Real, honest information for residents and visitors.

Fort Worth Gay And Lesbian Organizations

In decades past, gay and lesbian communities across the United States and around the globe were centered around gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations. Before the Internet, these organizations were a safe way to connect with similar people.

Along with nightclubs and gay-focused churches, gay and lesbian organizations were the lifeblood of a community.

Now, people often connect online and may never feel the need to connect with a gay and lesbian organization.

Still, a few of these organizations exist in Fort Worth. Their roles change over time, but these groups are attempting to carry on the good work started in generations past.

While none of these organizations offers the one-stop resource that’s available in some other cities, each of these organizations plays a role in Gay Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Gay And Lesbian Organizations

Fairness Fort Worth

Existing primarily as a Facebook page and for monthly meetings, Fairness Fort Worth was formed after an incident at a Fort Worth gay bar resulted in people being injured by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers and Fort Worth Police.

As a result of actions by Fairness Fort Worth and others, both police groups tried to make amends with Fort Worth’s gay community. In other words, Fairness Fort Worth got results in that case. They’ve done little else since, but there also hasn’t been a major incident that’s needed action either.

Q Cinema

Probably the most vibrant gay and lesbian organization in Fort Worth today, Q Cinema hold events each month. We at the Gay Fort Worth website think it’s so special it merits its own page.

If you want to meet the movers and shakers of Fort Worth’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities, turn up at a Q Cinema event. In fact, no matter who you want to meet, they’re probably planning to attend the next Q Cinema event.

Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association

Founded in 1981, the TCGPWA produces Pride Week festivities in Fort Worth, now usually held in the fall instead of in the summer because of the intense Texas heat.

The site is often in disrepair, but it sometimes contains enough information to figure out when and where Pride Week activities are held. The association doesn’t seem to expend much effort on its website, but the activities happen year after year, so this group must be doing something.

Tarrant County Lesbian Gay Alliance

Apparently now existing in name only, the Tarrant County Lesbian Gay Alliance has existed in one form or another since 1980. It once led Fort Worth’s GLBT community.

For years, the organizations published a newsletter or newspaper that kept local gays and lesbian informed of political happenings. The group even purchased an old doctor’s office and attempted open a community center, an undertaking that proved too costly and eventually failed.

A Short Story

Unfortunately, we don’t know of any other active gay and lesbian organizations in Fort Worth. If you do, please learn how you can contact us.

For gay and lesbian people in Fort Worth who aren’t interested in gay churches and don’t visit gay bars, there are very few real-world opportunities to connect with others.

These organizations offer friendship, political activism, entertainment and opportunities for community involvement.

We hope you find what you need from one of them — and we hope this list grows too.

Q Cinema: More Than A Film Festival

To those on the outside looking in, Fort Worth’s Q Cinema probably looks like just another film festival.

Truthfully, though, Q Cinema is much more than the yearly Fort Worth gay and lesbian film festival. It’s where Fort Worth’s gay and lesbian leaders go to see and be seen. And it’s also a lot of fun — both for those who want to get to know people and those who enjoy quality gay and lesbian films they often can’t see with an audience anywhere else.

For the GLBT community in Fort Worth, the Q Cinema film festival is the biggest event of the year — and plenty of people show up for its related events throughout the year.

Q Cinema History

Founded in 1998 by Todd Camp and Shawn Moore, Q Cinema is now run by Camp and a board of directors.

The organization started by offering occasional film screenings and discussion groups at Texas Christian University. Then, Moore had an idea. Why not expand to a yearly festival and bring in some of the best gay and lesbian movies, documentaries and shorts from around the world?

The festival began in 1999 and has since been held at a variety of venues around Fort Worth, mostly at the former Caravan of Dreams Theater downtown — now called Four Day Weekend Theater — and at Rose Marine Theater on the city’s Northside.

Q Cinema Today

Additional events have been held throughout the year since Q Cinema’s inception, but QCinema now offers at least one event every month — often two or three.

