The New York Times has recommended Manchester as one of six LGBT-friendly places to visit in its Where To Go Now travel column.
Frequent New York Times travel writer Kelsy Chauvin wasn’t surprised that Manchester has a strong LGBT community — after all, Queer as Folk was set here, she reports — but she was nonetheless “blown away” when she visited for the first time last year.
“It was like West Hollywood, England style,” she says, “but more gritty.”
Ms Chauvin reports that the gay village (simply called The Gay Village, surprisingly enough) is full of bars, shops and restaurants including many LGBT-owned businesses like Richmond Tea Rooms. There’s even a festival devoted to transgender people, she writes — Sparkle: The National Transgender Celebration.
She points out that Manchester is home to the LGBT Foundation, a national charity, and Manchester Pride, another charity that supports community organizations. She reckons the LGBT community knows how to hold a party, too – the annual Manchester Pride Festival is a big undertaking that has its own fringe festival comprising events around the city in August.
Another Manchester advantage is that “This is a rare case of a city that has actually more than one lesbian bar and they were both happening,” Ms. Chauvin said, recalling her visit. “I think that’s pretty indicative of a thriving gay community.”