Dallas home to the gay cowboys of Texas and famous JR’s bar
Founded in 1841 as a Western trading post, the Dallas–Fort Worth area is the fourth largest in the US, with over 7 million people.
It is home to several important museums, distinctive neighbourhoods, and a thriving culinary and arts scene, best known as the site of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, as well as the Dallas TV show and the Cowboys football team.
But in addition to the important memorials and museums associated with John F Kennedy, the city is home to the world-class Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, family-friendly Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and a lot more.
Dallas has one of the largest Gay populations in the US. Gay Dallas is primarily centred around the Oak Lawn area with bars, restaurants, and stores found throughout Cedar Springs Rd and Oak Lawn Avenue.
Despite its Bible Belt location and being a Republican home state, Dallas has a vibrant queer community. Diverse, genuinely warm, creative and just a little wild – the ‘Big D’ will not disappoint.
One of the biggest cities in the United States, Dallas is a larger-than-life metropolis filled with cowboys and cheerleaders, conspicuous consumption and money.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the Dallas-area public transportation authority that provides rail, buses and HOV lanes to commuters. DART began operating the first light rail system in Texas in 1996, and it is now the largest operator of light rail in the US.
For a city that loves its freeways, Dallas has surprisingly robust public transit options. Buy tickets on board buses or from vending machines at rail stops. A Day Pass can be bought for less than $10 for local transport.
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is the main airport, around 17 miles west of Downtown. Public transportation connects the airport to the centre of Dallas by DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Light Rail.
From DFW Airport Station at Terminal A, the DART Light Rail runs seven days a week every 15 to 30 minutes between 04:00 hours and 23:30 hours. The journey time is around 49 min and arrives downtown in West End Station.
Places to stay
Dallas is also filled with many places to stay, and many of the options are in attraction-heavy Downtown, it’s worth considering nearby Uptown and the Design District, both with their own sights, nightlife, and dining scenes.
Cedar springs the LGBTQ neighbourhood is in the Uptown area of city, just north of Downtown. Uptown is a dynamic district in its own right and home to some of the city’s best hotels, shops, and restaurants. It offers a more character than Downtown, but the hotels tend to be on the pricier side
The other central neighbourhoods of interest to visitors include the Deep Ellum entertainment district.
Things to do
Leather Masters is the top kinky store in Dallas specializes in BDSM and leather pieces with pieces for men and women. They offer their own unique designs and a great manufacturing department should you need something custom.
Cathedral of Hope is the world’s largest LGBTQ church located in Oak Lawn, with a membership of over 4,000 local members. This postmodern cathedral was custom designed and is worth visiting if only to see the 78-foot bell tower commemoration of HIV/AIDS victims.
The Strip on Cedar Springs is a diverse array of retail, nightlife, restaurants, accommodations and services, many with a strong queer focus. This vibrant and popular neighbourhood it would be impossible to experience gay Dallas without stopping off here.
Condom Sense is a chain of boutique adult novelty stores in Dallas. You can shop here for over 8,000 unique adult products, With three locations, including one on Cedar Springs Road, and some of the friendliest staff in the adult sex toy industry.
Bars, Cafes, Clubs & Parties
The Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs Road area serves as North Texas' largest gayborhood and is home to Dallas' vibrant gay nightlife.
With more than two dozen gay bars and clubs to choose from, you’ll never be bored in Dallas – no matter what day of the week you are visiting.
Make it a night to remember on The Strip, the heart of the Dallas LGBTQ+ community and nightlife for more than four decades.
The Tin Room (Dallas, TX) Gay strip Club doesn’t just draw in out-of-state tourists but plenty of people from more conservative\rural areas of Texas experimenting with gay life for the first time.
Clubs don’t get going until around 11 pm on weekends, but during the week, most bars have fun events to tempt you in, and they seem to be working! Just remember the last call here is 2 am.
Pekers is a long-standing gay dive bar in an Oak Lawn strip mall offering friendly conversation and strong drinks. The highlights of the week has to be the Totally Twisted Karaoke held every Friday and Saturday night.
