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.

@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.

@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.

@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.”

@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.

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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@_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.

@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.

@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!

@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.

@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.

@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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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Things That Matter

More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Trans rights are under siege in over half of the United States this year, as 28 states have proposed one or more anti-trans bills. The bills range from banning trans children from playing on sports teams to prohibiting doctors from giving trans youth life-saving care. 

Despite winning the White House and both houses of Congress, we cannot grow complacent. Now is the time for others from the LGBTQ community and allies to stand up and protect our trans brothers and sisters.

At least 28 states have proposed anti-trans legislation that could severely harm the community.

Less than three months into the new year, Republican lawmakers have already introduced a record number of anti-trans bills across the country.

According to a report published Monday by Axios, at least 73 pieces of legislation have already been put forward in state legislatures targeting members of the transgender community. Of those proposals, 65 specifically single out trans youth, such as bills prohibiting the kinds of medical care doctors can offer trans minors and others seeking to limit the participation of trans student athletes in school sports. 

Notable examples include legislative efforts by South Dakota and Mississippi, both of which passed bills in the past week blocking trans girls from competing in school athletics in accordance with their gender identity. After being approved by their respective Houses and Senates, their governors have vowed to sign them.

These would be the first bills of their kind to become law in the U.S. after numerous attempts to pass anti-trans sports bills in previous years. In 2019, a bill targeting trans student athletes failed in the South Dakota House by just one vote.

LGBTQ+ advocates are warning that the influx of this type of legislation will harm trans and nonbinary youth.

Trans advocates and experts argue that bills like this do not protect young trans people, and recent studies support this. In February, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report which argued that banning the trans community from certain sports programs would deprive an entire group of people of the benefits of athletics, including lower risks of depression, anxiety, and drug use. Despite so many states introducing legislation targeting trans youth in sports, the report also found that the argument of an “unfair advantage” does not actually hold up to data-driven scrutiny.

“This has been a significant part of my work at the ACLU for the past six years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU, told CNN. “There have never been this many bills targeting trans youth voted out of committee and then making it to the floor.”

There is widespread opposition to anti-trans bills, and not just from LGBTQ+ civil rights groups. More than 55 major corporations have endorsed a statement against these bills and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in general; they include Facebook, Pfizer, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Dell, American Airlines, and many more. Nearly 550 college athletes have signed a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association demanding that championship games be pulled from states that have anti-trans sports laws or are close to enacting them. More than 1,000 child welfare groups have taken a stand against legislation that would keep trans youth out of school sports or deny them health care.

States that enact anti-LGBTQ+ legislation often experience boycotts, as was the case with North Carolina and its anti-trans “bathroom bill” in 2016 and Indiana with its discriminatory religious freedom law in 2015. The former has now been repealed, the latter amended.

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