Gay traveling in Morocco

 

Should I stay or should I go?

I am lucky enough to be with the person I love. I am also lucky enough to live in a society that doesn’t obstacle my love. Being in a relationship with another guy has never been a problem in London.

I am also well aware that not many people in the world are as lucky as I am. Still, having knowledge of a problem will never be as impactful as experiencing it yourself on your own skin.

Travel is a powerful tool as makes you face the reality of societies far away from yours, including their daily struggles and issues.

Every LGBT traveler ends up wondering about implications of traveling in a country where they could be arrested or killed just to express their love.

I remember finding myself wondering if travelling to a country where being gay is illegal would be like supporting this policy? Could I change someone’s point of view with any of my actions? Could I show them that I’m not an alien or an evil spirit? Is it safe for a gay person to travel to a Muslim country?

I want to travel, visit new places and write about my experience but it’s inevitable - in this case especially - not to cover ethical and political issues.

Morocco has been at the top of my travel list since I can remember. Still going to Morocco as a gay couple mean refraining myself to show any sort of public affection, up to the point of pretending to be someone I am not.

Am I ready for this?

 
Gay travelling in Morocco
 

But if you want to leave take good care

Gi and I thought a lot about this trip before booking our flights.

Online you can read both the good and the bad. Some LGBT tourists faced no issues at all while others would never go back to this country due to terrible experiences.

Many travelers say that if you are tourist, the homosexuality is perceived in a whole different way. Moroccan people are more open about the theme and tend to ignore this illegality (for them, at least). Unfortunately, if you are a gay person in Morocco, you won’t meet the same level of acceptance. Based on the conversation I had once there I can now confirm that this correct.

At the end we decided to go.

Gay travelling in Morocco
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We got in touch with some riads we wanted to visit to tell them our story and also to make sure they weren’t going to have any issues related to our sexuality. We are a gay couple, interested to visit the country but also willing to find out more about LGBT situation for both tourists and Moroccan people.

As you can see from my Moroccan guide, I visited three riads in total: Riad Chi Chi, Riad Yamina and Riad Karmela Princesse.

I would recommend all of these to any LGBT travelers to have a complete relaxing experience without worrying too much about being themselves at least in the comfort of your riad.

Riad Chi Chi is the perfect option if you are travelling on a budget. In the centre of la medina. I definitely suggest booking also an hammam experience with this riad.

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Gay travelling in Morocco - Riad Chi Chi

Riad Yamina has an amazing pool in the middle of their courtyard and is so peaceful and calm that it will be very tempting to spend entire afternoons in total relaxation and leaving the riad will be very hard.

 
Gay travelling in Morocco - Riad Yamina
 

Riad Karmela Princess is the most beatiful riad I visited in Marrakech. Traditional Moroccan style is meeting a modern and well-thought decor in this unique place. Marbles, gramophones, colorful rugs, every single detail was a piece of art on its own. Each room has its own style. Our own room has a spiral staircase leading to a private terrace decorated like a small Babylonia garden.

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Gay travelling in Morocco - Riad Karmela Princess
Gay travelling in Morocco - Riad Karmela Princess

Gi and I have also been on a road trip with Gray Line Morocco. If you can’t decide which company to choose for a road trip, this is a great choice. The trip itself was amazing but an amazing plus was that the entire staff is very open minded and extremely kind.

Gay travelling in Morocco
Gay travelling in Morocco

When people run in circles it's a very very mad world

Our experience at the riads has been incredible. Same with our trip in the desert.

While walking in the streets of Marrakech we avoided walking hand in hand or any other form of public display of affection, to respect the local rules and maintain public decency. I think we did it most of the time.

Still, people told me that you can say that Gi and I are a couple even by the way we look and smile to each other. In the end we had no downers but one.

I am going to give you all the details about my bad experience not to scare you off. I want everyone to be aware that even if my experience was 99% positive, things can go sideways.

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Sissy that walk

Day 2 of my trip, I am walking with Gi towards the Menara gardens. I am just recovering from food poisoning and I start feeling very weak.

To cheer my up Gi take me by hand and we start walking hand in hand for a while. Barely two minutes have passed and a group of six or eight guys start shouting in our direction.

They start insulting and threatening us. Among other things, they say we are disgusting. They say that they are coming to hit us. They say that they are calling the police – since absurd as it sounds we are committing a crime.

Timings can’t any more wrong. We are in a dead end. I’m so weak that I am struggling to stand up myself by and there are no other people around.

My boyfriend’s reaction will just stay memorable. He shows this group of guys his middle finger, shake and slap his ass to provoke them and start shouting insults back.

End of the story: The guys don’t move a muscle. They just keep shouting louder. I keep walking covered in cold sweat while dragging my boyfriend away from the gang. No police, no harm.

Just a manifestation of hate that will always help me remember how much is important to keep fighting for human rights and freedom of expression.

Andrea