Gay Baltimore : The Charm City – A Charming Place to Call Home

Baltimore is a diverse and colorful city with a rich history and a progressive future. Known for its beautiful harbor, its distinct and quirky neighborhoods, and its art, culture, and innovation, the Charm City would be a wonderful place for anyone in the LGBTQ community to call home.

A Look at Baltimore’s History

Baltimore is Maryland’s largest city, and its economic hub. Originally named for Lord Baltimore, a member of the Irish House of Lords, Baltimore was first settled in the early 17th century. The harbor, which is surrounded today by shops, restaurants, and other attractions once made Baltimore a hub for tobacco trade with England. It later became a granary for sugar-producing Caribbean colonies, and eventually a working-class port town with a number of booming industries. Baltimore continued to grow into the thriving, modern-day city that it now is – progressive, innovative, and looking toward the future, while still valuing and preserving the rich history of its past.

Baltimore – A Few Fun Facts

  • Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, is the birthplace of the American national anthem, which was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, when the Fort was defending the Baltimore harbor.
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art has the world’s largest collection of paintings by Henri T
  • Many historic African Americans have called Baltimore home, including Thurgood Marshall, Frederick Douglass, Isaac Myers, Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway.
  • Baseball legend Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore.
  • Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods – more than 220, in fact!

Learn more fun facts about Baltimore here.


The LGBTQ Community in Baltimore

The PRIDE Center of Maryland

The PRIDE Center has been an affirming, empowering presence and part of the LGBTQ community since the late 60s in Baltimore. The mission and goal of The PRIDE Center of Maryland is to be a catalyst for uniting and empowering sexual and gender minorities in Maryland, and to advocate for a better quality of life for the entire community.


Baltimore Weather

Baltimore has what is known as a humid, subtropical climate. This means that it typically has hot and humid summers, and cold, wet winters. Spring, however, is beautiful in Baltimore, with blooming flowers, and an average high temperature of 65.5°F. In summer, the average high temperature is 89.1°F, and in winter, there can be snow, with the February typically being the month most likely to receive the most snow. Fall in Baltimore can also be very beautiful, with the colors of the changing leaves and crisp, but tolerable temperatures.


Some of Baltimore’s Best Events

Baltimore PRIDE

Baltimore Pride is one of the oldest gay pride celebrations in the United States – having been held annually for more than 40 years. Held in June each year, the weekend festival involves a parade, parties, and other events to celebrate, support, and affirm the LGBTQ community, and its friends and allies. It’s a weekend you won’t want to miss!  

Baltimore Black Pride

Typically held in October, this festival seeks to bring the black LGBTQ community together. Workshops, town hall meetings, entertainment, and more are held annually.


Baltimore’s Popular LGBTQ Neighborhoods

Baltimore is a city with a rich history of embracing diversity, and the LGBTQ community in particular. While almost anywhere in the city would be a welcoming space, here are two of the neighborhoods which are particularly popular with the LGTBQ community in Baltimore:

Mount Vernon

Traditionally known as Baltimore’s first “gayborhood” and culture hub, Mount Vernon is home to many of the city’s most popular LGBTQ bars, and businesses, and it is a neighborhood that many in the LGBTQ community call home. Mount Vernon is full of eclectic restaurants, shops, and theaters, and there seems to always be an event for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. The median home value in Mount Vernon is approximately $193,000.

Charles Village

Known for its colorful Victorian rowhomes which are also called “painted ladies”, Charles Village was home to many of the centrally significant people and places of the Baltimore LGBTQ movement in the 1970s and ‘80s, and to this day, remains a popular and thriving neighborhood for the LGBTQ community to call home.  Charles Village also has a wealth of well-known cultural and academic resources, such as Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Museum of Art. The median list price in Charles Village is approximately $300,000.

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Arts and Entertainment in Baltimore

The Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art is considered a major cultural destination in the world, and one which is recognized internationally for its collection of more than 95,000 objects of art, including more than 1,000 works by Henri Matisse. The 210,000-square-foot museum is distinguished by a grand historic building which was designed in the 1920s by renowned American architect John Russell Pope. 

Three Arts and Entertainment Districts

Baltimore is a city known for its vital arts scene and variety of entertainment options. Baltimore actually has three state-designated Arts and Entertainment Districts, including:

  • The Station North A&E District: This district has many galleries and studios, and is found just steps away from Amtrak's Penn Station and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
  • The Highlandtown A&E District, nicknamed "ha!", is a district where much creative expression takes place, and is one of the city's most culturally diverse neighborhoods.
  • The Bromo Tower A&E Districtis an area in which many eclectic visual and performing arts venues have sprouted around this historic and iconic structure.


Parks and Recreation

Charm City Volleyball

Do you enjoy volleyball? Or maybe you simply enjoy team sports, and the chance to get out and get some exercise – and possibly make some friends? If so, Charm City Volleyball may be for you. The purpose of Charm City Volleyball is to provide a fun, supportive and safe space for the LGBTQ community and allied athletes of varying skill levels who enjoy the game of volleyball. Located in Baltimore, M.D. with over 400 players, the organization continues to foster relationships with local businesses and organizations in support of creating a safe and friendly environment for all.

Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry is truly a piece of important American history. The fort is primarily known for the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, when American troops stopped a British invasion. The battle inspired Francis Scott Key to pen what would become the national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” – originally entitled “Defense of Fort McHenry”. History buffs, locals, and tourists alike will enjoy walking around the grounds and taking in this unique piece of the American story.


Nightlife in Baltimore


Leon’s is a piece of Baltimore history that you won’t want to miss. It is the site of Baltimore’s oldest gay bar (since 1957) also believed to be a speakeasy during prohibition. The bar’s current name comes from Leon Lampe, who owned it during the 1930s. After World War Two, Leon’s became a hangout for beatniks and artists, and saw a mix of gay and straight patrons. Since 1957, Leon’s has operated as a gay bar.

The Attic at Flavor

Flavor is an excellent restaurant offering cocktails and delicious small plates, and which also offers an “Attic” lounge intended to provide a queer space for the LGBTQ community to kick back, network and socialize. Regular events include Queeraoke, Booze Bingo and a monthly ladies' night.