culture

These Are The Best Latin American Countries To Visit If You Are Part Of The LGBTQ Community

Traveling internationally has become increasingly accessible to people all over the world. However, laws are different depending on the country you want to see. This is especially true for LGBTQ people. There are still countries that have a death penalty in place as punishment for simply being gay. Countries like Russia will jail tourists for being openly gay.

Some countries in Latina America have made major changes to laws and rights for the LGBTQ community. Countries like Uruguay and Argentina have legalized same-sex marriage. The LGBTQ Travel Index ranks countries based on the friendliness to the LGBTQ community and here are the top ranking Latin American countries.

The LGBTQ Travel Index puts many Latin American countries at the top of the list.

CREDIT: @lgbtpr / Instagram

The index uses criteria like marriage equality laws, age of consent, religious influences, anti-gay laws, and family adoption policies to rate the countries. This year, it included transgender rights on the list. Canada and Sweden tied for top spot, if you want to go to cold places.

Uruguay ranked as the No. 1 friendliest Latin American country.

CREDIT: @ClaroCriativo / Twitter

Uruguay is known around the world as an extremely gay-friendly place. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1934 and marriage equality passed in early 2013. Check out Chains Pub for the most popular gay tourist destination and La Pasiva. Please Google La Pasiva’s logo and die happy that a pizza chain went for a boy kissing a weiner dog for the logo.

Colombia comes right after Uruguay on the index.

CREDIT: @colombia.travel / Instagram

If you search for gay travel in Colombia, you’ll even find several different travel agencies targeting LGBTQ people specifically, there’s that much of a demand and supply for it. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the Caribbean coast, enjoying the nightlife of Medellin or exploring the historic and colorful city of Bogota, you’ll be in good hands.

Argentina has been dubbed “Latin America’s gay capital.”

CREDIT: @argentinatravel / Instagram

I mean, there are rainbows everywhere, and LGBTQ people have been safe since indigenous times. The Mapuche people didn’t live in a binary and even revered its third gender, weye. “Christians invaded and used the “sodomy” of Mapuche as a justification for war. Argentina decolonized its values when it became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in Latin America.

Puerto Rico ranks higher than the United States on the index.

CREDIT: lgbtpr / Instagram

Whether you want to get on a rainbow tour bus and discover gay San Juan for yourself, or go on foot to the many gay bars, you’ll be in good company. Plus, Puerto Rico needs your money right now.

Bolivia is here for you nature lovers.

CREDIT: @BoliviaNonStop / Instagram

Bolivia comes right after Puerto Rico and the USA with points deducted for religious influence and hostile locals (in the smaller towns). Yes, Latin America needs to combat it’s machísmo and Catholic influences, but you’ll be more safe checking out salt flats of Bolivia than the swamps of Louisiana.

Oh, and Ecuador, tambien.

CREDIT: @AmiePortal / Twitter

Strangely, while Ecuador has stricter legal protections for the LGBT community, it also has HIV travel restrictions. That said, you can make a trip to the famous Galapagos Islands where nobody cares what your sexuality is. Everyone’s there to be mesmerized by island penguins.

Brazil is an obvious choice.

CREDIT: @instacopacabana / Instagram

While Brazil earned some points on the index for some of its legislation to protect LGBTQ people, it loses points for its religious influence and murders of the LGBTQ community. If you’re going to Brazil, check out Copacabana and Ipanema, which are notoriously gay tourist spots.

Plus, Carnival is no joke.

Costa Rica is queer heaven.

CREDIT: @visit_costarica / Twitter

Costa Rica is cherished in the queer community. You go to find your solitude and peace with nature. With the tourism industry being a mainstay for the economy, you’d be hard pressed to encounter hate here.

Nicaragua is a toss up.

CREDIT: @discovernicaragua / Instagram

Nicaragua is a borderline place to visit, with not too many laws in place to protect the community, but also not to much recorded hostility toward the community. What is gayer than your own private sea cave with your boo? The landscape speaks for itself.

México, however, has been gay for thousands of years.

