Visiting all of the national parks in America is a dream for many individuals, although some LGBT people can be concerned about their safety in and around rural areas of the States. However, the national parks have recently developed schemes to show their support of the LGBT community now and in the future, preserving some of the most important moments of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history and helping everyone to enjoy the parks whatever their sexuality.
What are the National Park LGBT Heritage sites?
In recent years, the National Park Service has gone to great lengths to be inclusive in their marketing and story-telling. The National Park LGBT Heritage scheme has recently been set up by the National Park Service to commemorate and memorialize some of the most important historical monuments and sites in the USA. This is especially vital in 2019, which is the 50th year since the Stonewall riots, one of the most important moments in gay, lesbian and transgender history.
One of the main sites that the National Park Service has decided to care for is The Stonewall National Monument in New York, which is now accessible for tours and recreation. However, many of the national parks also have LGBT history which is currently being promoted, such as the Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey, which contains ‘Clear Comfort’ the home of the prolific lesbian photographer, Elizabeth Alice Austen.
Are LGBT travelers safe in National Parks?
Although some states that surround national parks are known for their intolerance of gay issues and travelers, the National Park Service commits itself to ensuring the safety of visitors regardless of their sexual orientation. When traveling to national parks, you do not need to be concerned about your experiences within the park, but you may have to be wary when leaving the park within some of the gateway communities. For instance, although Yellowstone is tolerant of LGBT travelers, Wyoming and Montana are not known generally as acceptant of LGBT tourists, and so you may need to choose discretion when visiting these communities.
What is the best way to experience National Parks?
If you are concerned at all about visiting the national parks and surrounding areas, you should research your accommodation before you visit and take guided tours. Read on for some of the best ways to explore the parks.
- Driving is one of the best ways that you can explore national parks, and going on road trips will give you easy access to some of the most stunning locations in the national park system. Bryce Canyon is a great place for LGBT travelers to explore, and Bryce Canyon ATV tours can help you to see the park up close, in an active and unique manner that will rival alternative hiking or cycling options. Not only this, but the guided aspect of the tour will allow you to visit more of the park and learn about some of its most famous sights.
- You may also want to stay in accommodation close to the parks, or even within the parks themselves, away from gateway communities in generally conservative areas, which may cause you discomfort.