A freshers’ guide to London’s LGBT+ clubbing scene
Now sissy that walk
Navigating the London clubbing scene is hard enough in first year, but it’s a million times harder if you’re a member of the LGBT+ community.
Not only do you have to come up against draconian door men and brave the night bus, but you’ve also got to work out whether the ten people at the bar are flirting with you or just being drunk and nice.
Clubbing in London is on the wane, and for every Fabric there’s been countless Madame Jojos and Black Caps, but all is not lost. From Vauxhall to Dalston and everywhere in between, the nights are definitely there, you just have to take the plunge and accept that you may possibly come round at 5am using a kebab as a handbag – no shame, we’ve all been there.
Technically three separate venues (Heaven, G-A-Y Bar, and G-A-Y Late), G-A-Y is the absolute bread and butter of the London LGBT club scene. Whether it’s getting (not so) quietly hammered on Old Compton Street or braving the stage for Porn Idol on Thursdays at Heaven, you’re pretty much guaranteed to end up here at least once – probably after a UCLU LGBT+ Network event.
Yes, the tourists can be incredibly frustrating at times – especially when they treat the clubs like a zoo – but Heaven is pretty much iconic now, just make sure you get a wristband for free entry.
With LGBT+ art exhibitions, the best hangover bap in the Universe, and student drink prices, Dalston Superstore is not to be sniffed at. Thursdays are Goldsnap which is mostly Garage and Jungle by an all-female DJ collective and there’s Last Resort on a Sunday for the disco lovers among us.
Les Poppeurs – a bi-monthly Saturday night dance party – makes its return on the 1st and is probably your best chance to dance with people who look like literal art pieces.
Next to Leicester Square on Lisle Street, Ku Bar is again one of those places you’ll end up going to at least once. It’s Soho’s only LGBT club that’s open every night of the week and it prides itself on being a safe late-night space. The club has recently had a face lift with some new snazzy light-up stairs and quite probably the most ripped bar staff you’ll ever lay eyes on.
Every Tuesday they host the Lesbian night, Ruby Tuesdays. It’s £2 entry, the drinks are super cheap and you’ll most likely fall a little bit in love with the pint-sized DJ- what’s not to like!
Guaranteed to be the most fun you’ll have on campus and the jewel in the crown of the UCL club scene, Glittoris is the LGBT+ Network’s monthy club night and it is an absolute riot.
Drinks are £2 all night and there’s a £30 bar tab up for grabs for whoever wins the lip sync battle, plus there will most definitely be some absolutely vintage queer bangers for you to get sloppy drunk and sing along to. You’ll also definitely be washing glitter out your hair for days afterwards.
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern
A venue which is doubtlessly of enormous significance to the entire LGBT+ community and a historic symbol of tolerance, The RVT is primarily a cabaret pub.
Mostly known for drag acts – Lily Savage had a residency there between 1984 and 1992 – expect to see British queens like Myra DuBois and Topsie Redfern. They also run club nights like Sunday Social and have a film screening of everyone’s favourite shit film, Showgirls.