Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gay Times?

With its fair share of famously outed alumni, public schoolboys and kinky sub fusc, Oxford could well be an important place on the gay map of Britain. I'm talking Soho, Brighton and Manchester.

It's not just the university, though; Oxford always seems so closeted, so behind closed doors, so...potentially full of extravagance and frustrations. There's theatre, fancy dress, cheesy clubs, and also sophistication and class. It's metrosexual and forward-thinking yet equally traditional and conservative. It's the sort of place where a man can walk the streets in make-up and a tutu without a second glance, but where two men holding hands would be muttered about; two men kissing is near unheard of.

So what exactly is there for Oxford's gay community? Well, quite a lot, it turns out!

Oxford Pride
A big parade every July with flamboyant costumes and rainbow flags galore.

This catchy abbreviation is for the Oxford Gay and Lesbian Community Centre in Northgate Hall on St Michael's Street.
It's open Thursday - Saturday from 10:30pm, and costs between £1.50 and £4 depending on membership and the night.

Gay pubs and clubs

- The Castle Tavern - check out the Rainbow Room downstairs. The best nights are Thursday-Saturday.

- The Coven II - some Friday nights. This has had problems with homophobic attacks after some big nights, but is apparently getting better security.

- The Jolly Farmers oub has cabaret, quiz nights and entertainment and has been an important part of the Oxford gay community since time immemorial.

- Old Fire Station : Check out Flirt nights on Mondays. It's cheap to enter and a fun night out.

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