On Lesbian Solo Travel

dani 2015

Last Updated on March 9, 2021

Be warned, this is a bit of a rant..

Lesbian solo travel: Being out vs being closeted

Whenever I travel with another girl and a guy tries to chat me / us up, all I have to say is ‘I’m gay.’ Or ‘She’s my girlfriend.’ Or ‘We’re together.‘ And I’m being left alone. As simple as that.

Lesbian travel solo, however, is a completely different story. Whenever I tell a dude I’m gay, I get responses like:

‘I don’t believe you.’

‘No, you’re not a lesbian!’

‘Are you sure you’re a lesbian?!’

‘Why are you lying to me? Is it me? Why don’t you like me?’

And my favorite one, which I am sure every lesbian on the planet has heard at least once in her life:

‘Maybe you just haven’t found the right guy yet.’

 – Excuse me for a minute, I have to go throw up.

When I set off on my solo travel adventures, I did not expect to try to get rid of clingy guys so often, but it happens almost every time I go out. Sometimes I prefer staying closeted, just so that I won’t have to deal with annoying comments or stupid responses.lesbian travelThe most shocking incident was in Boracay when, after I told a guy I was a lesbian and even showed him a photo of me and a beautiful young lady on my iPhone (and trust me, it was obvious in that photo that we were not just friends), he countered by showing me a photo of his c*ck on his iPhone. What the hell?! Was this supposed to turn me straight? I don’t even know many any straight girls who would be impressed by something like that. And I didn’t even know the guy, we had just met! As I am writing this, that incident happened only a few days ago, and I am still flabbergasted.

Sometimes I feel that by saying ‘I’m a lesbian’ I just trigger men’s hunting instincts and now they absolutely have to have me, and they seem to try even harder. Imagine me asking every pretty girl I meet on my travels ‘Are you sure you’re straight?’ and me trying to romantically pursue her. Or imagine, male readers, that you were chatted up by gay boys constantly: ‘Are you sure you don’t like c*ck?’. But gay boys don’t do that. And I am not interested in straight girls – even the ones who I find attractive, it wouldn’t even cross my mind to hit on them.dani stunnedSo why is it that straight men feel like they have to harass me constantly (and that’s what I feel like – harassed) and can’t just take NO for an answer? It’s not even that they aren’t good-looking or fun to hang out with it, I am just not interested in men. (No offense to all you lovely men out there!)

Sometimes I wish I was wearing a wedding ring because I feel that saying I am married would be a more successful way to make them back off. In fact, it has proven successful with locals when I told them I had a boyfriend, so I might try that with fellow travelers in the future. But why do I have to lie? Why is not enough to say ‘I’m gay’ to be left alone? Do I have to hide under a hat the entire time, wearing loose baggy pants and over-sized T-shirts?lesbian travel

On coming out .. All.the.time.

Another thing that has been interesting is the fact that I have to come out all the time.

Every single day.

When you travel, you’re surrounded by new people every day, instead of the same coworkers, neighbors and friends at home. That’s one aspect where straight travel and lesbian travel completely differ. Coming out is never easy, but having to do it All.The.Time. is exhausting.

But while you are traveling, you usually meet new people all the time: in the hostel lounge, on excursions, food tours… you name it. And most of the time, you have the same conversation over and over again, – “Where are you from? How long are you traveling for?” and inevitably, sooner or later the boyfriend question comes up. When I correct them to ‘girlfriend’ I find the reactions amusing to watch – from people blushing and muttering “Ah okay..” to loudly exclaiming “What!! You’re a lesbian?!” to curious questions about my love life. Interestingly, when I meet couples, the girls usually seem to be more okay with the fact that I’m gay than the boyfriends. One of them even said ‘Well… I can get behind two girls being together, but two men.. That just doesn’t seem right.’ An incomprehensible logic to me… I guess I’m glad that I’m a girl then.

dani in dress
Happy about the fact that I am a girl, because that makes homosexuality less disgusting, apparently.

