Here's how to make sure your holiday goes smoothly if you're LGBT
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It's time we stop pushing beds together. On returning from holiday in Portugal, a friend of mine and his boyfriend of two years revealed that they had encountered problems due to their sexuality at the resort they were staying at. Having ordered a standard double room with a standard double bed, the couple expected to have a relaxed and somewhat open time together away from the daily grind(r) - but had their room rejected due to "social abnormality" and instead were given a standard twin bedroom with two standard single beds. To assume that every social minority is abnormal is to also reject blondes, the elderly and stamp collectors. Destinations branded as popular tourist destinations, such as St. Lucia or Jamaica, should adapt their attitudes to accommodate LGBT communities or risk the opportunity to capitalise on an increasingly wealthy community. At the end of the day, anti-gay is anti-business. Being gay in the UK is changing. I am confident enough to hold my partner's hand in public without being glared at or judged. Spaces tailored to the LGBTQ+ community (*cough* Soho) are increasingly popular amongst our heterosexual counterparts, and there's even the possibility of full marriage equality across the islands. But to assume the rest of the world is as socially accepting would be naïve. Putin's gay propaganda laws come as a perfect example of the 81 countries that criminalise homosexuality. Lesbian and trans communities also still have a long way to go for social acceptance and tolerance. To make sure your gaycation isn't ruined, find our concise list of advice for before and during your holiday below. Prepare and Research Choosing a destination is inevitably the first part of planning a holiday. Research should be carried out regardless of sexual orientation, but obviously more so for gay communities when there's so much ambiguity in global LGBTQ+ laws. Websites such as Iglta.org and geta-europe.org give in-depth information on LGBT safety and laws across different countries. Take Zanzibar for example where homosexual sex became punishable with 25 years in prison in 2004. Or Egypt, where you can receive up to five years hard labour for ‘debauchery’. Keep in mind that same sex relationships may be legal, but certain acts may not be. Rural regions may possess different attitudes towards gay people than larger cities, so discretion may need to be altered with change of location. Don't just research the country as a whole, but every area you plan on visiting - northern parts of Thailand may not as be as welcoming as southern Thailand. Locality and Awareness
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