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The U.S. government is warning about the potential for violence aimed at LGBTQIA+ people and communities ahead of the annual Pride Month celebration.

In a May 17 Worldwide Caution, the U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution “due to the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”

“The Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events,” according to the statement, which advised U.S. citizens to “stay alert in locations frequented by tourists, including Pride celebrations and venues frequented by LGBTQI+ persons,” as well as enrolling in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter for updates and more information.

The State Department issued a similar warning in 2023.

Says John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO, “Traveling as an LGBTQ+ person always comes with risks. It is our reality as we navigate a world with 60+ countries criminalizing our relationships and a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. The State Department warning is yet another example of this.
“We encourage our traveling community to thoroughly research the challenges they may face in any destination they choose to visit for Pride and beyond. IGLTA is here to connect LGBTQ+ travelers with businesses globally that will help them to navigate the world in the safest way possible.”

FBI / DHS Issue Similar Warnings as Pride Month Approaches

On May 10, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned of similar risks and threats involving Pride Month events in the U.S.

“Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month,” according to the agencies, which said these groups “have previously promoted anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and targeted LGBTQIA+ related events or venues for attacks.”

The warning cited online threats by ISIS and the June 12 anniversary of the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando.