Red Means Danger

Author: , April 7th, 2018

queer travel risk map

Do you enjoy ‘non-traditional sexual relationships’? Then mind where you travel. Over the last two decades, same-sex marriage and legal protection for the LGBTI community has become commonplace throughout many countries. But that has only widened the gulf with other parts of the world, where homosexuality remains illegal, criminal and in some cases even punishable by death.

This map was published by the Australian company Travel Insurance Direct as a risk guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex tourists and travellers.

Coded in the colours of the rainbow flag, the map ranks countries from places with the broadest legal recognition and protection (purple) to those where the law is used to prosecute rather than protect LGBTI people (red).

By Frank Jacobs – Full Story at Big Think

Traveling While Queer

Author: , January 4th, 2018

Traveling While Queer

Do you get excited at the thought of packing up the car and heading home for the holidays or setting off on a cross-country road trip? I don’t.

When my girlfriend, Lara, and I travel on the road, we have to take precautions. We’re constantly on guard against strangers. Lara is a transgender woman of color, and at rest stops I’m never far from her side, guarding her like a Secret Service agent. Lara doesn’t want to stop at gas stations, and she’ll have me pump gas so that no one can see her and try to size her up.

Late one evening this year, Lara and I were driving home to Charlotte, N.C., from Wilmington, N.C., a three-hour trip. We stopped at a service station in a small town called Whiteville. As I filled the tank and Lara sat in the car, I saw a group of people who could have been extras on “Duck Dynasty” gathered by two pickup trucks. I could feel them glaring at us.

One truck screeched out of the gas station, while the other remained. I got into the passenger seat without telling Lara what I saw and fell asleep. About an hour later, she woke me up with words you never want to hear: “We’re being followed.”

By Joanne Spataro – Full Story at the New York Times

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

North Carolina Tells LGBT Community Our Tourist Dollars Aren’t Welcome

Author: , March 26th, 2016

Governor Pat McCroryMuch has been written about the corporate response to passage of controversial “bathroom bill” signed by Governor Pat McCrory, but it’s clear the anti-LGBT legislation will also impact some vacation plans.

Dozens of comments on the state’s official Travel & Tourism Facebook page finds people rethinking vacation plans after this week’s legislative action.

One writer simply posted a link to The New York Times editorial title: “Transgender law makes North Carolina pioneer in bigotry”.

By Clayton Henkel – Full Story at NC Policy Watch

North Carolina Gay Travel Resources

That Time We Almost Got Arrested in Delhi – Nomadic Boys

Author: , February 18th, 2016

Nomadic Boys

Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely fell in love with India. But its government just has major problems accepting its LGBT community.

A very old law dating back to 1861 (Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code) criminalises gay sex with up to 10 years in prison. This was invalidated by the Delhi High Court in 2009, but in 2013, the Supreme Court reintroduced Article 377. In January 2016, the Supreme Court announced it would review this decision, but until this is done, being gay in India remains a crime. We couldn’t find any evidence of Article 377 being enforced, but its very existence is a symbolic slap in the face to the LGBT community.

We interviewed a gay Indian couple anonymously who said that Article 377 is used by the authorities as a validation for all sorts of bullying and harassment of the LGBT community, in particular the Indian police who use it as a way to get bribes. We experienced this first hand in Delhi.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources

Transgender Passenger Humiliated by TSA

Author: , January 11th, 2016

body scan

A transgender passenger has said he was humiliated and demeaned when he was forced to remove his prosthetic penis by airline staff.

Subjected to a full body scan, an Australian airport staff member donned two pairs of gloves to handle the penis, saying: ‘You want me to touch that thing with my bare hands?’

This incident, which took place in 2015, is the subject of a complaint made via the National LGBTI Health Alliance to a Senate committee inquiry on airport and aviation security.

By Joe Morgan – Full Story at Gay Star News

Other Gay Travel Events

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

Gay Couple Turned Away From Cape Town Guesthouse Wins Case

Author: , April 17th, 2015

South_African_Gay_CoupleA gay couple who won a legal case against the owners of a Christian guesthouse can now proclaim victory. A South African court has said LGBTI people cannot be discriminated against in public services.

Neil Coulson and his husband Jonathan Sedgwick had tried to get a room at the Wolseley guesthouse in Cape Town in November 2013. After they tried to book, they were told by owners Marina and Seth Neethling the establishment was not ‘gay friendly’.

Supported by Freedom of Religion SA, the Neethlings argued they were unable to accomodate the gay couple because ‘if they willingly and knowingly make a room available where homosexual sex will be practiced, this will make them liable to sin as they would in effect be helping the homosexual couple to sin.’

By Joe Morgan – Full Story at Gay Star News | Cape Town Gay Travel Resources

Canadian Tourist Arrested in Morocco for Gay Sex

Author: , April 5th, 2015

Morocco - Google Maps

Two men are being held in custody in a Moroccan jail after they were charged with allegedly engaging in sex acts with each other.

According to the Al Sabah newspaper the Agadir public prosecutor’s office has charged an unnamed 35-year-old Canadian tourist and a security guard at the resort he was staying at after the security guard made an alleged false rape allegation to police.

According to the newspaper the 25-year-old security guard made the allegation after panicking that photos and videos that the Canadian man had taken while they were having sex together would end up on the internet.

By Andrew Potts – Full Story at Gay Star News | Morocco Gay Travel Resources

LGBT Travelers Face Big Challenges

Author: , March 8th, 2015

Gay Pride Flag

As a white heterosexual American male, there are certain things — OK, plenty of things — I don’t need to think twice about. One of them is travel. There obviously are places where being a white, heterosexual American male will work against me (probably the American part, mostly), but usually I’m not too concerned for my well-being in the places I am most likely to visit.

But a stat caught my eye recently that underscores an odd irony: A certain group of people who love to travel is among those facing the gravest risk while doing just that. In a 2012 Community Marketing Inc. survey of more than 4,000 people identifying as LGBT, 79 percent of respondents said they held an active U.S. passport. That compares with about one-third of the general U.S. population.

Crossed with a higher-than-average disposable income, the LGBT crowd becomes a no-brainer of a target audience for the travel industry. And indeed, airlines, hotel chains and cruise lines have been some of the most progressive and aggressive when courting that market.

By Josh Noel – Full Story at the Chicago Tribune