Conventional gay wisdom says the South isn’t inviting to gays and lesbians. Well, times have changed and towns and cities below the Mason Dixon line are laying out the welcome wagon for the LGBT community. Take Nashville: The convention and visitors bureau has been promoting Music City as a premier tourism destination in LGBT media outlets around the country.
As the largest city in Tennessee, Nashville has plenty to offer for live music aficionados, food hounds, nightlife lovers, travelers with a soft spot for Southern charm, or just those looking to bump into stars like Taylor Swift or Nicole Kidman.
Country music connoisseurs will have a gay old time touring the Country Music Hall of Fame, housed in a $37 million modern building. A stop at the Ryman Auditorium, the “mother church of country music,” will also be in order. And don’t forget the Grand Ole Opry with its live incarnations of the radio show credited for putting country music on the mainstream radar.
Nashville is also the home to Tennessee’s largest HIV/AIDS organization, Nashville CARES, and the Oasis Center, an organization to help support and educate LGBT youth. It’s no wonder that GayCities refers to Nashville as the “LGBT Buckle of the Bible Belt.”
And, best of all, the Nashville’s music scene is not without it’s share of (mostly straight) eye candy. Click through for just a few of the red-hot country singers that have performed on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage.
Photos: Hollo Photographics