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Gay travel agents for drag cruise: 'Carnival's regulation is NOT an example of discrimination'

Posted to Facebook about 7 p.m.:

alandchuckDear Valued Guests and Friends,

We hope that this brief note finds you well.
By now, we are sure that most of you traveling with us on the upcoming Drag Stars At Sea: Caribbean Adventure - Revenge of the Wench have received Carnival's letter regarding their regulations concerning costumes and masks (under which traditional "DRAG" falls under).

We are sympathetic to your sentiments that you have expressed via email and social media. As a gay man who has been partnered for 25 years, I have suffered many forms of discriminations because I am part of the GLBT community. But please take note, Carnival's regulation is NOT an example of discrimination. Carnival is an ally of the GLBT community. Please understand that this cruise could not even be happening on the GLORY if Carnival was not an ally of our segment of society. When they say they are a "family friendly" cruise line they mean it in both the traditional and metaphorical sense of the phrase.

Carnival's "no costumes rule" is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community. As a gay business, we would not have organized this cruise if they were prejudiced against gay people. This rule goes for both GAY and STRAIGHT passengers that travel on all Carnival cruises. It is in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests - NOT to marginalize a few.

Additionally, we know that transgendered members of our community will be aboard with us during this event. Please do not worry, Carnivals rule is not meant towards you. Your right to live your identity is always supported.

Finally, Drag Stars At Sea is a cruise venue for you to meet the stars of RuPaul's Drag Race UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Just as you would not go in costume (other than on Halloween) to a club to see them perform, neither should you on the GLORY. Again, our desire was always to bring this incredible talent together in one place for you to enjoy along with all the other benefits of the VALUE of a mixed guest cruise. We pointed out to you that a private charter (and they are excellent cruises) can be DOUBLE what you are paying for this experience. This is an opportunity for your favorite entertainers to shine for YOU! We will of course, still have our parties and events aboard (the rules of which are outlined in your travel package) for you to join in on the fun.

Ultimately, let's use this opportunity to set an example so that all the world can see that the GLBT community can follow rules and regulations just like everyone else. Finally, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, we have done our absolute best in creating this event. We have tried to communicate effectively and bring you the best possible experience, which we believe would not be available to you any other way. At the end of the cruise, I hope you will agree with my sentiment humbly expressed here.

Chuck and I look forward to meeting you on board....we promise you the best time of your lives!

Al Ferguson


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"Ultimately, let's use this opportunity to set an example so that all the world can see that the GLBT community can follow rules and regulations just like everyone else."

Replace GLBT with any other minority group in this comment and the affront to Al and Chuck's clients is apparent. Is "sitting at the back of the bus" or marriage inequality examples of "following the rules?"

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/gaysouthflorida/2012/11/gay-travel-agents-for-rupaul-cruise-carnivals-regulation-is-not-an-example-of-discrimination.html#storylink=cpy

While I hate labels, I will point out that I am a straight male who has no inclination nor desire to dress in drag. That being said, I find this decision by the cruise line, and it's resulting "explanation", both ludicrous and offensive. As a result, I will be boycotting Carnival until it wakes up and smells the coffee. When corporations exhibit dinosaur philosophies, it is time help them along with their inevitable extinction by hitting them in the bottom line with fiscal starvation.

A post 911 world we live in?!?!?
Are you insane or do you think the public is just stupid?
This has nothing to do with any of that!
AND... Have you never been to a drag show in all your years?
Of course peple show up in drag and in costume to a show. It's part of the fun!
The only reason I can guess as to why you might be trying this BS is that Ru and/or his people don't want to be upstaged or have someone confuse a Ru Paul queen with any other queen.
Sounds like a case of "stay out of my spotlight"!
DO NOT try to tell me that we need to follow rules and regulations like everyone else! We and queens were born from REBELLION not compromise.

Everyone should dress up as Vicky Rey! What a hag!
BTW... The entire ship dresses up for Halloween. I don't get the
911 logic?

I want a FULL REFUND -- you have made your climate hostile to LGBT people with your URGENT NOTICE threatening to kick us off your ship. Are you just simply ignorant to think you can tell if someone is in DRAG or not?! And, your cisgender privilege is so abhorrent. During your past ship activities, you will dress men in drag on your ship on stage to make fun of LGBT people but on the other hand you send an URGENT NOTICE forbidding drag when it would be a means for people to celebrate their expression in a manner of acceptance. There is no remote chance I would feel safe or welcome coming aboard your ship. I WANT A FULL REFUND!

Yeah, that would be a bit insulting from their perspective but it is what it is. There's really nothing you can do about it for now, that's how people view this topic and it is not going to change any time soon.

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