This article was published on February 23rd, 2020
People come from all walks of life and as such, we don’t always travel the same way. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the way you travel can be vastly different from heteronormative people. For members of our community that love to travel, different variables must be taken into consideration and HomoCulture takes a look into all of the criteria and the different aspects that determine where, why, and how we travel.
Breaking Down LGBTQ Travel
Traveling as a minority sometimes involves safety measures, levels of comfort, and politics that heteronormative people may not ever have to ponder when deciding where to visit. As such, members of the LGBTQ community may decide to travel to certain cities only during specific times (like Pride Festivals), seek out gay-friendly accommodations, or cities that have a viable gay presence. There are still many places worldwide where being gay can be not only uncomfortable but a death sentence. This range can include simply not knowing where to go and what to say to merely a look. These are issues that straight people never have to worry about and why gay travel can be more daunting.
The Q&A for the LGBTQ Traveller
There are plenty of notable questions a member of the LGBTQ community may have to ask themselves before deciding on a vacation spot:
- What is the current status of LGBT legislation of the city/country?
- How gay-friendly is the destination for visitors?
- Is it necessary to hide my sexuality?
- Are there local organizations set up for the LGBTQ community?
- Are the police in ______ tolerant or LGBTQ-friendly?
- Are there LGBTQ resources (websites, magazines, etc.)?
- Is there a viable LGBTQ scene/area?
- Are LGBTQ partners able to book rooms together or show PDA in public?
Issues for LGBTQ Travelers to Consider
According to research gathered from respected sites, LGBTQ members should be aware that there are more than 70 countries where being homosexual is illegal, making it even more important to check with the appropriate sites before embarking on any city or country as this is updated regularly. As a gay person traveling the world, being placed in a box or categorized can lead to certain stereotypes that can make the experience fraught with unnecessary dilemmas. As such, many gay people opt for gay-friendly hotels, and stay in areas that have gay neighborhoods or venues.
Know Your Rights
Do not assume that the protections you enjoy in your own country extend across borders. In the United States, for example, transgender passengers do not have to remove prosthetics, but in some countries, even possessing condoms can come with repercussions. Married LGBTQ members may have to bring proof of relationship status to assert their marital rights abroad. If you have been victimized, you may want to head directly to your nearest Embassy instead of the local police as the police may not be gay-friendly depending on the country. Your consulate is more inclined to protect your privacy and rights without assumptions. If you face arrest, immediately ask the police to notify your embassy.
The LGBTQ community spends more than $200 billion worldwide, and there are many countries and places that would like a piece of that considerable pie. With this in mind, HomoCulture advises readers to recognize potential safety concerns all over the world and stay up to date on the latest information affecting the community to ensure that your vacation destination lives up to your expectations.