Greenheart Travel believes that no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity, you are entitled to a safe travel experience. We recognize that LGBTQ+ travelers can face difficulties abroad, which is why we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions to help as a resource.
I identify as LGBTQ+. How will Greenheart Travel support me?
Greenheart Travel welcomes travelers identifying as LGTBQ+, and is committed to helping you find the best program for you. We can provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests.
While most of our programs could be a good fit, we also know that certain cultures and countries are more accepting of and prepared to host LGBTQ+ people than others. We are committed to working with LGBTQ+ people to determine which experiences may be the right fit for them. Please reach out if you want to discuss which of our programs might fit you best ahead of applying at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up a phone call with us here.
My passport lists a different gender/name from the one I identify with. Will this be an issue?
For visa purposes for some countries, all the information in your visa application and visa invitation paperwork will need to match exactly with the information in your passport. If you are unable to change the name or sex on the passport you plan to travel with, it’s best to have travel documents with updated photos to avoid any hassles at the airport.
Keep this in mind when booking your trip as well, as the information on your reservations (flights, hotels, etc.) need to match your travel documents.
If you wish to correct your name on your passport, click here.
If you wish to correct your sex on your passport, click here.
Will my roommate be someone of the same gender?
On most of our programs, travelers will share an apartment or hotel room with a person of the same gender. If you don’t feel comfortable with an accommodation situation, speak with your program manager during your application process and we’ll work with our partners abroad to find housing that suits your needs.
Will my host family be accepting?
Speak with your program manager during the application process and we’ll make sure to prioritize finding a host family that is respectful and accepting.
On some programs, communication with your host family can be made prior to your departure to ensure they are LGBTQ+ friendly. On other programs (Teen Summer Language Camp, Teach English in a Homestay), the host family is previously notified and thereafter approved by Greenheart regarding any concerns you may have. If for whatever reason you do not feel safe or respected by your host family, contact your program manager so that Greenheart Travel can support you.
Will people respect my name and pronouns?
While Greenheart Travel will always advocate for you, we cannot predict what the actions of the people you will meet abroad. You may encounter people who misgender you. We are always here to support you should a situation like this arise. If you’re uncomfortable with anything happening while you’re on program, please contact your program manager so they can work with our in-country staff to resolve the issue.
How will I be expected to dress?
This depends on your program, country, and your local community. There may be different expectations for what is appropriate to wear in different cultural, community, or host family settings. For example, female-identifying English teachers are usually required to wear a skirt or dress to work in Thailand, but in Italy can wear slacks to school. For high school students, you may want to research what students are expected to wear to school (such as uniforms). If you have questions or concerns about how your dress may be accepted in a certain host country, be sure to discuss them with your Greenheart Travel program coordinator.
I’m going to a place where queerness is not accepted. How should I prepare?
While queer people exist everywhere, attitudes and protections vary. Educate yourself as much as you can about the country’s policies and research local norms. Most importantly, mentally prepare for the adjustments you may choose to make to aid in your safety and wellbeing. For some people this might be nothing at all. For others, this could mean downplaying certain modes of public self-expression. It is your decision where you go abroad and if you are comfortable with others knowing your sexuality and gender identity.
If I identify as a different gender than is on my passport, will this be disclosed to my host family and/or program staff abroad ahead of time?
Depending on the program, your host family and program staff will be notified of your gender identity. It’s important you communicate to your program manager any differences between legal status and personal preferences so we can best support you while abroad.
How can I know if the country I am interested in is welcoming to LGBTQ participants? Which countries/programs that you offer are most welcoming?
We encourage you to conduct personal research regarding countries and their general attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community. Greenheart staff can offer their own personal and professional experience on this topic, but we cannot speak for everyone in your destination country.