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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Gay Airbnb Alternatives for LGBT Travel
As a company, Airbnb is LGBT friendly: the travel app received a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, and last June it premiered its “Host With Pride” commercial, which featured couples discussing the challenges of traveling while LGBT. The issue some LGBT travelers and hosts have come up against, however, is with other users of the app and site. There’s currently no easy way to indicate LGBT-friendly lodging, and transgender or gay travelers with anti-LGBT hosts might find themselves dealing with an uncomfortable or dangerous situation.
Enter Wimbify and misterbnb, gay Airbnb alternatives for travel. The new travel tools are attempting to change the face of gay travel by building a community of LGBT and allied hosts and travelers, ensuring that LGBT travelers can find safe spaces across the globe. The gay Airbnb alternatives haven’t been around long, but LGBT users have already started exploring them, which offer gay travel guides and ride-sharing in addition to accommodations.
Understanding the Risks of Gay Travel
Traveling as an LGBT person can be tricky, even if you’re heading to a gay friendly city: even the most progressive locales can have pockets of discrimination or bigotry, and transgender, lesbian, and gay travelers have to be cautious as they plan their itineraries. Adding a stay at a stranger’s house can create even more uncertainty, especially if it’s not clear whether your hosts are LGBT friendly. There have been several incidents where LGBT travelers have encountered hostility from their hosts:
- Bigoted Remarks – The founder of misterbnb, another gay Airbnb alternative for travel, started the site after a host made several discriminatory comments during a stay, resulting in an extremely uncomfortable situation for the traveling couple.
- Discriminatory Listings – In Australia, Airbnb was forced to remove a listing where the hosts explicitly stated that they preferred not to host lesbian, bisexual, or gay travelers.
- Evicted Guests – A gay couple visiting Galveston recently had to deal with being evicted from their Airbnb by a bigoted host, forcing them to find other accommodations at the last minute. Airbnb responded to the incident by banning the host from their site.
While Airbnb has a great record of addressing homophobia within its community, not all discrimination is so easy to spot: obviously, most hosts don’t go out of their way to list that they discriminate against gay travelers, so unwary renters may still be in for an unpleasant surprise when they reach their destination. Clearly, there is room for a gay Airbnb alternatives for LGBT travel.
Gay Airbnb Alternatives or Disruption?
Upstart apps like Wimbify and competitor misterbnb have something of an uphill battle ahead of them if they want to supplant Airbnb as the go-to travel app, especially since Airbnb is becoming more proactive in responding to anti-LGBT sentiment on its website and app. These sites are doing a lot to differentiate themselves, however, and that could give them an edge on their more established competitor:
- Ambassadors – Wimbify doesn’t use the word “hosts,” instead calling its users “ambassadors.” Hosts aren’t just providing a room: they’re also introducing their guests to amenities, dining and nightlife, and gay-friendly businesses in their cities.
- Credit System – The site also differentiates itself from Airbnb through its credit system: by hosting travelers, users can earn credits that they can then use to rent Wimbify spaces around the world.
- Building Community – Misterbnb goes way beyond finding accommodations, encouraging users to build a gay-friendly community by posting travel guides and tips for would-be renters.
Even if Wimbify and misterbnb aren’t able to replace Airbnb or mimic its success, their emergence will have a major effect on how Airbnb does business: many users have called for an update to the site that lets hosts indicate that their home is LGBT-friendly, since hosts currently have to mention that fact in the description of their rental.
Friendly, Accessible LGBT Travel
Whether you’re trying out one of the new services specifically aimed at LGBT travelers or sticking with Airbnb, it’s becoming much easier to find options and opportunities for LGBT travel. It’s impossible to predict what will come along next to “disrupt” travel planning and accommodations, but even hotel chains are starting to realize they’ve got competition when it comes to attracting LGBT travelers: Hilton is making a major push to present itself as the most gay-friendly hotel chain, while Hyatt and W Hotels are also competing to appeal to gay travelers.
What’s your go-to solution for finding gay-friendly accommodations? Let us know if you’ve tried out any of the latest gay travel apps, or if you’ve had success finding LGBT-friendly hosts on Airbnb!