Top LGBTQ-Friendly Destinations: Unveiling the Safest Countries for LGBTQ Travelers

2023-10-10 00:50:24 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Are you searching for the best LGBTQ friendly destination to explore without worrying about discrimination or prejudice? Look no further! This article dives into the most LGBTQ friendly country, revealing how the USA ranks in terms of LGBTQ inclusivity. We'll also discuss whether LGBTQ travelers should avoid visiting "anti-LGBTQ" countries and unveil the top 20 safest countries for LGBTQ travelers. Get ready to embark on an eye-opening journey filled with valuable insights and discover the ultimate LGBTQ friendly destinations worldwide.

The Most LGBTQ Friendly Country

Canada holds the top spot as the most LGBTQ friendly country in the world for the third consecutive year. Sweden comes in second place, followed by the Netherlands. According to Fergusson, "Canada has a remarkable track record when it comes to LGBTQ rights. They were among the pioneers in legalizing same-sex marriage, they have constitutional protections against discrimination, and most Canadians consider it to be a safe place for gay and lesbian individuals to live."

However, there is still progress to be made. Fergusson adds, "That being said, every country, including Canada, still has a long way to go in translating these laws into practical implementation. For instance, Canada has had 0.24 trans murders per million population in the past decade, and any number above 0 is cause for concern."

It's important to note that these problems are not limited to Canada alone. Fergusson states, "Nearly all the top countries for LGBTQ people have reported cases of trans murders, highlighting the significant work that still needs to be done to ensure the safety of our LGBTQ communities."

An image of Sungai Kebun Bridge in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, which has been identified as the most dangerous country for LGBTQ travelers.

How LGBTQ Friendly is the USA?

In addition to ranking countries, Spartacus also evaluates each state and territory in the USA using the same criteria. With an overall score of 5, the USA is on par with Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico, and South Africa. However, four states stand out with a score of 11, placing them among the top LGBTQ friendly destinations in the world. California, Colorado, New York, and Washington State are considered the most LGBTQ friendly states in the USA. On the other end of the spectrum, Oklahoma ranks at the bottom with a score of -5.

An image of tents on the Kilimanjaro trek in Tanzania.

Should LGBTQ Travelers Avoid 'Anti-LGBTQ' Countries?

Deciding to travel to a potentially hostile destination is a personal choice, whether LGBTQ or not. Only you can determine if your curiosity outweighs any possible discomfort. Should LGBTQ travelers forgo visiting Egypt, Kenya, or Morocco due to local attitudes? The answer is no. Furthermore, most of the time, the locals in these countries are still welcoming despite the existence of discriminatory laws or rankings in indexes like Spartacus.

For example, Nairobi, Kenya has a significant underground LGBTQ community and has provided refuge for LGBTQ individuals from neighboring countries, even though same-sex relationships are technically illegal. As of now, the country's supreme court and government are at odds over LGBTQ organizations' right of association. Dubai is home to an active underground LGBTQ scene, primarily led by expats who gather without harassment despite the theoretical possibility of a death penalty (no arrests have been made since 2015). In contrast, Russia, where homosexuality is legally permitted (though travel in general is currently discouraged), poses greater dangers for its LGBTQ citizens, particularly outside of Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

In countries like these, discretion is often essential. Of course, it can still be uncomfortable if you are traveling with children or concerned about your gender identity being questioned at border crossings. The bottom line is to follow your heart and prioritize your safety while creating memorable experiences around the world. With the list of LGBTQ friendly destinations changing each year, you never know what new adventures await you in the future.

20 Safest Countries for LGBTQ Travelers

  1. Canada
  2. Sweden
  3. The Netherlands
  4. Malta
  5. Norway
  6. Portugal
  7. Spain
  8. Denmark
  9. Belgium
  10. United Kingdom
  11. France
  12. Iceland
  13. Switzerland
  14. Ireland
  15. Luxembourg
  16. South Africa
  17. Germany
  18. Chile
  19. Uruguay
  20. Austria

Saudi Arabia is identified as one of the most dangerous countries for LGBTQ travelers.

In a world where acceptance and diversity should be embraced, LGBTQ travelers should never have to compromise their safety or wellbeing. From the vibrant streets of San Francisco to the romantic canals of Amsterdam, there is a multitude of LGBTQ friendly destinations that stand as beacons of hope and inclusivity. While progress has undoubtedly been made, it is crucial that we remain informed about the varying levels of acceptance in different countries, ensuring that our global travels are both joyful and secure. So, whether you're seeking a thrilling adventure or a serene getaway, let love guide you to the most LGBTQ friendly destinations where you'll be embraced with open arms.

Showing page 1 of 11