The Real Rainbow Row
With 348 years of history, you know that some of it has to be fabulous!
From Gertrude Stein's Valentine visit to Oscar Wilde using the women's entrance to the Charleston Hotel to the neighborhood nicknamed Queensborough, we'll explore gay Charleston. Sometimes tawdry, sometimes touching, sometimes sad, and yep, sometimes gay, the stories of Holy City LGBT community reach back generations.
Sometimes accepted, sometimes not, Charleston's most well-known gays encountered a mixed reception by the city. For example, Dawn Pepita Langley Hall (one of the country's first transsexuals) was more ostracized for marrying a black man than having sex reassignment surgery. It was the first, legal interracial marriage in South Carolina.
Leonard P. Matlovich, the first out gay person ever to appear on the cover of Time Magazine, went to a local high school before joining the Air Force, then becoming a champion in the fight for acceptance of gays in the military.
We'll begin our day in White Point Gardens at the Battery (one of the popular cruising spots in the mid-20th century) and end in Marion Square where you'll learn about a gay signer of the Confederate Constitution. .
Between those two spots, we'll hit the gay high spots. Highlights include the Candlestick Murder, gay artists from the Charleston Renaissance to the Spoleto Festival, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton's purported affair with a Charleston man, and much more. We'll also touch on other significant components of history.
Along the way, we'll stop for a lunch break. I'm happy to make recommendations and reservations!
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: The gazebo in White Point Gardens
End location: Marion Square
Duration: 7 hours
If you can't fit a 7-hour tour into your schedule, we can do an abbreviated version. Tell me how much time you have to tour, and I'll put together a customized option for you.
This is a walking tour. We will cover about 3 miles over the course of the day.