I am Stacey, and I am Hong Kongese I am a Deaf LGBTQ traveler (this belongs to a Deaf person) Hello, I am Stacey! and she also has the same name! My name is Stacey, and my sign name is: (shown) and I am from Hong Kong. where have you traveled to? I’ve traveled to Russia, Denmark, um, Poland, Italy, Germany, Belgium Holland (Netherlands) Did you solo travel or did you went with someone? Stacey Li: I went by myself wow, solo traveling! that’s awesome! Why I love traveling? I have always been focusing on work I also have one kid now my kid is 15 years old so it got me thinking… I really want to do something about my life i talked to my child about it, and my child was okay with it and my child supported me to go traveling so I went traveling and I met and made new friends I get to see different countries, and different cultures. I feel more open-minded and I feel happier, inside of me too. Here in Hong Kong, I was only working before Here, it was about working, working for many hours I wasn’t happy with it To feel free from that, I went traveling because it gives me positivity in my life (the sign for Moscow is: [shown]) (In Russian culture, you have to um, drink V…o… ….d…- hey! I mean, vodka! this one) Did you have any country that you were scared to visit? Because of you’re a LGBTQ traveler? were you ever scared? Honestly, I would be scared if I visited Russia alone, yes, but but luckily, a Russian friend guided me around so I felt more relieved that way Did you became scared because of the news you saw? You knew what was going on there with the oppression on LGBTQ+ community there? Stacey Li: yes, yes. I have many Russian friends who are LGBTQ+ were telling me things like holding hands with a partner in Russia, is not a good idea to do it there it is best to not hold hands and blend in and just pretend to be casual friends and local Russians will not notice who you really are they told me it is best to not show it in public I was surprised but I understand…. I didn’t came out publicly there, so I only observed around and I noticed that no one was holding hands and just blending in with people in public there were no flags hanging up there in Russia, you know, the rainbow flags, Denmark have those rainbow flags hanging but but none flags were hanging in Russia, none at all the LGBTQ+ community are hidden in closets there so it’s a challenge there it is also happening like that in other countries, even in Germany, I see no LGBTQ+ holding hands Being unable to hold hands publicly also happens there so, I was wondering, and I asked my friends, why? and they shrugged and said, “well, you can kiss and hold hands at home but I am afraid that you’ll never know what they’ll do to you like beating you up or whatever. who knows?” was it easy for you to share who you are? or did you have to keep it to yourself when traveling? do you mean, being open of who I am? ah – no, I actually do not reveal it. do you not even reveal who you are in Europe too? Stacey Li: yes, even in Europe. you never share with anyone in Europe? Stacey Li: with the persons I befriended with, I don’t tell them until later when I feel comfortable was it easy for you to find other Deaf LGBTQ+ or was it hard to find them? Stacey Li: It was easier to find them in Europe It is because there are a group of LGBTQ+ there So I ask around, asking do you know anyone in Germany who is LGBTQ that I can connect to? and they’ll contact me privately and we’d talk but I don’t reach out more people about it I want to make sure it is a good person after talking, then I’d stay in connection with them if that person is bad, then I’d back away and draw the line I’m sure you understand. Was it hard to find them in Asia? Stacey Li: Asia….. yes! It’s hard to find them because some are closeted I asked some Deaf LGBTQ+ Europeans if they know anyone in Japan who is LGBTQ+, so they will ask around then someone in Japan will reach out to me and I met that Deaf Japanese and connected I asked questions, and that person is closeted and I understand. I was told that various of Deaf LGBTQ+ Japanese are either closeted or out of the closet and I was like oooh, interesting. that person said, “I do not tell everyone, because because I work a good job and have a reputation so I don’t want them to know that about me.” and I understand. In Asia, it’s just hard. Really hard. It is the same with Malaysia. I want to meet Deaf LGBTQ+ Malaysians but so many of them are closeted the community there know each other there, including knowing some who are transgender, and I want to get to know them and open up to me but in their country, there is a large Muslim culture it’s different there in Malaysia so yeah… for those who are Deaf LGBTQ+ traveler, and wanting to travel the world but feel scared to travel – so what is your advice for them? if you want to travel the world, it’s best that you ask around what is the culture there is like acknowledge it and keep that in mind and then go travel there so it’s really better that you get information so that you can be aware Here in Hong Kong, we do have Deaf LGBTQ+, there is a person I know that went to travel solo without connecting with another or getting information, and I was worried, so I told that person that it is best to – with disclosure, to find someone local who is also LGBTQ+ or even straight people too any of them that person can connect with you have to understand that she has two important identities: the first identity she has is Deaf and the second identity she has is: lesbian (LGBTQ+) There are different challenges around the world some people can be very judgemental toward you being Deaf AND toward a LGBTQ+ person Those are two important identities. do you feel that it is important to you? Stacey Li: yes, absoutely. and there are challenges for you? Stacey Li: yes, some challenges, yes. and are there also positivity for you too? Stacey Li: yes, there are positivity as well what are the positivity? Stacey Li: there are positivity such as where you don’t need to be worried when there are laws and respecting the LGBTQ+ community and there are some people that are accepting and loving giving you hugs and treat you nicely and doesn’t oppress you it is really important to show that that we DO HAVE Deaf LGBTQ+ travelers. As a Deaf traveler, I can help you out but I am not LGBTQ+ and unable to help you with that I’m not the best person nor know everything what to do I am straight and don’t have that experiences and I have the privilege as a straight person, not needing to be worry about who I am like what the LGBTQ+ community are going through thank you, thank you, I really appreciate it Stacey Li: yes, yesss.