Go / NO-Go Locales for LGBTQ International Educators


For LGBTQ International Educators, first-hand, up-to-date knowledge of what it’s actually like to live/work/play in locations around the globe is of paramount importance. No International teaching position is worth risking one’s personal well-being and safety, and no one wants to disguise their identity simply for a paycheck.

Some societies practice acceptance and tolerance, and just as many do not. What was once a safe haven can turn into a hot bed of hate and/or prejudice. Seemingly overnight, a change of political party can turn a nation of tolerance into one of hate. It’s frightening that some societies levy hefty, even life-threatening penalties for any expressed affections other than those of ‘straight’ relationships. It’s equally scary that some societies, en masse, validate discrimination based on religious beliefs.

With our world in a state of constant flux we felt it timely to provide a venue where the LGBGTQ International Teaching Community can share information, experiences and more, all in advance of this year’s Recruiting Fairs. Stay safe – Research, Research, Research!

Note:  An earlier Article, Alternative Lifestyles Overseas, was published 8 years ago. No doubt the world and attitudes have changed since then. Your insight is appreciated!

Please scroll down to participate is this Discussion

 

 

 

 

 

31 Responses to Go / NO-Go Locales for LGBTQ International Educators

  1. Rad News says:

    Having worked overseas successfully for 40 years, I can say that I have respected the laws and culture of every society I have adapted to. Just because we have a particular political view or lifestyle that we bring with us from our own value system, it is unacceptable to aim to push what is an ethnocentric western liberal view on cultures that do not accept this, then accuse them of phobias and isms which frankly are unfairly judgemental. Most places in my experience, did not pry into private lives which is where most of our intimate behaviours should belong – not on the front pages of our social networks or public lives overseas.

    Like

  2. Lucky says:

    Anyone have any experience with Thailand. It seems to me that it would an accepting place for LGBTQ people. I’m a Gay man and moving there for the next school year. Any advice would be appreciated.

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  3. Allison says:

    I have lived in several countries where homosexuality is illegal but get teachers never had a problem, then again they never went to gay bars. It isn’t ok that it isn’t legal but it is doable if you want to work there. Those countries are India (only male homosexuality is illegal and trans is legal) and China. Morocco was more problematic. Mexico has great gay clubs and it was the only place the teachers could go dancing where we wouldn’t run into students.

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  4. Pride de México says:

    I have lived as an openly gay teacher in Mexico City the last two years without any problems in my school. I have LGBTQ friends in a couple other CDMX schools who have also felt very accepted in their work environment. LGBTQ public displays of affection are common and accepted in many parts of the city. Mexico City has several vibrant areas of queer night life and served as the first part of México to embrace gay marriage.

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  5. Ken says:

    Regardless of religion or politics, it’s time to recognize the human rights of all people, but the reality is that this is not happening everywhere. Understand that gay sex is very abhorrent to most heterosexual males, and it has nothing to do with insecurity or paranoia. Further, they resent the fact that the gay lifestyle is being normalized, and that we are told we live on a sexual orientation spectrum. LGTBQ’s are, from a statistical and scientific point of view, anomalies. They are technically abnormal. I say this without prejudice. The best thing for LGTBQ’s to do is avoid countries where gay bashing occurs. Live in work in a place where you feel safe and are accepted. And if we apply Darwin’s principles, be thankful you are accepted somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Advocate says:

      There are places in the world where LGBTQ people are killed for their identity. The article asks for teachers to share their personal experiences so that LGBTQ teachers can make informed choices about where to work and live. Please do not hijack the forum to justify straight male resentments or pontificate that LGBTQ are anomalies and should be grateful for being accepted somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      I have worked around the world, and am speaking from experience. I offer advice based on that experience. There was no justification, only an explanation of how nature works at a fundamental level. Don’t expect homosexuality to really ever be normalized, since it is not normal. But people everywhere should at least evolve to the point where all people are afforded the same human rights, including those in the LGBTQC community.
      (the “C” stands for confused, and is a legitimate sub-group)

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    • dismasdolben says:

      Actually, homosexuality is “normal” because it has consistently occurred at all times, in all cultures, and it may actually provide a factor of SURVIVAL of species; if it didn’t “natural selection” would long ago have eliminated it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Khn_z9FPmU&feature=youtu.be

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lucky says:

      The guy trying to high jack the thread is the type that says,”my best friend is Black.” let’s just all ignore him and stick to the topic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are blacks always used as a comparison? As a black person, PLEASE stop using our race as a comparison. Are we the only freakin’ race in the world? Geez!

