The United States is quite a diverse country. You can see this in the plethora of religions, cultures, creeds, ethnic backgrounds, and races of people that call the country home. Historically, the US always welcomed people of all backgrounds into it’s sovereign territories. We are, in essence, a nation of refugees even though things may not seem that way because of President Trump. Despite this, you won’t necessarily find a welcoming attitude towards the LGBT community in every town you visit. However, there are a number of awesome gay destinations where you will feel completely at ease.
And I know…the world is becoming a better place. That’s what the idealist will tell his/herself and that’s what the idealist would have the world believe. Frankly, I think the world is becoming a better place but I don’t think it’s happening as quickly as some would like to believe. We still live in a world where the LGBT community is oppressed and demonized. Within the US, which seems pretty liberal in comparison to some countries, you’ll definitely meet people who are not shy about hiding their disgust and hatred towards LGBT people. In fact, in my own town, Alfred and I were shouted at from a passing car because we held hand. “FAGS!” they jeered. You hear about that type of thing happening all the time though, admittedly, not as much as a decade ago.
This is why gay towns, as I like to call them, are so important. Gay towns are places that cater to the LGBT community or cities that have always had a pretty liberal attitude towards a diversity of people and lifestyles. In essence, these are places with a come as you are attitude. The leaders and citizens of these places have developed a welcoming community that is welcoming to all in some cases. In other instances, LGBT people have taken up residence in these places in massive droves and have influenced the overall outlook of the town.
In any case, here are the top 10 hottest places to visit for LGBT life and a welcoming attitude!
1) Provincetown, Massachusettes
My personal favorite on this list, Provincetown (or Ptown as it is known by locals and frequent visitors) has an interesting history with those seeking a different kind of life than the mainstream. At it’s beginning, it was a landing spot for the Pilgrims as they made their way to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Eventually, it became home to Portuguese whalers, a bohemian crowd of artists and poets, and then the LGBT community. As soon as you enter Ptown, you notice the gay pride flags and walking around the town, you get a feeling for what the country might be like if it had a welcoming attitude. Don’t worry…located at the tip of Cape Cod, there is no shortage of bars, clubs, gear stores, art galleries, restaurants, and a tea dance!
2) Atlanta, Georgia
When you think of gay towns, you don’t necessarily think of Atlanta. But let me tell you from personal experience, Atlanta is so gay! Well, Midtown Atlanta is at the very least. Hanging out in Midtown Atlanta is like hanging out in a swanky, classy, Southern city with all the charm and none of the bigotry. Home to one of the most awesome Pride events in the South, you won’t be short on fun with a diversity of bars, restaurants, and clubs. Not to mention, there are plenty of attractions to explore including the Beltway and Piedmont Park.
3) New Orleans, Louisiana
The joie de vivre will keep you going back for more! New Orleans is known for Mardi Gras but plays home to world-class dining, spirited drinks, and great music. This soulful city has a pretty welcoming attitude and is all about living and let live. You can explore a pretty long history, check out some voodoo shops, drink your body’s worth, and dance in the street. Not only that, NOLA hosts Southern Decadence each Labor Day Weekend (beginning of Septemember). This round-the-clock gay street party is going on its 46th year and shouldn’t be missed!
4) Fire Island, New York
What can be said about Fire Island? Well, it’s different and it takes a bit more preparation than usual to take a trip there as you need to organize a house rental, purchase most your groceries ahead of time, and mentally prepare yourself for the highly active (and sometimes wild) nightlife. The small island has a historic place within the LGBT community as it was (and is) a place where the community in the area have flocked. There are no roads (only boardwalks) and the wildlife is a bit friendly…so it’s definitely an adventure. Stay in Pines but head to Cherry Grove to party each night away! Want to plan a trip? Well, check out these things you should consider before going!
5) Miami, Florida
What’s not to love about Miami? An incredible nightlife scene, welcoming attitude, world-class restaurants, great beaches, and year-round awesome temperatures. It’s the perfect destination if you are looking for a hip vacation. Sun and sand usually equal a great vacation in my book. But remember…there are two Miamis- Mainland Miami and South Beach.
6) Washington, DC
Our nations capital is a very gay destination indeed. In fact, I have friends who live there who find it just a bit strange to see straight couples holding hands in DC. That’s because the population of LGBT people in DC is off the charts. Playing host to a number of fun gay events including Mid Atlantic Leather Week and its own Pride, the city boast an impressive LGBT community. With plenty of history, politics, culture, and great food, there is something for everyone in this city. Once the sun goes down, the party comes out! Head to any number of gay bars and dance the night away!
7) Key West, Florida
Located at the tip of the Florida Keys, this island was a historically secluded place. Before the construction of the bridges connecting the islands to the mainland, it was difficult to get to Key West. This allowed an atmosphere of acceptance to develop which now permeates the tropical vacation destination. Enjoy the warm environment, cute plantation houses, the many clothing-optional guesthouses, and highly active LGBT community on this island. Don’t worry about a thing while you explore, imbibe, and relax in the Key West sun.
8) New York City, New York
New York City is known for it’s welcoming attitude. In fact, it’s one the few US cities to officially stand up to President Trump in defense of refugees and immigrants. Aside from this the city boasts a never-ending supply of architecture, fashion, food, culture, night life…I could go on like this for quite a while. Suffice it say, the Big Apple is high on the LGBT list and really does never sleep. You’ll always find something to do no matter what time you’re looking.
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