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Know before you go.

With the number of performative campaigns, distasteful brand items (looking at you, Juneteenth ice cream), and insensitive rainbow merch, many people have unfortunately come to terms that this might be their reality. Are corporations really funding human rights campaigns? Does our government actually care about my community? No one should have to wonder if they might get kicked out of their rental home because they’re LGBTQ+. There shouldn’t be a question on if our government is protecting minority and LGBTQ+ people.

That’s where this list comes in.

All 8 of these destinations foster inclusive environments, pass legislation that protects queer people, and welcome the LGBTQ+ community with open arms. So whether you’re exploring or emigrating, here are 10 international places to keep on your bucket list:

Pride flags at the Mexican Pride Parade

Mexico City, Mexico 

Mexico’s history with LGBTQ+ rights and equality have mostly been complicated. In 2009, the Catholic church legalized same-sex marriage, which inspired a growing acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. And in 2018, Mexico finally recognized the International Day against Homphobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. However, there’s been some skepticism within the LGBTQ+ community on how they view President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 

With that being said, the LGBTQ+ community is still alive and thriving in Mexico City. The Zona Rosa neighborhood is famous for its gay community and having an overall LGBTQ+ friendly area. 

 

Must-visit POC businesses: Casai, El Armario Abierto, La Cañita, Lady Tacos de Canasta, Nicos

Toronto, Ontario

In general, Canada is known as a top LGBTQ+ destination in North America. In 2019, 85 percent of their society accepts homosexuality and the gay community. 

If you’re headed to The Great North, check out Toronto for its multicultural gay districts like West Village and Church and Wellesley for delicious restaurants, trendy cafes, and gay-friendly stores. 

Must-visit POC businesses: The ArQuives, Elbo Patties 

Photo of Nepalese people celebrating at the Nepal Pride Parade. 

There are signs that say "Gay," "Intersex," and "Bigender," in English and Nepali. 

These people are showcasing LGBTQ+ pride.

Kathmandu, Nepal

With the Kingdom of Nepal out of their way, citizens of this great country made progressive efforts for their LGBTQ+ people. For the past few years, Nepal’s government issued laws that recognized non-binary citizens and banned housing and employment discrimination. And while Nepal has a long way to go, being in a largely conservative part of the world, their actions speak volumes.

Must-visit POC business: Pink Mountain Travels and Tours

Reykjavík, Iceland

Perlan, the Blue Lagoon, the Northern Lights. Take a trip to the Land of Ice and Fire to experience true bliss and relaxation. And with high rankings on social acceptance rates, the LGBTQ+ community can easily experience these attractions with ease.

And Pride festivals aren’t just celebrated in June, either. You can visit Iceland at the beginning of the year to celebrate Rainbow Reykjavík, a four-day LGBTQ+ winter festival, or visit in September for Bears on Ice.

Auckland, New Zealand 

It’s no surprise that New Zealand is on this list. I mean, they currently hold the title of having the most rainbow Parliament in the world. Plus, they became the first nation to have an openly transgender politician. So, it makes sense for them to have extensive human rights protections that benefit and include diverse communities.

This secluded island holds breathtaking landscapes and thrill-seeking opportunities for travelers to enjoy.

Sydney, Australia 

If you can get over the ginormous spiders and beefy kangaroos, Sydney is the place to be. Home to one of the biggest Pride Parades in the world, Australia is generally known to be one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. Drag shows, queer bookstores, and gay nightclubs are widely accepted, and it’s highly unlikely for travelers to have any issues. 

Must-visit POC business: Mabu Mabu 

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town’s rainbow districts are home to various retail stores, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants, making this the perfect destination for travelers. If you’re looking for the best nightclubs and gay bars, look no further than De Waterkant.

Must-visit POC businesses: Berta’s, Zer021 Social Club

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Known for its enchanting waterfalls and local wineries, Buenos Aires became the first Latin American city to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. Since then, the vibrant country prides itself on being LGBTQ+ friendly. They have extensive protection rights for trans people, as well as allowing banning conversion therapy and allowing gay people to serve in the military and adopt. 

Buenos Aires is also known as the “LGBT Capital of Latin America,” where tolerance and diversity are widespread. With numerous pubs, cultural centers, and nightclubs, the LGBTQ+ community in this city reigns supreme in Latin America.