A Study of the World’s most Dangerous Countries for LGBTQ+ Travel

Instead of relying on hearsay and anecdotes from other travelers, we took a deep look at LGBTQ+ rights, country by country. We’ve gathered data from a variety of trusted international sources to create a “LGBTQ+ Danger Index” that will help you find the worst (and safest) countries for LGBTQ+ travel.

At the end of the article we also have 37 LGBTQ+ travel safety tips shared by four travel experts.

Correction 11/20/19: Sweden has now moved to #1 and Canada has now moved to the #2 spot. We were alerted to the fact that Sweden does have hate crime protections and Canada does have constitutional protections which were misrepresented in our original data sources.

Our methodology

We looked at the top 150 most-visited countries in the world by number of incoming tourists, then examined LGBTQ+ rights by country. We created our LGBTQ+ danger index based on a total of eight factors.

Positive factors

  • Legalized Same-Sex Marriage (0 to +50 Points) — Is same-sex marriage legal and equal under the law in this country? If marriage is not equal, are civil unions legal? If not, does the country legally recognize foreign LGBTQ+ marriages? We ranked the scores for this metric based on how many years same-sex marriage has been legal in this country. Civil unions and other types of partnerships received half points and were also ranked by number of years they have been legal.Source: Recognition of same-sex relationships – Human Rights Watch
  • LGBTQ+ Worker Protections (0 to +50 Points) — For the people living in that country, are there legal protections against discrimination in the workplace? Full points were awarded for both sexual orientation and gender protection; half points were awarded for sexual orientation protection only.Source: LGBTQ+ Worker Protections – The World Policy Center
  • Legal Protections Against Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination (0 to +50 Points) — Are there either constitutional or broad legal protections of LGBTQ+ people in this country? Constitutional protections were awarded full points; broad protections were awarded half points.Source: Sexual Orientation Laws 2019 – ILGA
  • Criminalization of Hate-Based Violence (0 to +50 Points) — Is anti-LGBTQ+, hate-based, or homophobia-inspired violence considered a hate crime in this country? Is hate-based, anti-LGBTQ+ speech considered hate speech? The existence of hate crime penalties received full points; incitement-only punishments received half points.Source: Criminalization of Hate-Based Violence 2017 – ILGA
  • Adoption Recognition (0 to +50 Points) — Is joint adoption and/or second-parent adoption legal in this country for same-sex parents? The recognition of both joint and second-parent adoption received full points, while only second-parent adoption recognition received half points.Source: Adoption Recognition 2017 – ILGA
  • Gallup Poll Scores (0 to +100 points) — In a 2018 Gallup poll, individuals were asked, “Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for gay and lesbian people?” The percentages represented and used in our metrics include those who said “good place” for that country. We gave this factor a double weighting because it gives a very good pulse on the general attitude towards LGBTQ+ people in that country.Source: Gallup World Poll (2018 Data)

Negative factors

  • Illegal LGBTQ+ Relationships and Acts (0 to -100 Points) — Can “sodomy,” “indecent acts,” or “buggery” result in punishments under the law such as physical violence, a fine, or prison time? Any possible death sentences or life-in-prison sentences under the law receive the maximum -100 safety penalty. All other punishments were ranked by severity. We gave this factor a negative double weighting because the fact that homosexuality is illegal and can receive the death sentence means that the laws of these countries are definitely not favorable to LGBTQ+ people.Source: Global Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws – Human Rights Watch
  • Propaganda/Morality Laws (0 to -50 Points) — Are there laws sanctioned by the state to prevent the dissemination or publication of information about queer culture? Are there laws affecting the creation of LGBTQ+ advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? This metric was graded based on the severity of the punishments.Source: State Sponsored Homophobia 2017 – ILGA

To measure LGBTQ+ safety abroad, one cannot look only at data on whether or not same-sex marriage is legal and if anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination laws are in place. It also depends on the general attitude of the culture, minutiae of the legal system, and oppression of LGBTQ+ rights. These issues can affect everything, from your ability to show public displays of affection to being able to share a hotel room bed to the capacity at which you can use dating apps without being caught by the local police. A few items on our list, such as adoption recognition and worker protections may not affect LGBTQ+ travelers directly, but these factors are a good indication of overall attitudes within the culture.

Where are same-sex relationships illegal?

