Arts & Culture

Sydney’s Gayest Neighbourhoods

Photo: Credit

Pride marches are a dime a dozen in Europe and America, but Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras stands alone like a camp and sexy jewel in the global crown of homo festivals. What began as a 1978 protest has grown so big it’s made Sydney arguably the world’s top gay destination. Accolades aside, Sydney does a pretty good job of being gay all year round, as the glut of inner city suburbs and its residents are proud to display. Here’s the top list:

Darlinghurst – Indisputably the kingpin of Sydney’s gay scene, “Darlo” is the epicentre of teetering drag, screaming handbag and a healthy dose of dimly lit alternaqueer. Oxford Street (where the parade takes place on March 5) caters for all persuasions (and perversions) with stalwarts The Stonewall, The Oxford and The Colombian hogging the velvet rope limelight. For the best proximity to the Parade and the Party, check out the list of Sydney hotels

Surry Hills – Unflappable urbane to Darlinghurst’s loose insouciance, this hipster enclave sports Sydney’s greatest concentration of modish bars, restaurants and cafes. Androgyny abounds in “Slurry”, so throw your preconceived ideas about skinny jeans and asymmetrical haircuts out the window.

Potts Point – More West Village NY than Sydney NSW, this is where faux hawks and Fendi blend seamlessly along the canopied streets of boutiques and bistros.  Organic markets, champagne bars and cool apartment living are on the moneyed menu here.

Photo: Credit

Newtown – Once a grungy aorta for Sydney’s music and performing arts scene, Newtown is now a bolt hole for the more alternative side of the city’s G&L scene. Think vegan cafes, Pride-themed pet accessories and gastro pub conversions with “found” furniture.

Erskineville – 15 years ago you may have been the only gay in this inner city village, but in 2011 you’d be fighting to get heard. Here it’s cute cafes, footpath dining and the infamous late opening Imperial Hotel where whole chunks of patrons’ nights go missing. It’s that fun!

Leichardt – While home to the largest number of Italian restaurants in Sydney, this inner west strip is also home to a thriving lesbian community. The tiramisu, gelato and marinara alone are worth the trip across town.

Photo: Credit

Bondi – At a glance, this beach suburb is surfers and silicone, but certain gay dating apps will reveal the huge amount of non scene homo activity occurring here. Not to mention the far north end of  Bondi Beach, nicknamed the ