Ditch the stereotype: Louisville is gay friendly

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Before visiting Louisville for the first time five years ago, my notion of residents' attitudes towards homosexuals was of guys who vote in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and then stop off on the way home for a little anonymous man-on-man action in a video booth. And while WAVE's recent investigation on nearby Theatair X partially substantiates my preconceived notion of the area (stereotypes don't invent themselves), Louisville is a pretty gay-friendly place. Could it be better? Sure, but that's true even of liberal bastions like Boston and New York. These establishments are popular gathering places for people of all sexualities -- and none of the places resemble the Blue Oyster Bar from the Police Academy septology. Pink Door 2222 Dundee Road This lounge in the Douglass Loop offers more than 30 types of teas from around the world, as well as noodle soups and rice bowls. Keith on Metromix says Thursday nights there are "the new hot spot for hipsters, gay people and trendsetters in Louisville." Highlands Taproom 1279 Bardstown Road Located across the street from Mid-City Mall this bar has live entertainment every night, featuring all original music and no cover charges. It also shows Kentucky basketball and football, Cubs baseball and Bears football, which probably refers to Chicago's entry in the National Football League rather than a gay "husky, large men with a lot of body hair" tackling each other in a field over a dispute about a piece of leather. Day's Espresso 1420 Bardstown Road Day's doesn't want to be known as "the gay coffee shop" -- and it shouldn't be, it should be known for serving the best espresso in Louisville. But in the evenings and on weekends it is a popular hangout with the gay crowd. McDonalds 30 area restaurants The diabetes factory recently agreed to a cash settlement and diversity training after an employee at the E. Market St. franchise directed a bunch of slurs at five gay customers. McDonalds may not want to be gay friendly, but now it has no choice. (Of course, what self-respending gay man would go to McDonalds in the first place?) (Photo: Flickr/mynameisharsha)
About Zach Everson
I'm the travel news/travel buzz editor at MapQuest. Previously, I was a freelance writer, contributing to The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveller, BlackBook, Curbed, Gridskipper, Deadspin, and Fox News. I also was the founding editor of Eater Louisville and the director of content and editorial strategy for Louisville.com.
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