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8 LGBTQ+ Destinations to Visit Around the World

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LGBTQ+ travel is not exactly the same for everyone. For instance, in addition to pondering the freedom of speech and self-expression that will be allowed in the countries of their dreams, travelers must also slalom between places that show real consideration for their distinct realities and those that simply want to empty their pockets.

Here’s a list of particularly noteworthy LGBTQ destinations that carry a significant heritage or Pride festivities that are, in other words, simply extraordinary! From Sydney to Madrid, and from dreamy beach resorts to vibrant nightlife LGBTQ scenes, there’s plenty to choose from.

Which airline is LGBTQ friendly?

At Air Transat, love is love. There is no other way of doing things than the inclusive way.

Their entire raison d’être is to bring people from point A to point  B, and as such, they are a creator of opportunities, to foster openness both here in Canada and everywhere they fly to. For both the crew and the passengers, but also for our collective responsibility to create a just society for each and every one of us. Their wish is to be a vector of change and to encourage dialogue, discovery and transformation… big and small.

San Francisco, United States

Indeed, it seems that San Francisco is not just the international capital of LGBTQ+ travel, but also diversity, inclusion, and general deconstruction of the conservative framework. Here, sexually- diverse and gender-diverse people are not just secluded in one neighborhood. On the contrary: they are everywhere!

That reality is not surprising when considering that the city saw Harvey Milk become the first openly gay elected official in California’s history back in 1977, together with the first battles against HIV-AIDS and for same-sex marriage, respectively. Another key point is obviously the GLBT Historical Social Museum, which is located in San Francisco and recounts the story of over a century of LGBTQ+ history.

And while you’re there, why not discover the California coast and head down to Los Angeles, where the very first pro-gay parade in the United States took place in 1970?

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – are all-inclusive resorts gay-friendly?

As a whole, Mexico is becoming increasingly accepting of same-sex relationships and LGBTQ+ rights, particularly as same-sex marriage was legalised in 2009.

For an unforgettable LGBTQ experience in Mexico, head to Puerto Vallarta during Pride celebrations and join the parade, one of Mexico’s most gay-friendly destinations. If your schedule doesn’t allow it, visit anytime and enjoy the vibrant LGBTQ+ nightlife includes numerous queer-owned businesses and a wide range of entertainment venues, from laid-back cocktail bars to lively adult clubs. Many bars also offer Purple Hand, a locally brewed beer specifically marketed to the LGBTQ community.

Did you know there’s even a unique third gender in Oaxaca called muxes? In the indigenous Zapotec culture, which has recognized a three-gender system since before Spanish colonization, muxes are individuals assigned male at birth who embrace roles and identities traditionally associated with women. Highly respected and celebrated within their communities, muxes blend traditional customs with modern influences and often play key roles in social and cultural events. This is one of the more interesting chapters in Mexico LGBTQ+ history!

There are plenty of gay-friendly all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, both in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. Just pick your favorite coast and you’re good to go!

Brighton and London, England – gay-friendly cities in Britain

In the UK, Brighton and London are recognized as particularly welcoming for the LGBTQ+ community. Known for its vibrant seaside vibe, Brighton is often referred to as the unofficial capital of  LGBTQ+ scenes of Britain. The city hosts one of Europe’s biggest Pride festivals, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually in early August.

Meanwhile, London is not to be outdone. The city’s Soho neighborhood remains the epicenter of queer life in the English capital, hosting a variety of LGBTQ+ friendly bars and venues. London’s Pride celebration is one of the largest in the world, reflecting the city’s commitment to diversity and inclusion every late June.

Madrid, Spain – one of the best LGBTQ destinations in Europe

Spain has been opening its arms to LGBTQ+ tourism for decades now. Following the death of fascist dictator Francisco Franco, the country embraced liberal values and democracy that ultimately led to the creation of the Fiestas del Orgullo Gay in Madrid in 1979. To this day, Spain remains one of the first countries to have legalized same-sex marriage as part of its social conventions.

To truly understand why the country is now evidently one of the most welcoming in the world, start with the Madrid Pride! It’s considered to be the biggest Pride celebrations in Europe, with over a whopping 3.5 million participants every year in the Old Town.

Sydney, Australia – a great choice for LGBTQ destination weddings

The amendment to the federal Marriage Act laws on December 9, 2017, granted same-sex couples the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. Today, there are roughly 80 000 same-sex couples living together in Australia, with one in three being married.

If you’re looking for a new reason to escape winter, book your flights to Sydney now to experience the Australian summer! In late February and early March, Sydney is alive with the rhythms of Mardi Gras. Besides, the first Pride celebrations drew 500 people to Oxford Street in 1978; that makes it one of the oldest Prides on the planet. The event now attracts half a million people in the land of kangaroos, Kylie Minogue and the cult movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Amsterdam, Netherlands – where LGBTQ+ laws took shape

The Dutch capital surely has the most unique Pride celebrations on the planet thanks to its… floating parade! On the first Saturday of August, nearly 80 boats ply the many festively-decked out canals.

Throughout the week, hundreds of thousands of people – not only LGBTQ+ travelers but also an impressive amount of cisgender heterosexuals – celebrate diversity by partying in the streets and creating a safe space for everyone present.

Is that not enough to convince you to visit the first country to legalize same-sex marriage? Recent LGBTQ+ history was made here, with laws that went on to change gay rights throughout the world. This makes Amsterdam top of the list as far as LGBTQ-friendly destinations are concerned.

New York, United States – where modern LGBTQ+ history started

It’s impossible not to include the Big Apple in this list of destinations, as it stands as the cornerstone of LGTQ+ history After all, the Pride movement was born there, shortly after the June 1969 protests launched by courageous Afro-descendant drag queen Marsha Johnson.

Five decades later, given that heritage, why not go on a pilgrimage type-trip?

Start with a drink at the legendary Stonewall Inn in the West Village. Take in the Pride festivities. Then, sober up with a Sex and the City brunch. Digest it all with a visit to the High Line. At last, fill your head with art at the Whitney Museum of American Art, known for its inclusiveness and willingness to highlight a wide range of sensibilities including LGBTQ+ rights.

Mykonos, Greece – the most coveted LGBTQ+ party scene in Europe

Surprisingly, the Greek island does not have a historical and emotional charge strongly associated with the LGBTQ+ movement. And yet, we cannot ignore the fact that it is without a doubt one of the most popular European beach destinations for LGBTQ+ rights, along with Ibiza, Gran Canaria and Sitges.

Year after year, as soon as the summer begins, a diverse crowd of people flock to the island. Why? Specifically to indulge in its vibrant nightlife, bask on the dazzling beaches, give their taste buds an unforgettable experience, and offer their eyes a unique perspective on the island’s architecture, the beauties in various types of tiny swimsuits and, not to mention, the trendiest things in the world.

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