Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, allies, whatever. The truth is, we like you just the way you are. And, frankly, we’re not worried about your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or who you love.
You see, everyone is welcome here in Cleveland.
And, that’s not just a line of fluff. You can feel that very energy and acceptance during Cleveland’s annual PRIDE in the CLE event happening on June 4th this year. The event celebrates the welcoming nature of our fine city with a Pride March, food, entertainment and, of course, beverages. Everyone’s invited to this annual celebration combines entertainment, education and activism with the goal of fostering unity and acceptance.
But Cleveland’s no stranger to hosting big, important LGBT events. In 2014, Cleveland hosted the Gay Games or, as we called them here in CLE “GG9,” which welcomed more than 20,000 people from around the globe.
This international sporting and cultural event invites participation from all athletes – regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender identity, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge or health status.
The event, according to former executive director of GG9 Tom Nobbe, was truly a testament to Cleveland’s ever-welcoming vibe.
“The folks who came in from out of town, out of state and out of the country were impressed by the embrace they received from the community – and I’m talking the whole Northeast Ohio community, not just the LGBT community,” said Nobbe.
Nobbe felt so strongly about the region’s embrace of the visitors to GG9, that he penned a heartfelt letter to the editor following the event.
“We know that there were athletes who would get on the trolleys or the HealthLine bus and Clevelanders would see their medals and actually applaud! There was a real air of embraced diversity,” he said.
The truth is, Cleveland is not only welcoming to all kinds of diversity, but it offers numerous cultural amenities, an unparalleled culinary scene and world-class attractions toward which all communities gravitate.
“We demonstrated during the Gay Games that you could go anywhere in Cleveland with your partner or group and feel comfortable,” he said.
So, whether you’re experiencing the world-famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum or checking out the show tunes and fabulous choreography of the Northcoast Men’s Chorus, you just focus on enjoying yourself.
LGBT CLE NIGHTLIFE
So, you’ve checked out the neighborhood hotspots, taken a saunter through our cultural institutions and have finally figured out why everyone goes crazy over Cleveland’s food scene. Now, you want to see some of CLE’s LGBT nightlife. Here's a few to get you started.
Cocktails Cleveland: This quaint Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood spot offers is a great place for karaoke and has some killer drink specials.
Flex Spas Cleveland: While not technically a bar, this all men’s spa includes an indoor pool, outdoor pool, saunas, gym and hotel rooms.
The Hawk: This neighborhood bar is often referred to as the “Gay Cheers.”
Leather Stallion: One of the oldest leather bars in the Midwest, this saloon now welcomes everyone – in or out of leather.
Twist Social Club: Probably the most popular gay nightlife spot in the area, Twist is welcoming to all. Visit their always-happening front patio.
Grop Shop: Each month at GlamGore, alternative drag takes center stage. Horror and glamour unite as everyone from drag monsters to beauty queens perform at this all-ages show.
The 5 O'Clock Lounge: Combining burlesque, art, and music, the punk rock showcase, BLACK MASS, takes over on the second saturday of every month.
Nano Brew: Catch the perfectly named Brews and Babes show on weeknights where, weather-permitting, you might watch the performance on the outside patio.
REGULAR LGBT EVENTS/HAPPENINGS
Looking to hang with some like-minded Clevelanders? Explore these popular LGBT events and happenings.
Pride in the CLE
This event combines entertainment, education and activism with the goal of fostering unity and acceptance. Happening this year on June 4th at Mall B in DowntownCleveland.
LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
With a mission to enrich the lives of diverse LGBTQ+ community, the LGBT Community Center hosts a wide range of events like the Terrace Concert Series that highlights LGBTQ+ artists.