CREDIT: @JuanAlbavera / Twitter

Tulum has exploded as a destination in México, and while the country as a whole is pretty friendly to the gays, Tulum has a special history with our community. The Mayans once thrived in this spot on the Yucatan and were known for celebrating sexual diversity. Not much has changed.

If you’re not into the party scene and want to unwind, see the Mayan ruins and maybe check out a gay bar in nearby Playa del Carmen, go to Tulum.

Guatemala boasts some incredible scenery.

CREDIT: @_Greg_Jensen / Twitter

Lake Atitlán in Guatemala is breathtaking. You can jump in that lake, take in views of nearby volcanos and snap all the selfies your big, bleeding, gay heart desires with no shame.

Panama is a Central American getaway.

CREDIT: @ToshioK / Instagram

Panama comes in hot after México on the index rating, though Panama City doesn’t have a gay neighborhood. You can check out the Envy Club Panamá, which hosts drag shows and Mr. Gay Central America. It just opened and is right in front of Hotel Hyatt Place–there’s your hotel, to boot.

Belize has some of the most pristine waters to dip in with your boo.

CREDIT: @GayTravel / Instagram

While it is featured on Gay Travel blogs, the index has it rated as a -4, nearing the bottom of the list worldwide. However, the country is pivoting to tourism as a main source of income and tourism changes things.

Do not go to Honduras!

CREDIT: @fabrizphoto / Instagram

Honduras has the highest rate of transgender murders relative to its population. After liberal president Manuel Zelaya was ousted in 2009, 215 LGBT murders have taken place. Things can change, though. LGBT activist Erick Martínez is a candidate for Congress in Honduras, despite the risk he’s taking to even run publicly.

Tampoco, don’t head to Peru anytime soon.

CREDIT: @explorandoperu365 / Instagram

While Peru comes in hot after Kyrgyzstan and before Ukraine on the index list, some legislation is starting to pass to make it more legally safe to travel to the country. Don’t go on our advice though.

Wherever you decide to go, we hope it’s somewhere you can let loose. It is vacation after all.

CREDIT: @lgtbphotos / Twitter

I know I always want to support a tourist economy that is going to welcome me with open arms, and I’m not interested in having my guard up on vacation. Let me display all that Latina affection I’ve been raised to do in peace.


READ: These 19 Straight Allies Are Using Their Fame And Influence To Stand Up For Their LGBTQ+ Brothers And Sisters

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‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

Culture

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

juanpablodipace / Instagram

Argentinian actor Juan Pablo Di Pace recently came out in a TEDx video recorded in March. The video was released in late June giving Di Pace’s coming out story a special place in the 2019 Pride Month calendar. Social media erupted in applause and praise for the actor living his truth after so much time hiding in the closet.

Juan Pablo Di Pace came out of the closet as a gay man and is already living it up.

That’s right. Di Pace was living it up in Madrid during pride not long after the video of his talk coming out of the closet was publish. Honestly, it is something everyone should be celebrating. Someone being able to live their life fully is something that some people will never be able to understand. There is an attitude of in the Latino community that tries to shun and silence the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing a prominent member of the Latino community sharing his coming out story is such a positive example for younger people struggling to come out.

Di Pace’s coming out via a TEDx is one of the greatest moments of Pride Month 2019.

Not only did Di Pace come out of the closet, but his story about coming out and learning who he is is also very relatable to most members of the LGBTQ+ community. It wasn’t like he figured out that he was different. It had to be told to him.

“My mother says that I came out of her womb with a paper and pencil in my hand and that I used to draw until I fell asleep, which is why I had very few friends. But, actually, the truth is that, unlike most of the boys in my class, I preferred to play with girls. I was more comfortable. They were more fun,” Di Pace told the audience at his TEDx talk. “So, I didn’t think anything of it, right? Until I heard a word that I had never heard before. It started like a thunder that got closer and louder to me as it exploded like egg in my face: marícon, faggot. Well, I didn’t really understand that word at first but the word was here to stay for years. A little know book, as you might know as the Bible, starts with, ‘In the beginning, was the word and the word was made flesh and it dwelt among us.’ So, after failed attempts to fight against this word and try to make friends, my only option was to make friends with white sheets of paper. Paper would not shout or kick me. Paper was kind and on paper everything and anything was possible, just like in the movies.”

