‘Painting with Pride’ Encourages LGBTQ+ Students to Travel Abroad

Savannah Ichikawa, Contributing Writer

In recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month this October, the UA Education Abroad Office is collaborating with the Department of Art and Art History to host Painting with Pride, an art workshop and study abroad presentation.

The Education Abroad Office wants students to experience new cultures and become better global citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or background. 

Students attending Painting with Pride will complete arts and crafts guided by department chair Jason Guynes while Sean Atchison, a sophomore majoring in international relations and student assistant at the Education Abroad Office, teaches  LGBTQ+ students how to  choose safe international education programs.

The event is an opportunity  for UA students to show support for their LGBTQ+ friends, and it addresses the issues that LGBTQ+ students may face while studying abroad. 

Atchison said many areas of the world are not safe for LGBTQ+ students.

“Even traditionally places that you may think are safe are not really, and places you may think are unsafe are actually safe,” he said. 

Atchison said Brazil and South America are safe options for LGBTQ+ students because of social and cultural norms. 

According to Asher Fergusson, a traveling safety website, Brazil is in the top 25 LGBTQ+ safe countries for travelers because of the basic rights and protections queer and trans individuals have. 

However, areas in China, Russia and the Middle East are considered high danger zones, receiving ratings of D- to F from the website’s rating scale. 

According to NBC News, after Russia passed the 2013 “gay propaganda law,” a legislation that fines any act or event that promotes homosexuality, “anti-LGBTQ violence in the country increased.” 

The Education Abroad Office and the Department of Art and Art History works to connect with LGBTQ+ students and support them in their endeavors abroad.

For more information visit the Capstone International Center’s website.

Graphic illustrating safest countries for LGBTQ+ travel in 2019.
Courtesy of Sean Atchison