In this article, we will take a loot at the 20 most dangeorus countries for LGBTQ+ American travelers. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you may jump to 5 Most Dangerous Countries for LGBTQ+ American Travelers.
Anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments are getting louder and wilder. Specifically, businesses that are supporting the LGBTQ+ community are under fire from conservative segments of the society. LGBT Capital notes that the purchasing power of the community is $3.9 trillion globally. While professing support for these communities allows them to get a hold of a significant slice of the pie, it's also drawing significant backlash toward them.
June is Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. Every year, millions of spectators gather for the New York Pride March, celebrating LGBTQ+ legal rights, social and self-acceptance, and also their pride. Also known as "pink capitalism" or "pinkwashing," rainbow capitalism is when consumerism and capitalism get involved in the LGBT movement.
Corporations have been criticized for expressing their support for the pride movement without actually having equity or inclusion policies in place. Many businesses are joining in the event with their marketing campaigns, queer influencer partnerships, and pride-logo products to demonstrate their support for Pride Month. LGBTQ+ individuals travel from all over the world to attend such pride events sponsored by LGBT-friendly companies.
One prime example of a company that has been criticized for alleged "rainbow washing" is the retail giant Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT). While the company has been showcasing its support for pride month for many years, this year, it has received significant backlash from the LGBTQ community and its supporters for taking a stand without "conviction".
Being a platinum sponsor of NYC Pride, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) recently withdrew its Pride merchandise after receiving backlash and potential threats towards the safety of its workers. Evidently, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) has shown that mass boycotts, lost revenue, and brand-harm can intimidate corporations from coming forward on their stance in regards to the LGBT community.
Dangerous Countries for LGBTQ+ American Travelers
2023 has witnessed more than 417 anti-LGBT bills being introduced in state legislatures across the United States. However, its still compartively a far safer country for the LGBT+ community. We have also covered the most gay-friendly cities in the US, which you can take a look at. These include Seattle, Albany and Austin, among others, which can also be regarded as the best places to live for the LGBT+ community.
We have covered the safest countries for lgbt+ community to live, as well, in our list of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. However, the LGBTQ+ American travelers should stay cautious, especially when traveling to other countries.
Many of the developing economies, such as Nigeria, criminalize LGBT+ rights, with even death penalties in countries that are far more conservative. Another dangerous country for LGBTQ+ American travelers is Qatar. Acts of homosexuality in the country are awarded the death penalty. Some other countries that are regarded as dangerous for LGBTQ+ communities include Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Iran.
According to the U.S. State Department travel advisory, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, queer, and other intersex travelers may face unique challenges when traveling to other countries. Approximately 70 countries consider consensual same-sex relations a crime, which is why it’s important to go through documents such as Traveler's Checklist and Country Information pages specific to LGBT+ American travelers.
Many international travel and vacation companies, such as Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) and American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL), are pro-LGBTQ+ companies, providing them with great travel experiences and accommodations. With regard to Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB), not only is the company a great place to work with for this community, but it is also a top choice for travelers looking for gay-friendly or Pro-LGBTQ+ rentals.
Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) listings have a no-discrimination policy its users have to follow. A recent case had a user, who was suspended due to a violation of the said policy, after refusing to rent to a gay couple. Similarly, American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL) has been the first major airline to protect LGBT team members from discrimination. Being the most gay-friendly airline, American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL) has been flying with pride along with other airlines such as Alaska Airlines and Atlas Air.
Many businesses have also been emerging that are specifically catering to the LGBTQ+ community. With regards to travel, top LGBT travel companies include HE Travel, RSVP Vacation, Out Adventures, and VentureOut, to name a few.
In order to compile the list of most dangerous countries for LGBTQ+ travelers, we have used Gay Travel Index 2023 from Spartacus, LGBTQ+ Travel Index from Asher & Lyric, and Global Peace Index. The weighted average formula was used to assign weights to the above indexes and calculate an Insider Monkey score.
Gay Travel Index and Asher & Lyric Travel Index were assigned equal weights of 40% each, while Global Peace Index was assigned 20% weightage. The weighted averages determined an Insider Monkey average score for each country on which the rankings are based. The countries are ranked in descending order from the highest to the lowest score.
Here are the most dangerous countries for LGBT+ American travelers:
Insider Monkey Score: 157
While Malaysia is a beautiful developing country in the Southeast, gay travelers may not be able to enjoy its gorgeous beaches and World Heritage Sites. The country severely punishes homosexuality, and state-backed discrimination is a major reason why LGBT+ American travelers may face challenges, prejudices, and threats on their visit to the country. Moreover, the population is generally conservative. As such, the country's tourism minister has also denied the existence of this community, and if found, homosexuality is punishable with up to 20 years in prison, fines, and whipping.
Insider Monkey Score: 160
While Tunisia wholeheartedly accepts tourists, the LGBT community is not received with open arms. Homosexuality is a crime in the country that is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment. As such, American LGBT+ travelers are advised to exercise discretion when traveling. Article 230 of the Penal Code condemns indecent exposure and indecent assault.
