How gay is Edmonton?

Post ImageApparently the city I live in is gay enough to make it into Out Traveler magazine’s top five gay-friendly tourist destinations in Canada. Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Toronto are the other cities. Here’s what they say about Edmonton:

Its hard not to take a shine to Edmonton, the laid-back capital of oil-rich Alberta. A refreshing optimism permeates this city of one million–buoyed by its oil-boosted fortunes. Edmonton has struck it rich but hasnt changed its friendly down-to-earth charm.

Let the herds kick up a ruckus about Calgary; bold, assured Edmonton gallops way ahead, leaving the rest of Alberta in the dust.

Such kind words! The magazine notes there’s a number of gay and lesbian bars and clubs in “the burgeoning gay village of Jasper Avenue, a two-block area with half a dozen gay businesses.”

Sun Media talked to editor in chief Ed Salvato, who had this to say:

“We chose Edmonton because we think it’s one of the more interesting places for gays and lesbians to visit in Canada. It’s a bastion of progressiveness. It’s surprisingly gay-friendly.”

City councillor Michael Phair, who is openly gay, said the magazine showcases Edmonton as “diverse and welcoming.” Sun Media also talked to gay activist Kris Wells, who wasn’t so upbeat:

He says he still doesn’t feel safe walking down Whyte Avenue hand-in-hand with his partner. “It’s still not safe to be visibly gay or lesbian. You put your life at risk.”

So I guess Edmonton is gay-friendly but most Edmontonians are not? Perhaps that’s because Edmonton is situated in the Texas of the North! Clearly we have some work to do.

Read: Canoe

15 thoughts on “How gay is Edmonton?

  1. Personally, I’ve never had a problem in Edmonton. Living in Calgary before moving here, I find Calgary is light years behind Edmonton in progressiveness. What Edmonton lacks in appearance and weather, it makes up for with the arts, culture and (relative) openmindedness My partner and I have walked hand in hand numerous times before, and no one’s said a single thing, so Edmonton may not be another Toronto or Vancouver, but it is alot more progressive than people give it credit for.

  2. I am from Edmonton, and it really is not “Gay Friendly” I would say possibly at the most is that its being “Tolerated”. If your standing outside a gay bar at night you get yelled at and called a fag and what not, but by no means would I ever walk hand in hand with my partner in Edmonton, by doing that you would be asking for trouble.

  3. Canoe. 404. The Requested Document Could Not Be Found. Oh well.

    I wish we had a place like west hollywood down here.

  4. I am from Edmonton and I completely disagree. Edmonton is not “Gay Friendly” at all. On the contrary it is barely tolerated. My partner (at the time) and I walked down couple times holding hands, and the reaction was no fun.

  5. Nope I agree with Raj… I said ‘at the most its being tolerated’ and it really isn’t overly tolerable, i suppose it depends where you are, but its nothing like West Vancouver, and to be honest I really don’t think it ever will be. This is “redneck” country out here. And that is just the way it is.

  6. I think Edmonton is fine, i live here and walk around west Edmonton mall, and the streets holding hands with my partner nobody said a thing.

  7. Hello Kiah,
    May I know where are you originally from? Are you Persian? If so, I have some questions that I would like to ask you if possible.
    Also I’m new to Edmonton so I appreciate to know if there is any gay-oriented avenue or district here.

    1. Thanks for telling me that, kind of disappointing i’ve just sold everything and was on my way out to Edmonton from Toronto for a change of scenery i guess now that’s not going to happen maybe now the east coast lol.

  8. Edmonton not gay friendly. There was clashes and beating incidents inpast if boy found holding eac others hands in public. Latest UoA incident last year. Not friendly at all.

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