Community Conversation > Transgender talk

Travel: is Morocco safe ?

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AutumnGlory:
I'm ten years post-op. To a few, I guess, my origins will always show but mostly, I blend into the landscape of women, striking for being tall and strong. Even so, I found it easier to move from my birth country, the UK, and live in france, where I am foreign, so not expected to blend in quite as well.
Now, I'm looking at travel, being semi-retired, and in particular, I'm looking for some winter sun. Morocco would be ideal, but I'm nervous. Am I likely to run into trouble?
It's not my style to stay in resort areas. I have a motorhome and like to dive into local markets; with my husband, and local bars, get a flavour of the culture.

Northern Star Girl:
@AutumnGlory
Dear Autumn:
Here is some information that I found regarding travel concerns if going to Morocco.
Go to the LINKS that I included below and read everything very carefully before
you make your own decision.
Be SAFE !!!!
Regards,
Danielle
=======================================
                Is Morocco LGBTQIA+ friendly?
    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/morocco/is-morocco-lgbtqia-friendly

Here are a few excerpts from the above LINK:
"Morocco is not a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers who wish to openly express sexuality and/or gender identity outside of a very rigid, heterosexual binary."

"Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by prison time and fines under article 489 of the Penal Code. Same-sex couples have been arrested for kissing and holding hands in Morocco. Public attitudes towards same-sex partnerships range from confusion to open hostility and can include physical violence."

"Travellers with non-conventional gender expression may experience harassment and, in some cases, physical violence." 
==============
     
                         Morocco Travel Advisory
   Travel.State.Gov
   U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE — BUREAU of CONSULAR AFFAIRS
   https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/morocco-travel-advisory.html

          Travel Advisory
          October 4, 2021
          Morocco - Level 3: Reconsider Travel
 
Excerpts from the above LINK:
"Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Morocco."

"Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Morocco. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities."

AutumnGlory:

--- Quote from: Northern Star Girl on November 03, 2021, 01:28:30 pm ---Be SAFE !!!!
Regards,
Danielle

--- End quote ---

Thank you for this, Danielle. Looks like the big question is how well do I pass? Never an easy one to answer: do I merge or are people kind and saying nothing? How alert to gender difference are people in a different culture? Youths in London spot me, youths in France either don't or aren't upset by it, so what will the Moroccon youth see and do? It's so hard to know but the risks are high.

These are discussions I don't want to have with my husband. he'd love to go to Morocco and similar places. I hate like hell to have to point out my differences, my abnormalities, which would make it hard.

Maybe I'd be better celebrating the freedom i have in Europe... :)

Battle Goddess:
Autumn,


My experiences in Morocco are from quite some years ago, and as a young man, but I loved the time I spent there.

I was also nearly murdered and raped. You take the good with the bad. Being the adventurous, stupid sort, I tend to get into a lot of scrapes.

I spent time in Tangiers, Agadir, Meknes, and Marrakech.They're all beautiful. The Djemma al-Fnaa should be on everybody's bucket list. I would have also gone down to Laayoune, but the Polisario had been acting up recently. Desert bandits zooming around on technicals? No thanks. The Touareg are fierce enough to begin with, and Mad Max, I do not need.

The food is to die for. Spices and flavors like nowhere else. You'd swear that the sun shines out from the inside when you peel an orange. The case of food poisoning I got was nearly to die from, too. If it isn't peeled, sealed, roasted, or boiled, don't put it in your mouth. No ice - you don't know where it's been.

A particular item of note for us has to do with a longtime social quirk of Morocco's colonization by Europe and the easy travel there. Since unmarried "good girls" are unavailable to young men, there's a fair amount of homosexual activity among the fellas. Per local custom and law, it had to be kept on the d/l, but it was an open secret.

This led to a thriving sex tourism industry between local fellas and European men. Some Europeans would relocate to Morocco entirely. Tangiers, particularly, was famous as their haunt.

As you can imagine, these foreigners were seen as both distasteful reprobates and a commercial opportunity. The tension between these two points of view could make things... volatile. It wasn't unusual in Tangiers for a couple of tourists a year to end up in several different garbage cans.

I honestly have no idea how anyone would react if they clocked a trans person, but my guess is "particularly nasty reprobate on the prowl," with attendant consequences.

Even if you weren't clocked, I would strongly recommend you not go out unaccompanied. Foreign women, too, can be sex tourists, and the local guys can be persistent like you have never encountered. Put it this way: I didn't let my daughters go. I've happily sent them unaccompanied to distant lands on the opposite side of the globe, but never to Morocco.

So... these are my prejudices and conclusions based on observations and experiences from decades ago. At the time I was presenting as a young, healthy, cis, hetero male who looked like he could easily defend himself without a weapon. I was clearly trouble, and people still came at me. Morocco can be a dangerous place. You don't know The Rules, and the consequences for violating them can be grave.

I will also say that camping on Jebel Musa, looking across at Gibraltar as the stars whirled above and ships crawled in and out of the Atlantic, was an experience I'll never forget.

I'm glad I had it back then. I don't think I'd risk it now.

amandam:
Good advice. Try Spain.

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