Having read a local article today about a post deleted off Tripadvisor for being homophobic, I thought I'd try and clear things up a little for anyone who has either a) heard Gran Canaria and particularly Playa del Ingles is full of gays, outnumbering hetero couples 2 to 1 or b) have no idea that anywhere on the island caters for the gay market.
The young couple in question decided to stay in the Neptuno Hotel located next to the Yumbo center in Playa del Ingles. This is an "adults-only" hotel with around 25% gay clientel unless it's changed a lot since I was there earlier this year. From personal experience, I (gay) would avoid family-friendly hotels so that I could feel comfortable with my partner and not have to "respect the fact there's kids around" (after all, they don't respect the fact that I'm around or they would be quiet and behave).
Generally the gay market is very well catered for in Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles with a good choice of gay-only accommodation. We're also a bit choosy and like good hotels; we can afford them as most of us don't have families to support so we splash out more on ourselves, especially the more mature crowd during the winter season. This means a lot of the 4 and 5 star hotels will have gay-clientele.
As far as nightlife goes, the Yumbo center is the largest entertainment center in Europe aimed for the gay market - there's more gay-owned businesses in there than pretty much anywhere else. That doesn't mean they are gay-exclusive (a handful are - they tend to have unusual dress-codes so you won't miss them). A lot of the bars that have shows for example love to have straight couples/groups in though at night the shows are in no way kid-friendly. There's a very mixed crowd in there until around midnight when yes, you'll notice it's very much a gay center for nightlife.
If you find a hotel or apartment complex adjacent to the Yumbo center it's going to be very gay-friendly though most aim their advertising at a very general market. We don't walk around the pool touching the straight people or do strange things to each other so why anyone who isn't homophobic would feel uncomfortable having us around is beyond me but that was the case with this tripadvisor review. The couple were so uncomfortable they couldn't stay in the hotel or the center of Playa del Ingles, they had to find somehwere gay-free!?
On the beach at Playa del Ingles / Maspalomas - right in the middle so a good walk to get to from either end is bar number 7 and that's where we head during the day if we're not by the pool.
Watch out for Maspalomas Pride around the first week of May and Winter Pride the second week of Novmeber. Over 100,000 extra gay tourists for Maspalomas Pride and not sure how many for Winter Pride as it only started last year but I'd guess at around 30,000 for this year. Avoid those weeks if you don't like a party but I should say that half the youth population of Las Palmas city (gay or straight) come down to join in the fun. (Also watch out for Carnival - again if you don't like to party, not gay but another 100,000 extra party people. That's early March).
So to recap - Gran Canaria is the busiest gay destination in Europe during both summer and winter. Everything tends to be concentrated around the Yumbo center in Playa del Ingles. Adult-only hotels anywhere near the Yumbo will have a healthy mix of gay and straight clients.