same-sex married travelers

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edward james
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same-sex married travelers

Post by edward james »

Hello. Should a same-sex married couple - two men - expect the same respect and courteous service as other travelers or should they expect some different experience? Additionally we are what may be considered 'older' - 60s - and natively respectful and courteous: does that make a difference? We have started discussion with 3 different 'group tour' agencies who specialize in smaller size, and cultural exchange oriented, experiences (home dinners, overnight stays, encounter discussions with local folks); when I raised the issue of respectfully and openly saying 'we are married', 'this is my husband', etc they all said 'no problem, the group form of activities is a 'shield' [one agency used that word 'shield'] and said that 'all our local guides' are familiar with other cultures (that accept same-sex relationships). At this website we see many tour operators and also see that Caravanistan has an elaborate legal disclosure and waiver document that protects Caravanistan if we use a tour operator(s) referred by you. Should we - must we - contact tour operators directly - or would Caravanistan contact them - about these questions of safety [ safety, of course, a sine qua non of tourism ] respect and courteous service? Thank you. Kind regards. And in my American Southern vernacular: 'Ya'll be good, now, ok?'
Last edited by edward james on Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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bwv812
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Re: same-sex married travelers

Post by bwv812 »

Maybe (but only maybe) you will get the respect you are hoping for if you have booked a high-end tour with a company that uses its own guides that have extensive experience with Western tourists, but it's seems basically impossible to guarantee this with most tour companies, especially if you are dealing directly with locals. The reality is that homosexuality is frowned upon in basically all of Central Asia, and is perhaps what things were like in the USA 40 years ago.

Here's a recent relevant thread about being openly gay as a visitor to Kazakhstan, which is considerably more cosmopolitan than the rest of Central Asia:

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Bakhtiyark
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Re: same-sex married travelers

Post by Bakhtiyark »

People's twisted perception of homosexuality is largely shaped by TV(especially on Russian channels which are rife with homophobia) and to lesser extent by some clerics, hence attitude to homosexuality is somewhat negative in general.
I guess you would be better off lying about it unless you feel that your interlocutors are "progressive".

Plus some cities are more conservative than the other.
I've been asked twice if i'm gay in Andijan just for wearing pink Bermuda shorts.
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steven
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Re: same-sex married travelers

Post by steven »

Hi Edward,

personally, I would lie about it to avoid problems. I wouldn't even wear pink shorts in Andijan like Bakhtiyar. Here is my advice on the topic: https://caravanistan.com/planning/lgbt/

Regarding the lengthy legal thing: that's just because some guy once threatened to sue us over nothing we did wrong. So, to make it clear, Caravanistan provides information and guidance, and helps you choose a tour operator that we think is really good, but in the end, you book with the tour operator, and your agreement is with them, so if anything does not go according to plan, you should complain to them. We are just the marketing arm, so to say.
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murg
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Re: same-sex married travelers

Post by murg »

My Personal experience (as a hetereosexual) whilst travelling with a friend in the 'stans:

Neither guesthouse nor homestays wondered why 2 men slept in the same rooms / bed. Probably because the places often had one guestroom only.
In hotels, especially in Beyneu & Kursk, we we're asked 3-4 Times If we really want to share a rooms. In Beyneu the receptionist even tried to 'mildly force' us to take a large 6 single bed room instead of a (much cheaper) romm with 1 kingsize bed.

Maybe this helps to consider the reactions you might get.
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edward james
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Re: same-sex married travelers

Post by edward james »

thank you each and all for thoughtful responses

we are, of course, familiar with many different experiences as a couple of more than 30+ years ( in which social circumstances have changes a lot, in different ways, and directions) . A guy came after us with a machete in Jamaica. In Thailand there was sneering name calling. State violence is a different category of threat, however, since it is immense, relentless and unchallengeable. Lying in social settings is likely best - as in 'we are best friends' - which is also true. But I would not lie to official government questioning about married status.

two beds or one? we actually prefer two beds. but if only one is available I'm glad to say '... but I sleep on the floor because of a medical condition; could you provide an extra pillow and blanket?'. does having a medical condition - or being older persons - engender respect beyond idle or wicked prying? also, we do not own anything pink, I think, and cargo or hiking shorts fit us better than 'bermudas' or hot pants.

this has been very helpful. kind thanks.
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