Young Pioneer Tours

A study of the world’s most dangerous countries for LGBTQ+ travel reveals the good, the average and the utterly grotesque

Guest article by Hannelore Oberbauer, student at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Instead of relying on hearsay and anecdotes from other travelers, we took a deep look at LGBTQ+ rights, country by country. We’ve gathered data from a variety of trusted international sources to create a “LGBTQ+ Danger Index” that will help you find the worst (and safest) countries for LGBTQ+ travel.

Being born this way can be rough, but one thing should not give you anxiety when you’re trans, bi, lesbian, queer, or gay: travel. Europe, North America, Oceania, Africa, Asia, and South America all have LGBTQ-safe countries where it’s OK to just be you. These are some of the best places for LGBTQ+ travel enthusiasts to go, where queer and trans individuals have important basic rights and protections like marriage equality, constitutional protections, and hate-crime punishments for targeted violence. By looking at the legal rights of each country, we found these top 25 LGBTQ-friendly countries, which often serve as the top gay vacation destinations for travelers the world over:

  1. Sweden
  2. Canada
  3. Norway
  4. Portugal
  5. Belgium
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Finland
  8. France
  9. Iceland
  10. Spain
  11. Malta
  12. New Zealand
  13. Netherlands
  14. Denmark
  15. South Africa
  16. Ireland
  17. Australia
  18. Uruguay
  19. Colombia
  20. Austria
  21. Germany
  22. Slovenia
  23. Luxembourg
  24. United States
  25. Guam

One country might surprise you for not ranking highly on our list: the United States. One reason for that is, of course, that there is a great deal of variation in gay rights depending on the state you’re in. There are also no constitutional or broad protections for LGBTQ+ rights under federal law in the U.S. Also, in some states, LGBTQ+ youth do not have access to helpful information, with these so-called “no-promo homo” laws counting in the “propaganda/morality” category. The U.S. might have come far, but it has a long way to go in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, especially for young transgender people.

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