Gayborhoods of the Florida Central Gulf Coast: Gulfport

Gulfport was small coastal fishing village separated from St Petersburg by citrus groves. Today there is no separation between the two cities except in terms of ambiance. St Petersburg has become a modern city with a vibrant residential downtown facing the Bay. Gulfport has managed to retain its unique small town feeling. My favorite local T-shirt reads “Keep Gulfport Weird”. No wonder the town has such a large LGBT component.

Not surprisingly, Gulfport has been a local leader in enacting progressive LGBT legislation. The city was the first to enact what remains Florida’s most progressive human rights ordinance as well as the first to enact a domestic partner registry. St Petersburg and later the County followed suit.

Nothing typifies Gulfport’s quirky character more than its annual Gecko fest which will be held August 31st. The best description if this event can be found on the festival’s website which reads, in part:

“Imagine Mardi Gras meets the Renaissance where strolling street characters, stage musicians, performing artists and merchants with all types of weird and wonderful wares come together and captivate the crowds throughout the waterfront district. Over 30,000 attendees and up to 200 artisans, craftsmen & quirky vendors will be appearing at this year’s 12th annual celebration.
Roving characters will be roaming the streets and interacting with visitors along with the o-fish-al Gecko Goddess and the Gecko Court. Live musical entertainment will be provided on two main stages from noon till 10 p.m. The Kids Zone, provided by Spotlight Amusements will be bigger and better than ever, taking up one full city block.”

So if you are in the area, come and experience an authentic slice of Florida’s Gulf Coast living.

Greg Burton
Sail Away Realty
www.gayfriendlystpete.com

A picture taken at last year’s festival

Gekko Fest

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