Thursday, June 13, 2013

Santa Fe Welcomes LGBT Visitors: Gay Pride, Gay Rodeo, Gala and so much more!

Santa Fe is a welcoming destination with tons of things to do, especially during Pride season.
An all-welcoming destination known for its rich heritage, renowned cuisine and esteemed arts and culture, Santa Fe has long shared an open-minded spirit to visitors of all lifestyles. In April, the Santa Fe City Council gained international attention when it passed a resolution recognizing gay marriage as legal in New Mexico.  Already a leader in gay rights, the City also offers domestic partnership benefits to its employees. Civic leaders including openly gay and gay supportive members of the City Council have long been leaders in inclusivity.  Community members have garnered the National Spotlight time and again on issues of gender and equality including famous author Armistead Maupin and the late Robert Eichberg, co-founder of National Coming Out Day. 

Santa Fe offers LGBT travelers a culturally rich alternative to larger communities famous for their gay scenes.  Second to San Francisco in the number of LGBT households per capita, it is not uncommon to see same sex couples anywhere you go in the city and Santa Fe rolls out the rainbow carpet for travelers any time of year, but especially during summer pride season. 

With President Obama’s official proclamation of June as LGBT Pride Month, and Mayor David Coss and Councilor Patti Bushee’s recent announcement expressing support for gay marriage in New Mexico,  the ‘City Different’ invites LGBT travelers to visit and join in events throughout 2013, including:

Santa Fe Pride Art Show gets the celebrations going on Friday, June 15 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe. The exhibition will feature the top “LGBT Family Friendly” artists as chosen by the Santa Fe community.  The event takes place from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. and will be followed by a reception with light refreshments. For more information, visit www.santafewow.com/event_details.php?event_id=7490&title=GayPrideEvent:ArtShow&date=2012-06-15&rp_id=35851.

Presented in association with the World Premier of OSCAR at the Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe is hosting a ‘Wild Wilde Wit Event: An Evening with Oscar Wilde,’ at the Santa Fe Playhouse. The 70-minute satire of all things Oscar Wilde takes place on Sunday, June 16 & Tuesday, June 18, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the event are $25 per person, which includes a reception after the play, and benefits the Human Rights Alliance (HRA). For reservations or more information, call 505-986-1801 or visit www.santafeplayhouse.org/onstage.php4.

Southwest CARE Center is a proud sponsor of Santa Fe Pride Movie Night on Friday, June 21 at the Railyard Park. Heath Concerts present Roger & Hammersteins "Sound of Music". The movie begins right after sunset and is free to the public. To view the rest of the schedule, visit www.heathconcerts.org/free-railyard-park-movie-series.
 
On June 22, Santa Fe will host the Santa Fe Pride Festival in association with the HRA. This annual event brings together gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, along with their family and friends. Festivities include a parade, which begins as 12:00 p.m., networking booths, and an art show and sale featuring work that reflects the LGBT community. This year's theme for Santa Fe Pride is "Pride 365.” For more information, visit www.santafehra.org

Cowboys come together to compete at the Zia Regional Rodeo taking place August 9-11. Events include a range of bull riding and roping competitions in addition to steer decorating, a wild drag race and goat dressing. Hosted by the New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association (NMGRA), this nonprofit organization is dedicated to fostering the western lifestyle within the gay community. The Zia Regional Rodeo is the organizations’ premier fundraiser and the state's second largest LGBT event. Previous beneficiaries of the event have included New Mexico AIDS Services, New Mexico Domestic Violence Hotline and People of Color AIDS Foundation, among others. For more information, visit www.nmgra.com

The AID & Comfort Gala will be returning to the Eldorado Hotel in downtown Santa Fe on Saturday November 23, 2013 to commemorate the 25th Silver Anniversary. Guests can experience an evening with great food and entertainment hosted by the Southwest CARE Center, the region’s largest and most advanced center for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. 100% of the proceeds raised at the gala will directly benefit patient assistance programs. For more information or to buy tickets, visit southwestcare.org/special-events/gala/
 
A list with over 15 Santa Fe Travel Alternative Group (TAG)-Approved hotels and additional information on Santa Fe as a gay-friendly destination is available on the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website, www.santafe.org/gay

Information and photo credit: Santa Fe CVB