Traveling can be an amazing thing. It expands our horizons, blesses us with new experiences, and is just plain fun. At least that’s how it should be.
For some of us, traveling has unique challenges. When you’re gender non-conforming, picking the right travel destinations is imperative. It is a matter of safety.
Naturally, when you are traveling you want to deal with as few issues as possible. The best way to accomplish that is to pick travel destinations and experiences that are friendly and welcoming to people who don’t neatly fall into traditional gender categories. Here are a few suggestions for your next vacation.
Follow The Arts
Find a destination with a vibrant arts community, and you will almost certainly find a place that is welcoming to nonbinary and trans people. A city with well-funded and well-attended theaters, museums, concert halls, etc. is likely to have enlightened and accepting people.
Go to The Gayborhood
Are you traveling to a new city and unsure of what to expect? Do your research and find the gay neighborhoods. Yes, every major city has at least one. These are where you will be able to be yourself, interact with people who really get you, and get great advice on things to see and do.
Love The Outdoors? Check Out LGBTQ+ Friendly Campgrounds
There’s an unfortunate stereotype that enjoying the great outdoors is something that’s meant for people with less than accepting or progressive views. Nothing could be further from the truth. Enjoying camping or other outdoor activities is for everybody.
However, as a nonbinary traveler, you might feel most comfortable at campgrounds that are LGBTQ+ friendly. You’ll find acceptance at these places and won’t have to deal with microaggressions or outright prejudice.
Check Out LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities
In a perfect world, people who are gender non-conforming would be able to go anywhere without having to think about whether the place they are going to is safe for them. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality, and it isn’t just oppressive regimes abroad that are problematic. There are cities in developed nations that simply aren’t safe. In other cases, you may not be in physical danger, but simply prefer not to spend your tourist dollars in a place that has laws or policies that are harmful to you.
The fact that there are cities to avoid when traveling is depressing, but there is good news. There are cities around the world that aren’t just accepting of non-binary people, they are openly welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.
Find Gay-Friendly Festivals And Events
The queer community sure knows how to put on an event. In fact, at any given time of year, you can probably find at least one major concert, festival, or other celebration that is geared toward the LGBTQ+ crowd. If you are interested in traveling to places that are accepting of non-binary people, consider planning your vacation around attending one of these events.
For example, gay ski week is planned in Telluride, CO for the end of February. Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is planned for 2024 in Sydney Australia. There are also hundreds of Pride celebrations around the world.
Conventions Are Accepting
Some events may not be specifically created for LGBTQ+ travelers, but they are decidedly queer-friendly. Are you a fan of sci-fi, comics, gaming, or anime? If you are and have never attended a “con”, that’s something you should change ASAP. The convention crowd is famously accepting of people who don’t neatly fit into boxes when it comes to gender or sexuality.
For example, it’s not unusual to see cosplayers breaking gender barriers with the characters they choose to portray. It’s quite refreshing that the gatekeeping that often happens online tends to disappear in these spaces.
Just one small tip. These events are the most fun if you can spend time with someone who is familiar with the event space and city. They’ll be able to show you around and clue you in on the fun spots that only locals know about. Who knows? If you use a gay-friendly dating site like the Taimi app, you might even make a romantic connection.
Hit The Open Water on a Cruise
In the travel industry, cruise lines have outpaced everybody when it comes to embracing all members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many offer cruise packages that are specifically designed for queer travelers. Others offer same-sex weddings onboard. Digging a bit deeper, you will find that many of these companies have very LGBTQ+-friendly employee policies too.
Also, when you go on a cruise, you can design your experience to maximize your safety and comfort. You may decide for yourself how much you interact with other travelers, enjoy plenty of entertainment options, and determine if you will visit various port cities or stay onboard the ship.
Plan a Vacation Around Your Interests And Preferences
As a non-binary traveler, you will have the best travel experiences when you take an active role in planning. Research your destinations, and know how you want to spend your time. This will best ensure that you have a fun and memorable trip.