Gay and Lesbian Travelers
Egyptians posses a rather shaky attitude when it comes to homosexuality. In some cases, it is measured as abnormal and there is discrimination against gay men; and in other cases, sexual relations between men are mostly overlooked as undisruptive.
Consequently, gay men can derive pleasure in a variety of sporty sexual encounters with relative ease. However, a visitor may experience discrimination as well as police harassment if tagged as a homosexual.
Meanwhile, lesbians hold no public recognition as a group, and there is no such “case”. As such, couples are free to hold hands openly since this is a friendly practice here, but any added show of love is not advisable.
Worthy of note is that the security teams actively work against the gay population. Instances of a snare followed by incarceration and torture are often outlined by human rights groups like Human Rights Watch, and websites such as www.gayegypt.com are regularly watched by these security agencies who utilize chat groups to convene phony meetings.
Gay Egypt (www.gayegypt.com) informs on cruising sites in many of the major cities of Egypt. Much of the information appears to be dated, but it should still provide some useful leads as well as still-relevant warnings of the dangers. The site www.arab-gay.com has a lively travel segment, and the more journalistically disposed Gay Middle East has an attractive Egypt section (www.gaymiddleeast.com/country/Egypt).
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) (telephone 800/448-8550 or 954/776-2626; www.iglta.org) is the trade association for the gay and lesbian travel industry and it offers an online directory of gay- and lesbian-friendly travel businesses and tour services.