Is Russia Safe for Queer Travelers? – Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Russia for queer travelers

Editor’s note. We had some trepidation about posting this, given Russia’s current role in world affairs. But sunlight is the best disinfectant, and Russia is home to an active queer community, however suppressed it may be. So we decided it was important to shine a little light on that community.

Stefan’s coming out song in February 2003 was “All The Things You Said”, a pop hit by Russian girlband t.A.T.u, who were marketed as a lesbian couple. For the video of this song, the two band members, Lena Katina and Julia Volkova, were running around in the rain dressed in school girl outfits and making out.

Obviously the band were (quite successfully!) targeting a very specific heterosexual male demographic. But despite this, the very fact that such a public homosexual image was being shown and accepted across Russian society in the early 2000s, speaks volumes about attitudes to LGBTQ in Russian society…so what the hell went wrong since?!

Just before travelling on the Trans Siberian across Russia in 2014, almost every other person warned us “you better be careful in Russia boys, probably best avoid going altogether!”

With hindsight we are so glad we ignored this advice.

Yes, we were nervous when we first touched down at Domodedovo airport in Moscow. After all, we all know Russia has a terrible reputation for LGBTQ rights, particularly in light of the awful anti-gay propaganda law passed in 2013. Nonetheless, we were absolutely fine during our travels there. We were even pleasantly surprised that there are thriving gay scenes in Moscow and St Petersburg.

This is our advice about travelling safely in Russia for gay travellers based on our first hand experience exploring the country as a same sex couple.

Is it legal to be gay in Russia?

The good news first: it is legal to be gay in Russia! In fact it has been legal since 1993. In addition, the age for sexual consent (16 years old) has been the same for both straight and gay couples since 1993, except in Chechnya. It’s also legal for a single gay man to adopt, you can change your legal gender, and gays are allowed to serve in the Russian military (under a “don’t ask don’t tell policy) unlike in some European countries like Cyprus, which has a total LGBT ban in its army!

Another surprising fact about Russia is that gay men are allowed to donate blood without any restrictions. In the UK, we are required to have 3 months of no sexual relations before we can even be considered.

By AUTHOR – Full Story at SOURCE

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Vacationing in an Anti Gay Country

Author: , March 28th, 2016

Maldives

For three months I had been filled with pure excitement because my trip to the Maldives was finally booked. I spent hours on the internet looking at the wondrous beaches, fantastic hotels, and the pure idyllic paradise setting that made up the islands of the Maldives. Each island was more beautiful than the next but each had one thing in common. Each one was paradise. But each one was also anti-gay.

The Maldives is governed by Sharia Law which criminalises same-sex sexual acts between both men and women. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association states that for men ‘the punishment is banishment for nine months to one year or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes, while the punishment for women is house arrest for nine months to one year.’

I immediately felt the moral dilemma as an LGBTI traveler. Did I want to go to a country where it was illegal to be gay? Would I even feel safe there? Is it wrong to spend my money in a country where I’m not even welcomed?

By David Calderon – Full Story at Gay Star News

Maldives Gay Travel Resources

Should Gay Honeymooners Stop Avoiding Anti Gay Countries?

Author: , July 30th, 2015

Gay Travel

With the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, a new crop of honeymooners has entered the market. The travel industry has positioned itself to capitalize, having recently launched several targeted marketing campaigns featuring gay couples, including Hotwire’s “Lucky Me” commercial, Airbnb’s #HostWithPride film, and Marriottt’s Love Travels campaign.

But with gay marriage fully legal in just 20 countries – and homosexuality illegal in 75 — gay newlyweds face extra hurdles in deciding where to celebrate their nuptials. Many feel compelled to research discrimination laws before making overseas travel plans. In fact, four out of 10 U.S. LGBT travelers said local discriminatory laws and homophobic sentiments affect where they decide to fly “to a great extent,” according to a survey by LGBT marketing group Out Now. As one lesbian couple expressed in Airbnb’s #HostWithPride film, “For our honeymoon, I don’t want to be attacked. We want to be able to express our love, and be able to be affectionate, and feel comfortable and safe.”

But are such fears founded? Certainly, in some nations around the world, including popular honeymoon destinations, local LGBT people are harassed, arrested and even killed with impunity. But for Americans, these threats are minimal. Both the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and the International Gay and Lesbian Alliance have no reports of gay American honeymooners being assaulted during international travel. Even the U.S. State Department, which posts warnings for LGBT travelers, has little evidence of such incidents.

By Michael Luongo – Full Story at The Washington Post | Gay Travel Resources

India’s Anti Gay Law and Homophobia Costs $31 Billion A Year

Author: , March 19th, 2014

India Taj MajalAnti-gay legislation and homophobia costs India $31 billion annually, according to a new study from the World Bank.

Between violence, job loss, discrimination, and tourism, the exclusion of the LGBT community ultimately translates into economic loss for the country in terms of higher health-care costs and social programs in addition to lower economic output.

The economic impact may be greater because of the difficulty estimating the exact size of the LGBT community.

Authored By Joseph Pedro – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in India.

