There are LGBTQ + people in all countries. What differs from one country to another is the place we give them. Although homophobia and transphobia can be found in all countries the rights that are granted to LGBTQ + people differ greatly from country to country. In many countries, it is forbidden to love and have sex with a person of the same sex.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Every year, the condition of LGBT people tends to improve around the world. Activists and allies around the world made this progress and are still working on it. However, these advances are not homogeneous: in many countries, it is still dangerous to display your colors.

Being yourself shouldn't be a crime, yet it still is in 72 states. Many countries have made progress in the past decade, but a great deal of work remains to ensure basic rights for all. This is why the fight against homophobia and transphobia must continue.


(in 2018)

  • 26 states recognize marriage for same-sex couples. 29 states recognize their right to adoption.

  • 124 states allow same-sex relationships. This does not mean, however, that these relationships are accepted by society. In some states, homosexuality is legal, but hampered by other laws (eg against propaganda).

  • 72 states criminalize same-sex relationships.

  • 8 states punish same-sex relationships with the death penalty.

For more information, see the ILGA report from which this data was taken

Canadians who know approximately how many countries criminalize homosexuality:


LGBT people face a lot of issues, but here are some key issues that are found in almost every country.


109 states have no laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. In these countries, it is legal to fire someone from their job, evict them from their accommodation and deny them a service because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Some countries have laws that protect in one area (eg employment), but not in others (eg housing). In addition, the laws may depend on the regions of the country.


All communities of sexual and gender diversity can be victims of psychological and physical violence. However, this violence is difficult to study because it is not always reported. For example, Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide reports 677 murders of trans people in Brazil between 2010 and 2015.


Many countries do not allow the change of the gender designation on official documents. Those that allow it often make it a difficult-to-access process that involves medical requirements, such as multiple surgeries, which often result in sterilization of the individual. The degree of difficulty and the conditions of access to the change of designation of sex and name depend on the country.


This practice which aims to “cure” homosexuality or transidentity is prohibited in only 3 countries: Brazil, Ecuador and Malta. It can take several forms including psychoanalysis and aversion therapy (causing an unpleasant or painful sensation when the person has homosexual feelings). In addition to not producing the results it boasts, conversion therapy can cause anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideation.


Justin, Russia

I come from a family like any other. My life changed when I turned 14 and realized I was gay. When my parents heard about it, they asked me: "Are you PD? I replied "No, I'm gay." They confiscated my computer and my phone. They stopped talking to me, they told me I was the shame of the family. I started protesting against homophobia and was arrested several times. I was beaten by the police and other students at school. I couldn't get a good education so I came to Canada

Mona, Burundi

My life in Burundi was complicated. My family did not accept me as a trans woman, and Burundi criminalizes the LGBTQ community. I couldn't take public transport or go out freely for fear of having problems. I was the legal representative of an LGBTQ association in Burundi, so I was accused of promoting homosexuality and put in a male prison. Fortunately I was released and was able to leave the country before being arrested again.

Ramy, Tunisia

In Tunisia, to be gay is to be criminal. From the moment you're born, you wait to get arrested. I had a lot of problems because of my activism: death threats, threats from the police, arrests for nothing, etc. I have a tattoo in Arabic that says "They come into houses to forbid love". Every time I watch it it reminds me that in Tunisia, people can get 3 years in prison just for being gay, lesbian or trans.

Listen to the full testimonials



Rainbow Railroad


Amnesty International

United Nations (Free and Equal)


Find out more about the 2018 campaign:

In 2018, Fondation Émergence joined forces with Rethink (creative agency) for its awareness campaign on the rights of LGBT people around the world.

Awards received for our campaign

1. One Show (NYC): OR Pencil: Design-Brand Installations

2. Marketing Awards - Public Service (Toronto): Argent- Public Service - Ambient - Large Scale, Argent - Public Service - Online Film Single, Bronze - Public Service - Experiential / Special Events / Stunts

3. Shopper Innovation - Public Service (Toronto): Gold: Original Idea, Gold: Reinvention

4. Créa Prize - Infopresse Competition (Montreal): Grand prize: Creativity - outreach, Prize: Digital - non-profit organization / humanitarian cause / interest group, Prize: non-profit organization / humanitarian cause / group of interest

5. Cannes International Festival of Creativity (France): Bronze Lion: Outdoor Lions

6. Applied Arts interactive & Advertising: Winner: Experiential / Artistic single, Winner: Pro Bono Single

7. Applied Arts Design 2019: Winner: Pro Bono Design, Winner: PSA Design

8. Atomic Awards: Silver: Online Video, Bronze: Atomic Idea


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