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Big Surprise: Gay Friendly Alabama

Big Surprise: Gay Friendly Alabama

If you're headed down South for the holidays and preparing yourself for total gay isolation, think again!

Photos in order: (1,2) Courtesy of Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, (3) by Jeffrey A. Reed) 
Story by Joseph Alexiou

If you're headed down South for the holidays and preparing yourself for total gay isolation, think again! Alabama has several cities with gay neighborhoods, one of the most developed being Mobile.
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile is a cultural center of the region, including its own professional opera and ballet companies, as well as a symphony orchestra and a few art museums. Originally French colony (residents prefer that one pronounce the name mo-BILL with the emphasis on the second syllable), this city has a 300 year-old tradition of Carnival, the oldest city-organized celebration of this holiday in the country.


In addition to the wild colors and celebrations of Mardi Gras, the gay friendly side of Mobile is best displayed during their 3-day Pridefest, which features a parade, open-air market, several concerts, and an annual volleyball competition, to name some of the perks.

Big city folk may find some local charm, camaraderie, and tightly knit nature of Mobile's gay neighborhood and community. Situated in the middle of downtown, the scene anything but overwhelming. Populated by friendly Southerners with sexy accents, the 'hood is bordered by St Francis St. on the North, S. Clairborne St. to the West, and Government St. to the South. In this little haven bar/restaurants like Gabriel's Downtown (55 So. Joachim St) and B-Bobs (213 Conti St., 251-433-2262) have dancing, events, drag shows, and special events which are updating frequently on the websites of each venue. Vision's Twist (266 Dauphin St., 251-431-9002) has live music performances as well. If you're passing through Mobile and need to see a
drag queen, this is your opportunity.There is even a local gay men's choir, the Port City Men's Chorus, which performs all over town and is an example of the accepting and welcoming nature of Mobilians.

According to Alabama Tourism's Communication Director Edith Parten, other cities in Sweet Home Alabama that are known to be gay friendly include Birmingham and Montgomery, which includes a well known bar/restaurant Nobles (129 Montgomery St., 334-262-3326) and several restaurants in the Old Cloverdale district.

We hope to report more on Gay-friendly Alabama and other surprising locations in the coming months. Stay tuned for more info!

Photos in order: (1,2) Courtesy of Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, (3) by Jeffrey A. Reed) 
Story by Joseph Alexiou

If you're headed down South for the holidays and preparing yourself for total gay isolation, think again! Alabama has several cities with gay neighborhoods, one of the most developed being Mobile.
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile is a cultural center of the region, including its own professional opera and ballet companies, as well as a symphony orchestra and a few art museums. Originally French colony (residents prefer that one pronounce the name mo-BILL with the emphasis on the second syllable), this city has a 300 year-old tradition of Carnival, the oldest city-organized celebration of this holiday in the country.


In addition to the wild colors and celebrations of Mardi Gras, the gay friendly side of Mobile is best displayed during their 3-day Pridefest, which features a parade, open-air market, several concerts, and an annual volleyball competition, to name some of the perks.

Big city folk may find some local charm, camaraderie, and tightly knit nature of Mobile's gay neighborhood and community. Situated in the middle of downtown, the scene anything but overwhelming. Populated by friendly Southerners with sexy accents, the 'hood is bordered by St Francis St. on the North, S. Clairborne St. to the West, and Government St. to the South. In this little haven bar/restaurants like Gabriel's Downtown (55 So. Joachim St) and B-Bobs (213 Conti St., 251-433-2262) have dancing, events, drag shows, and special events which are updating frequently on the websites of each venue. Vision's Twist (266 Dauphin St., 251-431-9002) has live music performances as well. If you're passing through Mobile and need to see a
drag queen, this is your opportunity.There is even a local gay men's choir, the Port City Men's Chorus, which performs all over town and is an example of the accepting and welcoming nature of Mobilians.

According to Alabama Tourism's Communication Director Edith Parten, other cities in Sweet Home Alabama that are known to be gay friendly include Birmingham and Montgomery, which includes a well known bar/restaurant Nobles (129 Montgomery St., 334-262-3326) and several restaurants in the Old Cloverdale district.

We hope to report more on Gay-friendly Alabama and other surprising locations in the coming months. Stay tuned for more info!

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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