Is Portugal LGBT Friendly? [LGBTQ+ Portugal Review]

Discrimination is illegal, but is Portugal LGBT friendly regardless? Here are the pros and cons of Portugal and its LGBTQ+ acceptance.

Life for LGBT in Portugal: Is it Friendly?

Portugal is known to be one of the top 10 friendliest countries for LGTBQIA+ members, up there with Canada, Sweden and Spain. As I have been travelling throughout the country, and living as an expat, Lisbon and Porto have been notably the friendliest cities with thousand of lgbtq Portuguese citizens.

Life for LGBT in Porto

portugal lgbt friendly

Porto is my chosen city after moving from the USA, not only because my partner is from here, but also from its sheer difference among other locations. Here, I have been able to express myself freely and comfortably, allowing me to change my perspective, with so many other like-minded individuals.

Porto is a rustic, historical location that can drive in so many young expats, including LGBTQ expats. I believe, though, that what makes this city so unique are the LGBTQ Portuguese members and allies. These members are the reason Porto is so unique, and are valuable to be surrounded by (besides the wine).

There are many great ways to connect with LGBTQ in Porto, outside of colleges and libraries. Here are some ways I’ve stumbled across some great Portuguese LGBTQ community friends:

  • Gay Bars: If you like that extrovert lifestyle and really want to put yourself out there, the gay bars in Porto have been known to be a fantastic way to find some great LGBTQ friends. If you are travelling, why not take advantage of some incredible Porto nights like this?
  • LGBTQ Accepting Workplaces: There are many co-working spaces and businesses that are fully committed to including many great LGBTQ members. This is probably the most organic way you will find some solid friends, and us LGBTQ are more common than you think!
  • Meet-Ups: Through Reddit, Facebook, or even Instagram, there are several groups that reach out to the public in Porto for meet-ups. Sometimes, these groups are specifically for LGBTQIA+ members
  • Porto Pride: Every year, Porto has a Pride parade typically in the first week of July. I have met hundreds of fantastic members of this parade. The more famous content creators in Portugal tend to show up to these events, and they are extremely welcoming!

Life for LGBT in Lisbon

Although I personally never lived in Lisbon, I know it is full of some amazing LGBTQ members and young neighborhoods that are packed with good times. In Portugal gay travel comes easy in Lisbon. Lisbon the largest city in Portugal, with a huge community of young LGBT expats, including LGBT friendly allies.

Lisbon is a bright, big city with lots to explore and learn. From Fado concerts to wine tasting, you have a variety of things to enjoy while travelling. As someone from the US, Lisbon reminds me of being in any big city in the states, just much more multi-cultural (and accepting of pronouns/lifestyle).

Lisbon has just as many ways to connect with other LGBTQ members as Porto. With tons of jobs, events, and meet-ups you won’t struggle finding yourself surrounded by gay Portugal allies. Here are some popular ways to find some allies in Lisbon:

  • Lisbon Pride: As a rather large pride, this is a fantastic way to not only find Portuguese friends, but meet many other expats and travelers who are wanting to experience the Lisbon LGBT community.
  • Jobs: Most jobs in Lisbon are extremely aware of the LGBTQ+ community, and you will definitely run into some like-minded individuals to start life-long frienships!
  • Meet-Ups: Lisbon has some of the largest meet-ups for LGBT expats or just expats in general. Always be on the look out for them on Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit!
  • Gay Bars: Gay bars, drag shows, concerts, you name it. You have many locations to choose from while in Lisbon to meet some of the coolest community members!

LGBT Rights in Portugal

Portugal is a very progressive country, and they express that thoroughly through the list of rights LGBTQ members have, including the following:

  • Marriage in Portugal: The Portuguese recognize gay marriage equally as they do straight marriages. Unions for gay marriages was recognized in 1999, and legalized same-sex marriage couples in 2010.
  • Marriage Visas: Same-sex marriage is recognized for a Portuguese resident looking to bringing their partner to the country. Partners can join their spouse under “family reunification”.
  • Marrying Portuguese Citizen: Same-sex marriage with a Portuguese citizen entitles the spouse to citizenship. Once the spouse receives their residency, after three years they can apply for citizenship.
  • Adoption Rights: in 2016, it was legalized for LGBTQ members to adopt, although the adoption process in Portugal is quite difficult (3-4 years of approval), no matter who you may be.
  • Healthcare Rights: LGBTQ+ members have protected laws giving them the ability to have access to gender affirming care including surgeries and medication in any public or private hospital.

Advantages and Disadvantages for LGBTQ in Portugal

Although Portugal is one of the friendliest countries, you should be aware that bullying and whispering remarks are a common problem on the streets despite the countries progressiveness. Here are the best things, and also the worst things about LGBT Portugal.

Pros of LGBT Portugal

  • Welcoming for anyone in the travelling LGBTQIA+ community
  • Progressive Healthcare for Trans members
  • Progressive legalization for LGBT foreigners and spouses
  • LGBTQ+ friendly restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc
  • Protected laws against discrimination towards LGBTQ+ individuals

Cons of LGBT Portugal

  • Hate Crimes have been rising in recent years on streets or late nights
  • School bullying is a prominent problem in public and private schools
  • Old school persons tend to give stares to alternative LGBTQ+ members

Like anywhere in the world, unfortunately, not every individual will be accepting of everyone. Although we as a community have made a huge impact in recent years, caution is always something to consider when you move or travel. No matter who you are, travel smart, and always know the laws of a country before you visit for safety!

Charlee Anthony

Self-taught SEO and research enthusiast, I am an alien in all countries and a friend of many. I have been travelling all my life (25 years), however Portugal is my new forever home. As I fully delve into Portuguese culture, I also share my tips and tricks on how to live comfortably in a new country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top