Pittsburgh is known as “Steel City” due to its industrial heritage. It’s a liberal-minded city with a surprisingly good gay scene. It’s also considered to be one of America’s more affordable cities with low crime rates and a good standard of living.
Andy Warhol, queer artist extraordinaire, is Pittsburgh’s most famous son. No other 20th-century artist has such a vast cultural legacy aside from Picasso. The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the best cultural attractions in Pittsburgh – it hosts regular LGBT+ events.
Pittsburgh might not be one of America’s top tourist destinations. That being said, it’s a fabulous city with a lot to offer.
Blue Moon is billed as the “friendliest gay bar in Pittsburgh”. It hosts regular drag events and it’s located on Butler Street. One of our favorite Pittsburgh neighborhoods is called Shadyside – ideal postcode for LGBT+ residents, natch. Shadyside has a few gay bars. It’s probably Pittsburgh’s gayest area.
In Shadyside you’ll also find 5801, a laidback gay bar popular with locals. You can eat and mingle on the terrace. On the Shady side of the tracks you’ll also find Element, a gay bar with live music, Drag Race events and cabaret nights. It’s one of the more popular gay bars in Pittsburgh.
Andy Warhol is one of the great American artists. He came to prominence in the 1960s as the figurehead of the Pop Art movement. He grew up in Oakland, Pittsburgh. His family were Byzantine Catholics. Andy worshiped at the altar of celebrity, cinema, pop and commerce. He reflected American culture back to itself in legendary artworks, such a his depiction of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol was gay and he brought a queer sensibility to his work, not least in his adoration of female stars. He also painted coke bottles and electrical cleaning products. He was American through and through.
Pittsburgh celebrates the life and work of Andy Warhol as an extensive museum. There are seven floors with films, original artworks, a huge archive, rotating exhibits and regular live events. There are around 900 paintings and over 100 sculptures.
You don’t have to be an art aficionado to visit the Andy Warhol Museum. His work went beyond the confines of art to incorporate all aspects of culture, from Elizabeth Taylor to vacuum cleaners.
Gay Pride in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Pride takes place every June or July. It’s the biggest gay Pride event in Pennsylvania. The event has grown every year. It’s taken place in July more recently to avoid clashing with other major Pride events. Pittsburgh Pride 2019 attracted over 250,000 people, making it the biggest parade in Pittsburgh.
This vertiginous railway opened in 1877. It was designed to transport workers from their hillside homes to the mills. Some of the hilly rail routes are still operational. It’s great to take a ride if you’re in Pittsburgh. Not least because it’s Victorian – it also offers panoramic views of the city. The workers may have labored in tough conditions for modest pay, but at least they had a lively way to get to work.
Visit the Strip District
One of Pittsburgh’s hippest areas, the Strip District is packed with restaurants, boutiques and international markets. This is a good place to visit in the morning or afternoon. It’s good to get there earlier as some of the vendors stop serving by mid-afternoon. The Strip District is a good thing to do in Pittsburgh before you hit the bars in the evening.
by Alex | On: Gay Pittsburgh