Today’s the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia; and keeping that in mind I’ve put together this post to share Ease India Travel’s perspective on being inclusive and accepting of the community: employees and guests alike.
Many might not know this, but there are many who do: I am gay! A living breathing homosexual, and I’ve been in this natural state of being for as long as I can remember!
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
The topic for today is LGBTQ+ travel within India.
I’ve been solo-travelling all over India for more than a decade now, and it has been the most wonderful experience one could ever have. New places, new people, new cultures, new food – the phrase ‘a breath of fresh air’ is personified.
What I wish to point out is that solo-travellers have ease of access to hotels and lodgings, irrespective of their sexual preferences. Quite frankly, it is an undiscussed ‘taken-for-granted’ fact at most establishments that the ‘guest’ who might be checking-in is a heterosexual.
Be that as it may, what about the couples of the LGBTQ+ community? A lesbian couple? A gay couple? A man with a transgender woman or a woman with a transgender man?
Especially now that Section 377 of the I.P.C. has been eradicated, shouldn’t the hotels, lodging houses and resorts also be evolving and progressing towards being inclusive?
Ease India Travel is pro- LGBTQ+ and a firm supporter and ally for their rights to equality.
After taking all this into consideration and Ease India Travel has taken the initiative to launch the ‘G.A.Y.A. List’.
G.A.YA. stands for ‘Go As You Are’
The G.A.Y.A. List is a list of properties across India that welcome traveller(s)/guest(s) from the LGBTQ+ Community; couples and solo- travellers alike.
We are proud to announce that Shola Shack Eco-Stay is the first to enrol in the G.A.Y.A. List.
Set on a few acres of grassland on the rolling hills of the Western Ghats in Wayanad, Kerala. Shola Shack Eco-stay strongly believes in Sustainable Tourism.
Co-Owner Rajesh Kurpad says, “We, at Shola Shack have no reservation to our guests being from the (LGBTQ+) community and do not believe in discrimination of any sort as along as our guests agree and abide to our Do’s and Don’ts.”
Here’s to a step towards inclusion and progress.
We, the team, at Ease India Travel wish to cater to LGBTQ+ and non, alike.
As time goes on, we optimistically hope that more properties will come forward as being all-inclusive and accepting.
Of course, most of India, Indians to be more precise are still new to this and therefore certain guidelines do come into play when LGBTQ+ couples travel within India.
LGBT Travel Safety Tips
- LGBT visitors are advised against mistaking close physical intimacy among Indian men as a “green light” for public displays of affection with your same-sex partner. Travellers must note that all forms of public displays of affection – even among straight couples – is discouraged.
- While most properties and their staff are indifferent, I would suggest to choose hotel accommodations at the 4 or 5-star level. You will be treated well, and your perceived sexuality will not be an issue among customer-facing hotel personnel.
- Of course, the global brands with properties in the sub-continent, The Lalit, Four Seasons, Aman Resorts, Marriott, and others, are sensitive to the needs of their LGBT guests. What may come as a surprise is that luxury Indian hotel groups are actively seeking LGBTQ+ business.
A Little Modesty Goes a Long Way
- LGBT travellers to/within India will want to keep in mind that India is still a conservative country, and a general sense of modesty will serve you well.
- That said, tour operators who’ve brought many LGBTQ+ guests to India, report that being gay is simply a non-issue.
- Still, it’s advisable for same-sex guests (especially male guests) and heterosexual couples to avoid public displays of affection, particularly in rural locations which may be more conservative.
- Lesbian couples, especially those who do not present in a gender non-conforming way, can travel under the radar.
To enroll your property on the G.A.Y.A. List:
Send an email to [email protected]