There are few cities in the world that have a more well-known gay neighborhood than San Francisco. The City’s most famous neighborhood is called the Castro and is known for its bars, restaurants, theaters, and history of LGBTQ activism. Recent population demographics show that 15% of the City’s residents identify as part of the LGBT community, which equates to about 1 in 6 people.
The Castro’s main drag is Castro Street although the neighborhood extends a few blocks in either direction. The neighborhood is home to a variety of businesses that cater to the LGBTQ community, including women’s centers, bookstores, coffee houses, and even a few lesbian bars. The area has a very long history with the LGBT community and was one of the first places where openly gay men were accepted as citizens.
During the AIDS epidemic, the Castro was the center of a lot of AIDS-related activism. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is located in the center of the block and is a moving tribute to those who died of AIDS. A number of AIDS-related organizations are also located in the area, such as Proyecto ContraSIDA por Vida and the San Francisco Women’s Health Clinic.
The Castro is home to a variety of gay bars and clubs that host parties throughout the week. The neighborhood is also known for its restaurants that feature a variety of cuisines from all over the world. Some of the most famous bars in the Castro include Aunt Charlie’s Lounge and SF Eagle. These bars are often filled with young adults who like to dance to loud, pulsing music until the wee hours of the morning.