Ease Your Travel Fears With The Whym App

 

Earlier this week I discussed some of the best travel safety tips for LGBT travelers. In that article, I mentioned the whym app (intentionally lowercase). The idea of whym is simple they connect travelers to a real bilingual human within 60 seconds over a smartphone app.

 

For LGBT travelers this app is an absolute MUST.

Many LGBT people’s worst fear is being the victim of a biased based crime. Now let’s toss in some additional travel elements to this and it’s the stuff of anxiety nightmares. BOOM you’re traveling in a country where they don’t speak the language… BOOM you don’t know how LGBT people are viewed in this culture…. BOOM you’re gender nonconforming and aren’t sure which gender is safest in that moment.

These are some of the biggest reasons LGBT people stick to the gayborhoods and countries that advertise heavily to the LGBT community. We have the general travel fears of any traveler and then we have identity specific fears.

So what do we do? We use every step that we can to take precaution and be prepared.  

One of those steps should be to download the whym app.

The whym app is the LGBT travelers emergency tool kit.

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Even if it’s not an LGBT identity-based issue, the app is super useful in an emergency.

You’re lost in a city.

You’re sick and at the hospital.

You’ve been the victim of a crime and need help reporting.

The app enables anyone to access a professional interpreter at the tap of their smartphone. It’s actually pretty innovative in its simplicity.

Reaching a real life genuine human being is actually pretty difficult these days. Ever try to call Comcast? #CaseInPoint

I can’t remember the last time a company encouraged real human interaction let alone built their entire tech business model around it. With whym, you’re still in a shitty and stressful situation, but at least you understand what’s happening around you. The difference between understanding and not understanding can be pivotal in an emergency.

Whym interpreters are bound by a professional code of ethics. I reached out asking what kind of policies they have in place to support LGBT customers. They responded, “The ethics code for any professional interpreter is that interpreters will not discriminate in any way -this includes racial, gender identity/expression, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation – or let their own feelings/thoughts/opinions influence their translation. We expect, as we aim only to attach the best interpreters in the world to our service, that all of our interpreters follow this code of professionalism at all times.”

At the end of the day, I prefer to be prepared for bias when it arises. Download whym in case of emergency. Being able to effectively communicate what is happening and having an interpreter explain the context is essential for LGBT travelers who experience bias at higher rates. You’re talking to a real person. You’re not typing words into your phone and trying to read out the translation without butchering their language. All around it’s a great tool to add to your kit when you’re abroad.

Now for the details

How much does this cost? whym for Android subscription costs $0.84 per month. whym for iOS is an annual subscription. It costs $14.62 a year and you will be sent a reminder to renew at the end of your subscription. Oh and good news, you don’t need data or wifi to use whym. What more info? Check out their FAQ.

 

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MOTIVATION

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LGBT CULTURE

“When We Were Invisible”- The Fight for LGBT Equality in Peru

TRAVEL

40 safety tips for LGBT Travelers

 

This blog post was made possible via a partnership with whym. As always, I only recommend products I truly love and would use myself.