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LGBT

11 Aug 2016

BY Sophie Griffiths

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TRFBLI

Transgender cruise will let people ‘be themselves’

A tour operator has launched a cruise for transgender people, aimed at offering a comfortable and safe environment to “allow people to feel like they can be themselves”.

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New transgender cruise launched by operator to provide comfortable and safe environment for guests

Billed as “the UK’s first celebration cruise for the transgender community”, the sailing will include workshops and activities, as well as a quiz night. TTG LGBT keynote speaker and former boxing promoter Kellie Maloney will be joining the group, as well as transgender newscaster Sophie Cook.

The sailing, which will be Atol-protected, has been organised by Brighton-based operator Focus Diva Travel. It will take place onboard MSC Meraviglia, sailing from Barcelona on June 16-23, 2017 with 50 cabins allocated for the group.

Focus Diva Travel founder Jennifer Grant previously operated a travel agency specialising in lesbian and gay holidays, but said she had become mindful about wanting to create an offering for the transgender traveller.

“I’ve always had in mind about the transgender community,” she told TTG. “In Brighton I have connected with groups of transgender teenagers and adults, and I realised there wasn’t really anything being offered to the community.”

Grant said the idea of the cruise was born after she escorted a lesbian cruise, and noticed how the group was able to “blend in with the other passengers, in a good way”.

“People felt like they could be themselves. But there was the option of having closed-door events too,” she added.

“With the transgender community there can be a huge spectrum – from people who are in the early stages of the process to those who have fully transitioned. But the main theme of the cruise is to have a fantastic holiday in the Med with a group who are like-minded, and who will help build confidence.”

Grant said the sailing was open to people in the UK, Europe and US, and said she had already received interest from a couple in the US and another in France. She acknowledged some might have concerns about reactions from crew and other passengers, but said she would be meeting with the cruise line to discuss “all sensitivities”.

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