Gay San Francisco
Oh, San Francisco. If you’re gay, chances are you’ve either been to San Francisco or plan to sometime in your life. It is Gay Mecca after all. Honestly, do we really even need to have a gay guide for San Francisco? You’re bound to have a friend or five in the City, right? In case you’re unaware though, San Francisco has long been known as being a hotbed of homosexual haunts. It is steeped a rich, chocolate, mahogany color with gay history, bars, theaters, and activism. Recent population demographics indicate that more than 15% of the population of San Francisco is gay. That’s about 1 in every 6 people! The City is stereotypically known to be the gay capital of America, if not beyond. It’s also a commonly heard statistic that there are more dogs than children in the City by the Bay, which we just love. There are also more drag queens per square foot than anywhere else except wherever they happen to be filming RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ok, we made that last one up, but you get the idea, right?
Now that we’ve made you completely aware of just how gay SF is, let’s move on. There are literally hundreds of gay-themed things to do here. The Castro neighborhood is ground zero of SF’s gay epicenter. Here you’ll find bars and restaurants of every variety, suiting all sorts of patrons. There’s also the iconic Castro Theatre which features gay cinema and sing-a-long musical nights among other entertaining things. You can also get a glimpse of famous gay activist and former-city-supervisor-turned-gay-martyr, Harvey Milk’s old camera store, Castro Camera; only now it’s a Human Rights Campaign store. We’ve come full circle, people.
Don’t be afraid to get out of the Castro and explore the rest of the city too—Northern Californians, and Bay Area residents in particular, are notoriously liberal and accepting of gay people, so you shouldn’t have any worries being yourself around town. There are plenty of interesting museums in Golden Gate Park to check out, Chinatown is a tourist destination in and of itself, and there are dozens of parades and festivals throughout the year for you to explore.
The weather in San Fran is notoriously colder than the rest of California so pack accordingly. In summer, it’s typically foggy and cool. Winters are rainy and brisk, but the fact that Frisco sits on a peninsula surrounded by water stabilizes the climate from being excessively hot or freezing cold, generally.
SF is very compact, being only 49 square miles, and the public transportation system is likely the best in California. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains can take you around the bay area if you’d like to check out other nearby cities like Berkeley and Oakland. The Municipal Railway (MUNI) trains will take you around the peninsula of SF though, and they’re entirely affordable and convenient. You’re also gonna want to hop on the only mobile National Monument in the world and ride a cable car down one of the famously steep streets. Go for it, don’t be bashful: bust out The Trolley Song, and no one will likely even bat an eye—this is San Francisco, the gayest city in America!
The Gay Scene in San Francisco
The main intersection in the Castro is 18th Street and Castro Street. From here the Castro District extends in all directions for many blocks. This dynamic San Francisco neighborhood is adorned with rainbow flags to help show support of the gay and lesbian residents while being a symbol for the community.
Restaurants in San Francisco
If you’re a foodie then San Francisco is the place for you. San Francisco is home to many gay-friendly restaurants, cafes, and other eateries.
Nightlife in San Francisco
San Francisco has it all, from gay and lesbian bars to gay disco diva dance clubs. There is something for everyone in this fabulous city so let loose and enjoy yourself in any of these gay bars and clubs.