Although it's the capital - and one of the largest cities - of a state with a poor track record when it comes to gay-friendliness, historic and richly cultured Richmond has a large LGBT community and tourism office that's made a great effort to attract gay and lesbian visitors in recent years. Richmond has a handful of very fun gay bars and several hip neighborhoods with welcoming personalities, fun retail and dining, and an impressive arts scene. Also, in late September each year, the city is host to Virginia Gay Pride, known officially as VA PrideFest. The date this year is September 28, 2013.
More on Virginia Pride 2013 will be posted here as details are released. Here's a look at last year's event, in the meantime:
Also note that a consortium of local Richmond businesses has created Rainbow Over Richmond, a series of events during the weeks before and after Gay Pride and running through October (it begins each year in August), geared to showcase the city's LGBT culture and community. These include Gay and Lesbian Night at Kings Dominion, Out at the Ballet, the 2nd Street Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival, a Lisa Lampanelli comedy show, Gay Day at Busch Gardens, and more.
On Saturday, VA Pridefest takes place from 1 pm until 8 pm at Richmond's Kanawha Plaza, in the heart of downtown at South 8th St. and East Canal St. Performances this year are by Billy Winn, Nationwide, Ryan W, the Ladies of VA Pride, Amy Henderson, and more. There will also be food, drink, and numerous community vendors and organizations.
Richmond gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops will likely have other events going on throughout the weekend. Check gay resources, such as the Rainbow Over Richmond website, for more information. Also visit the very helpful gay visitor site operated by the Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city's official tourism organization.