After studying the 150 countries that had the most international tourists, travel bloggers at Asher & Lyric ranked the worst countries for LGBTQ travelers.
Among the factors considered were laws regarding same-sex relations, propaganda/morality laws, worker protections & protections against discrimination and more.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and 7th most populous in the world, has the dubious distinction of taking the top spot on the list.
Here are the top five most dangerous countries for LGBTQ travelers:
1. Nigeria – homosexuality receives up to 14 years in prison or the death penalty; the mere discussion of LGBTQ rights is illegal
2. Qatar – homosexual acts can result in 1-3 years in prison, flogging and/or the death penalty
3. Yemen – homosexuality among men can result in 100 lashes, a year in prison if unmarried or stoning to death if married; women caught in same-sex relations can receive 100 lashes and/or 3 years in prison
4. Saudi Arabia – homosexual acts can be punished by the death penalty, 100 lashes or banishment for a year; gender expression is illegal
5. Tanzania – homosexuality can be punished by 30 years to life in prison; ‘indecent behavior’ in regard to homosexuality can result in 5 years in prison
Asher & Lyric add that “certain cities, tourist areas or resorts can sometimes be LGBTQ+ friendly even when the laws of the country as a whole are very anti-LGBTQ+. In all cases, do your research.”
The travel bloggers also ranked the top 25 LGBTQ-friendly countries after checking out the legal rights and protections of each country:
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United States
Asher & Lyric note that the United States ranks surprisingly low (#24) on the LGBTQ-friendly list. They say that’s primarily because the laws and protections for LGBTQ people can vary so much from state to state as well as the fact there are no constitutional or broad protections for LGBTQ rights under federal law.
Click over to the travel blog for a full breakdown, country by country, of issues that should concern LGBTQ travelers.
The travel journalists also share lots of useful tips from LGBTQ travel experts. Here’s just a few:
• Having important documents with you (photo, name, gender marker, marriage license, healthcare power of attorney) especially if you are transgender or a married same-sex couple
• Being culturally aware of your surroundings in regard to dress and PDAs
• Researching LGBTQ-friendly businesses or tours at your destination before you leave for your trip – safety in numbers
• If you are trans, know where your next bathroom stop will be
• Check out Misterbnb for LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations. Similar to Airbnb, the service caters to the LGBTQ+ community. Hosts are usually members of the community themselves and can offer great tips on where and how to safely experience their city and its gay community.
• Be careful of the location feature on dating apps. In countries like Egypt, police have been known to create fake accounts to “catch” LGBTQ+ travelers looking to engage in “illegal activity.”
The writers were inspired to put together the report as one member of the blogging team, Lyric, grew up with a gay “uncle” who she realized later in life had to worry about issues like homophobia.