On the Kingsland Road, down through an anonymous-looking doorway, a basement-full of girls is getting sweaty to Nicki Minaj. As Minaj thumps on about butts and whatnot, the sea of thrashing lesbians becomes increasingly choppy. The concept of "delightfully dank" is hard to explain to anyone unfamiliar with east London's lesbian scene. But down here, it's dark, cramped and sticky. In a fun way. The bare brick walls and concrete floor are part of the charm; a kitschy throwback to the days when queerness only existed underground and you wouldn't regularly see other lesbians in Boots, bulk-buying Gaviscon.
LGBT venues are being lost and with them gay and lesbian heritage, but do cultural shifts also play a part in this trend? H istorically, the gay scene has been a moveable feast. Pubs , bars and clubs spring up in one area, thrive for a while and then fade away, only to pop up somewhere else. The future of four or five more hangs in the balance, and outside London, cities such as Brighton and Manchester are also suffering. Losing four or five in the space of a year is a big impact. And the more places that are threatened, the harder it is to maintain community — especially when whole locations are being lost. The commercial gay bar and pub sector boomed in the s.
Although it's not the largest city in the U. This lively city on the James River has a handful of popular gay bars and clubs, plus a few mainstream spots with strong followings in the community. One of the most gay-friendly neighborhoods is the Fan District near Virginia Commonwealth University.
When Ryan Lanji moved to London eight years ago, he quickly familiarised himself with the city's LGBT nightlife, but soon found something missing. I always had to divide my personality. I was gay outside the house and Asian inside the house," the Canadian-born fashion and art curator says.