Boston Gay City Guide: A Historic City and a Trailblazer for LGBTQ Equality

Boston, affectionately nicknamed “Beantown” is one of the nation’s oldest, and most historic cities. Massachusetts generally, and Boston specifically, have long had a history of progressive ideas and culture. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage and was also the first to issue a statewide referendum on protecting transgender rights. Boston is often considered one of the most welcoming places to LGBTQ individuals in the United States and is known as being a trailblazer for equality.

A Bit of Boston History

Boston was founded in 1630 by English Puritans who were fleeing religious persecution and was named Boston after the village of Boston in England, from which many of the settlers came. Boston went on to play a critical role in American History, as the American Revolution erupted in Boston after the British retaliated against the Americans for the Boston Tea Party, and the patriots fought back. Following the revolution, Boston established itself as the transportation hub for the New England region and later went on to become one of the intellectual, educational, and medical centers of the nation. It remains so today.

Some Fun Facts About Boston

  • The very first lighthouse in America was built in Boston Harbor in 1716.
  • Boston is home to Boston Commons, which is the oldest public park in the United States.
  • The Fig Newton cookie is named after a Boston suburb.
  • There was once a molasses flood in Boston. In January of 1919, a storage tank holding more than 2 million gallons of molasses burst and sent a giant wave of molasses through the streets, killing 21 people and seven horses. It was the worst molasses-related accident in history.

Find more fun facts about Boston here.

The LGBTQ Community in Boston

Boston has a thriving, diverse, and welcoming LGTBQ community. A few of only many community groups and resources available in Boston include:

Greater Boston PFLAG

Greater Boston PFLAG is Boston’s chapter of PFLAG National, which is national support, education, and advocacy organization for LGBTQ people, as well as their families, friends, and allies. It is the largest grassroots-based family organization of its kind in the country. The stated mission of Greater Boston PFLAG is to help change attitudes and create an environment of understanding so that everyone can live in a world that is safe and inclusive, a mission that it tries to fulfill through support, education, and advocacy.

Fenway Health

Fenway Health is a community health center dedicated to ensuring access to quality health care for the LGBTQ community by providing healthcare, education, advocacy and education.

Gay for Good

Gay for Good is a volunteer organization that exists to energize and mobilize the LGBTQ community to interact with the greater Boston area by volunteering time to various social welfare and environmental service projects. Each month, Gay for Good Boston chooses a different non-profit to donate our time for a community service project. 


The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth is a youth-led and adult-supported organization that is committed to social justice, and to creating and advocating programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ youth community in Boston.

What’s the Weather Like in Boston?

Boston has a continental climate, which means it has cold and snowy winters (with an average low in January of 19 degrees) and warm to hot summers (with an average high in July of 82 degrees). Boston averages 47 inches of rain and 48 inches of snow, per year, and has an average of 200 sunny days per year. Boston residents will experience all four seasons – beautiful spring blooms, vibrant fall leaves, warm summers, and snowy winters.

Popular Events in Boston

Boston Pride

With the tagline #wickedproud, Boston has been proudly celebrating its LGBTQ community for 50 years. Pride is a weeklong festival full of activities and events intended to celebrate the LGBTQ community and promote inclusivity, equality, respect, and awareness in Greater Boston and beyond. It’s a week you won’t want to miss!

Wicked Queer

Wicked Queer is an LGBTQ film festival which is held annually by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. For more than 35 years, locations around the city have screened a wide variety of cutting-edge queer films for audiences to enjoy.

Dancing Queerly

Dancing Queerly is an annual festival in Cambridge which celebrates queerness through workshops, conversations, events, and queer-centric dance performances. It not only includes performances, but also participatory events like “Ballet is for Everyone” an activity for people of every body type, gender, and fitness level to attend.

Boston’s Best Neighborhoods

Here are only a few of many of the neighborhoods which are welcoming to LGTBQ people:

South End

Nestled in between Back Bay, Roxbury, and Chinatown, many say that the South End is one of the best gay areas in Boston. Initially established in the 1850s, the South End has gone through many transitions. It is now home to a very diverse population including a large number of LGBTQ residents. South End is filled with old Victorian houses and beautiful green spaces. In addition to a number of eclectic shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, South End also offers a number of unique events, including Pride Lights. This event features a majestic collection of lights, as well musical performances and moving speeches. Truly, there is something in South End for everyone. The median price of homes currently listed in South End is $1,189,000.


Even 20 years ago, the Fenway-Kenmore area was known primarily for one thing – being home to the Boston Red Sox and the storied Fenway Park. Over the last several years, however, it has also become known as one of the best gayborhoods in Boston. It is an area full of history and plenty of events and activities to enjoy year-round. The median home value in Fenway is $656,755. 

Back Bay

Back Bay is an iconic Boston neighborhood, one that has been part of the city since the 1820s. Initially, a neighborhood developed in response to overcrowding, it soon became a popular destination for Boston’s most wealthy families.  Many mansions now dot the neighborhood’s tree-lined historic streets.  In addition to being home to many historic landmarks like Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, Back Bay is now also home to a significant portion of the city’s LGBTQ community. Current median home sale prices in Back Bay are approximately $975,000.

Are you ready to look at some "for sale" homes in Boston? Connect with a top Boston Gay Realtor today!

Boston Arts and Entertainment

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Museum of Fine Arts Boston is the 17th largest art museum in the world. It contains more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections of art in the Americas. For art lovers, this is a can’t-miss destination.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a well-known shopping center with many stores & restaurants, comprising three historic market buildings and a promenade. There is definitely something here for everyone to enjoy!

Parks and Recreation

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. For history lovers or anyone who simply wants to know more about the early beginnings of the country they call home, the Freedom Trail is well worth exploring.

Boston Common

Founded in 1634, Boston Common is America’s oldest park. It was in Boston Common that the colonial militia gathered for the revolution, and here that George Washington, John Adams, and others came to celebrate America’s independence. Since that time, Boston Common has been a gathering place in the city for all people at all times. 

Nightlife in Boston

Trophy Room

Trophy Room is known for its drag brunches and its excellent cocktails. Thirteen craft cocktails are served – each unique and delightful in its own way. Located in the South End, Trophy Room is one night spot you won’t want to miss.

Club Cafe

Located in the South End, Club Café has been a staple of Boston nightlife since 1982. Many consider it the city’s top spot for dancing on the weekends.


Dorchester’s DBar is a contemporary American restaurant by day, and a dance party at night. Try it on a Tuesday for dinner and cocktails before a DJ arrives to play songs from musicals (both the classics and new hits) while the crowd sings along to the music videos shown on television screens.