Here is a list of the many reasons why you should make Knoxville your next travel destination. Geography: Knoxville is the largest city in East Tennessee and is nestled in a large valley at the foot of the Smoky Mountains.
Often viewed as a regional capital of sorts, Knoxville has been a major population center for about as long as people have been living in the Southern Appalachian area of the US. This Appalachian gem is about as geographically centered in the Eastern half of our country as you can get. What this means is that if I were to get in my car and drive off right now, then I could be in 6 different states in around 2 hours.
Louis in 8 hours; and if I decided to drive South from Knoxville I could be in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Mobile in those same 8 hours. Large LGBTQ Population: Historically, Queer people tend to gather and congregate in large metropolitan areas in order to feel safe and also gay amature blog meet likeminded people and create a sense of community. Knoxville is no exception to this rule and, being the 3 rd largest city in the state of Tennessee, has amassed a surprisingly large LGBTQ population over the years.
I can easily say that I know hundreds of gay people that live in Knoxville, and even after 13 years I meet new people every day that have lived here just as long as me and yet I had never crossed their path up until recently. I think this is important to highlight in a way that makes our city feel more personal and charming to a gay person wanting to come visit us. If you come to Knoxville during our festival season, then you can just have a great time with a whole bunch of strangers and get lost in the crowd.
At the same time, if you want to come to Knoxville and just go exploring downtown or head off to one of our gay bars or gay friendly establishments then there is a very good chance you will meet some amazing people. Knoxville is the kind of city where it is a very common occurrence to go to a summer party and meet a dozen gay amature blog visiting from outside of town that have been invited by the host, often from places hundreds or thousands of miles away.
This massive institution for higher education has been a powerful force in transforming the city of Knoxville into a more openminded and liberal haven for people to express themselves and live the life they otherwise may hide from the world. Oak Ridge National Laboratories, an internationally recognized research facility with ties to both commercial and federal sectors, is another nearby institution that contributes to the diversity of Knoxville and the greater region.
People from all over the world come to the Tennessee Valley to work for ORNL because of its prestige, and a majority of them choose to live and spend their free time in Knoxville because of the welcoming atmosphere we provide to them.
Having the flagship state university in Knoxville helps keep the city young and helps add excitement and creativity to our local art and culture scene. The impact these two massive institutions have made on the local economy and also in elevating Knoxville as a whole cannot be understated.
The large college population mixed with the large LGBTQ population has really given this city a temperament towards activism that other cities just do not have, especially in the South. Maybe it is because people have such pride in our local community, but participation in events to show support for a minority group always draw large and active crowds.
Downtown Knoxville — View looking down Market Street. Downtown Vibes: Downtown Knoxville has a special place in the hearts of the LGBTQ community by being the primary home of a lot of our earliest bars and clubs, our only places of acceptance many decades ago.
As the city has grown and changed and become more accepting of gay and transgender people our choices for places to find entertainment and meet friends has opened up to include most all of downtown Knoxville. As younger people, intellectuals, and non-natives moved into downtown Knoxville they formed a welcoming and outgoing climate not just for tourists but people from all different backgrounds.
It is extremely common to find same-sex couples walking hand in hand on any given day when exploring our downtown. The heart of our downtown is widely declared to be the historic Market Square, a large piazza style square in the middle of the city and surrounded by dozens of restaurants, shops, and bars.
Gay or straight, we all like to explore a city and just have a great time. Downtown Knoxville is perfect for exploring and having fun in without the fear of getting a double stare or a mean word spoken at you. The shop is decorated with loving words of support for all people in the world, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. When Yassin received his award on live television he refused to accept the honor without highlighting the welcoming and loving community of Knoxville to embrace him while other parts of the country have struggled over the issue of refugees and immigration.
Pride spectators with their pets courtesy of Taryn Ferro. One more thing about Downtown that makes it an even more welcoming place for the LGBTQ community, our hotels will gay amature blog your children! No, I am not referring to your actual children those are welcome too! Knoxville is at the top of many lists for being one of the most pet friendly cities in the nation. Many downtown restaurants will allow dogs on the patios and we have a leash-less dog play area downtown along with a doggy day care, pet salon, and a pet retail store for you to take them shopping in even.
For over a decade now Knoxville has also hosted Mardi Growl, a downtown dog parade and festival that brings thousands of two and four legged attendees for a day of fun. So basically, if worrying about who will watch Fido while you are on your next vacation is a reoccurring issue, then head on over to Knoxville and bring them along to enjoy the trip as well.
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The nightlife for a gay person visiting Knoxville is still very open to a whole lot of variety, with many downtown clubs and bars hosting very mixed crowds of people and gays to be found in large s everywhere you look. Both of these clubs have been around for a large of years and they serve the community with dancing, drag shows, game nights, costume contests, etc.
Occurring every June, Knox Pridefest is a free event held downtown that features a massive parade on Gay Street followed by a day of performances and entertainment at one of our nearby parks. In the estimated of people to attend Knox Pridefest was over 35, One way Knoxville is able to keep their Pride festival free is because of a continual series of small fundraiser events hosted throughout the calendar year. If you get the chance to see one of our Pride Parades one thing you will notice is that our churches support us and love us and welcome us with open arms.
Some gay amature blog the best local outreach programs for gay youths struggling with their sexuality or gender identity are in fact churches in the Knoxville area.
For a fairly well-done list of welcoming and pro-equality churches, businesses, and organizations in Knoxville and the surrounding area please see this link. Let me explain:. Rogero also sent a letter to President Obama in in support of the creation of the Stonewall National Monument in NYC and has had the Henley Street bridge lit up in rainbow colors for support of the LGBTQ community during both times of celebration, like marriage equality, and mourning during the immediate aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
Knoxville could not ask for a more welcoming Mayor that is supportive of diversity in all forms.
Gay people sometimes have a harder time working at finding where we fit in the world, but once we do we want to celebrate it with our community and share it with the world. As a member of the LGBTQ community I really hope that I have managed to show you some reasons why Knoxville is really a beautiful little gay friendly city, just waiting for you to come and visit.
The stereotypes of Southern people are true for at least one instance. We really are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet if you give us a chance.
Born and raised in middle Tennessee, Oren Yarbrough first moved to Knoxville in to attend school at the University of Tennessee. Want to write a guest post for the VK blog?
Aerial View of Gay amature blog Ridge National Laboratory — Open source image; owner is the Federal Government Oak Ridge National Laboratories, an internationally recognized research facility with ties to both commercial and federal sectors, is another nearby institution that contributes to the diversity of Knoxville and the greater region. Downtown Knoxville — View looking down Market Street Downtown Vibes: Downtown Knoxville has a special place in the hearts of the LGBTQ community by being the primary home of a lot of our earliest bars and clubs, our only places of acceptance many decades ago.
Pride spectators with their pets courtesy of Taryn Ferro One more thing about Downtown that makes it an even more welcoming place for the LGBTQ community, our hotels will welcome your children! Pride Banner for the TVUUC courtesy of Taryn Ferro If you get the chance to see one of our Pride Parades one thing you will notice is that our churches support us and love us and welcome us with open arms.
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