Female vs. male solo travel

Luckily, I haven’t come across any homophobic behavior (yet!), but I wish a simple ‘I’m gay‘ would be enough to make men understand that they should stop any advances right there and then. If I feel like wearing a dress, I’d like to be able to wear a dress and not having to hide in baggy clothes. I don’t think that this is necessarily a problem unique to lesbian travelers, but to female solo travelers in general.

There is still a huge difference between a male and a female traveler’s way of being able to see the world, and the things we are able to do. An invitation to spend the night at a local’s house? I know male travelers who received such invitations and happily accepted them. I would probably be too afraid of what might happen. The same goes for hitchhiking, and sometimes even taxi drivers can be scary. The worst part is that they have no idea how much they creep you out when you’re in the backseat of a cab at 3am, driving through an unknown city, and being asked if and why you’re alone. I love watching the sunset at a beach, but I’ve had several situations in which I didn’t feel entirely safe walking home alone on the beach after it gets dark. lesbian travelI could get into the whole female vs. male solo travel topic, but I feel like it would go beyond the scope of the topic of lesbian travel. Kristin Addis wrote a great article on Why Solo Female Travel Is Different.

Solo travelers, gay or straight, how do you deal with unwanted suitors?

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Tags : LGBT Travel


  1. The next time a guy suggests that you just “haven’t found the right guy yet”, you could respond by saying, “Maybe YOU’RE gay and YOU haven’t found the right guy yet?”

    And it’s so sad that women have to sometimes resort to wearing a fake wedding ring to get guys to back off. It’s like they aren’t even respecting us, just the man that has already “claimed” us, you know?

    1. Caroline, love that line! Will definitely use it 🙂 I am always surprised by the self esteem of the guys who say that – most of them are just not that great / good looking, and yet they think they could be the ‘right guy’ I supposedly haven’t found yet?!?!

  2. Ahhhh whyyyyy must dudes be like this?! SUCH gross behavior! However, if it’s any consolation, I think the same guy that feels “challenged” (ugh) by finding out a girl is gay would be just as obnoxious to a straight chick with a wedding ring. I’ve told men like this I was married before (one of my plain silver rings doubles as my decoy wedding band for ultimate creeps) and they seemed totally unfazed by it. Yuck. Rant on girl!

    1. Heard that a lot from other girls, Hannah – that men don’t care much about your relationship status if they decide they want you. Men and women are so different!! 😀

  3. I’m straight but I still know this feeling all too well. When I simply tell a man I’m not interested, he tries to think he can change my mind – almost like the “hunting” instinct you mentioned earlier.

    The only successful technique has (sadly) been to tell men I’m already in a relationship. In Turkey I went as far to wear a fake wedding ring.

    I hate that some men have such little respect for MY agency that another man has to have “claimed” me, as Caroline said, for my lack of interest in them to be validated.

    1. Allison – I’ve heard similar stories from other girls as well. At least they back off when you tell them you’re in a relationship- I’ve heard from other girls that most guys simply don’t care about your relationship status if they want in your pants.

  4. I am sympathetic to your plight. We all encounter perverts at some time or another.. the guy that showed you the pic is certainly on the bottom of the evolutionary tree. I, however, wonder why the need for the Lesbian rant.. I kinda felt like “who cares”.. your sex life is the last thing anybody should care about.. it ranks right up there with your favorite Hockey player.. interesting for about 30 seconds… Maybe we should all wear badges announcing our orientation… kinda like in Hawaii many years ago when men posing as women were required to wear badges saying ” I’m a boy”…Love your travel info… JE

    1. Hi Jim, I’m often asked why I don’t write from a ‘lesbian angle’ more often but the truth is that I usually do the same things that straight people do and my traveling style is just not that different. I noticed over the past few months though that the guys being such a pain in the ass is something that weighed on me, so I decided to write about it. Some people find it interesting to hear about that part of the travel experience, others couldn’t care less 🙂 I have new travel articles coming up next week 😀

