By Andrea Romano
July 25, 2019
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A recent study found that an overwhelming majority, about 95 percent, of LGBTQ couples said that they don't feel comfortable showing affection while traveling abroad. Many people may feel like their identities could be denied or even attacked in certain destinations, so it’s no wonder that safety is a big issue while traveling abroad.

But every traveler has a right to feel safe wherever they go. In an effort to help LGBTQ travelers abroad, Tinder has launched a new feature that will alert users to potential dangers in over 70 countries that have known laws criminalizing LGBTQ status.

According to a statement by Tinder, the new Traveler Alert feature is a collaboration between the dating app and human rights group ILGA World. Using the organization’s data from their latest State-Sponsored Homophobia report, Tinder can send users alerts and safety tips based on their destination.

While there are quite a few LGBTQ-friendly countries in the world that could make for a great vacation, not every desirable destination recognize the rights of these identities. Therefore, some travelers may be unknowingly at risk while visiting certain places.

The Travel Alert feature will appear when users are either in a country that criminalizes LGBTQ status or using the app’s Passport feature to connect and match with people across the globe. Users who identify as LGBTQ on the app will be automatically hidden on Tinder in these countries as a safety precaution. Users may choose to make their profile public again if they wish, however, their sexual orientation and gender identity will not be available until they leave the area.

Presumably, this precaution is to protect the user from scams or people who may be using the app to potentially harm others. All users who get the alert will have the option to learn more by being directed to the ILGA World website.

It should be noted that while the new feature is helpful, especially in the countries with specific anti-LGBTQ laws, it doesn’t address areas where LGBTQ people may still be at risk of discrimination even where these laws are not in place. It’s important for all travelers, but especially LGBTQ travelers to know your rights when traveling to a new place.

The new feature will be rolling out for both iOS and Android users in the next few days, Tinder said in a statement.