Travel firms, don’t overlook trans and gender-fluid people

Jillian Page
LGBT Perspectives editor

QUEBEC — “Are you LGBT-inclusive?”

It’s a question the Stonewall organization is urging travel firms to ask, and research, on behalf of LGBT people booking vacations.

Stonewall’s request comes “after holiday company Kuoni announced it has recruited 10 LGBT experts to give advice on the tolerance levels and cultural attitudes of destinations following a spike in bookings for same-sex honeymoons,” reports.

It makes sense, of course, and it’s quite probably that gay couples, if not all LGBT people, do their own research before choosing vacation destinations. Countries like Iran, Cameroon and Uganda, for example, are quickly dismissed because of their anti-gay laws.

But what about vacation destinations in the United States and other countries where same-sex marriage is legal? Can gay couples expect to be welcomed by all tour operators and hotel owners? Obviously, no, especially in the United States. Someone has to do the research.

So, if you are part of a same-sex couple booking a vacation through a travel firm, make sure they find out if you will be welcomed. If they can’t give you guarantees, make other arrangements.

But what about transgender and gender-fluid people, if not bisexual people? The travel articles use the term “LGBT” but seem to be talking mainly about same-sex couples. Are travel firms being urged to make sure trans/gender-fluid people will be welcomed? Or is the focus mostly on same-sex couples?

No doubt, Kuoni’s 10 LGBT “experts” will do a thorough job, but trans/gender-fluid people booking through them or through anyone else should ask, anyway. Because a hotel claiming to be LGBT-inclusive may really only be gay-inclusive.


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