Queer friendly hotspots to check out in Miami

Coral Gables Art Cinema
260 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL. 33134

This cinema beams with equity and inclusivity at its forefront. Many featured films have exhibited and shined light on the LGBTQ+ community and queer cinema, including modern films like Get Out, and cult classics such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The cinema also highlights Flaming Classics, a Miami-based queer cinema and entertainment series, which hosts regular screenings and live drag interpretations of various movies. The cinema always encourages audience members to express theirselves freely, and utilize the artistic experience as a form of becoming and belonging.

Dale zine exhibits art books and prints at its shop in Miami’s Little River neighborhood. (Jesse Fraga/SFMN)

Dale Zine
7395 NW Miami Pl., Miami, FL. 33150

The nifty independent arts print shop and zine store offers a wide scope of pieces on social justice, anarchy, and activist movements, each with local talent at the forefront. LGBTQ+ artists take up a great deal of works at the shop, as its mission to uplift marginalized communities rings true. There’s an incomparable feeling of trust that exudes the space as one steps foot inside, as they are greeted by the raw essence visualized through hundreds of personal zines. Founders Steve Saiz, 36, and Lillian Banderas, 37, curate the works of both diverse up-and-coming and esteemed artists in order to establish an inclusive atmosphere for all, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, class, or background.

Matcha and cookies and cream cookies sit beside a boba drink at SpecialTEA Lounge and Café. (Photo courtesy of SpecialTEA Lounge and Café)

SpecialTEA Lounge and Café
10766 SW 24th Street, Miami, FL. 33165

It’s your real life Central Perk, but make it 2022 and socially conscious. Tamiami’s very own specialty coffee, beer, and well, tea shop, is conveniently located within walking distance from FIU to treat the college community to a cozy study sesh. You can count on each barista’s personal flare to craft each beverage with love, no matter the customer. The diverse network of employees are courteous of each customer’s beliefs, and put inclusivity at the forefront of their mission. Whether you’ve procrastinated on an assignment, or have a late night hankering for caffeine and organic munchies, SpecialTEA outlasts any café around town – as they close shop at 11 p.m. Make yourself at home on their couches, booths, and cushioned seats to unwind, and don’t be surprised if a barista sparks up a conversation on your daily endevours. Having a rough day? These expert baristas can sling up a customized drink to help, making everyone feel like a friend.

Gay art series Tom of Finland inspired tattoo by Luis Sosa done at Great Oak Tattoo. (Photo courtesy of Luis Sosa)

Great Oak Tattoo
11735 SW 147th Avenue #28, Miami, FL. 33196

Walk into a medieval wonderland, inspired by nature and mythological folklore, that is Great Oak Tattoo. The talented woman-owned company, and diverse queer hispanic artists prioritize all bodies, while specializing in traditional, fine-line, and even eyebrow microblading or cosmetic tattooing. The shop opened in 2021, and it has already grown to six artists, along with frequent guest artists – many of which hold years of experience. With styles for everyone, from cartoon fanatics, to psychedelic spiritualists – it truly is a one-stop-shop for beauty, art, and overall eclectic people. The warm, bright, and welcoming environment withstands the often dark, intimidating nature of other tattoo shops, in order to support all clients.

Miami skater Jordan Daley lands a freestyle trick at Lot 11 Skatepark. (Jesse Fraga/SFMN)

Lot 11 Skatepark
301-349 NW Second Ave., Miami, FL. 33128

This park is any skater’s dream, as it prioritizes Miami’s dynamic and diverse city with structures that pay homage to its diverse surroundings. Whether it’s your first time dropping in, or you’re already a pro, Lot’s attendees have a welcoming vibe that makes each skater feel they belong. No matter your expression, attire, or experience on the deck, Nick Katz, founder of the park, makes his mission clear to support the locals. Every stranger truly becomes a homie as you drop into the bowl, glide through the ramps, and enter an exciting dimension of Miami’s cityscape-inspired obstacles.

Jesse Fraga studies Digital Journalism as well as Women's and Gender Studies. He was awarded "Best Coverage of LGBT Issues" and "Best News Photo" by the Society of Professional Journalists Sunshine State Awards. Fraga works as an intern for Miami New Times and was the former News Director of PantherNOW. He hopes to bridge the gap between queer news and mainstream media.