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The US is a dichotomy when it comes to transgender rights. On the one hand, there are trans havens with the most progressive transgender laws on the planet, formally allowing a nonbinary gender marker on ID documents. Sadly, on the other hand, there are a handful of homophobic States one would take caution to avoid! The USA leads the way when it comes to gay villages and gay scenes. Almost every State has a gay village in its main cities, even places like Texas, which have the Montrose gay village in Houston!

The most famous is New York Pride , which is also the home of the modern-day gay rights movement. In June when the police raided the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York, year old Marsha was one of the key figures who stood up to the police during the raids, resisted arrest and therefore led to the pivotal Stonewall protests soon after. Our new entry this year is the first country in Central America to legalise gay marriage : Costa Rica, we welcome you with wide-open arms! This is a very forward-thinking country that offers so much for LGBTQ tourists and has for many years been targeting gay travellers.

Costa Rica is the first country in Central America to have legalized gay marriage.

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Costa Rica began its fabulous journey back in when it legalized homosexuality. It is the latest member to our exclusive Gay Marriage Club after it legalized gay marriages in Just like Canada, Costa Rica was a trailblazer in relation to anti-discrimination laws, which it introduced in When it comes to transgender rights, Costa Rica introduced the right to change gender in recognises transgender people's gender identity on ID cards. San Jose Pride takes place each year in June and grows in popularity each year. There are no other queer events in Costa Rica taking place.

Costa Rica has come a long way over the past decade and whilst it may still retain a strong influence from the conservative Catholic Church, attitudes are quickly evolving and the country has for years been embracing LGBTQ tourism. Costa Rica has had its fair share of openly gay politicians. However, South Africa really makes itself count as being the only African country represented on this list.

It subsequently became one of the first countries to legalise gay marriage in and has very progressive transgender laws. Okay, okay, okay. But in our defence, their gay travel packages are the best on the market. Take their classic Southern Africa tour for example. The luxurious adventure begins in Zimbabwe where you'll witness the power and beauty of Victoria Falls.

Then it's off to Botswana and South Africa for authentic safaris in private game reserves.

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Finally, you'll spend four full days soaking up the culture and cuisine of gorgeous and gay-friendly! Cape Town.

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If that itinerary doesn't spark your sense of adventure, we don't know what will. It became the first country to enshrine full anti-discrimination laws in its Constitution. Up until that point, no other country had ever done this before — a trailblazer not only in Africa but across the entire world! This included allowed LGBT people to openly serve in the army. It didn't stop there, South Africa went on to introduce the right to change legal gender in and legalized gay marriages in Over in Johannesburg, whilst there is no gay village, there are many gay places spread out across the city, particularly in Melville, Parkhurst and Rosebank.

South Africa see Pride events happening in most of the cities. South Africa almost ticks all the boxes — stunning destination to visit, a large, active LGBTQ community, and lots of queer hangouts and events happening.

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The only downside is the violent crime so prevalent around the country which makes it a little big dangerous for all travellers whether straight or gay. When he became President in , he immediately pushed for one of the most progressive constitutions the world has ever seen — the first one ever to outlaw discrimination based on who we love. Big Daddy Nelson, we salut you! Israel sadly has rejected gay marriage 5 times but since it recognises gay marriages from abroad.

Their April departure even aligns with the country's famous Songkran water festival. Bangkok has one of the best gay scenes in the world and we love it. Phuket and Pattaya also have large queer scenes, and islands like Koh Samui even have their own annual Pride. Thailand was set to introduce civil union laws in but gay marriage is still a long way off.

Read more about Bangkok in our gay travel guide to Bangkok. Get in-depth gay travel guides, inspiring stories, savvy planning tips, and exclusive discounts on gay tours. Stefan is the co-founder, editor and author of the gay travel blog nomadicboys. As a travel nerd, he has explored more than 80 countries across 5 continents.

What he loves the most about travelling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends and learning new cultures. Stefan is also a qualified lawyer, having practised as a commercial property litigator in London for over 10 years. He left his lawyer days behind to work full time on Nomadic Boys with his husband Sebastien. Find out more about Nomadic Boys. They legalized same-sex marriages and adoption in and they have an openly gay prime minister and ILGA ranked them as the third most gay friendly country in the world behind Malta and Belgium.

Why does it not get any love? Even in places with gay marriage, a significant percentage of the population may still actively dislike LGBT people. The US for example still has pretty high amounts of hate crimes and discrimination against gay people.


Same thing with Pride parades. In countries which never had wide-scale discrimination, Pride seems kind of pointless. If anything, Pride measures past discrimination and struggles, not current gay-friendliness. Hi Michael — thanks a lot for this. Hello, I sure enjoyed reading your comments about the countries and their roles in the evolution of gay rights etc. Some states and cities have passed laws against descrimination of gay citizens.

It is the religious right wing factions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam that consistently put pressure on our legistlatures to not enact laws against discrimination. We have yet to achieve true separation of church and state here. Our current president is beholding to right wing religious factions especially those who label themselves evengelical Christians. The vice president happens to be one of them. Enough said. My husband and I continue to feel trepidation with fears of our safety if we attempt to hold hands in public.

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Thanks though for your trip around the world! We love Israel — such an incredible country. Unfortunately marriage in Israel is controlled by religious authorities -ALL the religious authorities of all the religions. How many of the countries on your list permit openly gay AND trans individuals to serve in the army? Israel does. They even pay for the medical needs of trans soldiers.


And by the way, the Tel Aviv Pride parade gets several hundred thousand visitors coming over from Europe every year! It is one of the largest in the world. They host the biggest almost only gay pride parade in all the middle east, you can walk freely as a couple in different cities without violence…. We looked at every country as a whole country. I agree we need to do a separate article for just the US states. So then why did you judge the USA As a whole, based on regional dichotomy, but other countries based on the gay vibe in their capital cities?

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  • Why are the standards being shifted by bias? I think the racial bigotry from most Black Gays is equal or more a problem than Homophobia from Straights. Too scared to challenge. You just wrote how the African Continent is not hospitable for Gays, but how often do you see Black Gays on other continents complain about it?

    Un huh. And I forgot to mention it was legalized before Australia and Ecuador too. We generally found that to be the case in almost every country in this list! We did this based on our firsthand experiences. You are very wrong about France. Paris might be gay friendly but anywhere else French people are quite homofobic.

    I am not talking about foriners in poor neighborhoods. I am talking about the majority of French people. I have family in Britany and can tell you that for sure. Where is Luxembourg?