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L.A.’s Gayborhoods


A guide to the best areas in Los Angeles where you can be yourself

West Hollywood

The gender-ambiguous parent of all gay neighborhoods, West Hollywood, celebrates its 30th anniversary as an independent city this year. Since its inception, West Hollywood has led the way on many progressive issues, from establishing a social service programs for people living with HIV/AIDS in 1985, to creating a transgender task force in 2011. And if the myriad of bars, nightclubs, shops and restaurants that line Santa Monica Boulevard isn't enough to convince you of West Hollywood's reign as the LGBT-friendliest locale, look no further than the crosswalks, which are sometimes rainbow-colored!


Must visit: Classic spots like The Abbey and Legendary Bingo at Hamburger Mary's are a must if you have never been. Newcomers Pump, founded by Bravo Housewife Lisa Vanderpump, and country western themed Flaming Saddles are two of the town's newest additions.

Downtown LA

DTLA has undergone a Renaissance lately. An influx of great eateries, fun watering holes, and trendy shops have started to open. Local LGBTs have taken notice and flocked to the area in great numbers to live, work, and play.


Must visit: Big Gay Ice Cream -- the place to go for a Salty Pimp or a mouthful of Bea Arthur -- just opened a permanent pop-up shop at the Ace Hotel Downtown's Upstairs Bar. DTLA is also home to the Art Walk, which takes place the second Thursday of each month.

Silver Lake

Filled with hipsters and gays, Silver Lake is incredibly walkable and home to many awesome shops, bars and restaurants that the cool kids frequent. Anyone looking to change up his fitness routine should take a jog around the Silver Lake Reservoir, a fertile stomping ground for the fittest and hottest tattooed bodies around.


Must visit: The Eagle and The Faultline, LA's two premier leather bars, call Silver Lake home, as does Intelligentsia, a cafe with pricey but fantastic coffee (that you'll most likely waited in line 20 minutest to get, but don't mind because of the spectacular people watching).

Long Beach

Actually a municipality (and not a neighborhood) located at the southern end of Los Angeles County, Long Beach is home to a sizable gay population and boasts a number of bars, restaurants and activities that cater to them. Further securing its status among the LGBT-friendliest places, Long Beach hosts one of the largest pride celebrations in the country, with over 80,000 reported participants showing up each May.


Must visit: The RMS Queen Mary maritime museum and hotel attracts naval history buffs and the supernaturally curious from around the world. That's right, the Queen Mary is notoriously haunted and many attendees have reported sightings of other-worldly guests over the years. Travelers who prefer spirits of a different sort can visit The Silver Fox or Executive Suite for cocktails.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Bryan Van Gorder