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Seattle LGBTQ Community

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Seattle has a large LGBT community, and the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the city's gay epicenter. Capitol Hill is a densely populated residential area with a vibrant gay scene. It's located just east of downtown and has rainbow-painted crosswalks.

Neighborhoods in Seattle that are popular with the LGBTQ community include:

  • Capitol Hill, a residential neighborhood in Seattle, just east of downtown. Known as one of the city's most popular nightlife and entertainment districts. It's home to a historic gay village and vibrant counterculture community. The neighborhood features rainbow-painted crosswalks and many ways to experience the LGBTQ+ scene.

  • Madrona, a residential area in east Seattle

  • Vashon Island, which has the highest per capita population of LGBTQ people in the state

Rainbow LGBTQ Friendly Crosswalk in Seattle
LGBTQ Seattle Crosswalks

Seattle's unofficial gay beach is Madison Park Beach, located on the shores of Lake Washington. Most gays congregate around the northern section of the beach.

The first openly operated gay bar in Seattle was Shelly's Leg, which operated from 1973 until around 1978. The sign for Shelly's Leg is in the Museum of History and Industry. While Shelly's leg is no longer operating, there are quite a few gay bars in Seattle including Queer/Bar, The Cuff Complex, Pony, Wild Rose, and Seattle Eagle

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