Austin Gay and Lesbian Scene
(Austin, Texas - TX, USA)
Described as being a liberal and free-thinking city, free of discrimination, Austin is home to a very relaxed gay scene, although the resident LGBT community is fairly small and understated for a city of this size. For example, it is quite uncommon to see same-sex couples walking down the street, openly holding hands.
Since Austin is so very accepting of all lifestyles, its gay residents don't really have their own defined neighborhood and are rather spread around the city, being welcomed into all of the local communities and suburbs. However, there are a number of specific bars and other venues that are worth looking out for, such as the Halcyon coffee shop / bar on West 4th Street.
Within the trendy Warehouse District, a number of bars and nightclubs are spread along West 4th Street, such as Castro's, Olican's Harry's and Rain on 4th, while downtown Austin is home to the Iron Bear (West 8th Street) and Lipstick24 (East 7th Street). Also worth a look is the centrally located Chain Drive on Willow Street, which advertizes itself as the oldest LGBT club in the whole of Austin and opens Wednesday to Sunday, from 08:00 until 02:00 in the morning.
Of note, the local community comprises an increasing number of older gay couples, who have chosen to relocate here following their retirement.
Austin Pride Festival
Lasting for just over a week, Austin's Gay Pride events attract over 20,000 visitors to the city. This annual summer extravaganza was first held in the early 1990s and previously took place in June, although is currently staged at the beginning of September, being based at the Fiesta Gardens, next to Lady Bird Lake.
The fun kicks off with the LGBTQ 'Party on the Lake', which is followed by a Sing-a-Long brunch, live music, fashion shows, drag acts, and the 5-km / 3-mile 'Rainbow Run' through the streets of the downtown district. The Pride Parade is of course a major highlight and is staged towards the end of the festivities, on Saturday evening, starting at the Texas State Capitol and including an assortment of colorful carnival-style floats.
Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC)
Address: 3004 Medical Arts Street (close to the university), Austin, Texas (TX), USA
Tel: +1 512 761 5428