The United Mexican States cover almost 2 million square kilometers and it is the 13th biggest country in the world. With this amount of territory, there must be quite a few interesting places to visit! It’s not a secret that Mexico is very popular among tourists from all over the world. The Yucatan peninsula is known for its pristine beaches and the entire country offers a lot of natural beauty. Mexico is easy to navigate and public transportation is extremely accessible. Keep reading to find out if Mexico is LGBT-friendly!

Due to the enormous size of this country, there is also a lot of diversity in every possible way. Mexico offers beaches, jungles, mountains, and tons of beautiful waterfalls. If you want to see everything Mexico has to offer, you might need a year or longer to go everywhere. Some provinces are cheaper than others, but there are famous landmarks all over the country.

LGBT rights and travel in Mexico - Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender laws and rights Mexico - Only Once Today

There is just too much, to sum up! We wrote some inside information about public transportation in Mexico, so you can easily get around and travel the country. If you’re into natural beauty, rivers, and falls, check out our post about the natural highlights in Mexico. Don’t forget to check our backpacking guide to Mexico! Since we traveled in Mexico for quite a while, new posts and travel guides for Mexico will keep showing up over time!

LGBT rights and travel in Mexico

Post Last Updated: August 2018

LGBT rights and travel in Mexico

LGBT Rights in Mexico

LGBT rights in Mexico are expanding each year, in line with global trends. Mexico has made a lot of effort to make life easier for LGBT and it shows! Some indigenous Mexican cultures are very tolerant towards sexual diversity and even accept a third gender between male and female.

Mexico has different laws in each state, which makes it quite difficult to know what is legal and what isn’t. We tried to figure it out anyway!


Homosexuality is legal by law in Mexico since 2001. Same-sex sexual activity has been decriminalized in Mexico since 1871, mostly thanks to the influence of Napoleon. 

Domestic Partnership

Same-sex couples are recognized in almost every state in Mexico. Not every state has a civil union law, recognized as domestic partnership. 

Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage is now legal in all Mexican states, which doesn’t mean you can get a marriage in every state. There have been a few struggles in the past. In 2011 a few same-sex couples got married after discovering a hole in the law that didn’t specify the gender of spouses. These marriages were annulled a year later and then became valid again shortly after… It’s complicated!

Same-Sex Adoption

Some states allow same-sex couples to adopt, while other states don’t. As for the adoption of stepchildren, the same rule applies. Single persons can adopt nationwide. 

Change Legal Gender

In 2014 a gender identity law was approved, stating that people can change their legal gender. It is unclear if surgery is required and if this law is nationwide.

Some indigenous cultures have a hostile attitude towards more feminine gay men, while other cultures are much more tolerant. Yucatan Mayans and Zapotecs from the Isthmus region have a third gender concept, called Muxe. They are feminine men and are supported by their family. The indigenous tribes believe that sexual orientation and gender identity are given to you and that you have the right to be yourself.

LGBT Safety in Mexico

The Mexican law has anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT. It is illegal to discriminate people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. This applies to every possible area: healthcare, employment, education, housing, …

We found Mexico to be very tolerant towards LGBT. Many people are openly gay and public display of affection is seen almost everywhere. Even though Mexico is known for its machismo culture, we didn’t run into any problems. The machismo culture sees a relationship between two women as less threatening than a relationship between two men.

On the other hand, Mexico City has a long history of crimes against male LGBT, but it’s also the city that offers the most gay-friendly establishments. 

Keep Reading

There is a lot to be told about LGBT in Mexico. Mexican history, as well as their present time, has a lot of nuances that vary over time and space. If you’d like to know more about this, there’s a lot of reading to be done!

Read about the Muxe third gender in Mexico on the Culture Trip website or Interactive Fusion.

Read our guide to backpacking in Mexico and explore all of our travel guides to Mexico!



Unfortunately, hate crimes can occur at any place and any time! Public display of affection can always trigger people to respond in a negative way. Try to be cautious and aware of your surroundings.

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