Today, I want to thank Airbnb for creating a platform which fosters inclusion and respect through strong non-discrimination policies which encourage hosts to welcome all guests regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
Without these policies, I am sure we would have seen multiple listings which would have openly called out restrictions like, "for couples only", "not suitable for LGBTQ", etc. Let's admit, we don't live in a perfect world, and there are people who dislike certain sections of people based of who they love or where they come from or how they look or which God they worship. But the strong stand that Airbnb has taken against such people makes it very easy for this brown unmarried gay Indian man to freely experience the world and feel welcomed everywhere.
Airbnb does not require me to mention my sexual orientation, race, marital status, etc. when I try to book a place and that is a huge burden taken off my chest. I have been denied accomodation by conventional hotels in India due to my sexual orientation and I have been treated disrespectfully abroad due to my nationality perhaps - such treatment not only makes you angry but also leaves you with a very negative feeling of dejection which can ruin your trip.
But never have I had such an experience with any Airbnb Host that I have lived with around the world.
India recently decriminatized homosexuality, but long before that, I had ran a poll amongst some India Airbnb Hosts (we have a Facebook group) to check if they would be comfortable hosting LGBTQ guests, and despite the social stigma that exists in India, 100% of the Airbnb Hosts had voted YES. The feeling that I have, simply by knowing that a stranger is willing to open their home to me with a smile and a warm hug depsite of having so many differences is extremely special and comforting; and it would not be a streatch to say that it restores my faith in Humanity, mutual respect and co-existance.
Airbnb has taken up various initiatives such as #HostWithPride and #BelongAnywhere to sensatize hosts from time to time and make their stand crystal clear on non-discrimination. Their touching videos always leave me with goosebumps and a smile:
So THANK YOU Airbnb and all fellow hosts for your acceptance, respect and for hosting me with pride so that people like me can belong anywhere, too.
Have a great holiday season and let me know below what you are grateful for today.
Don't forget to hit the thumbs-up if you like my post :)
*Part of the Community Center's Month of Celebration
Very interesting your post @Jeet. My compliments! :)
I was brought up inland, in the central of Brazil, in Minas Gerais State. At that time, when I was a child and teenager, when I was being educated, I leanerd that, people should not impose their presence, however people should not also discriminate other people because of faith, religion or origins and other personal preferences as well. People from my hometown, at that time was somewhat conservative, but for being christians we were very friendly and receptive. The world was not so globalized yet, but we had access to what was happend around the world. Only many years after, I moved to a big city.
I and my wife are straights, but we both have had friends that has different life styles. They are great persons, some of them witty and creative. We think it is normal to have different choices, the world is diverse, and it enrichs the human being.
We have hosted also gays couples and single persons. We have never felt forced to do it. We host them because we think it is normal that people has different choices. Even if selectivity it was allowed, we would not do it.
We do not ask about personal preferences. Everyone that is respectiful and friendly are very welcome! We like meeting people! That is our way :) Our experience have been fine! :)
Hey @J Renato, that is so good to know :)
Thanks for taking the time to read my potst and sharing your thoughts. I am pleased to read about your experiecne.
I hope with every passing year, more and more hosts start welcoming everyone who is respectiful and friendly :)
Jeet, I think you understand mate, we here who belong to Airbnb host humans, we don't host genders.We host people based on how they carry themselves through life, not how much money they have in the bank or how successful they may have been.
In 1999 Ade and I spent 6 weeks in England visiting our eldest daughter, Sarah who was school teaching in London. We hadn't seen her for a year and we had a lot to catch up on. We had just done a tour of the Lords Cricket Ground and were walking along St Johns Wood Rd to have a drink in the Lords Tavern and I told her of good friends of ours who, as famillies we had known for 30 years and whose kids were the same ages as ours. Mary had just left Paul for another woman and being close to both involved I felt Sarah should know. She seemed to struggle with herself for a while and said.."Dad, I might be a swinger", to which I said, "So" and she started to cry, she said she had been in conflict with herself for so long because she thought we may judge her.
She now has a beautiful partner, she has 3 investment properties and is currently a lead star in a TV series here which is going international called 'The Secret Life of 4 & 5 Year Olds'...it has been sold to NZ and the UK, where the concept came from!
Sarah is a success because of who she is, not what gender she relates to.
Jeet you are always amongst friends mate....the only problem is, you don't realise how many!
@Robin, thank you so much for sharing a story which is so personal and thanks for being supportive parents. I can imagine how relieved and blessed Sarah might have felt after hearing those words from you.
It's true, we understatimate how much parents and friends love us, mainly due to the conditioning that we have since we enter this world which makes us feel that doing anything away from the "norm" is bad.
I am happy Sarah is doing great and can imagine how proud you must of her. Heading to watch an episode of The Secret Life of 4 & 5 Year Olds now ;)
@Jeet Good for you , Jeet ! Thanks for the great post !
Talking and sharing is the best gift we can give each other !! ;-D ;-D
That's what we are grateful for most of all. That, and still being here in this mad but wonderful world !
@Jeet thank you good man for your thoughtful post! I think that expression of Belong Anywhere is actually what everyone of us dreams for, hopes for, prays for(some of us) and wants more than anything else - as I've seen at Hospice for many years with those making an active exit that everyone is aware of at the time - it is ALL about our people, caring and LOVE. Seems there could be so much more peace and understanding if we truly opened our minds to that theme Belong Anywhere............many would never admit but we all strive for the same. Your style just makes for greater challenges and I am glad those are lessening with time. I just would love to push that clock and wipe out the craziness and allow ALL to truly belong ANYWHERE!
glad we know you just alittle Jeet! Peace & love
Hello @Clara, thanks for you compliments and for taking out the time to read and respond.
"Seems there could be so much more peace and understanding if we truly opened our minds to that theme Belong Anywhere", this is so true :)
Have a great holiday season, Cheers! :)
Thanks @Jeet for your insightful post. 🙌🏼 Humankind needs more recognition of equality in all matters, especially of the heart. ❤️
May you have a wonderful Christmas Season - surrounded by friends and family.
I wish for everyone on this platform to find peace, fun, laughter and love. If unable to be around family or friends, strive to find those who can positively provide the emotional support we all as humans need, to fill the void. For all that may be wrong in the world, there are many good humans striving to make it right! We are all warriors ... and our mission in life is to be true to ourselves and those around us..... 🎄🎄and to not tread on others as we achieve it.
Merry Christmas @Jeet.