      Like

    • Nigel says:

      Ken denies he is prejudiced but the criticisms he makes perfectly demonstrates the anti-gay hostility and prejudice that is all too common among international educators, as distinct from the host countries themselves. His language reveals this. So instead of describing LGBT people simply as a minority he says we are an “anomaly” and “abnormal” and “un-Darwinian”, that is, we offend the principle of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. He marvels that we even exist in a Darwinian world and thinks we should be grateful for being allowed to live at all. He peddles the old Thatcherite and Putin myths that gay people are promoting and proselytising their lifestyle and denying the rights of the heterosexual majority which feels resentful and discriminated against for objecting to a wider definition of human sexuality. The ignorance and intolerance he demonstrates is the real anomaly in a more diverse world where difference and otherness is no longer regarded as a threat.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s typical to attack me as hostile and anti-gay because I find the lifestyle repugnant, and am not afraid to say so. Don’t cheapen the conversation. I would be the first to defend the human rights of gay people though, and I thought I made this point clear. If I were gay I would not live in a place where gays are attacked or discriminated against.
      It would not be worth the risk. I have friends who are gay and have had many close calls while living in middle eastern countries, especially. They eventually decided to leave so they can live openly and freely somewhere else.
      Nigel, the survival of the species depends on hetero-sexual reproduction. That is the way God and nature have designed things. I’m sure God loves you despite your orientation. Just don’t expect me or other hetero-sexuals to accept your “wider” definition of normalcy in human sexuality. Gay sex is not normal, by any definition.

      Like

    • THOMAS says:

      Oh dear Lord, I just heard that Ken guy call my lifestyle “repugnant.” What does he know about my lifestyle? I am a gay man who has currently been four years celibate, is that what you are calling “repugnant?” I also have straight, married friends that frequent sex clubs where they can swap partners, is this what you are calling “normal.” Ken, how is it a surprise that people would be hostile to you when you call them names? You need to get out of education and start working as an aide for Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      You have not understood a word I have said. There is no name calling by me, no discrimination by me…..only advocacy for equal treatment of all human beings. The fact that your lifestyle is unnatural and repugnant to hetero-sexuals is a natural reaction. I cannot be shamed or legitimately attacked for feeling this way. I’m sorry you take it personally. This is similar to how the Israelis call critics of their horrible policies xenophobes. I feel sorry for normal hetero-sexual boys and girls who are shamed for their visceral reactions to homosexual behaviour.

      Like

    • dismasdolben says:

      There are many “gay lifestyles,” and I agree with you that a few of them are “repugnant.” So are some heterosexual “lifestyles.” Some “same-sex-attracted” individuals don’t even have a “lifestyle” that is any different from yours. You claim that heterosexual boys and girls find “homosexual behavior” “repugnant.” Does that mean that you find physical expressions of affection between members of the same sex “repugnant”? If so, that would foreclose fraternal embracing, which would be ridiculous. In my observation of human behavior, I have found that adults and youngsters who are the most secure in their heterosexual identities are completely comfortable with others’ physical expressions of same-sex love, and that those who are the most disgusted by it are actually reacting against their repressed attraction to it. In fact, many of the most significant and powerful allies of gay liberation have been strongly heterosexual men and women.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      I really hope you are not a teacher educating young people on equality!