Rose Room is the Southwest’s premiere show bar for gender illusion, hosting multiple drag shows upstairs at Station 4, Always fabulous, with a mix of talented performers who specialize in glamour, and comedy, and ensure you have a good time. With a drag stage that features a digital background and special effects the Rose Room is always a favourite spot for Drag Shows in Dallas. Open nightly, Thursday through Sunday.
Alexandre’s Bar is an upscale bar with a warm neighbourhood vibe. There is a fun assortment of live entertainment, including Broadway Showtunes and Cher-E-Oke and incredible cocktails.
Cedar Springs Tap House is a LGBTQ sports bar, tap house and restaurant, The Tap House serves the local queer community as a simple hangout and safe haven while providing incredible pub fare, craft brews, mixed drinks and TVs tuned into most major sports games.
Woody’s is a friendly neighbourhood gay bar with affordable drinks and a fun line up of weekly events, including show-tune sing-alongs to comedy nights. The terraces and outdoor balconies in the style of New Orleans.
Grapevine Bar is a popular beloved neighbourhood gay dive bar that has been open since 1996. A small friendly bar with a fabulous rooftop patio serving stiff cocktails in quirky, mismatched glasses, just like their patrons.
Liquid Zoo is a queer bar with a very ‘Cheers’ vibe. In the early evening, Liquid Zoo doubles as a restaurant but becomes more of a bustling tavern at get later in night, filled with colourful characters, cluttered décor and pitchers of beer.
Hidden Door is a well-established watering hole for bears and their admirers with a comfortable patio, darts and pool tables along with cheap drinks.
JR’s Bar & Grill Dallas established in 1980. JR’s is one Dallas’s most famous watering holes. A hub for all Dallas nightlife with cheap drinks, a friendly crowd, an upstairs patio and plenty of room to mix and mingle makes JR’s a perfect choice any time of day,
Kaliente is a popular gay Latin nightclub offering cold beers, shots, stiff cocktails and hot nights of dancing with DJs.
Marty’s Live is an LGBTQ nightclub with various drag shows, hip-hop nights and sexy go-go dancers six nights a week. They host a lesbian night on Tuesdays with female dancers. A bit run-down with weak drinks,
Havana Lounge is a restaurant-come- gay nightclub that brings the essence of Cuba to Dallas. You will be surrounded by hot guys in a run-down place. The cover charges include food vouchers, and the music is mostly Latin/ Hip-Hop mixed with other genres.
Round-up Saloon is a gay country-western dance hall. Round-up Saloon always ensures you a clean and friendly atmosphere, where you can kick up your heels and feel at home in any of their six bars. Dancing, conversations, cruising, cocktails or more are all on offer here.
Station 4 is a huge gay club 24,000 square feet of fun, with 17 bar service areas, a thundering sound system and a moveable light show. Pump up the volume and dance the night away with the best djs in Dallas!
You can cool off outside on the enormous patio, or catch a drag show in the legendary Rose Room. There is just so much to explore here; S4 is the biggest queer hotspot located right in the heart of Oak Lawn.
Sue Ellen’s is a fabulous lesbian nightclub complete with fiber-optic lighting and high-def video screens; Newly renovated, Sue Ellen’s also has an open-door patio, private lounge areas, busy dance floor, live music and a game room.
Tin Roon is an infamous gay nightclub/strip club in Dallas with a busy bar and a rotating roster of exotic male dancers. The Tin Room can be a little trashy, but popular for the hot dancers offering private dances.
Dallas Eagle is the premier Leather-Levi-Bear bar in Dallas, similar to other Eagle bars around the world. A fun space to hang out, with bartenders frequently only in their underwear and not a hardcore leather spot with most patrons not dressing up. They host regular weekly theme nights, leather contests, and BDSM social and charitable fundraisers, There is also a gay men’s store inside selling jocks, lube, leather gear and more.
