Southern Pride: A Guide to Greensboro, NC’s LGBTQ Scene
Looking for a fun, supportive city with a vibrant LGBTQ scene? Greensboro is the place to be.
Southern Pride is our monthly column exploring and celebrating LGBTQ culture in Southern cities. This month we're heading to the Tar Heel State to check out the scene in Greensboro.
Since the A&T Four Sit-Ins in 1960, which famously launched a series of protests that led to the desegregation of dining facilities across the South spurring on the Civil Rights Movement, Greensboro has been known for its dedication to inclusion. Today, almost 60 years later, a robust LGBTQ community proudly calls this diverse city home, claiming Greensboro as the perfect place for queer folks to settle, raise a family and start their own businesses.
If you have been looking to move south and value diversity, access to LGBT-friendly higher education options and plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurs, then you should take a closer look at what Greensboro, NC has to offer.
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The following are just some of the city’s LGBTQ highlights:
Superior Community Support Services
Greensboro is home to the donor-supported Guilford Green Foundation (GGF) — an organization that works diligently to advance equality for the LGBTQ community. The GGF raises funds for programs and philanthropy that addresses the challenges that the queer community faces. Additionally, it serves as a resource for residents through the LGBTQ Center and provides an online guide for those looking to connect with LGBTQ-specific services and community groups
The Greensboro LGBTQ Center opened in 2015 and offers programs on a broad range of topics including healthcare, LGBT legal rights and self-advocacy, college connections, aging and transgender issues. It also provides a meeting space for an array of groups and regular youth drop-in hours.
To date, the foundation has provided nearly $670,000 to support much-needed LGBT organizations, innovative projects, students and leaders.
Most locals will tell you that there’s little need for LGBTQ-dedicated restaurants, clubs and neighborhoods in Greensboro. In fact, one of the things they value most about their city is having the ability to feel comfortable anywhere and everywhere they go. That being said, there are a couple of neighborhoods that are known for having a little extra LGBTQ-friendly flair.
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The Lindley Park Neighborhood is home to ever popular Lindley Park Filling Station, an American-style restaurant featuring neighborhood-named sandwiches and more. Other cool spots to check out include Sticks and Stones Pizza, Fishbones Bar & Grill and Suds & Duds — a laundromat(!) featuring a full bar(!!). If you need to pick up some groceries, stop by Bestway Grocery Store where you will happily find a giant wall of beer.
The Westerwood Neighborhood features the Westerwood Tavern, which is fondly referred to as “The Wood” by locals. The Tavern prides itself on being a friendly neighborhood bar that accepts everyone and serves as a gathering space in one of the region’s most diverse neighborhoods.
Exceptional LGBT-Friendly Higher Education Opportunities
If you are looking for a university to either attend or enroll your young student in, Greensboro’s Guilford College ranks among Campus Pride’s “Best of the Best” Top 30 LGBTQ-friendly colleges. The 30 ranking universities were chosen based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures. Guilford College was also featured at Greensboro Pride in 2018.
Additionally, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro is one of the region’s most progressive LGBTQ universities. Forget Pride Week. This University takes its support to the next level with a month-long Pride celebration. It also supports a number of university and student-led organizations dedicated to LGBT awareness and equality.
Nationally Recognized LGBT-Friendly Employers
It only makes sense that a city that prides itself on inclusiveness would be home to businesses that promote inclusive staffing policies. Greensboro happens to be home to Replacements, Ltd., a giant retailer founded by the famous LGBT supporter, Bob Page. Replacements, Ltd. is now the world’s largest retailer of china, crystal, silver and collectibles, and perhaps more importantly, it has received national recognition as one of the most LGBT-friendly employers in the country.
Greensboro is home to a large number of LGBT-friendly businesses that are listed on The Guilford Green Foundation’s website. The extensive list serves as a guide for those looking for employment or places to spend their dollars.
Excellent Entrepreneurial Opportunities
Greensboro LGBT business owners will tell you that the city makes dreams come true. Nick Wilson, operations director of local restaurant group 1618 Concepts, and restaurant owner and chef Kristina Fuller are two incredibly successful business owners who are also members of the local LGBT community.
Wilson runs four Greensboro restaurants: 1018 Seafood Grille, 1618 Downtown, 1618 Midtown and 1618 On Location. 1618 is known for its drag brunches and providing themed slushy cocktails for Pride Month. Along with being a busy business owner, Wilson is an advocate for the LGBTQ community and a fan of Greensboro. He insists that he has always felt welcomed by the city and feels comfortable being “out” and open about who is wherever he goes.
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Fuller runs Crafted: the Art of the Taco, a contemporary but casual eatery that adds new and flavorful flare to the traditional taco. She also brought Crafted: the Art of Street Food to life, which features a rotating menu of popular street food dishes from around the world.
“Greensboro is a very progressive city — from our government officials all the way down to our college students. People have always been very open-minded and accepting,” explains Fuller. “It’s always been an open arms kind of place and we’ve got great LGBTQ business owners here. If you want to feel welcome, Greensboro is the place to be."