The World’s Best Countries For Gay Expats
There is a lot to think about when moving to a new country, not least of all the local norms, customs and sensibilities. And, while progress is being made every day for gay rights, sadly not every country in the world is as liberal as it should be.
To help you with your move we’ve compiled a list of countries that not only tolerate homosexuality but actively welcome and cater to gay expats as well as offering an excellent standard of life.
Out of every country in Asia, Thailand’s attitude towards same-sex couples is probably the most liberal, especially in the larger areas; Bangkok, Chaing Mai and the tourist islands. While same-sex marriage is not legal, there are many gay bars in its urban areas and moderate displays of affection will not be deemed offensive by them. However, outlandish displays of affection no matter your sexual orientation may be frowned on in public. On top of its buzzing gay scene, Thailand also offers postcard white beaches, stunning temples and the tastiest food for the tiniest budgets.
While all of Germany is pretty liberal towards same-sex couples, its capital takes the crown. One of the world’s most exciting, prosperous and interesting cities, Berlin also has an incredibly welcoming attitude towards homosexuality with one of the world’s most thriving gay scenes that dates all the way back to 1920s. Famous for its legendary nightlife, culture and liberalism, Berlin also hosts the largest gay pride parade and festival in Germany. In fact, the Christopher Street Day Berlin is one of the largest gay events in Europe and held at the end of June every year.
As the first country in the world to legalise same-sex unions back in 1989 Denmark is one of the world’s most liberal countries. Its open-minded sensibilities combined with gorgeous landscapes, stylish architecture and a high quality of living have made it an incredibly desirable expat destination for years now. Its main cities such as Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense all have bustling gay scenes and there are many websites and magazines to highlight the best gay nights for expats.
As the host of the world’s largest gay pride festival, Brazil has been a mecca for homosexuality for years. Its knock-on effect on the rest of South America has been pleasing with Chile recently announcing a law change to recognise same-sex civil unions. However, it is important to remember that Brazil is a huge country and each region has its own culture, ideas on life and traditions. While São Paulo, Rio or Belo Horizonte offer a liberal and welcoming attitude towards homosexuality, for the most part, the north and the north east of Brazil is far more traditional and religious.
5. New Zealand
With scenery deemed worthy as sets for both the Lord of the Rings movies and Game of Thrones TV series, New Zealand offers some of the world’s most breathtaking views. On top of that, it has a relatively stable economy, a good climate, lots of English speakers and, according to Lonely Planet, is the second most gay-friendly place in the world. The travel guide highlights New Zealand’s longstanding inclusive and progressive behaviour towards the LGBTQ community and its efforts to actively promoted same-sex marriage tourism.
Without the same religious fervour as the US, Canada is far more liberal than its (mostly) southern neighbour. As a result its larger cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal all offer a plethora of gay bars and events. On top of its welcoming attitude towards same-sex couples it also offers a wide range of employment and recreational opportunities from expats all over the world.
And the ones to avoid…
Currently being gay is illegal in about 78 countries and while in some of these you can get by, by not actively flaunting your sexuality, we thoroughly recommend avoiding Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Sudan where homosexuality may be punishable by death.