Gay bar

Page protected with pending changes
Drinking establishment catered to LGBT clientele

.mw-parser-output .hatnote{font-style:italic}.mw-parser-output div.hatnote{padding-left:1.6em;margin-bottom:0.5em}.mw-parser-output .hatnote i{font-style:normal}.mw-parser-output .hatnote+link+.hatnote{margin-top:-0.5em}

Comptons of Soho, London, UK. Taken during London Pride 2010.

A gay bar is a drinking establishment that caters to an exclusively or predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ+) clientele; the term gay is used as a broadly inclusive concept for LGBTQ+ communities.

Gay bars once served as the centre of gay culture and were one of the few places people with same-sex orientations and gender-variant identities could openly socialize. Other names used to describe these establishments include boy bar, girl bar, gay club, gay pub, queer bar, lesbian bar, drag bar, and dyke bar, depending on the niche communities that they served.

With the advent of the Internet and an increasing acceptance of LGBTQ+ people across the Western world, the relevance of gay bars in the LGBTQ+ community has somewhat diminished.[1] In areas without a gay bar, certain establishments may hold a gay night instead.


The Mixei [fi] nightclub in Tammela, Tampere, is the oldest, still operating gay bar in Finland, having first opened its doors in 1990.[2]

Gathering places favoured by homosexuals have operated for centuries. Reports from as early as the 17th century record the existence of bars and clubs that catered to, or at least tolerated, openly gay clientele in several major European cities.[3] The White Swan (created by James Cook and Yardley, full name unknown) on Vere Street, in London, England, was raided in 1810 during the so-called Vere Street Coterie. The raid led to the executions of John Hepburn and Thomas White for sodomy.[4] The site was the scene of alleged gay marriages carried out by the Reverend John Church.[5]

It is not clear which place is the first gay bar in the modern sense. In Cannes, France, such a bar had already opened in 1885, and there were many more in Berlin around 1900. In the United Kingdom and the Netherlands gay bars were established throughout the first quarter of the 20th century.


The very first gay bar in Europe and probably in the world was the Zanzibar in Cannes on the French Riviera. The Zanzibar was opened in 1885 and existed for 125 years, before it was closed in December 2010. Among its visitors were many artists, like actor Jean Marais and comedians Thierry Le Luron and Coluche.[6]

Paris became known as a centre for gay culture in the 19th century, making the city a queer capital during the early 20th century, when the Montmartre and Pigalle districts were meeting places of the LGBTQ+ community. Although Amsterdam, Berlin, and London had more meeting places and organizations than Paris, the latter was known for the “flamboyance” of LGBTQ+ quarters and “visibility” of LGBTQ+ celebrities.[7]

Paris retained the LGBTQ+ capital image after the end of World War II, but the center of the meeting place shifted to Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In the 1950s and 1960s the police and authorities tolerated homosexuals as long as the conduct was private and out of view, but gay bar raids occurred and there were occasions when the owners of the bars were involved in facilitating the raids. Lesbians rarely visited gay bars and instead socialized in circles of friends. Lesbians who did go to bars often originated from the working class.[8] Chez Moune, opened in 1936, and New Moon were 20th-century lesbian cabarets located in Place Pigalle, which converted to mixed music clubs in the 21st century.[9][10]

Since the 1980s, the Le Marais district is the center of the gay scene in Paris.


The gay club Eldorado in Berlin, 1932

In Berlin, there was gay and lesbian night life already around 1900, which throughout the 1920s became very open and vibrant, especially when compared to other capitals. Especially in the Schöneberg district around Nollendorfplatz there were many cafes, bars and clubs, which also attracted gay people who had to flee their own country in fear of prosecution, like for example Christopher Isherwood. The gay club Eldorado in the Motzstraße was internationally known for its transvestite shows. There was also a relatively high number of places for lesbians. Within a few weeks after the Nazis took over government in 1933, fourteen of the best known gay establishments were closed. After homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, many gay bars opened in West Berlin, resulting in a lively gay scene.

In Munich, a number of gay and lesbian bars are documented as early as the Golden Twenties. Since the 1960s, the Rosa Viertel (pink quarter) developed in the Glockenbachviertel and around Gärtnerplatz, which in the 1980s made Munich “one of the four gayest metropolises in the world” along with San Francisco, New York City and Amsterdam.[11] In particular, the area around Müllerstraße and Hans-Sachs-Straße was characterized by numerous gay bars and nightclubs. One of them was the travesty nightclub Old Mrs. Henderson, where Freddie Mercury, who lived in Munich from 1979 to 1985, filmed the music video for the song Living on My Own at his 39th birthday party.[11][12][13] Other gay venues include Pompon Rouge, Mandy’s Club, Pimpernel nightclub, the bar Mylord, the Ochsengarten, which was “Germany’s first bar for leather men“, as well as the gay hotel-pub Deutsche Eiche. Regulars in many of these bars and nightclubs include, for example, Freddie Mercury, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Walter Sedlmayr (who met his later murderer in the Pimpernel), Inge Meysel and Hildegard Knef.[11][14]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the 18th century, molly houses were clandestine clubs where gay men could meet, drink, dance and have sex with each other. One of the most famous was Mother Clap’s Molly House.[15]

The first gay bar in Britain in the modern sense was The Cave of the Golden Calf, established as a night club in London. It opened in an underground location at 9 Heddon Street, just off Regent Street, in 1912 and became a haunt for the wealthy, aristocratic and bohemian.[16] Its creator Frida Strindberg née Uhl set it up as an avant-garde and artistic venture.[17] The club provided a solid model for future nightclubs.

