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Gay Dominican Republic: New Surprises and Old Fears

Introduction: Only a couple of days in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic and the oldest city in the Americas, are needed to see the lively gay venues and the lesbigay spirit that is here. The trendy music places that beat late into the night are, however, only the louder tip of a more subdued community of health educators, closeted intellectuals and quiet gay businessmen who all live in a conservative political milieu that inhibits most LGBT people from being more active as advocates. And it doesn’t help that the local Catholic Cardinal has some oppressively medieval ideas about gays. But there is vital gay energy here despite the opposition and LGBT organizations continue to form.