The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Guide to Los Angeles
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One of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, Los Angeles – or LA as it is commonly known – is a magnet for LBGTQ+ visitors. This sprawling metropolis is like no other place on earth and a must-see destination for city lovers.
LA is where to go for a good time, a multi-cultural city of many faces, it’s a delight to explore and one that will always bring colour and fun to the party – fitting for the LBGTQ+ community.
Is LA LBGTQ+ Friendly?
Los Angeles is incredibly LGBTQ+ friendly city, so much so it’s known by many as the gay capital of the USA, and perhaps the world.
However, sadly, that wasn’t always the case. In the past members of the LGBTQ+ community in LA experienced prejudice – much like the LGBTQ+ community did in the United States as a whole.
However, over the past three to four decades recorded incidents of discrimination are on the decline.
As a same sex couple we have now visited Los Angeles multiple times and experienced no acts of prejudice towards us. Of course, that’s not to say that prejudice and discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community in LA no longer exists entirely, instead, thankfully it’s just becoming increasingly rare.
Annual LGBTQ+ Events in LA
There are a number of annual LGBTQ+ events taking place throughout the year in Los Angeles. They include;
LA Pride is one of the largest Pride events in the world and takes place over a number of days. However, it’s the Pride Parade that’s the highlight of the week-long party, with more than 100,000 people walking together to in colour along the iconic Hollywood Boulevard.
Pride Is Universal
This after-hours ticketed event at Universal Studios Hollywood is hosted in partnership with LA Pride and allows the LGBTQ+ to celebrate together at the theme park between the hours of 9pm and 1am.
Simply diVine takes place annually each April and is the premier food and drink festival aimed at the LGBQT+ crowd.
Held at Hollywood Forever, it’s a chance to explore what local businesses in the food and drink field offer and a friendly and enjoyable event.
Finally, there’s DragCon hosted and made famous by the icon RuPaul. Celebrating everything to do with drag, this spectacular event is visited annually by straight and gay people and highlights the influence of the LGBTQ+ community on LA as a whole.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Neighbourhoods in LA
While the city of Los Angeles as a whole supports the LGBTQ+ community, there are a number of neighbourhoods with a higher population of LGBTQ+ residents and independently owned businesses. These include;
WeHo – West Hollywood
Latest reports found that 40% of those living in West Hollywood identify as gay, which unsurprisingly makes this region of the city the largest LGBTQ+ population.
This is a beautiful place with a fabulous community feel, friendly and vibrant, with a great choice of cafes and bars, food stores and boutiques, and great nightclubs that cater for LGBQT+ and straight patrons, which are among the best and most exciting in LA.
Downtown LA (DTLA)
Downtown LA (DTLA; Americans are fond of their abbreviations) has become a magnet for the LGBTQ+ community thanks to its diverse population and excellent amenities.
This lively and vibrant quarter of the town features a variety of districts offering wonderful rooftop bars that are the go-to destinations when the evening comes.
Silver Lake was one of the original gay communities in LA and remains a genuinely hip and trendy place for the LGBTQ+ community and everyone else.
Here you can enjoy the sights and delights of Griffith Park – the largest municipal park in the USA – and dine in the excellent restaurants after shopping in the boutique clothing stores. Few places in the world are cooler than Silver Lake.
One of California’s most LGBQT+ friendly places is Long Beach, where the famous Queen Mary cruise liner is permanently moored, and the biggest Pride celebration in the USA is held each year.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Hotels in LA
As the world’s most gay-friendly city, it is little surprise to find a wealth of hotels that actively advertise as LGBTQ+ friendly, and the following are some that come highly recommended.
Sunset Tower Hotel
Sunset Tower Hotel is a short walk from the centre of LA’s West Hollywood gay neighbourhood and offers classic upmarket hotel service with a little bit of added Hollywood glamour.
Neatly and comfortably furnished rooms are superbly decorated, and guests can enjoy in-room massages, plus a superb restaurant, bar, and many other facilities within the hotel. Fine views of the city are a major attraction.
Book Sunset Tower Hotel
Andaz West Hollywood
Iconic Sunset Boulevard is the location for Andaz West Hollywood, a hotel popular with the LGBQT+ community, thanks to its proximity to the centre of the nightlife scene.
Stylish and superbly equipped rooms plus a fabulous rooftop bar with amazing city views are reasons to choose this excellent hotel for your LA visit.
Book Andaz West Hollywood
The Hollywood Roosevelt
If you want fabulous views, we recommend The Hollywood Roosevelt, a glorious hotel on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the heart of the Hollywood district.
A short walk to the best gay clubs and bars, a choice of restaurants and bars and an in-house gym make this a popular choice with LGBQT+ visitors.
Book The Hollywood Roosevelt
LGBTQ+ Nightlife in LA
There is an extensive range of LGBTQ+ nightlife available depending on your interests. Here are some of our favourite establishments;
With its cool Moroccan theme, the wonderful AKBAR is a great cocktail bar where both LGBTQ+ and straight crowds mix and mingle.
A friendly atmosphere, a lively vibe, and a simply stunning dance floor make this a must-visit destination if you want to sample LA nightlife at its most diverse and exciting.
Catch One was LA’s first black gay and lesbian disco bar and has been running successfully since 1976.
The place attracts a wide variety of the more diverse LGBQT+ crowd and is a friendly, welcoming, and famous destination that must be experienced.
Silver Lake’s The Eagle is the place to be if leather is your thing.
The third Friday of every month is a leather/fetish dress code night, and it is ranked as one of the best nights out in LA.
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