After homosexuality was partially decriminalized in the UK in 1967, gay bar culture became more visible and gradually Soho became the centre of the London LGBTQ+ community, which was “firmly established” by the early 1990s.[18] Gay bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs are centred on Old Compton Street.

Other cities in the UK also have districts or streets with a concentration of gay bars, like for example Stanley Street Quarter in Liverpool, the Merchant City in Glasgow, Canal Street in Manchester and the Birmingham Gay Village.


Café ‘t Mandje at Zeedijk in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, there were already a few gay bars in the first quarter of the 20th century. The best known was The Empire [nl], in Nes, which was first mentioned in 1911 and existed until the late 1930s.[19] The oldest that still exists is Café ‘t Mandje, which was opened in 1927 by lesbian Bet van Beeren.[20] It closed in 1982, but was reopened in 2008.

After World War II, the Amsterdam city government acted rather pragmatic and tolerated the existence of gay bars. In the 1960s their number grew rapidly and they clustered in and around a number of streets, although this was limited to bars, clubs and shops and they never became residential areas for gays, like the gay villages in the US.

Since the late 1950s the main Amsterdam gay street was Kerkstraat, which was succeeded by Reguliersdwarsstraat in the early 1980s, when the first openly gay places opened here, like the famous cafe April in 1981, followed by dancing Havana in 1989.[21] Other streets where there are still concentrations of gay bars are Zeedijk, Amstel and Warmoesstraat, the latter being the center of the Amsterdam leather scene, where the first leather bar already opened around 1955.[20][22] The Queen’s Head is a gay bar located at Zeedijk 20 in the centre of Amsterdam


The bar Centralhjørnet in Copenhagen opened in 1917 and became a gay bar in the 1950s. It now claims to be one of the oldest gay bars in Europe.[23] The main Copenhagen gay district is the Latin Quarter.


Because of the high prevalence of homophobia in Russia, patrons of gay bars there often have had to be on the alert for bullying and attacks. In 2013, Moscow’s largest gay bar, Central Station, had its walls sprayed with gunfire, had harmful gas released into a crowd of 500 patrons, and had its ceiling nearly brought down by a gang who wanted to crush the people inside. Nonetheless, gay nightlife is increasing in Moscow and St. Petersburg, offering drag shows and Russian music, with some bars also offering discreet gay-only taxi services.[24]


Under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco from 1939 to 1975, homosexuality was illegal. However, in 1962, Spain’s first gay bar, Tony’s, opened in Torremolinos and a clandestine gay bar scene also emerged in the 1960s and early 1970s in Barcelona.[25]

United States[edit]

A 2021 Virginia State Senate resolution recognizing Freddie’s Beach Bar, Northern Virginia’s only gay bar at the time.

There are many institutions in the United States that claim to be the oldest gay bar in the country. Since Prohibition ended in 1933, there are a number of notable gay bars that have opened:

  • The Atlantic House in Provincetown, Massachusetts, was constructed in 1798 and was a tavern and stagecoach stop before becoming a de facto gay bar after artists and actors, including Tennessee Williams, began spending summers in Provincetown in the 1920s.[26]
  • The Black Cat Bar, founded in 1906 and operated again after Prohibition was ended in 1933, was located in San Francisco‘s North Beach neighborhood and was the focus of one of the earliest victories of the homophile movement. In 1951, the California Supreme Court affirmed the right of homosexuals to assemble in a case brought by the heterosexual owner of the bar.
  • One of the first lesbian bars was the famous Eve’s Hangout,[27] also called Eve Adams Tearoom. It closed after a police raid in 1926. Eva Kotchever, the owner, was deported to Europe and murdered at Auschwitz.[28]
  • The Black Cat Tavern opened in November 1966 and was one of many LGBTQ+ bars to be raided, which happened on New Year’s Day in 1967. It is now considered a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.
  • The Double Header in Seattle’s Pioneer Square is claimed to be the oldest gay bar on the North American West Coast, operating since 1933.[29]
  • Esta Noche was the first gay Latino bar in San Francisco; it opened in 1979. It was located on Mission Street and 16th Street. It closed down in 1997 as one of the last gay Latino bars in the Mission District.[30]
Cafe Lafitte in Exile on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, opened in 1933, has a storied past, replete with ghosts and celebrities.
  • Maud’s Study (961 Cole Street, San Francisco), featured in the film Last Call at Maud’s,[31] was a lesbian bar which was founded by Rikki Streicher in 1966 and closed in September 1989. At closing, it claimed to be the oldest continuously operating lesbian bar.[32] It closed during the AIDS crisis when a “clean and sober” mentality drove down a lot of bars.[33]
  • In New York City, the modern gay bar dates to Julius Bar, founded by local socialite Matthew Nicol, where the Mattachine Society staged a “Sip-In” on 21 April 1966 challenging a New York State Liquor Authority rule prohibited serving alcoholic beverages to gays on the basis that they were considered disorderly. The court ruling in the case that gays could peacefully assemble at bars would lead to the opening of the Stonewall Inn a block southwest in 1967, which in turn led to the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Julius is New York City’s oldest continuously operating gay bar.[34]
  • Korner Lounge (1933) of Shreveport, Louisiana is believed to be the second oldest continuously operating gay bar in the country.[35]
  • Cafe Lafitte in Exile in New Orleans, dating back to 1933 and the end of Prohibition, claims to be the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the United States.
  • The White Horse Inn in Oakland, California, also operating legally since the end of Prohibition, but likely during the period where sales of alcohol were banned in the U.S., also claims to be the oldest gay bar in operation.[36]


