Tips for LGBT travellers
How can we apprehend the world when nearly 80 countries consider homosexuals and transsexuals to be outlaws? Vagabond gives you advice on how to travel well when you are part of the LGBT community.
Homosexuality and transsexuality are punishable by law in nearly 80 countries around the world and in 10 countries the death penalty is even in force. Not to mention the degree of homophobia of different societies around the world. In France alone, in 2019 there is a homophobic attack every three days. How to spend the best trip possible when you are abroad?
Inquire before leaving
It is important to plan your trip and to know the company that welcomes us during our trip. You can do this by reading the various travel guides on the market that often have a category dedicated to LGBT travel. This will allow you to know for example the names of the neighborhoods most frequented by gay, lesbian and trans communities, and also the different bars and gay-friendly clubs.
You can also read the results of the annual survey of the Spartacus World site which establishes according to a dozen criteria the most and least safe countries for LGBT travelers. The destinations often in the lead are the Scandinavian countries, Canada, Iceland or the Netherlands. At the bottom of the rankings are the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Somalia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
To travel beyond prejudices
You can adopt a militant attitude and boycott some countries that have a revolting anti-LGBT policy. If you still want to go to these countries, try to exceed your apprehension and enjoy the local culture. Laws do not necessarily make men, and you will be surprised at the benevolence and meetings that you can do on site. Feel free to meet other members of the LGBT community locally to get a better view of their lives and their struggles.
Book in the right place
Booking a tour package or a hotel can be complicated when you are an LGBT couple or someone in transition. When two men or two women choose a double room, they may be surprised to end up with two single beds. Be aware that homophobia is punishable by law but also reprimanded by online booking sites like Booking.com or Airbnb, so you will be able to return to be reimbursed for your booking if something goes wrong. Sites like couchsurfing can also introduce guests and guests, LGBT groups exist within this platform. If you want to leave with peace of mind, LGBT tour operators are more and more numerous, whether for cruises like Dreamlines or apartment rental sites like Mister B and B.
Respect local customs
If everyone can do what they want, it is still better to limit the marks of affection in public when we know that it can be problematic in the country that we visit, whether because homophobia or simply general modesty. In many countries (especially Asian), heterosexual couples do not kiss or hold each other's hands, so it would be hard to come and see them in public.
As your mom always told you, do not trust strangers. Be careful not to reveal your sexual orientation to people you barely know and do not meet strangers if you are unsure of their intentions. In some countries, men ask for money after sex to extort Western tourists, if you do not comply with their demands, the situation can quickly escalate.
Protect yourself !
No exceptions to the rule during the holidays, if you want to have fun: go out covered! The spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases can be much greater in some parts of the world. It is therefore vital to protect oneself and also to bring back male or female condoms as they are not necessarily easy to buy locally.