Updated: Nov 3, 2021
I've not lived the experience of an LGBTIQ+ traveller and it's inconceivable to me in this day and age that they may be treated differently to any other traveller. We can only hope for enlightenment and change, but in the meantime there are still some countries where how you identify can be not just a matter of dealing with everyday prejudice, but be downright dangerous or even illegal. Obviously these are not places where the LGBTIQ+ community want to risk their safety, nor, presumably do they want to contribute their hard-earned cash to those economies. So which countries should be on the LGBTIQ+ blacklist?
According to a report by Asher Fergusson, Erin Smith and Lyric Fergusson, who studied criteria such as whether countries recognised same-sex marriage; had protection in the workplace for LGBTIQ+ people, allowed same sex couples to adopt, as well as whether LGBITQ+ people in those countries considered it a good place to live, Nigeria rates as the worst, bottoming out at 60th on the list.
The study notes that being homosexual in Nigeria can result in 14 years imprisonment or even death if sentenced under Sharia law.
(pic: Teddy Osterblom - Unsplash)
Among the lowest ranked countries, were a couple of surprises for me - Malaysia and Jamaica. I've visited the first and thought it a fairly liberal Asian country, however apparently laws there could see LBGTIQ+ folk subjected to 20 years in prison, or a whipping. In Jamaica, there's still a law on 'buggery' left over from its colonial days that could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years with hard labour. I was also surprised to Malawi rating so low, having visited that African country and finding the people among the warmest and kindest on the continent. (But then a government or its laws is not always representative of its people.. right?)
So where are the safest places for LGBTIQ+ travellers? Heading up the list, unsurprisingly, given its sterling reputation in human rights is Canada.
Below is the top 10 BEST list (FYI - The United States is at number 20, Australia at 14 and New Zealand at 16):
5. Portugal 6. Belgium
WORST 10 List
159. Saudi Arabia
If you're interested in reading more in depth, the full report can be found here:
I'd love to know, if you identify as LBGTIQ+ whether you agree with this list or you've had personal experiences, either positive or negative with any of the countries on it.