City Cast

Does DC Have a Gay Neighborhood?

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 7
Rainbow crosswalk on 17th Street in Dupont. (Ted Eytan /Wikimedia Commons)

Rainbow crosswalk on 17th Street in Dupont. (Ted Eytan /Wikimedia Commons)

This weekend, the Capital Pride Parade will march down 14th Street Northwest and through Dupont Circle, the historic queer center of the city. But a lot has changed since the first Pride in ‘75. Does Dupont still serve as the city’s “gayborhood”? And if not, where does?

Logan Circle: Number 9, Trade, and Green Lantern are heavy hitters in the city’s queer club scene. Ed Bailey, the owner of the famous gay nightclub The Town, told City Cast DC, “Logan circle certainly is a hub for gay activities. A number of the restaurants and pubs in Logan circle are queer-friendly.”

Barracks Row: Eighth Street Southeast used to be known as “Gay Way” because of the many LGBTQ establishments there in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Many of these were closed due to the AIDS crisis and then gentrification. Now, spots like As You Are and Crazy Aunt Helen’s are working to make it a LGBTQ neighborhood once again.

U Street Corridor: While not historically queer, U Street Northwest now holds the majority of gay nightlife in the city. Bailey says “U Street has become a real hub. There’s Uproar, Dirty Goose, Kiki’s, Nellie's, and Flash.” Bunker also opened this year, aiming to fill a hole in D.C.’s LGBTQ dance club scene.

Dupont: Between Pride parade, the high heel race, and the rainbow crosswalks, Dupont is certainly seen as a center for queerness in D.C. The intersection of 17th & R streets Northwest is even named after Dr. Frank Kameny, the grandfather of the gay rights movement. However, high rent and gentrification have also pushed out many members of the LGBTQ community.

Do you think D.C. still has a gay neighborhood? If so, where?

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