For Black queer travellers, choosing where to go – and what to do there – is easier said than done. Even before picking a destination, you’ll have to consider your personal safety and that of those you’re travelling with, not to mention constantly having to reassess your surroundings once you’re actually there.
That’s why journalist Paula Akpan has launched the ‘Black Queer Travel Guide’: a digital resource to help Black queer people travel safely around the world. As she explains, it’s based on her own experiences. ‘When my girlfriend and I were planning to go abroad, we found a world map and went through eliminating destinations where being called anti-Black slurs and physical threats of violence on the street are almost inevitable, as well as destinations where openly existing as two queer people would get us detained or worse… being fearful of outing ourselves isn’t the way we want or deserve to travel.’
Akpan, co-founder of London’s Black Girl Festival and a sometime Time Out contributor, spent four months speaking to activists and community organisers across the globe, from Jamaica to Papua New Guinea via Nigeria. She asked them about precautions they take, grassroots work they’re doing, and how they travel around their home countries.
Their answers will form the initial basis of an all-new advice and information hub for Black queer travellers, which is currently raising funds. Still in the development stages, the ‘Black Queer Travel Guide’ will put all its profits back into maintaining its services and supporting queer charities and organisations around the world.
Eventually, it also aims to provide financial support for legal services and representation for those who have been harassed or arrested in other countries, and run retreats specifically for Black queer travellers (including free ones for younger people). Whether you’re Black, queer, both or neither, this is something that’s worth supporting to make world travel more accessible to everyone.
Find out more and pledge your support on the ‘Black Queer Travel Guide’ fundraising page.