San Diego, California has been a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community for decades. During World War II, the city’s role as a military headquarters brought together many gay and lesbian individuals who had been isolated in smaller towns where homosexuality was frowned upon.
Today, the city has 135 gay bars thanks to its culture of tolerance. Hillcrest is known as San Diego’s “gayborhood” and is home to the city’s first Gay Pride parade in 1975, which is now one of the largest in the US, attracting over 300,000 people.
Gossip Grill, one of Hillcrest’s most popular hangouts, is one of only 27 lesbian bars left in the country. Black’s Beach is a popular clothing-optional beach that’s a favourite hangout for the gay community, and the iconic Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows in North Park is a hotspot for local gay men.
Chris Orban, who goes by the name Ariana Grindr on TikTok, loves San Diego for its open-mindedness and tolerance, and being able to be their authentic self without worrying.
San Diego may not be the first city people think of in California when they think of tolerance, but it has a mix of year-round warm weather and acceptance, which makes it a favourite spot for many in the LGBTQ+ community.