Travelling solo is tough already but being bisexual and a solo traveller can be a tough mix. We’ve all experienced at some point or another the inevitable questioning. “Oh but you’re really gay aren’t you?”, “it’s just a phase right?”, or “You’re just greedy aren’t you?”. Listed below is what I’ve learnt so far about the difficulties.
I’m going to add a disclaimer to this blog post. In such that I am a straight down the middle bi guy (no pun intended). I’m me, in that most of the time people won’t know I’m bi and won’t assume I’m gay. Sometimes when drinking or if I’m comfortable with people that will change. However this obviously skews my experiences of travelling socially and how bisexuality affects that.
People DO Make Assumptions
As soon as your sexuality is revealed the stigmas come out in full. You are, to sum it up a promiscuous, interested in everyone, sex fiend. Let’s be honest we like sex just as much as everyone else, but we are also just as fussy as everyone else. Yes we’re bisexual and no we’re not into you!
It’s these assumptions that have led to many years of issues and soul searching on my part. Read my blog post on Anxiety, Bisexuality and Travelling for more info.
But you act “gay” or I though you were “straight”
Okay so, this ones a real kicker. Depending on how you’re acting that day people will decide whether or not they can approach you. For instance, feeling a little flamboyant, girls will love you and guys will avoid you. Feeling a little masculine today, the opposite is true.
So this is the one that really winds me up. This is about travel in general actually. I’ll be completely honest with you, I get on with women usually better than I do with men. This means I like to spend my time with women. They’re the hardest to approach, most of them assume you want to get in their pants. I DON’T!
The times a smile to anyone is misconstrued as flirting. Actually, you’re just trying to be friendly and strike up a conversation. Please don’t run away at full speed.
Groups are tough
This is true for any solo traveller and their experiences. And this is where I really struggle the most. There are two sides to this coin. Do I try and fit in? Do I mould myself to fit into this group? Because lets be honest if there’s one thing us bisexuals can do its be a chameleon.
I usually take a firm stance of no with this one. If people don’t want to, or can’t accept me for who I am then I have no interest in starting up a conversation. But, what if there’s a chance you could change their perceptions of sexuality?
Okay so here’s where we possibly make a case for the chameleon coming out. Get an in and then remove the mask ASAP. It’s not ideal but hey we’re going for breaking down barriers and removing stigmas and taboos right? Maybe we need to be a little of what people want and then show them what’s real?
I’d love to hear about your experiences with this and if it’s something you do? Let me know in the comments.
Finding other LGBT people
This is one of the most difficult aspects of travelling. Although we make up a decent percentage of the population it seems we don’t travel. So although your hostel will have 100 people in it, you won’t meet or even see the other LGBT people.
Turning to Apps
We all know there’s an option I’m not talking about. Dreaded dating/hookup apps. The apps made specifically for LGBT are typically all about hooking up. And although they can be useful for getting a feel for the area in terms of numbers. I hate these apps. What they’re typically used for, I’m not interested in.
Most LGBT solo traveller types won’t use these apps either. They’re typically not the type of people you want to meet and so you won’t find the ones you do, here.
Gay guys using these apps the world over are all the same. A quick hookup or a reason to be a sexual fiend is all you’ll get. If that’s what you need or are into then go for it. Nothing wrong with it. It’s just not for me.
The Silver Bullet
No pun intended! The magic app that I use for local guides. Or for a good night out if your hostel isn’t putting up the goods. Tinder. This app is so useful for so many reasons. If you use it right.
Make sure your profile explicitly states what you’re looking for, here’s mine:
“I’m currently on a RTW trip. So if you see me and would like to get to know me. By either showing me around or travelling with me for a bit then swipe right!
Not looking for random hookups. Interested in meeting engaging people to share their travelling experiences or their local knowledge.”
Simple, to the point and there’s no ambiguity. I’ve had some great guides and met some awesome people using this route. I highly recommend it.
It’s easier with guys by a mile. Sorry girls, but Tinder is your game and you’re always the one with the ball. This makes some of you just too difficult to Tinder with.
What Can You Do as a Solo Traveller?
The takeaway from this is to always be you. Find other means of being sociable and introducing yourself. There are loads of tips in my other post on anxiety. Ways to ensure you always meet someone to spend your travelling time with.
If you’re struggling with travel because of sexuality I’d love to hear your experience below in the comments.