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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) students face some special considerations when traveling. Laws pertaining to sexual orientation, same-sex sexual contact, and gender expression vary widely around the world, as do popular attitudes. Cultures also vary in terms of how sexual orientation and gender identities are defined and understood. While the social climate towards the LGBTQ+ community in France is mostly accepting, it can vary. The general social liberalism of the country yields a fairly LGBTQ+ tolerant attitude among French people, especially in cities and toward travelers. However, French culture encourages discretion about what are considered to be personal matters, such as one’s sexuality. Please note that, just like in other countries, there are still incidents of homophobia.

Here are some questions to consider: 

  • How open do you want/need to be about your sexual orientation and/or gender identity while abroad? Some countries may be far more supportive of LGBTQ+ rights than at home. In other cases, it may be inadvisable or even dangerous for you to come out to people in your host community. If you feel that you may need to hide your identity, how will this impact your overall study abroad experience? 
  • What are French laws and cultural norms surrounding relationships and dating? 
  • Do you plan on discussing your sexuality with your host family? If so, how do you plan to do that and what role does a potential language barrier play in your decision? 
  • If you regularly utilize any health or counseling services at home, how will you access these services from France? 
  • If your gender presentation is different from your legal sex, or if you are in the process of transition, what types of challenges might you face with travel, immigration, and documents? 

While the resources listed below are not necessarily specific to Talloires or France, we believe all of them will provide additional insight. We highly encourage you to check them out, as well as other resources that are available on the internet. 

Note: These sites or any product or service provided by the sites are not affiliated with or endorsed by Tufts University.