Dallas is a sprawling and breathtaking metropolis of high-rise buildings, heritage architecture and a thriving LGBT+ community. Unlike many other cities in Texas, Dallas has not fallen foul to the boom and bust nature of the oil industry and has been an economic powerhouse since the end of the 19th century.
Experiencing a recent cultural boom, the city is a burgeoning hub of arts and culture. Following immense development and regeneration, the arts district in Dallas is now the largest in the country and is teeming with young and innovative artistic talent. This, combined with the city’s established musical history make Dallas one of the USA’s cultural capitals.
Dallas is also home to one of the most active and lively gay scenes in the USA and also boasts the sixth-largest LGBT+ population in the country. The city is a mecca for gay tourists, who flock to its streets every year to enjoy the welcoming and accepting locals, thriving nightlife scene and rich culture.
The majority of the gay nightlife on offer in Dallas can be found in the Oak Lawn neighborhood. The area boasts a dense and concentrated collection of gay bars and clubs that span a range of interests and tastes and are guaranteed to entice any gay traveler.
Staying true to the city’s cowboy roots, Round-up Saloon is a western-themed club that draws some of the largest crowds in the city. Line dancing, tequila, iconic country and pop hits as well as attractive bar staff make Round-up the perfect destination to fulfil your true cowboy fantasy. The club is huge and features 12 bars, multiple dance floors and an outside area. Conveniently located in the Oak Lawn area, the club is within walking distance of many of the city’s other gay venues and has been known to be visited by Lady Gaga, so be sure to keep a watchful eye out.
Just across the road from Round-up Saloon, and occupying comparably expansive premises, Station 4 is the colorful heart and soul of Dallas’ gay nightlife scene. Hosting legendary drag nights, touring cabaret shows and world-class DJs, there is something on offer for every gay traveler at Station 4. Visitors can enjoy the club’s spacious dancefloor, large outside patio, and the iconic rose room.
For an unforgettable and unique clubbing experience, gay travelers should head to the Eagle Dallas. This popular gay bar is known for its leather aesthetic and regular themed nights. By day, the venue offers a relaxing and comfortable space to eat and drink, but at night, the cavernous club roars to life as it is descended upon by the city’s energetic and diverse gay population.
The most popular hotels for gay travelers are located in Dallas’ downtown and Oak Lawn districts. From these locations, visitors will have convenient and efficient access to the wide range of gay venues and landmarks that can be found throughout the city. Whilst there are no gay-specific hotels, securing accommodation in the city’s Downtown and Oak Lawn areas will ensure gay travelers receive inclusive and judgment-free service.
Just like the city itself, The W Dallas puts emphasis on the big and the bold, from the jaw-dropping rooftop pool to the striking architecture of the building, the hotel guarantees guests a memorable stay. Boasting a range of amenities including a large spa with nine treatment rooms and an in-house gastropub, the W offers guests the perfect base from which to explore Dallas.
Situated in the heart of Oak Lawn, The Joule Hotel affords guests a comfortable and convenient stay in the epicentre of gay culture in Dallas. Each guest room is stylishly furnished with contemporary decorations and amenities and the hotel also features an impressive rooftop infinity pool and fitness centre. The central location of The Joule means that guests are never far away from any of the city’s top attractions, including the John F Kennedy Memorial and The Dallas Museum of Art.
Complete with art deco interiors and polished finishes, Le Meridien Dallas is a centrally located, gay-friendly hotel. Le Meridien is situated in Uptown Dallas, close by to the Oak Lawn neighborhood and the majority of the city’s gay nightlife venues. The main attraction of the hotel, however, is the plethora of world-class eateries that line the surrounding streets. Dallas is a hub of culinary offerings and guests at Le Meridien are perfectly located to sample all that the city has to offer.
One of the largest museums in the USA, the Dallas Museum of Art was founded in 1903 and is dedicated to the efforts of innovation and public engagement. The institution’s global collection includes 24,000 artworks spanning 5,000 years and numerous countries of origin. The collection is a tribute to the diverse and multicultural population of Dallas.
The museum is situated in the city’s blossoming arts district, home to a number of independent galleries, boutique handcraft stores and community spaces. The mission of the museum is to act as a catalyst for creativity amongst the city’s population and visitors can enter the museum free of charge.
Every year in June, the streets of Dallas come alive with the colors of rainbow flags and decorations. Pride celebrations have taken place in the city since the first pride march in 1972, where 300 LGBT+ people paraded through the streets of, then, very conservative Dallas. The courage and pride of these original pioneers inspired thousands more, and since 1980 the city has hosted pride celebrations and demonstrations annually.
Today, the city’s pride celebrations open with a day of LGBT+ focused literature, art and music before culminating in the Dallas Pride Parade at the end of the week. Gay travelers can also experience Dallas Black Pride and the Texas Latinx Pride, both of which take place in the city and are focused around the Oak Lawn neighborhood.
Despite being located in one of America’s most socially conservative and religious states, Dallas itself is a bastion of liberal open-mindedness and LGBT+ acceptance. The city has the sixth-largest LGBT+ population in the country and most travelers regard it as gay-friendly and inclusively welcoming.
The city of Dallas began issuing same-sex marriage licenses just hours after the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality in 2015. However, there is still no statewide legislation that protects LGBT+ individuals in Texas from sexually motivated discrimination and transgender individuals must first undergo gender confirmation surgery before being permitted to change their legal gender.
by George Pizani | More: Gay Dallas