A gay bar is a drinking establishment that caters to an exclusively or predominantly lesbiangaybisexualand transgender LGBT clientele; the term gay is used as a broadly inclusive concept for LGBT and queer 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 bargirl bargay clubgay pubqueer barlesbian bardrag barand dyke bardepending on the niche communities that they served.
Gathering places favoured by homosexuals have operated for centuries. Reports from as early as the 17th century record the existence of bars Gay club membership clubs that catered to, or at least tolerated, openly gay clientele in several major European cities.
Gay club membership to the executions of John Hepburn and Thomas White for sodomy.
It's not clear which place is the first gay bar in the modern sense. In Cannes, France, such a bar had already opened inand there were many more in Berlin around 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 place was opened in and existed for years, before it was closed in December 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 LGBT community.
In the s and s 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 "Gay club membership" socialized in circles of friends. Lesbians who did go to bars often originated from the working class.
Gay club membership the s, the Le Marais district is the center of the gay scene in Paris. In Berlinthere was gay and lesbian night life already aroundwhich throughout the s became very open and vibrant, especially when compared to other capitals.
There was also a relatively high number of places for lesbians. Within a few weeks after the Nazis took over government infourteen of the best known gay establishments were closed.
After homosexuality was decriminalized inmany gay bars opened in West Berlinresulting in a lively gay scene.
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 House.
The first gay bar in Britain in the modern sense was The Cave of the Golden Calfestablished as a night club in London. It opened in an underground location at 9 Heddon Street, just off Regent Streetin and became a haunt for the Gay club membership, aristocratic and bohemian.
After homosexuality was decriminalized in the UK ingay bar culture became more visible and gradually Soho became the centre of the London LGBT community, which was "firmly established" by early s.
In Amsterdamthere were already a few gay bars in the first quarter of the 20th century. After World War IIthe Amsterdam city government acted rather pragmatic and tolerated the existence of gay bars.
In the s their number grew Gay club membership 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 s the main Amsterdam gay street was Kerkstraatwhich was succeeded by Reguliersdwarsstraat in the early s, when the first openly gay places opened here, like the famous cafe April infollowed by dancing Havana in It now claims to be one of the oldest gay bars in Europe.
Because of the high prevalence of homophobia in Russia, patrons of gay bars there often have had to
Gay club membership on the alert for bullying and attacks. InMoscow's largest gay bar, Central Station, had its walls sprayed with gunfire, had harmful gas released into a crowd of 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. Under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco from —, homosexuality was illegal. However, inSpain's first gay bar, Tony's, opened in Torremolinos and a clandestine gay bar scene also emerged in the s and early s in Barcelona.
There are many institutions in the United States that claim to be the oldest gay in that country. Since Prohibition ended inthere are a number of places open and continuously operating since that date:. Because of a raid on a Mexico City drag ball inwhen 41 men were arrested, the number 41 has come to symbolize male homosexuality in Mexican popular culturefiguring frequently Gay club membership jokes and in casual teasing.
Relative freedom from official harassment continued until when Mayor Ernesto Uruchurtu closed every gay bar following a grisly triple-murder.
But by the late s several Mexican cities had gay bars and, later, U. 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 GuadalajaraAcapulcoVeracruz and Mexico City. However, there are at least several gay bars in most major cities. The first recorded use of the term 'gay bar' is in the diaries of homosexual British comedian Kenneth Williams: Went round to the gay bar which wasn't in the least gay.
In the s, straight nightclubs began to open their doors to gay clients on designated nights of the week. In the s, a lesbian bar named Crocodile Rock opened in Far East Plaza, which remains to this day the oldest Gay club membership bar in Singapore. Mega-clubs like Zouk and Avalon are also a big draw for the gay crowd. The oldest gay bar in Beijing is the Half-and-Half, "Gay club membership" in had been open over ten years.
Qiao Qiao also opened another popular lesbian bar, Feng bar, also known as Pipes, which was closed by the police in The oldest continuously operating Japanese gay bar, New Sazae, opened in Tokyo in In Seoul, most gay bars were originally congregated near the Itaewon area of Seoulnear the U.
But in recent Gay club membership, more clubs have located in the Sinchon area, indicating that 'safe spaces' for Korean LGBT people have extended beyond the foreign zones, which were traditionally more tolerant.
One male bar patron said Korean bar culture "Gay club membership" not as direct as in the United States, 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 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. 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.
The first white gay bar opened in the Carlton Hotel in downtown Johannesburg in the late s, catering exclusiely to men of wealth. In the s, other urban bars began to open Gay club membership 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.