Has the World Changed for Queer Travelers?

Author: , October 14th, 2017

aul J. Heney and partner in Rio de Janeiro

Over the last few years, the acceptance of LGBTQ people has improved a great deal in most of the Western world—including the legalization of same sex marriage across the United States. But there are always pockets of greater and lesser acceptance in different regions, countries and cities.

We asked some frequent travelers what their experiences have been.

Keenan McGarvey, a 25-year old teacher from Seattle, believes the world has changed in regard to the LGBTQ community, and his experiences have been positive.
“In my experience that [positivity] is reflected more in the other travelers I meet than in the places I go to visit,” he said. “As a gay man, I already have the tendency to choose travel destinations where I am not going to be scrutinized too closely for busting out a pair of short-shorts. But I also feel that in general as a tourist, most places do not investigate your sexuality during your visit. What I have noticed is that I feel much more comfortable being myself and dropping pronouns about my exes in conversation with other travelers I meet than I maybe would have five years ago.”

Valerie and Jessi are married travelers who describe themselves as nomads. They have visited a new city or state every 2-4 weeks for the past 9 months. They see “immense” changes, at least in the U.S. “As a lesbian couple traveling from our safe harbor of San Francisco, not once did we face the discrimination we once faced when coming out 10 years ago,” they explained. “With that said, we are also white, cis-gendered, and have feminine energies that often present ‘straight.’ Our perspective is limited to our experience, but we came out to a lot of people all over the USA and never once had a mean remark, snarky look, nor a negative response. Did we get lucky? Probably. But we were surprised how warm and accepting people were.”

By Paul Heney – Full Story at Travel Pulse

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Trans Travel Blogger Aaron Edwards – Nomadic Boys

Author: , August 17th, 2017

Aaron Edwards

We are very proud of our gay travel blogging community. It’s quite a diverse family with some of the most talented and kind hearted people we’ve ever met.

The trans side of our LGBTQ family is quite underrepresented, so it was with great delight when we came across Aaron Edwards, a FTM trans traveller, blogging about his travels with his girlfriend. Continuing on from our trans gay stories with ladyboy Regina from Bangkok and trans man Finn from Berlin, Aaron gave us this interview of what it’s like travelling as a trans man.

Hey there Aaron, introduce yourself!

Hi boys, my name is Aaron and I am originally from Chicago, USA. I am a transman and have been with my girlfriend Emily for over 3 years. We met in a gender inclusive/co-ed honours fraternity on campus at Illinois State University. My roommate and I invited her over to hang out and play card games, and since then she has never really left. We’ve been together for over 3 years and have been having a great time together!

Emily and I recently moved to Ukraine temporarily for work and decided that this was a great time for us to finally start a blog to document all our stories.

How do you identify when travelling?

I am male and have changed my passport to reflect this. In the States it takes a lot of time, energy, and hoop jumping but you can change your sex on your driving license and passport. After a certain point in your transition, it looks more strange if you keep the old gender marker that doesn’t look anything like you.

Thankfully at airports I’ve never had any major issues, other than confusion with my syringes and needles for my injectable medication – they always sets off the metal detector, but other than a bit of delay caused by this, I’ve had no issues.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Trans Pride Takes Over Brighton

Author: , July 22nd, 2017

Trans Pride Brighton

This weekend, Trans Pride took place in Brighton. Now in its fifth year, the event is run by a committee of volunteers.

Take a look below at the amazing march taking over the streets, and the beautiful people in it.

Trans Pride Brighton

Trans Pride Brighton

Many More Photos at Gay Star News

Sussex Gay Travel Resources

Southwest Airlines Spotlights Gay Trans Employee

Author: , July 6th, 2017

Southwest Gay Trans Employee

Southwest Airlines features Ethan Avanzino, a creative producer at the company, in a new spot for LGBTQ Pride.

“June is special for me because it is LGBT Pride Month,” says Avanzino in the spot. “As a gay transgender man, Pride is incredibly important to me because it celebrates who I am. At Southwest we say we’re a family and I really truly saw that familial love when I came out and transitioned because how I was treated before and how I’m treated now is one and the same…Having a work environment that is accepting is incredibly important for me. I’m able to just be who I am.”

By Andy Towle – Full Story at Towleroad

Canada’s Trans Community Calls for Change in Travel Regulations

Author: , May 18th, 2017

Canada Parliament

Jennifer McCreath has a fear of flying of a different sort: a fear she won’t be allowed on board. McCreath, a 43-year-old transgender woman in St. John’s, N.L., takes issue with a federal regulation that prohibits airlines from transporting anyone who “does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification presented.”

