Many LGBT travelers sadly experience unjustifiable homophobia due to so many countries and cities being less up to speed on gay rights than most places we feel comfortable in. It can be very disheartening to find yourself having to deal with homophobic people and places whilst trying to experience traveling as a human being. Unfortunately, many LGBTQ+ people in these homophobic places, whether they are there to visit or have been there since birth, find themselves living in fear and unable to express themselves for who they are because of the way we are treated as unequal and inhuman. It remains unfair that we have to avoid certain places because of our sexuality, but we can only hope that one day the world changes for the better and we are accepted globally for our sexual orientation. However, for now, we will find places that make us feel proud to be who we are and uplift us to remain equal to others. We made a list of the best countries supporting LGBT rights, countries ranked by LGBT rights, and the most popular gay places to see.
Best Countries for LGBT Rights
The best countries for LGBT rights include those that have accepted movements and implicated new laws to reduce and hopefully remove all homophobic hate across the country, as well as ensuring equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are the top 8 countries with the best LGBT rights to ensure LGBT travel safety.
Canada is known to be one of the friendliest places in the world, particularly for the LGBT community. Same-sex activity was made legal on June 27TH, 1962, under the Criminal Law Amendment Act. Canada is often referred to as the most gay-friendly place in the whole world. In the largest cities, the country even has its own gay areas and communities, such as Montreal’s Gay Village commercial district, Vancouver’s Davie Village, and Ottawa’s Bank Street Gay Village. Canada celebrates gay pride every summer with festivals, parties, themed nights, and much more. Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights prohibits any discrimination by the government that LGBTQ+ people may be subjected to. Gay tourists in Canada are sure to feel welcome here.
Over the last few decades, Spain’s gay rights have been advancing at such a pace it has become one of the most popular spots for LGBT travelers from all over the world. Differences in sexual orientation in Spain even date all the way back to the Roman Empire, as they were known to be ‘open-minded’ when it came to sex and relationships. Even marriages between men were a thing in the days of the Roman Empire. Spain mainly hosts gay pride events from July to September, but in Spain, you will easily find many gay bars and LGBT-friendly clubs for a fiery nightlife and find plenty of things to do. Spain also hosts lots of LGBT campgrounds and resorts, with Gran Canaria being one of the most popular locations for this reason.
Sweden has been accepting gays for a long time, with ‘gay since 1994’ as its very own slogan! Sweden hosts the largest gay pride in the Nordic countries every year and has more gay prides per capita than anywhere else in the world. Sweden shares the number one spot for the best gay country for LGBT rights with Canada and is very popular with LGBT travelers because of its accepting citizens that don’t think twice about treating trans, gay, and lesbian people as equal citizens and tourists. Plus, you get to see the northern lights whilst you’re here!
Over the last few decades, Columbia has been consistently revolutionizing to become one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. With the most advanced laws in Latin America, consensual homosexual activity was decriminalized in Columbia in 1981, and gay marriage has been legal since 2016. Columbia is known for its gorgeous men, fabulous dancing, and fancy dress wear, all of which we look for in the LGBT community. Columbia started introducing laws against LGBT hate and discrimination from 2011 onwards and has been progressing ever since. Bogota’s Campanero is the largest gay club in Columbia that can hold up to 5000 people at once!
Germany remains famous for being one of the ‘gayest’ places in the world because of its accepting venues, citizens, tourists, and laws. Berlin is such a diverse place that everyone here feels at home because they can be themselves without ever feeling judged and having to look over their shoulder. There are over 30 pride events happening in Germany throughout the year, and Berlins pride being one of the biggest. Germany’s anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBT community came into action in 2006, and more recently, the country’s government has passed the law for gay marriage in 2019. Berlin’s nightlife is unbeatable, as well as having a fantastic gay scene and many LGBT clubs/pubs, it’s also super cheap, which makes it even better.
Although Malta doesn’t have its own designated Gay area like some of the others, it still remains one of the top-ranking gay-friendly countries in the world. There are plenty of gay bars and LGBT nightclubs spread across Malta, so you will have lots of drinking spots for a fantastic night out. Most of these clubs are found in a small city called Valetta. Malta has a reputation for being a very progressive country and is currently ranked as the tenth safest country in the world for LGBT travelers, as they had had gay rights in place protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination since 1973 (which was when same-sex activity was first legalized here). Maltese people are recognized for their hospitality and even now live up to their name of being welcoming and friendly people.