In addition to frequent screenings of important and entertaining films, Q Cinema presents live events under the name QLive! These include theatre presentations, readings and frequent open-mic comedy nights.

Occasional fundraising events and other special presentations round out a full schedule of activities each year for the organization that started with only a few film screenings in a TCU classroom.

More Than A Film Festival

With a mission of “providing a voice” for GLBT people through film presentations, videos and live programs, Q Cinema has become one of the most vibrant and active organizations in Gay Fort Worth.

In fact, there’s no better way to get to know the movers and shakers in Gay Fort Worth than by attending some Q Cinema events.

The first person you’ll want to meet is organizer Todd Camp, a man who is somehow related to everything that happened in the city to, for or by gays and lesbians. As a reporter and former full-time employee of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he’s one of the most well-connected people in the city.

Other board members of the festival are also influential in their circles, too, so don’t ignore them.

You won’t want to ignore the pretty men and handsome women who surround you at their events either. You might find one waiting for a connection of a different kind.

Those outside the gay community have also recognized how important the film festival and related events are to the community.

In 2008, Fort Worth Weekly staffer’s chose Q Cinema as the best place to meet someone of the same sex. While other events and clubs have taken the Weekly’s top spot in years since, there’s no denying the importance of Q Cinema to Gay Fort Worth’s present as well as its past.

Q Cinema is, as you can see, more than just a movie night.

Actually, Q Cinema is three things: It’s a world-class yearly festival. It’s a successful community organization with frequent events attended by the most powerful gays and lesbians in town. And it’s a bit of meat market for those looking for someone of the same sex to share a night or a lifetime.

Those are all good things.

Safe (And Fun) Ways To Experience The Fort Worth Live Music Scene

Fort Worth has a live music scene that now rivals the variety, quality and quantity of bands and venues in Austin, a city that has for many years called itself the live music capital of Texas.

In fact, some say the live music scene in Fort Worth is better than it is in Austin, thanks to rapid development here and a bit of a decline there.

Rumor has it that there are now more live music venues in Fort Worth than in Austin, so it makes sense that Fort Worth gays and lesbians would want to get in on the excitement and entertainment too.

Fort Worth gay clubs may sometimes host some live music, but I can’t point you to a single gay live music venue in Fort Worth. And while Fort Worth’s straight clubs are generally safe and tolerant, I can’t recommend that you visit them if you’re expecting to be accepted. You just can’t be sure.

Instead, there are safer and better ways to participate in the vibrant Fort Worth live music scene — and ways to hear great music that won’t leave you feeling like a fish out of water.

Here’s some advice aimed specifically at Gay Fort Worth’s audience about how to enjoy live music in Tarrant County and stay safe too.

Get acquainted with Central Market’s patio.

Central Market, the specialty grocery store at I-30 and Hulen in West Fort Worth, hosts live music events every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from March through October. The events are free and no purchase is necessary, but you can’t bring your own food or drinks.

Hundreds of people of all sorts attend, and there’s plenty of security. Rowdy drunks are generally not tolerated and are thrown out, keeping the atmosphere safe for all ages and persuasions. Just be careful not to spend too much on their high-end groceries and specialty beers.

Join the eclectic throng at Friday on the Green.

Sponsored by Fort Worth South and Fort Worth Weekly, Friday on the Green is a series of outdoor live music events held on Magnolia Green, a Near South Side urban field where organizers put up a stage — and rock from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. one Friday a month except in winter. Pick up a Weekly to see when the next one is happening.

Outside food and drinks are prohibited on the green too, but there are plenty of food trucks. Since these events draw a very Austin-ish crowd that’s generally as accepting as they are diverse, you should be fine there. And the police keep a watch on things.

Enjoy the Fort Worth festival scene.