The moment of being made to feel and know that you are different from everyone else is something most people deal with at the beginning of coming out. It is a harsh, and some times dangerous, moment that starts the process of coming out and learning who you are as a person.

Fans of the actor showered him with praise and love for coming out.

Credit: judygeitz / Instagram

Coming out, no matter how old you are or how successful you are, is a terrifying experience. You have to be prepared for people to shun you. You need to be ready for people to speak down to you. It is not an easy or fun process for a lot of people.

The emotional reception to Di Pace’s coming is filled with love and appreciation.

Credit: iamlibrado / Instagram

This is something the Di Pace should be so proud of. It is so important for people to come out of the closet. By coming out of the closet, you force others around you to confront their own ideas of the LGBTQ+ community. When people know someone personally who is LGBTQ+, they tend to become more accepting of the community allowing for more people to come out in a safer environment.

You are with your chosen family now, Juan.

Credit: stillwater1979 / Instagram

All people in the LGBTQ+ community understand the importance of a chosen family. Even if your family accepts you, it is important to have a chosen family. It is a way to learn what it means to be gay and how to live life open in a world that can sometimes be really cruel. Your family will want to help but it is hard for your mom and dad to teach about LGBTQ+ culture.

Congratulations on coming out Juan. Sending lots of love.

READ: Grab The Tissues! These Latinas Told Us Their Coming Out Stories And We Have Been Sobbing In Pride

3 Slices Of Heaven In The Mexican Beachside You Have To Visit

Culture

3 Slices Of Heaven In The Mexican Beachside You Have To Visit

Mexico, Jalisco, Costa Careyes \ Getty Images

For decades, Mexico has been one of the main destinations for global tourism. The country offers amazing beaches where visitors can find both natural beauty and experienced hospitality workers who make their living by providing unforgettable experiences. We have selected 13 beaches that can cater for any kind of visitor and for budgets of all sizes. Remember that old Corona ad, “From where you would rather be”? Well, we would rather be in one of these slices of heaven.

1. Costa Careyes
Located in: Jalisco
Good for: high end, luxury traveling, honeymoons

Credit: xaviermaxemin / Instagram

This relatively recent development is located in the Mexican state of Jalisco, so you can also visit the city of Guadalajara or the many tequila haciendas in the region. This beach is pristine and hasn’t been developed as much as classics such as Acapulco or Cancun. It is pricey, but ideal for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon… you might leave the room for a bit just to witness the stunning sunsets. You can find more details here: https://www.careyes.com/.

2. Puerto de Veracruz
Located in: Veracruz, Gulf of Mexico
Good for: old fashioned Mexican charm

Credit: goopar / Instagram

Veracruz is one of the oldest cities in Mexico, the port where the Spanish started the development of the new colony. The old port has been revitalized in recent years, and you can experience the charm of jarochos: you can smoke a cigar while sipping a cafe con leche in the traditional La Parroquia. You can also listen to nostalgic regional son jarocho or join old folks in a communal dance known as danzon. 

3. Bahia de Los Angeles
Located in: Baja California
Good for: those who love the stunning desert/ocean combo

Credit: xol_gran / Instagram

Less developed than beach towns such as La Paz and Los Cabos. This is a dream for those who love the combination of desert and sea. The Gulf of California bathes beaches that are red and feature spectacular rock formations crowned by cacti and succulents that defy the laws of gravity. A surreal but soothing destination. 

4. Isla Holbox
Located in: Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula
Good for: just relaxing on a hammock as the waves caress the sand

Credit: laryssa_ayres / Instagram

This island north of the Yucatan Peninsula is truly heaven on earth. It is part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, so it is not highly developed. The island is separated from the mainland by a lagoon which features flamingos and pelicans. Good to know: no cars are allowed on the island.

5. Isla Mujeres
Located in: the Caribbean Sea, near Cancun
Good for: snorkeling and scuba diving

Credit: javi_viteri10 / Instagram

Another paradisiac highlight in the Yucatan Peninsula. This island has amazing beaches such as Playa Norte, plenty of resorts and scuba diving and snorkeling experiences. Even though it only has 4.22 km², it has it all: a lighthouse, Mayan ruins and even a sanctuary for sea turtles. 

