10 Great Destinations for LGBTQ Expatriates

As LGBTQ rights continue to gain recognition and acceptance worldwide, more and more individuals from the community are coming out and trying to relocate to countries that prioritize equality, legal protections, and social acceptance. Here are the 10 Great Destinations for LGBTQ Expatriates. Being able to live openly and respectfully is essential for LGBTQ expatriates. For the purposes of of this article, we will use LGBTQ to also represent 2SLGBTQIA+.

You may also hear this group referred to as the “rainbow community” or “queer community”. We just want to make sure we are respectful and call people how they wish to be referred to.

It should be self-evident that the LGBTQ communities deserve to live in a place where they are not judged for making certain life choices, do not feel shame, and are given equal rights and acceptance just like any other citizen. Fortunately, there are many countries across the world where LGBTQ expats can live without any fear. Below is the list of top 10 destinations openly accepting LGBTQ individuals and providing them with equal rights that they deserve:

Here are 10 Great Destinations for LGBTQ Expatriates:

1. Netherlands

The Netherlands is a great place for LGBTQ global nomads due to its long-standing history of LGBTQ rights, inclusive policies, and vibrant LGBTQ community. The Netherlands, aka Holland, was one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. The country has anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in all aspects of life. Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is known for its LGBTQ-friendly atmosphere, where these individuals can live freely and mingle with like-minded individuals without any concerns. The annual Amsterdam Pride celebration is a major event, attracting people from all over the world to celebrate diversity and advocate for LGBTQ rights.

2. Canada

Canada was one of the first countries to recognize the right of LGBTQ when it legalized same-sex marriage in 2005. The country has a few laws in place that don’t allow discrimination against others based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal have vibrant LGBTQ communities, and they arrange annual Pride celebrations that attract people from all over the world. Canada’s society is known for its inclusivity and acceptance, creating a safe environment for LGBTQ individuals to live openly without any fear or safety concerns.

3. Sweden

Sweden is a great place for LGBTQ expats due to its long-standing commitment to LGBTQ rights and inclusive policies. Sweden legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, paving the way for equal rights and legal recognition for LGBTQ couples. The country has strict anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ individuals in all areas of life. Stockholm, the capital city, has a thriving LGBTQ scene with various LGBTQ-oriented centers, events, and cultural activities. The city’s annual Pride festival is one of Europe’s largest festivals that shows the country’s dedication towards LGBTQ individuals and their equal rights.

4. Germany

Germany, like many other European countries, is one of the best destinations for LGBTQ expats. The country legalized same-sex marriage in 2017. The country has strict laws that protect LGBTQ in all walks of life no matter where they are residing across Germany. Berlin, in particular, offers a diverse range of LGBTQ-oriented venues, events, and festivals. The city’s annual Christopher Street Day parade attracts hundreds of thousands of participants and spectators from around Europe and beyond, showcasing the city’s inclusive and celebratory atmosphere. Germany embraces a welcoming environment where LGBTQ expats can feel safe, respected, and celebrated for who they are.

5. New Zealand

New Zealand is known for its stunning natural landscapes and its commitment to LGBTQ rights. The country legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 and has anti-discrimination laws in place. Auckland and Wellington have active LGBTQ communities with LGBTQ-friendly events and support organizations. New Zealand’s society is known for its welcoming and inclusive nature, embracing diversity and fostering a sense of acceptance for LGBTQ individuals. These are some of the many reasons why LGBTQ are increasingly moving to accepting and welcoming New Zealand.

6. Spain

Spain has been a trailblazer in LGBTQ rights, legalizing same-sex marriage in 2005. The country offers legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Cities like Barcelona and Madrid are known for their LGBTQ-friendly atmosphere, boasting lively LGBTQ neighborhoods and annual Pride celebrations that attract thousands of people. Spain’s low cost of living, rich culture, and acceptance of LGBTQ communities make it one of the best destinations in the world.

7. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has made significant progress in LGBTQ rights, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2014. London, in particular, offers a thriving LGBTQ community, with neighborhoods like Soho and Vauxhall known for their diverse culture and acceptance. The annual Pride in London festival a great time and if often considered one of the largest Pride events in the world, attended by thousands of people every year. Not only LGBTQ, but many other people in the United Kingdom also come out every year in support of other identities and demand equal rights for them.

8. Australia

Australia has made significant developments in recent years to advance LGBTQ rights and ensure that they are accepted country-wide without any discrimination. Cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane have vibrant LGBTQ communities with a plethora of LGBTQ-oriented events. The LGBTQ festivals like Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, one of the largest festivals in the world, showcase the country’s vibrant LGBTQ culture and its acceptance towards them. Moreover, Australia embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive environment, making it a welcoming destination for LGBTQ expats to live authentically and enjoy a sense of belonging.

9. Iceland

Iceland made same-sex marriage legal in 2010, and since then, the country has been welcoming LGBTQ individuals with open arms. The country’s stunning natural landscapes, high standard of living, and strong social support systems further contribute to making Iceland an appealing destination for LGBTQ expats seeking acceptance, equality, and a high quality of life.

10. Belgium

Last but not least on this list is another European Country; Belgium. This country is also well-known due to its acceptance towards the LGBTQ community. The country has strict laws against discrimination and anyone who goes against them, has to face consequences. There are many cities in Belgium such as Antwerp, and Brussels, which are ideal for living for LGBTQ individuals.

Some final tips for LGBTQ Expatriates and Global nomads

While these countries provide all the necessary care to LGBTQ individuals, including the best healthcare system, it is still advisable to buy health insurance before moving to any of these destinations. It can be challenging to find healthcare providers who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ health concerns in some countries (rare case, though). Having international health insurance in hand will allow LGBTQ individuals access to the quality healthcare they might need. Note that the expat insurers we work with are able to cover same sex couples and also same sex couples with children.