After weeks of planning outfits, booking hotels, scheduling events, and managing your schedule, you are finally ready to embark on your next vacation. Although traveling is exciting, it can pose particular challenges if you're a transgender man. You face many difficulties, such as discrimination and comfort in your body, all while on vacation.
But don't worry; being a transgender man will not ruin your holiday. There are simply a few more things to consider while you travel.
To help you with your adventures, here are seven tips for traveling as a transgender man.
Research, research, research!
As a transgender man, there are many things you will want to research about your travel destination before you go. Researching the rights and recognition of transgender people in your chosen area will ensure you the safest experience possible. Studying the rights of other minority groups can also give you an idea of how progressive your travel location is.
Along with learning about the laws put in place for transgender people, you can research specific facilities, events, and services for transgender people to personalize your trip as much as possible. Some LGBTQ+ things you can research include:
Resorts and hotels
Restaurants and shops
Tours and guides
Rest stops and bathrooms
Events and festivals
By taking the time to investigate the status, laws, and facilities regarding transgender people, you can get an idea of how safe and enjoyable your trip will be. Rainbow Getaways, a travel concierge with an LGBTQ+ focus, can significantly help. Remember - knowledge is power!
Pack the proper equipment.
When traveling, it’s important to prioritize comfort and functionality. This certainly applies to your specific travel needs as a trans man. Include only your most comfortable trans tape, packing underwear, and other accessories you commonly wear. Remember to wear certain equipment, like tight binders, in moderation. Staying cozy during your travels is essential to enjoying your vacation.
Additionally, don’t forget to bring any medical necessities specific to your gender. If you take hormones, pack them in a separate pouch with other medications. If you experience periods, pack plenty of comfortable menstrual products. Your medical necessities are vital, so be sure to consider them all.
Prepare your ID and passport.
If your trip involves flying, then getting your ID and passport organized is necessary. Be sure to have all potential legal documents updated with your preferred name and gender. Carry these documents close at all times and have it readily available for airport security to see. Taking these few extra steps can make your experience in the airport much smoother.
Navigate the TSA with confidence.
The Transportation Security Administration can be very intimidating, but fortunately, there are several ways you can handle them. The TSA doesn’t care about you, but navigating airport security is just another day at work.
The key to getting through airport security without delays truly is confidence and being prepared. TSA agents are trained to look for nervous, suspicious individuals and investigate them. As long as you keep yourself calm and navigate the airport with conviction, you have no reason to worry.
If you are still anxious about a bad experience, there are several steps you can take in advance to protect yourself. If you’re comfortable with it, you can inform the TSA officer about your gender identity to avoid confusion with the scanners. You can also ask for a separate pat-down, or you can ask for an inspection from a TSA officer with the same gender identity as you. For a speedier experience and to avoid the body scanners in most US airports, consider signing up for TSA precheck.
If you face discomfort, harassment, or any other offensive interactions with a TSA officer, do not be afraid to report them. You have every right to defend yourself and other transgender individuals from disrespect.
Consider the cultural norms of your destination.
Gender is a socially constructed part of a culture, and remembering how it varies from place to place can help you fit in more with your travel location. If being perceived as a man by the locals is your goal, then researching the cultural norms associated with masculinity can help you. For example, if you’re traveling to Italy hoping to appear masculine, demonstrating traits associated with Italian men (charisma, concern with appearance, etc.) can help you naturally seem more masculine.
Additionally, consider researching pronouns and adjectives associated with masculinity from your travel destination. For example, the Japanese language tends to use a lot of gender-focused pronouns. When using Japanese pronouns to refer to yourself (I, me, us, etc.), using words like “boke” and “ore” can make you appear more masculine.
Remember who YOU are
You’ve scheduled your trip, braved the TSA, and landed in your dream vacation spot. Now is not the time to be nervous about your identity. Be confident with your gender and authenticate your masculinity. Don’t be afraid to use your preferred bathroom, dress in your style, and use your preferred pronouns while traveling. Carry your identity with confidence!
If you do approach cultural confusion with your gender, don’t be afraid to educate others. Teaching other cultures about being transgender is a great way to reduce worldwide stigma and discrimination. Of course, if you aren’t comfortable with it, simply correct them and walk away. You are not obligated to educate others if you don’t want to.
Vacation is all about having fun, so have fun! Being transgender should not make you afraid. Instead, carry yourself with confidence and enjoy the vacation of your dreams!
I hope these seven tips for traveling as a transgender man were helpful. If you're interested in scheduling the trip of your dreams but are still trying to figure out where to start, schedule a consultation with Rainbow Getaways. Not only will they design a vacation with all your interests in mind, but they will also consider your identity as a transgender man and assure your safety.
Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you'll have an experience just as unique as you.