Iceland has been one of the top-ranking gay-friendly places for LGBT travelers for many years now, and it has held on to its spot near the top. Iceland doesn’t just tolerate and accept members of the LGBT community. Here, they are celebrated! Iceland has a strong representation of diverse sexuality even through its governing leaders, with one of the first gay governors coming out in 2009. Iceland has its own National Queer Organization that is now stronger and bigger than ever before. Pink Iceland, which is a popular LGBT tour guiding company, contributed to the prize of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All Stars Four by giving away a holiday to Iceland to two of the winning Queens. Although there are not many gay-specific bars here in Iceland, all of the clubs welcome all types of people, so you still get the same amazing atmosphere in all the clubs as you would in LGBT clubs, and anyone will find the nightlife here fantastic.
Portugal began its journey to becoming gay-friendly in 1982, which is when same-sex couples were legalized. Lisbon, in particular, has plenty of gay bars to keep your nightlife bouncing and also has its very own gay beach. So, you get to soak up the Portuguese rays by the beautiful beach and party all night with many other members of the LGBT community. Portuguese people have open arms to welcome tourists of all types and an open-minded attitude with no doubts around disregarding LGBT people at all.
What Gay Travel Blogger You Should Read?
Following a gay travel blog is a great way to stay tuned with all the updates on different cities, countries, and gay/LGBT experiences. You get to see what you’re getting into before you travel. Gay travel bloggers record all the good and bad parts of their experiences in all the places they travel in huge detail, practically taking you with them on your trip. There are hundreds of gay travel blogs that are easy to find on the internet, and now thanks to advancing social media, you can use hashtags to find gay travel blogs too.
For example, @justincblomgren on Instagram has a link to his blog in his bio, which makes it easy for you to find and follow. Reading Justin’s blog is super uplifting and inspiring; it’s the perfect place to look for information on different destinations to encourage you to plan your next trip! Justin divides his page up into different categories and headings, with amazing travel guides for different countries and cities. There is nothing worse than being on holiday and struggling to discover the cities best features and secrets just because google can’t keep up with us. But thankfully, bloggers like Justin are far from selfish and don’t keep any of the best spots to themselves. Gay travel blogs make it super easy for you to find all the best attractions, hidden gems, and best gay scenes, whatever it is you’re looking for!
Countries Ranked by LGBT rights
LGBT rights have been progressing in every country all over the world, some more than others. With all the best destinations for LGBT travelers being those with the best gay scenes and the most accepting citizens, we have also put together a list of the top 10 ranking countries in order of their LGBT rights;
- United Kingdom
- Uruguay li>Denmark
There are many other countries on par with some of these, like Germany, Iceland, New Zeeland, and Portugal. However, the competition lives on, and these remain the top ten to date! Hopefully, with more countries making more changes, we may have to make room for all these countries to share the top spot.
Remember These LGBT Travel Safety Rules
If you have just been skimming this article, I ask that you devote your attention to this section for just a moment.
Hate crime against LGBT people continues to happen all over the world; regardless of the changes we are seeing every day, it still isn’t enough. Until the day we no longer have to take extra precautions to stay safe as we discover different parts of the world, we must remain wise and educate ourselves around the importance of keeping safe.
Here are some LGBT traveler tips to ensure your visit to your next destination is successful.
Do Your Research
This one is probably the most important. Make sure you learn about where you are going before you travel. Search for gay traveler blogs on the same location, find out for yourselves if it really is gay friendly before you travel. It is sad but true that there are parts of the world where we are not safe and protected.
Rule out the Homophobic Destinations
Although it isn’t fair that we have to do this, it is important to stay away from the most dangerous places for LGBT travelers. You may feel like you’re missing out, but don’t fret about it. We don’t want to support homophobic places anyway, right? The most dangerous places for LGBTQ+ travelers are currently; Nigeria, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Iran, Sudan, Barbados, Malaysia, and Malawi. These places are too far behind when it comes to keeping up with the LGBT times.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask
If you need to ask for advice, go for it! There are lots of LGBT-targeted travel agencies all over the world to help you plan your trip.
Check the Laws
Please check the laws on LGBTQ+ rights before you travel. If there aren’t any in place to protect you, you are left at risk!
Find Where you can be Yourself
Be who you were born to be, unapologetically. Finding the best LGBT-friendly places will ensure your trip gives you the most freedom to do as and be who you please.