Source: Courtesy Visit Dalls

Visit LGBTQ+ Dallas, Where Pride Marches On, All Summer Long


The biggest, most diverse queer community in Texas got a jump on summer this year with Dallas Pride's smashing annual parade and festival over the first weekend in June.

From the dulcet tones of the Turtle Creek Chorale to the twirling rainbow stripes of the Flaggots; from the Hollywood glow of honorary grand marshal Billy Porter to the intergenerational joy of the festival's Family Pride Zone, the resilient, celebratory spirit of LGBTQ+ Dallas set the city asparkle.

But in the heart of Texas, Pride is too powerful to be confined to a mere weekend celebration or even a whole month: Dallas' rainbow of inclusivity arcs across all four seasons.

So don't let the parade pass you by: Visit Dallas, where Pride marches on throughout the summer and all year long.

It's Always On in Oak Lawn

Named America's best 'gayborhood' by Out magazine, the Oak Lawn area – just minutes from downtown – is the epicenter of Dallas' queer nightlife, with over a half dozen eclectic venues. It's a great spot to spend a summer weekend.

The expansive JR's Bar & Grill complex, serving the LGBTQ+ community since 1980, features a bustling covered balcony that's the perfect vantage point for watching the neighborhood come to life during a summer sundown.

Nearby is Sue Ellen's, which is not only the oldest lesbian bar in Texas, but one of fewer than two dozen venues of its kind in the entire United States, an important landmark in queer herstory.

Here's another historical fun fact for queer Millennial and Gen Z visitors: Both JR's and Sue Ellen's are named after main characters on the campy prime time soap opera, Dallas, which featured one of television's first coming out plotlines in 1979 (you can pregame for a visit by streaming the series on Amazon Prime or YouTube TV).

Also in the neighborhood are dance club Station 4, which hosts elaborate weekend drag shows in its upstairs Rose Room, and The Mining Company (call it TMC if you want to pass for a local), known for its hot go-gos and breezy patios.

Between nightlife adventures, you can pass your days lounging poolside and indulging in spa treatments at luxe local hotels The Warwick and Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Or take a summer stroll along Katy Trail and through Turtle Creek Park.

And if you want to escape the midday heat and take in a little culture while sticking to the neighborhood, check out the Perot Museum of Nature and Science or the eye-popping collection of samurai outfits and artifacts at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum.

Take in a Show

This summer, Dallas will play host to an eclectic array of touring performers with special appeal to LGBTQ+ audiences. Their shows provide the perfect excuse for a splashy night on the town.
Comedy icon Ellen Degeneres swings through town on July 10, playing the Music Hall at Fair Park on what's reported to be her final stand-up tour.

The following night finds gay Broadway sensation Ben Platt, of "Dear Evan Hansen" fame, showcasing his new album of poppy gay love songs, "Honeymind," at the Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie.

On July 31, Idina Menzel, "Wicked"'s original Elphaba and John Travolta's infamous tongue-twister, presents a solo concert at the Majestic Theatre before returning to Broadway for a starring role in the new musical "Redwood."

The hit national tour of "Funny Girl," the show that made Barbra Streisand a star, comes to Fair Park from August 6 to18. And while Babs isn't in it this time around, don't let that rain on your Pride parade: 26-year-old Katerina McCrimmon, who plays the leading role in this production, is a legend in the making, heralded by critics as "astounding," "remarkable," and "a tour de force."

"The Boys in The Band," a frank and funny gay play that broke new ground in 1968 and drew wide attention when adapted for Netflix in 2020 by Ryan Murphy, will be staged by Dallas' own Uptown Players at the Kalita Humphries Theater from August 15 to 25.

"RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" hit the runway at Fair Park on August 23 and 24. And the man who set the stage for the drag revolution, Boy George, will be in town on a double-bill with Squeeze at the Toyota Music Factory on August 28.

Proud Partners

And of course, throughout the summer and all year round, Visit Dallas is your partner in pride, presenting online listings of LGBTQ+ events, attractions, hotels and restaurants to help you put together your ideal gay getaway in the heart of Texas.

For more information and visitors' tips, check out

by Jim Gladstone

Jim Gladstone is a San Francisco-based writer and creative strategist.

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