Its World Pride in London, baby! When we thought we had seen it all after the Queens Jubilee, a whole new world of queens are coming to celebrate in the streets!! Be very afraid, especially if you’re one of those boys in One Direction.
Considering the non-grid-like streets of NYC, London can sometimes be very confusing to navigate…as in, tell your Grindr hook-up you’ll be late, considering you never use that GPS Location thing.
Or don’t meet up with him at all! With World Pride comes a huge offer of parties (you can find listings in the local gay magazines qx and boyz) … The possibility of having the most amazing night of your life (or your worst nightmare should you hit up the wrong bar here in London) can actually end up becoming your worst nightmare or—you guessed right—the most amazing night of your life! In my experience, the best thing to do for anthropological purposes only is to follow this simple rule: go to a bar first and meet some hot man that you feel has the same taste as you. Tell him you’re new in town (it always works) and hopefully he will redirect you to interesting tourist sights… like his apartment. Grindr, what?
But where do you actually go for that first drink? That’s what I’m here for, loves.
In this series of Rough Guide to Gay London, I’m going to hold your hand (virtually, of course, unless you really want to hold hands, then you know my email) through the streets of London.
If you are into cheap drinks, pop music and really young boys that just came out of the closet your place is G-A-Y bar. I personally haven’t been recently since my twink days are over, but a gay bird told me the baby lads also hit up Heaven nightclub afterward, where you can see performances from the latest X factor contestant.
COMPTONS of SOHO
If you like your men rough, builder type or skinheads, your music taste is Eurodance and you love watching people wank in the toilets as you go for a number one (or two or whatever) I would suggest COMPTONS of SOHO.
If you are a young gay professional and want to drink with your kind in your suit: RUPERT STREET, 50 rupert st.
If you are into facial hair flannel shirts and pints of lager go to THE DUKE of WELLINGTON and join the fun. It’s very relaxed, always full of lads and looks like a typical English pub. How traditional is that?
If you are a gym bunny and wear lots of Abercrombie and Fitch, PROFILE is your stomping ground. Favorite cocktail is a protein shake.
SHADOW LOUNGE is a club that caters to the gays who like to spend more money on their drinks than dates. But, whatever (le sigh). Hit up Wednesdays for GIGOLO rock, where they import porn stars and random hotties. This night is famous all over the world thanks to their glossy photoshoots.
The night that seems to attract the cooler crowd is at ROOM SERVICE, which happens every Thursday at miabella (run by JODIE HARSH, a scene icon). It gets super packed early and has a very strict doorman so you better dress the fuck up or look good semi naked to make the cut. Don’t worry, I believe in you.
Another beautiful creature of the night, the one and only Munroe Bergdoff has a fun party at CIRCA on Fridays that can turn your panties inside out.
If you have contacts, sweetie, and can get on the guestlist, the famous THE BOX has opened. They have rad DJs, you can drink with celebs and drink champagne but this is guestlist only… so you better know someone. We know you have Jude on speed-dial, no big deal.
And last but not least, if you love tranny shows (who doesn’t love a good tranny?), TRANNY SHACK happens every Tuesday at Madame Jojos and it has the very best old-school tranny shows you can see this side of town! With legends on the decks like the one and only Tasty Tim
Of course, if none of that fills your kool-aid, there is a more rock-and-roll and indie alternative: RETRO BAR. Hipsters, unite!
After a pint there, head out to POPSTARZ where the music policy is more rock-electro-pop with many rooms and pretty fun if you ask me!
There are many more places in Soho and bar hopping is highly recommended for a more eclectic night but the ones above are always a hit with the locals. Seriously. Trust me. I do this for a living.
Next week: Shoreditch and Dalston