Dive in with Drake! Long Beach: A Mecca of diversity

As a native of  Long Beach, Drake Cruz is a Realtor with Keller Williams, who truly believes "there's no place like home!" To learn how he will not only meet, but exceed your expectations, contact Drake at 562-884-9016.

As a native of Long Beach, Drake Cruz is a Realtor with Keller Williams, who truly believes “there’s no place like home!” To learn how he will not only meet, but exceed your expectations, contact Drake at 562-884-9016 or drake@RiveraAndCompany.com.

A Mecca among the gay mega-metropolis makes up the greater Los Angeles area, for years Long Beach has become home to many gays and lesbians who wish to nest near the water. It’s been recognized by USA Today as the most diverse city in the United States – one of the City’s strongest assets. With no official statistics, it is thought to be one of the largest concentrations of gay people in any American city. While the ethnic breakdown is approximately 40-percent Hispanic, 29-percent White, 14-percent Black, 13-percent Asian, and 4-percent all other ethnicities.

Long Beach Pride Parade and Festival is purported to be the second-largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) event in the region, behind West Hollywood’s. While the major event is held annually the third weekend in May, a robust LGBT community makes its presence known not only during this time, but also throughout the year.

At the central core of the Long Beach LGBT community is The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, which offers many programs and services to provide education about emotional and physical health, housing, cultural and social activities, as well as legal and social justice. Along with several other organizations around town it advocates for the inclusion of all with no judgment or restrictions based on sexual orientation or gender identity and offers countless opportunities to get involved in a thriving community of like-minds.

Several gay-owned businesses have been deeply rooted, with a rich history throughout the city. This is in large part due to the Long Beach Community Business Network, which is more affectionately known as the Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. It’s had a positive impact on the LGBT business and professional community since being established in 1922. This has helped to increase LGBT visibility amongst allies as a powerful economic force within the Greater Long Beach community.

Of course, there is also a nightlife scene most easily found at the watering holes in the Alamitos Beach neighborhood along the Broadway Corridor, but also on tap throughout town. Still, there is more to gay life than parties and chat rooms. Several opportunities to network and meet neighborly friends abound in the many gay and gay-friendly sports clubs found around the 52-square-miles of surf and turf in Long Beach. This includes the Long Beach Frontrunners, Long Beach Grunion Swim Team, Lambda LA/Long Beach Basketball, Long Beach/OC Surf & Sun Softball Association, the Long Beach Gay Bowling League called CAUL and the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance, to name a few.

Undoubtedly the sunny Southern California community of Long Beach is a wonderful place to live for many reasons. One of which is that it allows us to share a common bond forged by our collective and individual drives to be who we really are. Now’s the time to get in on all of the fun that Long Beach has to offer and own your own piece of this beach oasis.

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