Friday, June 25, 2010

Stonewall Pride Parade Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale - The Gay City

Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, Florida has the largest per capita gay population on the Eastern seaboard and a city government that consists of more gay members than any city government in the United States.  It's no wonder then, that the Stonewall Pride Parade held this Sunday was a mega event.
The parade participants reflected the diversity and acceptance that, I believe, is the heart of Wilton Manors.  In contrast to other places I have lived and visited, the gay community in Wilton Manors is relatively "attitude-free".  I recommend you visit Georgie's Alibi or The Manor for a sense of what I'm talking about.  Georgie's is the older of the two venues, and is less expensive, and because of this, has a somewhat more diverse crowd.  The Manor is more upscale and seems to draw more women than does Georgie's.  The food is good at both.  For a nice inexpensive meal at The Manor, I recommend the hanger steak sandwich which, I believe, will not disappoint.
For the older gay gentleman (and their admirers!) there is probably no place in the United States that surpasses Tropics.  This is a place with absolutely no attitude!  There is always someone to talk to at the two bars, the bartenders can't be beat, and the food is terrific and inexpensive, with specials almost every night.  Drinks at the bar are two-for-one every night until 9.  I must reiterate that the food is top-notch.  My favorite here is the duck, which equals the duck I've had at the finest restaurants.  The burger can't be beat.  In addition, there's live entertainment most nights, two of which feature the Fort Lauderdale favorites, Tony & Gloria.
But having nice places to eat and carry-on is really not what the gay community in Fort Lauderdale is all about.  It's all about community.  And in Fort Lauderdale there is an opportunity to contribute to the community no matter what the size of your pocketbook.  Fort Lauderdale has numerous non-profit organizations that do good work and really serve the community.   Sunserve, The Pride Center, and The Stonewall Library Archives are just three.  I hope to write more about each of these organizations in the future.  I am especially fond of Sunserve which has one of the only senior gay day care centers in the United States, but focuses on the issues of gay youth as well, and has a great drama therapy program.   For those who are into just being philanthropic, Tuesday's Angels is a great choice.  You get to have dinner once a month at a really good Italian Restaurant,  Primavera, and know that your contributions are going to various causes that benefit the gay and HIV community.
My friends who participate in Gay Softball would not be happy if I did not include them in this article.  Not a ball player myself, I must say that watching this softball league on the weekend is an incredible experience.  The sense of camaraderie that prevails is amazing and the guys?--- well just think about gay guys in baseball uniforms.
So, come down to Fort Lauderdale for a visit, experience the gay community.  You may find yourself settling here.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with what's shared in this blog - especially the emphasis on "no attitude". Although like with everything else, we can not make an absolute out of the remark, but in general I must agree that the Wilton Manors community is the one that to me has felt more like home and less like a constant competition. Well written Irwin and loved the video!!! All the best, Jaime