Although a Catholic country (of mostly non-practicing Catholics), gay marriage is legal at the federal level in Spain (and all inclusive, including adoption rights), there are powerful LGBTQIA associations and lobbies, and Spain is ranked as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. Hate crimes against LGBTQIA people are relatively low and it’s rare to hear of a gay son or daughter being shunned by their family. LGBTIA students often report that they feel safer and more accepted here than in their hometowns and cities. However, you may encounter homophobic/antagonistic attitudes among some people here.
LGBTQIA people are highly visible and vocal in Spain, and it’s very common to see a gay couple walking down the street holding hands, kissing or otherwise displaying affection. Yet, given the lack of political correctness in Spain, it is not uncommon to hear the Spanish word for “fag” (maricón) used freely when talking about gay people, or in other contexts, and Spaniards may become startled if you tell them that you find it offensive.
The lack of awareness around discriminatory speech may cause suffering to LGBTQIA students and their allies. While Trans identities in Spain are increasing in visibility, and a pro-Trans movement is gathering momentum and winning legal battles, Trans people continue to face discrimination at the legal and social level, even within LGBTQIA communities and political forums. Our Perspectives Seminar includes analysis and information about resources for all LGBTQIA people with a inclusive focus on Trans identity and justice in Spain.
- Arcópoli. LGBTQIA+ university association.
- Batucada que entiende. Percussion school for women.
- COGAM (Colectivo LGTB+ de Madrid). Weekly activities where newcomers are welcome.
- GMadrid Sports. Sports club for LGBTQIA+ people.
- ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
- La Mala Mujer. Space for queer women & trans people. Male allies welcome!
- Go Abroad LGBTQIA+ Travel Guide (downloadable pdf).
- UAM Entiende. The LGBTQIA+ association at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
- US Embassy Resources for LGBTQIA Travelers.
We would love your feedback if you have tried these resources or want to recommend new ones. Thank you! Email.