Members of Prince Edward Island’s LGBTQ+ community have expressed their support for the newly issued travel advisories by the Canadian government. These advisories warn that certain state laws in the United States may have an impact on LGBTQ+ individuals. The advisories serve as a necessary step to ensure the safety and well-being of those traveling.
Dave Stewart, a member of the community, highlighted the importance of feeling welcome when considering travel to the United States. He specifically mentioned the need to avoid states with discriminatory legislation. Although Stewart recently visited California, a state unaffected by recent legislative changes, he stated that he would not consider traveling to states like Florida, which have introduced laws that criminalize activities like drag shows and limit transgender rights.
Global Affairs Canada updated its travel advisory for the United States to include information about the potential impact of state laws on the LGBTQ+ community. The advisory directs travelers to check relevant state and local laws before their trips. It also provides a link to a government webpage containing information on how LGBTQ+ individuals might be targeted while traveling abroad.
Anastasia Preston, a trans advocate from Charlottetown, expressed concern for the safety of trans individuals in certain states. Preston stated that she personally would not cross the border, emphasizing the need to support locations around the world that uphold LGBTQ+ rights, such as Iceland and Scandinavia.
Barb Hicks, a travel agent, shared that concerns over gun violence were already affecting travel bookings to the United States. She anticipated that the updated travel advisory would further dissuade people from choosing the U.S. as their destination due to safety concerns.
Stewart emphasized the importance of his personal principles and resonance with all-inclusive environments. He encouraged other travelers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, to spend their money in places that are welcoming to all. He believed that this approach, combined with the economic power of the LGBTQ+ community, would have an impact on encouraging change in certain areas.
The issuance of travel advisories by the Canadian government reflects a commitment to protecting its citizens, especially those belonging to marginalized communities, as they embark on international travel.