Amberes street in Mexico City‘s Zona Rosa is lined with gay bars.

Because of a raid on a Mexico City drag ball in 1901, when 41 men were arrested, the number 41 has come to symbolize male homosexuality in Mexican popular culture, figuring frequently in jokes and in casual teasing.[37][38] The raid on the “Dance of the 41” was followed by a less-publicized raid of a lesbian bar on 4 December 1901 in Santa Maria. Despite the international depression of the 1930s and along with the social revolution overseen by Lázaro Cárdenas (1934–1940), the growth of Mexico City was accompanied by the opening of gay bars and gay bathhouses.[38] During the Second World War, ten to fifteen gay bars operated in Mexico City, with dancing permitted in at least two, El África and El Triunfo. Relative freedom from official harassment continued until 1959 when Mayor Ernesto Uruchurtu closed every gay bar following a grisly triple-murder. But by the late 1960s several Mexican cities had gay bars and, later, U.S.-style dance clubs. These places, however, were sometimes clandestine but tolerated by local authorities, which often meant that they were allowed to exist so long as the owners paid bribes. A fairly visible presence was developed in large cities such as Guadalajara, Acapulco, Veracruz and Mexico City.[39] Today, Mexico City is home to numerous gay bars, many of them located in the Zona Rosa, particularly on Amberes street, while a broad and varied gay nightlife also flourishes in Guadalajara, Acapulco, in Cancun attracting global tourists, Puerto Vallarta which attracts many Americans and Canadians, and Tijuana with its cross-border crowd. However, there are at least several gay bars in most major cities.[40]


The first recorded use of the term “gay bar” is in the diaries of homosexual British comedian Kenneth Williams: “16 January 1947. Went round to the gay bar which wasn’t in the least gay.”[41] At the time Williams was serving in the British Army in Singapore. In the 1970s, straight nightclubs began to open their doors to gay clients on designated nights of the week. In the 1980s, a lesbian bar named Crocodile Rock opened in Far East Plaza, which remains to this day the oldest lesbian bar in Singapore. Today, many gay bars are located on the Neil Road stretch, from Taboo and Tantric, to Backstage Bar, May Wong’s Café, DYMK and Play. Mega-clubs like Zouk and Avalon are also a big draw for the gay crowd.[42]


The oldest gay bar in Beijing is the Half-and-Half, which in 2004 had been open over ten years.[43] The first lesbian bar in China (also in Beijing) was Maple Bar, opened in 2000 by pop singer Qiao Qiao. The On/Off was a popular bar for both gay men and lesbians.[44] The increase in China’s gay and lesbian bars in recent years is linked to China’s opening up to global capitalism and its consequent economic and social restructuring.[43]


The oldest continuously operating Japanese gay bar, New Sazae, opened in Tokyo in 1966.[45] Most gay bars in Tokyo are located in the Shinjuku Ni-chōme district, which is home to about 300 bars.[46] Each bar may only have room to seat about a dozen people; as a result, many bars are specialized according to interest.[47]

South Korea[edit]

Lesbos bar in Sinchon, Seoul, South Korea 레스보스

In Seoul, most gay bars were originally congregated near the Itaewon area of Seoul, near the U.S. military base. But in recent years, more clubs have located in the Sinchon area, indicating that “safe spaces” for Korean LGBTQ+ people have extended beyond the foreign zones, which were traditionally more tolerant. One male bar patron said Korean bar culture was not as direct as in the United States, with customers indicating their interest in another customer by ordering him a drink through a waiter. The oldest lesbian bar in Seoul is Lesbos, which started in 1996.[48]


Jordan’s most famous and oldest gay-friendly establishment is a combination bar/cafe/restaurant and bookshop in Amman called Books@cafe, opened in 1997. When the bar was first opened, it was infiltrated by government undercover agents who were concerned about its effect on public morality and outed the owner as homosexual to his family and friends. Now, however, the owner claims to have no problem with the government and has since opened a second establishment.[49][50]

South Africa[edit]

The history of gay and lesbian bars in South Africa reflects the racial divisions that began in the Apartheid era and continue, to some extent, in the 21st century.[51]

