If you are a member of LGBTQ+ and want to retire to a foreign country, you need to be certain where you move is open to you just being you.

And as you understand, openness has gotten better in many places, but also worse in some.

Moving to a bigger city tends to help, people in cities are more open than a small village.

According to Asher & Lyric, the top LGBTQ+ safest countries that are also common expat locations are:

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Uruguay
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Costa Rica
  • México

To put some perspective on all this, the USA is only number 24 out of 50 in LGBTQ-friendly countries. Canada is number one.

Moreover, according to Equal Times, transgender tolerance is low in Central and South America due to heavily patriarchal society combined with high transgender rates of sex work.

Here in México if you are in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México they have a big LGBTQ+ event every six months. Men can wear a thong only and walk down 5th (the main walking street) and you probably would be ignored. I’ve seen it. Women are another story, you will be whistled at and stop foot traffic, do it on the beach, and you’ll be ignored mostly. If you are transgendered and outside a tiny friendly zone, you will have issues due to the heavy patriarchal society.

You do any of that in my small village, hours away from Playa, and who knows what would happen. It’s pretty conservative.

The nearby big city of Mérida has gay and lesbian nightclubs and social scene. The party scene is not nearly as big as Playa del Carmen, which is party central. But, if you aren’t into partying all the time and just want to live, be open and enjoy life, Mérida is safe.

Interesting that all of México had legal same-sex marriage before all the USA.

Spartacus Gary Travel Guide has a great map on LGBTQ+ tolerance. And Asher & Lyric has many details ranking 203 countries and some safety tips worth noting.

Refer to my Playa del Carmen Expat Guidebook on Amazon for everything about living in Playa.

Yes, you can be a member of LGBTQ+ and live in a foreign country when you take precautions just like you do back home and avoid areas that are unfriendly.

When you follow my How To Become An Expat In 30 days guide, you’ll learn to test places out before making any commitment to a location. I tried out nearly 30 different places here in México before buying a home.