There are many LGBT friendly places throughout the world, but San Francisco has been the long reigning Queen of Queer cities. Way back before your great-grandparents were around, San Francisco was known for their vibrant gay community. Simply put, San Francisco is OG LGBT.
In a city where roughly 1 in 3 people identify as LGBT, you know this article is barely going to touch the tip of the rainbow iceberg. We’re kind of lucky to have claimed San Francisco as our mecca; it’s absolutely gorgeous. So what if you have to sell a kidney or two in order to make rent, the view of the bay and a whole slew of single queer folks makes up for it right?
You can find great hot spots in most San Francisco neighborhoods, but the Castro and Mission Districts are queer central. The Castro is where most of the gay boys call home and Mission is for the rest of the community, but these neighborhoods are so close together there’s tons of overlapping. QBar
is always packed and offers some amazing 2 for 1 happy hour specials, cheap to FREE cover charges, and theme nights. It’s a boy’s bar, but on Tuesday a “weekly lezzie dance maniac party” (their words not mine) takes over. SF Eagle
is a bar known for its Bear and Leather crowd, however it’s probably more infamous for their $12 all-you-can-drink beer special on Sundays that attracts everyone from light beer sipping twinks to stout guzzling studs. El Rio
in the Mission district probably has some of the most diverse crowds. You might share a shot with a boy covered in glitter and 5 minutes later talk about politics with a group of lesbian bikers.
Of course you’re going to need a hangover cure after a night of partying. San Francisco has a slew of coffee houses that make Seattle a little jealous. SFour Barrel
is a great coffee shop to relax and get some reading or writing done because it doesn’t have wifi. It’s also a good idea to take someone on a first date here so they have to put their phone down and actually hold a conversation. Chilling in Dolores Park
is also highly recommended. This is a place where you can play a pickup game of basketball while watching a mime troupe perform.
Our community has been making strides for decades and it’s nice to know where we have been. Located smack dab in the Castro is the GLBT Museum
. It won’t take much time to visit (It’s quite small), but it certainly should be on your “must see” list.
Like most Pride events in the United States, San Francisco’s Pride
takes place in June and last an entire weekend. This event has been going strong for over 40 years. There are several marches and rallies including a Trans* march that kicks off the event, the world famous Dyke March, and a massive parade. If you’re coming for Pride, we recommend taking two weeks vacation (if your boss allows it), because Frameline
; the premier LGBT film festival take place in the city a week before Pride.