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.”