Meeting and Socialising

LGBTQ people have used all kinds of places and buildings to meet and find partners for Queer sex, for same-sex love, for socialising and for political activism. Women have faced more constraints in their use of public space than men, and appear in historical sources less frequently.

  • Places for Sex

    Public spaces have always been considered potential sexual spaces, away from the watchful eyes of family and neighbours.

  • Indecent Behaviour

    Areas that were predominantly or even exclusively male social spaces provided opportunities for same-sex socialising and intimacy.

  • Cross Dressing and Socialising

    Cross-dressing has been used by Queer people to mark out their own meeting places and events since the 18th century.

  • Bohemian London

    Located next to the fashionable West End, nightclubs and underground bars mushroomed in Soho from the early 20th century.

  • Pubs and Clubs

    Clubs and pubs have long offered spaces where queer people can meet and socialise with relative freedom and as such become important community spaces.

  • Lesbian Clubs and Pubs

    A few lesbian clubs appeared in the mid-20th century though it was less socially acceptable for women to go to pubs until after the Second World War.