Club Stallions is a unusual BYOB gay strip club in North Dallas with dark and moody vibes. Think black walls, fluro red lights and hot boys in various stages of undressing, culminating in a sleazy dungeon feel. Membership is required as it is a private club. Membership is $50, which includes membership fees as well as membership for one year. After the first time you then need to pay a $30 fee each time you visit.
The Oak Lawn\Cedar Springs neighbourhood hosts a wide variety of excellent relaxed eateries.
Lucky’s Café is a favourite diner, serving traditional home cooking with farm-fresh ingredients. In fast-paced and changing Dallas, people seem to keep coming back to Luckys. Maybe it’s because they partner with local and regional farms.
Hunky’s is another popular spot for gays on the Cedar Springs strip offering old fashion hamburgers, hot dogs, patty melts, shakes and cute boys.
Additional place to eat depending on your food preference, Grab burgers at LGBTQ+ themed Roy G's, or Cedar Springs Tap House. Japanese food is available at AI Sushi Sake Grill or pizza by the slice or whole pie at Italia Express. Asian cuisine at the Thai Lotus Kitchen and Tex-Mex treasures at Taqueria La Ventana.
The Club Dallas is chain of private saunas and gyms providing a safe, healthy and fun environment for adult gay and bisexual men with other locations in other states. The Dallas location is just steps from the Swiss Avenue Dart station and boasts immaculate facilities, including an outdoor pool, “Cowboy” whirlpool, relaxed steam room and sauna, fully equipped circuit gym and private dressing rooms.
Open 24 hours a day. If you plan to visit more than three times in 6 months then get the membership and bring ID to enter as is mandatory.
Main LGBT Events
Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade held in February is a spring festival and parade celebrating Mardi Gras with an Oak Cliff twist. The largest and most diverse annual event is held in Oak Cliff. Not to be confused with Sydney Mardi Gras, but fun with a Masquerade Party and Dash for the Beads races.
Texas Bear Round-Up held in March is a small event with lots of fun, fur and frolic that has since grown wildly in numbers and purpose. The event is seen as a large Bear family reunion and fundraiser weekend celebrating the bear community and those who identify themselves as bears, cubs, otters, and their admirers. Expect lots of entertainment, dances, fun events, pool parties, shopping and fun with around 2,000 attendees.
Dallas Purple Party held in May and organized by the Purple Foundation to raises funds for those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Purple Foundation’s premier dance fundraiser, Purple Party Weekend, is a sensational weekend of dance events featuring electrifying visual performances and music by some of the world’s most popular DJs and attracts dance-music lovers from all over the world.
DFW Sisters Red Dress Party held in May organized by the DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence! Join the crowds in your sexiest, provocative and revealing red attire and go a little crazy with the sisters. There is a silent auction and sister swag available during the event, with all funds raised going to support their charitable causes throughout the year.
Dallas Pride + Music Festival is held in June and most significant annual LGBTQ event held in Dallas. A celebration of queerness and diversity, while still embracing its political roots. A party with plenty of rainbow flags, wild parties and glitter. Make sure you have your best outfit ready.
Dallas Southern Pride held in September is an official annual celebration for Black lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer individuals to come together and celebrate who and what they are along with the essence and spirit of Black culture and richness. There are a series of events and parties that includes an official kick-off party and ball and attended by thousands. Dallas Her Pride is the official women’s host of Dallas Black Pride.
Oaklawn Halloween Block Party held in October is a major event on the Dallas queer calendar culminates in a fabulous party on the 3900 block of Cedar Springs. The event has featured a costume catwalk, with live commentary, music, food, beer and other refreshments, along with a live DJ and performances! Admission to the street party is free.
Currency – United States Dollar (USD)
Language – English
Visas – Most visitors from Europe do not need a visa. ESTA permits citizens of 40 countries to enter the US without a visa.
Best Time To Visit – March - November
Timezone – Varies per state. Check per destination.
Homosexual Activity – Legal but attitudes vary per state
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