A city with deep LGBTQ roots in social activism and culture
One of the largest and most widely recognized areas for being LGBTQ friendly is San Francisco, with a deep history of activism for LGBTQ rights. The 2008 film, Milk, tells the story dating back to 1972 when ” Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and his then-lover Scott Smith leave New York for San Francisco, with Milk determined to accomplish something meaningful in his life. Settling in the Castro District, he opens a camera shop and helps transform the area into a mecca for gays and lesbians. In 1977 he becomes the nation’s first openly gay man elected to a notable public office when he wins a seat on the Board of Supervisors. ”
The Castro Street Fair was founded by Harvey Milk, a San Francisco LGBT street festival and fair that happens early October usually on the first Sunday. It is hosted in the Castro neighborhood, the main gay neighborhood, known as the social center for the gay community. A thriving event that has grown from thousands of people to attracting tens of thousands, it offers food vendors, multiple stages with live entertainment, DJs, community group exhibits and also showcases dozens of Northern California artists.
The city has hosted numerous gay bars and clubs over the years and has a rich cultural history for the gay community. It hosts the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, one of the world’s largest and openly gay choruses. Home to San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Frameline. National Queer Arts Festival (NQAF) is an annual queer festival in San Francisco founded by the Queer Cultural Center and established in the 90′, look for it during Pride Month. Also hosting, Tranny Fest, the world’s oldest trans film festival San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF). The night before the world renowned San Francisco Pride Festival, a street party happens, Pink Saturday, in the Castro District and it coincides with the annual Dyke March.
While there is a thriving gay community in San Francisco, the area’s home pricing comes at a cost, median home pricing suggests at least 50% or more compared to other areas in California. Although, to help offset this, it also boasts a high median income. The Castro District is San Frans most famous gay district, at the end of San Francisco’s famous Market Street and below Sutro Tower, The Castro has deep roots for the LGBTQ community.
Some other areas that are popular for the LGBTQ community include SoMa, South of the Market that offers loft apartments in this artsy area. It encompasses Mission Bay and South Beach, and you can also find the Giants playing baseball at waterfront AT&T Park. SoMa offers trending bars like Oasis, a sprawling nightclub, Powerhouse, SF Eagle, a leather bar you will also find boutique shopping, museums, art galleries, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and fine restaurants, this neighborhood has everything you need just a quick walk or ride away.
The Mission is a diversified area with Latin culture and a popular spot for LGBTQ community members, as well as hipsters and artists, where you can find apartments. An area known for ethnic food, cafes, thrift shops and bookstores. Bernal Heights is known as a more of a family friendly lesbohood, with young families and artists and yes, there is Bernal Park, an off leash dog park for the furry friends. Cafes with open patios, fruit stands, restaurants that you may find outdoor seating, or a backyard garden to enjoy.
Being one of the top tourist destinations in the country and is home to many world famous attractions, from the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, home to gardens and museums, a green space in the heart of San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts to name a few.
There is lots to do in San Francisco and with the Bay, if you like the water, boat cruises or sailing tours are available, if you don’t have your own boat, or, if you prefer your feet on land, you can stroll or ride a bicycle, or even ride the Cable Cars around. On the Bay, in the plaza outside the Ferry Building, you will find the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, which is open on Saturdays, as well as a couple of other days during the week. It features high-quality California-sourced products and produce.