We’re living in very progressive and exciting times. Acceptance of the LGBTQ community is at its highest ever. 2014 was the year that Laverne Cox became the first trans woman to grace the cover of Time Magazine. Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide in 16 countries, with many other nations (the United States included) soon to catch up. Unfortunately, not everywhere in the world is equally accepting of queer folk, and so world travel can be a daunting (if not dangerous) endeavor. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top gay-friendly destinations for 2015:
This city has no shortage of inspiring history. If the birthplace of beloved author Hans Christian Anderson, with its endearing architecture doesn’t impress you on its own – how about being the first country to legally recognize same-sex partners, and the city with Europe’s oldest gay bar – Centralhjørnet? Of course, there’s also the waterfront, the vibrant arts scene, Strøget (Europe’s longest pedestrian street and the city’s largest shopping area) and beautiful Tivoli Gardens!
Looking for outdoor, family-friendly fun in a progressive U.S. city? Boulder is a great college town with ample shopping, restaurants (with lots of great vegetarian options), and tons of sports activities. Where else can you go kayaking, snowshoeing, fishing, take in a show at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, learn a purl stitch with the Gay Men’s Knitting Club, and drink a pint at local craft breweries? Plus, Colorado has has legal same-sex marriage, and a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination law that’s sure to make everyone feel welcomed.
They’re not just accepting of queer travelers, they are reaching out! New Zealand was the first country to adopt the term “Gay/Lesbian Friendly” in reference to its tourism and businesses, and has been actively encouraging LGBTQ visitors since legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013. Take a hike around “Middle Earth” and discover wildlife. Enjoy water activities like boat cruises, diving and surfing. Learn about the fascinating Māori culture (the indigenous people of New Zealand). Best of all, if you’re traveling any time soon – it’s already summer!
You may have heard lately that Sitges has been named the gay go-to for travel this year. The raucous Carnaval is in February, while the beach parties on its gorgeous shores start promptly in spring. Sitges also is home to Spain’s first gay-disco. If you’re the less party, more arty type, head to Sitges in October for the International Film Festival. And we’d be remiss to not mention the International Bears Meeting this spring!