Beyond Southfork Ranch: Our Guide To Gay Dallas, Texas!
Welcome back to the most fabulous gay travel guide in the world!
Sure, New York and San Francisco are divine – but you can't go there on every vacation!
So, why not live a little and explore Dallas – where the boys live up to the city slogan - “Live Large. Think Big!”
It's too bad that Dallas is mostly known for J.R. Ewing and the Southfork Ranch – because this is one happening city that may soon push Houston aside and become the center for gay life in the Loan Star State.
While it's true that because of the huge oil industry in Dallas there are a lot more right wing freaks and Christian nut jobs here than in many other American cities.
That said, there is a thriving gay community – and Dallas had the only Lesbian Sheriff of any major city in America.
The Chamber of Commerce has also recently started making efforts to target gay tourists with their advertising – and many gay publications are already trumpeting the city as one of the up and coming gay destinations. You will find everything from a hot boytoy to a hard core gay bear in the Dallas area!
In fact, the Dallas Visitors Bureau itself proclaims that the city has “left behind stereotypes of big-haired women and rowdy cowboys — that is, unless you count sassy drag queens and strapping gay rodeo champs!”
In other words, you want to come here now – before it gets too trendy and overrun with gay Chelsea Boy tourists!
Dallas currently has the sixth largest gay population of any city in the United States and by all accounts that GLBT population is continuing to grow.
So, why not come down to The Big D and find out exactly how the studs here “Live Large” and “Think Big!”
Oaklawn in Gay Dallas
If you want to have a gay old time in Dallas, you are going to want to spend a lot of time hanging out in the Oaklawn section of the city, which is the headquarters of most, if not all, of the homo happenings in Dallas.
When you are in Oaklawn you'll be at the center of a thriving gay culture that is almost completely cut off from the straight, right wing Christian side of Dallas. It's like a little oasis of twinks, bears, boytoys and leather boys in the center of Jesus Oil Land.
Unfortunately, Oaklawn is about three miles north of the main downtown area of Dallas and there is no public transportation to get you there. Cabs are fairly inexpensive in The Big D, however, so if you can scrounge up some taxi fare or rent a car you should be fine.
There is only one hotel in Oaklawn, The Melrose Hotel, so you might want to consider trying to book a room there well in advance of your trip – if you don't want to constantly be driving and taking taxis to and from the Gay Oasis.
The Dallas Voice
Because the gay scene in Dallas is still new and evolving what's cool and which gay friendly events are happening is an every changing situation.
There is really only one way to keep on top of it when you visit – by picking up a copy of the local gay newspaper – The Dallas Voice.
While it is hard to get a copy of The Dallas Voice in downtown Dallas, you can find it at nearly every bar or restaurant in Oaklawn – hence why you want to get into that section of the city as soon as possible so you can start planning your fun and figuring out where other Friends of Dorothy are hanging out.
Tex Mex Cuisine
No trip to Dallas is complete until you've sampled some of the famous Tex Mex cuisine, which was invented in this great city.
Tex Mex is essentially a combination of traditional Texas barbecue with traditional Mexican dishes.
It creates a fusion that is tastier than barbecue but also more filling and meaty than traditional Mexican food.
Tex Mex cuisine can be found in nearly any Dallas restaurant.
Dallas is also where the Frozen Margarita was invented – and you should be sure to try at least four or five of these tequila concoctions during your stay!
The Conspiracy Museum
Located on South Market Street, the Conspiracy Museum is one of the most original tourist destinations ever invented.
As you may know, Dallas was the site of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And while the Warren Commission eventually determined that Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, many people have continued to believe that he was killed by a conspiracy involving, depending on who you believe, the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, Gay Cubans, Cuban Exiles, or the United States Military Industrial Complex.
This means that many, many conspiracy tourists visit every year to check out the assassination site, stare at the old book depository, and examine the “grassy knoll.”
The Conspiracy Museum exists to help them with their task – but it doesn't stop there. It has exhibits about nearly every single supposed American assassination conspiracy from Lincoln to Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
It's a must see – whether you want to learn more about the alleged conspiracies or just check out the people who do!
The Central Library
Located on Young Street, the Central Library is an eight-story library with one very special artifact – the original signed copy of the Declaration of Independence.
It's worth stopping by simply to see this symbol of American freedom!
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
This is the most commonly visited tourist site in Dallas. It was here, in a book depository over Dealey Plaza that Lee Harvey Oswald is alleged to have assassinated John F. Kennedy in 1963.
The shooting site has now been turned into The Sixth Floor Museum where you can actually look out the window which Oswald may or may not have fired his bolt action rifle.
The highlight of the exhibit – which rejects the conspiracy theories that have surrounded the assassination – is a collection of recording of law enforcement officers who were working on that fateful day in Dallas.
The Dallas Arboretum
Founded in 1930, The Dallas Arboretum is one of the largest and most stunning series of gardens in America.
It features more than 15 unique gardens that have been planned out to ensure that no matter what time of year you choose to visit something will be in bloom.
The most popular section is called Texas Town – designed to showcase what life was like for the original Texas pioneers. It includes an authentic sod house, two replica cabins, a covered wagon and a Native American tepee.
It's a great place to spend a sunny afternoon – as long as you have the time to stop and smell the roses!
Who shot J.R.?
Well, these days we all know it was Kristen Sheppard, but back in the day Dallas was the most popular television show in America, and for one summer that became the most famous shooting in The Big D.
As anyone who lived through the 1980s knows, Southfork Ranch, where J.R. lived with his mother Miss Ellie, his cute brother, Bobby and a wide range of various wives, mistresses and children is an American cultural icon.
Now, you can tour Southfork Ranch and see what life was like inside one of the largest television sets ever used.
There are over 63,000 square feet of space inside the ranch with a wide range of exhibits dedicated to the Ewing family and their television legacy.
On display is the gun that shot J.R., Lucy Ewing's wedding dress, and Jock Ewing's 1978 Lincoln Continental.
You'll have access to a tour guide who can answer nearly any question about the characters in the series and even take you inside J.R.'s bedroom.
It may, in fact, be one the most fabulously campy tours you'll ever go on – even if some of the straight tourists seem to take it just a little bit too seriously!
Isn't It Time To Come “Take Your Shot” And Visit The Big D In The Lone Star State?
Well, there you have it all you sluts and studs – straight from the Diva's mouth – the lowdown on the hoedown that is Dallas, Texas!
Whether you come to see Dealey Plaza, check out Southfork Ranch or just chill out with the big boys in Oaklawn you'll like the way they grow them bigger in Texas.
cc Gay Guides 2008-2014