An Overview of Gay Morocco Travel
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Just 15 kilometers south of Europe, over the Strait of Gibraltar, is Morocco, a fascinating country filled with sand dunes, sandy shores, bustling marketplaces, tourist hotspots, and towering peaks. One of the world’s most visually stunning countries, Morocco is an absolute must-see destination. As a tourist destination, Morocco is famed for its diversity, but it’s not known for being a particularly welcoming place for gays and lesbians. However, this does not rule out the possibility of LGBTQ gay travel.
Moroccan homosexuality is prohibited and punished by up to three years in jail, unlike its neighbor Spain, which allows same-sex marriages. This is very seldom enforced, and the severity of penalty varies from region to region.
Non-Moroccan same-sex couples are exempt from this rule whether traveling or staying together. It’s important to know that even if you and your partner are not subject to Moroccan law, you may want to know that your LGBTQ brothers and sisters are subject to far greater oppression.
When visiting Morocco as a homosexual traveler, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and keep your sexual orientation a secret. Gay and straight couples alike should steer clear of public displays of affection while on vacation in Morocco (you can read about the basics here).
In fact, kissing between a man and a woman can result in both parties being fined or even imprisoned. The majority-Muslim population is staunchly anti-personal digital assistant (PDA) in this country. The LGBTQ community need not be offended by this fact because it is simply a sign of cultural respect when it comes to gay Morocco travel.
Anyone visiting a foreign country, regardless of sexual orientation, should be aware of local traditions and customs. And it’s not just for your own protection! An opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture can also be seen as an educational experience. It’s possible to gain two completely different perspectives on a subject by looking at it from the outside and by experiencing it from the inside.
People who identify as LGBTQ in morocco (gay travel )
Gay travel culture exists in Morocco, despite the fact that same-sex sexual activity is illegal in the country. It doesn’t matter whether Morocco acknowledges it or not, it is still a popular destination for LGBTQ
travelers. It’s no surprise that the gay traveler community has made cities like Marrakesh and Agadir their preferred vacation spots. Even though Casablanca has become a hub for the city’s gay community in recent years, few tourists make the trip to the city (and for good reason).
It was Paul and Jane Bowles in Tangier for many years who were Tangier’s odd couple. Musician and author Paul Bowles was drawn to Tangier by Gertrude Stein’s recommendation that he settle there years earlier when he was in Paris. Even though Paul Bowles was openly gay and Jane was lesbian, it is known that they were in a relationship. Their union made a lot of sense at the time it took place (in 1938).
They found the perfect place to be themselves in Tangier. For many years, they ruled over Tangier’s art scene, attracting luminaries such as Tennessee Williams, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Truman Capote. They were the dominant figures in Tangier’s LGBTQ community during the era of the International Zone.
The Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh was saved from destruction by Yves Saint-Laurent (yes, that YSL). A true Moroccan power couple in the second half of the twentieth century, Yves and Pierre were a formidable duo. They were a hit with the people of Marrakesh, as well as the royal court. The Rue Yves Saint Laurent was renamed in his honor in 2010 to honor his contribution to the Jardin Majorelle. The new street sign was unveiled by Princess Lalla Salma, Her Royal Highness.
Writer, director, and actor Abdellah Taa is one of Morocco’s most well-known and well-publicized gay men. If you want to learn more about Moroccan gay travel from the perspective of a Moroccan, he has a number of books to recommend.
gay morocco travel : Destinations
Tangier and Marrakesh offered refuge to LGBTQ people fleeing persecution in Europe. In addition to being fantastic vacation spots in and of themselves, the locals exhibit a worldly acceptance that says, “been there, seen that”. This is still true in many ways today.
As the French rediscover Tangier and so much effort is put into projects across the city to bring it back to its Barbara Hutton-era, jet-setting splendor, Tangier remains an “up and coming” destination. There is a small expat LGBT community in this city, but it’s hard to tell whether you’ve arrived too late or too early.
As far as expat LBGTQ Morocco activities go, Marrakesh is the place to go. It’s true that Marrakesh has a long history of prominent residents, like Yves Saint-Laurent. These days, you’re more likely to find a mix of people in pubs and clubs, with the rare exception of private events.
While Agadir doesn’t have a thriving homosexual community, its beaches do draw a sizable European contingent.
gay travel morocco : Acceptance
Morocco’s LGBT population is numerous, yet Moroccans still want males to marry and have children. Not doing so is out of the ordinary. This is a problem that LGBT tourists may run into while trying to mingle with the local population. But in places like Marrakesh, where many different kinds of tourists stay, same-sex couples shouldn’t have any trouble staying in large hotel chains or riads owned by foreigners.
Hand-holding between males is prevalent in non-Western cultures, although this is only a sign of male friendliness and nothing more. So if you see anything like this, don’t jump to conclusions. Moreover, you may not see this as often in metropolitan areas. The belief that two men holding hands is a sign of a relationship in the Western world is something that many Moroccans are aware of, and they would want to avoid it.
Morocco's views on LGBTQ rights
Less than encouraging news on gay rights in Morocco is coming out of the country. Traditional values and a strict religious culture mean that it will take a long time for the Maghreb to accept LGBTQ people like they do in the West.It’s important to note Kif-Kif, a queer Moroccan rights group established in Spain, which goes by the moniker “similar” and publishes a journal called Mithly.
Although it is close to Europe and the United States, traditional religious and family customs in Morocco may not yet be in line with those in the neighboring countries of the West. Moroccans continue to entice the homosexual community with their allure as a fascinating and exotic vacation spot. Be cautious but enjoy yourself knowing that Morocco is a lovely place with a great deal to see and do.
Consider Morocco as a Gay Travel Destination Right Away
David Brown, a globetrotter and blogger, penned this piece. TwoBadTourists.com is where you can follow David and his husband’s experiences (and disasters). Also, if you’d want to learn more about traveling the globe or attending festivals, follow David on Instagram.