There are some places on the planet where it’s perfectly ordinary to kiss or hold hands with a same-sex partner in public, but in other places, that action could result in fines, imprisonment, hard labor, whipping, or, in some cases, death. These countries where homosexuality is illegal are also often severe human rights violators, usually penalizing male/male sexuality and/or trans women most harshly.

Unfortunately, some countries where it’s illegal to be gay or trans also happen to be popular vacation spots. For instance, it’s illegal to be gay in Jamaica; the “buggery law,” which is leftover from the colonial era, allows for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison including hard labor. Jamaica was called “the most homophobic place on Earth” by Time magazine in 2006. That label has clung to Jamaica ever since, and with good reason. In a 2013 survey of 71 LGBTQ+ people conducted by Human Rights Watch, more than half said they had been victims of homophobic violence. Non-violent discrimination is even more pervasive, with bullying and exclusion faced in education, healthcare and within local communities. Although there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Jamaica since there are signs that it’s moving toward reform.

Those looking for trans- and gay-travel-safe countries should reconsider popular vacation destinations like Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Myanmar, and Egypt as well as some of the more popular beaches in the Caribbean, like Saint Lucia and Barbados.

Click the below image for a larger view.

Please note: All countries marked with an asterisk* in the below list were former British colonies and their anti-LGBTQ+ laws mostly came into effect under British rule.


(CLICK the country names for more details on their anti-LGBTQ+ laws)


Saint Lucia*


The following countries are not in the top 150 most visited by international tourists, so they have not been included in our LGBTQ+ Danger Index graphic above. However, same-sex relationships are illegal:

Antigua and Barbuda*



Saint Kitts and Nevis*

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines*


(Click the country names for more details on their anti-LGBTQ+ laws)






















The following countries are not in the top 150 most visited by international tourists, so they have not been included in our LGBTQ+ Danger Index graphic above. However, same-sex relationships are illegal:











Sierra Leone*


South Sudan*

Middle East

(Click the country names for more details on their anti-LGBTQ+ laws)



Saudi Arabia



West Bank and Gaza*

United Arab Emirates (UAE)*



The following country is not in the top 150 most visited by international tourists, so it has not been included in our LGBTQ+ Danger Index graphic above. However, same-sex relationships are illegal:




(Click the country names for more details on their anti-LGBTQ+ laws)



Sri Lanka*



The following countries are not in the top 150 most visited by international tourists, so they have not been included in our LGBTQ+ Danger Index graphic above. However, same-sex relationships are illegal:




Cook Islands*


Papua New Guinea*


Solomon Islands*




South America

(Click the country name for more details on their anti-LGBTQ+ laws)


The homophobic legacy of the British Empire

As noted, an asterisk next to the country names in the above list means that it was a former British colony. A whopping 47 of the 70 countries that have illegal same-sex relationships were part of the British Empire. That is 67%! This isn’t a coincidence. In almost all cases, the laws outlawing consensual gay sex were put into place under British rule and were left in place following independence.

India is an example country that has only in 2018 managed to annul Section 377, a British colonial-era law prohibiting “unnatural acts,” in order to legalize consensual gay sex. Ancient Indian literature such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana have many references to LGBTQ+ heroes including transgender warriors and two queens who made love in order for one queen to get pregnant with an heir for their kingdom. Long story short, this points to the fact that it was likely the British influence that largely led to Indian homophobia in the first place.

Which are the top 25 safest countries
for LGBTQ+ travelers?

Being born this way can be rough, but one thing should not give you anxiety when you’re trans, bi, lesbian, queer, or gay: travel. Europe, North America, Oceania, Africa, Asia, and South America all have LGBTQ-safe countries where it’s OK to just be you. These are some of the best places for LGBTQ+ travel enthusiasts to go, where queer and trans individuals have important basic rights and protections like marriage equality, constitutional protections, and hate-crime punishments for targeted violence. By looking at the legal rights of each country, we found these top 25 LGBTQ-friendly countries, which often serve as the top gay vacation destinations for travelers the world over:

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

One country might surprise you for not ranking highly on our list: the United States. One reason for that is, of course, that there is a great deal of variation in gay rights depending on the state you’re in. There are also no constitutional or broad protections for LGBTQ+ rights under federal law in the U.S. Also, in some states, LGBTQ+ youth do not have access to helpful information, with these so-called “no-promo homo” laws counting in the “propaganda/morality” category. The U.S. might have come far, but it has a long way to go in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, especially for young transgender people.

