The Hornet Guide to Gay Washington, D.C.

The Hornet Guide to Gay Washington, D.C.

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Even with the new administration in place, Washington, D.C., is still one of the gayest cities in the country. During the day, tourists flock to places like the Washington Monument and Dupont Circle (D.C.’s OG gayborhood) for sightseeing, and at night the city becomes a party town. With plenty of gay men to see and LGBT events to check out, gay Washington, D.C., is worthy of your next out-of-town trip.

JR’s Bar

Dupont Circle

The original gayborhood of D.C., Dupont Circle has several fun bars worth checking out. Looking to meet local cuties? JR’s should be your first stop. A gay fixture of this neighborhood for years, JR’s provides a casual environment with different theme nights, from “Showtunes Monday” to “Retro Friday,” which means you have several scenes to choose from.

Cobalt is another place you don’t want to miss. This massive building consists of a restaurant (Level 1), a lounge (30 degrees) and a nightclub (Cobalt) for a one-stop shop of after-dark debauchery. Cobalt also knows how to throw a great party. From Risqué (Cobalt’s signature circuit party) to special appearances from RuPual’s Drag Race alumna, there’s never a dull moment.

Number Nine

Logan Circle

The “Williamsburg of Washington, D.C.,” Logan Circle is an up-and-coming district with no shortage of great restaurants and cafés for the foodies. Its nightlife rivals some of the country’s leading gay destinations, with sophisticated lounges and dive bars offering nightly fun. Number Nine is a hub for D.C. gay professionals, as sexy bartenders serve up cocktails in a two-level building while you cruise the crowd.

If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, check out Green Lantern. Just a few blocks away from Number Nine, the bar is located in a historic building that used to be a carriage house. A favorite spot for bears and D.C.’s more hirsute gay guys, the bar hosts no-shirt Thursdays and draws a rowdy crowd for fun and free beer.


U Street

The birthplace of famous jazz musician Duke Ellington (and formerly “the heart of black culture in America”), U Street is currently celebrating a renaissance with its thriving nightlife scene. Nellies, a favorite local sports bar, is the go-to place to watch sporting events with friends while munching on bar food. If sports isn’t your thing, U Street also has rambunctious drag queens roaming the neighborhood to kept you entertained.

Capital Pride


Capital Pride draws thousands of people together for its important annual event, drawing stars like Meghan Trainer and Charlie Puth to get the crowd energized. LGBTQ activists are also planning a national pride march during this year’s Pride event (June 8-11) as a way to voice urgent LGBTQ issues against the current administration.

D.C. Black Pride is another not-to-be-missed event. Each year, more than 50,000 men and women from all over the world attend DCBP and take in the city’s great culture and history.


(Featured image via Elvert Barnes/Flickr)

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