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10 most dangerous countries for gays

10 Most dangerous countries for gays

Since gay marriage has been legalized in the United States and many places throughout the world, there are now a lot of same-sex couples that want to travel the world together. However, when traveling, not only do LGBTQ+ people have to be concerned about the basic safety issues that every other traveler does, but there is also an extra dimension of concern for us. For example, LGBTQ+ people are subjected to extra prejudice, bias, harassment, and even violence, as well as risking jail time, in worst-case scenarios, unlike our straight counterparts who don’t have to worry about who they love

Gay people have always traveled everywhere, so the world is a gay person’s oyster. Gay people just have to think about things in a little bit more of a heightened way when it comes to their own safety and security when traveling to foreign countries. This means that you need to know which countries are safe and which countries aren’t safe for you. Of course, there are many resources and guides to safety for traveling gays

Most Dangerous Countries for Gay Travelers

The good news is that there are literally scores of countries that are very safe and very gay-friendly. Unfortunately, there are also currently 76 countries that criminalize homosexuality and or gender expression/identity. If you are an LGBTQ couple or individual that is traveling abroad, there are definitely some countries and places that you should avoid. Let’s consider the top 10 most dangerous countries for gay travelers

#10 Belize


This beautiful country is a popular tourist destination for many travelers. You might be shocked to learn that Belize has outlawed same-sex activity since 1988. Today, Belize’s Immigration Act bars gay men and women from even entering their country

#9 Jamaica

If you are looking to escape the cold and have some fun, sun, and rum, then you might want to fly right over and right past Jamaica! Jamaica has actually had laws on their books that are unfavorable to LGBTQ community members since the 1800s. If you are two men who engage in sexual relations in Jamaica, you can face up to 14 years in a third-world, Jamaican penitentiary, really not a great way to end your well-deserved vacation

#8 Russia

There are some countries in Eastern Europe, including Russia, that are more conservative, and some of them don’t even acknowledge that there are gay people there! Of course, there are lots of individual countries in Eastern Europe, and each country is different. Still, as a whole, it is best to play it safe when traveling to, through, and from countries in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia, where homosexuality is punishable by prison. You will want to make sure that you do your research before going into any country, even if you are just crossing country lines on a train for a day of site seeing.

As recently as 2013, Russia passed the Anti-Gay Propaganda Law, which prohibits discussion or display of any non-traditional sexual behavior in a non-negative light

#7 Malaysia

Malaysia is widely thought to be one of the most beautiful countries in all of Asia. However, Malaysia is ruled by a king that adheres to a strict sect of Islam, which is pointedly against homosexuality in any form. While it might be enticing to stop off in Malaysia to see their amazing islands and beaches, the severe punishment of homosexuals in this country might cause you to consider a different country

For the record, the country of Indonesia, which borders Malaysia, is not much better. Perhaps you could visit the Philippines or Vietnam instead. These countries also have lots of beautiful beaches and are very friendly to gay individuals and couples

#6 Malawi

In Malawi, the penalties for homosexuality are more severe for men than women, but there are both severe nonetheless! Women who are found guilty of homosexuality in Malawi are subject to five years in prison, and gay men are subject to 14 years in prison! Further, pro-LGBTQ organizations and individuals are banned from entering Malawi

#5 Uganda


Uganda is known for its staggering and appalling anti-gay laws. Here, individuals can face life in prison for homosexual acts, such as holding hands or kissing, in public or in private! These laws extend back to the good ole British Colonial days in the 19th century and retained through Uganda’s independence in 1962. Traditionally, these laws largely went mostly unenforced. Ever since the early 2000s, however, enforcement of anti-gay laws has taken off in this country. Can’t see a reason to go to Uganda anyways

#4 Iran

Iran is definitely one of the worst places to be if you are a gay person, especially if you are a gay person or gay couple from another country. Perhaps you will not know the laws here, as a foreign traveler, and inadvertently put yourself and or your partner in great peril. Iran is one of the countries in the world that enforces the death penalty for homosexuality. However, Iran makes a distinction for gay women, who are to be lashed 50 times for their first three “offenses.” For any further “offenses,” the punishment is death. Iran’s anti-gay laws stem from their adherence to Sharia Law, which is a strict interpretation of the teachings of Islam. Gay Americans should definitely stay away

#3 Afghanistan

Considering that Afghanistan is a war-torn nation, you hopefully won’t be planning on visiting this country any time soon. However, if, for some reason, you were to visit Afghanistan, you should keep in mind that, like Iran, Afghanistan also adheres to Sharia Law. Here, homosexuality is strictly forbidden! Prior to the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States in 2001, the Taliban largely executed homosexual “offenders.” Since then, Afghanistan has started placing homosexuals in prison, which are some of the worse prisons in the world. Who in their right mind would wanna go here anyways?

#2 Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia – although it is an ally of the United States – is not a like-minded ally! Saudi Arabia is one of the most brutal and appalling persecutors of same-sex couples and gay individuals in the world! Saudia Arabia still enforces the death penalty for same-sex displays of affection in public and harsh prison sentences, along with public whippings, for the same acts done in private. Men wearing women’s clothes are subject to the same

#1 Nigeria


Over the centuries, Nigeria has earned a reputation for being a rough and hostile place for any foreigner, and this is amplified tremendously if you are gay! Nigeria is widely considered to be the most anti-gay country in the world, and if you are a member of the LGBTQ community, it is best to stay far away from this place! Here, you can be put in prison for up to 14 years just for being suspected of being gay! If you are caught in a homosexual act, either in private or in public, the penalty is often death in the most painful and horrific ways. Further, even discussing homosexuality is forbidden in Nigeria and punishable by many years in prison! In recent years, Nigeria has seen a sharp increase in persecution against domestic and foreign homosexuals

These are just ten potential tourist destinations where being gay is not okay, and that’s putting it mildly! In 13 countries, homosexuality is still punishable by death. To be sure; the most stringent anti-gay laws exist throughout Africa and the Middle East, where lengthy prison sentences, forced psychiatric treatment, whippings, hard labor, and death by public stoning are all common punishments for homosexuality. Also, Eastern Europe can be risky for gays, but not nearly as much as Africa and the Middle East

The key is to protect yourself, and the way you do that is by staying the hell out of these awful places! Of course, this requires you to be proactive and informed. Please, do your research before traveling. Think about all of the places that you will be visiting, and think about all of the places that you might potentially be flying over, driving through, riding past, etc. For example, what if your plane had to make an emergency landing in Nigeria for some reason? It’s best to be prepared and educated about these matters so that you can implement a plan of action to keep yourself and or your partner safe. For some better alternatives for your gay travel plans, check out 10 Best Countries For Gay Travelers

Content writer for the fabulous WillieWhang gay blog. Writing and sharing newsworthy stories from the LGBT world. Questions and comments can be sent to Willie Whang by email or the Twitter account

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