LGBTQ: Benin

by Benjamin Kerns

Apr 24, 2018

Benin © Ferdinand Reus | Dreamstime.com

Trends / LGBTQ

Benin has a rough history when it comes to gay rights and civil rights in general. The country was steeped in slavery for much of its existence and still retains a conservative viewpoint that can be detrimental to LGBTQ citizens and visitors. Homosexuality, while technically legal, is still seen as “unnatural” throughout the country.

Because of this it’s important to take precautions when booking a trip to Benin if you truly want to visit. The country has a vibrant culture and the capital city of Cotonou, with a population of 700,000, is vibrant and fun. Unfortunately, open displays of affection between members of the same sex can be met with vitriol. Like most countries, the capital city is where you’ll find the largest LGBTQ community, though no gay bars openly exist. For this reason, many gay and lesbian citizens of Benin hop the border into Ghana, where it’s more widely accepted.

Beautiful beaches covered in coconut palms, stunning lagoons and the mountains of Atakora make Benin an incredibly beautiful country nestled in West Africa. Whether or not this fact makes it worthwhile to visit for members of the LGBTQ community is questionable, but if you’re willing to avoid outward displays of affection while in public it makes for quite a unique trip.

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