Rainbow FlagAtlantic City’s openly gay mayor Don Guardian is working hard to designate the city as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in New Jersey. This week Mayor Guardian designated the Park Place beach, which was an icon to the LGBT community in the 1960s and 1970s, and The Boardwalk as LGBT-friendly. Atlantic City is also bringing three major LGBT events – Sandblast, Miss'd America, and StandOut – to the city this year.

At the Park Place ceremony Monday Mayor Guardian said, “Atlantic City's been gay-friendly for a long time. We just had to welcome them back.”

When casinos and gambling came to the city in 1978, the gay population slowly diminished due to high land prices closing many gay-friendly and gay-owned businesses.

"Atlantic City had its heyday with the gay population on New York Avenue," Mayor Guardian told the Associated Press. "This is where you came when you wanted to have a good time. Straight people came to these places, too, because they wanted to party and dance in the hottest clubs."

These events are aimed at making the city more LGBT-friendly as well as improving the city’s economy.

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