Melbourne's queer scene is a lively and diverse beast, and unlike Sydney, where everything centres around Oxford Street and Mardi Gras, you'll find pockets of queerness all over the inner city.
To the north of the CBD in Collingwood, Abbotsford and Fitzroy, there's the Peel – great for a trashy disco night out; the Laird if you like leather and bears; and Sircuit is good for more dancing, drag and pool. Baxter's Lot in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, is a queer-friendly bar that does a mean cocktail. There's DT's Hotel in nearby Richmond for a more relaxed corner queer pub. South of the Yarra, Prahran features DnM Bar in Commercial Road for drag and dancing, and Love Machine on a Sunday night. In nearby St Kilda, the GH Hotel is the place to go for more drag, more dancing and their sexy Boylesque show. The Prince of Wales hosts Queer House for boys and girls on Friday nights. In the CBD itself, look out for Mixed on Friday nights and Poof Doof on Saturday nights.
There are also a number of semi-regular parties; Pinkalicious for the girls, Trough X, John and Thick 'n' Juicy for the boys. And of course, there's the Midsumma Festival in late January every year, which kicks off with Carnival, ends with Pride March, and packs three weeks of queer events, exhibitions, theatre and parties in between. The Melbourne Queer Film Festival, the largest and oldest gay and lesbian film festival in the Southern hemisphere, runs for 10 days every March.