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Located in the heart of the Bluegrass State, Lexington is a city famed for breeding championship thoroughbred racehorses – in fact, it’s widely known as the Horse Capital of the World. It’s also known for being home to the University of Kentucky, and for its bourbon – which is some of the best in the world. Beyond being known for its horses, basketball, bourbon, and bluegrass, however, Lexington is also known as a diverse, eclectic, and quirky city that loves its LGBTQ community. In fact, Lexington elected an openly gay mayor, and in 2013, the city declared June 29th to be an annual Pride Day each year. Come see the best of the bluegrass for yourself, and find out why there’s so much to love about Lexington!
A Look at Lexington’s History
Lexington was founded in 1775. Frontiersman William McConnell and a band of pioneers were camped on the outskirts of what is now Lexington, and while at that location they received word of the “Shot Heard Round the World” – the first battle of the American Revolutionary War in Lexington, Massachusetts. They named the settlement Lexington in honor of that important event, and Lexington quickly became one of the first permanent settlements on the frontier. Since that time, Lexington has continued to grow steadily, and it is now the second-largest city in Kentucky. Throughout its history, Lexington served as a major economic center for the state, both for manufacturing, and agriculture – and particularly for horse farms. It remains known as the “Horse Capital of the World," and each year thousands flock to the city not only to enjoy annual horse races but to purchase thoroughbreds at the annual horse sales. It is also home to the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and several other businesses and industries of all kinds. Today, the city is eclectic, artsy, friendly, and welcoming. It is a wonderful place to call home.
A Few Fun Facts About Lexington
Read more fun facts about Lexington here.
The LGBTQ Community in Lexington
Lexington is a city that supports and encourages its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:
PFLAG Lexington is the city’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization. PFLAG is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the United States, and for many years, it has played an essential role in providing education, advocacy, support, networking opportunities, and resources to LGBTQ communities across the country. Monthly meetings and other community-building events and resources are regularly offered.
Pride Community Services Organization is a community organization that exists to encourage, support, and advocate for Lexington’s LGBTQ community. The group accomplishes this mission by planning year-round community and networking events like the Lexington Pride Festival, and by providing education, resources, and support for the LGBTQ community in the greater Lexington area and beyond.
What’s the Weather Like in Lexington?
Those who live in Lexington will experience all four distinct seasons each year. Summers can often be warm and fairly humid, with temperatures reaching up to around 86°F on average in July. Winters are fairly cold, with a relatively small amount of snow and lows in January dropping down to around 24°F. Spring and fall are mild and beautiful seasons in Lexington, with spring bringing lots of beautiful blooms, and fall bringing brightly colored leaves and crisp breezes. Lexington receives slightly more than the national average amount of rainfall at 46 inches of rain per year.
The Best Events in Lexington
Held on the beautiful grounds of Keeneland race track each year, the annual Railbird Festival is something that music lovers won’t want to miss. Each year, the festival celebrates music, bourbon, and Kentucky’s unique equine history in a beautiful outdoor setting that everyone will enjoy. The lineup typically includes folk, Bluegrass, Americana, and rock musicians, and it is an extremely popular event each year offering plenty of music, food and fun.
The Lexington Pride Festival is Lexington’s annual LGBTQ pride celebration and is the biggest pride event each year in the city. With parades, parties, and many other events, it’s truly a wonderful week in the city. Lexington loves its LGBTQ community and it shows during Pride, and throughout the year-round. Don't miss your chance to participate in the festivities!
Where to Live in Lexington
There is no one particular "gayborhood" in Lexington – but this simply means that there are many great places in town to live. A couple of neighborhoods that tend to be especially popular with the LGBTQ community include:
Chevy Chase is a hip, eclectic, historic part of down full of plenty of character. Originally designed as a mixed-use neighborhood in the 1920s and 30s, it is popular for its location convenient to the downtown area, while still maintaining walkable tree-lined streets, parks, excellent schools, and plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. The median list price of homes currently for sale in the Chevy Chase area is approximately $535,000.
Downtown Lexington is an eclectic mix of businesses, shops, restaurants, and a variety of homes in a number of styles and price ranges. It's also home to many LGBTQ-owned and friendly businesses. The median list price of homes currently for sale in downtown Lexington is $240,000.
Arts and Entertainment
The Kentucky Theatre is a historic movie theater located in downtown Lexington that first opened in 1922. Today, it is well-known for showing independent films as well as occasionally more mainstream movies too. It is one of the few remaining movie palaces in the United States, and it is well worth a visit.
The Lexington Opera House is a theater located in downtown Lexington. It hosts ballets, operas, children’s productions, Broadway tours, and other performances throughout the year. Distinguished by its unique architecture and history, it is a beautiful place to visit and enjoy a show or several throughout the year.
Parks and Recreation
The Kentucky Horse Park showcases Lexington’s storied and unique history in the world of thoroughbred horses in horse racing. Opened in 1978, the park is a working horse farm, international competition venue, and museum. Twice daily, the park has a Horses of the World show, showcasing both common and rare horses from around the world. The park also hosts special events and horse shows each year, in addition to being home to the resting places of some of the world’s greatest racehorses. For those who truly want to learn about Lexington’s horseracing history, it is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
Keeneland is an internationally renowned racetrack known worldwide not only for its stunning beauty but also for being the leading auction house of the thoroughbred racing industry. For more than eight decades, visitors have enjoyed racing at Keeneland in the heart of horse country. Don’t miss your chance to experience this iconic Lexington tradition for yourself.
Crossings is a popular LGBTQ dive bar in Lexington known for its excellent selection of DJs, regularly held pool tournaments, drag shows, theme nights, and more. With strong drinks, friendly crowds, and plenty of fun it’s a great spot to have fun with friends.
Soundbar is a popular two-story LGBTQ lounge and nightclub known for its lively dance floor, friendly crowds, spacious patio area, and regularly held them nights. It’s a great stop during a night out in Lexington.
Contact a Lexington Gay Realtor Today
If you're ready to find your new home in the heart of the Bluegrass State, there's no time like today to start your search. The first step is connecting with a realtor who knows and loves the community and can help you find a house you love in a neighborhood that's a perfect fit. We'd love to help you do exactly that. Contact a Lexington gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!