The City of Angels lies alongside staggering mountains, borders spectacular deserts, and meets the Pacific on the expansive coastline, extending from Malibu to Long Beach. The city’s famed movie, music and modeling industries have attracted a variety of handsome hopefuls to Los Angeles since the 1920s and helped lay the foundation as a city that leads LGBT culture across the country.
The most well-known gayborhood in Los Angeles is West Hollywood (WeHo.) The strip on Santa Monica Boulevard is (currently) home to stacks of gay bars, shops, and a handful of gay restaurants. WeHo nightlife captures mainstream gay culture with top 40 EDM remixes, hairless and ripped bartenders, and many recognizable faces from the industry.
A couple of alternative gayborhoods are the up-and-coming Downtown – which boasts a few innovative gay bars – and the historic Silver Lake, where some of the first LGBT protests took place in the 1960s.
The Black Cat Tavern protests
Indeed, although New York’s Stonewall Riots were a turning point for LGBT activism, the Black Cat Tavern raid in Los Angeles preceded Stonewall by two years. During the night of New Year’s Day 1967, undercover police raided the bar, beating and arresting those displaying same-sex displays of affection. A month later, hundreds of protesters marched on Sunset Boulevard, one of the first instances when gay people demanded equal rights. The Black Cat Tavern is now a historic monument.
Main gay events in LA
WeHo hosts one of the most elaborate and famous Gay Pride Festivals every summer, with a parade, two-day music festival, and pool parties that last until dawn. Gay Days Anaheim is another favorite event that draws crowds to Disneyland every October. Also, every April, the world-famous White Party gathers thousands of visitors in nearby Palm Springs.
The Best Gay Beach in LA
Will Rogers State Beach is considered a must for travelers checking out gay Los Angeles. It's located along the Pacific Coast Highway near Pacific Palisades and features bike paths, volleyball courts, walking trails and outdoor workout equipment. Lots of TV shows and movies have been filmed at the beach including Valley Girl.
Gay cruises departing from LA
Many LGBT cruises to Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii depart from San Pedro, close to Los Angeles. Gay travelers can find cruises available throughout the year.
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