In an ideal world, travellers would be able to go wherever they wished safely and happily regardless of their sexuality, gender or appearance.
Sadly, however, that’s not a reality. Travelling as a LGBT person can be or feel dangerous, and knowing the lay of land in other countries is critical to staying safe and feeling comfortable.
This map can help. It shows the countries worldwide where being LGBT is legal, accepted and encouraged, places where it’s illegal and, worst of all, places where it can result in a prison sentence or even a death sentence.
There are currently 72 nations that outlaw same-sex activity. While laws recognising and protecting LGBT people are expanding across the world, stigmatisation and persecution remain rife.
The map, created by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), is a comprehensive compilation on the laws countries have that affect people on the basis of their sexual orientation. ILGA is a federation of more than 1,2000 organisations from 132 countries, all of which are committed to equal rights for the LGBTI community.
Made in 2017, this map and it’s associated report are the most up-to-date resources on offer.
There are 19 countries with laws that actively target public expression of LGBT realities, such as a same-sex couple holding hands in public or kissing. These are often called ‘promotion’ or ‘morality’ laws.
The death penalty can be applied for consensual same-sex acts in eight UN member nations. In Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran and the Sudan, it’s applied state-wide, in Nigeria and Somalia it’s implemented only in certain provinces. In Iraq and in Daesh-held territories in northern Syria and northern Iraq, it’s implemented only by vigilantes, local courts or other non-state means.