Superhost advice for welcoming LGBTQ+ guests
Each month we’re sharing the latest updates from the Host Advisory Board and helping you get to know the board members.
I’m Peter Kwan, a Superhost in San Francisco and a member of the Host Advisory Board. Since I became a Host almost 10 years ago, I’ve been advocating for the hosting community—including groups that are often overlooked in society, like seniors and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
In honor of Pride, I participated in Airbnb’s “Made Possible by (Queer) Hosts” event earlier this month. It was a vibrant discussion with a group of queer Host leaders about how we as LGBTQ+ Hosts contribute to Airbnb’s success in making belonging a reality.
Below you can find out how to help LGBTQ+ guests feel safer in your space, plus what I’ve gained from being involved with my local hosting community.
Becoming a more inclusive Host
I encourage Hosts, in whatever way they’re comfortable, to say that their home is a safe space for LGBTQ+ guests in their listing description. In San Francisco, it’s not a big deal for same-sex couples to walk down the street holding hands. But for a lot of guests who come from countries with different norms or rules, providing this local context can be comforting.
If a Host can let guests know that they’re not only coming to a safe city, they’re also coming to a safe home, that can make a big difference for the guest’s peace of mind. Guests should be able to know before they ring the doorbell that they'll be greeted with open arms with their same-sex partner, consistent with Airbnb’s mission of helping people “belong anywhere.”
I know LGBTQ+ Hosts in San Francisco who have a photo on their listing with a rainbow flag in the corner and their description talks about their identity and the kind of activism they've been involved in.You can also do strategic things to help make LGBTQ+ guests more comfortable once they arrive, like offering queer guides to the city and books about LGBTQ+ history. That makes a big difference in helping guests feel welcome.
Finding support in your local community
After I became a Host, I realized that there weren’t many places to find answers to all of my questions.
I started a Host community support group in 2012, and we’ve met every month since.
Hosting can be a very lonely thing to do, so my advice for new Hosts is to join a local Host Club—or start one if it doesn’t exist yet. Rather than learning how to be a great Host through trial and error, you can learn through other people's experiences—and you can forge great friendships.It’s really gratifying helping other Hosts, both in terms of the basics of hosting—like how to navigate the platform—and inviting Airbnb team members to explain new products and discuss regulatory changes at our Host Club meetings.
Why I’m also a champion for senior Hosts
Seniors aren’t usually a high-profile group when people talk about inclusivity and diversity in the hosting community—and they really warrant our attention.
I learned that on Airbnb, seniors are one of the fastest-growing groups of new Hosts in the U.S., and female seniors in the U.S. consistently have the best reviews.*
One of the things I want to do as a member of the Host Advisory Board is raise the profile of seniors and help ensure that when Airbnb works on a product, they think about us.
One of my greatest joys recently is a subgroup I formed for senior Hosts called Golden Hosts. I'm a card-carrying member of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), so as long as you're qualified to be an AARP member, you can join Golden Hosts.
The Golden Hosts group is growing, and they’re some of my favorite members of the hosting community these days. Pre-COVID, we’d go to a member’s house every month for a potluck dinner together. It was really great.In the club, seniors teach each other about hosting. Like any other group, seniors can be quick to learn about technology and the many digital advances changing our lives, or may need focused training or support that can provide the most effective education.
What the Host Advisory Board has been up to recently
- Participating in Airbnb’s Global Host Tours in May and sharing more about the Community Fund grant recipients in our areas
- Consulting on diversity and belonging initiatives, like accessibility policies
- Providing feedback on Community Support, like improvements to Airbnb’s Help Center
Find out more about what the Host Advisory Board has been up to, and stay tuned for monthly updates and tips from board members.*According to Airbnb’s report “Airbnb’s Growing Community of 60+ Women Hosts”
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