To say the gay community in D.C. is “thriving” is an understatement. Washington, DC has the highest LGBTQ population in the U.S.

Does a D.C. beyond government, suited politicians, and iconic institutions flooded with tourists exist? My friend Joshua and I decided to find out during a recent visit that revealed the unexpected and exciting: emerging globalism, a younger “woke” generation bringing new energy and ideas, and a forward-thinking sensibility toward design, dining, and nightlife. D.C. does in fact have an identity beyond the White House, and it’s an identity that, for decades, LGBTQ locals have significantly contributed to.

To say the gay community in D.C. is “thriving” is an understatement. Washington, DC has the highest LGBTQ population in the U.S. (as of 2019, according to UCLA School of Law Williams Institute), and it’s home to the renowned Human Rights Campaign (HRC, America’s largest civil rights organization), National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Washington Blade, the oldest and most recognized national LGBTQ news source. Rainbow flags hang next to American flags, LGBT-owned businesses sprawl throughout the capital, and iconic traditions, such as the DC High Heel Race every October since 1986, continue to be celebrated and spark similar events nationwide.

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