Pelangi Pride Centre
Photograph: Pelangi Pride Centre/Instagram

The best LGBTQ+-friendly places in Singapore

Connect with the LGBTQ+ community beyond the usual gay bars

Cam KhalidXiao Qing Wan
Contributor: Xiao Qing Wan

The area between Tanjong Pagar and Outram Park is not exactly known as a “gaybourhood” per se, but there’s no denying that everyone under the rainbow gravitates towards Neil Road for popular gay bars such as Tantric Bar & May Wong’s Café, Out Bar, and the now-defunct Taboo Club. It’s one of the few places where you can paint the town rainbow without anyone judging you.

But as the local LGBTQ+ community, as well as its allies, are raising their voices to promote a more inclusive Singapore, more places are embracing the camaraderie with open arms. After all, love is a human right. From an independent cinema and bookstore to everyone’s favourite brunch spot, here are the best LGBTQ+-friendly places in Singapore – beyond the gay bars.

RECOMMENDED: The best LGBTQ+ events to celebrate pride in Singapore and The best gay bars and clubs in Singapore

  • Things to do
  • Literary events
  • Queenstown

Singapore's first and only LGBTQ resource centre and library, Pelangi Pride Centre offers a neutral and friendly space for you to explore your sexuality. Head down to its resource library within the Free Community Church to suss out books devoted to LGBTQ+ issues and HIV education, and attend regular talks, screenings and other group activities to get involved with the local queer community.

  • Things to do
  • Chinatown

What started with a support group that met regularly in a member’s living room has grown to become one of Singapore’s most established non-profit LGBTQ+ organisations. It’s known for its counselling services via hotline, WhatsApp or face-to-face sessions, allowing LGBTQ+ individuals to talk and share without worrying about being judged or rejected and helping them get through the difficulties they face. 

“When counselling clients coming to our office in Chinatown for the first time and see the décor (colours, rainbow flags), they tell us that they find it a safe and queer-affirming space to share their issues with us,” shares executive director Leow Yangfa in our Pride Month 2020 feature.

  • LGBTQ+
  • Bukit Merah

Stop by Proud Spaces if you ever find yourself around Alexandra – this LGBTQ+-friendly space hosts a variety of events such as  yoga, book club events, and boardgame nights to bring the community together. Alongside fun activities, you can also find a variety of events and workshops on financial planning, home ownership, and even discussion groups regarding religion and identity that aim to educate and empower young LGBTQ+ individuals in Singapore. Proud Spaces is the place to be if you desire to forge meaningful connections with other members of the community over shared interests, so check out its social media to receive updates on upcoming events.

  • Cinemas
  • Independent
  • Kallang

The coolest independent cinema in town is also proudly queer-friendly. Occupying the site of the historic Golden Theatre, this refurbished cinema runs an eclectic selection of indie, arthouse and mainstream films. Alongside regular programming is the annual Pink Screen which showcases the struggles and victories of LGBTQ+ communities all over the world through film. On-site is Intermission Bar, which also plays host queer-friendly events and drag parties such as RIOT!, a show hosted by our local queen Becca D’Bus.

  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Outram

This LGBTQ+-friendly independent Chinese bookstore dates back to 1995. Starting out across the National Library Building, it eventually settled at a quaint space on Bukit Pasoh Road. Grassroots Book Room aims to stimulate Chinese reading among Singaporeans, carrying an impressive collection that covers Chinese history, politics, literature, philosophy, film and drama. It also offers a wide range of local and international titles across fiction and non-fiction.

  • Geylang

You’ve probably seen this salad bar on the news before, when it had its pride flag chucked at the staff. Smol has also had its pride flags stolen and ripped throughout the years, but the store continues to showcase its allyship with the LGBTQ+ community. Smol has been hosting pride events in conjunction with the annual Pink Dot festival since 2020, and has also released special menu items such as rainbow madeleines in celebration of pride.

  • Film
  • Rochor

Swing by this filmmaking and photography hub to further your knowledge in either craft – or just to check out some really cool art. Established in 2003, Objectifs organises regular photography exhibitions, films screenings, talks as well as courses and workshops. The visual arts centre champions diversity and inclusion, exemplified by dynamic programming that embraces LGBTQ+ and other minority communities. 

  • Marine Parade

Look forward to delicious coffees and yummy cocktails at Monk’s Brew Club. The café has its fair share of signature drinks, such as The ‘Troffee’nator ($10), an espresso mixed with mango and orange juice for that sweet and zesty aftertaste, and the Funky Monk ($20), a boozy cold brew featuring the Indian Old Monk Rum. Monk’s Brew Club frequently hosts comedy events and trivia nights throughout the year, including LGBTQ+ trivia nights. For the upcoming Pink Fest 2024, the café-bar will be hosting a social mixer for queer ladies, so head down to meet other like-minded individuals.

  • Clubs
  • Tanjong Pagar

Got some tea to spill? Share the hot goss at one of the many PS Cafes on the island – the one in Ann Siang Hill is particularly popular among the LGBTQ+ community. Not many people are aware of this but the café was actually a spinoff of Project Shop Blood Brothers, a menswear shop frequented by gay men. The first café opened its doors within the shop’s Paragon outlet, and soon after the company traded fashion for food. Today, PS Café is synonymous with brunch (and sticky date pudding!), and even hosts various networking nights for the LGBTQ+ community from time to time.

The brains behind the most colourful trivia nights in Singapore, Prout is a community-based app that builds safer spaces to help connect and champion a healthier LGBTQ+ community. It has also hosted various events such as Meet Your Next: Housemate with, which highlights the clear housing issue for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as its signature Queer Trivia Night, which is hosted by “Singapore’s TOP everything” Preetipls. Not just for the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore, Prout has also gone regional by launching Qurrent, Asia’s first LGBTQ+ News Telegram channel that delivers weekly updates directly to users.

Pride Month

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