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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Travellers

Attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) travellers vary significantly around the world. In seven countries, homosexuality is still punishable by death, a further seventy countries actively imprison people because of their sexual orientation. 

Some countries may recognise some LGBT rights, however, this does not guarantee cultural acceptance, certain acts may not be legal and the local population may be intolerant of LGBT travellers. 

LGBT travellers should be encouraged to carefully research the cultures, laws and customs of intended destinations before booking.

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website provides individual country information on travel safety warnings, details of the nearest British Embassy or Consulate, and information on local laws and customs.

Key Points for LGBT Travellers

  • Cultural attitudes and laws regarding LBGT people vary significantly around the world, carefully research intended destinations in advance of booking.
  • In some countries where homosexuality is illegal, the police have been known to carryout entrapment campaigns, deliberately trying to entice people to partake in same-sex sexual activities. 
  • Local LGBT groups may be best placed to advise on the attitude of local residents hold towards LGBT travellers.
  • Some countries may recognise some LGBT rights; however, it may not be culturally accepted.
  • LGBT may be subjected to hate crimes; overt displays of physical affection may be best avoided in some countries.

Personal Safety and Security

LGBT travellers may be subjected to hate crimes; additionally these crimes are known to be underreported, consequently the true extent of the problem is not known.

As with any traveller, LGBT travellers should be encouraged to research their intended destinations. Gathering knowledge of intended destinations may increase awareness of potential risks, allowing LGBT travellers to best prepare themselves in advance of travel.

For further information on personal safety and security whilst travelling please refer to the fitfortravel Personal Safety and Accident Prevention advice sheet.

Culture Shock

Cultural attitudes towards LGBT travellers vary greatly across the world. Experiencing cultures with differing values, customs and social behaviours may leave LGBT travellers vulnerable to culture shock. LGBT travellers should be encouraged to consider the cultural background of intended destinations prior to travel.

For further information on the management of culture shock please refer to the fitfortravel Culture Shock advice sheet.

Passport Identity

Transgender travellers should be able to obtain a passport in their new name by providing documentary evidence detailing the date and circumstance of the name change. The Identity and Passport Service can provide detailed information.

Further Information

Further information and advice for LGBT travellers can be found via the following links:

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