No true LGBTQ + ally should visit these 11 countries

TW: Homophobia, torture, abuse, violence, discrimination

I mean, I’m going to start off by saying that this list could really be huge. There are lots of countries that criminalize LGBTQ + behavior, often punishing community members with imprisonment or even the death penalty.

And there are many more countries that have restrictive laws, like Hungary, which recently prohibits discussion of LGBTQ + people in schools and the media.

There are, however, lots of countries that are really friendly with LGBTQ + people, so don’t hesitate to go and invest in their economy on your next trip abroad.

But if your LGBTQ + friends don’t feel safe in these 11 countries, you probably shouldn’t go either … or you’re a pretty crappy ally.

UAE (Dubai)

Going through Instagram

Influencers have dubiously flew to Dubai throughout the pandemic, but what is more questionable is the UAE’s record on LGBTQ + rights.

Here, if a man wears “woman’s clothes” he can be sentenced to one year in prison. Laws differ in different parts of the UAE, but in Dubai, if a man has sex with another man, he can be jailed for up to 10 years.

In Abu Dhabi, “unnatural sex with another person” can be punished with up to 14 years in prison.

Indonesia (Bali)

While there are no laws that criminalize same-sex behavior in Indonesia, there are also no laws specifically protecting LGBTQ + people. It is therefore quite common for government authorities to arbitrarily arrest LGBTQ + people.

Police and Islamist activists regularly raided LGBTQ + gatherings and made arrests.

In 2020, a transgender woman was brutally murdered in Jakarta, but police decided not to prosecute the murder charges.


In Poland, they literally have “LGBT-free zones”. 90 cities and regions have passed motions declaring their areas free from “LGBT ideology”.

Unsurprisingly, discrimination against LGBTQ + people in Poland is rife, prompting thousands to participate in a Warsaw Pride March last week.


LGBTQ Travel

Hungarian Parliament in Budapest

Besides the recent passing of a law banning discussions of homosexuality in schools or in the media, Hungary has also implemented other measures, eroding the rights of the LGBTQ + community.

Last year, Hungary ended legal recognition of transgender and intersex people. Human Rights Watch said: “This comes at a time when the government has used the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to seize unlimited power and is using Parliament to approve problematic bills unrelated to public health, like this one.”



If a transgender person wants to gain legal recognition of their gender in Japan, they must agree to be sterilized. Japanese law states that there is a “need to avoid abrupt changes in a society where the distinction between men and women has long been based on biological sex.”

Same-sex unions are not recognized by the national government, but unofficial same-sex marriages occur locally.



LGBTQ + people in Vietnam face a lot of discrimination because of their gender or sexuality. Homosexuality is considered a curable mental health problem – a message that is promoted in schools and in society in general.

There are very few legal protections against violence and discrimination against LGBTQ + people.


LGBTQ rights are a shit show in Egypt. Authorities can arrest people because of their sexuality or gender identity.

These people can be detained, tortured and even subjected to forced anal exams to establish “evidence” of homosexual behavior.


In 1992, a law punishes anal sex with life imprisonment and an “act of serious indecency” punishable by 10 years in prison.

This law has been the subject of various challenges over the years, but as it stands, it is still in place.


LGBTQ Travel


Like Hungary, Russia has a “gay propaganda” law that authorities use to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ + community.

In 2019, an activist called Yulia Tsvetkova was fined the equivalent of $ 665 for posting LGBTQ + friendly content on social media pages.

Earlier this year, Tsvetkova was charged with uploading drawings of nude, body-positive women to social media on charges of pornography. If convicted, she faces six years in prison.


In the Maldives, consensual sex between two people of the same sex can lead to eight years in prison and 100 lashes.

Same-sex marriage is prohibited and punishable by one year in prison.


In Jamaica, a law prohibiting consensual sex between two men was introduced in 1864. Although there have been various challenges to the law over the years, the law remains in place and contributes to a hostile climate for members. of the LGBTQ + community.

A full report on countries and their laws on sexual orientation and gender identity can be found here.

Featured Image Via Instagram.

The Tab’s Pride reporting series focuses on highlighting LGBTQ + issues and celebrating queer voices on UK campuses.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, you can contact Switchboard, the LGBTQ + hotline, on 0300 330 0630 or visit their website. You can also find help via The mixture.

If you have a story you’d like to tell us, whether it’s an incident of homophobia on campus, an experience you’d like to share, or anything you think we should hear, contact- us with confidence by sending an email [email protected]

Learn more about The Tab’s Pride series:

• “They tried to pray to homosexuals”: ​​growing up as a homosexual in a deeply religious home

• I’m bisexual in college, but haven’t told anyone in my family yet.

• Growing up with gay parents is really what it is.

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