Insider Monkey Score: 162
Tanzania is an international hub for tourists and is known for its natural parks, gorgeous beaches, and wilderness areas. Like many other countries, Tanzania has proclaimed homosexuality as illegal, and anyone found can face a maximum penalty of 30 years or even life imprisonment. These laws are unlikely to be changed anytime soon. Even the residents of Tanzania consider it unlawful and an unnatural way of life. The general attitude is the same for others from the LGBT+ community like bisexual and trans individuals.
Insider Monkey Score: 162
In June 2013, Russia passed a new law concerning the "propaganda" of non-traditional sexual relations for minors. Last year, the so-called propaganda was extended by the lower house of parliament. Even the promotion of homosexuality online, in books, or in films is banned. Anya's activities or conduct will be subjected to major fines and penalties. Foreigners can also be expelled if they are found of non-compliance. The situation is worse in Russian republics like Chechnya.
Insider Monkey Score: 164
Tourism is increasing in Kuwait, but the attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors that LGBTs may face are different compared to non-LGBT tourists. As such, tourists should refrain from attending parties or events that are controversial in the eyes of the law. Public "immorality" is prohibited; however, impersonating the same sex has now been outlawed.
Insider Monkey Score: 165
Another dangerous country for LGBT+ American travelers is Brunei. Spartacus Travel Index ranks the country at 159, while A&F ranks it at number 203. Homosexuality is a crime in Brunei, with its punishment being death by stoning. This is applicable to all residents and tourists coming into the country, which is why it's best to exercise discretion when traveling here.
Insider Monkey Score: 165
Uganda is one of the most populous countries in Africa and apparently one of the most dangerous countries to travel to for the LGBTQ+ community. The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 has pushed the country further into the spotlight. Those found engaging in same-sex relations will be imprisoned for a lifetime or charged with the death penalty. Travelers must exercise discretion when visiting the country or risk the charges stated above.
13. United Arab Emirates
Insider Monkey Score: 167
UAE is increasingly becoming a dangerous place for the LGBTQ+ community. Millions of visitors come to see Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but it can be the among the worst places for LGBT American travelers. UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran are all setting up coordinated efforts to crack down on their existence in the Emirates, and both the locals and foreigners are to bear the brunt. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden and punishable by law.
Insider Monkey Score: 168
Malawi strictly forbids homosexuality, which is why it is not safe for LGBT+ travelers to visit the country. Punishments for such acts are very strict, with same-sex acts resulting in 14 years in prison for men and up to 5 years imprisonment for women. Men cannot even keep long hair, and any man found having hair longer than their mouth can receive imprisonment for up to six months. The public sentiments regarding homosexuality aren't encouraging either, which is why the country is not a good place to travel to for this community.
11. South Sudan
Insider Monkey Score: 169
While South Sudan gained independence from Sudan back in 2011, the country still uses extreme interpretations of the Sharia law. This law implies that all acts of homosexuality are forbidden in the country, and punishments could range anywhere between lashes and even death. Even the majority of the population in the country is against such acts and individuals, which is why it is one of the worst countries to travel to for the LGBTQ+ community.
Insider Monkey Score: 171
While Ethiopia is already a worst travel destination due to its civil unrest, crime, conflicts, and terrorism, it is even worst for LGBT+ American travelers. LGBTQ+ community has no rights in the country, and the general population is against homosexuality as well. Same-sex relations are outlawed, and those found guilty can face imprisonment of up to 15 years. Some religious groups are very extreme and urge authorities to ban trips that are organized by tour operators catering to this population.
Insider Monkey Score: 173
Similar to Sudan, homosexuality is a crime that is punishable under the country's law. The general population is also against the idea of homosexuality, and overall it is not a safe country to travel to. Spartacus ranks the country at 159, while Asher & Lyric places it at number 195 to depict how far this country is behind on safety for LGBTQ travelers. The Sudanese Penal Code criminalizes acts of sodomy, "indecent acts", "indecent acts in public spaces", "seduction", and materials that are contrary to "morals". Hence, it is one of the most dangerous countries for gay travelers.
Insider Monkey Score: 174
Egypt has always been a traveler's favorite, thanks to its huge pyramids and historical and religious significance. However, the country holds negative laws pertaining to homosexuality, which is why it has made it to our list. Since 2013, more than 250 LGBT individuals have been arrested in the country, and there is a consistent crackdown on such individuals. Same-sex acts can lead to up to 3 years’ imprisonment, while possession of homosexual materials will lead to two years’ prison along with a fine. LGBTQ+ travelers are strictly advised not to disclose their sexual identity to anyone or use any dating applications in the country.
Insider Monkey Score: 181
LGBTQ+ travelers must avoid traveling to Iran due to extreme punishments for acts of homosexuality, transgenderism and bisexuality. Same-sex acts in the country will be subjected to 31 lashes, while intercourse will lead to 100 lashes or the death penalty. More than 5,000 gays and lesbians have been executed in the country for such offenses since 1979.
Insider Monkey Score: 184
Libya is an overall dangerous country to travel to regardless of the sexual orientation of individuals. Terrorism, violence, and civil unrest have made the country very unsafe. Moreover, the laws prohibit any or all activities that fall outside of heterosexual marriage. Anyone found going against these laws is subjected to amputation and flogging.
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Disclosure: none. 20 Most Dangerous Countries for LGBTQ+ American Travelers is originally published on Insider Monkey.