a couple in the course of the 7 years we have cruised, but we are also not really pda people. We have never had any issues, other than the "are you brother's?" question. If someone is listening when we talk, you can easily see that we are a couple, from the things we say such as talking about work and life at home...just from active participation in conversation such as talking about our niece and nephew, our home or our pups. We do the pics in the evening with the backdrops, and usually the photographers think we are just best friends until we say otherwise. Every cruise they want us to do the back to back pose (which we hate), must be a classic best friends pose, lol. But I was feeling a little anxious on our wedding day, as once we were married, the photographer took us to various spots on the ship for photos, and had us take more intimate shots such as kissing. But, it was my wedding day and I did not give a damn what anyone else thought. In the end, the anxiety was just a waste of my nerves, as people, young and old, stopped to tell us congratulations. Throughout the cruise, people we would meet and find out we were 'the ones that got married on embarkation day" and congratulate us. It seems I am more appalled at how many people (US citizens), while being friendly and sounding supportive, ask, "so is it legal to marry where you are from?" I have to wonder what rock they live under to not recall the massive news (and dissent) of the Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage in every state 2 years ago.
I imagine it is harder for the solo cruiser, as when you are in social conversation, you discuss things more singular than when travelling with someone. I am a people watcher by nature, so I try to pick up on visual clues, things said in conversation, etc when meeting new people. But I am also horrible about inserting my foot in my mouth EVERY DAY, lol.
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~Doug
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*****Upcoming*****

Harmony of the Seas, September 8, 2018
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Celebrity Silhouette, January 26, 2018
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