    1. Thank you 🙂 Luckily I didn’t have any guys forcing themselves onto me (yet – knock on wood!) but I am always prepared to punch them in the face 😉

  5. Honestly. Dani, I don’t have an answer… Statistically. we are a monority of a monority in a monority,.. I’ve gone from solo lesbian traveller to soon full time travel in a biracial lesbian relationship where people can’t even compute that my British-HK girlfriend can speak English (and in fact, is much more cosmopolitan than small town German me). I think we are expecting too much… Do people in your home town get who you are and what you do? How to expect people in much less wealthy. less educated, less open minded placed to do so? Aber trotzdem ist’s frustrierend.

    1. Stephanie – Do people in your home town get who you are and what you do? –> This should be my next post!! Noticed it again during my short visit to Germany just now. And even there I get funny questions about my sexuality sometimes, not only when I’m on the road.

  6. Oh yeah…totally relate to this one. I remember when I was staying at a hostel in Wadi Musa in Jordan, the owners were a British wife and a Jordanian husband. He would not stop asking me about why I didn’t have a husband! One day, I was speaking with the wife about it and without saying too much she figured it out on her own why I didn’t have a husband. It was exhausting. And add to it I was in a part of the world where being gay isn’t exactly acceptable. It drives me nuts that I am reduced to who I am attracted to…instead of all of the other amazing things that make me who I am. Thank you for this post.

    1. I agree, Heather – as soon as people find out I’m a lesbian, I feel like I am reduced to just that. Why?!? Luckily there are also people who don’t even raise an eyebrow.

  7. Why can’t men take “I’m a lesbian” for an answer? Homophobia and misogyny kind of go hand in hand, unfortunately, so I guess if a guy has even a hint of either, this triggers both. But short answer: because men are pigs. Sorry about that.

    1. Thanks for the empathy, Sam 🙂 And sadly I met a lot of men who really were pigs, which makes me happy about the fact that I’m gay 😀

  8. I think one of my most pleasantly shocking moments while traveling was having a random girl on a Budapest casually say, after I had mentioned an ex, “Well, what does he or she do?” totally not assuming the gender, while also clearly letting me know that “she” was an acceptable option that wouldn’t lead to some super annoying conversation. I really don’t mind people knowing I’m a lesbian, but sometimes I just don’t feel like being everyone’s Gender Studies 101 all the time. Luckily no dick pics for me yet, that’s terrible, the worst I usually get is “Well, how do you know you’re really gay?”. Oi.

    1. That is indeed pleasantly shocking, Nicole 🙂 The Gender Studies 101 is so true!! I feel like I am explaining the same thing over and over again. And I didn’t even get into the annoying follow-up questions from guys, like ‘How do you even have sex without a penis’ and ‘Do you use dildos / strap-ons?’ :O

  9. Oh hey i have read your post. I thought that female travel alone is rare and i found it very interesting the way you write. I started travel alone since Sepember 2014 and from that moment I feel great and couldn’t help myself to keep going on the road. What you was writing here pretty much the same situations I have met in all the trips. I am bisexual but most of the time I found girls more attractive than guys. “maybe I haven’t met the right guy yet” that what I have told to myself all the time. Thanks for your post , now I know how other people deal with this kind of situations. Except I never wear a ring haha and lucky me I have never been pushed into a bad situation during the time I travel. Now I am at home after a month trip to Bangkok. Heading back on the road on May, hope we can meet accidentally somewhere on this planet while we travel. I’m sure we have a lot to talk haha well, you might not read this long comment but if you do, wish you have good day. I will keep an eye on your blog.

  10. When I’m alone and someone is trying to chat me up, I often invent a boyfriend, whether or not I actually have one. For some reason “I’m involved with a man” is the most effective way of saying “not interested”

    1. This usually works with locals who seem to have more respect if a girl is taken, but fellow travelers don’t seem to care. They only see that you’re traveling alone…The stories I’ve been told by some of the guys who did get that I was gay, about their travel hook ups, made me feel sorry for a lot of girls and girlfriends back home!

