The world is a huge place filled with excitement and adventure and it’s just waiting for you to head out and explore. If you are a gay person, the world can feel just as gigantic but perhaps a little more intimidating. In all honesty, it’s pretty safe for gay people to travel to most parts of the world. Of course, there are places such as the Middle East, parts of Asia, Africa, and even the United States where gay people may feel a little uneasy if not unsafe.
Let’s face it, there are many gay people who believe they should feel safe being what and who they are no matter where they might be in a given moment. I agree with that wholeheartedly. Why is it so acceptable to bash gay people, treat us as subhuman, and generally have a serious lack of respect for us simply because of our sexual orientation. In the end, we are all human and we all deserve respect.
Perhaps one day we will accomplish the lofty ideal that all people should be treated fairly and decently regardless of the details of their lives.
But we aren’t there yet. That’s my point with this blog post. I’ve met many people who’ve said they’d rather not travel anywhere not gay-friendly. The problem with that attitude is it makes the world super small. Even in the United States, where the LGBT community is more and more accepted everyday, you will meet people who despise us. It’s a fact of life these days.
So, if you have any desire to explore the world and experience all that this small Earth has to offer then the best thing to do is learn to adapt to the situations presented as you travel. As a gay traveler, I’ve learned a few things that make every experience much more pleasant. If you are a gay person and have decided to head out on a travel adventure, you are in for a treat as the world has lots to offer by way of experiences and hot boys ;-)! Just be mindful of your surroundings.
Here are four tips to get you started on your gay travel extravaganza!
1) Do your homework.
If you feel at all hesitant about your destination then do a little research. Even if you don’t feel hesitant, this is a great habit. You have a world of information at your fingertips so take advantage of it. Look up information about the gay scene in the city you are visiting or local laws and customs regarding the LGBT community. Don’t go into any travel adventure blindsided when you have access to so much information. Oh and read tons of gay travel blogs!!
2) Tone it down.
I understand many people’s desire to be who they are loudly and proudly. In fact, I’m a huge advocate for that…within reason. If you are traveling, remember you are usually not in your home city and may not even be in your home country. With that said, you don’t have to agree with the laws and customs of a region regarding the LGBT community but you certainly need to abide by them. So, in some situations, it might be most beneficial to tone down a bit in order to not be arrested, be bashed, or what have you. It’s unfortunate but it is the world we live in.
3) Visit known gay-friendly destinations.
Now, if toning it down a bit is asking too much then maybe visit places that are definitely gay-friendly. There are tons of places across the world that are very open and accepting such as Ptown, Key West, Barcelona, Paris…just to name a few. If heading into a country known for intolerance towards the LGBT community is scary and you don’t wish to adapt your behavior to those circumstances then the best thing you can do is avoid it.
4) Always consider safety.
No matter what, safety should always be your number one priority. That means leaving situations that make you feel uncomfortable and using your best judgement. In the end, travel should be fun. If you are worried about your safety then you won’t have fun.