Traveling while Gay

Khanyisa Mnyaka/ September 7, 2018/ Archive, Travel/ 0 comments

When I was studying Gender and Peace Building at the University for Peace in Costa Rica, I learnt a term that stuck with me; HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGE.

Yes, we are all familiar with male privilege and white privilege but this was a new term for me. Heterosexual privilege encompasses all the small small things that heterosexuals take for granted. Things like holding hands in public and leaning in for a kiss without being afraid. Even booking a hotel without worrying if you’ll be accepted or not, eating at a restaurant without wondering if you’ll be kicked out if they knew you’re straight, the list is endless.

That is what heterosexual privilege is, something that us homosexuals do not have, obviously. We need to do intense research about the countries we go to, where it is safe for us to stay. Even which establishments are gay-owned or at least gay-friendly, how much is too much for PDA and so on.

You are constantly on guard, that is not an exaggeration.

We are constantly on guard, worried for our lives! No, that is not an exaggeration of any kind, we are literally scared of who might be pissed off if we are “too gay”. I have heard so many gay people talk about how excited they were when they saw a rainbow flag at a restaurant. There are so many stories of people being attacked in some countries for showing minimum PDA, a handhold even a kiss on the cheek.

I have been lucky in that I haven’t experienced any kind of physical harm for being gay in any of the countries I’ve been to. But I have definitely dealt with inappropriate comments and disgusted looks. Things like men asking for a three-some. We have had hotels give my partner, and I twin beds when they see two girls even though we’d specifically booked the double bed.

So, yeah all you homos out there, travel with a conscious mind, and all you heteros, check your privilege.

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About Khanyisa Mnyaka

I am Khanyisa Mnyaka from Cala, South Africa. I left South Africa in 2010 to teach English in South Korea and haven’t been back since. I visit of course but I’ve been able to let that one decision lead to many opportunities that have kept me living and working in different countries. I spent a few years in the Philippines where I co-started a few businesses and I am currently in Thailand teaching at a Monk University. That’s is life, it flows and I allow myself to flow with it. I am currently stepping into a life of being an author and podcast host, so as the kids say “watch this space”…..BE KIND.

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