Outdoor festivals are often a safer environment for gays and lesbians than dark and confining straight clubs, and Fort Worth has lots of festivals. Fortunately, all feature live music. Consider the Main Street Arts Festival or Mayfest first, but look for new and obscure festivals of all sorts. And yes, there’s a gay pride event every year, but it doesn’t usually feature live music.

Explore restaurant entertainment instead of venturing into bars.

Many Fort Worth restaurants offer live music and fun patios now, so check out a few of them.

Cleaner, safer and often more fun than a club, these restaurants welcome anyone who’s willing to pay for some food and drinks, but you’ll find the scene at some more appealing than at others.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

Please don’t think that there’s reason to be concerned for your safety in Fort Worth. It’s a generally safe town with good police and good security — and most venues and events are run by responsible business people who nurture a tolerant environment.

But we all feel more comfortable in some situations than in others, don’t we?

If you’re willing to step outside the confines of Gay Fort Worth and into the wider city, you’ll soon find that the Fort Worth live music scene offers plenty of great tunes for everyone.

Is the North Texas Irish Festival Gay Friendly? Why Isn’t There A Fort Worth Irish Festival?

There is an easy answer to this question, and it doesn’t even require a lengthy investigation or contacting the organizers of the North Texas Irish Festival.

I’ve been to this event many times, and I’m confident in my answer: Yes, this annual event at Fair Park in Dallas is just about as gay friendly as an event can be without being put on by a gay organization.

It’s just a shame that Fort Worth doesn’t have a comparable event. In 2010, we did, but it didn’t get enough support from attendees or corporate sponsors, so it went away just as quickly as it came.

It wasn’t the first Irish festival in Tarrant County, and there’s still a Celtic event held in this county every year. But first, here’s a bit more about the North Texas Irish Festival.

Even Its History Is Gay

The very first NTIF was held in the gayest neighborhood in Dallas, Oak Lawn. Originally called the First Texas Ceili, it was held March 5, 1983.

It was too large for that venue even then, however, and the annual festival quickly moved to bigger digs. The festival has been held at Fair Park on the first weekend in March ever since.

In 1984, the event occupied one building at Fair Park. It has since grown to take up much of the park and is the second largest event held there — second only to the park’s main purpose for existing, The State Fair of Texas.

All you have to do is look around the North Texas Irish Festival to see how gay and lesbian friendly the event is. You’ll find your own kind everywhere you look. In fact, the Irish Festival at Fair Park is a friendly and welcome event that feels like attending a family reunion in more ways than one.

And many of the people there aren’t even Irish. You don’t have to be Irish or meet any other qualifications to attend.

A Tarrant County Version Failed

In October 2010, the organization that puts on the Dallas Irish festival held an event called the Cowtown Celtic Festival at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. Occupying the arena, the auditorium and some exhibit spaces as well as parts of the grounds, the event was fun for the modest crowd that attended. But the relatively sparse attendance foretold the event’s fate: It was a one-time-only event because it didn’t garner enough participation or sponsorship.

This effort to start a Fort Worth Irish festival was at least in part the result of the folding of the Celtic Heritage Festival held every year in Bedford. When this fall event folded, it left a void that the Southwest Celtic Music Association tried to fill with its new festival.

It’s a real shame it didn’t work out. The event wasn’t well publicized and many Dallas regulars didn’t attend as expected despite good weather and top-name performers.

Still, the Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games are held every summer in Arlington, so Celtic heritage is celebrated in the county after all. This longstanding event attracts some of the same performers and many of the same attendees as the North Texas Irish Festival, and a recent change moves it to May instead of its previous date in the heat of mid-summer.

A Final Note

Whether you’re Irish or not, you’ll enjoy the North Texas Irish Festival if you like music, fun and food. The music offered ranges from traditional Irish and Scottish dance music to rock-infused world music that’s hard to further categorize. The food includes traditional Irish choices as well as modern street-vendor and state-fair-style food.

And the fun is as big as Texas.

The North Texas Irish Festival is fun for the whole family, no matter what your family looks like.

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