As a New Castle County native and a member of the LGBTQ community, I find Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley to be exceptionally open and welcoming to all. When the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau asked me to pen this blog on my favorite LGBTQ friendly places, it was a challenge because our region is more broadly LGBTQ friendly, and there are so many things to see, do and experience here.
I did narrow it down to six things to do with the idea of educating all residents and visitors about some of the lesser-known activities and places to go that really highlight the diversity of our community of neighbors.
1. Community Events in Bellefonte
This diverse neighborhood is filled with members of the LGBTQ community. It’s a beautiful thing how all are embraced here. There are lots of great events throughout the year here. Two of my favorites are the Bellefonte Arts Festival and the Bellevue Farmer’s Market.
2. The University of Delaware
This lovely campus in Newark is home to a very vibrant LBGTQ community and student group. Strolling its grounds then grabbing a meal at one of the restaurants on Main Street is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
3. The Rainbow Flag Raising in Rodney Square
In 2019, the Pride Flag was raised in this historic square in the heart of downtown Wilmington to mark the beginning of Pride Month. It was a wonderful nod to the rich diversity of culture, race, gender identity and sexual orientation throughout Wilmington. The celebration has had to be altered over the past two years due to COVID – the flag was displayed in the lobby of the Mayor’s Office this year – but I hope the flag raising returns next year.
4. The Wilmington Arts Community
There is so much talent in our arts community, and many LGBTQ people are represented within it. It is amazingly large and diverse given the small size of Wilmington. Some of my favorite ways to experience it are a visit to the Delaware Art Museum and the Delaware Contemporary, taking in a performance at the Grand or the Queen, or heading over to Rockwood Park for a Delaware Shakespeare summer performance.
5. Faith-Based Groups
There are so many welcoming and affirming churches and synagogues in Greater Wilmington. If you’re visiting us from out of town, connecting with a faith-based community is a great way to really get to know what we’re about. Many of the structures are also architecturally stunning and offer rich histories, like my own Westminster Presbyterian Church that was founded in 1857. Be sure to stop by the Memorial Garden.
Delaware has a number of communities that have fully embraced the LGBTQ community. Rehoboth, in the southern part of our state, has received a lot of well-deserved attention in this regard. However, you cannot ignore the role New Castle County has played in opening hearts and changing minds.
Our region is also at the heart of LGBTQ history on the East Coast and U.S. Philadelphia, just a short drive to the north, is where the first-ever gay rights protests took place. New York was where the Stonewall Uprising was held, and this is what led to June becoming Pride Month. Washington D.C. to our south is where many LGBTQ supporting court decisions have been made.
I invite you to come experience my home city, a place where all are made to feel welcome! For more information on all there is to see and do here, visit my friends at the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.VisitWilmingtonDE.com.