It’s time to travel the world.
When you’re straight, with an opposite sex partner, it’s easy to just book a place and not have to worry about how the locals may perceive you. As an LGBTQ+ traveller, however, it can be a different story.
The first thing to say here, is whilst the countries mentioned are not particularly safe for LGBTQ+ travellers, there are some worse than others. Some countries will give the death sentence to those who are homosexual. Others carry prison sentences. And some may have ropey rights in place, but the attitude towards same-sex partnership still isn’t the best.
Travel website Asher & Lyric have created an in-depth look at danger for LGBTQ+ travellers around the world. Some results aren’t shocking. Others may make you rethink what you thought of a place. (Ahem, Maldives, I’m looking at you.)
Their ‘Danger Index’ ranks 150 countries, from the best places to visit to the worst as an LGBTQ+ traveller.
They took into account countries stances on same-sex marriage and their rights, worker protections, discrimination protections, criminalisation of violence towards LGBTQ+ individuals, adoption, same-sex relationships, and propaganda/morality rates.
They also ran a poll, asking locals if the area was a good place to live as an LGBTQ+ person.
As I recently wrote in my piece on Turkey, some countries have LGBTQ+ rights, but many who identify as a member of the community keep it secret.
Coming in first place for the most dangerous place to be living or visiting as an LGBTQ+ person, was Nigeria.
Homosexuality carries a prison sentence, or death in Nigeria. It’s even illegal to discuss LGBTQ+ rights in Nigeria.
Qatar was second, where the death penalty is carried, and Yemen was third, with a one year prison sentence if you’re single.
Saudi Arabia was fourth, where rights for LGBTQ+ people are not recognised. Homosexuality and being transgender is seen as immoral. Saudi Arabia has been known to publicly beat those who are ‘guilty’ of homosexuality, or even cross dressing.
Tanzania was fifth, and Iran sixth, with possible death sentences or 100 lashes. Sudan seventh.
And beautiful Barbados? Well, not so good. Being LGBTQ+ carries a life in prison, though the actual sentencing is supposedly rarely carried out. The law is under review, since 2016, and an Attorney General said that the community should be ‘left alone’, and protected under the law. It’s the first country in the list not to offer the death penalty.
Malaysia was ninth. Malawi tenth, and any pro-LGBTQ+ groups are banned. Zambia eleventh. Saint Lucia twelfth.
Uganda was thirteenth, and Pakistan fourteenth. W. Bank & Gaze fifteenth. Kenya was sixteenth.
Following Kenya at number seventeen was the Maldives. However, whilst previously researching the Maldives, many said that being an LGBTQ+ tourist was fine, and that locals were nice. However, public affection should be avoided.
Jamaica was eighteenth. Ethiopia nineteenth, and rounding up the top twenty was Egypt, where possession of same-sex material will get you imprisoned.
It’s easy to forget places closer to home (the UK), which have been behind on LGBTQ+ rights. Only recently, Northern Ireland legalised same-sex marriage.
Other countries that are not pro-LGBTQ+, and are further down the list, include Iraq, where any songs or broadcasts mentioning LGBTQ+ people receives one year in prison and a fine. Russia came in 42nd place, with pro-LGBTQ+ groups meeting repercussions. There has also been talk about gay men being murdered. Turkey found itself at number 67.
Hopefully, as people progress, things will get better. Studies like this are stark reminders of the need for Pride.