A gay bar is a drinking establishment which caters primarily to a gay or lesbian clientele. It may often be called a gay club or pub, and occasionally queer bar, lesbian bar, dyke bar, or boy bar. They include gay nightclubs, entertainment venues which usually do their primary business after dark. Gay bars range in size from the tiny, five-seat bars of Tokyo to large, multi-story "super clubs" with several distinct areas and often 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.
One of the oldest gay bars was the White Swan, on Vere Street, in London, which in 1810 was raided (called the Vere Street Coterie), leading to two executions for the then crime of sodomy, and which was frequently the scene of gay marriages carried out by the Reverend John Church .
Gay bars and nightclubs are often segregated by sex, though this is more common in some places than others, and people of the "wrong" sex may be unwelcome or even barred from entry. On the whole lesbian-only bars are comparatively uncommon. Gay bars may also attempt to restrict entry only to gays or lesbians, but in practice this is both difficult to enforce and generally undesirable. This may be more common in specialty bars, such as gay male leather fetish or BDSM bars, or clubs that have back rooms (see below), for example. Some unsegregated gay bars have occasional or regular "women only" nights. Gay bars are often welcoming of transgender people, and drag shows are a common feature in many gay bars.
Music, either live or, more commonly, mixed by a DJ or DJs, is almost always a prominent feature of gay bars, as is the serving of alcohol. Music in gay bars, as in other bars, ranges in style from jazz and blues to disco, drum and bass, punk, house, trance, and techno.
Depending on the size of the club and its image, music and clientele, common features of gay bars are light effects, including colourful moving and flashing lights, disco balls, etc, as well as fog-machines, screens showing special effects or videos, raised platforms or stages for dancing on and for special performances, and decorative cages or podiums for hired dancers (often called go-go boys or go-go girls). Some gay clubs also have "backrooms," dimly lit or darkened rooms where men can have sex.
Like other clubs, gay clubs are oftened advertised by handing out eye-catching flyers on the street, in gay or gay-friendly shops and venues, and at other clubs and events. These flyers frequently feature provocative images.
Notable gay nightclubsEdit
- Bourbon Pub / Parade, located in New Orleans, it's the longest continuously-operating gay nightclub in the US.
- Dover Castle, the first gay pub in the UK. Situated on Dover Street on Leicester.
- Heaven, billing itself as "the world's most famous gay nightclub in the world," has been open for over 20 years. London, United Kingdom
- G-A-Y, based at the Astoria on Charing Cross Road. London, United Kingdom
- Love Muscle, London Infamous club at 'The Fridge' in Brixton, London, United Kingdom
- Poptastic, Manchester, United Kingdom
- Die Busche, is the largest gay nightclub in Berlin, Germany
- Pleasuredome, a trend-setting SOMA nightclub from the early 1990s till 2002 (known as Club Universe on Saturdays). San Francisco, California
- Friends, longest running and most famous gay bar in Prague, Czech Republic
- The Endup, a gay dance club open from 1973 to present. Mentioned in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City novels. San Francisco, California
- Unity II, Montréal, Canada
- Roscoe's Tavern, Chicago, Illinois
- Neighbours, Seattle, Washington
- Adonis, Timog Ave. Quezon City, Philippines
- Woody's is the largest and most popular gay bar in the city of Toronto, Canada
- Woody's is also the most well-known gay bar in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- South Beach is the most popular gay nightclub in the city of Houston, Texas
Notable gay DJsEdit
- Andre Collins
- Bob Viteritti
- Bobby DJ Guttadaro
- Boy George
- David Harness
- David DePino
- David Rodriguez
- DJ Dan
- DJ Psycho-Bitch
- Erick Morillo
- Frankie Knuckles
- Ian Levine
- Jerry Bonham
- Jim Burgess
- Jimmy Stuard
- Johnny Dynell
- Junior Vasquez
- Kenny Carpenter
- Larry Levan
- Marc Andrews
- Michael Fierman
- Nicky Siano
- Neil Lewis 9/14/1965-2/29/2004
- Phil B.
- Porl Young
- Richie Kaczor
- Robbie Leslie
- Ron Hardy
- Roy Thode
- Sharon White
- Shep Pettibone
- Susan Morabito
- Tee Scott
- Tony De Vit
- Victor Rosado
- Walter Gibbons
- Wayne G
- Bourbon Pub / Parade in New Orleans.
- Heaven London Home of Heaven London
- G-A-Y Website Information on G-A-Y
- Legends Website Legends Manchester
- Essential Website Essential Manchester
- Love Muscle xx Website for Love Muscle xx
- US Rainbow Pages Online guide of gay bars and nightclubs in the US.
- Friends Prague Information on Friends, Prague.
- UnityII, Montreal, Canada.
- GayCities Gay bar and club guide with community ratings and reviews for bars across the US and Canada.
- ClubFly Gay bar and club google map application with maps, directions, reviews, ratings, tags, and tips.