LGBT Travel In and Around Calgary

LGBT Travel In and Around Calgary
LGBT Travel In and Around Calgary
LGBT Travel Guide

LGBT Travel In and Around Calgary

A guide for members of the LGBT community coming to the city.

As one of Canada’s largest cities, Calgary is a cosmopolitan centre with plenty to offer any traveller. The Western Hospitality the city is known the world over extends to those of us in the LGBT community. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered visitors should feel more than welcome to explore the city without concern.

Though I’ve lived in other major centres in Canada and Europe, Calgary is my home. Being born and raised in the city and re-discovering my hometown as an adult has given me an appreciation for this special place as a member of the LGBT community. The city can seem intimidating for first-time queer travellers, but these tips should help you enjoy the city just as if you were a Calgarian.

What to expect in Calgary as an LGBT visitor

Any traveller coming to the city should expect to be welcomed with open arms. Although there may not be as many physical and visual reflections of Calgary’s LGBT community as there are in other cities, travellers should feel comfortable in the area to explore the city safely and without issue. The LGBT scene in Calgary is less segregated than many other major centres in North America, which, at times, may feel like it doesn’t exist, but the community is strong and is assimilated into the general population. This feeling of inclusion extends to travellers and know that you will feel like any other visitor to Calgary.

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Navigating the city and personal safety

Unlike other major centres, there is no gaybourhood or gay village where the LGBT community congregates. The main areas of interest around the city centre (Downtown, the Beltline, 17th Avenue SW, 4th Street SW, and the East Village) are all pedestrian-friendly areas with plenty of recreation, restaurants, and window shopping, similar to what you’d find in the queer districts of other cities. There is no area to avoid as an LGBT traveller. Like any other city, it is best to use your discretion on personal safety, though you should feel confident to explore any corner of our community without harm, including holding hands with your same-sex partner.

Although Calgary is often viewed as a very conservative city, many residents consider themselves socially liberal and are very welcoming to LGBT travellers. The most you should anticipate in terms of discomfort is an odd look from someone who is still not comfortable with the queer community, but this is rare in most places tourists would visit. 

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LGBT Travel For Families

Families with either LGBT parents or children should feel safe to travel the city and visit attractions without running into any issues. It is not uncommon to see families with same-sex parents in Calgary, and families should feel at ease roaming the city without unwanted attention.

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Nightlife in the City

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Events in Calgary for LGBT travellers

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Dining and Date Nights in Calgary

Though you won’t run into an issue at most restaurants in Calgary, it’s difficult to guarantee you’ll feel comfortable 100% of the time. For the most part, restaurant establishments in Calgary treat LGBT couples and families without any discrimination. The worst you should expect to face is that a restaurant may mistake you for two friends, or else put you in a corner in the back of the establishment. Though very rare, you are perfectly within your right to ask for a different table.

You should not anticipate much attention as an LGBT couple on a date in the city from other patrons. Because the city is not segregated with an LGBT centre or gaybourhood, queer couples are seen in every corner of the city in every establishment, and most Calgarians are not sensitive to seeing a same-sex couple or transgendered individual.

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Staying in Calgary

While most hotels, hostels, and campgrounds in and near the city have global training programs to welcome LGBT travellers, the biggest issue you may face is being mistaken for two friends instead of a same-sex couple. If your accommodation assumes you are looking for two beds instead of one in your room (i.e. assuming you made a mistake in your booking), you should feel comfortable to correct this situation at check-in without issue.

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Day Trips from Calgary

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LGBT Travel Services

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