Best Expat Cities And Countries For Gay People part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Expat LGBT people have difficulty choosing countries and cities to live in. There are many factors to consider: safety, legal rights and protection from discrimination and harassment, and the general attitude toward homosexuality.
In 2006, the International Lesbian and Gay Association produced several country reports on the status of gay men’s lives in different countries worldwide. The general conclusions were a positive trend toward legal and social acceptance of LGBT people in most industrialized countries.
But at the same time, it must be recognized that violence, including gay-bashing, is still a severe problem; hate crimes continue to target those looked upon as “different.” The ILGA published its report “Rainbow Europe – Regional Review.”
This showed how European Union countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland, ranked in the areas of equality legislation (which includes employment non-discrimination), family law (including recognition of same-sex unions, marriages, and adoption rights), and hate crime/hate speech laws.
However, when you talk about the best countries and cities for gay people, we have you covered. In today’s digital world, LGBT people are more connected than ever, whether through social media or dating apps. All these factors must be considered when deciding where the best country to live in is for you.
To make it easier, we have compiled a list of our top 10 picks for the best countries and cities to live in if you are gay! Are you ready to go through what we’ve unleashed for you? If that sounds like a yes, read further!
What to Know About Best Cities for Gays
So you are gay. You have probably moved to a city with large numbers of other gays so that you have a community, access to gay bars, and the whole pink experience. But what are things about these cities that surprise even an experienced proud homosexual?
You might think that this is something new, but in almost any major city, there has been a gay neighborhood for decades. Most cities have one downtown, where the gays used to be grouped because of persecution.
After all, you can’t kick us out of our homes if we already live together! Because many gays were also artists or part of the creative class, they took advantage of low rents in these areas. This is why many cities have retained gayborhoods long after the persecution has ceased.
Race, Class, and Gender
The gays are anything but a monolith – there are different races, classes, genders, and political persuasions. You should be aware that your experience might not be everyone’s experience. If you are a white male, you might find that things are very different for you than for queer people of color.
Tolerance is Relative
Almost every city touts itself as extremely tolerant of gays. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are still many people who think it’s ok to “beat up a fag” or worse. Not everyone will be cool with you just because you’re gay.
The first time I experienced this was when I moved to Seattle – I was working in a very accepting company, but when I went to the mall or other public places, I found people were hostile or rude because I was gay. While it’s not illegal, you should expect this kind of subtle intolerance.
Gay Politicians Don’t Mean
Don’t be surprised if your queer city council member doesn’t give a shit about you. It’s very likely because all the other issues are far more important than the gays. Your gay bar might be under fire from city hall, but your council member isn’t going to support you for re-election if they vote against it. Don’t expect them to stand up for LGBT rights either.
Being Gay Is Not a Choice
Some people think that all homosexuals choose to be gay and that they can stop being gay if they try hard enough. People like this often believe that homosexuality is something new and brought through television or the media (though it has been around for thousands of years).
Best Expat Cities and Countries for Gay People
The world is full of homophobia. And to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual, it’s not easy in many places around the globe. However, some countries are more friendly towards gays and lesbians than others. Today, we will list the 13 most gay-friendly countries in the world! Without further ado, check it out below.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- The Netherland
Spain is one of the most liberal and gay-friendly countries in Europe. The minimum age for consensual sex is 13 (regardless of sexual orientation or gender), and there are no restrictions or special conditions for homosexuals compared to heterosexuals.
Same-sex marriages have been legal since 3 January 2005, as well as adoptions by same-sex couples (both allowed since June 2005). However, among the best cities for gay to reside in this country are Barcelona, Madrid, and Ibiza.
Being the oldest country globally, it’s no surprise that Portugal is one of the most gay-friendly countries in Europe. The Portuguese constitution prohibits discrimination which includes sexual orientation, and has been interpreted to impose a duty on all public offices to promote equality.
Same-sex couples are allowed to adopt. Moreover, expatriates that are looking to reside in Portugal as gay can live in various cities like Porto Lisbon, as well as some places in the Algarve region.
