I think the title speaks for itself, so here it is, our rundown of the top five cities in the world to be gay…which ones would you add to the list?!
Historically, it’s always been a thriving hub of gay culture – and it still is. From the rainbow flags hanging from many apartment windows to the sheer amount of bars and clubs catering to the gay community, San Francisco is loud, proud and defiantly rainbow coloured. Pride Week is finished by the risque ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Pride Parade’ – where half a million people party in the street on the last Sunday in June. Also in June is the long-running queer film festival!
Brighton is the UK’s very own little slice of gay heaven. It might be something to do with its long-time association with the theatre or maybe it’s just all that sea air – either way, it boasts a vibrant gay and lesbian community that is made up of around 40.000 residents – almost a quarter of the total population! Kemptown – or Camptown as it’s otherwise know – is where the action can be found, with a bevy of gay bars, hotels, cafes and bookshops, and if you’re really keen, you can even go on a ‘Gay’s the Word’ walking tour.
In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. Touted as the gay and lesbian capital of Europe, it has been said that the gay and lesbian population in Amsterdam amount to as much as 20% to 30%! There are countless bars and nightclubs, gay hotels, bookshops, sport clubs, choirs and support services and Amsterdam hosts the only water-borne gay-pride parade in the world, held on the canals on the first Saturday in August! Plus, the city has its own Pink Point, an information centre for gays and lesbians situated near the Anne Frank House, and next to it a monument dedicated to the promotion of gay rights – the Homomonument.
If you can’t be gay in New York, we’re not sure where you can be. Obvious gay districts include Greenwich Village, where the Stonewall riots of 1968 began; glamorous Chelsea; and the seedier East Village and across the East River, Brooklyn is now home to many arty gay men and lesbians who form part of the tapestry of creative New York.
Things have changed considerably since the first Mardi Gras march was held in Sydney in 1978. Homosexuality was illegal in New South Wales until 1984, and many of the 53 protestors who were arrested lost their jobs when their pictures appeared in the newspapers. Happily, Sydney is a long way from that now with lesbians and gay men being fully integrated into every sphere of Sydney life and Mardi Gras is a three-week long festival and a vibrantly colourful dance party in the country! Oxford Street began developing as a gay district in the 1960s and today is the most visibly gay area of the city.