We want all students to feel accepted and safe during their experience abroad, so make sure you explore the LGBTQ+ support networks when you arrive at your host institution. Remember, you can still access support here at Goldsmiths too.
Primary page content
As someone who identifies as LGBT, travelling abroad may require different considerations than for heterosexual, cisgender individuals. This page contains advice on what to research and look for in an opportunity for those travelling as a member of the LGBT community.
Research the legal stance and cultural attitude towards the LGBT community in the country that you’re interested in. The two do not always necessarily align. In some countries you may experience hostility, dangerous behaviour, or discrimination. Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is still illegal in many places.
Other countries and cultures are very open and accepting. Make sure you're aware in advance of your legal rights in your host country, and research the LGBTQ+ community in your area.
Here are some useful resources:
- Stonewall provide Global Workplace briefings which provide useful overviews on the situation for LGBTQ+ people in different countries
- The ILGA does an annual mapping exercise looking at sexual orientation laws around the world
- ILGA Europe annual reports give information on the legal and situation for LGBTQ+ people in Europe
- Diversity Abroad offers resources and advice for LGBTQ+ students abroad
- The Foreign & Commonwealth Office also have some advice for LGBT travellers
- Check out GoAbroad’s guide for LGBT travellers
If a country’s stance is unclear or ambiguous consider, does the country celebrate Pride? Can you find images of Pride parades there? Is there a gay community there that you could network with if you travelled there? Social media is a good place to start for this.
Look up the LGBTQ+ policy of your host organisation. Ensure you know your rights within your organisation, and try to find work within an organisation that will support and accept you.
If you are living with a host family, consider whether you can ‘come out’. If you feel comfortable doing so, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you but remember, this is an individual choice and decision. Speak to your host organisation beforehand with any concerns.
You may not have the luxury or ability to ‘pass’, so please consider this, also.
Overall, your safety is paramount to allow for any opportunity to be beneficial.
We want all students to feel accepted and safe during their experience abroad, so make sure you explore the LGBTQ+ support networks when you arrive at your host institution.
Remember, you can still access support here at Goldsmiths too. The Global Opportunities team are also here to support. We are happy to meet with you individually to discuss your placement in more detail and whilst abroad you can always contact us if needed.