It’s quite noticeable that recently gay men are more prepared to express themselves. These days you do see effeminate Melanesian men, and while they may not be strident or provocative about it, there’s nothing ambiguous about their sexual orientation. And that’s pretty gutsy – homosexuality is illegal and homophobia is quite palpable (unlike in Polynesia where there are strong traditions of transgenderism and homosexuality). Local women, on the other hand, don’t seem so prepared to ‘fly the flag’ in public.
- Any local ‘gay scene’ that exists is closeted and underground. This is not surprising given that the churches have been reinforcing the idea that homosexuality is morally reprehensible for years.
- Because of the legal status LGBT travellers should be cautious.
- You’ll see many local people hold hands as they walk down the street – women with women and men with men. But don’t misunderstand – this is simply an expression of friendliness and affection that’s common in Melanesian societies.