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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Pets in the Park
Things to do

Pets in the Park

Parade your prized pet, be it furry, feathered or scaled, with other proud owners down at Pets in the Park. There will be the chance to enter your loyal four-legged companion 'best dressed' and 'best trick' competitions, plus lots of stalls with the latest in pet innovations and products. Some seriously talented animals will also be making an appearance, including That Dancing Guy and his pupstars Cynder and Sproket, who will all be showing off their dancing skills. You can also see agility, stunt and skill demonstrations from the Kong 4 Paws Disc Dogs by Goochy’s Behavioural Training, Melbourne Canine Freestyle and the Flipping Disc Dogz. The Centre for Service and Therapy Dogs Australia will also be on the ground to answer questions and offer demonstrations and information, while the Roo Keepers' Mobile Zoo will introduce kids to local wildlife, including snakes, dingoes and crocs. Channel Ten’s Mike Larkan will return as host and animal expert and celebrity vet Dr Jack Ayerbe with be on hand for a special Q and A panel.  All pets are welcome, but you need to keep them secure.

John

John

If it weren’t already taken by Ibsen, Annie Baker’s latest play could easily have been titled ‘A Doll’s House’. Characters are obsessed with the sensation of being watched, and not necessarily by God. Miniatures, toys and figurines occupy the set with more assurance than the humans, and one character expresses the horror of a doll’s life, “to be a piece of plastic or glass, and to be shaped into a human form and trapped”. The effect is to magnify the characters’ humanity rather than diminish it; in a doll’s house, it is the watcher who breathes life and shuts it away, and who also bears the moral responsibility for the doll’s existence. Of course, the metaphor is perfect for the theatre, and Baker’s work plays very interesting games with notions of realism, of stage time and of storytelling. The setting is a B&B in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, run by Mertis (Helen Morse) and her unseen husband George. A young couple, Jenny (Ursula Mills) and Elias (Johnny Carr), come to stay, ostensibly to tour the historical sites, but really to mend their broken relationship. Mertis’s blind friend Genevieve (Melita Jurisic) comes over to chat and drink Pinot Grigio. Plot wise, that’s pretty much it. But oh, how much Baker manages to layer into that simple concoction; the play deals profoundly with the idea of the buried and half-remembered past, and the cold grip it can have on the present. In much the same way as the house is thought to be haunted by the ghosts of the civil war, Jenny is haun

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Dandenong World Fare
Things to do

Dandenong World Fare

The culinary carnival that is the Dandenong World Fare will be taking over the markets for a whole day of delicious food trucks, cooking, festival fun and new flavours, all as a part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Close to 50 food trucks and street food vendors will be cooking up snacks from all over the world; think everything from Vietnamese hawker food, jerk chicken from the Caribbean, barbecue beef ribs from Cambodia and tasty street food from Nepal, India, Japan and Mexico. For something sweet, don't go past wafflepops from Belgian food truck Let's Waffle 'n' Shake. Our tip: bring your whole crew along so you can taste as much as possible. There'll be plenty of chances to learn how to cook some of your favourite snacks, including Bun Cha-Hanoi’s favourite lunch treat of barbecue pork patties with noodles, nuoc cham and green mango. Also on the line-up of food demos is step-by-step guides on how to make Afghani-style pan-fried pita bread with honey and spices, as well as Jamaican Kingfish ceviche with lime juice, coconut, grilled sweet corn and chilli picante salsa and more. Over at the entertainment stage, highlights include sets from Japanese blues duo George & Noriko (also known as the Japanese Blues Cowboy and the Tsugaru shamisen player) a red-hot performance from the Flamenco Fiesta Group and a Brazilian carnival of energetic batucada drummers and capoeira dancers. There will also be loads of carnival rides, Henna hand painting and roving stilt walkers.