Studies of homicide reports indicate Brazil is the most dangerous place in the world to be transgender. Experts say Latin America needs to address long-standing cultural biases, racial and income inequality in order to make the region safer for LGBT people. Decades ago, several Latin American governments were ruled by iron-fisted governments that considered homosexuality a scourge to the silenced. In Argentina, a far-right military dictatorship disappeared tens of thousands of suspected leftist dissidents. Advocates have long contended that gay activists suffered disproportionately, though their cases have received far less attention. Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas penned an anguishing account of the harassment and confinement he endured as a gay man in post-revolutionary Cuba, where homosexuality was seen as a remnant of the detested bourgeoisie. Today most Latin American nations no longer consider homosexuality a crime, but in the Caribbean that is not the case. Activists have presented several legal challenges and are optimistic such laws will soon be obsolete.
Following Argentina’s Lead
We spent almost 2 years travelling in Latin America from Mexico all the way down to Patagonia. Latin America is a fantastic destination to explore for gay travellers, with a range of beautiful natural scenery, classic world wonders, some of the best gay parties in the world, and the hottest guys you'll ever meet. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. These are our 10 favourite gay friendly cities in Latin America where we felt the most welcome, which have the best gay scene and most prominent pride festivals. We start this list with the capital city of Chile.
The Right to Life
Homosexuality in ancient Rome often differs markedly from the contemporary West. Latin lacks words that would precisely translate " homosexual " and " heterosexual ". Roman society was patriarchal , and the freeborn male citizen possessed political liberty libertas and the right to rule both himself and his household familia. The conquest mentality and "cult of virility" shaped same-sex relations. Roman men were free to enjoy sex with other males without a perceived loss of masculinity or social status, as long as they took the dominant or penetrative role. Acceptable male partners were slaves and former slaves, prostitutes , and entertainers, whose lifestyle placed them in the nebulous social realm of infamia , excluded from the normal protections accorded a citizen even if they were technically free. Although Roman men in general seem to have preferred youths between the ages of 12 and 20 as sexual partners, freeborn male minors were off limits at certain periods in Rome, though professional prostitutes and entertainers might remain sexually available well into adulthood. Same-sex relations among women are far less documented  and, if Roman writers are to be trusted, female homoeroticism may have been very rare, to the point that one poet in the Augustine era describes it as "unheard-of". During the Republic , a Roman citizen's political liberty libertas was defined in part by the right to preserve his body from physical compulsion, including both corporal punishment and sexual abuse. Williams has noted, "the prime directive of masculine sexual behavior for Romans".
The region is becoming gayer. Rather, the region is becoming more gay-friendly. A generation ago, Latin America was the land of the closet and the home of the macho. They are promoting their cause through smart, mainstream political and economic alliances. So, though closets and machos are still ubiquitous, Latin America is now the site of some of the most pro-gay legislation in the developing world. Gay rights expanded in democratic Western Europe starting in the late s, and in the United States more gradually since the s.