4 in 10 LGBTQ+ people research their security threat before travelling, study finds

LGBTQ+ people are increasingly aware of their safety when planning trips abroad, according to a new study.

Nearly four in 10 (39%) LGBTQ+ people research their security threat before travelling, and 65% of people who identify as marginalized research a place’s attitude towards them before traveling there.

The reputation of an area’s police force is also a major determinant of whether or not people travel somewhere, with exactly half (50%) of respondents avoiding places where this perception is negative.

Additionally, 67% of survey respondents said they would examine the reputation of a country’s police before reporting a serious crime while travelling.

“Queer travelers need to balance having fun and not compromising their own safety, and our guides and features have been updated to reflect the need for inclusivity in the travel space,” said Kesang Ball, co-founder of Trippin, the travel platform that conducted the survey.

“The current design of the travel industry erases certain groups of people, especially those who are intersectionally disadvantaged. For many queer members of our audience, traveling can be a stressful experience even before boarding the plane. Many countries have different laws and climates for queer people and it can be difficult to know where to go and what to expect.

To combat some of the issues highlighted by the research, Trippin has launched a number of inclusive features to help travelers determine the best place for them to visit.

Dan O’Neil, a wildlife TV presenter who has traveled extensively as part of his job, spoke to Trippin about his experiences abroad.

He said: “I have been traveling to Guyana for almost 10 years. It’s a beautiful country with wonderful people, but it’s also the only country in South America that still criminalizes homosexuality. Although rarely enforced, these laws that remain relics from colonial times are used to threaten LGBTQI+ people, and people are still extremely prejudiced and sometimes violent towards queer people.

“I was definitely scared to be myself in Guyana and had actually hidden my sexuality from everyone I knew there until my last trip in 2021, where I felt safe enough to tell a long-time friend and colleague from research days. Now, after being more public about my sexuality, everyone knows it, and I’ve had a very positive reception for it.

Trippin’s survey was completed by more than 1,600 people from around the world. You can find out more here.

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