Visit Gulfport: An LGBTQ-Friendly Community

Gulfport is an LGBTQ-friendly destination in Florida. Discover this thriving gay community and exciting Pride events!

A girl walking a rottweiler in front of a store with an LGBTQ flag and a pink flamingo

Walkable streets and dog-friendly spots are a big part of the Gulfport lifestyle.

Gulfport is small town near St. Pete, tucked away from the high rises and populated by friendly, quirky people – including a large, active LGBTQ community. In fact, a third of the Gulfport population identifies as LGBTQ. This small town is artsy and bohemian, with plenty of local businesses and events catering to its diverse population.

One-third of Gulfport's population identifies as LGBTQ+.

If you’re looking for an LGBTQ-friendly vacation destination that isn’t as touristy as other gay neighborhoods in Florida, Gulfport should be at the top of your list. Keep reading to learn more about the history of the LGBTQ community in Gulfport, its two Pride events, and local queer-friendly businesses and landmarks that you have to check out.
 

History of the LGBTQ Community In Gulfport

In the last 20 years, Gulfport has promoted equality, implemented LGBTQ-friendly policies, and invested in the gay community through the LGBTQ Resource Center.

Here is a short history of the fight for LGBTQ rights in Gulfport:

  • 2005: Gulfport passed a Human Rights Ordinance to protect its community members from discrimination of all kinds, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 2012: Gulfport became the first city in St. Pete/Clearwater to create a domestic partnership registry that allowed same-sex unions. It was an unanimous vote.
  • 2015: The Gulfport Public Library opened an LGBTQ Resource Center. The center, which started with a mere 250 books, was the first of its kind in Florida. It is now home to over 10,000 books, CDs, and DVDs. It also sponsors activities like speaker series and scholarship programs.
  • 2018: The Gulfport Public Library was awarded the Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community by The American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) for its contributions to LGBTQ youth. 
  • 2018: The first Gulfport Pride, Peace, & Love Festival was held.
  • 2018: The city elected Jennifer Webb, an out lesbian, to the Florida State House District 69th seat.

     

Gulfport Pride Activities

Pride comes twice a year in Gulfport!

Gulfport Pride

While its Pride festival is still young, Gulfport is a great place to celebrate if you don’t want the traditional commercial Pride extravaganza. Gulfport Pride takes place in June concurrently with St Pete Pride, one of the largest celebrations in Florida. 

There’s still plenty to experience at Gulfport that you won’t find anywhere else, such as drag shows from local queens and a market with vendors unique to Gulfport. Gulfport Pride is a free event, but donations are welcome. It will take place on June 4, 2022.

Gulfport Pride, Peace, & Love Fest

Close to a third of the population of Gulfport is LGBTQ, so it’s no surprise that the town holds its own Pride outside of the month of June. Established in 2018, the Gulfport Pride, Peace & Love Festival celebrates local talent and the town of Gulfport itself.

At the event, you’ll be treated to live music, a parade, and plenty of vendors across the festival grounds. Mark your calendars for next year's festival, which will take place on March 12, 2023

 

 

LGBTQ-Welcoming Businesses

Patronize businesses owned by allies and members of the LGBTQ community!
Golden Dinosaurs Sandwich

Golden Dinosaurs is a popular vegan restaurant in Gulfport.

 

Let It Be Ice Cream

3127 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport, FL 33707 

Let it Be Ice Cream is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Its ice cream is made in-house and in small batches, so it’s always fresh! 

This popular spot also offers ice cream cakes, sundaes, and milkshakes, plus an array of adult and vegan options available. Check its seven-day specials for imaginative flavors, such as Kahlua and Baileys or Aztec Chocolate.

Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Restaurant

2930 Beach Blvd. S Gulfport, FL 33707

Golden Dinosaurs is a destination restaurant for vegans and vegetarians. While other spots only have one or two vegan options, Golden Dinosaurs’ delicious dishes and delectable donuts are all vegan. Its Cuban sandwiches and chili dogs are especially popular, but be sure to save room for dessert.

Neptune Grill

5501 Shore Blvd. S, corner of Shore and Beach boulevards, Gulfport, FL 33707

The Neptune Grill is a family-owned restaurant with authentic Greek and Mediterranean dishes. They have excellent gyros and cut the meat off the spit just like you are supposed to!! They also have live music and exciting events like Drag By The Bay hosted by the beautiful Brianna Summers.

The Neptune Grill has it all! You can come in early for some low-key gyros and friendly service or show up late for a crazy drag show. It’s the restaurant that can do both!

 

LGBTQ Landmarks

The LGBTQ Center

Gulfport Public Library, 5501 28th Ave. S, Gulfport FL 33707

The beneficiary of Gulfport Pride is the LGBTQ Center, which holds lecture series, film showings, and more for those who are interested in learning more about the LGBTQ experience. 

The (Edie) Windsor Building

6020 Shore Blvd. S, Gulfport, FL 33707

The Windsor building is a residential tower where a third of the building’s 120 apartments are rented by lesbians and other WLW, making it a popular landmark for the LGBTQ community. The place was nicknamed the “Edie” Windsor building, after the plaintiff in the first marriage equality case in the U.S.

If you are looking for a laid-back and local LGBTQ community, then Gulfport is the place for you. It’s a safe, LGBTQ-friendly spot that has plenty of inclusive events, landmarks, and local businesses. Discover Gulfport and enjoy its quaint, beachy vibe on your next vacation!

Content by Rachel Covello. Covello is the Publisher of OutCoast.com, an LGBTQ-focused destination marketing travel blog highlighting inclusive destinations in Florida in which to visit, celebrate, and live. Explore LGBTQ Florida on OutCoast.com to find the best rainbows in the Sunshine State.