The first white gay bar opened in the Carlton Hotel in downtown Johannesburg in the late 1940s, catering exclusively to men of wealth. In the 1960s, other urban bars began to open that drew more middle and working class white men; lesbians were excluded. The language of Gayle had its roots in the Cape Coloured and Afrikaans-speaking underground gay bar culture. In 1968, when the government threatened to pass repressive anti-gay legislation, queer culture went even further underground, which meant clubs and bars were often the only places to meet. These bars were often the targets of police raids.[52] The decade of the 1970s was when urban gay clubs took root. The most popular gay club of Johannesburg was The Dungeon, which attracted females as well as males, and lasted until the 1990s. The 1979 police assault on the New Mandy’s Club, in which patrons fought back, has been referred to as South Africa’s Stonewall.[53]

In the 1980s, police raids on white gay clubs lessened as the apartheid government forces found itself dealing with more and more resistance from the black population. In the black townships, some of the shebeens, unlicensed bars established in people’s homes and garages, catered to LGBTQ clients. During the struggle against apartheid, some of these shebeens were important meeting places for black gay and lesbian resistance fighters. Lee’s, a shebeen in Soweto, for example, was used as a meeting place for black gay men who were part of the Gay Association of South Africa (GASA) but did not feel welcome in the GASA offices.[54]

With the establishment of the post-apartheid 1996 constitution that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as race, South Africa’s gay night life exploded, though many bars continued to be segregated by race, and fewer blacks than whites go to the urban bars. The 2005 inaugural gay shebeen tour was advertised as a gay pub crawl that would provide an opportunity for South Africans and foreigners to “experience true African gay Shebeen culture”.[54][55]

HIV/AIDS impact[edit]

Gay bars have been heavily impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. For example, San Francisco had over 100 gay bars when the epidemic first hit in the early 1980s; by 2011 there were only about 30 remaining.[56] Millions of gay men around the world died during the worst years of the epidemic before affordable and effective treatment which resulted in fewer gay men owning and patronizing gay bars.

Gay bars have always been a place of refuge and support for gay men impacted by the virus.[57][58][59] Cure fundraising, testing, support group, and free condom events have been present at gay bars.[60][61]


Some commentators have suggested that gay bars are facing decline in the contemporary age due to the pervasiveness of technology. Andrew Sullivan argued in his 2005 essay “The End of Gay Culture” that gay bars are declining because “the Internet dealt them a body blow. If you are merely looking for sex or a date, the Web is now the first stop for most gay men”.[62]

June Thomas explained the decline by noting that there is less need for gay-specific venues like bars because gay people are less likely to encounter discrimination or be made unwelcome in wider society.[63] Entrepreneur magazine in 2007 included them on a list of ten types of business that would be extinct by 2017 along with record stores, used bookstores and newspapers.[64]

Some commentators have argued there has been some recent decline in gay-specific venues mainly due to the modern effects of gentrification.[65][66][67][68][69] But despite the decline, gay bars still exist in relatively strong numbers and thrive in most major cities where male homosexuality is not heavily condemned. They also asserted many gay men (especially men new to gay nightlife) still find some value in gay-specific venues and being in the company of other gay men.[70][69][71][72][73] Unlike gay bars, lesbian bars have become a rarity around the world. Many articles have been published discussing possible reasons as to why lesbian bars struggle to exist despite a growing lesbian population.[74][75][76][77]


The interior of a gay bar in Tel Aviv, Israel, which features a dance floor and music
Hub of men-only gay bars in Cape Town, South Africa

Like most bars and pubs, gay bars range in size from the small, five-seat bars of Tokyo to large, multi-story clubs with several distinct areas and more than one dance floor. A large venue may be referred to as a nightclub, club, or bar, while smaller venues are typically called bars and sometimes pubs. The only defining characteristic of a gay bar is the nature of its clientele. While many gay bars target the gay and/or lesbian communities, some (usually older and firmly established) gay bars have become gay, as it were, through custom, over a long period of time.

The serving of alcohol is the primary business of gay bars and pubs. Like non-gay establishments they serve as a meeting place and LGBTQ+ community focal point, in which conversation, relaxation, and meeting potential romantic and sexual partners is the primary focus of the clientele. Historically and continuing in many communities, gay bars have been valued by patrons as the only place closeted gay men and lesbians can be open and demonstrative about their sexuality without fear of discovery. Gerard Koskovich of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society explains that “[Gay bars] were a public place where gay people could meet and start to have a conversation, where they didn’t feel like sexual freaks or somehow not part of the larger social fabric; from that came culture, politics, demands for equal rights.”[78]

Gay bars traditionally preferred to remain discreet and virtually unidentifiable outside the gay community, relying exclusively on word of mouth promotion. More recently, gay clubs and events are often advertised by handing out eye-catching flyers on the street, in gay or gay-friendly shops and venues, and at other clubs and events. Similar to flyers for predominantly heterosexual venues, these flyers frequently feature provocative images and theme party announcements.

