Gay Lifestyle, Key West
If you haven't been to Key West before then you might find yourself surprised when you step into some of the bars on the east end of Duval, where it is the unofficial but obvious "Gay side". While on Duval, look for Crabby Dicks restaurant, You can't miss it, it's big and has a giant rainbow flag - It seems like the Gay bars start about there. Personally I love the bars - everyone is polite, friendly and fun! We happened to make the Gay Pride parade last year and had a great time, then we hung out on the east end bars and even met the Queen of the Parade! Lots of fun if you're open-minded but if it's not your thing, steer clear and stay around the Sloppy Joes area.
Actually, I could have combined the "party hearty" AND "gay lifestyle" sections for this VT trip.
I am a live and let live kind of guy. For a conservative Republican, I do pretty well in more liberal settings and populations. In fact, I think I know some liberals who actually like or even love me. But then, they're liberals and they love everyone except George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or any combination thereof. OK, back to the tip...
Key West is an "anything goes" kind of town. There's a lot of hedonism in the party spirit, and there's a huge gay population. Needless to say, many of the establishments cater to the gay crowd. And again, it's just different. My point is that if you're traveling to Key West with kids or young adults as were we, you might want to have a little talk with the young 'uns before you go walking on Duval Street after dark.
My daughter took it all in stride, though. We were walking back to our cottage one night, and we passed some female impersonators handing out fliers for a stage show. I spoke with them for a minute, just exchanging evening pleasantries. We walked down the street just a bit and I said, "Sara, let me talk to you about those ladies back there". Before I could say anything, she smiled and said "I know daddy, they're guys." She said the voices gave them away, although I thought they had the voices down pretty well.
BTW, the bar in this tip's feature photo (Crabby Dicks) isn't exclusive a gay bar. But, I understand that there are areas within that ARE considered "foreign territory" for we straight folk.
The other photo pictures the La-De-Da Club, which features female impersonator entertainment. Some of the crowd is straight, but quite a few more are not. I understand the place is a hoot, and had this not been a family trip, me and Missus would have checked it out. I didn't watch Rocky Horror Picture Show ten dozen times without learning something. :)
If you are homophobic or offended by the gay lifestyle, Key West is not for you. This is a very open minded place to visit so don't be surprised---you will encounter all different types of people and lifestyles, so please keep an open mind, or otherwise, stick to Key Largo or Islamorada.
If you get 'volunteered' to pose in a photo with some of the local transvestites...... I caution you, keep an eye on them... they'll get your shirt off in a second!!
You've been warned.