This article was published on January 26th, 2020
The past decade or so has seen LGBTQ travel safety improve by leaps and bounds. Despite these gains, however, there are still a slew of countries that are relatively unsafe for people in the community, and the risks can be too great to consider visiting. There are still stoning and flogging done in many countries still to this day, and the death penalty still applies to several more. In fact, being gay is illegal in a lot of countries and that status is not likely to change any time soon.
The LGBTQ community has stepped up all over the world in an attempt to alert anyone traveling where the most dangerous places are. Now, there stands an LGBTQ+ Danger index that has ranked each country from most dangerous to safest, an effective took for travelers wishing to see more of the world in a secure way. The world we live in is so layered and complex that it can be quite difficult to stay abreast of the latest news affecting various parts of the world, and HomoCulture aims to provide insight across the four corners of the earth.
The following are just examples of a few countries that are part of an expansive list of those that are quite dangerous for people in the queer community. For further details, check out the website and plan accordingly as things can change very quickly in some instances.
Topping the list for the worst country for the LGBTQ community is Nigeria, which has on record a slew of recorded violent acts against gay travelers. In the country, people can be imprisoned for 14 years simply for being gay, with some states acting under Sharia law, which comes with the death penalty. For anyone traveling there, it is advisable to be vigilant, and know the laws in the areas you are visiting.
It was only in 2001 that China removed homosexuality as a mental disorder, making the country one of the most dubious on the list to put it mildly. Although it is now legal and there are bars and clubs for the LGBT+ community to attend, many of the groups and events receive bans quite frequently, so travelers are warned to proceed with extreme caution, particularly in mainland China. Hong Kong is an exception to the rule, generally speaking.
Under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, Russia has only increased its distaste for the LGBT+ community, with many prominent activists killed or reported missing. Countrymen that follow Russian gay marriage laws have either fled the country or gone into hiding, with more rights currently under regression status than ever before. Traveling to Russia is not advised for gay tourists, even with homosexuality technically completely legal in the courts.
Travel around the world and on every continent can change quite quickly and dramatically, with some of the nuances only experienced on the streets. The problem is that many incidents occurring within the community go unreported, making an index even that much harder to update and 100% accurate. If you do happen to travel to any of the above areas and others listed on the index, attempt to make contact with gays living there and do your research so as not to wind up a statistic.