Visit Gulfport: An LGBTQ+ Friendly Community

Gulfport is a thriving LGBTQ+ friendly community with a fun local vibe, annual Pride festivals and festive year-round community events.

two women in shorts and tshirts sit on top of a bench painted in rainbow colors in front of a bright yellow inn next to a street

Tiny Gulfport is known for its "proudly weird" vibe. It's a very welcoming spot for gay travelers.

Gulfport is a small town near St. Pete, tucked away from the highrises and populated by friendly, quirky people – including a large, active LGBTQ+ community. In fact, it's estimated that half of the Gulfport population identifies as LGBTQ+, many of which are active in the community. This small town is artsy and bohemian, with plenty of local businesses and events catering to its diverse population.


Half of Gulfport's population identifies as LGBTQ+.


If you’re looking for an LGBTQ+-friendly vacation destination that's less touristy than other gay neighborhoods in Florida, Gulfport should be at the top of your list. Keep reading to learn more about the history of the LGBTQ+ community in Gulfport, its two annual Pride events and local queer-friendly businesses and landmarks that you have to check out.

History of the LGBTQ+ Community in Gulfport

In the last 20 years, Gulfport has promoted equality, implemented LGBTQ+-friendly policies, and invested in the gay community through the OUT Arts & Culture (formerly the LGBTQ Resource Center).

Here is a short history of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Gulfport:

  • 2005: Gulfport passed a Human Rights Ordinance to protect its community members from discrimination of all kinds, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 2012: Gulfport became the first city in St. Pete/Clearwater to create a domestic partnership registry that allowed same-sex unions. It was an unanimous vote.
  • 2015: The Gulfport Public Library opened an LGBTQ Resource Center. The center, which started with a mere 250 books, was the first of its kind in Florida. It is now home to over 10,000 books, CDs and DVDs. It also sponsors activities like speaker series and scholarship programs.
  • 2018: The Gulfport Public Library was awarded the Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community by The American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) for its contributions to LGBTQ+ youth. 
  • 2018: The first Gulfport Pride, Peace & Love Festival was held.
  • 2018: The city elected Jennifer Webb, an out lesbian, to the Florida State House District 69th seat.
  • 2021: The city's first annual Gulfport Florida Pride celebration was held as a fundraiser for the LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport Public Library.
  • 2024: The LGBTQ Resource Center rebranded as OUT Arts & Culture and elected its new president, Paul Raker, in February. The Inaugural Awards GAYLA will be held in May to celebrate the center's growth and rebranding.
A girl walking a rottweiler in front of a store with an LGBTQ flag and a pink flamingo

Walkable streets and dog-friendly spots are a big part of the Gulfport lifestyle.

Gulfport Pride Activities

Pride comes twice a year in Gulfport!

Gulfport Florida Pride: June 1, 2024

Gulfport is a great place to celebrate Pride Month if you don’t want the traditional commercial extravaganza. The fourth annual Gulfport Florida Pride festival will take place June 1, concurrent with St Pete Pride, which lasts all month long. The festival focuses on the local community with drag shows from local queens and a market with vendors unique to Gulfport offering Pride gear, services and community resources. Check out the business décor contest, over 100 local businesses and live entertainment and music on two stages.

Gulfport Pride is a free event all along Beach Boulevard in downtown Gulfport, but donations are welcome. The event benefits the award-winning OUT Arts & Culture, which aims to educate, celebrate and inspire the LGBTQ+ community.

The celebration also includes ArtOut, an international juried art show sponsored by OUT Arts & Culture. ArtOut showcases LGBTQ+ artists online, at the James Museum of Western + Wildlife Art in St. Pete and the Gulfport Public Library. The 2024 theme is “Art & Soul.”

Gulfport Peace, Love & Pride Fest: Spring 2025 (Date TBA)

It’s no surprise that a town with such a large LGBTQ+ population proclaims its Pride twice a year. The Gulfport Peace, Love & Pride Fest, established in 2018, celebrates local talent and the town of Gulfport itself. The 2024 edition treated visitors to a parade, a variety of vendors and an amazing musical lineup at the historic waterfront Gulfport Casino Ballroom and beach. Stay tuned for details for the 2025 festival.


Close up view of a vegan sub with falafel, sauce and lettuce at Golden Dinosaurs in Gulfport

Interested in good-tasting, healthy eating that's good for the planet, too? Check out Golden Dinosaurs in charming Gulfport.

LGBTQ+-Welcoming Businesses

Show your support by patronizing businesses owned by allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community such as these.

Let It Be Ice Cream

3127 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport, FL 33707 

Let It Be Ice Cream is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Its ice cream is made in-house and in small batches, so it’s always fresh and delicious. This popular spot also offers ice cream cakes, sundaes and milkshakes, plus an array of vegan options available. 

Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Restaurant

2930 Beach Blvd. S Gulfport, FL 33707

Golden Dinosaurs is a vegan deli serving delicious dishes and delectable donuts that are all vegan. Its Cuban sandwiches and chili dogs are especially popular, but be sure to save room for dessert.



a brilliant orange and yellow sunset with sailboats anchored in the bay in Gulfport

Sunset over the waterfront in tiny Gulfport.

LGBTQ+ Landmarks

The LGBTQ Center

Gulfport Public Library, 5501 28th Ave. S, Gulfport FL 33707

OUT Arts & Culture and the Gulfport Public Library provide books, films and other resources for those who are interested in learning more about the LGBTQ+ experience. 

The (Edie) Windsor Building

6020 Shore Blvd. S, Gulfport, FL 33707

The Windsor Building is a private residential condo complex where a third of the building’s 120 apartments are rented by lesbians and other women loving women (WLW), making it a popular landmark for the LGBTQ+ community. The place was nicknamed the “Edie” Windsor Building, after the plaintiff in the first marriage equality case in the United States. There's no public access, but it's an interesting spot to make note of as you explore the city.

If you're looking for a laid-back and local LGBTQ+ community, then Gulfport is the place for you. It’s a safe, friendly spot with plenty of inclusive events, landmarks and local businesses. Discover Gulfport and enjoy its quaint, beachy vibe on your next vacation.

Content by Rachel Covello. Covello is the CEO and Publisher of, an LGBTQ+-focused digital magazine and travel blog highlighting inclusive destinations in Florida. Explore LGBTQ+ Florida on to find the best rainbows in the Sunshine State.