Columbus: A Rich History of LGBTQ Diversity

Cowtown, Cbus, Columbus has many aliases but one thing that holds true is the acceptance and diversity of the region. The city has a reputation for being gay-friendly and flying the most rainbow flags you will ever see. It’s that kind of inclusion that makes it an incredible metropolis to work and live in.

A Quick History of Columbus

Columbus is the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was founded in 1812 at the junction of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. Before that, it was under the control of the French nominal empire. The region was often caught between warring factions of Native American and European interests.

Today, Columbus has a diverse economy based on government, education, banking, insurance, and more. The area is home to the world’s largest private research and development foundation. Ohio State University is also located in Columbus.

Fun Columbus Facts

  • 48% of Americans live within 600 miles of Columbus (it’s very central).
  • Burger chain White Castle is based in Columbus.
  • The Ohio Historical Center has a genuine two-headed calf.
  • Resident Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock was the first woman to fly solo around the world.
  • Colo, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, is the world’s oldest captive gorilla

Here are some more fun facts about Columbus.

The LGBTQ Columbus Community

Stonewall Columbus

This is the main LGBTQ center in Columbus. Founded in 1981, their mission is to fight for acceptance, tolerance, and basic human rights for the queer community. Today, they celebrate Columbus as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country.

A Columbus Sunny Day

The city climate is humid continental with a subtropical aspect. It is characterized by warm summers and cold, dry winters. Snowfall is relatively light and it’s not in the typical path of strong winter lows. Severe thunderstorms can bring lightning and large hail on some occasions.

Events Not to Miss

Columbus Pride

Held every June, Columbus Pride is a three-day event that includes a parade, festival, and Pride brunch. Select to march along or just watch from the sidelines with some delectable fest fare.

The Doo Dah Parade

Do you like to have fun and be weird? Then this is the event for you! The rules of the Doo Dah parade are that there are none. You could be walking down the street with kitty cats and cosplay. Dress however you want. The parade goes around Short North, Victorian, and the Italian villages. It’s held every July.

Top Columbus Queer Neighborhoods

With over 223 square miles, you can bet Columbus has a ton of neighborhoods. The city is actually home to 145 distinct communities and the LGBTQ population ranks 15 of 50 of the largest metropolitan areas. Here are some of the more popular LGBTQ enclaves:

German Village

German Village has the most partnered gay couples in Columbus. The neighborhood is known for charming brick houses that were built by 19th-century immigrants. In the summer, the Actor’s Theatre Columbus stages outdoor plays in Schiller Park.

The median sales price of homes in the German Village neighborhood is $429,400 and the average cost per square foot is $269. The area typically has 37 homes for sale.

The region is filled with fudge shops, boutiques, and handmade jewelry. There are also German pubs and art galleries. At times, the German Village Society offers a “Gay Pioneers Tour.” This is a fantastic foray into the queer history of the region.

Short North

Short North is a business district with a collection of residential neighborhoods. It is also home to the city’s most active gay nightlife. You can visit establishments like Axis Nightclub and Level Dining Lounge.

The median sales price of homes in the German Village neighborhood is $260,000 and the average cost per square foot is $234. The area typically has 3 homes for sale with an average of 116 days on the market.

Short North is considered an arts district. It’s a culture-rich region centered around N. High Street. Converted warehouses are filled with contemporary art galleries and Short North is also home to the Wexner Center for the Arts. Record stores, vintage shops, and hip cafes line the street.


If you are looking for someplace a little more subdued, Clintonville (also called Beechwold) offers a variety of housing stock. From the Cape Cod cottages on the east side to the leafy tree canopy in the historic district, it’s a quieter LGBTQ neighborhood.

The median sales price of homes in the German Village neighborhood is $287,000 and the average cost per square foot is $202. The area typically has 48 homes for sale with an average of 55 days on the market.

Clintonville is also home to laid-back cafes, gastropubs, and craft stores. There is a paved bike trail that winds along the Olentangy River through several parks and ends in downtown. The Park of Roses is also in the neighborhood. It boasts thousands of rose bushes, plus perennial flower gardens and herbs.

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Arts and Entertainment

Columbus Zoo

One of the best in the country, the Columbus Zoo is a non-profit located in the north of the city. It lies along the eastern banks of the O'Shaughnessy Reservoir on the Scioto River and offers weekly events and behind-the-scenes tours.

Parks and Recreation

Scioto Mile Green Space

One of the most spectacular parks in all of the city, it runs along the Scioto riverfront and connects to several other parks and bike paths all throughout Columbus.

Check out This Nightlife

Awol Bar

A gay bar that’s located inside a little brick house. It has a large patio, a great happy hour, and fun fetish parties. It’s a true dance destination too!

Tremont Lounge

This laid-back LGBTQ haunt has been around since 1987. They offer craft cocktails, karaoke, and happy hour.

Columbus truly was one of the first places to fight for gay rights. The LGBTQ community center goes back 30 years. This is how you know, if thinking about moving to Columbus, it’s one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country.

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