Jun 092013
 
Smathers_Beach_closeup

Smathers Beach, the largest beach in the city

Key West is located at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys and 90 miles from Cuba. This all-welcoming tropical playground is a destination enjoyed and frequented by gay American and international tourists all year round. The island 4 miles by 2 miles enjoys a mild, tropical climate thanks to its geographical position in the Gulf of Mexico. Annual temperatures ranges from 75 °F (24 °C) during winter to the high 90 °F (31 °C) in summer.

An estimated one-third of Key West’s 26,000 permanent residents are openly gay or lesbian. The city had the nation’s first openly gay mayor, Richard Heyman, who served during the 1980s and died in 1994. Two city commissioners are openly gay.Gays and lesbians visitors can walk down streets or catch a trolley tour that takes in homes where notable gays lived. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams, who wrote The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, lived during his Key West stay that began in the 1940s.  There are two identical homes owned by gay playwright Jerry Herman, composer of Hello, Dolly and La Cage Aux Folles.

Among other famous lesbian and gay writers inspired by life in Key Wes, were poet Elizabeth Bishop, author Truman Capote and playwright Terrence McNally.

The Gay Pride festival held in the first week of June, draws gays and lesbians from around the world.  In 2013, the longest Rainbow flag will be marched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.  It’s creator/designer, Gilbert Baker, will be the Master of Ceremonies.16-290x135

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