Countries like India, Saudi Arabia and Russia have strong anti-gay policies — some punish queer people by up to 30 years imprisonment. Although the media covers anti-gay sentiment worldwide, if you have a job that requires traveling internationally, you need a more reliable guide.
There’s a new app called Man About World and it’s just what the doctor ordered. The app provides LGBT travelers a well-researched guide to make traveling a whole lot safer, especially when communicating with locals and understanding the culture’s view towards homosexuality.
The mobile app hones in on safety and security, resources, LGBT business etiquette, as well as technical advice for staying connected to home and connecting with LGBT locals. It can also answers questions like:
- “Am I at risk simply because I’m gay?”
- “Should I discuss my trip with HR?”
- “Can I bring my HIV meds with me?”
- “How do I change the subject when colleagues ask about my family?”
- “How can I connect with the locals without putting myself or them at risk?”
Launched in 2012, founder Billy Kolber partnered with Marriott International and IBM to co-sponsor the Business Travel Guide to provide much-needed resources for LGBT travelers on where to stay, and what to expect.
Related: 10 Countries That Will Kill You for Being Gay
“As a leisure traveler you’re free to avoid certain countries, but as a business traveler you often don’t have a choice, and there really aren’t any resources dedicated to gay and lesbian business travelers,” Kolber told Skift.com. “Business travel is lonely enough to begin with, but it can be very taxing to spend all day in the closet without any idea of what’s appropriate in certain cultures.”
Man About World isn’t just for professional and leisure travelers. It’s also a great tool for human resource managers, who are typically unaware of risks when sending LGBT employees to certain areas of the world. We often forget that 78 countries criminalize homosexuality.
Thankfully, Marriott International has been proactive in supporting LGBT rights around the world, so of course they were a perfect company to join forces with.
“We are proud to know that so many LGBT guests come to our hotels wherever their assignments take them,” Stacey Milne, VP, portfolio marketing strategy and planning at Marriott International, said in a press release. “This practical resource, which includes many tips from our own Marriott associates, is one more way of making their travels as successful as we can.” Click here to download Man About World from the Apple Store.
David Artavia is an actor and writer from New York City. He loves living vicariously through his friends. Follow him on Twitter and Like his Facebook page.