Jeddah - Post Report Question and Answers

Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No. I'm bi, and told no one. I met one person who was openly gay (to me at least), and said they were trying to get out. Gay sex is highly, highly illegal, although due to the strict gender segregation, two men or two women walking down the street holding hands actually wouldn't raise any eyebrows at all as long as there was no other PDA, and having same-gender friends over to socialize wouldn't cause any issues, but if one does try anything beyond that, be very discreet, and make sure all doors, blinds and windows are very, very closed and locked. Homophobia from non-western people--even those you think of as otherwise very progressive and modern--is very common and socially acceptable. Definitely would not recommend using any dating apps, as there's a high likelihood of security agents using them to entrap gay people. You can probably be open with other, progressive western employees if you work for a western employer, but to be honest, unless you're comfortable with celibacy and the idea that even flirting could get you in very serious legal trouble, I'd highly recommend not coming here. - Oct 2022

We have two openly gay officers who have not reported any issues BUT it is recommend you live at the SDA on compound for a more "private" experience dating locals. - Aug 2022

The Saudis view LGBT activity as illegal. The LGBT individuals we knew came for a particular temporary job and seemed to find meaning and things to appreciate about their time in Saudi. - Nov 2020

No. - Oct 2019

See above re: theocracy. I know that LGBT officers have served here, but I cannot comment authoritatively on their experiences. - Mar 2019

A surprisingly very, very, vibrant gay scene. - Jan 2019

Yes from what I'm told. No first hand knowledge. - Apr 2016

It's illegal here. - Nov 2015

Defititely not, but I've seen a few. - Oct 2015

Not at all. - Oct 2015

No. But even for heterosexuell couples, public display of affection is not allowed here. During our time here, we've only seen one young couple so far holding hands in public - that's it. We heard that there is a small gay scene here, but we don't know more about it. - Aug 2015

I don't think so. - Feb 2014

Obviously not the best. I have heard that there underground gay scenes in large Saudi cities but I can't confirm. - Dec 2013

Homosexuality is against the law here, but of course that doesn't stop homosexuals from being homosexual. It's just called by different names so that people can justify it to themselves. However, if you're a gay/lesbian expat and can't avoid coming to Saudi, then to avoid running into serious trouble, plan on abstinence during your stay. (This is just my take, however, and I have no real experience with what it's like to be gay/lesbian here.) - May 2013

I doubt it. - Nov 2010

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