Is Jordan LGBTQIA+ friendly?

LGBTQIA+ travelers are those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, plus queer or questioning, intersex or asexual individuals. It also includes those who identify beyond these commonly used sexuality and gender expressions. Everyone has the right to feel safe when traveling, and while Jordan is generally a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers, there are specific situations and issues that may present themselves when visiting Jordan. 

Is Jordan safe for LGBTQIA+ travelers?

As a Muslim country, Jordan’s culture is quite conservative, although not as conservative as some other Middle Eastern countries. Western influences, particularly in the capital city of Amman, have infiltrated Jordanian society and the country now possesses a mix of Arabian customs and more modern ways of life. Jordan is one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East in relation to LGBTQIA+ rights and homosexuality has been decriminalized in Jordan for consenting people over the age of 16 since 1951. However, same-sex marriage is not recognized, and there is no protection against LGBTQIA+ discrimination in the workplace or when it comes to housing matters.

While Jordanians who identify as having an LGBTQIA+ identity will not be criminalized, many people continue to hide their sexuality or identity from their families and there is still a deep social stigma. People who identify as LGBTQIA+ can be prosecuted or experience severe discrimination for public displays of public affection as it may "disrupt public morality". That said, this goes for hetero couples as well, and all couples should avoid cuddling, kissing and any other public displays of affection in Jordan as it's highly frowned upon regardless of their sexuality. 

Despite the social stigma surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community, Jordan is otherwise an extremely hospitable and welcoming destination and most travelers will be humbled by the kindness, sincerity and genuine care shown by Jordanians. As long as LGBTQIA+ travelers display some discretion and respect for local culture, particularly when visiting places outside of the major cities and tourist areas, they will have no problem visiting Jordan. 

Queer culture in Jordan

Although Jordan doesn't have an established queer scene, the capital city of Amman has several queer-friendly bars, cafes and restaurants which are also popular with the city's large community of expats—just don’t expect to see loads of rainbow flags hanging from the windows as it's still very much a low-key scene. The most LGBTQIA+ friendly areas in Amman include Jabal al-Weibdeh, Jabal Amman and downtown Amman and some of the top venues include Café de Paris, Dali Bar, Turtle Green Tea Bar, The Corner's Pub, Blue Fig Café and Books@Café.

If you want to learn more about the queer scene in Jordan – and in the Middle East and North Africa – My.Kali is a great platform to use. My.Kali is a webzine (website and online magazine) that was established in 2007 by a group of artists, students, and political activists. It explores local social problems and topics including LGBTQIA+ issues, gender, sexuality, women’s rights, art, freedom of speech, and more. 

Solo travel and room sharing

If you are traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a traveler of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know when you're booking your trip and we’ll arrange the rooming accordingly. There is also the option to book your own room on some tours if you don't wish to share a room.

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