  11. This post made me crack up. It’s the story of my life. As a female train conductor—a job that is 85% men—this happens to me almost every single day of my life. I have had co workers show me their privates on their cells or text them to me as if somehow that is going to work—even if I was straight I think that’s so tasteless. My favorite comment was “but you’re so pretty”……. Umm…..I’ll leave that one alone. When this happens to me I usually just say “go have sex with a man, and when you do I’ll have sex with you.” They say “that’s gross and creepy” –and I say “but that’s exactly what you are doing to me now;). And it stops:)

    1. Wow, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to work in a profession with 85% (especially as an attractive woman!!) I’ll try your line next time a guy tries to talk me into having sex with him 😉

  12. I’m so disappointed! Surely a more natural response is to ask the lad to drop his pants and prove it? Or ask for more photos? Tsk tsk 🙂

    Great post D- I’ve bumped into a number of solo female travellers that wear a fake wedding ring to just get guys to back off. Sad to have to do this!

  13. Women have to deal with so many things that men just don’t ever need to consider, and I can only imagine how being gay adds a whole new dimension to confuse predatory men.

    I hate it when a man approaches you and you know that sooner or later he’s going to make a move and you’ll have to say that you’re not interested. Do you say it straight out at the risk of sounding completely arrogant and hope it wasn’t a guy just being friendly? Or do you wait until it comes up and then refuse his advances at the risk of being called a tease?

    I live in India at the moment, and I am currently receiving quite a few private messages through my blog FB page, all from Indian males asking me where I live, where I work, where I hang out, and offering to show me around India. If I was male, I might be able to get out and see the country this way (although I doubt that the offers would be there if I was a male), but instead it is harassment. I don’t think men realise, or care, how threatening they can seem at times.

  14. Here’s one I got recently: “Oh, you must have had inadequate mothering. There are things I can do for you that a woman just can’t.”


  15. I love this post for so many reasons. I mean, I also hate it because it’s crazy that you have to go through this. I totally went through the opposite thing while traveling. If I rejected a guy, I would often get “Oh, are you a lesbian?” More than once I went off on the guy saying something along the lines of “You must thing really highly of yourself to represent the entire male gender and think if I am not interested in you I MUST be interested in women only.”

    I think a lot of solo female travelers consider wearing a wedding ring. I refuse out of pure stubbornness. I feel like it is my right to say “No, I am not interested.” and give no further explanation, but I cannot blame any women for wanting to wear a ring and skip the conversation all together.

  16. The worst thing about this whole conversation is that you even have to deal with such a problem. F$$$ing men. You shouldn’t have to say I’m gay or I have a boyfriend. A simple no thanks should be enough.

  17. Ahh this really makes me think about the differences between traveling as a lesbian and as a gay man. Completely different worlds!

    I wonder if this kind of thing happens more in different parts of the world or in different environments. Like if it happens more or less often in hostels vs hotels, or Southeast Asia vs Europe.

    1. I hope we’ll get to chat more about this topic over a beer some time 🙂 I’d love to hear more about what it’s like for a gay man! And I can you tell you that staying in hotels makes a big difference already (to a hostel) because they’re much more anonymous. Tried to make new contacts in a couple of hotels where I was staying and it was impossible!

  18. Former single gay traveler’s perspective:

    When I was traveling alone, I would meet many girls that assumed I was straight and started flirting. After a few hints or a clean coming out, they would usually lament the fact for a few seconds but then turned more into the best buddy type. Sooner or later we would check out guys together.

    Sooooo, how about this experiment:

    Whenever you come out to a guy that is hitting on you, try to quickly turn the focus of the conversation and start talking about other girls in the area. Try to figure out if you have a similar taste in girls, etc.

    Maybe this works or maybe this is just odd from your perspective. What do you think?

