Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning
(LGBTQ+) students face some special considerations when traveling.
Laws pertaining to sexual orientation, same-sex sexual contact, and
gender expression vary widely around the world, as do popular
attitudes. Cultures also vary in terms of how sexual orientation and
gender identities are defined and understood.
While the social climate towards the LGBTQ+ community in France is
mostly accepting, it can vary. The general social liberalism of the
country yields a fairly LGBTQ+ tolerant attitude among French
people, especially in cities and toward travelers, however, French
culture encourages discretion about what are considered to be
personal matters, such as one’s sexuality. Please note, just like in
other countries, there are still incidents of homophobia.
Here are some questions to consider:
- How open do you want/need to be about your sexual
orientation and/or gender identity while abroad? Some countries
may be far more supportive of LGBTQ rights than at home. In
other cases, it may be inadvisable or even dangerous for you to
come out to people in your host community. If you choose a
location where you will need to hide your identity, how will
this impact your overall study abroad experience?
- What are laws and cultural norms surrounding relationships
- Do you plan on discussing your sexuality with your host
family and if so, how do you plan to do that and what role does
a potential language barrier play in your decision?
- If you regularly utilize any health or counseling services
at home, how will you access these services from France?
- If your gender presentation is different from your legal
sex, or if you are in the process of transition, what types of
challenges might you face with travel, immigration, and
While the resources listed below are not necessarily specific to
Talloires or France, we believe all of them will provide additional
insight. We highly encourage you to check them out, as well as other
resources that are available on the internet.