Gay Bloomington

LGBTQ Travel Gay Bloomington, United States


It's been said this city has the nation's fifth largest per capita population of same-sex couples, and it is certainly one of the most socially and politically progressive cities in the Midwest region.

But for a city that prides itself on being open and welcoming to all people there is surprisingly little rainbow flag waving. The one gay club, the Thursday-Sunday Back Door has weekend dancing, drag events and Sunday karaoke. Otherwise gay life here mixes seamlessly with the wider community in local pubs and cafes. Like Ann Arbor Michigan, another liberal college town with few specifically LGBT venues, this may be the model for the future.


Getting here, getting around

Indianapolis International Airport is the closest place to fly into. The Go Express Bloomington Shuttle trip takes from 70 to 100 minutes (depending on which of 5 stops in Bloomington you use) and costs $23 with online purchase.
The Courtyard Marriot Hotel, and IU Memorial Union are two of the downtown stops with first departures at 4:40am, then every two hours after that until 8:40pm. Departures from the airport are every two hours beginning at 6:40am until 10:40pm. If not bought online, tickets can be purchased at kiosks - across from arrivals/baggage claim at the airport. All the major car rental companies are represented here too.

Bloomington Transit buses will get you around the city for $1 - pay driver exact change. Salt Creek Cycles offers bike sales, service and rentals from $15 for two hours, 2-8 hours ($20), the day ($30) or the week ($80).


Media & resources

Bloomington is a welcoming place no matter where you go. Visit Bloomington, into which "Visit Gay Bloomington" was folded, lists LGBT places of interest among the many restaurants, shops, wineries, museums, theaters, accommodations and events around town. They also link to Pridefest in August, and the Pride Film Festival in early February.

The Midwest Eagle, based in Indianapolis, which had covered regional LGBTQ news, now links to Kwir, a national LGBTQ media company.

With the importance of the University of Indiana to this town, (the approximately 40,000 students are half the city population), the Indiana Daily Student newspaper is another good source of information. BloomingtonOnline has an online directory of local listings, and The Ryder is a local magazine with an arthouse film series that screens at IU theaters.

Blooming Out, queer radio, can be heard at WFHB 91.3 FM, Thursdays from 5:30pm EST, or online anytime. See their monthy events listings.

The Kinsey Institute continues it's work to advance sexual health and knowledge at Morrison Hall, on the campus of the University of Indiana. They do research, maintain a library, archives and collections of materials; also an art gallery - some of which can be seen online. See their website to participate in ongoing studies.

The Buskirk-Chumley Theater, an important local performing arts and film screening venue, is home to the Pride Film Festival in February; also with other events throughout the year.

The Quarryland Men's Chorus, a vocal music group for gay and bisexual men and their allies in South Central Indiana, has two concerts each year and performs at community events across the region.

The Indiana University LGBT Culture Center welcomes potential or current students, curious friends, concerned parents, or just those who have an interest in queer issues at this friendly campus. Sigma Phi Beta at IU is a social fraternity for gay, straight, bisexual and transgender male college students.

IU's intercollegiate athletics program has 24 varsity teams. The Hoosiers, members of the Big Ten Conference since 1899, have won a lot of Big Ten championships. Other non-varsity teams include ice hockey and rugby union football.

For some other local listings, including restaurants and hotels, see our maps & listings tab; also our events listings for what's happening at local museums, theaters and concert venues.

- Staff 2020