Less-Than-Welcoming Destinations for the LGBT+ Community
It’s horrible to think that there are still places on Earth that are anti-LGBTQ, perilous, and life-threatening places. Can you imagine having to research whether a destination is dangerous for you to visit just because of whom you love? Everyone should be able to visit a place if they choose, but unfortunately, some areas are less-than-welcoming to people who aren’t heterosexual and cis-gendered. There are over 70 countries in the world that prohibit a range of gay activities. However wrong it may be, it’s still better to know which places aren’t welcoming before booking any journey. It’s better to be safe, after all. So here are some of the less-than-welcoming destinations for the LGBTQQIP2SAA community.
The Countries To Avoid
The most extensive areas to avoid as a queer individual are Africa and the Middle East. Countries in these areas tend to have the most strict and harsh homophobic laws in the world.
Countries like Brunei practice Sharia law. In April 2019, they introduced stoning as a punishment for gay sex. They've since walked that back, but the law still exists.
Other outright unwelcoming countries include Jamaica, Uganda, Russia, and Malaysia.
In the Victorian era, the Offences Against the Person Act was put in place. It criminalized actual or attempted sex between men. It also outlawed “gross indecency,” which can be as innocuous as kissing or holding hands.
The British redacted the law in 1967, but Jamaica, which had its independence by then, never disposed of it.
It still stands today, and the punishment can be up to 10 years in prison and hard labor.
Sex between women is not a criminal offense, but women may still feel uncomfortable being their authentic selves.
In Uganda, the word gay has so many negative connotations that gays have given themselves another name.
They call themselves “Kuchu,” which means “same.”
The country is notorious for its extreme anti-LGBTQ laws. Half a million gay people are currently living in the country unprotected.
“Unnatural offenses” and “indecent practices” are filed under Uganda’s Penal Code Act, enacted in 1950.
In Russia, homosexuality is not illegal- but President Putin did enact a law that criminalizes promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships” in the presence of minors.
This means there are definitely no gay pride parades in the country. Even speaking openly about gay rights can result in a fine, imprisonment for 15 days, and deportation.
Like Jamaica, Malaysia also held on to its Colonial anti-homosexuality laws.
Section 377 of Malaysia’s Penal Code criminalizes sex between men.
If caught, the offense is punishable for up to 20 years in prison. They also have strict transgender laws.
So, as much as my non-cishet friends would love to visit these places, it’s unfortunately not safe for you to be your authentic self.
If something were to happen, queer folx have absolutely no protection, even if they’re from another country.
It’s better to research a country’s laws before you book.
If you have any more questions about less-than-welcoming LGBTQ destinations, don’t hesitate to ask. Thankfully, there are way more welcoming destinations than there are unwelcoming.