This February marks the 22nd LGBT History Month, a month that celebrates the progress made by the LGBT community. It also continues to be a campaign that throughout the year aims to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. If you're interested in learning more or getting involved yourself head over to, http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/. The website is full of great things, such as the last news, resources for students and also a list of yearly events.
An important part of this month is keeping awareness high about issues that may face the community but not others. For example, to remember aspects of life that many may take for granted but the LGBT community does not, such as travelling with partners (or even on our own).
Preparation and awareness for LGBT travellers is key to staying safe and well while travelling to new places.
Preparation, information and awareness should be part of any traveller's pre-departure plans. Knowing local customs and cultures can help keep you out of trouble and keep the locals happy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website is a great place to start with information on 225 countries and territories! This local understanding is even more important for the LGBT community. Attitudes towards the community can be very different from those within the UK depending on the country you're planning on going to.
Some countries are still very openly homophobic prohibiting any form of it by law. This applies to foreigners in the country too! IGLA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) has a map on their website (http://ilga.org/) which shows the status of LGBT relationships globally. This interactive map can also take you to specific webpages that will have more information on a country. The FCO also has some great general advice for LGBT tourists (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-foreign-travel-advice). Their twitter account @FCOtravel is also full of current issues that you may need to be aware of. It's a great way to make sure you always know what is going on in the world! An important part of travelling. These websites (along with many others) are a great tool for the LGBT traveller who wants to make the most of global travel, while staying safe. It gives you the chance to be fully equipped with the knowledge you need to know before you go!
Another way to make the most of your holiday plans is to go through a travel agent... albeit it being (a lot) more expensive sometimes. Many specialise in Gay Travel and not just the party holidays! Such as ANAZURE, who offer the chance to explore a diverse range of countries, from Japan to Botswana. This travel company give you the chance to make a customized programme, including meeting with gay locals and activists in these amazing places. A unique travel opportunity.
The LGBT community should feel able to explore the freely, making the most of the chance for cheap travel that is widely available today. But precautions and planning can help to make the holiday not only safe but the best it can be!