PrideFest celebrates St. Louis' vibrant LGBTQIA+ community.

LGBTQIA+ Community

St. Louis Celebrates Pride All Year Long

The Gateway City has a vibrant LGBTQIA+ community, which encourages people to live their authentic lives.

Colorful, trendy, diverse and inclusive, The Grove neighborhood should be your first stop if you want to connect with the local LGBTQIA+ community. Queer-friendly establishments with exuberant crowds include HandleBar, Just John, Prism and Rehab Bar & Grill, where there’s no pressure to be anyone but yourself.

Tropical Liqueurs is also a wonderful place to gather in The Grove. Featuring tropical décor, exposed brick and natural light, the bar serves frozen cocktails and street tacos until 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Billy Thompson, owner of Tropical Liqueurs, prides himself on having an inclusive space. “At Tropical Liqueurs, members of different communities can come together and have a good time,” he says. “There’s always a diverse group of people enjoying drinks and playing games throughout the space.”

On South Broadway, Bar:PM is a popular spot, and a lot of people in the LGBTQIA+ community live near South Grand Boulevard, which boasts the most diverse collection of restaurants in St. Louis – and that’s not an overstatement.

Within six blocks, you can dine on Turkish kebabs, Ethiopian injera, Italian arancini, Indian curry, Cantonese steamed buns and all-beef hot dogs, just to name a few delicious bites. Vegan? You have innumerable options on South Grand – think housemade spicy barbecue seitan with diced onions, cilantro and “sour cream” in a fried corn tortilla shell; New York-style slices made with cashew cheese and plant-based pepperoni; jackfruit tinga sopes with guacamole; and butternut squash ravioli with amaretto butter, “goat cheese,” black walnuts and fried sage.

Looking for a real party? Plan your trip around PrideFest, one of St. Louis’ signature events.

Spotlighting the diverse and dynamic LGBTQIA+ community and bringing awareness and support to the historically marginalized group, PrideFest takes place at the end of June to coincide with the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in New York City on June 28, 1969, in response to a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. The historic uprising served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the U.S.

The spirited celebrations surrounding PrideFest culminate in the Grand Pride Parade, which features hundreds of floats and draws thousands of revelers.

“Everyone is welcome at PrideFest,” Jordan Braxton, an educator and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and the parade director, says. “The queer community is very inclusive, so we welcome people in the community as well as allies. PrideFest is an opportunity for everyone to get together to celebrate our uniqueness; it’s a time when we can celebrate, support and uplift each other.”

PrideFest has been spreading love, joy and pops of color across St. Louis since 1980. It continues to grow, reinforcing its mission to foster an understanding and a tolerance of the LGBTQIA+ community by raising awareness through educational programs and events leading up to the annual PrideFest in St. Louis.

The fun doesn’t stop there! The one-of-a-kind Tower Grove Park also holds a community-powered independent Pride festival every year. Featuring people and pets, entertainers and vendors – plus, a parade that promises to be a euphoric experience – Tower Grove Pride supports and promotes social justice for every disadvantaged, undervalued and oppressed community.

For more information about the LGBTQIA+ community in St. Louis, visit the Pride St. Louis website.