Gay & Lesbian Travellers
Bali is a popular spot for GLBT travelers owing to the many ways it caters to a rainbow of visitors. There is a large gay and lesbian expat community and many own businesses that – if not gay-specific – are very gay-friendly. In south Bali and Ubud, couples have few concerns, beyond remembering that the Balinese are quite modest. Otherwise, there's a rollicking strip of very-gay-friendly nightclubs in the heart of Seminyak, although there's no part of Bali any GLBT person should avoid.
Having said that, gay travellers in Bail (and Indonesia) should follow the same precautions as straight travellers: avoid public displays of affection. However, as the nation becomes more conservative, any form of closeness between people of the same sex may be unwise.
- Gay men in Indonesia are referred to as homo or gay; lesbians are lesbi.
- Indonesia’s community of transvestite and transsexual waria – from the words wanita (woman) and pria (man) – has always had a very public profile; they are also known by the less polite term banci.
- Islamic groups proscribe homosexuality, but physical harassment is uncommon.
- GAYa Nusantara (www.gayanusantara.or.id) has a very useful website that covers local GLBT issues.
- Bali's gay organisation is Gaya Dewata (www.gayadewata.com).