Gay London: Clubs, Bars, Cabaret and Culture
London is one of the world’s most welcoming cities when it comes to LGBTQ visitors. From cosy gay pubs to mind-boggling drag shows and representation in most of the major galleries and arts spaces, there is enough LGBTQ culture to keep you occupied day and night.
Despite being “cleaned up” by developers in recent years, Soho remains London’s gay nucleus. Its main drag, Brewer Street to Old Compton Street, still boasts a few sex shops, such as Prowler, and bars like the iconic G-A-Y, not to mention a number of cafes that double as cruising grounds. Soho is quaint, if only in the sense that Molly Moggs is one of the few places you’ll see a drag queen get totally ignored, but it is also thrilling, with gay saunas such as Sweatbox just a stone’s throw from more upmarket spots like the Oscar Wilde-themed bar, the Green Carnation.
London has seen gay clubbing events spread out from the centre over the last decade. Hackney, for example, is taking on increasing importance as a new kind of gaybourhood: where LGBT establishments aren’t ghettoised but dispersed among other businesses. In the basement of one of Hackney’s trendiest hotels (Ace Hotel, Shoreditch) is the club night Hard Cock Life – a mostly-male hip-hop night. Also in Hackney, the National Trust property Sutton House is the venue for an immersive, LGBT-friendly cinema event Amy Grimehouse, and just down the road, dingy club Vogue Fabrics hosts both straight and gay club nights throughout the week.
This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.