“Safe, inviting, inspiring.” That’s how Durham’s LGTBQ community describes the Bull City. From its activist roots to current reputation as a progressive Southern city, Durhamites have worked hard to ensure that the Bull City is a welcoming place for all who visit. When the NC General Assembly temporarily passed discriminatory legislation, Durhamites stood in solidarity with the LGBTQIA community through protests, fundraisers, and events. This is a community that will uplift you, support you and give you strength. Whether you’re staying for one night or the rest of your life, you’ll feel right at home.
Today, Pride: Durham, NC serves as a beacon of Durham’s inclusivity every September. Our Pride festival is an unapologetic affirmation of our (and every) LGBTQIA community. Expect a parade with costumed marchers alongside decorated floats and vehicles, as well as festival vendors, speeches, and parties in and around the city. Event organizers and participants are proud to bring love and activism back to the forefront of the event to drive stronger connections and further growth and success. Moreover, each August, Durham hosts OutSouth Queer Film Festival, the second largest LGBTQIA film festival in the Southeast. Held at the historic Carolina Theatre, OutSouth screens films that range from full-length features to documentaries and shorts, highlighting the work of directors from across the country. In addition to screenings, the schedule includes a kick-off party, family-friendly events and food trucks.
For nightlife, The Pinhook offers queer dance parties, Arcana hosts a Queer Prom and The Bar hosts drag performances and trivia. While Durham offers several LGBTQIA-specific nightlife options, the Bull City’s many craft breweries, atmospheric cocktail bars, and rooftop hangouts are inclusive and welcoming of all people.
Photos by Lisa Gotwals and SP Murray