The Puerto Vallarta boat disaster immortalized… in T-shirt form

(Photo: Supplied)

The New Year’s Eve Puerto Vallarta gay boat disaster has been immortalized… in T-shirt form.

Not familiar with the story? The now-infamous boating event in question took place a couple of weeks ago.

Despite many in the US being advised not to travel at the current time, many gay guys decided to hit Mexico over the Holidays for a vacation. The coastal town of Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, is a particular LGBTQ hotspot. It was to be the location of a big gay gathering from circuit party organizer Jeffrey Sanker (of White Party in Palm Springs fame).

Related: Watch a boat of gay protocol-skirting partygoers sink into the ocean “like the Titanic”

When news of the party emerged, and Instagram posts and videos of gay guys living it up in the resort began to appear, the opprobrium began to fly. This was led chiefly by the Instagram page @GaysAgainstCovid, whose mission it is to name and shame gay guys flagrantly not practicing social distancing rules.

Soon enough, and with such gatherings prohibited in the state of Jalisco, some elements of the weekend party shifted to the neighboring state of Riviera Nayarit – around 20 minutes away. This included a men-only, clothing-optional boat party aboard the PV Delice, on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.

That is until choppy waters led to the boat’s engine flooding at around 5pm and the boat slowly sinking off the coast of Playa Quimixto.

“It was like the Titantic, it went all down slowly,” one of those attending, Chicago’s Emilio Blanco told Out and About PV.

Approximately 60 people who’d been aboard the boat had to swim to safely. Fortunately, there were several other small boats nearby to pick up people from the water. No lives were lost, although one imagines those involved may have been left pretty shaken by the incident.

However, their ordeal was met with little sympathy, with many commentators saying the whole thing wouldn’t have happened if those attending hadn’t been partying in the middle of a pandemic.

Gay Twitter exploded with debate around white privilege and the ethics of promoting parties in Mexico for monied US tourists at a time when local hospital beds are full.

(Image: Swish Embassy)

Swish Embassy is a clothing brand that specializes in showcasing gay-flavored pop culture. It launched around ten years ago, and now sells sassy T-shirts, face masks and other garments worldwide. When it posted a cartoon image to social media last week of a sinking ship in Puerto Vallarta with men in swimwear dancing aboard the deck, the response from followers was unanimous: Give us a T-shirt now!

Lo and behold, the T-shirt is now on sale.

Swish Embassy owner Dean Malka tells GayCities why he made the shirt.

“Our whole [brand] motto Is: ‘Wear a conversation piece’.

“We’re having a bit of fun calling out people behaving badly during a pandemic. Ultimately we all have a responsibility to be good global citizens and do our best not to worsen the current situation. What happened in Puerto Vallarta got a bit of schadenfreude from people staying home responsibly. It’s a lighthearted read.”


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