While traditional gay pub-like bars are nearly identical to bars catering to the general public, gay dance venues often feature elaborate lighting design and video projection, fog machines and raised dancing platforms. Hired dancers (called go-go girls or go-go boys) may also feature in decorative cages or on podiums. Gay sports bars are relatively unusual, but it is not unusual for gay bars to sponsor teams in local sports/game leagues, and many otherwise traditional gay pubs are well known for hosting post-game parties—often filling with local gay athletes and their fans on specific nights or when major professional sporting events are broadcast on TV. Some of the longest established gay bars are unofficial hosts of elaborate local ‘Royal Court’ drag pageants and drag-related social groups.

Lesbian bar Vivelavie in Amsterdam, 2008
Finnish drag queen Miss B on stage at the DTM club in Helsinki, Finland, in 2019

Gay bars and nightclubs are sometimes segregated by sex. In some establishments, people who are perceived to be of the “wrong” sex (for example, a man attempting to enter a women’s club) may be unwelcome or even barred from entry. This may be more common in specialty bars, such as gay male leather fetish or BDSM bars, or bars or clubs which have a strict dress code. It is also common in bars and clubs where sex on the premises is a primary focus of the establishment. On the other hand, gay bars are usually welcoming of transgender and cross-dressed people, and drag shows are a common feature in many gay bars, even men-only spaces. Some gay bars and clubs which have a predominantly male clientele, as well as some gay bathhouses and other sex clubs, may offer occasional women-only nights.

A few gay bars attempt to restrict entry to only gay or lesbian people, but in practice this is difficult to enforce. Most famously, Melbourne‘s Peel Hotel was granted an exemption from Australia’s Equal Opportunities Act by a state tribunal, on the grounds that the exemption was needed to prevent “sexually-based insults and violence” aimed at the pub’s patrons. As a result of the decision, the pub is legally able to advertise as a “gay only” establishment, and door staff can ask people whether they are gay before allowing them inside, and can turn away non-gay people.[79]

Vanity Ytinav in front of Esta Noche, a Latino gay bar in San Francisco

Already categorized as gay or lesbian, many gay bars in larger cities/urban areas take this sub-categorization a step further by appealing to distinct subcultures within the gay community. Some of these sub-cultures are defined by costume and performance. These bars often forge a like-minded community in dozens of cities with leather gay bars, line-dancing gay bars, and drag revues. Other subcultures cater to men who fit a certain type, one that is often defined by age, body type, personality, and musical preference. There are some bars and clubs that cater more to a working class/blue collar crowd and some that cater to a more upscale clientele. There are gay bars that cater to “twinks” (young, smooth-bodied pretty boys) and others that cater to bears (older, larger, hairier alternatives to the well-manicured and fey gay stereotype). There are also gay bars that cater to certain races, such as ones for Asian men “and their admirers”, Latin men, or black men.[80]

Gay cruise bar[edit]

.mw-parser-output .ambox{border:1px solid #a2a9b1;border-left:10px solid #36c;background-color:#fbfbfb;box-sizing:border-box}.mw-parser-output .ambox+link+.ambox,.mw-parser-output .ambox+link+style+.ambox,.mw-parser-output .ambox+link+link+.ambox,.mw-parser-output,.mw-parser-output,.mw-parser-output{margin-top:-1px}html body.mediawiki .mw-parser-output .ambox.mbox-small-left{margin:4px 1em 4px 0;overflow:hidden;width:238px;border-collapse:collapse;font-size:88%;line-height:1.25em}.mw-parser-output .ambox-speedy{border-left:10px solid #b32424;background-color:#fee7e6}.mw-parser-output .ambox-delete{border-left:10px solid #b32424}.mw-parser-output .ambox-content{border-left:10px solid #f28500}.mw-parser-output .ambox-style{border-left:10px solid #fc3}.mw-parser-output .ambox-move{border-left:10px solid #9932cc}.mw-parser-output .ambox-protection{border-left:10px solid #a2a9b1}.mw-parser-output .ambox .mbox-text{border:none;padding:0.25em 0.5em;width:100%}.mw-parser-output .ambox .mbox-image{border:none;padding:2px 0 2px 0.5em;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .ambox .mbox-imageright{border:none;padding:2px 0.5em 2px 0;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .ambox .mbox-empty-cell{border:none;padding:0;width:1px}.mw-parser-output .ambox .mbox-image-div{width:52px}html.client-js .mw-parser-output .mbox-text-span{margin-left:23px!important}@media(min-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .ambox{margin:0 10%}}

A variation of the gay bar is the gay cruise bar. Normally gay bars usually prohibit sexual activity other than kissing or flirting on the premises, however cruise bars allow sex to happen on their property. Cruise bars have a secured entrance door so that only adults can enter, a cloakroom area to allow patrons to change, and seating that allow sexual activity to happen. There is usually an entrance change, however on special occasions it is waived. Mobile phones are banned for privacy reasons.[81] Notable cruise bars include Vault 139 [82] and Bunker Bar[83] in London.


Music, either live or, more commonly, mixed by a disc jockey (DJ), is often a prominent feature of gay bars. Typically, the music in gay bars include pop, dance, contemporary R&B, house, trance, and techno. In larger North American cities and in Australia, one or more gay bars with a country music theme and line dancing are also common, as are bars known for retro 1960s pop and “Motown Sound.”

