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The New York Times recently released its list of the 52 places to visit in 2015, which includes places we love (New Orleans, Philadelphia, Cuba), but also horrifically homophobic cities and nations. Understanding traveling as an LGBT person brings its own set of concerns, we created our own list, in no particular order, of places that LGBT travelers should avoid at all costs.
Here we (don't) go:
Antigay sentiment in this central African nation is pervasive; over 97 percent of Nigerians believe homosexuality is unacceptable. Same-sex couples can face up to 14 years in prison, and same-sex PDAs are illegal. Better traveling alone and not touching anyone if you still desire to go there (though why would you?).
LGBT hate crimes have increased since 2009, and there’s a lot of strife between LGBT-right activists and their families — equality advocates are often shunned by their communities. Murders of LGBT people are frighteningly common, and authorities are known to do very little to catch the perpetrators and prevent further crimes.
If you want to be considered “filth” and/or possibly be beheaded, Zimbabwe is definitely your destination. President Robert Mugabe has created an incredibly antigay environment (he said that homosexuality "destroys nations"), with most of Zimbabwe’s public in approval.
If you're male, don’t expect to feel comfortable with your partner or spouse in Jamaica because sex between men is illegal, and if you're targeted for being LGBT, don’t expect to be protected by the government; officials are known to condone and participate in antigay violence.
The African nation criminalized gay sex last year, with fines and jail for perpetrators. As of 2013, more than a dozen LGBT people sat in jail just for being gay. Skip! Pictured above: Senegal president Macky Sall
Influenced by its neighbor Russia, Lithuania proposed numerous antigay bills recently, including anti-"gay propaganda" legislation that would have banned everything from LGBT groups to Pride parades. Thankfully, it stalled but, frighteningly, gays are often scapegoats in this eastern European nation.
Gay relations between men and women are illegal in Sudan, and homophobia is widespread. A 2011 report from the State Department said vigilantes routinely attack gay people in Sudan. Uh, no thanks.
Being gay in Egypt is equivalent to being a criminal and most anything gay-related is considered debauchery. The nation has been cracking down extensively on gay men, including raiding bathhouses and police are known to lure gay men over the internet and on smartphones.
Oh, Russia. With its antigay "propaganda" law, Russia is doing a great job with making clear that it’s not a safe destination for LGBT travelers. The nation seems to be getting worse when it comes to anti-LGBT sentiment, banning pride festivals and barring transgender people from driving (!).
This nation's infamous "Kill the Gays" bill was reduced to a "Jail the Gays" bill ("aggravated homosexuality" equals life in prison), before being annulled by a court this summer. Don't worry, this horrifically homophobic nation, where activists are routinely murdered, is trying to pass a new draconian antigay law.