Gay San Francisco: City by the Bay

San Francisco is a port of call for the alternative, the adventurous, the creative and the aspirational. The "City by the Bay" is known as the gay capital of the US, where over 860K locals welcome nearly 17 million visitors every year.

Culture is San Francisco's trademark, from the people to the politics straight down to the rainbow street art. Gay-friendly bars, restaurants and businesses are sprinkled throughout nearly every corner of the city. There are over 60 gay bars and clubs that cover a variety of interests, with nearly every city establishment welcoming anybody with open arms. The transgender community has a special place here, and difference is honored perhaps more than anywhere else.

While the Castro has recently served as the center of LGBTQ culture and nightlife, other neighborhoods like Noe Valley, Bernal Heights and the Mission are bursting at the seams. As Silicon Valley commuters make each neighborhood more expensive and political equality progresses, the gay nightlife has de-centralized and permeates many pockets of the city.

San Francisco is what you what you want it to be. Whether you're looking for award-winning restaurants, a crazy night on the town or a perfect romantic getaway, San Francisco has it all. It truly earns its reputation as the cool, gray city of love.

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SAN FRANCISCO STORIES: Jocquese Whitfield

San Francisco is one of the most diverse places in the world. People move there from across the world to experience its multitudes, a cycle that just increases its diversity. But vogue dancer, instructor and self-described "queer socialite" Jocquese Whitfield was born and raised in the city, so he got to enjoy it from the start. "Sir Joq," as Whitfield is known locally, is a vogue performer and dance in instructor at Dance Mission Theater, where anyone, local or visitor, can sign up for a class and enjoy dance. "Some people feel intimidated, so I try to make it a safe place to learn," he explains of his classes. "You only have one life to live, so live it fabulously." San Francisco is known for international attractions such as Lombard Street and Golden Gate Park. But Joq also advises also "going underground" to really understand what the city by the bay is all about. "In San Francisco, we always have a party going for everyone," he says "If you want to wear all leather, come to that party. If you want to have your shirt off, come to that one. If you want drag, go to that party. Find me, and I will show you all every place to go." Watch the latest installment of Queerty's San Francisco Stories, which was shot prior to shelter in place, to learn more about Jocquese Whitfield's favorites...

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