I’m a 20-year-old woman living in a town called Guatire, not far from Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas. Gay sex was legalised here in 1997, but Venezuela is still a dangerous place to live as an LGBTQ person. Many of my queer friends have left the country because of homophobia, transphobia and problems such as poverty, hyperinflation, and political instability. All of these issues relate to Nicolás Maduro Moros’s presidency, which has been under dispute since 2019. Many view him as a dictator. If I were to score how safe it is for the remaining LGBTQ people here, with one meaning completely safe and 10 being totally dangerous, I would say it’s 2 or 3/10 for lesbian, gay, and bi people who look cisgender and heterosexual. If they happen to look trans or queer, I would say 10/10. For trans people who are ‘cis-passing’ (meaning they pass as cisgender so no one questions their gender based on how they look), I would say 8/10. For trans people who aren’t ‘cis-passing’, I would say 10 or even 20/10 — really dangerous. Some of my transgender friends have suffered horrific abuse, including being beaten up in the street.