Get Gay in San José

Written by | The Lens

Holding hands is not a crime. Kissing your partner is an expression of love, yet it is often regarded as an act of defiance. We need safe spaces to be who we truly are, which is why every great city deserves a fabulous gayborhood.

San José agrees. Welcome to the Qmunity District.

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We asked LGBTQ+ individuals in the South Bay "what does it mean to be part of community" and "why is it important to you." The video showcases the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and why an established and visible queer spaces are so important. Although, we each come from different backgrounds and life experiences, one thing is certain: We are Community! Qmunity District establishes a welcoming, inclusive, and affirming place for LGBTQ+ people and families in the South Bay where #WeAreQmunity. Much like San Francisco has the Castro and Sacramento has Lavender Heights, San Jose will soon have a space of it is own to call home. The new district will feature shopping, socializing, dining, networking, and nightlife in Downtown San José on Post Street from S. 1st to S. Market Streets. With your support we can create our very own LGBTQ+ cultural space in the South Bay. To learn more and to find out how you get get involved, visit #WeAreCommunity #LGBTQ #DTSJ #beMOREdoMORE #QmunityDistrict #WeAreQmunity #Gayborhood #Queerspaces #PostStreet #DTSJ @domorelgbtq @cmraulperalez @genslersanjose @sj_downtown @cityofsanjose @lgbtqsccgov

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Rainbow vibes are resonating all along Post Street from 1st to Market. The San José Downtown Association is collaborating with various LGBTQ groups to re-imagine the local landscape. Festive lights will wash the area with inclusivity, and street art will express the collective empowerment of the queer community.

Post Street has a rich history of being the raucous, liberated nucleus of progressive life in the area. Circa 1850, it was called El Dorado Street, and it invited the first state legislature of California to the saloons that lined its dusty sidewalks. Fast forward to the Mardi Gras celebrations of years past that quickly grew too big for their proverbial britches.

Silicon Valley Pride has strutted their stuff down Post Street for years. The notorious watering holes along the avenue spilleth over, exuding an intoxicating glow that blurs the line between straight and gay.

Splash San José is the torchbearer when it comes to loud and proud nightlife, bumping and grinding at full volume. Drag performers and go-go boys have cavorted on the Splash stage for years and queers, and the locals can’t wait to welcome back the sinful side of San José (once it’s safe to do so).


You can find Splash in the depths of Post Street, but it’s not the only gay-game in town. Just up the block, Mac’s Club offers down-home, downtown hospitality and friendly faces galore… or at least it did, until the ubiquitous lockdown shuttered our consciousness.

Not As Gay As It Used to Be, But Still Worth a Visit: San Francisco


The laughter that echoes through the now empty bars along Post Street serves as a siren song for the city’s eventual reopening. San José recently lost its legendary bathhouse, The Watergarden, due to Covid-19, but the community refuses to shed its spirit of naughty curiosity.

San Jose Gay Pride 2012 with Trenton Ducati and Derek Parker

Posted by The Watergarden on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The titillating tradition continues outside the confines of Post Street at gathering places such as Renegades. San José is ready to feast on fabulosity, and the new Qmunity District is just an appetizer. Save room for indulgence, because queer NorCal is hungry for a raunchy Renaissance.

Last modified: September 17, 2020