What do you think about when you think of Miami? Beaches, fun and spring break come to mind for many people. Miami is also a very LGBT-friendly city. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 4.2% of the city's population identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Thanks to large LGBT population and reputation as a gay-friendly city, Miami is also home to several of the country's largest LGBT events.
Some cities are known for their gay bars, Miami is known for its gay beaches. 12th Street Beach is located in the South Beach area and is easy to spot, thanks to the rainbow flags at its entrance. A public beach, it's open to anyone and is ideal for sunbathing, swimming or meeting new people. Another famous Miami beach is Haulover. A clothing optional beach, it's not for the faint of heart or the very modest.
Several restaurants are within walking distance of the beaches. The Palace Bar and Grill is directly across from 12th Street Beach. Along with serving food and drink, the Palace hosts a number of events, such as drag shows on Saturdays and a large dance party on Sundays. Other nearby restaurants include the News Cafe and Front Porch Cafe. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Road Mall is full of shops, cafes and art galleries. On Sundays, antique sellers and farmers set up booths and tables along the sidewalk.
Seaside Retirement Resort lets seniors live pretty much right on the beach. It also provides meals and on-site activities. Living arrangement include shared, semi-private rooms, studios and one-bedroom apartments.
Miami happens to hold two of the biggest LGBT-focused events in the country. The annual White Party is a huge fundraiser for HIV/AIDS charities. It usually takes place around Thanksgiving. A week long event, the fundraiser includes dance nights and parties at clubs around the city. People can purchase tickets to individual events or passes to the entire week's events.
The other major LGBT event in Miami is Winter Party Week. Like the White Party, Winter Party Week is a fundraiser. Proceeds from the event go to a variety of LGBTQ organizations. More than 12,500 people attend the party each year. It usually takes place right at the end of winter, sometime in March.
Several organizations in Miami provide support and resources to the LGBT community. The Aqua Foundation for Women strives to support lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in South Florida. It provides grants and scholarships and also offers mentoring opportunities and volunteer opportunities.
The LGBT Visitor Center is targeted at tourists who travel to the city and its beaches, but also offers programs for residents. The center's social calendar includes yoga classes, smart recovery meetings and educational workshops.
It's a branch of the Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The chamber of commerce provides support to gay and lesbian owned businesses and is the largest organization of its kind in the county.
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