Support For LGBTQIA+ Travellers
Depending on destination and culture, LGBTQIA+ travellers may encounter unique challenges abroad, including harassment, intimidation, discrimination, barriers to medical and law enforcement assistance, incarceration, and physical violence. However, support and resources are available before, during, and after your travels.
Research laws before travelling
Because LGBTQIA+-related laws vary widely across countries, it’s imperative that you research the legal protections, if any, available to the LGBTQIA+ community. Keep in mind that laws change, and many countries have complex legal landscapes. For example, some countries have laws criminalising homosexuality that, even if rarely enforced, can cause harm to LGBTQIA+ persons. Other countries have decriminalised homosexuality, but their governments have yet to implement any protections against discrimination.
- Equaldex is a crowd-sourced knowledge base of LGBTQIA+ rights by country and region.
- WorldAware publishes a Periodic Risk Intelligence & Security Monitor annual report for the LGBTQIA+ community and a quarterly newsletter.
- The Global Divide on Homosexuality, highlights 39 countries’ cultural attitudes toward homosexuality.
- Country guides, available through International SOS, include information for LGBTQIA+ travelers and general information on culture and customs.
Out Abroad resources
- Human Rights Watch maintains a list of international LGBTQIA+ organisations.
- Alturi, an LGBQTIA+ education and advocacy organisation, also maintains a list of organisations worldwide.
- DFAT’s Smart Traveller provides information for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex travellers.
Considerations for transgender travellers
Transgender travellers may experience difficulties entering a country if their identification documents do not match their current presentation. You can consider changing your gender designation on your identity documents, speak to a medical professional or therapist about obtaining a letter that provides explanations (translated into the local language, if necessary), or prepare a short, direct statement to provide to border officials and law enforcement officers, if asked. Again, disclosing your identity is a very personal decision and may not always be safe.
- The Worst (& Safest) Countries for LGBTQIA+ Travel in 2019 (published by Asher & Lyric, 2019).
- The LGBTQIA+ Travel Danger Index (published by The Guardian, 2019).