The LGBTQ+ community in Austin has a long and ever-growing history. The deep cultural tapestry has laid the ground for Austin’s LGBTQ+ art scene to flourish and expand through installations, dance and music groups, individual creatives, and much more. Various communities within LGBTQ+ spaces continue to add to culturally rich ideas that help breathe life into the city and make way for more comfort, fun, and artistic experiences. Here are some organizations, spaces, and people that are making the city what it is today.

Quincy Le Near, Nathan Hale Williams and Deondray Gossett take a photo together in front of an ombre background at aGLIFF festival
Producers Quincy Le Near, Nathan Hale Williams & Deondray Gossett. Courtesy of aGLIFF.

LGBTQ+ Productions & Organizations

The Austin Rainbow Theater is a dynamic organization and creative haven, spotlighting an array of engaging performances and plays put on by LGBTQ+ producers and performers. With the help of Austin's thriving arts community, the Rainbow Theater is more than just a venue—it's a cultural center that provides theater focused on creating belonging and reducing stigma.

Pink Elephant Music Group is an LGBTQ hip-hop collective whose mission is “to continue to create platforms for LGBTQ Artists and to document and preserve our legacy and culture by any means necessary.” Their radio show, Pink Elephant Radio, co-hosted by Japan and YellaStud, is one of the many platforms they utilize to promote togetherness in the LGBTQ+ community.

For the film fans out there, aGLIFF (All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival) should definitely be on your radar. Prism, their major annual festival, usually takes place over two weekends, in late August or early September. aGliff also offers year-round programming, with screenings and special events featuring stunning art from the world of LGBTQ+ film.

Two women sit on stools and present in front of a colorful mural depicting fruit at the Front Festival & Market
Front Festival & Market. Courtesy of Future Front Texas.

ALLGO (Austin Latina/Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization) is a massive supporter of LGBTQ+ cultural arts. They host a variety of performances and exhibits that celebrate and affirm community. Check out their social media for their latest events. Looking through their artist in residence program is a great way to learn about artists operating in and around the Austin area.

Future Front is a nonprofit organization that cultivates spaces where women and queer creatives, founders, and leaders can grow together. They have recently started an event called The Front Market and Festival, where they host pop-up shops and performances centering on emerging creatives and artists. They are also known for their Swim Session Events at the Line Hotel. Grab your swimsuit and head on down on the last Thursday of each month. You’ll be in for an afternoon of music, art installations, and a lineup of creative Austin businesses.

Austin Pride runs the annual Pride parade and festival in town, with a weekend of activities including the annual Big GAY Brunch and Cabaret event. Each year, the parade runs from the Texas State Capitol down Congress Avenue, ending at Fourth Street/Bettie Naylor Street (named for longtime Austin LGBTQ+ advocate and lobbyist). Keep an eye out for future events and campaigns year-round.

Chad and Anthony of Lick Honest Ice Creams in their Kitchen in Austin texas
Lick Honest Ice Creams. Credit Annie Ray.

LGBTQ+-Owned Businesses & Spaces

The Little Gay Shop is a queer marketplace that features art and trinkets created by the LGBTQ+ community. Drop in and grab some lovingly crafted art and memorabilia.

Still Austin Whiskey Co was co-founded by LGBT community member Chris Seals. The distillery uses only Texas-grown grains, and brews in the heart of Austin, where the Central Texas weather fluctuations help age their whiskey. Head out to the distillery for a unique night out with high-quality spirits!

Bookwoman specializes in books by and about women. Located on 12th and Lamar Streets, this book shop has been serving Austin for almost 50 year. They are self-proclaimed as the oldest, queerest and feminist-est bookstore in Texas!

Lick Honest Ice Creams offers deliciously unique artisanal ice creams. They source their milk and cream from family-owned dairies in Texas and Wisconsin and have offered flavors like cilantro lime, sage, and grapefruit with champagne marshmallows!

table full of books at bookwoman independent bookstore in austin texasBookWoman. Credit Susan Post.

The Glass Coffin vampire parlor is the perfect store to shop for antiques, oddities, occult books and spooky decor. Owned by Joey Slayne, The Coffin welcomes people of all walks. Feeling witchy? Inside the store is a gothic parlor lounge that hosts monthly events. Stop by the Velvet Casket for fun parties like their Midsommar Celebration, The Last Halloween Party, movie screenings and more.

Reverie Books is nestled in a charming corner of South Austin with an expansive collection of literature that captures experiences and narratives of lives within the LGBTQ+ community. Beyond its literary collection, Reverie Books functions as a community hub, hosting book clubs, author signings and more.

Operating as a volunteer-run collective, MASS Gallery is a vibrant group of artists, educators and art administrators. MASS achieves its mission by organizing bi-monthly art exhibitions and events that spotlight LGBTQIA+ creators and their stories. Furthermore, the collective offers support to local artists by providing affordable studio space and residency opportunities. 

Musician Tje Austin sits on patio at Jo's South Congress with a coffee in his hand and his guitar on the table
Tje Austin. Credit Annie Ray.

LGBTQ+ Artists

Genderless musician Quentin Arispe is well-beloved in the community. They recently performed at the DAWA (Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action) Opening Weekend concert. Follow them to get updates on future shows.

The multitalented recording artist, rapper, and voice actor Mama Duke has been making major waves in the Austin music scene. She is the creator of ATX Social Club, an online hub where you can find some of Austin’s best local hip-hop performers.

Nixs is a creative who offers tarot and psychic reading services. She is also married to Mama Duke. The two collaborate together with Nixs performing as a DJ. Get a reading and head out to a live-show.

p1nkstar is a digital superstar recognized for her must-see conceptual music shows. She is the first trans person to receive an Austin Music Award, and has since won three Best of Austin awards for her space-making work in the city. Most recently, she was featured on the cover of Austin Woman Magazine.

Beck is a well-known independent model, creative director, and teacher. They are the Director of Modeling for the local publication Glaze Magazine.

Sharon Bridgforth is a critically-acclaimed performing artist and writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre. She has served as an artist in residence with ALLGO and has had her work displayed in town with The Performing Blackness Series at The University of Texas at Austin’s John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. Keep your eye out for her next exhibit.

A curator, musician, DJ, and performance artist, Y2k Technologies always provides captivating shows at venues like the Coconut Club. Get ready for a night of dancing and great vibes if you head to one of their shows.

Also known to perform in the Austin club scene, BabiBoi is a popular local musician that is part of the queer art collective House of Lepore. Follow them to get updates on future performances!

A former contestant on NBC’s The Voice, Tje Austin is an R&B singer-songwriter, artist, and cake maker! Follow him to find out where to find his next show and stream his music!

Jade Fabello author headshotContributed by Jade Fabello
Jade Fabello is an Austin-based writer and a recent graduate of the University of Texas, where he was a double major in the Journalism and the Communication and Leadership programs. You can find his work at
Instagram @Jade__Fab. Twitter: @Jade_FW