“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Agustine of Hippo
In today’s world, travelling is a way of life. Some people have the urge to get to know other cultures, speak new languages, meet with different people, taste different cuisines, get out of their comfort zone. For those who do, feeling unable to travel safely while also living as their authentic LGBT+ selves results in a feeling of frustration. In some nations, this is not only annoying, it can be life-threatening. As such, it is vital to all LGBT+ travellers and allies to know the laws and customs before exploring somewhere new.
Tip: Know local laws and customs when you plan your trip.
We live in a time when some countries around the world still criminalize homosexuality, and that goes both for their residents as well as their tourists, making these countries of the world dangerous for openly LGBT+ travellers.
“It would be great to think that in the year 2019, all corners of the world would by now be equally safe places for LGBT travellers. There are towns and cities all over the world that offer warm welcomes and tolerant communities, regardless of a visitor’s sexual preference or gender identity. But, sadly, there are still plenty of places that don’t” writes Tabby Farrar for ’The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide’.
According to ‘PRI’ some of the countries that are more resistant to homosexuality are: Nigeria, Jordan, Senegal, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories and Kenya. In most of these countries, homosexuality is considered a crime, both for its residents as well as for travellers.
LGBT+ Expert Kryss Shane speaks to the emotional aspect of making decisions based on legalities, “It can feel traumatizing to have a desire to visit a place but to know you cannot go without risking your safety or your life. Some choose to hide their identities but often feel as if they could not enjoy the experience with their whole hearts. This makes sense when a piece of their identity had to be left at home.”
Here is a tip from the ’N.Y. Times’: “Know your rights, do your research and don’t let fear take the driver’s seat.”
If you’re planning the next trip, you may wish to seek out LGBT+ specific travel information. This can save you thousands of hours doing research. However, it is important to recognize that many blogs and social media posts are either sponsored by companies or they may be outdated. Make sure to review any information through a number of updated and fact-based websites rather than to assume information on Instagram, Twitter, or someone’s blog is accurate and unbiased.