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Traveling Gay in a Straight World

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"My partner and I have always dreamed of seeing the pyramids of Egypt, but we're worried about it being dangerous because we're gay. Should we still travel there?"


Not a mail cycle goes by that we don't get asked some version of that question at OutTraveler. Not only where to travel (and scope out the hottest, hippest nightlife, restaurants and shopping), but how to travel. We're gays living in a straight world, and if you don't want to limit yourself to the tried-and-true gay resort destinations or bigger city ghettos, at some point you need to step outside your comfort zone to see the glories of the wider world -- after all, isn't that what traveling is about?

Dane Steele, founder of Steele Luxury Travel, a high-end LGBT tour company with key trips to Israel and Mykonos and the Life Ball, tackled the topic today on HuffPo's Gay Voices, echoing much of the tried and true advice I always give readers: be courteous, be open-minded, and research, research, research. For instance his first tip is:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to the country you are visiting. Although you may truly enjoy your public displays of affection in your local city, the residents of New Delhi or Dubai, may find it insulting.

 

92458500

Photos.com

 

"My partner and I have always dreamed of seeing the pyramids of Egypt, but we're worried about it being dangerous because we're gay. Should we still travel there?"


Not a mail cycle goes by that we don't get asked some version of that question at OutTraveler. Not only where to travel (and scope out the hottest, hippest nightlife, restaurants and shopping), but how to travel. We're gays living in a straight world, and if you don't want to limit yourself to the tried-and-true gay resort destinations or bigger city ghettos, at some point you need to step outside your comfort zone to see the glories of the wider world -- after all, isn't that what traveling is about?

Dane Steele, founder of Steele Luxury Travel, a high-end LGBT tour company with key trips to Israel and Mykonos and the Life Ball, tackled the topic today on HuffPo's Gay Voices, echoing much of the tried and true advice I always give readers: be courteous, be open-minded, and research, research, research. For instance his first tip is:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to the country you are visiting. Although you may truly enjoy your public displays of affection in your local city, the residents of New Delhi or Dubai, may find it insulting.

 

So those two men walking arm in arm? It's a "bro-no-homo" kind of thing. Be yourself and be open-minded, just as you wish the destination to be. Other pieces of advice include avoiding the urge to dig for gay life where it's not readily apparent -- if it's underground, it's out of your league -- and flaunting it full force when you're in a place that embraces it, like Ibiza or Rio. Additionally, select products from people and companies that support you back, rewarding them for their progressive LGBT policies. There's no better way to effect change that through a company/country's bottom line. The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is a superb resource for finding hotels, restaurants, destinations, and agents to keep your pink dollar pink.

But most of all, Dane urges, as we always have, to be an ambassador everywhere:

Spread the word. Travel more. Another stamp in your passport translates to another destination that you have experienced and conquered. The more aware a destination becomes of the LGBT world, the more prepared it will become to welcome foreigners and to create a more suitable environment for LGBT residents. It is not only the destination that leaves an impression on you; you are certainly leaving an impression on the people of the destination.

Amen. Now get traveling!

via HuffPo, The Gay Traveler: Pompous vs. Cautious

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