How many countries have
legalized gay marriage?

As of now, 27 countries have marriage equality (which will soon be 28 once it becomes legal in Costa Rica), and 11 countries provide civil unions or partnerships. Two countries — Bulgaria and Israel — do not allow marriage equality for their citizens but formally recognize marriages overseas (Armenia will as well soon). See a list of same-sex-marriage countries and their laws to see when those laws were enacted and how each country’s laws work.

Countries with marriage equality laws are often great spots for LGBT+ vacations, but be aware that gay travel to rural or fundamentalist communities can be dangerous in almost any country — definitely don’t make assumptions when visiting smaller towns and communities.

What other countries might be a problem for
LGBTQ+ international travelers?

Sixty-four of the 150 most-visited countries offer at least some form of legal protection for LGBTQ+ people, but 47 of the 150 countries penalize either sexual acts or the dissemination of information about their rights. That leaves roughly 39 of the most-visited countries with no legal language for or against trans and queer people. This creates a gray area where it’s not quite safe to be out but not immediately threatening.

One of those countries is Japan. While LGBTQ+ representation in Japanese media has been positive and the Japanese public has consistently polled in favor of same-sex marriage, there’s a long way to go as far as legislation outside of the major cities.

But the conversation about danger is a little bit different than the question of which countries do not allow gay marriage. Japan is rarely dangerous, with 35% of locals saying Japan is a “good place” for gay people to live, while Russia frequently polls at only 9%. Countries like Armenia (at 3%), Kyrgyzstan (4%), and Mongolia (6%) all may be bad places to go as well, despite not having any formal anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that could harm travelers.

Beyond gay-marriage-illegal countries, here are some real problem places among the list of most-visited countries in the world:

IraqMozambique, and Bahrain are also examples of countries where same-sex relations are not illegal in the traditional sense but expression of LGBTQ+ sexuality has been suppressed and may still be considered “indecency” with legal consequences, depending on the circumstance.

If the country you want to visit is in one of those gray areas, consider reading more about it, talking to fellow travelers, or doing a bit more research before booking a flight.

If you don’t know whether or not the country you’re visiting will be safe, check the U.S. State Department’s write-ups for LGBTQ+ travelers. The Human Rights Watch’s country profiles are a good place to find information, too.

37 safety tips shared by
four LGBTQ+ travel experts

As one can plainly see, LGBTQ+ travel safety varies a great deal, from relative comfort to the real possibility of danger. We looked at the specific legal status of rights abroad as well as polling information to create our LGBTQ+ travel index, but the on-the-street experience can be much more nuanced. Because anti-LGBTQ+ crime and harassment is rarely reported, especially not on an international scale, it’s hard to find data to inform travelers of what walking the streets might be like. Beyond our list, ask other queer people and allies there before you go. Make an online friend, do your research, and take your time.

Want to get tips from our four LGBTQ+ travel experts?

Keep reading!

8 tips from a trans travel expert

Aaron Edwards, an FTM trans travel blogger, shares the following helpful tips on staying safe while traveling.

1. Remember to bring all your documents

If possible, try to travel with documents that reflect who you currently are. (Or as close as you can be given the laws where you live) Photo, name, gender marker, etc. AT MINIMUM, make sure your photo reflects how you currently look.

2. Research your destination thoroughly

Read up on local laws regarding LGBTQ+ people. Some places are much more restrictive than others and it is better to know your rights and not need them than to be stuck in a jail cell somewhere.

3. Knowing your next bathroom stop is must

Always know where your next bathroom stop will be or have a backup bathroom plan in case you are not comfortable with the situation.

4. Some destinations are best to avoid

Do your research and know which locations are best to avoid.

5. Have a letter from your doctor handy at the airport

If you are on HRT (hormone replacement therapy), always try to bring a doctor’s note to keep with your medication in your bag in case you have issues with airport security.

6. You will probably be questioned

Brace yourself to be questioned. A lot of cultures are known for their bluntness. Even people who pass extremely well can get stopped and asked questions based on documents, appearance, etc.

7. If possible, travel with a friend or a group

When in doubt, be with people. There is safety in numbers, especially if they are your friends and people who will stand up for you if it is needed.

