Goodbye Gay Bars. Hello Gay Bars!

Gay bars may be closing elsewhere, but today Your Activist notes two which are opening.

The Derby Telegraph preview the refurbished Derby city centre pub Duke of York GAY, which will offer themed nights, a specialist gin bar and a function room for 70 people. The Burton Road bar has been shut for six months but is open after being taken over by new management.

Meanwhile the Coventry Telegraph (related) report that the Kiki lounge is due to open shortly.

Your Activist is pleased that more safe spaces for gay people are becoming available again, but remains concerned over the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on the gay community.


Another gay bar closes for redevelopment. Cincinatti, this time. reports that The Dock, a long-running Cincinnati gay bar, closed yesterday. Open since 1984, it had been at the forefront in its role as an LBGT community-building asset by hosting drag shows and dance nights, as well as serving as a hub of social activism.

The Dock has been targeted for demolition, as the Ohio Department of Transportation is purchasing a portion of the land on which the building sits, in order to make improvements to nearby roads and a bridge.

Redevelopment plans hit Manchester’s Gay Village

Manchester town hall bosses have been accused of writing out the gay community in plans to regenerate land next door to the village, including demolishing the Thompson’s Arms pub and building over a key Pride venue.

Four plots are singled out for redevelopment, including the surface car park on Sackville Street that hosts part of Pride each August. That would become a multi-storey car park, offices, flats and a hotel. Chorlton Street bus station, which includes the Thompson’s Arms pub, would be demolished to make way for a ‘flexible events space’ and flats. Yate’s wine bar on the corner of Portland Street would be replaced with a new office block. A site further down Portland Street, bordering Abingdon Street, already has permission for a 17-storey hotel.

Gay gets its licence – at a cost

G-A-Y won an extension to its opening hours by offering to close another venue early.

The venue’s application to open until 4am was heard by Westminster City Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday.

The committee granted the request on the condition that the company closes its Old Compton Street venue an hour early.

Keep drinking and keep us in business, please

A hearing is currently taking place regarding the late-night licence of G-A-Y, the Soho night club, which wants to stay open until 4am.

G-A-Y is arguing that the revenue taken from a late licence would offset the “ridiculous” rent hike of £400,000.

More than half of London’s gay venues have closed in the last ten years according to UCL’s LGBTQ+ Cultural Infrastructure in London report. More gay venues have closed than any other category of venue.

While not wanting to see another venue close, we have to face the facts: alcohol is a major cause of poverty, poor health and negative life outcomes in the gay community.

Goodbye Pierre


Pierre Bergé | Agence France Press | 17156gh

The French fashion tycoon Pierre Bergé – the business brains behind the Yves Saint Laurent empire – has died aged 86.

The longtime partner of the late designer Yves Saint Laurent died in his sleep early Friday at his country home at Saint-Remy-de-Provence in southern France.

The passionate bibliophile and art collector was a tireless campaigner for gay rights and donated a large part of his fortune to AIDS research.

Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

It’s got to be gay, London tells developers

Gay bars in London are closing down at such an “alarming” rate that the redevelopment of the Joiners Arms, the east London gay pub, will only get the go-ahead if it includes an LGBT club venue. The mayor’s office will send an inspector to make sure it is gay enough!

Tower Hamlets council has told the developers of the Joiners site that their plans for offices and nine luxury flats will get planning permission only if it includes a pub that will “remain a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-focused venue for a minimum of 12 years”.

Your Activist thinks that this is the first time such a condition has been included in planning approvals.