LGBT

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

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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.

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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.

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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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Shopping

The best men's accessory shops in Melbourne

The modern man’s accessory and grooming arsenal can take many forms. Some keep it simple with a bit of pomade and a decent pair of sneakers, while others may have a whole cupboard full of lotions and tonics as well as belts, shoes and bags in matching leathers at the ready. The quantity and combination of grooming and sartorial accessories is up to you; here are some of the best places to buy them.

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The Grand Tour: Cities Shaped by Art

Learn the essentials of art history with ACCA's chosen team of experts with a refreshing complimentary cocktail in hand. Just as Melbourne's arts culture has shaped the city, the same goes for many of the world's biggest metropolitan cities. ACCA has picked out a group of 'tour guides' for the Grand Tour lecture series to take you through the world's best galleries, arts events, and architecture, as well as visit the writers, thinkers, and artists that have shaped each city. This month, take a journey to New York City, where art professor Dr Chris McAuliffe will guide you through the colourful creative scene of one of the world's great cultural centres. Now based in Melbourne, McAuliffe was once a resident of New York's East Village, where he accumulated vast knowledge on the galleries, architectural highlights and urban geography of the region. Today, McAuliffe is a professor of art at the Australian National University's School of Art.  As always, guests will be treated to a complimentary themed cocktail to ease you through your travels. This time, the Melbourne Gin Company will create a New York-inspired cocktail – a mini MGC Martini. The bar is open from 5pm, and the talk will run from 6-7pm. More Grand Tours... Join curator Rebecca Coates for an art history tour of Brazil's São Paulo (Aug 15), a tour of Yekaterinburg in Russia with artist Lisa Radford (Sep 12) and finish up with an jaunt through LA with ACCA curator Annika Kristensen (Oct 24). Tickets include a fre

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