Most LGBT travellers experience no difficulties when visiting other countries. That said, we advise you to do some research on the country you will be visiting before you travel as you will be subject to the laws and the judicial process of that country. Attitudes towards sexual orientation and gender identity vary from country-to-country, both legally and socially, and it is important that you familiarise yourself in advance.
Some countries do not recognise a marriage between two persons of the same sex. This can have implications should you or your spouse become ill as you may not be recognised as the next of kin. We advise you to look up the customs and practices in the country you are travelling to and to explore the possibility of bringing written consent for you and your spouse, to authorise them to access your medical information should you become ill or require hospitalisation.
- Do familiarise yourself with the culture and laws of the country, including social norms. This information is readily available in any good travel guidebook, or on websites* hosted by LGBT groups including the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s website, which includes an easy-to-reference map.
- Do use your discretion. Excessive public shows of affection, regardless of your orientation, are often best avoided when abroad.
- Do check out local groups who are often best placed to advise you on local attitudes, LGBT-friendly venues and accommodation. In particular, if you intend to frequent Internet chat rooms, dating apps or other meeting places, it’s wise to find out about the local situation as police in some countries have been known to monitor such sites and locales with the intention of carrying out entrapment campaigns.
- Do review your personal documentation and identification in terms of the name and gender marker you are travelling under.
- Do consider increasing the privacy settings on your social media or other apps while you are travelling.
- Do consult medical advice on any vaccinations that are recommended for the LGBT+ Community.
- Don’t put yourself at risk. Be aware of your surroundings and look out for yourself and your travelling companions. The general openness of LGBT settings can sometimes be taken advantage of by criminals.
- Don’t react to unwelcome attention or remarks. The best way to avoid escalating the situation is often to ignore it. If harassed, maintain your composure and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to contact the nearest Embassy or consulate. We offer non-judgemental help and advice to all Irish citizens regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or any other criteria, and we will not make any assumptions about your situation. We are here to help you.
*DISCLAIMER: The reference to the http://ilga.org/ website does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Additionally, the Department has not verified the veracity of information included on those website nor is the Department involved in updating the information on websites maintained by private groups or organisations.