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Ferndale is well-known as the most LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood in greater Detroit, with many LGBTQ organizations, businesses and residents. Ferndale is home to Affirmations LGBTQ Community Center, the Michigan AIDS Coalition and numerous other LGBTQ and progressive non-profit groups.Located just north of Detroit, between 8 and 10 Mile Roads along the Woodward corridor, Ferndale is easily accessible from major highways.
According to the latest census Ferndale is second only to tiny neighbor Pleasant Ridge for percentage of households with same-sex couples. (In fact, Pleasant Ridge ranks among the top ten nationally.) Ferndale’s current mayor, David Coulter, and former mayor, Craig Covey, are openly gay men. The city has numerous LGBT-owned shops, restaurants bars and theaters and many more LGBTQ-friendly establishments.
“In the beginning of the ’80s Ferndale was a blank slate,” said former Mayor Covey. “The downtown was empty. You could roll a bowling ball down the middle of 9 Mile and not hit anything.” Home values were declining; the storefronts downtown were almost entirely empty except for a few adult bookstores, nail salons, wig shops and a strip club.
The Ringwald theater on Woodward is the Detroit area’s LGBTQ-identified theater troop. Restaurants such as Rosie O’Grady’s, Assaggi, Local, The Emery and Woodward Ave. Brewery, Axle Brewery, Zeke’s BBQ and others often host fundraisers and events for LGBTQ groups. Soho Bar is a great place for LGBTQ people to relax and meet for a drink.
Ferndale’s downtown area is charmingly walkable, and you are sure to run into friendly local residents on their way to dinner, a shop or a show. Note the many rainbow flags flying in front of homes and businesses through the town.
The local government worked hard to attract forward-thinking people to stimulate the economy in this historically blue collar town. It worked! The town is flourishing and new people and ideas are welcomed.
Bars - LGBTQ
This classy spot features wine, jazz, martinis and a comfortable, casual environment. Located right in the heart of Ferndale's gay district, Soho has a weekly line-up of trivia, karaoke, dance parties, and sweet drink specials. Popular with both men and women. Frequent special community events, like "Homophobia is Such a Drag" fundraiser for the Ruth Ellis House homeless shelter for LGBT youth. This is a great place to meet a friend to catch up before or after an evening out.
Affirmations is the community center for LGBTQ+ people and their allies serving the Detroit Metro area. Programs & activities include: Arts & Cultural events, civic engagement, family fun activities, health services, HIV/AIDS prevention, older adult support, social and recreational activities, sports & fitness programs, support & discussion groups, workshops & seminars and youth groups. Resources offered: Art Gallery, Recess cafe, game room, media center & library, meeting rooms, training & education.
Hotlines & Switchboards
Friendly, professional eye care services since 1949.
Thorough vision and health evaluations.
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The Metro Detroit Gay and Lesbian Softball League is celebrating its 25th season this year. Games are played in Rochester Hills every Sunday from May 2 - August 22. We offer different skill levels for all ball players, whether you are a starter or you tried out for the Detroit Tigers. Visit our website at www.mdsl.org to learn more about the league and get involved today.
Creating positive social change supporting all forms of gender identity and expression through charitable, educational, and service works. Established 2005.