Where to be Gay safely? Reports from LGBTQ+ communities worldwide
We (Karl, Daan, and Sarah) love to travel and are eager to explore the world. We also visit places somewhat off the beaten paths during our trips. That way, we learn to understand the daily life situations of people who are very different from our lives in Western Europe. However, LGBTQ+ people face difficulties regarding acceptance, knowledge, self-determination, and safety in their home countries. So, where is it safe to be gay, queer, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community safely?
To answer the question of how safe a destination is for the queer community, want to use Where to be Gay to share information about their situation, their rights, and the struggle of local communities for lesbian, gay, trans, and queer people to achieve equality and acceptance in their countries. We want to support their fight, not only by attending Pride events, and we want them to be seen – by sharing their stories. We hope you will get all the information you need about what it is like to be gay and LGBTQ+ in countries off the beaten path on Couple of Men and how you can support them from home and while traveling.
Why is our project ‘Where to be Gay safely’ so important?
Even in some parts of Europe, the situation for the LGBTQ+ community keeps getting worse. For example, in Poland or Hungary, human rights are massively violated. Therefore, we need to keep an eye on what is happening there and give the local people well-deserved attention who are trying to improve the situation for LGBT. As we get to see these days, what fake news and misinformation can do, it is even more crucial to inform our audience with reliable research what the situation in certain countries is really like currently.
That’s what we want to do with Where to be Gay; however, we do not claim for our countries list to be complete – as much as we’d love it to be, it is pretty impossible to achieve with such limited (hu)manpower. What counts for us is the conversation we are starting about sensitive topics with real people and their real stories beyond LGBTQ+ events like Pride.
What do we want to achieve with ‘Where to be Gay safely’?
We aim to draw attention to people worldwide fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and striving to support their local communities daily. Furthermore, we wish to provide LGBTQ+ travelers with crucial knowledge about their destination and the local situation of LGBT rights. Because in some parts of the world, being misinformed about what can be done and will be tolerated in public is dangerous – and in the worst case even fatal. Just another reason why we are trying to cover as many local LGBTQ+ communities as possible – to make them visible, heard, and recognized. We are confident to contribute our part to help them improve their situation bit by bit.
The list of countries covered in Where to be Gay safely depends on Sarah’s trips and therefore does not claim to be complete. However, we are trying to update them as soon as possible constantly. Next on our article list: Ukraine and the Baltic States. Do you want to know more about our gay couple travels and reports from LGBTQ+ communities worldwide? Stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you again soon!
Sarah is straight. Why does she do this?
Injustice is still injustice, even if it only concerns others and not herself directly. As a journalist, Sarah is used to digging deep into new topics and situations that might not be part of her daily life. However, as LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, they are worth fighting for, in our opinion. Therefore, we consider it even more important to have someone in our team, a straight ally if you will, who can research and write about topics they care for and inform and reach our audience as well as possible. Because knowledge is power. #facts
Sarah likes to travel to, let us call them, unconventional destinations. Of course, traveling as a single woman alone has its challenges already. But she takes it to the next level by meeting with local NGOs, activists for women and LGBTQ+ rights, and getting to know the locals. After her adventures, she shares her experiences in exciting interviews, in-depth reports, and exciting analyzes. So far, she has published insightful articles about Cambodia, Laos, Lebanon, Myanmar, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam, with many more countries to follow.
Situation of the LGBTQ+ around the World
MOLDOVA: How safe and enjoyable is the life of the LGBTQ+ community in the Eastern European country? Sarah attended an online event organized to answer these questions…
UKRAINE: Sarah learned about the situation of the LGBTQ+ community in the Eastern European country at an online event organized specifically for activists and journalists.
LAOS: The Democratic People’s Republic of Laos also called Laos for short, has the reputation of being one of the most tolerant communist countries for the LGBTQ+ community.
CAMBODIA: Additionally to the two genders, male and female, Cambodia’s national language Khmer also knows the third gender kteuy, describing a person who has the physical characteristics of one gender but the behavior of the other.
VIETNAM: Homosexuality was still described as a social evil by a national television broadcaster in 2002, comparable to prostitution and illegal gambling. Over the past years, the situation for the LGBT community in Vietnam has improved.
MYANMAR: …or Burma, still one of the most conservative countries in Southeast Asia, is also the country where life is anything but easy for LGBTQ+ people
LEBANON: The country has a reputation in the Middle East for being the most liberal of all countries when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community in general.
RUSSIA: A kiss and a murder. This is how recent events in Russia can be summarized in the LGBTQ+ community. Renowned LGBTQ+ activist Yelena Grigoriyeva was found dead in St. Petersburg in mid-July, with several stab wounds in the chest and signs of strangulation.
GEORGIA: Although homosexuality has been legal in Georgia since 2000, it is taboo in large parts of the country with far-reaching consequences for lesbians, gays, and queer people in the country.