El Paso, TX Gay City Guide: Something for Everyone in the Sun City

El Paso, also often called the “Sun City” is a sunny southwestern town with a warm and welcoming vibe. Those who live here love the unique character of this city and all that it has to offer – not the least of which is a thriving and growing LGBTQ community.

A Bit of El Paso’s History

The area that is now El Paso was inhabited for centuries by various Native American groups prior to the time that it was colonized by the Spanish. It remained a Spanish-held territory until 1821, with the establishment of Mexican independence from Spain. At that time, El Paso and much of the surrounding southwestern area became a part of Mexico. El Paso remained a Mexican territory until the Mexican War in the mid-1800s, after which it eventually became a part of the United States and was officially established as El Paso County in March of 1850. The arrival of the railroads in the late 1800s was one of the biggest galvanizing factors in El Paso’s growth, transforming it from a small southwestern frontier town to a flourishing community. El Paso has continued to grow since that time, and today it is an important center for agriculture, industry, and innovation. Today, El Paso is known for its unique Mexican-American heritage and culture, for its welcoming spirit, and for being a sunny southwestern town that offers plenty to see and do for residents and visitors alike.

A Few Fun Facts About El Paso

  • El Paso is one of the sunniest cities in the United States – residents experience 302 sunny days per year, on average.
  • El Paso sits on the Rio Grande River, which is one of the longest rivers in North America and serves as the natural border between El Paso in the United States, and Juarez, Mexico on the other side.
  • El Paso is known as the “Boot Capital of the World” because of all of the cowboy boots made here.

Read more fun facts about El Paso here.

The LGBTQ Community in El Paso

El Paso is a city with a well-loved and well-supported LGBTQ community. Some of those resources and community centers include:

Borderland Rainbow Center

The Borderland Rainbow Center is an LGBTQ community center in El Paso dedicated to creating a community where LGBTQ people and their friends and allies can grow, heal, and empower each other. The Center accomplishes this mission through events, networking opportunities, social outreach programs, and more.


PFLAG El Paso is the city’s chapter of the national PFLAG organization. PFLAG is the most extensive grassroots organization of its kind in the United States, and for many years, it has played a very important 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 also regularly offered.

What’s the Weather Like in El Paso?

El Paso is typically known for its hot summers and cold, but fairly short winters. Over the course of the year in El Paso, temperatures can range from 34°F to 97°F with spring and fall typically being the most pleasant seasons of the year. El Paso receives significantly less rainfall than average in the United States per year – only around 10 inches in fact, and little if any snow. El Paso also receives plenty of sunshine – around 300 days per year, which is significantly more than the United States average of 205 days per year. If you love sunshine, warm weather, and plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors, El Paso might be a great fit for you.

The Best Events in El Paso

Sun City Pride

Sun City Pride is the city’s annual LGBTQ pride celebration, and without a doubt, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. Parades, pool parties, plenty of networking opportunities, family fun activities, charity events, and more make this a celebration to look forward to every year.

Neon Desert Music Festival

The Neon Desert Music Festival is a yearly multi-day music festival that is held each year on Memorial Day weekend in El Paso. Since 2009, the festival has provided an outlet for the local artistic community with an outlet to showcase their talents along with national and international headliners as well. It is one of the premier music festivals in the Southwest, and it’s one event you won’t want to miss.

Where to Live in El Paso

Some larger cities tend to have one area that is often known as the "gayborhood" which is often the most popular place in the city for the LGBTQ community to live. Although El Paso doesn't have one specific "gayborhood", there are still plenty of great neighborhoods to live in. One of the areas of El Paso that is most popular with the LGBTQ community is the Downtown area. The hub of the neighborhood is the LGBTQ Community Center, which is also located close to many of the city’s main gay bars and businesses. The downtown area is very diverse and multi-ethnic, very walkable, and offers plenty of business and entertainment opportunities as well.

Arts and Entertainment

The Plaza Theatre

The Plaza Theatre is a performing arts center located in a unique historical building in El Paso. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of performances throughout the year in this beautiful setting where everyone is certain to find something they love.

El Paso Museum of Art

The El Paso Museum of Art was built in 1959 and is located in downtown El Paso, Texas. It is the only accredited art museum within a 250-mile radius and serves approximately 100,000 visitors per year. A visit to enjoy all of the amazing works of art that are housed here is well worth an afternoon.

Parks and Recreation

Franklin Mountains State Park

El Paso has the largest urban park in the nation, Franklin Mountains State Park. The park has a long and fascinating history 12,000 years long, in fact with pictograms and mortar pits testifying to prove it. Located in the Chihuahuan Desert, the range stretches for 23 miles and is full of scenic beauty and diverse wildlife. The park offers an array of activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking with the highest peak, North Franklin Peak, stretching over 7,000 feet into the sky.

Hueco Tanks State Park

Hueco Tanks State Park is a definite must for nature lovers. The huecos are large rock basins that trap rainwater, and this unique landscape makes it one of the best places to go bouldering in the world. In addition to bouldering, visitors to Hueco Tanks, visitors can hike, bird watch, enjoy nature, learn about history, picnic, and stargaze, just to name a few of many options.

A Look at El Paso Nightlife

The Briar Patch

The Briar Patch is a trendy cocktail bar known for its beautiful outdoor patio area and its popularity with the LGBTQ community. The Briar Patch offers lively happy hours, guest DJs, theme nights, dancing, karaoke, and more. You won't want to miss your chance to stop by and join the fun!

Touch Bar

Touch Bar is a lively gay nightclub with an easygoing vibe. Touch offers regular happy hours, dancing, live entertainment, guest DJs, great drink specials, and more. Truly, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here!

Contact an El Paso Realtor Today

El Paso is a wonderful city with so much to offer. If you think that El Paso is the next city you'd like to call home, we're here to help you get started with your search for the perfect house in a neighborhood you'll love. There's no time like now to get in touch with a realtor who knows this community and can help you achieve your real estate goals. Contact an El Paso gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!