You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Daniel Pillai’s He/She Project Growing up in a traditional south Asian community in Canada, Daniel Pillai didn’t quite fit in. “There was an inherent non-acceptance to who I was and how I acted,” he says. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Pillai spent his childhood in what he calls a “conservative atmosphere,” surrounded by […]
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Who pays after the devastating Orlando shooting? After a tragedy, who pays the bill? There has been a lot of talk lately about medical costs and medical debt, even as the Affordable Care Act helps more Americans get the treatment they need without taking on crippling debt. Even with more people covered, medical treatment is […]
Making a Legal Case for Bisexuality Bisexuality is widely misunderstood. Bisexuals are often dismissed or used as a punchline by the straight community and sidelined in conversations about LGBT rights and equality, often while experiencing many of the same struggles and setbacks as the rest of the queer community. And for some–like Ray Fuller, a […]
Olympic Coverage Criticized as Homophobic? One of the most memorable moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio didn’t occur during an event. Instead, just after the women’s rugby event on Monday night, Brazil’s Isadora Cerullo’s partner, Marjorie Enya, surprised her with a proposal. As reported by CNN, Enya said in her emotional speech “I […]
10 More Surprisingly Gay Friendly Cities
Is the open road calling your name? Anxious to find a quick escape or an extended getaway? If so, we have good news for you: across the country, in some of unexpected places, gay friendly cities are thriving, with more destinations and amenities tailored for LGBT travelers than ever before. Here are just a few of the gay friendly cities that are courting gay and lesbian tourists and making names for themselves as go-to destinations for gay travel.
Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor is one of Michigan’s most gay friendly cities, balancing a small-town atmosphere with amenities you’d expect from a much larger area. From the Aut Bar and Common Language LGBT bookstore to the Spectrum Center, you’ll find many LGBT-owned businesses and resources in this college town, with a growing gay community that works with local students to establish safe spaces for community involvement and visibility.
One of the most gay friendly cities in North Carolina, Asheville is a hip, artsy town with a ton of LGBT appeal. From its Art Deco buildings to easy access to hiking and outdoor adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains, every gay and lesbian traveler will find a welcoming, LGBT-positive environment. Asheville is home to many gay-owned businesses, including several B&Bs and Malaprop’s Bookstore, one of the best bookshops in the country.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and in Austin, that includes the LGBT scene. Other cities may have summer pride events, but Austin is a winter gay friendly city, with Equality Texas hosting its Merry Martini mixer in January, the Human Rights Campaign’s Black Tie Gala in February, and GaybiGayGay, an annual arts and music festival that coincides with South by Southwest (a collection of festivals and conferences) every March.
It’s no surprise that a city known for its vibrant culinary scene and charming homes is also home to a growing LGBT community. In addition to a variety of bars, cafes, and restaurants, this gay friendly city is also home to Southerners on New Ground, a progressive LGBT organization. Check out the historic Park Circle neighborhood for some of the city’s most gay friendly bars and restaurants. Also consider attending the annual Spoleto Arts Festival.
Miami usually gets top billing as Florida’s most gay friendly destination, but during Memorial Day weekend, Pensacola gives it a run for its money. While the Florida panhandle area is known for its conservative streak, the beach town welcomes a huge influx of LGBT tourism every May, with visitors taking advantage of the city’s gay bars like Emerald City and The Cabaret. For more information about the area, visit Gay Grassroots of NW Florida.
You may know that Philadelphia is one of the country’s most gay friendly cities, but if you haven’t visited in awhile, take another look. Even outside of its famous Gayborhood, Philadelphia boasts great food, vibrant nightlife, and an active arts scene. Stop in at some of the new shops popping up on South Philly’s Passyunk Avenue, or wander through Old City on the First Friday of the month. Also, be sure to checkout the city’s LGBT community center, William Way.
Maine has a long record of tolerance and gay-friendly laws, and with several established LGBT communities, ample opportunities for outdoor activities, and excellent local arts and dining, Portland is the state’s gay capital. Support Equality Maine, attend their March Gala and Silent Auction or October’s Great Pumpkin Ball. June is packed with Pride Month events, including film showings, art exhibits, discussion panels, and receptions.
This small city is bursting with LGBT activity, spurred in part by its three colleges (Brown, Rhode Island School of Design, and Johnson & Wales). Providence was the first city to elect an openly gay mayor, and the city is widely known for its historic architecture, artistic community, and culinary establishments. Be sure to visit during Pride Week for and even fuller slate of LGBT activities, including the nighttime illuminated parade.
A small, liberal town in California’s otherwise conservative Orange County, Riverside isn’t much of a tourist destination, but features an established LGBT community and a number of gay bars, including The Menagerie. Riverside is also home to one of the most gay friendly college campuses in the country, with the University of California Riverside LGBT Resource Center hosting a number of community events, outreach, and education.
Salt Lake City, UT
Most people wouldn’t think Salt Lake City is a hotbed for the LGBT community, but the city is much more gay friendly than you’d expect. One of the first cities to pass laws against discrimination, SLC has a large number of gay bars and clubs, including The Sun Trapp and Paper Moon. The city’s Sugar House neighborhood is home to much of the city’s LGBT community, and a vibrant arts scene includes the Tower Theatre, which regularly screens LGBT films.
You never know where the next LGBT travel destination will pop up, but these gay friendly cities are leading the way in creating welcoming spaces for gay visitors and residents alike. Have you checked out these destinations, or is there somewhere so unexpected that we don’t know about it yet? Be sure to let us know.