STAYING SAFE During Pride Month and Beyond

By: Bryan Herb – Zoomvacations
Photo: Gay Pride © Syda Productions |

Recently the U.S. State Department issued a “Worldwide Caution” alert, warning U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution due to “the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events.”

While we certainly do not want to live our lives in fear, there are a few things that we can do to help keep ourselves as safe as possible while we are celebrating Pride around the world.

The most important is simply to exercise a heightened awareness of our surroundings when we are out in public. If someone seems to be acting in a peculiar manner, or something feels off to you, don’t write it off as nothing. Rather, pay close attention, and remove yourself from the area if that deems necessary.

Where possible, avoid large congested crowds. However, if you plan to attend a large crowd event such as a pride parade, dance party, etc., always know where your exits are, whether you are in a club, bar, or outdoor venue.

If choosing to use social media or sexual connection apps, meet in a public space rather than meeting at a stranger’s home, or in a solitary location.

Always know exactly what you are putting in your body. Keep an eye on your beverages, and do not accept drinks or other consumable things from strangers. Things can be spiked or laced with substances such as fentanyl that can have deadly effects.

Of course I would be remiss if I did not suggest traveling with a travel provider like Zoom Vacations ( who knows your vacation destination and how to keep you safe there.

Lastly, I highly suggest enrolling with STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which has been designed for individuals who are traveling internationally. By signing up for STEP, you can receive important information from the U.S. government about safety conditions in your destination country, as well as updates on any potential risks or emergencies that may arise during your trip.

One of the main benefits of signing up for STEP is the peace of mind it provides. By registering with the program, you can rest assured knowing that you will be notified of any safety concerns or emergencies in your destination country. This can help you take any necessary precautions to stay safe while abroad.

Additionally, enrolling in STEP can make it easier for the U.S. government to assist you in case of an emergency. By providing the government with your contact information and travel itinerary, you can ensure that help will be readily available if you encounter any issues during your trip. This can be especially beneficial in situations where communication is limited or local resources are scarce.

By staying informed about safety conditions and potential risks in your destination country, you can better prepare for any challenges that may arise. This level of preparedness can help you navigate unfamiliar situations with confidence and make the most of your travels.

From staying informed about safety conditions to receiving assistance in emergencies, STEP offers valuable resources and support to travelers. If you’re planning a trip abroad, don’t hesitate to enroll in STEP and take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer. Your safety and peace of mind are worth it.nn