LGBT

LGBT events, gay clubs and bars and all that's queer in Melbourne

The best gay bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best gay bars in Melbourne

You would think what with the fanfare surrounding Sydney's annual Mardi Gras festival that the harbour city was the clear ringleader of Australia's gay scene, but Melbourne certainly gives its sibling some decent rivalry. After you're all partied out (for tonight), tick off our five ways to show your pride in Melbourne, or up your 'extra-curricular' game by visiting our top five sex shops.

Sex on premises venues in Melbourne
Sex and dating

Sex on premises venues in Melbourne

Guys, looking to get some action without navigating Grindr? You can always go to an SOPV. Here are Melbourne’s top five gay saunas and cruise lounges – remember to play safe. While you're at it, check out our list of top gay bars and pick-up bars.

The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne
Gay and lesbian

The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne

Summer’s the perfect time for birds of a feather to preen themselves, particularly if you're already out and about getting your Midsumma fix. We've found four outdoor bars for al fresco drinking and perving. Looking to push on? Check out the best gay bars and karaoke spots in Melbourne.

Hares & Hyenas
Gay and lesbian

Hares & Hyenas

Having been in operation for over 20 years, you’d expect Hares & Hyenas to be a well-oiled machine… but this humble-looking bookshop is more like a super power-packing transformer. Bookshelves stuffed with fiction, biographies, humour, photography, erotica, religion, gender, coming out, fanzines, health and educational tomes can be wheeled away so that the room is adapted into a venue with theatre seating, a stage, and a lighting and sound system. Whatever mode it’s in, there’s a fully licensed bar and café, and an exhibition lining the walls at all times. Hares & Hyenas is the project of Rowland Thomson and Crusader Hillis, who met at Melbourne University in 1975 and became partners a few years later. In the 1980s, Hillis owned an art-house video shop in Elwood, while Thomson co-owned Dizzy Spinners on Brunswick Street – an early incarnation of the current Polyester Records. In 1991 they joined forces to open Hares & Hyenas, which moved all over Melbourne before settling in Johnston Street’s Spanish quarter, where they’ve been made to feel welcome. “The changes in 20 years are fairly staggering,” notes Thomson. “People only used to come in wearing sunglasses.” It’s now become a hub for not only the queer community, but anyone interested in socialising in a literary setting. Hares & Hyenas plays host to two book groups, a stitch’n’bitch, ButchFemmeTrans, Rainbow Girls and Rainbow Guys, to name but a few regular meet-ups, and has put on 350 spoken word events. “We also did

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Everything you need to know about Victoria's Big Build
Things to do

Everything you need to know about Victoria's Big Build

You might have noticed some changes going on in Melbourne. There's a giant hole where City Square used to be. There's a lot of heavy machinery around the West Gate. And you might have to get a replacement bus instead of a train home.  It's all part of Victoria's Big Build, a $30 billion suite of projects that will improve the way we get around the city. Yes, there will be some initial pain, but when you're flying into work through the new tunnel instead of stuck in traffic on the West Gate, or getting through the City Loop in a flash, it will be worth the inconvenience. The government has made sure that during construction, if your plan A travel plans are disrupted, there will be a plan B to make sure you get where you are going.  Victoria's Big Build comprises a whopping 35 major transport projects currently underway to improve our state. To give you a sense of the scale, some projects include: The Metro Tunnel, which will untangle the City Loop, allow for way more trains to go through the city to and from the suburbs across Melbourne;  Removing 50 level crossings – with 25 already gone - which will make crossing the road so much safer and improve traffic flow; a massive Regional Rail Revival package to upgrade every regional passenger train line in Victoria; The West Gate Tunnel, which will provide an alternative route into the city; Victoria’s biggest road tunnel and project, the North East Link; Major upgrades to roads like the M80, CityLink, Tullamarine and Mon

Wanted: beer-loving volunteers to taste and talk about beer
Things to do

Wanted: beer-loving volunteers to taste and talk about beer

The best cold beer is a free beer, or even better a beer you get paid to drink. If getting paid to drink beer sounds like your idea of a good time, then register now to participate in a blind beer taste test happening on July 11-12, 14-15 and 21-22 in the Melbourne CBD. There's also a packaging study happening on July 14-15 in St Kilda. A world-class brewery is looking for volunteers to give consumer feedback on new and existing beers that are already on the market. It’s a pretty cushy gig: all you have to do is taste beer and/or look at the packaging, and tell researchers what you think of it. And because your time and opinions are valuable, you’ll even get between $40 and $130 for participating, depending on which study you attend and whether you attend one or two sessions. The taste test is for men and women aged 19-39, with 70-minute and/or 40-minute sessions throughout the afternoons on weekdays July 11-12 and two weekends, July 14-15 and July 21-22. The packaging evaluation sessions in St Kilda are for punters aged 18-55 and go for 30 minutes throughout each day on July 14-15. Photo ID is required. Don’t miss this golden (h)opportunity: head over to the research website to register. They will send you a survey link to either study, depending on your age and session availability. If your answers match what they’re looking for, they’ll send you further details.

Euro Winter Brewfest
Things to do

Euro Winter Brewfest

It's Christmas in July every day down at Fed Square because Beer Deluxe is transforming its beer garden into a European inspired market. Beneath huge warming marquees, there will be plenty of festive cheer, European beers and street food snacks. On the taps, you find brews from Boon, 3 Fointeinen, Duvel, Omnipollo and Weihenstephaner, and there will also be $8 mugs of mulled wine and cider. You'll need to fill your belly as well, and to this end, they'll be frying up pierogis (little Eastern European dumplings) with bacon, spring onion and burnt butter; smoked Andouille sausages; and warm twisty pretzels. They'll also be screening major games of the World Cup and you can reserve a table for you and your mates to ensure you get a sweet spot.

A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness
Art

A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness

Part of the Yalingwa visual arts initiative, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art's new exhibition features new works by ten leading Aboriginal artists about everyday, contemporary Indigenous life. Expect an up-to-the-minute exploration of life across Australia, drawing in humour, family, community all drawn together with connections to the artists' Indigenous ancestors. The exhibition is curated by Hannah Presley. The artists involved are:  Benita Clements, a Western Arrernte artist from Hermannsburg, based in Alice Springs. Clements will present a new suite of watercolours in the form of autobiographical tableau, narrating her daily life, family, hunting and painting. Vicki Couzens, a Gunditjmara and Keerray Woorroong artist from the western districts of Victoria. Couzens’ new commission will incorporate a soundscape sharing a nostalgia for home, family and a nice cup of tea. Robert Fielding, a Western Aranda and Yankunytjatjara artist from Mimili community on the Anangu Pitjatjantjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Fielding has created a new photographic essay for the exhibition which re-contextualises everyday objects. Jonathan Jones, a member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of south-east Australia, based in Sydney. Jones is best known for his site-specific installations, but his new commission subtly acknowledges 60,000 years of connection by evoking a sense of nostalgia and celebrating a commonly known, native, seed-eating parrot. Vincent Namatjira, a W