This week, I took a little time to review many of the blog posts I have created over the course of Traveling Proud’s existence. I read the blogs, quickly establishing a pattern of growth starting out as an obviously amateur blogger with little direction to a blogger with a clearer and more confident writing style. Blogging, I’ve discovered, is quite different from any other form of writing that I’ve generally clung to, and I am still far from where I want to be. There are travel bloggers who are very informative, but very impersonal. There are travel bloggers who seem to be writing in a private journal turned public. And then there’s that middle section where I’m trying to settle in, and it’s tough sometimes finding the right balance. While developing my writing skills and finding confidence in this new niche, I was saddened to see I had neglected to place any notable focus or emphasis on why I began this blog in the first place.
“Keeping a pulse on great travel destinations with special consideration for the LGBTQ Community.”
Okay. Cool. So what? Why is it important that I emphasize on gay travel? Why “gay travel” and not just travel? Well, because despite the strides taken and the rights gained by the LGBTQ community in the past decade, there are still many people and places that discriminate and make certain travel destinations unsafe. No, I’m not kidding. You can believe it, or you can leave it, but until you walk a mile in my shoes, or his shoes, her shoes, THEIR shoes, how can you truly know? Gay travel is about safety. It’s about discovering and visiting amazing places in this world and feeling safe doing so. It’s feeling safe to hold your same-sex partner’s hand, feeling safe to use the restroom, feeling safe to walk and talk and dress as you are. I’ve personally been criticized, laughed at, stared at, screamed at, and harassed by total strangers simply for being as I am. I’ve dealt with it since 1st grade, with only a few years in between of peace when I grew my hair out for a bit. And even then, I wasn’t at peace because I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t just to fit in, just to feel safe in the bathroom, just to escape the ignorance.
But, hey, don’t feel sorry for me. That’s my story, and it has made me who I am. The only thing that really phases me at this point is if I ever genuinely feel like I am in danger. So I guess that’s why I haven’t really reviewed these travel destinations with “special consideration for the LGBTQ Community”. Because that time the lady yelled at me to get out of the women’s restroom wasn’t a significant event for me since it wasn’t the first, second, or fifth time. And that time Gina and I had water dumped on us from a balcony for holding hands walking down the street wasn’t much of a surprise either. I may be at a point where I’m not necessarily phased by ignorance anymore, and I may be at a point in my life that I can easily stand up for myself, but not everyone is. Not everyone is “just used to it”, and they shouldn’t have to get used to it. Which is why I began this travel blog in the first place. Because I love traveling, I love writing, and I want to inspire and guide you to visit beautiful places with beautiful people, and steer you lovingly away from places that harbor hatred and intolerance so you can have a wonderful time traveling this world and have a little comfort knowing that you can experience it in peace. Thankfully, we haven’t been anywhere that we feel like “OMG. We don’t belong here!” during these first three weeks of our full-time travel lifestyle. Maybe it’s because all the places we have been to are super progressive, or maybe it’s because we’ve tried to tour more off the beaten path. (I do look forward to getting into a few big cities with LGBTQ specific businesses soon, though!)
So what am I getting to with all of this? I just want you to know, that more of an effort will be made to fulfill my promise of “keeping a pulse on great travel destinations with special consideration for the LGBTQ Community”. For those of you who have been with me this whole time, thank you. You won’t notice much of a difference, just some subtle additions. To those of you just joining me, especially those who identify with the LGBTQ Community, thank you for being here, and I hope you get what you’ve come for.