San Francisco is a city that has always welcomed people of all backgrounds and orientations. From the Gold Rush to today, San Francisco has attracted diverse populations with its acceptance, openness, and tolerance.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that many LGBTQ individuals have chosen the Bay Area as their home. Whether you’re looking for friends or family members who are open to discussing issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity; an out gay man feeling confident enough to explore his neighborhood without fear of harassment; or simply want to find someplace safe for your children when they come out, here are nine places in San Francisco that will welcome you with open arms:
1) Castro District
The Castro is great place to meet other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals. The former epicenter of gay culture in America is home to the annual San Francisco Pride Parade , the Cinch bar, Harvey Milk Plaza, Twin Peaks Tavern (the oldest continually-operating gay bar in SF), and much more.
2) University of San Francisco
A Jesuit university with strong LGBT ties, USF offers a safe space for LGBT students by offering gender-inclusive housing, the Lavender Graduation ceremony, and Safe Space training. For prospective LGBT college students looking to attend school in SF, this is pretty much the perfect place to be.
In recent years, SoMa has become a haven for the LGBT community. It’s home to City Hall, where gay couples lined up for hours in 2008 to receive their marriage licenses, SOMA Streat Food Park (where right now there is a truly fabulous fundraiser going on), and the AIDS Memorial Grove.
4) The Castro Theater
Located in the heart of the eponymous neighborhood, this gorgeous movie palace is owned by the same family who ran it in the ’20s. Today, there are monthly screenings of classic films featuring LGBT themes or actors .
5) Twin Peaks Tavern
If you find yourself in San Francisco around Thanksgiving, be sure to stop by this local institution for their turkey dinner special. If you’re lucky enough to hit up their 50th Anniversary party in November, you’ll be able to catch some great local bands and artists. You can also find live music most nights of the week. Check out their events calendar for details.
6) The Rite Spot Cafe
The oldest (and best) gay bar in SF’s Mission District is now located within a cafe! Stop by for some great drinks, tasty food, and nightly entertainment.
7) The White Horse Bar
This historic bar is the ultimate dive bar, serving up stiff drinks since before Prohibition was repealed. It’s also a fantastic place to catch live music. Don’t miss their Bluegrass Brunch every Sunday at noon!
8) Castro Country Club
While you can’t join in on this social club’s potlucks, BBQs and trips just yet, the Castro Country Club is a membership-based community center that hosts a wide range of events for all to enjoy. From movie screenings to salsa classes, there’s always something new at the country club!
9) The Center SF
The Center is one of the most well-known LGBT community centers in America, and it’s easy to see why. Offering classes, counseling services, game nights, fundraisers and so much more, The Center truly provides a safe space for all queer people of every stripe. Visit their website for information on current events.
San Francisco is a great place for LGBTQ individuals to live and work. There are many options available in the Bay Area, but we’ve found that these nine places offer some of the best services and activities geared specifically towards this community.
t’s important to remember that there may be other organizations or businesses providing similar resources- you just have to do your research!
We hope this article has been helpful, please let us know if you want help finding more opportunities like these ones.