Let’s get one thing straight — Florida is not.
Drive ten hours along the state’s sun-kissed shaft, and you’ll find vibrant gay Florida enclaves centered around rainbow-painted sidewalks, LGBTQ+-owned businesses, and chosen families where all identities are welcome.
Considering the state’s anti-LGBTQ history, this might come as a shock. In the 1950s and 60s, the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee attempted to eliminate LGBTQ people from schools by demonizing gay teachers and upending their careers. Anita Bryant’s anti-gay campaign in the 1970s led to a repeal of Florida’s non-discrimination ordinance, causing a disastrous ripple effect around the US. Most recently, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill to restrict the discussion of sexuality and gender identity in public schools — an act of social-emotional terrorism against children and educators alike.
But antiquated ideology and hateful legislation can’t snuff out reality. Unless Florida falls into the ocean, LGBTQ folks aren’t going anywhere. Join the Sunshine State’s queer community by screaming “gay” from the ROY-G-BIV rooftops of these five rainbow-riffic destinations.