List of gay bars[edit]

This is not a complete list of gay bars around the world.








Puerto Rico


United Kingdom

.mw-parser-output .div-col{margin-top:0.3em;column-width:30em}.mw-parser-output .div-col-small{font-size:90%}.mw-parser-output .div-col-rules{column-rule:1px solid #aaa}.mw-parser-output .div-col dl,.mw-parser-output .div-col ol,.mw-parser-output .div-col ul{margin-top:0}.mw-parser-output .div-col li,.mw-parser-output .div-col dd{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}

United States

List of lesbian bars[edit]

While some gay bars open their doors to all LGBTQ people, other bars cater specifically to lesbians. In recent years many popular lesbian bars have closed down. In 2015, JD Samson made a documentary exploring the very few remaining lesbian bars in the United States.[84]

United States

United Kingdom

See also[edit]

.mw-parser-output .side-box{margin:4px 0;box-sizing:border-box;border:1px solid #aaa;font-size:88%;line-height:1.25em;background-color:#f9f9f9;display:flow-root}.mw-parser-output .side-box-abovebelow,.mw-parser-output .side-box-text{padding:0.25em 0.9em}.mw-parser-output .side-box-image{padding:2px 0 2px 0.9em;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .side-box-imageright{padding:2px 0.9em 2px 0;text-align:center}@media(min-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .side-box-flex{display:flex;align-items:center}.mw-parser-output .side-box-text{flex:1}}@media(min-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .side-box{width:238px}.mw-parser-output .side-box-right{clear:right;float:right;margin-left:1em}.mw-parser-output .side-box-left{margin-right:1em}}


.mw-parser-output .reflist{font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em;list-style-type:decimal}.mw-parser-output .reflist .references{font-size:100%;margin-bottom:0;list-style-type:inherit}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-2{column-width:30em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-3{column-width:25em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns{margin-top:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns ol{margin-top:0}.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns li{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-alpha{list-style-type:upper-alpha}.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-roman{list-style-type:upper-roman}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-alpha{list-style-type:lower-alpha}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-greek{list-style-type:lower-greek}.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-roman{list-style-type:lower-roman} .mw-parser-output .reflist{column-gap:2em}

