By Alex J Davidson
Originally published on Advocate.com October 24 2013 1:14 PM ET
There are a lot of places LGBT families won’t travel. Sometimes it’s out of principle: avoiding states like Utah and Mississippi because they bar same-sex couples from adopting. Or it’s out of fear: Would you, your spouse, and your child risk your lives by traveling to Kenya?
LGBT families have a lot of concerns when they travel, and the need to serve them will only increase as more states and countries recognize their rights. The travel industry is wising up to this fact and is coming together November 6 to host a Twitter conversation that will provide travel resources, tips, and stories from LGBT families.
“By sparking this conversation among parents who are LGBT and the travel industry, we see great potential benefit for shared education and celebration,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager for Residence Inn by Marriott. “This opportunity will provide access to expert resources and prompt dialogue in the LGBT community, which is important as we continue to engage with and welcome our guests.”
According to a 2012 survey of LGBT people by Community Marketing Inc., a market research firm specializing in the LGBT community, approximately 3% of gay men and 19% of lesbians said they have children under 18 living at home. The survey found that once gay men and lesbians have children, child-friendly travel options become more important than LGBT-friendly travel options by a 2-to-1 ratio.
In addition, the survey results indicated that gay men and lesbians are more likely to avoid a destination because of recent LGBT violence than anti-LGBT laws.
Residence Inn is partnering with Dana Rudolph, founder of Mombian.com, a blog for lesbian moms and other LGBT parents, and the Family Equality Council, an advocacy organization seeking equality for families with parents who are LGBT. The one-hour forum will start at 9 p.m. Eastern, and those wishing to follow or join the conversation can use hashtags #RIFamily and #TMOM.
The Family Equality Council will offer experts on legalities and tips for LGBT couples traveling. Other topics to be addressed during the forum will include:
Earlier this year, Residence Inn launched Family Travel Talk forum on Facebook to provide an online platform for families to discuss, ask questions about and provide tips on travel.
Contact Reporter Alex Davidson on Twitter at twitter.com/adwildcat.