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lgbt

Remember Rick had a book, "Travel as a Political Act"?. He had a lecture on this some years ago in the SF Bay with a packed auditorium.

I am reading that Poland and Hungary are passing laws to curtain the rights of the LGBT community. Please keep that if mind if you are going to either of those countries. Or don't give them your money.

Posted by
104 posts

And living a life out and proud is a political act. Celebration of pride is a revolutionary rejection of shame, and let us never forget the first Pride was a riot.

Posted by
200 posts

As an LGBT+ traveler, I avoid places that actively work to curtail my rights. This doesn't mean that I might benefit from going there, but I believe that if the government is passing anti-equality laws, that is reflective of the public sentiment to some extent. I will withhold my travel dollars from countries that haven't earned them. I will also feel safer traveling to countries that have shown they stand for equality.

Posted by
303 posts

It's really difficult for people in other countries to get to know LGBTQ+ travelers if those travelers are not legally allowed to say something positive about themselves as is the case in several countries. It's also very difficult for the LGBTQ+ traveler to interact with those in repressive countries if they must monitor each word they speak or watch their actions that may be interpreted as illegal. Why would any country expect our presence if we cannot offer ourselves in a genuine manner? Why would I want to put my spouse in danger? I don't think the LGBTQ+ traveler is deserving of lectures about stereotyping others! I do believe that countries who wish to repress the LGBTQ+ presence should not expect to earn our money or interest. I'd rather that my money benefit those who treat us as equals. Perhaps you need to learn about what's happened to some of us in the Russian Federation and not just Chechnya. It's not appropriate to expect LGBTQ+ people to do all of the adjustments. Historically we've made too many accommodations and frankly you need to ask more of the oppressors than of the oppressed.

Posted by
3861 posts

I think it is important to keep separate the government of a country and its people. If you don't choose to travel to a country that doesn't accept you as a person and marginalizes certain segments of its population, the loss of that tourist revenue doesn't impact the government all that much. It does negatively impact their people. That said, as a mother of an adult gay child, I would be concerned about her safety should she travel to countries with significant biases against her, Russia would be an example.

Posted by
303 posts

Of course when people are impacted by the loss of tourist dollars from the LGBTQ+ segment they may communicate their dissatisfaction to their government and extract change. Money is usually the only way to obtain change. Bus boycotts were a very effective tool in obtaining civil rights. Governments are impacted in some manner due to lost tax dollars. It's a stereotype but often true that my segment of society has discretionary dollars. For instance both of us have SS, well-funded pensions, stacked 401K's and investments. No mortgage, all updates applied to our home, and low cost of living allow us to travel well. Unfortunately Bulgaria will now be added to our non-travel list. We simply will not in any way place ourselves in the ant-gay fervor sweeping across eastern Europe.

Posted by
416 posts

Peculiar choice of country examples, Bruce - Poland has just held a number of massive pride parades, all of my Warsaw-based friends went, kids, dogs and all.

Posted by
303 posts

There are myriad number of reasons why I think Bruce is wise to be wary. I would feel completely unwelcome in Poland. The most recent is the appearance of "LBGT-free" zones which are really quite extensive. I'm not putting someone I love in such a hostile environment. That's just to start.

According to a recent survey, Poland has the largest gap between life satisfaction of LGBTI people and the general population. Let me know if you would like to see the details of the results. That doesn't bode well for gay travelers who may inadvertently trigger incidents due to cultural differences or unawareness of local norms and expectations.

Many of us travel for reasons other than visiting the gay bars in the largest cities. We all know those are most often safe zones. We don't want to spend our travel time in clubs. Some of us have progressed past any need for club life and really aren't looking to participate in parades or protests. Feeling at ease in exploring a country and being allowed open expression is enough for me and my spouse.

Poland in general is one of the most openly disapproving environments for LGBTQ+ people and mainly due to the prevailing religion. I'm sorry but it has become off limits to us because of the developments over the past several years.