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New travel safety initiative offers advice and resources to LGBTQ travelers

New travel safety initiative offers advice and resources to LGBTQ travelers

In celebration of Pride Month, AIG Travel, a global travel insurance and assistance services company, is launching a travel safety education initiative this week to help raise awareness of members of the LGBTQ community of potential risks while traveling.

Many individuals who identify as LGBTQ may face unique security and safety challenges when traveling for work or leisure, especially to countries where sexual orientation and/or gender identity are criminalized or marginalized. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, homosexuality is illegal in 72 countries – more than one-third of the world.

“AIG Travel recognized the need for greater understanding and awareness regarding safety for LGBTQ travelers and we took steps to ensure this community didn’t feel deterred from traveling due to the potential added risks,” said Jeff Rutledge, CEO at AIG Travel. “Our educational outreach initiative recommends safety measures and provides advice to help ensure LGBTQ individuals can travel with confidence.”

As part of the initiative, AIG Travel partnered with LGBTQ advocacy group ManAboutWorld to develop a guide for travel safety, which includes a collection of the most reliable and current online resources.

The downloadable guide and several other resources, including specific travel tips and information regarding prevailing cultural and legal norms toward LGBTQ individuals by world region, are available on AIG Travel’s dedicated website.

The tips address:

• Research – Thoroughly research travel destinations to understand the cultural, legal and security issues that may affect LGBTQ travelers.

• Public displays of affection – In some countries, identifying as LGBTQ might be frowned upon and in certain societies, shows of affection may run counter to cultural or religious practices (for homosexual or heterosexual couples).

• Traveling with children – Bring copies of birth certificates and adoption, custodial or guardianship papers for minor children.

• Transgender travelers – If possible, ensure that the gender listed on travel documents, including photo identification, matches your presentation to help you transit more easily through airport security and customs.

The LGBTQ initiative is the second travel safety awareness campaign launched by AIG Travel. The first campaign was designed to provide female travelers, whether traveling for leisure or business, with an empowering guide to help minimize risks while traveling.