Mapping the LGBTQ-Friendliness of the World's Cities

A colorful data visualization tool maps information about which cities have the most protections for LGBTQ people in place. The tool is intended as a resource for LGBTQ travelers.

2 minute read

January 25, 2018, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Pride Parade

Scene from the 2017 Toronto (Destination Pride score of 67) Pride Parade. | Shawn Goldberg / Shutterstock

Katharine Schwab shares news of a new tool the nonprofit PFLAG Canada and the Canadian ad agency FCB/SIX designed to give a snapshot of the snapshot of laws and sentiment toward LGBTQ people in cities all over the world.

"The tool, called Destination Pride, lets users search for a city, and then presents them with a snapshot of its score by turning the iconic rainbow Pride flag into a data visualization," explains Schwab. The article presents the tool as a resource for LGBTQ community members to evaluate vacation destinations.

So, for instance, my home city of Los Angeles scores a 68, with high points for marriage equality and sexual activity laws, and low points for gender identity protections and social media sentiment. Medellin, Colombia, a place I visited in September 2017, also scores a 70, though with varying levels on specific metrics. Unfortunately, another place I visited and greatly enjoyed last year, Memphis, Tennessee, scored very poorly on the rankings with a 37. Memphis's lack of anti-discrimination laws reflect poorly on a city that's home to the National Civil Rights Museum.

According to Schawb, one of the purposes of the mapping tool is to raise awareness about the worldwide cities that receive less acclaim for their efforts to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community. Of the largest 100 cities in the world by population, for instance, "the safest cities for LGBTQ folks based on these scores are primarily in central and South America–including Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, and Mexico City," writes Schwab.

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