Top 12 LGBTQIA+ Destinations in Central Massachusetts

Posted: June 9, 2022

Written & compiled by Patrick Joslyn

The Worcester area has a growing queer-focused event scene, offering multiple options where LGBTQIA+ friends and allies can get together to find a sense of community—a refreshing and well-received result following a public outcry declaring a high demand for more queer-focused venues in Central Massachusetts. Here is a rundown of queer-positive places, prior event highlights and reccurring gatherings, plus the exciting upcoming events on the queer community calendar. 

Electric Haze

Electric Haze

26 Millbury Street, Worcester, Mass. 

Discover weekly Drag Karaoke at Electric Haze, the renowned hookah & live music lounge, courtesy of "Malodies with Mal E. Fishn't" each Thursday evening. In the past, this spot has showcased similarly spunky events like Sexy Drag Bingo, featuring drag performances with music by DJ Patrick Allen. 

Drag Queen Story Time @ Redemption Rock

Redemption Rock Brewing Company

333 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, Mass. 

A popular casual queer hangout, their taproom has been home to popular Drag Queen Story Time, for queer families and allies alike. Enjoy a cold IPA with a charcuterie board while you listen to local artists live, like queer singer-songwriter Giuliano D’Orazio. Plus, they’ve even created a beer called "Yass, Honey!"—brewed specially for Worcester’s Pride month of September. 


Wormtown Brewery 

72 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, Mass. 

In 2021, the taproom hosted Be You Be Proud Be Hoppy, a Pride event raising funds for MassEquality, an LGBTQ+ rights group. Hosted by DJ Joslyn Fox, the day also celebrated the premiere of "Keep It Fox-Tea" a craft hard seltzer created by the local drag queen, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the LGBT rights group. 

NE Botanic Garden at Tower Hill

New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill 

11 French Drive, Boylston, Mass. 

Although a gorgeous gem to visit year-round, Pride at Tower Hill is an annual sell-out event that truly amps up the enthusiasm of Pride Week in Worcester, leading up to a weekend full of events. 

Polar Park 

100 Madison Street, Worcester, Mass. 

One of the most queer-positive destination in Central Massachusetts, The WooSox certainly pride themselves on being abundantly inclusive of everyone in the community, offering special ticket packages during September’s Pride Weekend in Worcester and flaunting their rainbow logo in June. Be sure to visit the Team Store to pick up your WooSox Pride gear before a game this season! 


20 Franklin Street, Worcester, MA

The Jean McDonough Arts Center (JMAC) is a multi-purpose arts and cultural center. Home to the Worcester PopUp and the BrickBox Theater, the venue hosts numerous events that celebrate LGBTQ+ culture, such as drag shows, vogue workships, film screenings and panel discussions.

Ralph's Diner, Worcester

Ralph’s Diner 

148 Grove Street, Worcester, Mass. 

Another local landmark live music hall playing host to queer events is Ralph’s Diner—spotlighting Harley’s Funhouse, a drag show hosted by Harley Queen, plus a wildly popular LGBTQIA+ Prom. This is truly the place to let your proverbial freak flag fly. 

All Systems Go 

225 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, Mass. 

One of Central Massachusetts’ newest queer-friendly hangout is an Esports Bar, bringing in LGBT gamers from all over the state. Featuring PC and video games, cocktails and dancing with DJ Patrick Allen, this bi-weekly "gaymer night" is a fresh, innovative escape for the community and its allies. "We are always thinking of new ideas for events," said owner Devin LaPlume. "We like to scope around the Worcester area for different groups to see what events would be possible for our venue."

Rascals, Worcester


70 James Street, Worcester, Mass. 

Coming off a series of sold-out drag shows here in 2021, Joslyn Fox returned to the country line dancing and live music hall for Pawsitively4Pink’s Drag Queen Meat Raffle, a follow-up to the massively successful event held in 2020, benefitting women with breast cancer living in medically under-served and low-income communities.  

Alongside the aforementioned bustling activity in Central Massachusetts, remains the following queer-owned businesses catering to the community loud and proud:

MB Lounge, Worcester

MB Lounge 

40 Grafton Street, Worcester, Mass. 

Don’t let the title of Worcester’s oldest gay bar mislead you. This longstanding go-to for the queer community and allies alike is constantly offering new and exciting opportunities for a night out with friends while meeting new faces. 

The Woo Bar & Grill 

358 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, Mass. 

Owned by husbands Jon Pittsley and Eddie Rocco, The Woo Bar fabulously welcomes and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community with a diverse menu and inventive cocktails, perfectly capping off all our queer-positive spots found on "Restaurant Row."

Photo by Erica Chick

Photo by Erika Chick

Creative Hub Worcester 

653 Main Street, Worcester, Mass. 

Co-founded by wives Laura Marotta and Stacy Lord, this hot spot for queer youth is home to Threads: Woven Together, a program for high school-age youth where students use fashion design as a lens to discuss personal expression, gender, and sexuality with the goal of helping youth on their journey of self-discovery.