Hola! I’m new here, so please be gentle with me. I am an LGBT American. Things are getting pretty dicey in my country, especially for transgender people. (Yes, I’m transgender.) Our great orange emperor has instituted many anti-transgender policies that actually put people like me in some degree of physical danger. Meanwhile, laws are being passed everyday that enable and expand discrimination against LGBT people. In just over a year, our civil rights have been dialed back by a couple of decades or more.
This is in stark contrast to just about anywhere else in the western world—the EU in particular. I have been watching Spanish LGBT law evolve for a couple of decades now, and the accomplishments have been nothing short of stellar. The new (November 2017) anti-transgender discrimination law in Valencia is incredibly good—light years beyond anything we could hope to have during the remainder of my life in the US. There are also excellent laws protecting transgender people throughout many of the autonomous communities. It is my hope that the PSOE can pass anti-trans discrimination laws at the national level fairly soon. And of course there are already excellent laws regarding sexual orientation at the national level. I didn’t even mention healthcare: Weakened though the Spanish public healthcare system might be (via the 2012 austerity measures of the PP), it is still leaps and bounds ahead of what we have in the US. Furthermore, I will probably lose access to healthcare in 2019, due to sabotage by our current administration. I will be left to fend for myself with non-Obamacare insurance, and they don’t sell to anyone transgender.
Obviously, my partner and I are considering immigrating to Spain. My biological father was Spanish, so I have a legal claim to citizenship. We can also come there on a “golden visa,” perhaps running a bed and breakfast.
I have been warned that things are not too good there either. I am of course aware of the separatist movements and the government’s sometimes brutal crackdowns. Spain has had its dealings with fascism, and I know there is a fear of returning to that state. (The US, on the other hand, has no recent experience with fascism, and we seem well on our way to embracing it.) I know there are also issues with racism in Spain, just like here in the US. However, as far as I can tell, though, Spain is more tolerant of LGBT people than the US, and there are fewer anti-LGBT hate crimes there (based on 2014 statistics). I believe it was also in 2014 that Spain was ranked the most LGBT-friendly country in the world, with 88% of the population replying that LGBT people deserve the same civil rights as everyone else. Even so, this warning still echoes in the back of my head.
So my question to all of you WITH FIRSTHAND FAMILIARITY WITH CONDITIONS IN BOTH COUNTRIES is whether Spain is indeed a safer country for LGBT people. Furthermore, if it is, what would be your recommendations for where we should relocate—and why? (We are currently thinking Valencia—great antidiscrimination laws, low hate crimes rates, pretty, and we are also told friendly to Americans.)
Thank you all so much for any advice you can offer!
EDIT 19 July 2018: I have asked the same question on another forum (expatexchange.com) which is more active. The answer seems to be that YES, Spain is indeed a safer country for LGBT people. It has its problems with unemployment, but it seems to be a kinder and gentler place. I am moving forward with my plans to immigrate.
I am unsubscribing from this thread, as the only response I’ve gotten has been spam. Best of luck to any “fellow traveler” who is in my situation!