The Challenges of LGBTQ+ Family Travel

Written by @caras_atl

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“I’m laying out the top 5 challenges that we as a community face when we are deciding to take a trip or just explore a new area! These can vary from person to person and can also depend on whether you are traveling as a single or as a couple or a family, but I’m going to speak from my own experiences here!” – Cara

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#1 Inclusion

How much inclusivity is really expressed in this area? Do they display rainbow flags or openly state that everyone is accepted here? Do they make it comfortable by not openly staring at your family? is the area an inclusive area in general? Some places may say they are LGBTQ+-friendly, but where is the action and the signs to back that up? All of these things have to be figured out before your trip so you can plan accordingly! 

Cara and her family in Atlanta, GA

#2 Research

This is a MUST as a same-sex family! We cannot just pick up and go anywhere and everywhere we choose! When you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, travel is way more calculated! We have to check out every pit stop and every destination that we will be encountering. It’s a lot more time-consuming, and a lot more thought-provoking than just traveling about wherever we want to go.

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#3 Assumptions

You have to really be careful with this one as an LGBTQ+ person! For example, I’m a femme lesbian. Most people just assume that I’m straight based off of my looks. However, when they find out that I have a partner that is a woman, that can cause some hostility right off the bat because they assumed wrong and now they feel awkward. This can cause confrontations, heightened anger or retaliation for something that could have been completely avoided if the assumptions were not present.

#4 Bathrooms

Most people don’t consider this one, but for some people in our community this is HUGE! There are many people in our community that are Trans, or feminine-presenting males, or masculine-presenting females. This can be a very tricky and sometimes dangerous situation when you are talking about them going in and out of restrooms strictly labeled Male and Female. My partner, for example, is more masculine-presenting to some people. She has encountered hard stares and even had people tell her she was in the wrong bathroom when trying to use a public restroom. This is another reason you want to be extra dedicated to checking out the areas you are visiting! Making sure you and your family’s safety is the #1 priority at all times! 

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#5 Openly-Accepting Areas

There are some areas that openly celebrate same sex-couples (Key West, FL, Provincetown, A, and San Francisco, CA, just to name a few!). These are places where you can hold hands, kiss and genuinely just be yourself. It’s these places right here that make it more enjoyable to travel as a same-sex family, and just BE YOU!! My hope is that we will see much more of this in many different areas in the near future! 

 

There are many other challenges that can come up for LGBTQ+ folx while traveling, but these are the main one that my family and I take really seriously when we are planning a trip! 

Also, like I said before, different people in our community have different experiences, but I am just speaking for my own experiences, and how we handle things in our family. 

Hope this provides people with some insight for LGBTQ+ travel. Maybe it will even help more businesses, resorts and areas to understand more ways that they can make it aware that they are inclusive, and welcoming for our community.

Cara
Cara@lcaras_atl
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Mom of 1, LGBTQ+ activist and influencer. She loves to travel with her daughter and wife, their happy place is Georgia.

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