Uganda Tour Cancelled After Anti Gay Bill Signed

Author: , February 26th, 2014

Uganda

Uganda

Many in the tourism industry consider the country of Uganda a jewel, often describing it as “the pearl of Africa.” Wildlife abounds and gorilla tracking is prime. At Oblogdee we warned that notwithstanding the perfection of the safari destination, if the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill became Ugandan law, tour operators would likely start to withdraw business and discontinue to support the Country’s thriving tourist trade. Our prediction was well founded, as before the ink on President Yoweri Museveni’s odious Bill could dry, one world class and renowned tour operator cancelled its Uganda Great Apes safari and condemned the draconian law.

Immediately upon hearing about President Musveni’s assent to The Anti-Homosexuality Bill today, Jody Cole, renowned adventurer, philanthropist and human rights advocate, and founder of Wild Rainbow African Safaris, which specializes in guided safaris to East and Southern Africa, issued a statement to OBLOGDEE expressing disappointment in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, while noting how the new legislation makes it almost impossible for tour operators to guarantee the safety of guests in Uganda:-

“We (Wild Rainbow African Safaris) are very troubled by the Ugandan Parliament’s passage of its notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This bill is an affront on human rights as well as on the respect and dignity of LGBT Ugandans and their allies. As great lovers and supporters of the wildlife, culture and spirit of Africa, we are very disappointed and saddened by the passage and signing of this draconian law. While our trips are first and foremost about seeing and experiencing the amazing wildlife of Africa, we must reconsider whether we can go forward with future trips to Uganda in light of these latest developments. The safety and comfort of our guests is our number one priority, and we must be able to ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests regardless of sexual orientation.”

Authored By Melanie Nathan – See the Full Story at O-blog-dee-o-blog-da

Click here for gay travel resources.

UK Supreme Court Will Rule Soon on Homophobic B&B Owners

Author: , November 26th, 2013

Chymorvah Hotel - England - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

Peter and Hazelmary Bull, the Christian B&B owners who were prosecuted for discriminating against a same-sex couple, will learn on Wednesday if their latest legal challenge at the UK Supreme Court has been successful.

Civil partners Martin Hall and Steven Preddy were turned away from the Chymorvah Hotel near Penzance in 2008 under the Bulls’ policy of not allowing unmarried couples to share rooms.

Judges have twice ruled the Bulls broke equality laws in the running of their business.

See the Full Story at Pink News

Click here for gay travel resources in the United Kingdom.

Are Anti Gay Countries Missing Out on LGBT Tourists?

Author: , November 5th, 2013

Gay TravelThe ‘Out Now Global LGBT2020 Study’ shows 73% of respondents said that the position of local LGBT people affected where they spend their holiday – 36% to a great extent and a further 37% to a moderate extent.

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) tourists are choosing not to travel to countries where the local LGBT communities do not enjoy equal legal rights, says new research from LGBT consulting firm Out Now Global released this week at World Travel Market.

The ‘Out Now Global LGBT2020 Study’ shows 73% of respondents said that the position of local LGBT people affected where they spend their holiday – 36% to a great extent and a further 37% to a moderate extent.

See the Full Story at Travel Daily News

Click here for gay travel resources.

Greece: Anti-Gay Hate Directed at Country’s First Gay Frstival

Author: , April 25th, 2012

Greece Gay Festival and Hate Speech“The death penalty against the faggots, is an ancient Spartan Law, that the remaining true Hellenes citizens and Officers, are called to apply it by taking the Law into their hands, because the judicial authority of Greece is completely corrupted, and has converted the Country into a whore-house of female and male prostitution.”

We receive hundreds of messages a day in our inbox here at gaytravel.com. Many are great messages of hope and praise but from time to time we still get messages of hate. Today’s hate message was incredibly disturbing to our staff and we really feel that the message should be shared with all of you. Let is serve as a precaution and as a reminder of how far some will go to spread hate amongst the world.

Full Story from GayTravel.com

Click here for gay travel resources in Greece.

 

Beautiful Places in Anti-Gay Countries – Worth the Risk?

Author: , April 19th, 2012

Beautiful Places in Anti-Gay Countries - Worth the Risk?At the end of March I was shocked to learn that two gay men from an Atlantis Cruise had been arrested in the Caribbean island of Dominica. The local authorities must have known it was a “gay cruise line” before it docked, which led me to question why, having allowed several hundred gay men into their country, they then decided to arrest two of them.

The answer came a few days later when photos of the couple in question emerged, showing them butt-naked, on their balcony, in plain view of everyone on and around the pier, in flagrante delicto. “Well, what did you expect?” was my response.

As someone who has travelled to more than 150 countries, I am used to treating State Department travel advisories with a pinch of salt. I’ve been to dozens of countries where homosexuality is illegal, and where our government warns people not to go. Through common sense, I’ve managed to enjoy my visits. I’ve only ever been arrested once, and that was for entering a country without a valid visa. It had nothing to do with being gay.

Full Story from the Huffington Post

Click here for gay wedding resources.

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UK: A Second Lawsuit Against Another Anti Gay B&B Owner

Author: , January 28th, 2011

Gay Couple Sues Christian B&B Owners in BerkshireA gay couple are suing a Christian bed and breakfast owner after she told them it was ‘against her convictions’ for them to share a bed.

Michael Black, 63, and John Morgan, 58, are claiming sexual discrimination after being turned away from Swiss B&B in Cookham, Berkshire, last March.

Their case follows that of Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who won #3,600 damages from the owners of a Cornish guesthouse last week for refusing them a double room.

Full Story from The Daily Mail

Click here for gay travel resources.