The country is considered very liberal towards gay people and was the first country to legalize same-sex marriages back in 2010. In 2006, Iceland became one of the few countries where it’s not illegal to be a prostitute, no matter your gender or sexual orientation.
And also, LGBT people have been fighting for their rights from the beginning of Iceland’s independence. Iceland’s friendliest gay cities include; Reykjavík, Seydisfjordur, and many others, to mention a few.
Canada legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, and it is one of the gay-friendly countries in the world. In fact, the Canadian charter explicitly grants equal rights to everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
There have been many initiatives so far regarding LGBT rights, and they were varied from municipality to municipality. Still, they focused on creating a safe environment for the students and school employees. Some of the gay friendliest cities in Canada are Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal.
In 2010 Argentina legalized same-sex marriage and became one of the gay-friendly countries in the world. In fact, it’s not only a matter of legislation as many celebrities have taken a stand to raise awareness.
It has been said that Argentina is one of the safest countries for homosexuals. Even though there are still groups fighting against LGBT rights like any other country, Argentinian society is very friendly towards gay people. The best destinations for gay expats in Argentina include; Mar del Plata, Rosario, and Mendoza
Norway was among the first countries to legalize civil unions between same-sex partners back in 1993. Since 2009 it has been legal to be gay in Norway, and same-sex marriages are allowed. However, even though there’s no discrimination law in the country, many cities have anti-discrimination laws for sexual orientation. Some of the popular cities where gay resides in Norway are Oslo and Skovra.
Denmark was one of the first countries that legalize civil unions between homosexual partners in 1989. And since 2012, it’s legal to be gay in Denmark, and same-sex marriages are allowed.
The Danish legislation limits marriage to the union of a man and a woman (this is one of the most liberal constitutions of same-sex unions). And of course, you can also reside in cities such as Copenhagen, among others.
Belgium allows civil marriages between two people of the same gender, and same-sex couples can adopt children. Since 2003 discrimination (including based on sexual orientation) has been banned in Belgium, although anti-discrimination laws are still not applied consistently.
Furthermore, Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent are some of the best cities to reside as an expat in Belgium. In the long run, we will walk you through other factors for choosing this popular destination in Belgium. All you need is to check our platform for more relevant updates.
Uruguay is one of the most liberal countries in Latin America regarding LGBT rights. Homosexuality was only decriminalized in the country in 1934, but since 2009 it’s legal to be gay in Uruguay, and same-sex marriages are allowed too.
Also, Uruguay is one of the first countries that allowed a transgender person to change his sex on legal documents without undergoing sex reassignment surgery. And same-sex couples can adopt children as well.
South Africa became the first African country to legalize same-sex marriages back in 2006. The South African constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Since 2000, it’s legal to be gay in South Africa, and same-sex couples can marry or form a civil partnership (South Africa allows same-sex marriages).
Also, the nation is known for its rampant LGBT rights movement that achieved many victories in the last decade. And they were also important in ending apartheid. You can enjoy your stay in cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban without restriction from a third party or government officials.
This is another country to consider if you’re looking to travel as a gay. The United States of America legalized same-sex marriages in 2015, and it is one of the gay-friendly countries in the world. In fact, many cities have anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Additionally, homosexuality used to be considered a mental illness in America until 1973, when it was finally removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders. There are lots of gay-friendly cities in the United States of America, and they include San Francisco (California), Chicago (Illinois), Palm Springs (California), Austin (Texas), Los Angeles (California), Miami (Florida), and Denver (Colorado).
The small European country legalized same-sex marriages back in 2001. Even though there are no anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation, some cities have them, including Amsterdam, the most gay-friendly city in the nation.
However, if you were to engage in any sexual act with a person of your sex without their consent, it’s considered a criminal offence in the country and could lead to imprisonment. If you’re in the Netherlands, some of the best places to reside as an expat are Amsterdam and Rotterdam.