South Africa has scored high on a new website aimed at making LGBTQ+ travellers feel safe while abroad.


Destination Pride is a data-driven search tool to help travellers understand LGBTQ+ laws, rights and social sentiment around the world.

Global travel can be a complex undertaking for anyone, but it’s especially challenging for members of the LGBTQ community. Many destinations welcome them with open arms and offer ample social and legal protections. But in some nations, same-sex relationships are still frowned upon, or against the law, or in extreme cases, punishable by imprisonment or death.

Destination Pride is a work in progress. It’s designed to shine a light on places where advances have been made, and where there is still progress to be made. It brings together thousands of data points from around the globe – including marriage equality laws, census data and real-time social sentiment – to generate a score for each destination.

“The tool should be used as a guide only and is by no means an absolute safety rating system. It relies on the accuracy of the data it measures, and on the feedback from the communities it serves.”

At regular intervals, Destination Pride’s automatic algorithm retrieves, calculates and updates data on each destination. The data measures Marriage Equality, Sexual Activity Laws, Gender Identity Protections, Anti-Discrimination Laws, Civil Rights & Liberties, plus Social Media Sentiment. Each of those six measures are represented by its own coloured bar, which assemble together to create a unique Destination Pride flag visualization and an overall numerical score out of 100.

Understanding the Score

The red bar indicates the relative progress of marriage equality in the country, state or province applicable.

The orange bar indicates the extent to which same-sex relations are legally protected in the country, state or province applicable. This refers to whether laws have full, limited, or no protections over same-sex intercourse and/or other sexual activities.

The yellow bar indicates the extent to which legal protections of right to sex reassignment surgery, and/or hormone replacement therapy exists in the country, state or province applicable. Accordingly, this data may indicate that destination’s progressiveness towards freedom of gender identity and/or expression. However, gender identity and/or expression is not dependent upon physical appearance or medical procedures such as surgery or hormone therapy.

Gender identity is each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum. A person’s gender identity may be the same as or different from their birth-assigned sex. Gender identity is fundamentally different from a person’s sexual orientation.

Gender expression is how a person publicly presents their gender. This can include behaviour and outward appearance such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. A person’s chosen name and pronoun are also common ways of expressing gender.

The green bar indicates the relative strengths of specific legal protections and LGBTQ+ rights generally, and for housing and employment in the country, state or province applicable.

The blue bar indicates if there are additional legal rights extended to the LGBTQ+ community, including laws related to military service, blood donation, adoption, and conversion therapy.

The purple bar indicates the average level of positive or negative sentiment regarding LGBTQ+ issues expressed through social media platforms in the city, state, province or country applicable – over the past 90 days.

Destination Pride

South Africa has scored a 68… which is relatively high when comparing to other cities that are currently being searched for. Canada’s Toronto scored a 67, while Melbourne scored a 65 and New York, a 63.

0-50 / 100
A score in this range generally indicates that there are limited or no legal rights in place for LGBTQ+ people, and there may even be penalties. Social media sentiment for that destination will likely be neutral or negative.

51-70 / 100
A score in this range generally indicates that some legal protections for LGBTQ+ people are in place, and social media sentiment is likely neutral.

71+ / 100
A score above 70 generally indicates that there are extensive legal protections in place for LGBTQ+ people, and that social media sentiment is generally positive.

Sources: Destination Pride
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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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