Equaldex is a user-generated “knowledge base,” as founder Dan Leveille put it during our interview. Leveille works for a marketing company by day, and his education background is in web development, but he has a passion for LGBTQ rights and wants to use his skills to help the cause, thus, Equaldex was born.
When he founded the website, he had a tall order to fill. He wanted to create an easy-to-use website that informed readers of LGBTQ rights in every country across the globe. As time went on, the website generated traction and has been featured in publications like AirBnb Magazine and Vox.
The homepage shows a giant map, allowing you to click on any country to discover various LGBTQ rights like, whether homosexuality is legal, do they have anti-discrimination laws, is conversion therapy banned, and more.
Leveille explained that while the information is user-generated, he has a team of dedicated volunteers who go through and fact check the data, and he also invites readers to do the same. Next to every piece of information, you’ll see “Accurate? Yes / No.” Readers are encouraged to flag issues if they see one, which will then notify the fact-checking team.
I asked Leveille how viewers can help Equaldex grow and remain up-to-date. He said helping flag inaccuracies is always helpful, and encourages everyone to do their part if they see something wrong. “But most importantly,” he said, “Is to share the info you learn. I’ve met so many people who didn’t know that some countries still give the death penalty for being gay until they saw it on Equaldex.” He encourages everyone to share what they see on the site. You can help others when you encourage countries that are fighting for equal rights and demand change from the ones that are oppressive.
He also encourages travelers to use the database, stating,
“If you’re heading to a different country and don’t know their laws regarding LGBTQ issues, it’s important you educate yourself before going.”