LGBT Travellers

  • Homosexuality is seen as a bit of a cultural taboo, though most locals are known to be tolerant of it, for both men and women.
  • 'Carnal intercourse against nature' is legally punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years. The law is rarely enforced, but it renders gays and lesbians vulnerable to police harassment.
  • Gay and transgendered people in Myanmar are rarely 'out', except for 'third sex' spirit mediums who channel the energies of nat spirits.
  • Some Buddhists believe that those who committed sexual misconduct (such as adultery) in a previous life become gay or lesbian in this one.
  • Public displays of affection, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are frowned upon; a local woman walking with a foreign man will raise more eyebrows than two same-sex travellers sharing a room.
  • For more information on GLBTI issues in Myanmar, see Colours Rainbow (www.colorsrainbow.com). Also check Utopia-Asia (www.utopia-asia.com), which publishes a gay guide to Southeast Asia, including Myanmar.
  • Agencies offering gay-friendly trips to Myanmar include Purple Dragon and Gay Tours Myanmar.