7 things LGBT travelers are sick of hearing
1. Don’t you know it’s illegal to be gay in [insert country]?
Yes, I do. As an LGBT traveler, I know that not only do I need to look at the visa rules and requirements, but I’ve also got to check out what the status of LGBT people is. It’s not like my passport has a big rainbow flag or the word GAY printed on the front of it. Also, I’m pretty sure “Are you gay?” is not one of the questions the immigration officer is going to ask me. Hopefully.
2. Aren’t you worried about getting arrested?
Not anymore than I’m worried about getting arrested at home. I don’t plan on skipping down the street waving the rainbow flag, sprinkling glitter everywhere, and shouting “I’m gay! I like boys!”
I’m also not planning to have erotic, kinky hot gay sex in front of the local police station, or anywhere else in public for that matter. I’m not really even planning to pick up a guy, and if I do, I’ll be insanely careful about it. As long as I’m smart, discreet, and don’t break any laws, I should be fine.
3. I heard that LGBT people have been killed there!
Yes, you’re right. It’s sad, but true. By the way, did you hear about the gay teenage boy that committed suicide because of the anti-gay bullying at his school? He lived three streets over from you.
What about that guy who was nearly beaten to death by two people, just because they thought he looked gay? He was a tourist in your town. Bad things happen to LGBT people everywhere, including the good ol’ US of A. That’s not going to stop me from exploring the world. Maybe I can even work to help change those things.
4. Are there even any LGBT people there?
Really? No, really? Did you seriously just ask that question or am I high? It’s estimated (conservatively) that 10-15% of the world’s population is homosexual, and that’s just based on statistics from people who are open or only somewhat open about their sexuality. That means at least 700,000,000 to 1,050,000,000 people in this world are gay.
That doesn’t take into account Trans* people or bisexual people or people who self-identify in some other way. With that many homos roaming around, I’m sure I can find a few abroad. They may not be “out”, they may be very, very discreet and secretive. Hell, a lot of them may even have opposite-sex spouses due to social pressures. Still, we gays are everywhere.
5. Why on Earth would you want to go there?
I want to go there simply because it exists. It is part of the world I live in. It’s filled with people, just like you and me, all of whom have stories and experiences to share. Not to mention the food, the culture, and the natural beauty.
6. Wouldn’t it be safer to travel with a buddy or a partner?
Of course it would be. There are always risks to traveling solo, regardless of sexual orientation. I don’t have a boyfriend right now, but I’d love to find a guy that wanted to be a nomad too. Obviously yes, finding someone with my same lifestyle would be way more convenient.
7. So what will you do about, um, uh, how will you meet people for…?
Sex? Just because I’m a gay guy traveling solo doesn’t mean I plan on screwing my brains out with every local dude that crosses my path. But if I do want to make that type of connection, there’s an app for that.