8. Network via LGBTQ+ Facebook groups

Join transgender or LGBTQ+ related Facebook groups. It is an easy way to find other trans people who LIVE where you are traveling. They can give you their personal experiences, ideas of places to go, or even offer to hang out with you and give you a local tour.

12 travel safety tips from a gay couple

Derek and Mike are an American couple living in Europe and are the authors of Robe Trotting. They have written the following useful tips.

1. Check out Misterbnb

Try Misterbnb for LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations. The service is similar to Airbnb, but it 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. The site itself maps out the gay nightlife areas where applicable. There are hosts available in most destinations, even in countries where the LGBTQ+ community is less visible. Misterbnb also includes rooms available at LGBTQ+ friendly hotels and resorts, so it’s a fantastic resource for finding the best gay lodging.

2. Bring copies of your important documents

All travelers should carry backup copies of their passport and other personal information, but there are some extra considerations that LGBTQ+ travelers should consider. It isn’t fun to think about, but Healthcare Power of Attorney and Hospital Visitation Authorization documents are essential. This is because domestic partnership and same-sex marriage laws differ widely around the world. We carry these documents on a flash drive and our attorney has prepared laminated wallet-sized Hospital Visitation Authorizations. This is something we hope to never use, but we feel better having when we travel.

3. Know your rights

Transgender and gender non-conforming travelers face higher levels of marginalization than other “LGB” travelers. For trans and gender non-conforming travelers, it’s important to know your rights, especially in airports. There are legal protections in the EU, UK, and USA to protect trans and gender non-conforming air travelers. Do some additional research when traveling outside of America, the UK, and Europe. In this travel zone, here are a few tips and expectations.

4. Select the gender that appears on your Government ID

When booking tickets, indicate the gender that appears on your government-issued identification. Sometimes this is different than the gender you present, but the legal requirement is only for the names on your ID and travel documents to match. You should never be questioned or forced to further prove your gender based on your gender presentation.

5. Pat-downs are based on the gender you present, not your ID

If a security pat-down is required, it must be completed by security personnel of the same sex as the passenger. In a pat-down situation, it will be based on the gender that the passenger presents and not their government-issued ID.

6. Body scanners don’t actually show your body

For trans and non-binary travelers worried about body scanners, the countries mentioned do not display the actual scan of your body to security personnel. In fact, all passenger images are displayed as generic body forms on the screens visible to staff. The screen does identify areas that should be screened more closely, but it uses a generic body form. For example, there would be a highlighted box around the midsection of the form if a traveler forgets to remove their belt. It does not show any details of the body or anatomy.

7. Wearing a prosthetic device or binder can lead to further questioning

Trans and non-binary travelers should be prepared for additional questioning if wearing prosthetic devices or binders. These travelers are not required to show, remove or lift clothing to reveal these devices. Simply answer any questions in a straight-forward manner and speak to a supervisor if any of those described situations should arise.

8. Consider LGBTQ+ tours

We all find safety in numbers, so consider LGBTQ+ tours that will specialize in gay travel. Similarly, consider booking a traditional tour company where you will have a local guide who is familiar with customs, speaks the language and can advise you on how to stay safe while exploring the world. Many tour companies display their credentials in serving the LGBTQ+ community on their websites. You can also contact their customer service staff with additional concerns or specific questions on travel to certain destinations.

9. Know the local laws in the country you plan to visit

Do some research on the laws that exist in each country you plan to visit. Specifically, look up how often they’re enforced and when the laws were written. For example in Africa, many laws are left-over colonial-era codes that were put in place by other powers and are not enforced or are selectively enforced. For example, Morocco only sporadically enforces its anti-LGBTQ+ law and does not enforce it in resort towns like Marrakech. It’s mostly a law that still exists because of Islamic morality. Morocco even has an LGBTQ+ rights group and is largely viewed as tolerant. Some nations, like Uganda, are actively creating and expanding laws that target the LGBTQ+ community with penalties of death. Make a distinction between countries like Morocco and Uganda when considering your travels.

10. Remember to enjoy the local historic sites and cuisines

Focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t. Many countries will have a less visible LGBTQ+ community and social scene. Sometimes, this can be a blessing in disguise because it frees up your trip for other meaningful activities. Travel should be more than gay bars and night clubs. Focus on what you can do like touring historic sites, visiting museums and trying new cuisines. It can be tough for a couple to resist public displays of affection, but no laws will be able to keep you from building travel memories, and you can make it up with extra private displays of affection.

