Gay Birmingham, AL – What to Know if You’re Moving to the Magic City

As the largest city in Alabama, Birmingham is home to more than a million families – more than a fourth of the state of Alabama’s entire population. While it is a city with a long history, it is also becoming an increasingly progressive one – modern, urbane, and with its own eclectic personality. This city offers a thriving arts and culture scene, plenty of job opportunities, lots of outdoor recreation opportunities, and many good restaurants and nightspots. It’s truly a southern city that offers it all!

A Look at Birmingham’s History

Birmingham is actually the youngest of Alabama’s major cities, even though it is the most populated. It was founded in 1871 at the intersection of two railroad lines and near one of the world’s richest deposits of minerals. Birmingham was initially named after Birmingham England, which was the center of England’s iron industry. Birmingham began growing and thriving so quickly that it eventually came to be known as the “Magic City”. For many years, it was a well-known center of iron and steel production. Today, Birmingham is also home to many other industries including research, banking, and telecommunications, among others. Birmingham is home to numerous colleges and universities, as well as many corporations – there is plenty of opportunities here!

Birmingham – A Few Fun Facts

  • Birmingham is known as one of the best cities in the country for its use of urban greenspaces – thousands of acres for biking and hiking are located only minutes from downtown.
  • Birmingham is the only place in the entire world where all of the ingredients for making iron -coal, iron ore, and limestone – are all present, and all within a ten-mile radius.
  • While Birmingham may be well-known for its barbecue and fried pies, it is also home to plenty of other great food options – in fact, it has been named an “Oscars of Dining” city, and is home to many James Beard Foundation award winners and nominees.

Read more fun facts about Birmingham here.

The LGBTQ Community in Birmingham

Birmingham is a city that supports its LGBTQ community well and with a variety of resources and community centers, including, among others:

Magic City Wellness Center

Birmingham’s Magic City Wellness Center was the first comprehensive healthcare facility to be founded in Alabama. The mission of the MCWC is to provide a safe, open, and welcoming space for each individual to receive culturally competent care and wellness services, with the goal of living longer, healthier, and more productive lives.

PFLAG Birmingham

PFLAG Birmingham is Birmingham’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization. PFLAG is the most extensive grassroots organization of its kind in the United States, and has, for many years played an essential role in providing support, education, advocacy, networking opportunities, and resources to LGBTQ communities across the country. It also offers monthly support meetings and events for the LGBTQ community, friends and allies in the greater Birmingham area.

What’s the Weather Like in Birmingham?

Those who live in Birmingham can expect to experience all four distinct seasons. Summers are generally hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to 90° in the warmest months. Winters can be cold, but are typically short. Over the course of the year, Birmingham receives an average of 56 inches of rain per year, which is slightly more than the United States average. Those who live in Birmingham can expect to experience very pleasant and mild fall and spring weather with beautiful leaves in the fall and brightly colored blooms in the spring. Birmingham gets very little snow each year averaging only around 1 inch or so.

The Best Events in Birmingham

Central Alabama Pride

Central Alabama Pride is Birmingham’s largest annual LGBTQ pride celebration. For almost fifty years, Central Alabama Pride has been bringing the LGBTQ community, friends, and allies together to celebrate all that the LGBTQ community adds to the state. The yearly celebration includes parades, parties, educational events, networking opportunities, and more. In addition to simply being fun, the celebration also helps wonderful causes, including many non-profit organizations within the LGBTQ community, including Birmingham AIDS Outreach, AIDS Alabama, and Magic City Wellness and Acceptance Center, among others.

Where to Live in Birmingham

Birmingham is a city with many wonderful neighborhoods to choose from, depending upon your needs and preferences. If you are looking for neighborhoods that are particularly popular with the LGBTQ community, however, a few of those include:

Crestwood

Crestwood is a beautiful, older, and well-established Birmingham neighborhood characterized by bungalows and older, more historic homes with plenty of personality and character. Crestwood is a very diverse, welcoming, and walkable neighborhood with plenty to see and do. The current median home value in Birmingham is around $275,000.

East Lake

East Lake is one of the most diverse and multi-ethnic neighborhoods in Birmingham, and it is also considered to be one of the most affordable. In fact, the median home sale price is less than $100,000, and there are a variety of housing options available. This neighborhood is also particularly popular with the LGBTQ community.

Homewood

Homewood is considered one of the hippest neighborhoods in Birmingham. It is an affordable neighborhood characterized by Art Deco and Spanish mission-style housing. Many of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1920s, and have a unique personality and character. The neighborhood is also very walkable and includes many shops, restaurants, and nightspots to enjoy. The median price of homes currently listed in Homewood is $369,000.

Arts and Entertainment

Sidewalk Film Festival

The Sidewalk Film Festival is a well-known, and highly popular annual film festival held each year in August in Birmingham’s theatre district. Since 1999, the festival has been screening independent, innovative, and inspiring films in seven theatres in the downtown area. Of particular interest to the LGBTQ community is SHOUT LGBTQ Film Festival, which is part of the Sidewalk Film Festival, and which showcases films by, for, and of particular interest to the LGBTQ community.

Birmingham Museum of Art

The Birmingham Museum of Art, founded in 1951, has one of the largest and most extensive art collections in the Southeastern United States, with more than 24,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, and more. For anyone who wants to feel inspired and amazed by the unique beauty that this museum holds, a visit is well worth it.

Parks and Recreation

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is 67.5 beautiful acres of botanical gardens located at the southern foot of Red Mountain in Birmingham. Visitors can enjoy Alabama’s largest living museum and all of the unique natural beauty that it has to offer, as well as special events organized to bring the community together to make memories and have fun. Even better, admission is free!

Oak Mountain State Park

At almost 10,000 acres, Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama’s largest state park, and one that truly offers something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors to the park can enjoy camping, hiking, cycling, two lakes, and a petting zoo, among other amenities, all amidst beautiful natural scenery. A day spent here is a day well spent indeed.

Birmingham Nightlife

The Quest Club

The Quest Club is a 24/7 nightclub that is very popular with Birmingham’s LGBTQ community, and well-known for its all-night dance parties, and its strong drinks, friendly crowds, drag shows, and karaoke. If you want to dance the night away, Quest is a great place to do it.

Al's on 7th

Al’s on 7th is a laid-back LGBTQ bar known for its inviting outdoor patio, drink specials, karaoke, drag shows, and friendly clientele. It’s a perfect place to spend an evening relaxing, dancing, and having fun with friends.

Contact a Birmingham Gay Realtor Today

Are you thinking of making Birmingham the next city you call home? If so, we think you’ll find plenty to love about it. An essential part of that, though, is finding a home and a neighborhood that you love. There’s no day like today to get started with your search.  If you’re ready to begin, contact a Birmingham gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!