Whether you’re traveling on your own or with your partner, the issue of how and when to “come out” always seems to linger in the back of our minds. You’ve met a group of backpackers, you’re all sitting around a fire outside your yurt camp in Mongolia and the topic of love, romance or movie stars inevitably comes up. How do you explain as a guy that you just LOVE Barbra Streisand, but not like that. Or that Jennifer Aniston has great legs and that you don’t want to look at them, you want to have them?In general, you can probably assume that most foreigners traveling abroad lean towards the open-minded, liberal ideals that you probably share. The situation, however, will inevitably feel like a late-night bonfire in high school where everyone is talking about their “crush,” or the first time you came out to friends in college. Don’t let it get to you.First, turn on your gaydar and assess the group. Is there another homo out there? If so, talk with them first and break the ice. He or she may have some insider knowledge on the group. Secondly, bring up gay issues as a general topic of discussion. For example: “Yeah, I just can’t believe the way they shot down gay marriage in California.” Politics is a great ice-breaker. Third, if you’re traveling with your partner make lots of “we” statements. “We” just loved our time in London. “We” live in LA. “We” totally adore our two mini poodles Liza and Butch.In the end, you’re not going to actively hang out with people who aren’t accepting, but it’s always good to be strategic about the situation when you’re in groups you can’t escape. Whether it’s a camping excursion in the Alps or sharing a bus from town to town in Southeast Asia, coming out is something that just has to be done.

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