6. Puerto Vallarta
Located in: Jalisco
Good for: going out and sleeping in!

Credit: shanip94 / Instagram

This traditional beach destination captivated filmmaker John Huston when he shot The Night of the Iguana here. Elizabeth Taylor, who was tagging along with her then-husband Richard Burton, also fell in love with the dramatic landscape, food and good vibes of this awesome place, which is also famous for its vibrant nightlife. A perfect alternative for those who find Cancun and Los Cabos to be just a bit too touristy. It is near the Tequila region, so a little stop is in order.

7. Mazunte
Located in: Oaxaca
Good for: cheap and low key hippie vibes

Credit: omarjairbq / Instagram

This has been the de facto destination for Mexico City natives that just want to relax by the beach and eat some delicious Oaxacan food. Even though it is now a bit more developed than some would wish, it still retains a mystic but relaxed atmosphere. People feel so at ease that it is sort of a nudist beach: if that is your thing, clothes away! Seriously, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

8. Mazatlan
Located in: Sinaloa
Good for: spectacular scenery and delicious seafood, Sinaloa style

Credit: mexicoentusojos / Instagram

An oldie but goodie. This resort town borders the Pacific shoreline in the state of Sinaloa. It was an impressive boardwalk or malecon that covers 21 km. Old Mazatlan is a 19th-century colonial jewel with gorgeous architecture. If you are into big-game fishing, this is the place to be. You can also eat some amazing Sinaloa seafood. A taco gobernador, anyone? (if you are wondering, it has shrimp, black beans, a secret spicy sauce, and melted cheese, all in corn tortillas of course!). 

9. Playa Ventura
Located in: Guerrero
Good for: relaxing times and amazing food in a rustic environment

Credit: omarjairbq / Instagram

Near the legendary but now dangerous Acapulco lies this beach which is visited by turtles and offers a rustic experience. Food is just great: pescado a la talla and lobster smothered in chili and butter. What is not to like? We hope it keeps that rustic feel and that development doesn’t translate into big resorts. 

10. Los Cabos
Located in: Baja California Sur
Good for: sea life watching

Credit: seemexicotravel / Instagram

A classic destination full of top-end resorts, but also the home of a charming town and plenty of spectacular animal sightings. You can take a whale watching tour or watch seals basking in the Baja sun. There are of course plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. And by the way, you might spot one of the many Hollywood A-listers who have made Cabo their preferred holiday spot. While you are here, why not rent a car and travel up the Baja peninsula all the way to the wine region near Ensenada?

11. Punta Cometa and Playa Mermejita
Located in: Oaxaca
Good for: thinking about la inmortalidad del cangrejo

 

Credit: @yola_romay / Instagram

On the way to the charming Playa Mermejita (in Mazunte, see above) you can stop at this spot, which offers the most romantic sunset on Earth. You can also stare at the ocean and the beach and think about your life: nothing like being away from the tribulations of your daily life to reflect on where you are going. 

12. Playa Pichilinguillo
Located in: Michoacan
Good for: unadulterated natural experiences

Credit: devagamx / Instagram

White sands, tame waves, and blue waters. This is a playa virgen that totally gives us The Blue Lagoon vibes. It is ideal to scuba dive or snorkel, as waters are almost transparent and fish are still unafraid of humans. The lobster here is delicious. Plus, you will be helping the local economy thrive as it is not yet subject to big transnational resort companies. 

13. Playa del Carmen
Located in: Quintana Roo
Good for: a good mix of relaxing and fiesta!

Credit: destino.mochilero / Instagram

People who got sick and tired of how gringo Cancun looks have moved their business to Playa del Carmen, which started out as a “poor relative” and is now a hot spot for nightlife and glorious days at the beach. It attracted European tourism early, so there are plenty of culinary options as some visitors just decided to stay and open their own restaurants! Prices have peaked recently, but it is still a great option for those who believe that Cancun’s best days have passed.

READ: These Latin American Beaches Are The Perfect Getaways For All Of The Beach Bums In The World

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