95% of LGBTQ travelers report having hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reason being safety

Business Insider
by Allison Hope
October 30, 2019

The setting changes, but the scenario remains the same. I am in a business meeting in Dallas, a lunch meeting in Grand Cayman, a conference in Dubai. “Yes, we had a lovely holiday,” I say to my recently introduced local colleague, answering his question vaguely to build rapport while also protecting myself. I purposely delete any gender signifiers from my responses, and refer to my spouse without giving away that I am a lesbian.

It is exhausting. It is demoralizing. I am back in the closet even though I have been out for 20 years and have a wife and child.

When I travel for fun, my wife and I deliberately prioritize destinations where we are likelier to be protected by local laws and accepted by local cultures. While it doesn’t always pan out that way — because you can never really predict what will unfold on a vacation, and we sometimes take the calculated risk of going somewhere where being LGBTQ is illegal — we plan trips with our safety first.

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