How San Diego became the US’ real estate hub
San Diego has traditionally been one of the most accepting places in the US, despite the fact that San Francisco and Los Angeles are recognized for their LGBT communities.
California has a long history of being one of the most tolerant, accepting, and friendly states for LGBTQ+ persons. The phrase “Pride” was coined by the first homosexual rights organization in the US, which had its headquarters in Los Angeles. The nation’s first gay rights march and election of the first openly homosexual man to a public office both took place in San Francisco. Additionally, the state pioneered the legalization of same-sex domestic partnerships, and it consistently ranks as the top US destination for LGBTQ+ tourists.
In 2017, California banned state-funded travel to any state “that discriminates based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” The travel ban used to only apply to five states, but since anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been passed in many states over the past seven years, it now applies to almost half of the country.
Now, California is thinking about ending its travel ban and replacing it with a campaign to support the acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in these “banned” states. This would help the state reach some of its other progressive policy goals. This is the latest thing that California has done to help the gay community feel welcome and accepted.
But while towns like San Francisco and Los Angeles have helped make California known as a haven for LGBTQ+ people, there is another gay hub in the state that is often overlooked: San Diego.
Since the 1970s, San Diego has been a safe place for LGBTQ+ people. Allan Bérubé, a historian, wrote a book called Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. In it, he said that the city’s role as a major military center created an unintentional gay scene during the war. During the war, gay and lesbian people living alone in small places across the country where being gay was frowned upon were brought together.
Gay bars like Bradley’s and Blue Jacket in Gaslamp District of San Diego drew so many people that the city was written about in the 1952 book USA Confidential, about “sin spots” in the United States. Clubs like the Jack’s Steam and Seven Seas were popular places for gay men to meet and hang out. Many veterans eventually decided to stay in the city, and 135 gay bars have opened here since the war ended in 1945, thanks to the city’s culture of acceptance.
A look at San Diego and it’s liberalism
Hillcrest is now the center of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community. A rainbow-lit sign and rainbow flags flying over independent bookstores, cafes, and vintage clothing shops remind tourists why the area is called “San Diego’s gayborhood.” In the late 1960s, Hillcrest’s gay community started to gather here because the rent was cheap, there was a lot of room, and it was out of the way. Then, in 1975, this city held its first Gay Pride march. Today, it is one of the largest Prides in the US, with more than 300,000 people attending each year.
Gossip Grill is one of the most popular places to hang out in Hillcrest. It is one of only 27 gay bars left in the United States. “We’re a safe place for women and people who have been left out. “It’s the only women’s bar in Southern California,” said the bar’s owner, Moe Girton. “Recently, we’ve seen much more diversity, fluidity, and people just being themselves.” No longer do you have to fit into a box? Here, everyone is just who they are and is so accepting of everyone else.”
The Hillcrest Brewing Company, the world’s first gay brewery, is down the road and across a rainbow-painted intersection. When the sun goes down behind the horizon, you can follow the music down University Avenue to Rich’s, Hillcrest’s most famous gay nightclub, where you can dance the night away. Shows like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have been filmed there.
The beach is an important part of any trip to San Diego. But before you hit the waves, stock up on sweets at the Candy Pushers, a colorful store run by lesbians that sells more than 1,000 kinds of candy, including homemade fudge, specialty chocolates, and truffles. Then, a few shops away, stop at HUMANITY!, a novelty shop where you can find the right pair of Speedos. Finally, if you’d rather swim in your birthday suit, you can go to Black’s Beach, a gay hangout where people don’t wear clothes.
The North Park Hotel The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows is one of the most famous and important in the city. It’s also a popular place for gay guys in the area to get a drink by the pool. The hotel is getting a $26 million makeover and will return in June 2023. It is just one of many hotels in the city that welcome LGBTQ+ people.
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People may think of something other than San Diego when they think of tolerance in California, but Orban would rather be there than anywhere else because it is always warm and has a welcoming atmosphere.
Reference: San Diego: The US’ unsung LGBTQ+ hub