Southern beau shows us how to have a good time below the Bible Belt

The South is not always shown in the best light, especially when it comes to its acceptance of the LGBTQ community. As a true southern boy, trust me when I tell you this – there are tons of gays below the Bible Belt, too! You just need to know where to look.

These southern states might not have as large an LGBTQ population as gay hubs like San Francisco or New York. But, as we’ve all heard before, it’s not that size that counts. These cities more than make up for it with gorgeous weather, delicious eats, affordability, and classic Southern hospitality.

On your next trip down south, consider adding these LGBTQ-friendly cities to your itinerary:

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, or “New York of the South” as it is often called due to its ever-growing population and entertainment industry, is home to a thriving gay community. There is no doubt that “Hotlanta” is the epicenter of the southern gay universe. The entire city is a haven for the LGBTQ community, but Midtown is considered to be the center of gay life in Atlanta. It’s home to Blake’s On The Park and Atlanta Pride.

Blake’s On The Park

Midtown’s favorite 227 10th St NE · Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 892-5786

Atlanta Pride

Three-day Pride celebration

Piedmont Park

Dallas, TX

Dallas has one of the largest LGBTQ populations in the United States, the sixth-largest to be exact. Gayborhood is primarily focused on the Oak Lawn neighborhood with bars, restaurants, and stores. The country’s most conservative state has a vibrant and thriving gay community (and is worth the hype). 

The Mining Company

A gay institution 3903 Cedar Spring Rd · Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 521-4205

JR’s Bar and Grill

Extremely popular spot at the center of it all 3923 Cedar Springs Rd · Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 528-1004

Station 4

Massive dance club and drag lounge 3911 Cedar Springs Rd · Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 526-7171

Miami, FL 

It will probably come as a shock to no one that an inclusive gay scene flourishes in Miami. With its flavorful nightlife, and popular bars like Twist, Miami has long been a hotspot for the LGBTQ community.

We’re marking our calendars for Dreamland Festival for NYE 2023. For those not much into the party scene, the city boasts two “semi-official” gay beaches: 12th Street Beach, with its rainbow flags, and Haulover Beach, with a designated “clothing-optional” area.


‘Never a Cover, Always a Groove’ 1057 Washington Ave · Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 53T-WIST
m2, 2335 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL

Haulover Beach

Go au natural at a spectacular beach 10800 Collins · Miami, FL 33154


12th Street Beach

Follow the rainbow flags to this oh so popular gay beach 1200 Ocean · Miami, FL 33139


Memphis, TN

Memphis just might be the most progressive city for the LGBTQ community in Tennessee. There’s something special about this small, booming city in the heart of the South. In addition to experiencing the sights and sounds of bluesy Beale Street, there are plenty of gay nightlife options scattered across the city for travelers and locals alike. Though, everyone usually ends up at DRUS or Pumping Station for a nightcap.

DRUS Place

Never a dull moment 1474 Madison Ave · Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-0521

Pumping Station

Leather club since 2001 1382 Poplar Ave · Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 272-7600

RELATED: This adorable gay couple tells us how to enjoy Memphis like a local

Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Museum of Art

Ok, hear me out on this one… The Magic City is my home! As a gay black man, I have seen nothing short of a reinvention in Birmingham. Alabama’s largest city is committed to promoting the good in the South – because, despite all the bad, there’s a lot more good. Positive energy and potential are palpable in the air.

As a noticeable sign of this transformation, Birmingham’s current mayor Randall Woodfin appointed the city’s first full-time LGBTQ Affairs Liaison and advisory board in June 2018. Birmingham is a gem not only for the LGBTQ community but for everyone. 

You won’t find any fast food chains in the heart of the city. Instead, you’ll have a wide variety of James Beard Award-winning restaurants to choose from.

Houston, TX

The hometown of Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter. Enough Said! Her latest album ‘Renaissance’ pays tribute to the Black queer roots of house and disco music and to her Uncle Jonny, her godfather, a proud gay man.

As the fourth-largest city in the country, Houston is a progessive city filled with art, shopping and sexy nightlife. So it is only fitting to say that Houston has a diverse LGBTQ crowd. There is something for everyone afterdark, from leather bars and neighborhood pubs to video lounges and dance clubs.

Oh, let’s not forget about the food!!! While chili is the official state dish… Houston is famous for its barbeque joints. Recommendation for the vibe and good time: Present Company Houston. 


Leather bar with dark corners and a kink shop 715 Fairview St · Houston, TX 77006
(713) 521-2792

Present Company

Tropical-themed patio bar 1318 Westheimer Rd · Houston, TX 77006
(281) 974-4752

Nashville, TN

Nashville, the capital of Tennessee is also known as Music City and the “home of country music”  because it has plenty of bootstrapping fun and southern culture to offer to the traveling cowboys and bachelorette parties!

The National Museum of African American Music, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Broadway strip (a one-of-a-experienced bar that offers live music every day of the weekend partying into the early morning hours) fuel this vibrant hotspot in the center of the South.

Also worth noting, its inclusive neighborhood “The District” is where you’ll find most of the gay action. Bars like Play and Tribe are all within walking distance from one another.  


Nashville’s original video bar 1517A Church St · Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 329-2912

Play Dance Bar

Everyone’s friendly, everyone’s welcome 1519 Church St · Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 322-9627

New Orleans, LA  

Laissez les bons temps rouler. This Cajun French phrase is thrown around bars and clubs across Lousiana. In English, it means, “let the good times roll,” and trust me – New Orleans lives up to this motto as a true leader in embracing and allowing you to be who you are.

New Orleans’ Creole cuisine, historic architecture, and local color will leave you absolutely charmed. Highlighted LGBTQ-friendly event: Southern Decadence, one of the largest annual celebrations and festivals in NOLA, has become known as the Gay Mardi Gras. 

Le Pavillon Hotel

Heart and history 833 Poydras St · New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 581-3111

Southern Decadence

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

St. Ann and Bourbon

RELATED: 5 LGBTQ travel destinations to visit in conservative states

Did you miss your favorite gay travel destination on our list? Let us know in the comments!

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