If you have not yet been to Panama it is an absolute must. We only spent ten days in Panama and were pleasantly surprised to find gay owned hotels (like this luxury boutique in Bocas Del Toro) and a great gay scene in the Panama City itself.
We met up with Roberto Broce in Panama City to find our more about ‘gay Panama’ and find out if Panama is gay friendly. Here is our interview with him:
Hi Roberto! If you could introduce yourself to our readers first that would be great!
Roberto: Hi! My name’s Roberto Broce, I’m 26 years old and I work as a marketing analyst for the Innovation Centre of a foundation here in Panama called Ciudad del Saber. I’ve been travelling for 10 years living in almost every continent around the world, partaking in several social causes in places like China and Australia. I like kitesurfing, astronomy, and adventure travelling. I’m also single!
That sounds like you have seen a lot even at 26! Ok, so our first question – What is the stereotypical view of a Panamanian local towards someone who is LGBT (either local or tourist – is there a difference)
Roberto: It depends a lot on whether they were raised in an urban or a rural environment, their age, whether they were raised in a religious home, etc.
Let’s take a straight 30 something year old male raised in one of the suburbs of a satellite city outside Panama City in a catholic home. His exposure to LGBT people in the 90s and early 2000s was limited to TV characters that would exaggerate their mannerisms and were basically living cartoons, and to carnival queens that dress up in beautiful bright, feathery outfits and act in a very flamboyant manner. His vision is that gay people are flamboyant, cartoonish characters. Not necessarily reject them but also not completely accepting.