Three LGBT-Friendly Cities for the Amateur Photographer

Jerry Nelson
Jerry Nelson 5 Min Read

With Memorial Day close, the official start of summer — and summer travel — won’t be far behind. For amateur photographers, the number of cities and towns with eye-catching vistas and views fall in the thousands. The number of locales that are both amateur photographer friendly and LGBT friendly can be counted in the dozens.

Three of the best spots for photographing unique events and places are shown below. To make this list, a city had to be proactive in forming an LGBT-friendly mindset as well as have captivating locations.

Tanya Churchmuch, International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association Chairman, says, “What we’ve seen is that they recognize the value of the LGBT tourist dollar. They are becoming more active with their marketing.”

Cities like Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas are just three examples of destinations working hard in campaigns to attract the LGBT traveler.



Atlanta is home to over 680 LGBT-friendly companies, making it the highest in the nation. Georgia’s capital is living up to its nickname: “The City Too Busy to Hate.”

Photogenic places in Atlanta include:


The Goat Farms Arts Center

1200 Foster St NW


Jackson Street Bridge

Jackson St. NE


Fourth Ward Park

680 Dallas St NE




Minneapolis slid from the Top 10 LGBT-friendly cities in 2014. In 2015, it recovered its prime spot, in part, with a marriage equality law which was signed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

One factor which shoved Minneapolis out of the Top Ten was the volume of sexual orientation-related hate crimes. The most recent numbers show there were almost five per 100,000 residents; the highest rate of any city in the top 10.

Minneapolis/St Paul claims many gay groups which cater to limited interests. The Minneapolis Gay Men’s Chorus, The  Gay Hockey Association and the Mayhem rugby team are just three.

Dot Belstler,  Director of Twin Cities Pride, isn’t surprised that Minneapolis returned to the Top Ten list. “We are a great community for the LGBT crowd. There is an excellent opportunity here.”


Guthrie Theater



Stone Arch Bridge


Las Vegas


Las Vegas is expecting over 8,000 athletes and 24 different sports when the city hosts the 10th Annual Sin City Shootout.

Billed as the biggest yearly LGBT Sporting Event on the planet. The event was begun with the intention of producing the greatest LGBT softball tourney. Over the years, the event has evolved and is now bigger and more special.


Hoover Dam


Fremont Street Experience

These are just three of the dozens. The list is in no way complete — but is only offered as a springboard to write your own travel photography adventure.

When arranging your travel, be sure to research the destination. Not all popular destinations are LGBT-friendly. North Carolina, for example, is in the middle of dueling lawsuits with the federal government over the state’s discriminatory laws. At issue is legislation called “North Carolina House Bill 2.” Pushed through the state legislature and hurriedly signed, literally at midnight, by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, NCHB2 makes it a crime for anyone to use the restroom which matches their gender identity. Tourists, travelers, and citizens are required to use the restroom which matches the gender on a person’s birth certificate.

North Carolina isn’t alone in their thinking — or lack of it. The state is just the latest in a string of states to try to legislate their idea of morality.

“After surfing a wave of energy in the courts, LGBT equities hit a roadblock when the Sixth Circuit Court buttressed bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee,” says Nick Wooldridge, Esq, a noted Las Vegas attorney.

“The decision is a representation of the wider disparities that still exist for LGBT people in today’s America.”

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Jerry Nelson is an American freelance writer and photojournalist. Busy on assignment in Argentina, Jerry is always interested in discussing future work opportunities. Email him at