Suppose you’re planning a honeymoon or even just a holiday, thinking about your sexuality and traveling safely as a couple is usually top of mind for LGBTQ+ couples. Going to new countries can envoke fear; fear of rejection, fear of reaction, and fear of safety. But, it certainly doesn’t need to stop you from enjoying a holiday together – especially if you’re a newlywed. And so, we’ve popped together this handy little guide on how to travel safely as a lesbian couple.
TRAVEL SOMEWHERE THAT IS LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY
By this, we mean countries where marriage equality is recognized, or where there are anti-discrimination laws.
If you’re really feeling uneasy about traveling as a couple, choosing a place where your love is legally recognized might be a great start. Generally, it’ll mean that LGBTQ+ will be more socially accepted. Keep in mind though, that this isn’t always the case. Think of Australia, for example. While there is marriage equality, it’s not always safe to be open about our relationship, particularly when we are traveling to rural areas.
If you’re heart set on a country where these laws aren’t present, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel – absolutely not! But you’ll need to be more vigilant.
TONE DOWN YOUR PDA’S
In many cultures, you’ll notice that public displays of affection, even among heterosexual couples, are not common or socially accepted. That means it’s a no-go for traveling LGBTQ+ couples too.
Kissing, holding hands, or affectionately touching one another are probably things best kept to your hotel room in these countries. If you’re not sure, look around you and see what other couples are doing. This should give you an indication of what is and what isn’t safe.
REMEMBER THAT EVERY COUNTRY HAS ITS OWN STEREOTYPES
If your sexuality is stereotyped by the way you look or dress in your home country, remember that it might not be perceived the same while traveling.
For example, if your short hair means people usually assume your sexuality, in an Asian country, you might just be perceived as a woman with short hair – nothing more.
YOU WILL NEED TO BE PREPARED TO ‘JUST BE FRIENDS’
If you’re in a situation where you’re feeling uncomfortable, and someone asks directly about your relationship, you will want to be prepared to answer with ‘we are just friends.’
This one can be challenging, and quite frankly, can make you feel like your relationship is invalidated or less than. Don’t forget to take care of one another, and when you’re in the safety of your room. Show a little extra love and remind each other that you’re so much more than ‘just friends.’
FIND SAFE LGBTQ+ SPACES
It can be tiring going about your holiday, thinking actively about your safety. Seek out LGBTQ+ bars, and cafes – spaces where you are free to be you and free to celebrate your love without the worry. Who knows, maybe you’ll make some new friends in a new city.
JUST ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY
More than anything. Just enjoy yourself. Traveling such an incredible experience for all couples, regardless of your diversity.