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  BON VOYAGE

The U.S. State Department Wants To Play Travel Agent For the LGBT Community

rainbow-airplane-gay-travelAs enough Queerty articles have noted, knowing which countries are welcoming to LGBT travelers—and to what extent—can be complicated and confusing. (Though Spartacus’ new International Gay Travel Index spells it out pretty well.)

Well, now the State Department has gotten in on the act and launched a International LGBT travel site giving general advice to both travelers coming to America, and U.S. citizens heading overseas.

Under a quote from Secretary Hilary Clinton about how “gay rights are human rights” the guide gives general guidelines, some of which are informative (if you bring your kids, take documentation confirming your legal status as guardian), some a little common-sense (“Avoid potentially risky situations,”) and others a little depressing  (“Avoid excessive physical displays of affection in public.”)

More tips include:

  • If you intend to frequent Internet chat rooms or other meeting places, it’s wise to find out about the local situation – police in some countries have been known to monitor such sites and locales with the intention of carrying out entrapment campaigns
  • Avoid excessive physical displays of affection in public, particularly in more conservative countries or regions
  • Be wary of new-found “friends” – criminals sometimes exploit the generally open and relaxed nature of the LGBT scene
  • If you receive unwelcome attention or unwelcome remarks, it’s usually best to ignore them
  • Some resorts or LGBT neighborhoods can be quite segregated.  Be aware that local residents may not approve of expressions of sexuality when you are in surrounding areas
  • Some hotels, especially in rural areas, won’t accept bookings from same-sex couples.  It’s best to check before you go.

You can get a whiff of the on-the-ground attitudes in a given country on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains information about attitudes, harassment, and arrests relating to LGBT travelers. The BCA site also lists whether or not a country has a HIV travel ban.

For more international travel information, including more than 100 city guides, visit GayCities.com

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Mar 7, 2013
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 7 Comments
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      Ironically, of many countries that I have visited, the only country in which I have had some trouble as a gay traveler has been the U.S.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 9:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Raquel Santiago
      Raquel Santiago

      Yes they are rights, however, when in another country we have to go by their laws whether we agree with them or not. There are ways to protest and get around just about everything. Whether or not its worth the effort is another story entirely.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MuscleModelBlog.com
      MuscleModelBlog.com

      I think that the first tip, “If you intend to frequent Internet chat rooms or other meeting places, it’s wise to find out about the local situation – police in some countries have been known to monitor such sites and locales with the intention of carrying out entrapment campaigns,” is least “obvious.” Hopefully the website will be helpful.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      I bet Romney would have set up a website like this.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Raquel Santiago: Right. That they are morally wrong for locking you up, and that they wouldn’t get away with it here, doesn’t make you any freer to go about your business if they do it.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      Am I the only one who finds some of the suggestions homophobic, like “avoid PDA”, at least for travel inside the U.S. (which this is also intended for according to the article)? It is as if they are saying, you are welcome to visit the U.S. a long as you don’t bother us by acting gay.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      @viveutvivas:
      Somehow you missed the whole point of the thread… They are giving you and me info when we LEAVE the USA not for visitors COMING to the USA.

      They are suggesting that you avoid PDA’s for your own safety… Not that the state dept is Homophobic. The state dept deals with International Travel… not domestic travel here in the states.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 9:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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