    1. Funnily enough this is what usually happens, Marco – we start checking out girls together and they think they’ve found a new buddy. So they start asking me all kinds of questions that they’re too afraid to ask straight girls (lots of questions about vags, lol) which is usually hilarious. And then I hear way too many stories that I wish I wouldn’t know about but then I usually give myself a pat on the back for my sexual orientation 😉

  19. Actually, I know people who lie about being lesbians so guys will stop hitting on them. It’s not uncommon actually. I know plenty of straight girls who have done it. I think people are starting to catch on to that though, so that’s why they’re questioning you so much. I’ve never done it, and don’t think I will.

  20. Dear Dani

    I think the responses you’ve received- even in a ‘developed’ country like mine , England, is partly due to the fact that your appearance doesn’t tick the box of what a lesbian looks like i.e. older, non attractive old-school feminist. The same goes for Gay men – there all camp & effeminate or nowadayes that or a Gum bunny – no inbetween – this the picture on one of our soap operas , funnily enough the lesbian couple on same show are more regular and breaking the mould more.
    I’m straight but have been groped by a guide in a famous Mexican museum and picked- up/trailed by a man when asking directions in New York ( not St. Chrostopher St.!). Still, it’s much easier for men travelling alone. Have you got an ‘engagement’ ring? Bit of a cop -out but saves time.

    1. Hi Jay, thanks for your comment! I used to have an ‘engagement ring’ but stopped wearing it for a while – time to get it back out! Definitely a good cop-out, even though some guys simply don’t care – all they see is that you are alone in that very moment.

  21. Hi there! That was such a great post! I am sorry you not only face the backdraws of solo travel but that of female and queer solo travel as well! I know we solo women have to take a look of stupid talk, harrassment and creepy situations but being constantly confronted with ignorance and stupid questions is terrible. I admire you for being so strong.

    1. Thailand was one of the easiest places to travel in! Such a big lesbian community, especially in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. But also for female solo travelers in general. It’s easy to meet people, it’s safe and I think it’s the perfect overseas trip for a first solo trip! Enjoy Thailand, Britanny 🙂

  22. I am an older lesbian-so I don’t have the same problem. My problem is lonliness-I see couples, couples couples – 99% of the time they are straight and I feel the need of a friend.

    1. Hi Cathy, thanks for commenting! Have you tried finding a travel buddy via a website like Travbuddy? That might be an option for you? I know a lot of people who’re using it..

  23. As a lesbian traveller, my wife and I get it aaaalllllllll the frikkin time, and its even worse when you are in a country where you are illegal. Now we are married, I’m hoping we will be taken more seriously

    1. Good luck with that, Rebecca! I don’t think the stupid comments will ever stop 🙁 But that doesn’t stop me from traveling 😉

  24. So many great relate-able posts on your blog! As a single female traveler I often find men not fully grasping how smooth things can be for them traveling alone versus a women traveling alone.

  25. My gf and I HAVE to go back to Bangkok! Didn’t get to experience their gay community during our last trip there. 🙁 Do you have any recommended clubs/bars in BKK that the lesbian community frequent?

  26. Great post! If it’s any consolation, we’re two gay girls travelling together and we often get the same questions as you do!

    1. Katie – The thing that gets on my nerves the most is having to come out constantly. I’m happy to hear that you two are traveling the world, too! Yay for lesbian travelers 🙂

  27. The “you just haven’t met the right man yet” comment is something I get on the reg, even just in my hometown… ugh.
    The beach at night is also one of my favorite places to spend alone time, and it sucks to feel on edge when walking home after spending such relaxing time by the ocean. I recently went to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, and that was one place I felt totally safe. I saw other women walking alone or with a girlfriend in all hours of the night, and they all seemed to feel perfectly at home as well. I recommend Tamarindo <3

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Celina 🙂 I love the beaches in Costa Rica – can’t wait to go back there! Will put Tamarindo on the list for my next visit 🙂

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