York is generally welcoming to LGBTQ+ people. So why isn’t there one single LGBTQ+ bar in the entirety of the city, ask Molly Lodge?
As a young lesbian living and working in York, I have been so surprised to find the lack of LGBTQ+ places in the city.
There is the Portal Bookshop on Patrick Pool, an amazing LGBTQ+ bookshop that has its own café. And there’s also the soon to be reopened café Cosy Time too.
But otherwise, York is conspicuously lacking in openly LGBTQ+ places.
I am not suggesting the overall city is not welcoming to people from the LGBTQ+ community.
However, the amount of space available for people to celebrate who they are, to feel that they are surrounded by people from similar circles is very limited.
York is well known for its pubs and some very notable clubs – yet there is not one single LGBTQ+ bar in the entirety of the city.
As Frankie told me, “I just find it incredibly disappointing, for a city that is thriving with young queer people and prides itself on that, doesn’t have more spaces available for openly LGBTQIA+ people.”
They further expressed their disappointment that “the only queer night York had that was once a month was cancelled”.
When walking around York I am thankful that I feel confident and comfortable holding my girlfriend’s hand. I know not everyone will experience this same level of comfort.
As an LGBTQ+ person coming to this city it can be hard to feel welcomed whilst walking around. It can be hard to find somewhere with a full view of the city that welcomes everyone with open arms.
Another York resident, Jess, expressed her upset at this situation. “If I went to most other cities there would be a queer club, but it feels like York doesn’t cater to that kind of thing,” she said.
There are several clubs and pubs across the city that boast LGBTQ+ nights and friendly evenings. In my experience these events are often cancelled. Some of the local clubs used to regularly do an LGBTQ+ night, but they just don’t exist anymore.
Parker added: “It would have been nice to have a club that I felt safe to be bisexual in, as opposed to having to be a lesbian in clubs filled with straight men.”
While having the two cafes is amazing, more is needed. Sometimes you want to know that the places you are choosing to spend time at are inclusive and safe.
Overall, I do think that York is a safe area to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community. There is just a need for more overtly friendly places – even if it is just a once a month event where people can express themselves and feel safe.
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way. When talking about the subject of this article, other people responded with upset and anger about the situation in York and expressed hope that we will see change soon in such a popular city.
And this is a complaint about whom?. The council, the general public or the lack of LGBTQ patronage to establish venues. Typical moan from a minority. They dont help us.Help yourselves