Doing away with the regulation is a cause the federal NDP has been pushing for five years, and one for which Justin Trudeau expressed support before becoming prime minister. It’s also one the federal Liberal government should be all over, given its self-proclaimed reputation as the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, McCreath said in an interview Wednesday.

“It all comes back to the notion of equality,” said McCreath, who described having to wait for two hours in a holding area before a flight to the United States in 2011, when she was in the process of changing the gender on her birth certificate. The Canadian regulation, she said, gives officials too much power in cases where someone doesn’t look like the gender indicated on their identification.

By Kristy Kirkup – Full Story at RD News Now

Canada Gay Travel Resources

Find Gender-Neutral Bathrooms With Yelp

Author: , March 25th, 2017
Gender-Neutral Bathroom

Gender-Neutral Bathroom

Yelp has revealed a new way to fight against the transphobic ‘bathroom bills’.

Businesses will able to be filtered by whether they have a ‘locking, single-stall bathroom’ that is ‘accessible to persons of any gender’.

‘This is one of the [first] times we’ve integrated any type of public policy or social stance into our products,’ Rachel Williams, Yelp’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, tells Mashable.

By Joe Morgan – Full Story at Gay Star News

Planning a Safe Trip as a Queer Traveler

Author: , February 28th, 2017

airplane - pixabay

Andy Hicks, owner of HIX Inc., a small health care technology consulting business in Denver, travels frequently. And as a gay man, he said, he’s enjoyed acceptance in many destinations — even in Cuba, where he traveled this year with his partner. “We didn’t know what to expect,” Mr. Hicks said. “We had zero problems.”

The travel industry offers gay travelers everything from special cruises and tours to gay-friendly hotels. But there are still many places in the world, including many countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, as well as Russia, where laws or social customs create an unwelcoming and unsafe environment for travelers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. More than 75 countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, and in about 10 countries a person could be put to death for being gay, according to the United States State Department.

“Today, it is important for a L.G.B.T. person to understand the laws and how they are enforced and the culture of the countries and even cities where they visit,” said Bruce McIndoe, chief executive of iJet International, a travel risk management company. In an environment of religious extremism, he said, “individuals are more likely to lash out or take unilateral action against assumed members of the L.G.B.T. community.” IJet, he said, has seen increased requests from clients to help prepare and protect their gay and transgender travelers after the mass shooting at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub last June and other episodes.

By Tanya Mohn – Full Story at The New York Times

Fort Lauderdale Travel Campaign Features Trans Models

Author: , February 4th, 2017

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors BureauThe Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau has rolled out what it says is the world’s first travel marketing campaign to feature transgender models. The three models will be used in campaigns directed to both mainstream and LGBTQ media outlets.

The campaign, which also features straight, gay and lesbian models, marks the destination’s latest outreach to the LGBTQ community and is designed to bolster its image as an authentic, diverse and inclusive brand.

The campaign premiered in New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve with a billboard video featuring Isabella Santiago, a Venezuelan model and 2014 Miss World Transgender. Viewed by millions, the video was part of the backdrop to city’s New Year’s Eve ball drop.

By Megan Padilla – Full Story at Travel Weekly

Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

15 Cool Transgender Travelers on Instagram

Author: , October 27th, 2016

Transgender Travelers

It’s official: the travel Instagrammer’s selfie is the new postcard. Kind of.

Each week, we’re delving into the photo-sharing website for intimate glimpses into the lives and loves of LGBTIs on the road. This week we’re looking at transgender travelers around the globe.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News

Courting Transgender Tourists

Author: , September 28th, 2016

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has been courting gay and lesbian travelers for nearly two decades, an effort that most recently included a marriage-equality wedding promotion.

This year the city became one of the country’s first destinations to market to transgender travelers, with a new tourism campaign, and for the first time will host the Southern Comfort Conference, one of the largest transgender conferences in the country, with about 1,000 attendees. (The 25th gathering begins Sept. 29.)

Much of the credit goes to Richard Gray, who arrived in Fort Lauderdale in 1991 as a hotelier and now serves as managing director of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market. Mr. Gray, 57, also serves on the board of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Following are edited excerpts from an interview with Mr. Gray.

Q. How has marketing to gay travelers changed since Fort Lauderdale started its outreach efforts in 1996?

A. At first, it was too risky to use the word “gay,” so we used “rainbow.” We started with a budget of $35,000, which has grown to over $1 million. We now welcome 1.3 million L.G.B.T. travelers who spend approximately $1.5 billion in the area.

By Diane Daniel – Full Story at The New York Times