Love Free: LGBT Culture in Palm Springs

What makes Palm Springs such a popular getaway for gay couples? Palm Springs has one of the largest LGBT populations of any city in the United States, with some estimates as high as fifty-five percent. This translates into a wide selection of LGBT-owned local businesses, from boutiques to restaurants to bars, and over twenty LGBT resorts. There’s even an LGBT-themed jeep excursion, the Gay Icons Tour, to guide you to the homes of luminaries like Liberace and Marilyn Monroe.

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Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend – Photo credit: buttonandbly.com

The city also hosts some of the most renowned LGBT events in the world. Popularly known as “The Dinah,” the Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend is a five-day festival that caters to the lesbian community, attracting some 10,000-plus attendees. Considered the largest annual queer-women-centric event in the world, the sprawling festival covers live concerts, pool parties, dance parties, and sporting events.


Cinema Diverse – Photo Credit: filmfreeway.com

“The Dinah” isn’t the only annual LGBT event in Palm Springs. The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, hosted by Cinema Diverse, premieres films with a focus on LGBT themes. Cinema Diverse runs for one week each September, and has expanded into neighboring Cathedral City’s Desert Cinema to accommodate its growing audience.


Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival – Photo Credit: fanzoot.com

Every September, the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival creates a welcoming space for queer women of color who enjoy jazz music. Past headliners have included Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diane Schuur and Helen Sung.


White Party Palm Springs – Photo Credit: gaytravel4u.com

Of course, Palm Springs’ LGBT social calendar also has plenty to offer men. Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party Palm Springs (WPPS) brings more than 30,000 queer men to Palm Springs every April. The festival includes a star-studded list of VIP guests like Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Ke$ha and Mary J. Blige.


International Bear Conference Swag – Photo Credit: destinationpsp.com

The party scene continues year round with Palm Springs Pride in November, which includes the Palm Springs Pride Golf Classic, the Stonewall Equality Concert, and a Broadway in Drag Pageant. The International Bear Convergence in February draws more than four thousand bears, cubs, and admirers. The Big Men’s Weekend in October and Big Bash in March are weekend-long parties in support of big men and the men who adore them.

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LGBT visitors to Palm Springs can look forward to beautiful weather and midcentury architecture galore, as well as a crowded events calendar and a strong community presence. Why not visit this lovely Southern California city and see what everyone’s raving about?

Are you interested in learning more about LGBT-oriented events in Palm Springs? At Iconic Properties Palm Springs, we see ourselves as representing not only an array of historic and iconic properties, but also a uniquely beautiful and vibrant Southern California city. 

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