The White Horse Bar celebrates its 90-year LGBTQIA+ legacy.

ByChris Bollini Localish logo
Friday, June 23, 2023
Cheers to 90 years of LGBTQ+ history
The White Horse Bar celebrates its LGBTQIA+ legacy.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The White Horse Bar, founded in 1933, celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

"The oldest operating gay bar in the United States," owner Patty Dingle said.

"This is very much a neighborhood bar," bar manager Dennise Acio adds, "And it's super inclusive."

Dingle had always wanted to buy a bar, but for her, it had to be the right one. The White Horse's history and inviting atmosphere made it the perfect place.

"We're not a scene. We're really like a vibe," Dingle explained. "You can show up here with sweats on and slippers or a cut off shirt and just be who you want to be."

"Diversity is what comes to mind when I step into the White Horse," regular customer Raymond Ogwin said. "It's very important to have a bar that's filled with different cultures, different ethnicities."

"When you come here, I want people to feel like there are embraced with a warm hug," Dingle shared. "So, that's a big deal for me."

The bar, located on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, is a historic LGBTQ+ landmark.

"We all experienced it. We all went to places when we came out, where we felt like our shoulders go down, you exhale, you relax you're like, 'this is like freedom,'" Dingle said. "And that's what we want this place to be."

"I feel so free here," Ogwin declared, "It's such an amazing establishment."

And looking ahead to the next 90 years, the White Horse's future is clear.

"Preserve it and preserve the culture," Acio said.

"It's just going to get better and better," Dingle adds, "If I'm not around for another 100 years, this place will be."

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