The greater Birmingham community is, indeed, a part of the Deep South, but feel free to leave your preconceived notions about tolerance and inclusivity at the door. This is a welcoming and accepting city that celebrates and enjoys a broad spectrum of ideas and lifestyles. We simply can’t be pigeonholed as intolerant in this day and age. We welcome visitors of every stripe to share our wealth of entertainment and hospitality. With our rich civil rights history, we are, after all, the city that changed the world.
Perfect Score on Equality Assessment
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation gave Birmingham a 100% score in its Municipal Equality Index in assessing LGBTQ quality in 506 cities across the nation. The foundation is the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights organization. Birmingham is proud to have achieved this perfect score and considers it a reflection of our commitment to take the lead in supporting all LGBTQ people.
LGBTQ Events and Entertainment
For 22 years, Birmingham has hosted the Sidewalk Film Festival, premiering and screening independent and arthouse films and documentaries in August in the city’s historic Theatre District. Since 2006, a major component of the event has been the SHOUT Film Festival. SHOUT showcases features, documentaries, and short films that explore issues and situations involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. The festival is Alabama’s first queer film showcase and is proud to support the Birmingham’s LGBTQ+ community by advocating for awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of diversity.
Birmingham hosts Alabama’s oldest LGBTQ pride festival and parade sponsored by Central Alabama Pride. The 42-year-old organization held its first public pride festival in 1980 with about 250 people attending. Now, thousands of people across the Southeast come to Birmingham for the annual events in June.
The Mystic Krewe of Apollo-Birmingham was founded in 1976. The first Bal Masque was held during the 1977 carnival season and continues annually each February with splendor and creativity.
In 1982, the New South Softball League founded the Southern Shootout Tournament with the goal of creating the best LGBT softball tournament in the South. Over the years, it has grown to be the longest consecutively running LGBT softball tournament in North America. Dozens of teams from around the Southeast come to compete at Birmingham’s George Ward Park and to enjoy the city’s hospitality.
Hundreds of pieces of art, many from local artists, go up for auction at the annual Arty Party presented by Birmingham AIDS Outreach. Hundreds of party-goers gather for silent and live auctions of everything from handmade jewelry to traditional and abstract art. Proceeds go to fund Birmingham AIDS Outreach, the Magic City Wellness Center, and the Magic City Acceptance Center. It’s a grand evening of food, drink, and entertainment for an important cause.
For nights out on the town, Birmingham has a selection of LGBTQ bars and nightclubs. And while these waterholes are popular, you’ll also find that the LGBTQ crowd likes to mingle and party at many of the city’s other fun and hip nightspots. Nights in Birmingham are inclusive and entertaining.