On 10/11/07, Mark Williamson <node.ue(a)gmail.com> wrote:
People keep mentioning gay travellers; someone even
said to shut up
and not flaunt it and the gays will be fine. Besides that being very,
very, very offensive... (ask any gay person what their feelings are
when someone says they are "flaunting" their orientation, it is an
I realize that GLB people can remain celibate while in Egypt and they
are likely to be fine. The fact that they may be safer pretending to
be something they are not is a bit disconcerting, but that is not my
My impression is that you can be what you are just fine. Just don't
go trolling cafes or internet websites for local sex partners while
The gay couples I know who travelled to Egypt said they were out, and
weren't bothered for it, but they stuck to tourist areas.
My primary concern is the safety of potential
transsexual conference attendees.
Someone earlier asked me if I have a study about the number of people
who will or who will not attend Wikimania due to such concerns...
well... we have voluntary listings and we have userboxes for gay,
lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Wikimedians. My guess is that
there will be few to no transgendered and transsexual attendees, not
because there are no T people who wish to attend but because there are
not many T people who feel comfortable in El Iskandariyyah.
I'm not naming names here because it is their own business, but I do
know of several prominent T Wikimedians and I have seen in blog
comments and the like that they are not planning to go because they
fear for their safety. That we have a whole demographic of people who
are not going to go because they fear for their safety is appalling to
me. What is even more appalling is that really, nobody seems to care.
Lots of you have said you have had LGBT/GLBT friends go to Egypt and be fine.
My guess is that your friends have only been gay, lesbian, and
bisexual... have you had trans friends go to Egypt and say they felt
safe there? I think I already know the answer.
Again - please provide us with some rational basis for this fear.
Egyptian destinations are up in the windows of travel agencies in the
San Francisco Castro District.
Nobody around here seems to be in the least bit afraid of the
situation there, in any of the LGBT categories.
It doesn't seem to be a great location to go pick up locals, but even
that seems to be happening quietly and without serious risk to the
There's a small group of LGBT advocates here insisting that you see a
problem, and yet you aren't providing any links to blogs or gay travel
websites warning of it, no magazine articles on it, nobody that says a
friend had a problem, nothing.
While it's remotely possible that there's both a problem AND that it's
never showed up anywhere on the Internet for us to find any reference
for, I doubt that travel agencies that cater specifically to Gays (and
the LGBT community more widely) in San Francisco would fail to notice
if there was an issue.
Again: Maybe this is all real. But nobody is showing ANY links to
reasonable evidence of there being a problem.
If elements of the LGBT community needlessly shut themselves in a
closet and refuse to go to Alexandria because of fearmongering and
rumors, then you've done yourselves a horrible disservice. If you're
spreading rumors and scaring people, you're doing the community a
If there is a real issue, SEND US SOME SOURCES. Anything.
-george william herbert