Canada Issues Warning for LGBTQ Canadians Traveling to the US

( – Canada’s Global Affairs Department recently issued a travel advisory cautioning Canadians who belong to or identify to be part of the LGBTQ+ (or “2SLGBTQI+” in the advisory) community to take precautions when visiting certain U.S. states.

The “2S” supposedly represents the “two spirit” identity that indigenous people use to describe non-binary gender identity.

The updated advisory said that certain states have passed a number of laws that could affect travelers’ welfare, and urged visitors from Canada to check local state laws before visiting.

According to a statement by Jérémie Bérubé, a spokesperson for Global Affairs, the advisory concerns a number of laws in some U.S. states that ban drag shows, trans participation in sporting events, as well as restricting access to gender-affirming treatments. In addition, “laws and customs” in these states would be drastically different from those in Canada, and as such, some travelers may experience certain “barriers and risks” if they do decide to visit these states.

The statement further urged visitors to follow state law “even if these laws infringe on your human rights.”

Canadian media has been particularly attentive of late to developments in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis has signed on laws that have banned minors from receiving gender-affirming health treatments, prohibited discussion of gender pronouns at certain school levels, and imposed punishments on establishments that let children watch “adult live performances,” which ostensibly include drag shows.

Other U.S. states with similar laws include Arkansas, where Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation that bans transgender people from using the restroom that matches their perceived gender identity. Alabama, Tennessee and Oklahoma also have similar laws.

However, some have expressed cynicism about the travel advisory, such as Nelson Wiseman, who is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto.

“”It sounds like virtue-signaling,” the professor said of the move by the Global Affairs Department. He added that such advisories “strains the credibility of the department” given that to his knowledge, “no U.S. state… has charged or discriminated against an LGBTQ+ traveler” due to their sexual identity.”

Another, former ambassador to China David Mulroney, said that travel advisories should deal with issues that pose legitimate risks to the safety of Canadian citizens, not highlight policies that the government or any of its departments disagree with. “It’s about danger signaling, not virtue signaling,” he said in a tweet.

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