11. Be careful with the location feature of dating apps

On gay apps like Grindr and Scruff, turn off the location feature. Even in countries where your rights are protected, gay-bashing can be an issue. In the Ukraine, for example, the “how far away” location feature is disabled nation-wide because of past incidents. Still, there is a thriving gay culture and plenty of gay locals. Always exercise caution and meet strangers in public spaces.

12. Always be culturally aware

Be culturally aware when you’re traveling anywhere. In many nations, public displays of affection from any couple, same or differing sex, are a taboo. Comply with these customs without feeling singled out. It may still be upsetting, but know that different-sex couples are also conforming their behavior to local norms. Similarly, some conservative destinations will have different norms on appearance and dress. It can be triggering to change your appearance, clothing, mannerisms, and behavior if you are LGBTQ+. Previous life experiences like bullying can bring up tough emotions but know that it’s most often local customs and not bigotry that require cultural conformity. I realize that for some individuals that will be easier than for others. My advice comes from a point of privilege as a masculine cis-gendered male, but I truly feel that certain sacrifices are worth it to travel.

9 safety tips from a traveling lesbian couple

Meg and Lindsay Cale are the creators of Dopes on the Road which is a website dedicated to inspiring and equipping LGBTQ+ travelers to live a life of adventures. They shared the following tips.

1. Cisgender people will most likely have fewer issues

Are you passing? It’s shitty I even have to go here, but it’s a reality of the world. Those who pass as straight and cisgender will have far fewer issues while traveling. If you can pass as a binary gender you may be safer in some regions of the world. This detail may help you determine what countries you’re more comfortable traveling around.

2. Respect local customs

Be aware of local gender expectations. Are women supposed to be covered, wear headscarves or avoid certain activities? Try to respect local customs and blend in as much as possible.

3. Have someone you trust know your itinerary

Be sure to leave your itinerary and contact information with someone you trust. It’s always a good idea to have someone back home who has an idea of what you’re up to and where you plan on heading. It doesn’t have to be a minute to minute break down, contact information of hotels and flight numbers will work just fine.

4. Find LGBTQ+ friendly businesses before you leave

Consider using the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association as a resource for finding LGBTQ+ owned and affirming businesses in countries where you may have more concerns. Knowing that a business is owned by LGBTQ+ people or specifically seeks out LGBTQ+ accreditation may offer some peace of mind.

5. Be careful with PDA’s in certain countries

Be mindful of public displays of affection, in some locations like Russia or Morocco, mundane actions like holding hands, requesting a double bed at a hotel, casual touching, and kissing can be considered public displays. In some countries these actions are illegal and the consequences can be anything from a fine to imprisonment to being punishable by death. Not to be overly sensationalist here, there are lots of people who have traveled in anti-LGBTQ+ countries and have been just fine. There are also people who have not. It’s a case by case situation.

6. Be sure that sex toys are legal

In some countries, traveling with sexually explicit material can be used as evidence of sex work which may result in you being detained while traveling. Transgender and gender nonconforming people are often unfairly targeted, be aware that in recent years there have been a few instances where people have used sex toys to victimize LGBTQ+ travelers. One couple was the victim of an alleged hate crime by TSA agents and another couple was arrested in Malaysia for being in possession of a sex toy. Keep in mind that traveling with these items into some countries is illegal. Be very cautious and do your homework before crossing borders with anything you think could be questionable.

7. Consider who you disclose your identity to

Consider who you disclose your identity to while you are traveling in countries that are not as LGBTQ-affirming as your home country.

8. Walk with confidence

Appear confident while walking in public areas. The more afraid and buckled over you look, the more of a target you’ll appear to be.

9. Invest in your personal safety

When in doubt invest in personal safety, if taking the more expensive cab ride over the bus ride seems like the safer option for you, do it.

8 tips from a gay travel expert

Andrew Dobson runs Dobbernationloves, an LGBTQ+ travel blog based in Toronto and shares these very helpful tips on international travel safety.

