Worst and best places to travel to for the LGBTQ+ community

sonja krauss
04 Apr, 2021
7 min read
sonja krauss
04 Apr, 2021
7 min read


At the moment of writing this article, the 20th anniversary of the first legal same-sex marriage has just been celebrated. Marriage equality was first granted to same-sex couples on the first of April 2001 in the Netherlands. In those 20 years the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way. In more and more countries people can express themselves and their sexual orientation without repercussions. Take the annual gay pride which is celebrated around the globe. Despite all the positive developments for people of the LGBTQ+ community, there are sadly enough still countries and places where it would be unsafe to openly out yourself as anything but heterosexual. Pressing examples of restrictions to the LGTBQ+ community include the fact that transgender people are banned from entering certain countries, and that homosexuality is punishable by jail time or even death. In this article we will take a look at the most dangerous and the friendliest places for people to travel to and live for the LGBTQ+ community. Please keep in mind that this are general statistics. Even within the strictest countries there a progressive people who will not have troubles with anyone regardless of how they identify themselves. Moreover, even if some countries really frown upon homosexuality, you can probably still enjoy travelling there if you are mindful about publicly expressing your sexuality. That said, DNN hopes that soon enough people of all genders, ethnicities, or basically anything you identify as, will not suffer from any restrictions or prejudice; that we can all enjoy expressing ourselves to celebrate individuality. 

In an earlier mentioned article about “safest places to travel for female solo DNs” I mentioned the Women’s Danger Index. The awesome husband and wife duo Asher and Lyric Fergusson came through again and produced the “LGBTQ Danger Index”. Their study looked at eight factors to determine the livability of a country for LGTBQ+ members. These factors include: same-sex marriage rights, worker protections, discrimination protections, criminalization of violence, adoption recognition, illegal same-sex relationships and propaganda/morality laws. Moreover, they did not only rely on just numbers. The LGBTQ Danger Index also includes results of Gallup’s “is it a good place to live” survey, that asked locals about their experiences and opinions as to the safety and circumstances for the LGBTQ+ community in their country. 

If you want to see the full LGBTQ Danger Index, please follow the link. But, for the ease of reading this article. This is the list of the 20 worst countries for the LGBTQ+ community to travel and live in: 

  1. Nigeria
    1. Extreme penalties for simply discussing or being homosexual (punishable by up to 14 years in prison). Nigeria’s Same-Sex Prohibition Act which came into action in 2013 has caused increases in extortion and violence against members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  2. Qatar
    1. Acts of homosexuality are punishable by up to 3 years in prison, flogging, and death penalty. 
  3. Yemen
    1. Homosexuality (for both men and women) is punishably by prison time and 100 lashes. Married men carrying out homosexual act will face death by stoning.
  4. Saudi-Arabia
    1. Saudi Arabia also adheres to Sharia law. It implements the death penalty for consensual homosexuality. Other punishments may be banishment for one year or 100 lashes of a whip. Cross dressing for both genders is illegal, which is obviously problematic for trans members of the LGBTQ+ community. 
  5. Tanzania
    1. Homosexual acts are punished by 30 years to a lifelong prison sentence. Moreover, the government has been cracking down on LGBTQ+ activity recently. 
  6. Iran
    1. Iran’s extreme punishments for homosexuality include 100 lashes or death penalty. Same-sex acts other than intercourse are punished by 31 lashes. 
  7. Sudan
    1. The first two acts of sodomy are punished by 100 lashed and a 5 year prison sentence. The third offence is punished by a life long prison sentence or death penalty. In public, homosexuality is a taboo topic, and travelers should be extremely cautious and discreet about their sexuality. 
  8. Barbados
    1. The island’s unfriendliness towards the LGBTQ+ community stems from the time of British occupation. However, the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) announced plans to start challenging the current anti-LGBTQ+ laws. 
  9. Malaysia
    1. The tourism minister of Malaysia denies the existence of gay people within the country. Malaysia’s interpretation of the Sharia law, makes homosexuality punishable for up to 20 years, whipping, and fines. 
  10. Malawi
    1. Same-sex acts result for 5 years of prison for women and 14 years for men. This can be with or without a physical (whipping) punishment. Pro-LGBTQ+ organizations are banned by the Malawi government. 
  11. Zambia
    1. Same-sex acts are punishably by up to 7 years in prison. This also goes for foreign travelers.
  12. Saint Lucia
    1. Consensual same-sex acts can earn 10 years in prison. The current anti-LGBTQ+ laws are under review.
  13. Uganda
    1. Pro-LGBTQ+ organizations are banned and homosexual intercourse can result in life in prison. It may even become worse for the LGBTQ+ community within the country. The Ugandan government recently announced the idea of reintroducing an anti-homosexuality bill. This would include the death penalty of any same-sex act. 
  14. Pakistan
    1. Same-sex relationships are considered taboo, but funnily enough it will sometimes not be spoken about and just overlooked as long as someone marries someone of the opposite sex. That said, homosexual intercourse can result in up to 10 years in prison with a fine, or the choice of extending it to a life long sentence. 
  15. West Bank and Gaza
    1. Pro-LGBTQ+ organisations are threatened by the Palestinian authorities. Homosexual acts can result in 10 years of prison. 
  16. Kenya
    1. Currently, same-sex intercourse results in 14 years in prison. Other same-sex acts are punished by 5 years in prison. However, the Kenyan government is discussing the decriminalization of gay sex to enlarge LGBTQ+ travel to Kenya. 
  17. Maldives
    1. All homosexual acts and same-sex marriage are punished by 8 years in prison or 100 lashes. The laws are enforced within the main cities, but luckily enough overlooked in most resorts. 
  18. Jamaica
    1. Jamaica has still a low of anti-LGBTQ+ laws and the community often still falls victim to homophobic violence.
  19. Ethiopia
    1. All same-sex acts are punished by 15 years in prison.
  20. Egypt
    1. Same-sex acts are rewarded with 3 years in prison and a fine. The possession of homosexual materials results in up to 2 years in prison and a fine. The police is also known for “catfishing” the community through dating apps to find LGBTQ+ people. 


After all the “bad” we also have some good news. There are obviously a lot of countries where it is safe for everyone to be who they are. The article will just give you a list of the 20 safest countries, because let’s be honest, if they are in the top 20, do you want to know why they are there? They are safe and awesome places for your next travels 😊 

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

Well there’s that, an overview of the worst and best countries to travel to for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Do you have some experiences as a member of the community in your city or country? Why not add it to the city guide? Or write an article about the LGBTQ+ community in your country (please include some nice bars and going out places, everyone loves to party 😊) Hopefully this list got you inspired for your next travels. Good luck and stay safe!