This Pride month, we’re tracking the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation in the US and the occasional bright spot for queer travel worldwide. This LGBTQ travel news update covers June 6-13, 2023.
Read on to see what’s new in the LGBTQ travel landscape this week including which Caribbean islands no longer criminalize sodomy, the cost of queer migration in the wake of anti-trans bills, and HRC’s declaration that LGBTQ Americans are living in a state of emergency.
HRC Declared State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans
The Human Rights Coalition (HRC) says queer Americans are in a state of emergency as a result of the wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation. 2023 is the worst year to date for anti-LGBTQ bills. While many of the proposed laws don’t get passed, LGBTQ+ Americans are waking up daily to terrible headlines. Queer youth say they’re worried about their futures, and report worsening mental health.
The Steep Cost of Queer Migration
Buried in this Guardian article on red state witch hunts of LGBTQ+ families were some fascinating data points about the cost of queer migration and the sheer volume of LGBTQ+ folks wanting to flee to supportive states.
A few takeaways:
- In Texas, the mother of a trans youth was reported to CPS 10 times for helping her son access affirming care
- This Texas mom says she’s spent more than $15,000 on legal fees defending herself against the bogus claims
- Protesters picket her house and follow her around carrying guns
- One LGBTQ+ family spent over $20,000 to move out of Texas to an LGBTQ-friendly state
- 50 percent of LGBTQ+ parents in Florida say they want to move out of state
- Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade moved his family to California for the safety of his teenaged trans daughter
The average cost of an out-of-state relocation is $3,000 to $6,000. That’s extra money that many LGBTQ Americans just don’t have. Some LGBTQ folks are staying put in states where they no longer feel safe because they don’t have the money to move. Or they worry that if someone like DeSantis gets elected, anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ laws will be passed at the federal level, making no state safe.
3 Caribbean Destinations Safer for LGBTQ Travel
The Caribbean is a beautiful and popular travel destination. But LGBTQ travelers haven’t always been welcomed there. Many of these countries have conservative, religious views that oppose homosexuality. A cultural climate like this leads to bullying, though this is largely against the locals.
LGBTQ travelers get a pass because many Caribbean economies are tourism dependent.
For Antigua and Barbuda resident Orden David, the last straw was getting punched unconscious. David sued his government for its anti-sodomy laws. Last year, those laws were overturned.
Inspired by the legal win, LGBTQ activists have overturned anti-sodomy laws in Barbados and St. Kitts & Nevis.
This leaves six Caribbean nations with laws criminalizing sodomy: St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Grenada, Dominica, and Jamaica, which has a significant and violent history of homophobia.
The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality is supporting the push to overturn anti-LGBTQ laws. Consider donating to them to make the Caribbean even more LGBTQ-inclusive.
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