U.S. State Department issues travel advisory for LGBTQ+ community

Ahead of Pride Month, the U.S. State Department issues warning for American travelers heading abroad.
A member of The LGBTQ+ community of Kolkata holds a Progress...
A member of The LGBTQ+ community of Kolkata holds a Progress... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Travel advisories are a typical occurrence today. The US State Department frequently issues advisories for American travelers’ awareness as they head to foreign countries. However, an unusual advisory was issued on Friday, May 17 that directly referenced LGBTQ+ travelers as Pride Month looms in June.

The advisory was listed as a worldwide precaution for any American travelers heading to any events or venues that cater to LGBTQI+ persons. This advisory was emailed to all Americans who registered with the State Department while traveling abroad.

“The Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events and advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” reads the advisory on the State Department website.

The advisory calls for travelers to “stay alert in locations frequented by tourists,” “enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program,” and “Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter,” for more information.

Just days ago, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued another advisory that raises attention to potential violence against LGBTQ+ events and activities. While no specific locations or countries were named, this comes as violence against marginalized groups continues to rise.

Pride Month is an annual celebration that recognizes LGBTQ+ people around the world. Many states host parades, parties, and other awareness events meant for celebration and recognition of the struggle for those that fit in these spaces and their allies. This comes at a time in which many world leaders recognized the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia.

This comes at a time of increased attacks on LGBTQ+ people in the United States from a legal perspective as well, including several state bills either being signed or on upcoming voting dockets. The Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ community in 2023.