As a lesbian who travels the world regularly with my partner or gay friends, I have first-hand experience of some of the issues us gays go through whilst travelling. Here is my open blog to all the straight people out there!
Dear straight people,
Here are a few things that the Lesbian community have to go through when we travel to a different country. Now it is not an attack on you at all, more of an eye-opener by sharing some of our real gay travel stories. With a lot of sarcasm thrown in.
The Lesbian Community
Also, I have saved the best bit until last fellow Lesbians…
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The LGBTQ+ community have to check a countries laws:
Yes, we have to check whether or not we have to hide who we truly are. When you travel and are openly gay this can often be dangerous. With 12 countries still listing homosexuality as punishable by death and 73 countries still listing LGBTQ+ as being illegal and punishable by imprisonment and even lashings in a few (stone-age like) countries.
Even if it states it is legal that doesn’t mean we trust that it will be okay within that countries culture. Russia, on paper, is a gay-friendly place and supports LGBTQ+ due to it not having any punishment listed by law. However, the reality of Russia is that it is a homophobic country. With Russia creating a gay propaganda law in 2013 with vaguely-worded bill outlawing “promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships”.
We constantly have to come out:
Surprisingly, after you have done your big coming out to friends and family it doesn’t stop there. Every time you meet someone new there’s an awkward air sitting over you, is it right to come out to them? Will they accept it or will it change their opinion of you?
When you travel and meet such a diverse range of people it is very difficult to judge how they will react to you being a lesbian. Especially when you are immersed in a new and unexplored culture. You never truly know what they will think of LGBTQ+ individuals. It is crazy to think that one minute the person can be lovely to you, but the next just because you are different from the perceived societal norm they change.
You might think it is disgusting to have sex with someone of the same sex. For some of us, the thought of having to even be close to the opposite sex genitalia is also disgusting. When we find out you’re straight we don’t tell you our opinion on it. So keep yours to your self.
Oh is that your sister/best friend…
No, no it is not.
As a lesbian this has happened to me a number of times, just because I look close to the women I am with do not make big presumptions. It is a little awkward for us. Do we tell you it’s actually my girlfriend or do I just go along with it?
When you get asked the dreaded question – do you have a boyfriend? We will often start to talk about our partner by avoiding all pronouns.
It goes something like this:
Person: Do you have a boyfriend then?
ME: Yes, my PARTNER is at home.
MY Brain: (Leave me the f**k alone)
Person: Oh so what does HE do.
ME: THEY are…
And it continues like this for a while. Whilst you try not to trip up over your own words and then you get the even more dreaded question.
So what is HIS name?
Did you mean to book a double bed?
Yes. I like to share a bed with my girlfriend. Although, in countries when it is against the law or has the death penalty, I would choose 2 singles to avoid any unnecessary attention. Most of the time I would actually avoid these countries as paying into a system I do not agree with goes against my values.
We have to remember that as consumers we can choose whether or not we want to put our money into a country. You have a choice. Consumer consciousness is becoming a big travel trend in 2020. So you have the opportunity to become part of a movement.
There are so many countries and companies that I refuse to work in/with and promote due to my values. Even if you are a women the majority of countries that list homosexuality as being against the law, have poor women’s and even humans rights.
Okay, you can stop hitting on my partner now!
Yes, when you flirt we are just being polite. We are really not interested so please leave us alone now. Don’t presume that we want you! I mean most of the LGBTQ+ community have probably had more men and women than you straights…
Also, here’s a few important things to remember:
- We do not want to have a threesome with you and your partner – especially if it includes the opposite sex that we enjoy.
- We are not here to fulfil your sexual fantasy. Oh, you really want to see a lesbian couple have sex. Go and watch fake porn. Or the L-word, it’s pretty accurate.
- We are unconvertible. Trust me.
- We are more likely to convert your girlfriend. Fact.
Let me know your thoughts on lesbian travel:
Let me know by either commenting or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I love hearing from you!
Thanks for reading and becoming part of our adventure,
LAUREN BARRATT, THE ADVENTURE DIARY FOUNDER 2020