  1. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}Williams, Geoff (19 September 2007). “10 Businesses Facing Extinction in 10 Years”. Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  2. ^ Mixei: The oldest, still operating gay bar in Finland.
  3. ^ Tim Blanning. The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815. p 80. ISBN 978-0-670-06320-8.
  4. ^ “Newgate executions 1800 – 1836”.
  5. ^ Neumann, Caryn E. (17 June 2007). “The Vere Street Coterie”. Archived from the original on 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  6. ^ France: fermeture du “plus vieux bar gay d’Europe” à Cannes, January 7, 2011
  7. ^ Florence Tamagne, Paris: ‘Resting on its Laurels’?, in: Queer Cities, Queer Cultures: Europe since 1945, p. 240.
  8. ^ Tamagne, p. 242243.
  9. ^ Laurent Jézéquel, “New Moon : comment un cabaret de Pigalle est devenu le QG du rock alternatif”, Telerama Publié le 05/10/2015. Mis à jour le 07/10/2015 à 18h59.
  10. ^ “Lost Womyn’s Space”.
  11. ^ a b c Stankiewitz, Karl (May 2018). Aus is und Gar is (in German). Allitera Verlag. ISBN 978-3-96233-023-1.
  12. ^ Schauberger, Anja. “11 verrückte Clubs in München, die Geschichte schrieben” [11 crazy clubs in Munich that made history]. Mit Vergnuegen. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  13. ^ Sechs Jahre hat Freddie Mercury in München gelebt – eine Spurensuche [Freddie Mercury lived in Munich for six years – a search for clues] (documentary) (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. 4 October 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  14. ^ Hecktor, Mirko; von Uslar, Moritz; Smith, Patti; Neumeister, Andreas (1 November 2008). Mjunik Disco – from 1949 to now (in German). Blumenbar. ISBN 978-3-936738-47-6.
  15. ^ Trumbach, Amanda Bailey and Randolph. “Welcome to the Molly-House: An Interview with Randolph Trumbach | Amanda Bailey and Randolph Trumbach”.
  16. ^ Cook, Matt (2008-11-06). London and the Culture of Homosexuality, 1885-1914 (Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521089807.
  17. ^ “The programme and menu from the Cave of the Golden Calf, Cabaret and Theatre Club”. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  18. ^ Turner, p. 50.
  19. ^ Pieter Koenders, Tussen christelijk réveil en seksuele revolutie – Bestrijding van zedeloosheid in Nederland, Amsterdam 1996, p. 704-706
  20. ^ a b Gert Hekma (Gay Studies University of Amsterdam), The Amsterdam Bar Culture And Changing Gay/Lesbian Identities
  21. ^ History of Reguliersdwarsstraat
  22. ^ About the history of the Amsterdam Leather Scene
  23. ^ See: LGBT Copenhagen
  24. ^ “Jessica Kirk, Secrecy, Dark Rooms, and Patriotic Drag Queens: A Gay Night Out in Moscow, Vice, March 26, 2015”. 26 March 2015.
  25. ^ Horgan, Rob (July 27, 2015). “How La Nogalera came to be Torremolinos’ gay hot-spot”.
  26. ^ “History”. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  27. ^ Gattuso, Reina (September 3, 2019). “The Founder of America’s Earliest Lesbian Bar Was Deported for Obscenity”. Atlas Obscura.
  28. ^ “The History of Gay Bars — New York Magazine – Nymag”. New York Magazine. 4 January 2013.
  29. ^ Murakami, Kery (June 23, 2007). “No longer at the center of Seattle’s gay scene, bar still serving outsiders”. The Seattle PI. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  30. ^ Press, Berkeley Electronic. “”‘Mira, Yo Soy Boricua y Estoy Aquí’: Rafa Negrón’s Pan Dulce and the Queer Sonic Latinaje of San Francisco”” by Horacio N Roque Ramirez”. Archived from the original on 2016-01-02. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  31. ^ Elley, Derek (February 26, 1993). “Last Call at Maud’s”.
  32. ^ Bajko, Matthew, “For Many, Shuttered SF Lesbian Bar Maud’s Was Home,”The Bay Area Reporter, June 30, 2016
  33. ^ Hankin, Kelly (2002). The Girls in the Back Room: Looking at the Lesbian Bar. University of Minnesota Press.
  34. ^ Simon, Scott (28 June 2008). “Remembering a 1966 ‘Sip-In’ for Gay Rights”. National Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  35. ^ Kennedy, Esther (2015-03-31). “Common Interests: A Korner of History”. Heliopolis. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  36. ^ “America’s Oldest Gay Bar, WhiteHorse, Turns 80”. Huffington Post. May 21, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  37. ^ Coerver, Pasztor and Buffington, p. 202.
  38. ^ a b Dynes, Johansson, Percy and Donaldson, p. 806
  39. ^ Herrick and Stuart, p. 141.
  40. ^
  41. ^ The Kenneth Williams Diaries edited by Russell Davies, 1993, 8.
  42. ^ “Behind the doors of Singapore’s gay night club scene”. 30 December 2012.
  43. ^ a b Ho, Loretta Wing Wah (September 10, 2009). Gay and Lesbian Subculture in Urban China. Routledge. ISBN 9781135256579 – via Google Books.
  44. ^ “LESBIAN SPACES IN BEIJING” (PDF). 2009. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  45. ^ In 1966 (昭和41), There is the continuously operating gay bar “New Sazae” which opened in Tokyo, Shinjuku Ni-chōme. 8 December 2007 ja:出没!アド街ック天国 Shinjuku Ni-chōme.[1]
  46. ^ Independent. February 7, 2010. Retrieved on March 16, 2015.
  47. ^ “Gay Japan and Japanese Gay and Lesbian Resources by Utopia Asia 大同”.
  48. ^ Timothy R. Tangherlini, Sallie Yea, Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography, University of Hawaii Press, 2008, p. 181
  49. ^ “Protected Blog › Log in”. Archived from the original on 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  50. ^ “Exploring Amman’s gay spaces”. 2010-06-02.
  51. ^ Ken Cage, Moyra Evans, Gayle: The Language of Kinks and Queens: a History and Dictionary of Gay Language in South Africa Jacana Media, 2003, p. 15
  52. ^ Cage, Ken; Evans, Moyra (October 3, 2003). Gayle: The Language of Kinks and Queens : a History and Dictionary of Gay Language in South Africa. Jacana Media. ISBN 9781919931494 – via Google Books.
  53. ^ Philip Harrison, Gay and Lesbian, New Africa Books, 2005, p. 13
  54. ^ a b “Williams, Jill.Spatial Transversals: Gender, Race, Class, and Tourism in Cape Town, South Africa”. Archived from the original on 2016-10-06. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  55. ^ Alastair Leithead. Taking Gay Pride to SA’s townships BBC News, Cape Town, Tuesday, 8 March, 2005,
  56. ^ Thomas, June (July 1, 2011). “The Gay Bar”. Slate.
  57. ^ “Atlanta needs its gay bars now more than ever”. 9 October 2020.
  58. ^ B, Marke (15 February 2019). “At the Height of AIDS, San Francisco’s Queer Nightlife Became a Refuge”. them.
  59. ^ Reddish, David (April 24, 2020). “WATCH: Steamy new doc chronicles the West Coast answer to Studio 54”. Queerty.
  60. ^ Murphy, Rhodes (December 4, 2019). “Gay Bars Offer an Ideal Space for Community HIV Services. But Only if They Can Stay in Business”. Slate Magazine.
  61. ^ Bishari, Nuala Sawyer (December 18, 2016). “Free Water at Gay Bars May Help Reduce HIV Rates”. SF Weekly.
  62. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (4 October 2005). “The End of Gay Culture”. The New Republic. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  63. ^ Thomas, June (27 June 2011). “The Gay Bar: is it dying”. Slate. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  64. ^ Williams, Geoff (19 September 2007). “10 Businesses Facing Extinction in 10 Years”. Entrepreneur. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  65. ^ Villarreal, Daniel (January 27, 2019). “No, gay hook up apps aren’t killing gay bars — it’s actually far more complicated”. Queerty.
  66. ^ James, Scott (June 21, 2017). “There Goes the Gayborhood”. The New York Times.
  67. ^ Aguilar, Elizabeth. “Is Gentrification Making West Hollywood Less Gay?”. LAist. Archived from the original on 2020-04-09. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  68. ^ “The ‘gaytrification’ effect: why gay neighbourhoods are being priced out”. The Guardian. January 13, 2016.
  69. ^ a b “Is Gentrification Killing The Gay Bar?”. GOOD. April 17, 2018.
  70. ^ Morgan, Richard (June 28, 2019). “The American Gay Bar Is Down, But Don’t Count It Out Just Yet”. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  71. ^ “Why Gay Bars are Vital for LGBT Communities”. KCRW. June 15, 2016.
  72. ^ Gorder 2/6/2018, Bryan van. “The 50 Most Popular Gay Bars In The United States”. LOGO News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  73. ^ Khong, Louise (28 June 2019). “25 Amazing Gay Bars Around The World To Put On Your Bucket List”. BuzzFeed.
  74. ^ Eyck, Meg Ten (8 March 2016). “Why Lesbian Bars Are Disappearing At The Height Of Queer Acceptance”. Elite Daily.
  75. ^ “Why Are All The Lesbian Bars Disappearing? | The Village Voice”. 21 June 2017.
  76. ^ “Where have all the lesbian bars gone?”. Brokelyn. August 8, 2018.
  77. ^ “A Rapidly Shrinking List of All the Lesbian Bars Left Worldwide”. May 30, 2019.
  78. ^ Jones, Carolyn (May 9, 2013). “Oakland’s White Horse gay bar turns 80”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  79. ^ “Australian gay bar can ban straights”. The Advocate. Associated Press. 30 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  80. ^ “Night. Life”. Gay Bar Culture. 2008. Archived from the original on September 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  81. ^ “FAQs”. Vault 139. Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  82. ^ “Vault 139 | Gay cruise bar in London”. Vault 139. Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  83. ^ “Bunker Bar”. MA1: The Bunker. Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  84. ^ Bendix, Trish (17 August 2015). “Broadly goes to “The Last Lesbian Bars”. AfterEllen. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  85. ^ “Queering the Gay Bar Agenda: As You Are Bar”. 28 March 2022.
  86. ^ “Buttigieg attends opening of as You Are bar”. 24 March 2022.
  87. ^ a b c d e f g h “The 21 Bars”. Archived from the original on 2022-02-01. Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  88. ^ “Few lesbian bars remain in the U.S. Will they survive COVID-19?”. NBC News. May 2020.
  89. ^ “San Francisco’s Only Lesbian Bar, the Lexington Club, is Closing”. 24 October 2014.
  90. ^ “With closure of Philly’s only lesbian bar, we lose another safe space for queer women | Opinion”. 3 March 2021.
  91. ^ “21 lesbian bars remain in America. Owners share why they must be protected”. PBS. 10 June 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

