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Come Out, Come Out, However You Are!

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By Kevin Perry

Whether you live in sassy San Bernardino, revealing Riverside, or not-so-innocent Indio, gay Palm Springs is your playground for events, enticement, and empowerment. In fact, we have prided our pride for almost a century. When Hollywood became the world’s dream factory during the silent era of the 1920s, matinee idols like Rudolph Valentino visited Palm Springs to ride out their current scandals and create some new ones in the process. Our hometown became synonymous with sin done right!

It also earned its reputation as Los Angeles’ fabulous closet. To escape the prying eyes of Tinseltown, screen idols like Rock Hudson, Anthony Perkins, and Tab Hunter cavorted in Coachella Valley, cementing our rugged landscape as an oasis of inclusion. No wonder so many accomplished members of the LGBTQ’mmunity have set up shop here…

Gay Palm Springs takes Pride in Ownership.

Gay Palm Springs is a wonderland of LGBTQ-owned businesses. They know how to treat their gay clientele because they ARE the gay clientele. Just ask Tony Torres and his partner Rocky Wood, founders of Bike Palm Springs. This rental shop is the perfect first stop on your gay, hip day trip!

Pedal your way up the road to the Uptown Design District, and you’ll find a stylish shopping experience. Prepare for a luxury landing at Seaplane Shirts. Owner Schuyler Brown has cultivated a killer fashion line with a queer eye for prints and dyes.

Continue your sashay with a stop in the Arenas Business District, where you’ll find Gay Mart, LGBTQ-owned and fabulous. And now that you’ve got a vision for your gay domicile populate it with the cutest keepsakes in the county. Stock up at Christopher Anthony Ltd. and bring their art pieces, furnishings, and overall gorgeousness home from your triumphant trip to PS.

Year-round Yaas!

But before you leave, mark your calendar for a return visit to Gay Palm Springs. We’re conveniently SoCal central, so any fun-loving gays within a 100-mile radius can get here in the blink of a false eyelash. Springtime gives birth to the raucous riot grrrrl shenanigans of The Dinah, the biggest queer female music festival on Mother Earth.

But don’t worry, guys; we didn’t forget about you (call us!). White Party brings infamy out of the shadows and into the spotlight, jump-starting the careers of gay icons like Lady Gaga and Ke$ha with concerts and decadence to last you through the searing summer months.

Now that you’re good and naughty, lash on some gear for Palm Springs Leather Pride, an edgy exploration of your deepest desires every October. The following weekend, cool off with the chillest LGBT festivity in the world. Greater Palm Springs Pride saves the best for last, staging an epic festival and parade in November to avoid the sweltering heat of those other Pride gatherings. Let’s face it: June is so played out, so play it up with the gays of PS!

palm springs pride

Gay Palm Springs From Drags to Bitches

The zeitgeist has spoken: Drag is here to slay! The popularity of faux female performers has permeated Palm Springs pop culture (not unlike alliteration). We have events every day of the week, from queen-worthy karaoke at Retro Room Lounge to down-and-dirty flirty at Copa Nightclub.

As a sinful sorbet, take a break from the estrogen with a gritty grope – oops, we mean tria p to Tool Shed. The man candy is served up raw and robust, so growl on over…  OK, bro, break’s over – back to the bitchiness! Oscar’s Café & Bar delivers a drag brunch that will scratch your eyes out and follows it up with the most loving LGBTQ gathering of the week: their intoxicating Sunday Tea Dance. Community is served!

Arenas Road Realness

But most of the bars belong to the Arenas Business District, a flourishing gay wonderland of libations and liberation; all lined up for your local convenience. Get upscale with gourmet fare from Blackbook; share a story with the gents at Streetbar; harness your manliness at the Levi and leather lasciviousness of Dick’s; go-go directly across Arenas to convene with bears and bois at Hunters; chill at the bar that says it all, Chill; or strike up the band and sing along with show tunes at Quadz.

Amidst the revelry, get your gay Palm Springs shopping fix at Bear Wear or Rough Trade. If it dangles, show it who the boss is with the help of our friends at Palm Springs Piercing Company. And get ready for a deep dive into the PS pool scene with a skimpy swimsuit from Division.

Stay & Play in Gay Palm Springs

Now get ready to ditch your fancy new Speedo, because Palm Springs boasts the most clothing-optional gay resorts in the world. If you’re just here for the afternoon, the frisky fellas at Canyon Club or All Worlds Resorts & Annex will be happy to give you a day pass.

But your day trip might turn serious, at which point you MUST explore the overnight options that queer PS offers. Marvel at the mid-century mastery of Triangle Inn, named for the geometric innovation that dominates its design. Get a hug from Ron at Desert Paradise, or get a meal from Tom at Vista Grande.

The gay landscape in Palm Springs is so varied that you can find any niche to scratch your itch.  INNdulge boasts a social hour that assures you won’t be a stranger for long, no matter how brief your stay.

You’ll soon learn once you begin exploring this Palm Springs paradise. It stretches beyond your wildest LGBTQ dreams. Your gay day trip may only last a few hours, but the memories will linger for a lifetime…

Plan Your Trip to Palm Springs

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