From everything good something bad is born, and from everything bad something good is born, I know the phrase sounds cheesy, but it is something to soften a controversial subject.
In the Dominican Republic, people are characterized by satirizing and taking humor out of everything, this is good…up to a point.
Homosexuals are undoubtedly the target of much mockery in the streets, this is unwise, the mockery always entails a lack of respect, an annoyance for the one who is mocked and fun for others.
On many occasions, the joke barrier is exceeded and the extreme of physical aggression against homosexuals in the Dominican Republic is reached.
This was something that I found hard to believe, so I decided to investigate more about it and talked to friends who are themselves gays on the subject.
Is The Dominican Republic a Safe Or LGBT-friendly Country?
The Dominican Republic, not that it is an extremely radical or dangerous country for gays, as everywhere in the world, there are many homosexual people.
But, the mentality of Dominican men is mostly macho, it is generally repudiated by the public when two gay people show simple signs of affection, such as holding hands.
With a simple gesture you could cause confrontations, for a gay person, it is advisable in the Dominican Republic to keep a low profile.
Can you be physically assaulted in the Dominican Republic for being gay?
Unfortunately yes, this is a fact that has happened with many people including some friends whom I interviewed for this topic.
So that you don’t misunderstand me, this is not really something common, it is a fact that happens mostly among locals, by very young people, and from low-income neighborhoods, not in public or tourist places.
Previously, I wondered, why do gays protest so much? why are they always angry? until I was able to talk to some of them and listen to the situations they have been subjected to.
The idea was to write about some of the aggressions suffered by gays in the Dominican Republic, but some of the stories are really brutal.
These aggressions start with harassment, mockery and then escalate to physical aggression, mostly by young people from popular sectors.
Perhaps these are isolated events, but among the most known cases of aggressions that went to the extreme by Dominicans, there are well-known people such as journalist Claudio Nasco and film director Micky Breton, both of whom lost their lives in a brutal way.
Although in those particular cases, the situation and relationship between victims and aggressors were much more profound and complex.
The characteristics in cases of aggression were always the same, young people from poor neighborhoods.
Controversy over law modification in the Dominican Republic
The modification to article 186 of the new Penal Code, which typifies the crime of “discrimination”, has caused a great stir in social networks, because it eliminates sexual orientation and gender as two assumptions for the crime and replaces them with “other motives”.
In the new code the article “punishes acts such as refusing to provide a person with a good or service, hindering him/her from an economic activity or refusing to hire him/her because of his/her origin, age, sex, race, economic condition or religion, among other motives”.
In the original text of the Penal Code, sexual orientation or gender were also included in this list of assumptions, but they were excluded in the modification approved this Wednesday in the Chamber of Deputies.
The sexual preference or orientation of the victim was also no longer considered as an aggravating circumstance in the case of homicide or torture and barbaric acts.
Such modifications were made to article 97, which defines aggravated homicide, and article 118, which typifies torture.
Gay tourism is not promoted in the Dominican Republic
The possibility of promoting gay tourism in the country is very far away, since the influence of churches, regardless of denomination, is very strong in the decisions of the State.
The only tourism that the country promotes is business, health, conventions, and family tourism.
There are countries that promote gay tourism such as the United States and Europe alike, but due to the culture of rejection of the Dominican Republic, this type of tourism is not encouraged.