It's well over ten years since Civil Partnerships became law for gay people in England, and since then, full marriage equality has also followed. Not only that but 2017 marked fifty years since homosexuality was de-criminalised. You may wonder then why finding gay friendly accommodation is even an issue any more.
Worldwide, the situation can be vastly different from one country to another, with it still being illegal in 72 countries, and many gay people facing lengthy prison sentences (up to life), and in almost ten of those countries, homosexuality can still result in the death penalty.
A recently published report said it remained the case that there was “no country in the world where LGBT people are safe from discrimination, stigmatisation or violence”. Sadly, that includes the UK. I would still not feel comfortable to walk down the street holding Julian's hand for fear of the repercussions.
I use "gay friendly" here as a loose term. It may be that a lesbian, a transvestite or transsexual may be looking for a "friendly" place to stay too. There was a time when Julian and I would be very wary of where we booked to stay, not wanting to be placed in an awkward situation, or made to feel uncomfortable for booking a double room.
The sad fact is that many people don't know what they will face when they arrive at a hotel or B&B and that's why sometimes they will do a little more research before they book. The fact that we have an "About Us" section on our website, and nearly every online review mentions how friendly we are in general must offer some reassurance to all.
I'm sure even some straight couples are encouraged to know that they will be warmly welcomed at The 25, rather than arriving and finding the old fashioned "B&B landlady" of times gone by where you are expected to follow the house rules to the letter and woe betide anyone who doesn't.
We don't do anything different or treat gay people or any other minority in a more or less favourable way. What we do do however is offer everyone who comes to stay with us respect, a genuine welcome and a great time.
I know lots of B&B owners and I think as a general rule, you wouldn't be in the B&B industry, inviting strangers into your home on a daily basis if you didn't like meeting and chatting to all kinds of people. Of the B&B owners I know, I can't think of any where I would be loath to stay or not feel comfortable in their home, but I'm sure there are exceptions.
I suppose times have changed, and continue to get better, but it's always worth doing your research, whoever you are, before you blindly book anywhere to stay. Check out their reviews and have a good look at their website, rather than booking via third party websites which give you little or no personal information on the place. Have a great time wherever you next stay.