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San Francisco, spectacular peninsula
Spanish, Oriental and Italian influences
One of the gayest places in North America, San Francisco is an amazing place-to-go for straight people, and should be on top of your list if you are gay or sympathizer. Its reputation rests in one neighbourhood: the Castro. It is one of the first gay villages in US and the largest, standing as an outstanding symbol of GLBT community. There are gay cafes, gay theatres, gay shopping malls and gay events. All of this leads to a huge traffic of tourists that come to experience the accommodation and acceptance the neighbourhood offers.
The San Francisco pride, a parade that happens on the end of June celebrating the GLBT pride, is a huge event bringing around half million people every year. The parade is divided in contingents: dykes on bikes; parents, family and friends of gay and lesbians; politicians; churches, synagogues and others; non profit community groups, and to close the parade, the leather contingent. The parade is the cradle of the GLBT flag, the rainbow of 6 stripes. Other famous event is the Castro Street Fair, a community street celebration that gathers local artists, organizations, vendors and others to celebrate the diversity of Castro, with a stage with live entertainment and dance pavilions.
The major cultural destination in the neighbourhood is the GLBT History Museum, the second largest in the world after the Schwules Museum in Berlin, tells the history of experiences this group faced throughout the years, raising new questions about the subject matter. The museum has a corner gallery that regularly changes the displays, usually marking the anniversary of important organizations or events that had a considerable role in that region.
But not everything in Castro is gay, neither all gay stuff in San Francisco is in that neighbourhood: the Castro theatre, build in 1922, it is one of the few remaining movies from that decade in US and the most notable feature in that place, and has a façade concerning to its age, but the interior mixes Spanish, Oriental and Italian influences. On the other hand, San Francisco as a whole has many eclectic, innovative gay friendly bars, clubs, lounges, bikers bars and dives. Gay nightlife is what is not missing in this city.
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