As a queer, nonbinary person, I’ve often struggled with feelings of isolation while traveling, especially in countries where it’s not completely safe to be out. That’s why I’m grateful when I find some LGBTQ “family” on the road. For just a few days or even just a moment, I can let down my guard. I can stop switching around pronouns when I talk about partners or exes, and I can feel fully welcomed as I am.
These moments often come unexpectedly: In Taiwan, I was at dinner with a new friend, and she told me about her relationship troubles with her girlfriend. In Vietnam, my Airbnb host introduced me to her same-gender partner. In South Korea, I made friends with some fellow feminist activists who gave me the inside scoop on the queer scene in Seoul.
Finding “family” is important, and it doesn’t just happen by accident. Below are a few suggestions for becoming plugged into queer and trans communities around the world.