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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Vienna Therapy
Art

Vienna Therapy

Here in Melbourne we have no shortage of egos, super-egos and creatures of the id, so it's not as surprising as it seems that a massive installation celebrating Sigmund Freud is about to be set up in Federation Square. 'Vienna Therapy' is the brainchild of famous Viennese street artist Nychos and celebrates one of the Austrian capital's most famous sons, the father of psychoanalysis. Working in partnership with the Vienna Tourist Board, Nychos designed the installation as a modern portrait of Freud’s inner mind, paying homage to his celebrated work to develop a deeper understanding of the human psyche and the subconscious.   The imposing white sculpture of a dissected Freud looms over a giant therapy couch for those brave enough to offer themselves up for analysis. Those keen to share their Freudian experience with friends can make use of the gif-booth and upload their moving images to social media using the hashtag #viennatherapy.   Visitors can also have their mind “mapped” via a brainwave-sensing headset. Following the mind-mapping, participants will receive a personalised list of recommendations for exploring Vienna based on their individual likes and dislikes.   Free Vienna roast coffee by boutique roastery Coffee Basics will also be served daily 9.30am-noon, with a choice of the Melange (Vienna’s take on a latte) or a Kleiner Schwarzer (single shot of espresso).   Everyone who has their mind “mapped” goes into the draw to win a trip to the Austrian capital,

Mr Stink

Mr Stink

The smelly star of David Walliams' award-winning children's book is leaping off the page for a live stage performance of Mr Stink, the stinky tramp who is not exactly what he appears to be.  The story of Mr Stink starts when Chloe, a lonely little girl, makes friends with the local tramp Mr Stink. He smells a bit – okay, maybe a lot – but he's also the only person who's ever been nice to Chloe. When Mr Stink needs a place to stay, Chloe decides to hide him in the garden shed. Little does she know that there might be more to Mr Stink than meets the nose.  Walliams of Little Britain fame is one of Britain's leading children's authors and is often touted as a natural successor to Roald Dahl. This stinky comedy is recommended for kids aged 6-12. 

Middle Park Hotel: the unofficial Formula 1 Grand Prix pit stop
Bars

Middle Park Hotel: the unofficial Formula 1 Grand Prix pit stop

The 2017 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix kicks off at Albert Park in March and when the action kicks off, Middle Park Hotel will be a great spot for a pub lunch or a beer at the end of the day. Located just a stone's throw away from Albert Park, Middle Park Hotel's bar and dining room is open throughout the Grand Prix to serve excellent pub classics, bar snacks and the kitchen team's signature steaks.  Drink to your favourite team or driver and celebrate (or commiserate) the day's results – Middle Park Hotel is the perfect unofficial pit shop during the 2017 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.