1. Take precautions with dating apps

Be wary of who you trust on dating apps in countries like Egypt, where police have been known to create fake accounts to “catch” LGBTQ+ travelers looking to engage in “illegal activity.” It’s best to request social media accounts like Instagram to verify the persons identity before you agree to meet them to ensure your safety.

2. Use the geo search to research your destination prior to leaving home

Use the geo-search feature on dating apps like Scruff and Grindr before you depart for your trip. You can ask locals about what the most popular gay bars and businesses are before you even arrive. Many destinations have suffered from gay bar closures so weekly or monthly LGBTQ+ parties are the norm and locals are always in the know.

3. Connect with the locals before you arrive

Use gay dating apps to connect with locals before you arrive and you’ll find friendly folks keen to show a tourist around. This is particularly helpful if you’re visiting a country like Germany where bartenders may not speak English.

4. Keep spots you discover confidential in sensitive destinations

If you’re visiting places like Egypt or Jordan where the LGBTQ+ community is largely underground for safety reasons, be sure to keep the spots you discover confidential to protect the local LGBTQ+ community. Posting about a popular gay coffee shop hangout in Cairo on TripAdvisor, for example, is a no-no.

5. Negative LGBTQ+ laws may not reflect tourist areas

Remember that just because a country’s government may have negative LGBTQ+ policies, doesn’t mean it isn’t a great gay holiday destination. The Maldives, for example, has laws in place for locals but during our visit to the Four Seasons Maldives, a majority of the guests at the resort were gay couples. Research the hotel and resort brands you’re planning on staying before you book to ensure they are LGBTQ+ friendly.

6. Certain regions may be very LGBTQ+ friendly within a conservative country

Indonesia is largest known as a conservative Muslim country but ironically the island of Bali is considered to be one of the best LGBTQ+ destinations in Asia. There can be significant tolerance differences based on each region you visit. Many hotels host luxurious gay honeymoons in Bali

7. Do your research on festival dates

Research the annual LGBTQ+ festivals to determine when the destination is likely to offer the most fun on holiday. In North America, we’re familiar with Pride parades but in Europe, the annual festival is referred to as CSD Celebrations or Christopher Street Day. LGBTQ+ festivals vary based on the culture of a place and its people. North American and Europe are known for flashy parades and all-night parties, where some smaller towns or more reserved countries focus on political protest, poetry readings or events centered around theatre and film.

Contact your hotel ahead of time

If you’re traveling with a same-sex friend or partner we always suggest contacting your hotel in advance to confirm what sort of bedding they offer. In some countries, two men will always be booked into a room with separate beds. In other countries, they’re happy to provide one bed for two men but you’d have to specify that in advance as they’ll automatically assume you’re traveling friends.

Why we wrote this article and did this research

Lyric at age 2 singing with her mom, Karla DeVito
Photo credit: Us WeeklyGrowing up, Lyric’s favorite person in the universe was her “Uncle”. Magical, loving, kind, and the best storyteller around, he was her parents’ best friend and one of the most influential people in her life. He also happened to be gay.

Lyric grew up in Hollywood surrounded by actors, producers and what she thought was a very open and accepting community for LGBTQ+ individuals. It wasn’t until she was 13, when she overheard her Uncle explaining that he was concerned he would be fired from an acting job if they found out he was gay, that she realized even one the most liberal US communities were still plagued with homophobia.

Since then, LGBTQ+ rights have been in the forefront of Lyric’s awareness. She wondered how safe the US was for the LGBTQ+ community vs the rest of the world after hearing stories from other travelers. We then decided to dive deep into the subject and what we found was shocking.

So many questions entered our minds. For example, “Is it safe to travel to countries where the death penalty or life imprisonment is still a sentence for being openly gay?”

As travel journalists, we wanted to help the LGBTQ+ community educate themselves on the very complex and layered world of staying safe during international travel. But also, to try to bring more awareness to the often horrific treatment of LGBTQ+ people in many parts of the world. And hopefully this will bring about change, acceptance, and love for all people regardless of their orientation.

How can you help bring about change?

Are you an ally and upset by this information? Here are two obvious ways you can help:

1. Share this article. Bringing awareness to a problem is the first step to fixing it. Share it on social media, send it to your loved ones and anyone you think should see it.

2. Consider donating to organizations that are making a difference. For example, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association or Human Rights Watch are organizations working to help find and report these issues and to help make the whole world — not just a piece of it — safer for LGBTQ+ people.