Can I be transgender and gay?

Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office

Are there any special instructions for LGBTIQ?

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual and queer travelers can face special challenges abroad. Laws and social attitudes in some countries can seriously affect your safety.
Legal protection differs from country to country. In many countries same-sex marriage is not legally recognized.
More than seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations to be a crime, sometimes with severe penalties.

Travel preparation

In many countries the rights of LGBTIQ people are not recognized or LGBTIQ are not socially accepted. There you may face discriminatory laws or practices that appear arbitrary or inconsistent.
Legislation on same-sex relationships can vary from region to region, even within the same country. Even if no laws prohibit same-sex relationships, they can be considered socially unacceptable.
Your destination may also have laws protecting LGBTIQ people without being followed or enforced. Depending on your goal, you may not have access to certain services and rights.

Some countries prohibit or restrict the freedom of travel for people who are HIV positive.

  • Find out about your travel destination with travel guides and on the Internet.
  • Find out whether you can enter the country if you are HIV positive.
  • Read the travel and safety information for your country of travel. In addition, online maps from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and ILGA Europe illustrate the current worldwide legal situation regarding LGBTIQ.
  • Update your passport. For example, transgender travelers may encounter difficulties entering certain countries if they present a passport with a name and photo that no longer corresponds to their gender identity.
  • Make copies of important documents such as birth certificates or custody documents for accompanying underage children (especially if your children do not have your surname) and take them with you, especially when traveling to countries where legal rights differ from those in Germany.

Behavioral advice on site

They are always subject to the laws of the respective country of travel. Consensual same-sex sexual activity, public gatherings, or displaying LGBTIQ symbols like the rainbow flag may be illegal in many countries.

The consent age for heterosexual and homosexual relationships can also vary in the same country. In some countries, their behavior can also endanger locals, and a public gesture of affection can cost the other person their job, family, or even their lives.

  • Be especially careful when contacting local people. In some countries, the police monitor websites, mobile dating apps or meeting places or target LGBTIQ people using fake accounts.
  • If in doubt, behave discreetly, do not get involved in discussions in the wrong place, just do not react and leave the place if possible. Depending on the severity of the incident, this does not exclude the possibility of reporting it to the authorities.
  • Do not leave food and drinks unattended. There is a risk of substances such as knockout drops being added to them unnoticed. Drug-activated rape is common around the world. Note that in some countries rape victims (of the opposite sex as well as of the same sex) can be considered perpetrators of a crime.
  • Watch out for safe sex as some countries have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially among the LGBTIQ community. In many countries, especially developing countries, many people do not have access to HIV tests.