London is a city of colors, the bastion of diversity, the home to inspiration and freedom. More on the matter – London is one of the best places in the world to be gay.
For starters, gay and lesbian people have equal rights that are protected by law, they have the right to marriage and they can freely display their affection publically. Although with some restrictions to a few parks at night that seems to still be stuck in the middle ages you are free to be gay here, in the capital and no one will bat an eye.
That does not mean, however, that there are no secrets or tricks to London you shouldn’t be aware of. The SIM card operators, for example, have a tendency to block content that is considered unappropriated for children. Sadly, they also include a lot of gay resources in this list. Thus you, as a newly arrived Londoner should run by your SIM provider (EE, Q2 or Vodafone) and unlock all of the good stuff. Luckily, this operation is only done once per new card.
Its little things like these that can make or break your experience in London so I’d much rather you know all the cool stuff in advance!
Apps and media
Technology is awesome as it brings all kinds of relevant information about this world. So what are the hottest sources for the gay people of London?
– Boyz. This is a great all-in-one resource for everything from news and events to shopping tips and fitness routines. Here’s a quick tip – check out the interview section. It has some of the most heartwarming stories ever told.
– 28GaysLater. Is romance in the air? How about a few quick rounds of speed dating? The concept here is simple – you will get to meet 28 people for 3 minutes each and maybe, just maybe, you’ll come across your soulmate.
– The QX Magazine. While this fabulous tabloid is a print magazine, you can download a digital copy from their website.
– London Gays and Lesbians Switchboard. This is an amazing hot counseling line for gay people. You can find out information about current and upcoming LGBT events and venues, express the issues you are facing to a good listener and get professional advice if need be.
Pubs and restaurants
London wouldn’t be London without a pub. Surely where there is a pub-themed for anything in the world from a classy beer place to an underground secret location for the few chosen ones, there are also great pubs for gay people. Most of them are in SoHo but some of the brightest gems are scattered all across the city. Dare to find them all?
– Ku Bar. This is your go-to spot for a romantic date. The atmosphere is wonderful, the drinks are great and the music is out of this world.
– Admiral Duncan. If you are looking for something louder like an earthshattering party – this pub is the thing for you. Loud, fancy, filled with drinks and entertainment, Admiral Duncan is destined to leave an unforgettable impression as well as some stories you won’t ever tell anybody but man oh man were they worth it.
– G-A-Y Bar. This is a fine mix between a pub, a bar and a nightclub with some of the best DJays in London playing lie music here every night.
– Fire. Wanna go underground? Well, set beneath a railway arch a gem awaits your arrival. This, my friends, is a full-blown nightclub with some of the loudest beats I’ve heard in my life. A bit louder and the vibration would shatter your bones. Sounds terrible? Well, you don’t know how much of a thrill this sensation is until you try it.
– Rupert Street Bar. Are you looking for something a bit chiller? This is the place to go! The relaxing sets and the smoothing drinks are just what the doctor ordered after a hard week of work.
Stuff to do
Ok, now that you’ve had your fun as well as a pint or two, what’s next? What should you do in London except for the boring stuff like work or chores?
– Visit the Brick Lane, Sunday Market. This market is only open on Sundays but the street food alone is worth the wait. Then there is shopping, lots of shopping. You’ll never know what you’ll get – from a cool T-shirt to an Indian statuette. The market seems to have a scratch for your every itch and it is amazing.
– The Hoxton. Some may see it as a hotel but do not be discouraged by the looks of it. The hall is a remarkable place to hang out and meet other people and the events that are regularly held here will keep even the most skeptical of critics entertained.
– The Whitechapel Gallery. Ah, art… Is there any other place in the world where it shines as bright as here? Ever since the gallery was founded in the 20th century, it has become a loving home to countless groundbreaking works and masterpieces. Picasso, David Hackney, Jackson Pollok – you name a creator and the works you seek are surely there… or they will be short.
London is a fabulous place. Perhaps it one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. I have tried to cover a lot in this article, but I am afraid I won’t fit everything at once. Thus, if you’d like to see a part two – feel free to ask me for it in the comments section and I will surely come up with something.
As for now – have fun because you deserve it!