Portland LGBTQ City Guide

Portland is a beautiful old seacoast town known for its boutiques, shops and incredible seafood, as well as for its friendly people, its diversity, and all that it offers to see and do. It has always been a busy seaport for both cargo and fishing, but it is also a very popular tourist destination, particularly in the summer. People flock to the town to enjoy the shopping and nearby beaches, and to soak in Portland’s unique coastal beauty. Truly, it is a beautiful city that would make a wonderful place to call home!

A Look at Portland’s History

Portland was initially founded in 1786 when the citizens of nearby Falmouth formed a separate town and named it Portland. Prior to that, Portland had been home to the Algonquin native American people. Since its founding, the city has grown steadily as an important port, and also as a city rich and industry, agriculture, culture, and diversity. It remains so to this day.

A Few Fun Facts About Portland

  • Roughly 40 percent of all Maine residents live in the greater Portland area.
  • There is no transatlantic port in the United States which is closer to Europe than Portland. Portland is also the 20th largest port in the United States.
  • Talented poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and famed author Stephen King were both born in Portland.

Read more fun facts about Portland here.

Portland’s LGBTQ Community                                     

Portland is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:

Portland Maine PFLAG

Portland Maine PFLAG is the city’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

Rainbow Business Professional Association

The Rainbow Business Professional Association is a group of LGBTQ professionals in Portland who are passionate about promoting equality in business and in life across Portland. The group does this by providing resources including scholarships, by promoting events, by providing networking opportunities, and by encouraging a connected and supportive community for all.

Speak Out Community Counseling Center

The Speak Out Community Counseling and Education Center is an excellent resource for the Portland community. The group offers resources, counseling, and a wide variety of behavioral health services. 

What's the Weather Like in Portland?

Those who live in Portland can expect to experience comfortable summers with fairly mild temperatures, but very cold winters. Over the course of the year, the temperature can vary from 16°F to 78°F on average. Typically, June through September are considered the best times to enjoy the outdoors.

Can’t-Miss Events in Portland

Pride Portland

Pride Portland is the city’s annual celebration of its LGBT community and all that it adds to Portland. Whether you enjoy parties, parades, networking opportunities, family-friendly activities, or all of the above, you’ll be able to enjoy that here. This is one event that you want to be sure to put on your calendar!

The Best Neighborhoods in Portland

Unlike some cities which tend to have one particular area of town that’s the “gayborhood,” the LGBTQ population in Portland tends to be a bit more spread out. This isn’t bad news though – in fact, it simply means that the entire city is quite welcoming.

Portland is so LGBT-friendly that there are no terrible neighborhoods to live in, however there is a definite gay neighborhood Downtown. The unique thing about Downtown Portland is that it is home to a revitalized warehouse district and waterfront that boasts many fine restaurants, shopping and nightlife.  There are hundreds of galleries and theaters, art walks and special events. The median value of homes in Downtown Portland is currently approximately $489,000.

Next to the Arts District is there is the neighborhood known as Old Port, which is very similar to the downtown but a bit more commercial with souvenir shops selling everything from yarns to designer condoms to shiny kitchenware.  Many of the streets are still paved with cobblestones.

The West End is another popular gay district in the city that is right next to the Arts District. It is the up and coming place to buy in if you want to renovate a warehouse space or an older home. It is a hip, happening community with a lot of young people and has its own strip of gay-owned shops and restaurants.

Arts and Entertainment

Merrill Auditorium

The Merrill Auditorium is a beautifully restored majestic 1900-seat performance venue in Portland. It is known for putting on a great variety of shows throughout the year – whether you enjoy musicals, dance, symphony orchestra, or many other types of performances, you won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy a show here! 

Portland Ballet

The Portland Ballet is Maine’s premier professional ballet company - and a very talented one at that. Throughout the year, the ballet puts on a series of beautiful, stunning, and inspiring performances for audiences to enjoy. 

Parks and Recreation

Peaks Island

Peaks Island is only a 20-minute ferry ride from Portland, but it feels almost like being in another world. This island has a laid-back lifestyle, and a population of under 1000, but there is plenty for visitors to enjoy here. You can eat freshly caught seafood at one of the local restaurants, shop at the boutique stores, or simply enjoy relaxing on the beachfront.

The Portland Observatory

The Portland Observatory is an iconic place in Portland. It is a beautiful observatory and the only maritime signal tower still standing in the United States. Initially built in 1807, it was an important communication tower for ships making their way to the Portland docks. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the beautiful tower which stays open from late May to October.

Portland Nightlife


Blackstones is one of the most popular gay bars in Portland. This low-key bar is known for its great cocktails, its cozy feel, low prices, and strong drinks. Fortunately, it also has very friendly crowds and it’s a great place to enjoy an evening relaxing with old friends and making new ones.

Bubba's Sulky Lounge

Bubba’s Sulky Lounge is often called Portland’s number one dance club. It’s known for its vintage decor, lively dance floor, great music, strong drinks, and friendly crowds, as well as frequent theme nights that are sure to be fun for everyone.

Contact a Portland Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Portland, at www.gayrealestate.com, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Portland, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Portland gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!