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Northern Texas Attitudes toward Gay and Lesbian Travelers

Colorful sights at the Dallas Pride Parade.
Colorful sights at the Dallas Pride Parade. Photos © Cordey, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Despite its rep as a stronghold of conservative values, Dallas-Fort Worth actually is a pretty comfortable place for GLBT travelers. Fort Worth has no designated “gayborhood” and few gay bars, but its culture, climate, and charm have attracted many gay and lesbian couples. The scene here is quieter, more family-oriented, and more woven into the fabric of the city. While Fort Worth may be a touch more conservative than Dallas, the town’s pioneer roots promote a sort of “live and let live” mentality.

The Dallas GLBT scene is more rowdy and visible. For decades, the scene here revolved around a row of bars, shops, and coffeehouses at the crossroads of Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn Avenues, known as “the strip” or “the gayborhood.” Many GLBT-oriented businesses still stand there and are going strong, and the strip is still considered the epicenter of queer life in Dallas. This is where most folks head on out for happy hours, weekend revelry, the Pride parade (held in September here), and the (in)famous Halloween parade. For years, this also was the neighborhood with the highest concentration of GLBT home owners and renters.

However, as in many cities, the need for a physical community has waned, as GLBT Dallasites have landed in increasing numbers in every neighborhood. Bishop Arts, Uptown, and downtown are all popular destinations, for instance. Dallas has long been a destination for queer travelers, especially men, and the expansion of this already very visible community has only increased its cachet.

While all of North Texas continues to trend Democrat and more liberal, it is by no means a hotbed for the type of activism and radical (some would say) politics that abound in other places like San Francisco, Portland, New York, and Austin, so travelers who identify more on that side of things might be disappointed, although to be sure, the local community is friendly and welcoming.

It’s also worth noting that you might find some of the smaller towns and rural areas surrounding DFW less welcoming toward queer travelers. In all honesty, a same-sex couple holding hands might get a stare or perhaps a muttered comment directed their way, though such behavior is the exception, not the rule.

Map of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
Dallas and Fort Worth

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