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    • John says:

      I’m really upset that in 2018 an educator still uses expressions as those of the comment.
      ‘Understand that gay sex is abhorrent to most heterosexual males’… Just don’t do it. Seriously. I find it abhorrent that people will think that, ‘Gays are anomalies’… Statistically speaking 10% is a lot… And even if there was a single gay person, he or she ought to be respected. If we apply Darwin’s principles, bias and ignorance as yours should evolve soon… Abnormal? We really talking natural selection here? Phew, I pity your students…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Allen says:

      Please take a closer look at your assumptions and biases. Sexual orientation is not a “lifestyle” and, as MLK said, an injustice to one is an injustice to all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Please do not put MLK in this.

      Like

  6. Normal says:

    I’m a white straight male who accepts everybody but doesn’t seek attention about my sexual preference, gender and race. Is that a problem? I guess it is…

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    • dismasdolben says:

      Not for you, but for even slightly effeminate boys in certain countries, it certainly is. You actually DON’T think that might be a problem for you, if you’re their teacher?

      Like

    • Allen says:

      Underlying message here is anyone who has a sexual “preference” (actually it’s an orientation and not a choice ) gender or race different from yours is seeking attention about it. Do you really accept everybody?

      Like

    • Advocate says:

      Did you even read the title of the article, “Normal”? There are schools that will fire teachers and countries that will imprison people if they find out they are LGBTQ. This forum was supposed to be about people sharing their personal experiences with schools and cultures so that LGBTQ teachers can make safe choices regarding where they go to live. Please save your rants about “seek[ing] attention about my sexual preference” for another forum.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. dismasdolben says:

    I would suggest that even straight teachers who are strongly favorable regarding the rights of their lgbt friends–and especially male teachers–should stay away from Muslim Arab countries. When such teachers intervene actively to deter or discourage the amount of homophobic bullying that goes on among boys of those cultures, they usually find NO support from the administrators of such so-called “international schools,” no matter what the IB profile says about diversity or inclusiveness. This is because of the culturally-supported stigma against “same-sex love” that a large majority of stakeholders hold to. I would suggest that such educators stay away from those societies. If you don’t, you will witness incidences of behaviors that will make you sick to your stomach.

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    • THOMAS says:

      I partially disagree with this, I lived in Abu Dhabi for two years and didn’t have a problem. The problem I had was when I had a black man visiting my apartment and the doorman reported it to one of the employees from the school. I don’t think his prejudice was against gays, it was against race. Also, I didn’t get in trouble with the school, they just told me to be careful.

      Like

    • dismasdolben says:

      Well, I guess that you never had, as students, slightly effeminate or somewhat “nerdy” boys who were being degraded, harassed or even, at times, sexually abused by other, more “macho,” ostensibly “straight” boys. (I say “ostensibly” for a good reason, because the homosexual sub-culture in those countries is a viciously secretive, pullulating one, characterized by public displays of homophobic behavior.) I did, in Egypt, and it became frustrating and heartbreaking.

      Like

    • Tom says:

      I actually did hear about that taking place in the public schools, I dated a local who said “you dont drop your pencil.”

      Like

  8. Steven says:

    Hi all,
    I lived in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam for many years. Although both cities are quite tolerant of LGBT people, Hanoi has more closeted VIetnamese people. Ho Chi Minh city is more open and has visible presence of LGBT people. As of 2017, there were a couple of LGBT bars in Hanoi and a few more in HCMC. International schools are open, maybe even friendly towards LGBT people. VN students are more modern and knowledgeable about LGBT issues. They are generally very open and understanding. The middle school and high school kids are now coming out, albeit slowly opening the closet door.
    One caveat, I’m a middle-aged white man. So, my experiences may not be the same for different races, nationalities, or ages.
    Generally, all expats in Vietnam that I knew felt very safe living, working and traveling in Vietnam.
    Hope you all come and visit Vietnam. It’s a beautiful country with friendly people and a growing international school presence.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. John Tarpey says:

    Most countries aren’t secular and religion plays an important part in many. If you over generalize you won’t be left with many options. Lebanon, for example, is in the Middle East but is increasingly becoming more tolerant.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gerry says:

    Anywhere religion plays a part in running the country ie. Middle East, USA, Russia.

    Liked by 2 people

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