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An LGBTQ Guide to Living in Argentina

Picture of Sorcha O'Higgins
Updated: 20 March 2018
Argentina’s attitude regarding the LGBTQ community is one of the most progressive in the world, and certainly the most progressive in South and Latin America. Argentina has a good track record in many areas of human rights, and laws regarding the treatment of LGBTQ people have resulted in a culture of acceptance and celebration. We find out more about how to live in Argentina as a member of the LGBTQ community.
Argentina was the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage
Argentina was the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage | © Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Argentina is internationally recognised as having one of the most advanced systems of rights for members of the LGBTQ community in the world. The public in this South American country has long been on the side of the minorities, the oppressed and the marginalised. Activism is a cornerstone of Argentine culture, and protests in the centre of Buenos Aires around the Congress building and the Casa Rosada (the government house), are commonplace. Everything from pension reform to abortion and gay and trans rights are brought before the government by way of public protest. Argentine society demands to make their voice heard, and it often works, making Argentina one of the most progressive countries on many levels in relation to LGBTQ rights in the world.

Socialist Party supporting LGBTQ rights in Buenos Aires
Socialist Party supporting LGBTQ rights in Buenos Aires | © Beatrice Murch / Flickr

Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. It was the second country in the Americas to do so, and the tenth in the world, making it a world leader in the recognition of gay rights. This legislation followed the institution of same-sex civil unions in the Rio Negro and Buenos Aires provinces in 2005, after which conjugal visits for gay inmates were also permitted in Cordoba. Same-sex marriage was legalised in July 2010, a milestone for a Catholic country in Latin America. This legislation also allowed same-sex couples to adopt, and lesbian couples have equal access to IVF treatment.

Feeling fabulous at Gay Pride in Buenos Aires
Feeling fabulous at Gay Pride in Buenos Aires | © Beatrice Murch / Flickr

Laws regarding transgender people are also incredibly progressive in Argentina. The Gender Identity Law was passed in 2012, allowing trans people to transition without the fear of being diagnosed with some sort of psychological abnormality to prevent them from doing so. Argentina has been cited as an “exemplary country for transgender rights” by the World Health Organisation.

Beyond this, there is a thriving gay scene in Argentina, especially in the capital of Buenos Aires. There are a plethora of gay clubs and nights catering to people of all genders and sexual preferences. Gay Pride is a big event in Buenos Aires and the parade in the capital is attended and celebrated by tens of thousands of people every year. By and large, Argentina is very accepting and tolerant of different genders and orientations, however there is still a long way to go.