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The gay and lesbian lifestyle in Madeira

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Although the gay and lesbian community seems to be muted or not apparent in Madeira there is quite a sizeable part of the population that enjoys this lifestyle. It seems that being gay in Madeira is actually quite acceptable, as long as you don’t brazenly flaunt yourself in front of the church elders at mass, perhaps. Many individuals enjoy a healthy relationship with like minded persons and a bit like any other Mediterranean community there is quite a bit of liberal pursuit to satisfy the lifestyle.

It may surprise some visitors that there is even a gay beach, albeit not so heavily frequented since the beaches are not really made of golden sand but steep cliffs and rocks. It may even surprise gay visitors further that there is not just one beach but two! The first is the steep cliff beach just off the Ponta Gorda, below the esplanade that separates it from the “Magic Gardens” near the Pestana Grand Hotel. The other is in Caniço de Baixo but, err...., the writer of this article, as of this time, does not know exactly where in Caniço de Baixo , safe to say that many gays refer to it.










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