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What's the city of Rochester like for LGBTQ+ folks?

With its rich history of civil rights, Rochester is among the most welcoming, LGBTQ-friendly metro areas in the U.S., ranked 11th in 2016's Gayest Cities in America by the It's also one of the most culturally abundant. Rochester received a perfect score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign. From nightlife to art museums, Rochester lots of excitement offer LGBTQ folks. Rochester also hosts a wealth of LGBTQ advocacy and healthcare resources, all accessible to University students.

LGBTQ Organizations and Resources

With the tagline, “Champions for LGBTQ life & culture in Rochester, NY,” the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley offers social events alongside safe space training. They serve as an excellent starting place (and volunteer opportunity!) seeking connection to the LGBTQ community. Their Resource Directory is a one-stop shop for LGBTQ organizations, groups, and providers.


In the community, students can access Trillium Health, a resource for comprehensive LGBTQ healthcare. For resources on campus, go here.

Arts and Recreation

Rochester’s annual Pride Parade is an LGBTQ-filled event that can’t be missed. Summer in Rochester is often referred to as a festival-frenzy. LGBTQ folks will also find welcoming enjoyment at the Lilac Festival and Park Ave Fest, among many others.

Rochester’s annual LGBT Film Festival, ImageOUT, presents opportunities to volunteer and to see an array of independent, international films! Beyond this festival, film buffs will delight in the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum, the Little Theatre, and the Cinema Theater.

The Memorial Art Gallery (free for UR students!), Geva Theater, the Auditorium Theater, and the Fringe Fest are also of Rochester’s exciting, LGBTQ-friendly cultural offerings. City Newspaper is a hub for the hip happenings of Rochester.


For the under-21 crowd, Tilt Nightclub and Ultralounge is hailed as the best 18+ dance club in Western NY. Known for outrageous and extravagant drag shows, Tilt is sure to entertain.

For those of legal drinking age, 140 Alex, the Bachelor Forum, and the Avenue Pub offer up drinks and LGBTQ-friendly atmospheres.