The state of Hawaii has strong minority protections and a constitutional guarantee of privacy that extends to sexual behavior between consenting adults. Same-sex couples also have the right to civil unions. But showing affection toward a same-sex partner in public isn’t common.
Waikiki is without question the epicenter of Oʻahu’s LGBTIQ nightlife, but this laid-back ‘scene’ is muted by US mainland standards.
Honolulu Pride is celebrated in October with two weeks of events leading up to a parade and festival. As well as the vibrant parade, the event features a lineup of talented live acts, and various participating bars and local restaurants provide tropical drinks and specialty dishes. Over 3000 festivalgoers attended the 2016 Pride Festival at Diamond Head Greens, and more than 45 groups, LGBTIQ-friendly businesses, community organizations, craft and food vendors had booths.
Visitors should check out the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation website (http://hawaiilgbtlegacyfoundation.com/), which features a community calendar and list of projects and volunteer positions.
Hawai’i LGBT Center-Waikiki (http://hawaiilgbtlegacyfoundation.com/lgbt-center-in-waikiki/; 310 Paoakalani Avenue, Suite 206E, Waikiki) is located at Waikiki Community Center. It's a gathering place for Hawaii’s LGBTIQ community, hosting meetings, educational programs, trainings, film screenings, talk-story events and more.
Helpful DIY resources include the websites Gay Hawaii (www.gayhawaii.com) and Go Gay Hawaii (www.gogayhawaii.com).
Purple Roofs (www.purpleroofs.com/usa/hawaii/oahu.html) A gay-travel website and accommodations directory. You'll find Oʻahu gay-friendly and lesbian- and gay-owned bed and breakfasts, inns, hotels, vacation rentals and other accommodations. It also lists Oʻahu travel agents and tour operators, as well as local gay-travel events, gay-travel news, and much more.
Hawaii Gay Travel (www.hawaiigaytravel.com) An online travel agency offering gay Hawaii vacation packages, and a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).
Kumu Hina – A Place in the Middle (http://kumuhina.com/) is an acclaimed 2014 documentary in which a transgender Hawaiian teacher and cultural icon inspires a girl to lead the school's male hula troupe. With a wonderful Hawaiian music playlist, the film looks into gender-diverse cultures. It looks at the role of mahu (who identify their gender between male and female) in Hawaiian society through the eyes of a Native Hawaiian who is deeply rooted in the traditions of her ancestors and committed to living a meaningful life. Mahu have been part of Hawaiian culture for centuries, much like in other Polynesian cultures -– fa'afafine in Samoa and fakaleiti in Tonga. Hawaiian songs often contain deeper meanings, called kaona, that refer to love and relationships that don’t conform to contemporary Western definitions of male and female gender roles.