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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Four reasons to head to the Zoo this Valentine's Day
Things to do

Four reasons to head to the Zoo this Valentine's Day

Skip the stuffy dinner this Valentine's Day and spend it among some of the cutest critters around at Melbourne Zoo. Whether you want to pack a picnic or get a super cute animal selfie, Melbourne Zoo has plenty of adorable options for both lovers and animal lovers this Valentine's Day.

Saké Jr at night
Restaurants

Saké Jr at night

Saké Jr knows how to mix and match super fresh ingredients to deliver tasty Japanese and Korean inspired bowls, salads and snacks, all of which are perfect for a quick lunch. Now, Saké Jr on Collins Lane will be staying up a little later, offering a brand new menu of neo-Tokyo inspired snacks and street food. Neil Perry has worked with the Saké Jr chefs to develop this new dinner menu, filled with Japanese hot fried chicken, pillow-soft Bao buns and and build-your-own Japanese Abura bowls. Add in Japanese craft beer, wines, saké and custom cocktails and you've got your own Japan-inspired dinner adventure. Get into Saké on Collins Lane to try out the new menu from 4-9pm.  Find more about Saké Jr at night.

The 15 dishes you have to try in Hong Kong
Travel

The 15 dishes you have to try in Hong Kong

Of all the reasons to stay longer in Hong Kong, food has got to be the best one.

Little Emperors at Malthouse
Theatre

Little Emperors at Malthouse

For the inaugural Asia TOPA festival, Malthouse Theatre paired award-winning Australian playwright Lachlan Philpott and maverick Beijing-based director Wang Chong to create a new work. The result explores the fraught legacy of China’s 40-year One Child Policy, through the prism of one family. The term ‘Little Emperors’ relates to a behavioural syndrome affecting the generations of only-children born in the lead up to 2016 (when the One Child Policy was officially abolished). Envisioned as a radical experiment to curb population growth, the policy unwittingly gave rise to a new breed of ultra-indulged children, who in turn will shape the future of a superpower. Philpott’s play pivots between Melbourne and Beijing, and between English language and Mandarin, to tell the story of a sister, her illegal brother, and the emotional and cultural fall-out of the environments in which they were raised. Wang Chong, founder of the world-renowned Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental, brings both his bold vision and personal experiences, as a someone born in the One Child Policy era, to bear on this rich and revelatory tale. Little Emperors runs from Feb 9-26 at Malthouse Theatre.