.mw-parser-output .portal-bar{font-size:88%;font-weight:bold;display:flex;justify-content:center;align-items:baseline}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-bordered{padding:0 2em;background-color:#fdfdfd;border:1px solid #a2a9b1;clear:both;margin:1em auto 0}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-related{font-size:100%;justify-content:flex-start}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-unbordered{padding:0 1.7em;margin-left:0}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-header{margin:0 1em 0 0.5em;flex:0 0 auto;min-height:24px}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-content{display:flex;flex-flow:row wrap;flex:0 1 auto;padding:0.15em 0;column-gap:1em;align-items:baseline;margin:0;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-content-related{margin:0;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-item{display:inline-block;margin:0.15em 0.2em;min-height:24px;line-height:24px}@media screen and (max-width:768px){.mw-parser-output .portal-bar{font-size:88%;font-weight:bold;display:flex;flex-flow:column wrap;align-items:baseline}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-header{text-align:center;flex:0;padding-left:0.5em;margin:0 auto}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-related{font-size:100%;align-items:flex-start}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-content{display:flex;flex-flow:row wrap;align-items:center;flex:0;column-gap:1em;border-top:1px solid #a2a9b1;margin:0 auto;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .portal-bar-content-related{border-top:none;margin:0;list-style:none}}.mw-parser-output .navbox+link+.portal-bar,.mw-parser-output .navbox+style+.portal-bar,.mw-parser-output .navbox+link+.portal-bar-bordered,.mw-parser-output .navbox+style+.portal-bar-bordered,.mw-parser-output .sister-bar+link+.portal-bar,.mw-parser-output .sister-bar+style+.portal-bar,.mw-parser-output .portal-bar+.navbox-styles+.navbox,.mw-parser-output .portal-bar+.navbox-styles+.sister-bar{margin-top:-1px}


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *