Iowa City: Ahead of the Curve for the LGBTQ Community
Long lauded for its progressiveness, Iowa City attracts members of the LGBTQ community as a destination for its gay nightlife, well-established PrideFest, and multitude of cultural opportunities. The Advocate has listed Iowa City among the “Gayest Cities in America” for being infused with intellectual curiosity. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation scored Iowa City a 112 out of 100 on the 2021 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) Scorecard.
Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, executive director of One Iowa, stated to Thrillist, “The town has absolutely been a trailblazer for civil rights in Iowa. The first female attorney admitted to a state bar in America was in Iowa City. It’s just got a good legacy of advancement and it’s been ahead of the curve for the LGBTQ movement.” Thrillist lists Iowa City as the “most gay friendly city in Iowa.”
One year after the Stonewall Riots, Iowa City residents established what is now Iowa City PrideFest…making it one of the oldest and longest running Pride events of its kind not only in the Midwest, but in the nation.
A brief history of LGBTQ events in Iowa City (Source: OutHistory.org):