During our recent trip to Rehoboth Beach, we met a woman a few years older than us who wanted to experience the lesbian life (she’s a lesbian.) So we headed out one evening to see what we could find.
Rehoboth has a reputation for being gay owned and gay friendly. It didn’t take us long to learn that the action is along Baltimore Avenue which runs parallel to the main drag. Many, many businesses fly rainbow flags or have other stickers in their windows.
Our first was at a funky little gift store called “Gidget’s Gadgets” – I found a flyer promoting a men’s group and another for a leather event so that cued me in. I spoke with the clerk who handed me a copy of the town’s LGBTQ Community Center newsletter.
Our next stop was “Double Dippers” ice cream parlor – I outed myself to the server and he immediately told me all about the town. They served Hershey’s Ice Cream which was cool and everyone was very nice.
A few nights later, we went back. We parked (massive #FAIL on the parking, Rehoboth) and trotted down to the Frogg Pond, a lesbian bar our friend S wanted to try. It was early so we anticipated simply relaxing and some people watching. I was disappointed that they didn’t have frozen drinks (my sore throat was hurting) but Ledcat and S both ordered craft beers. The crowd was slow and mixed – a performer was setting up for an acoustical set when we decided to move along. It was fine, but our server was very new and had nothing to offer us in regard to LGBTQ owned locations.
So we walked up to Baltimore Avenue and strolled around. The community center itself was closed, but seems very nice. There were many bars and restaurants along the strip, but nothing that lent itself to having a drink on a patio and watching the crowds. Instead, we became the crowd and walked around peering into the shops.
Eventually, we stopped for coffee at a gay owned coffeehouse – it was tucked in between streets with plenty of outdoor seating. This place was cute, but the staff were rather rude and brusque and the chai beverages were atrocious. I mean atrocious. On the plus side, they did offer S a glass of milk which was nice.
Our next stop was a gay owned bookstore – Proud Books. We had popped in for a few minutes earlier in the week. This night we took time to browse – the store was more of a gift store that has some books. The merchandise leans heavily toward men, but it was cute and fun. We purchased some gift items and souvenirs to support the community. The owner noticed our (coordinated) cat rainbow shirts and asked about them. Turns out, the artist sold the same design at a bookstore in DC where he had previously worked. I told him where we found them online and he indicated he might try to carry her shirts. He was super chatty and gave us a great overview of the neighborhood.
The crowd was skewed very heavily toward gay men of all ages, mostly white. We noticed quite a few female couples, mostly white and 40+. I looked on FourSquare and Facebook, discovering a handful of my gay male friends (mostly from outside Pgh) had checked in to many of these locations.
And – that was it. We weren’t interested in drinking or parties so after walking around, we headed back to our beach house. We never made it to Poodle Beach.
Rehoboth is just our style – it was somewhere that we felt so utterly accepted and embraced, both in terms of the economic world (sigh) but also among the people we met & engaged. We’d definitely like to go back – the only major drawback was the fact that the parking meters only take quarters and that the Android phone app did not work.
Something else of interest – almost every local business we visited (restaurant, retail, other) had a GIANT sticker promoting their Facebook page.
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