Do gay bars where men hang out in leather chaps still exist? They do in Collingwood at the Laird, a safe welcoming pub for same-sex attracted cisgender and transgender males. This is a friendly watering hole with accommodation and nightly events from pool comps and trivia to dance parties and fetish nights. There is a strict fetish dress code for the back bar on Thursdays for Spit n Polish, but you don’t have to gear up to see what the fuss is about, you can hang out in the beer garden and enjoy the social side of the scene. Don’t be intimidated by its whips and chains reputation, come for Trivial Hirsute on a Wednesday or a relaxed Sunday session, and be sure to check out their website for monthly ticketed parties and special events.
Over the past decade, the northside has become the queer social epicentre as venues in St Kilda and Prahran close their doors. Of course, there are plenty of monthly parties and weekly nights in inclusive venues that cater towards queer communities, but we’re celebrating the bricks and mortar buildings and businesses run by members of the LGBT community that do so much more than just infiltrate a space.
Here’s our guide to the Melbourne’s gay venues, our home ground where communities not only come together, but where the can relax and enjoy themselves.
After you're all partied out (for tonight), up your 'extra-curricular' game by visiting our top five sex shops. Or maybe you love a regular queer party? We've got loads.
Recommended: The 50 best bars in Melbourne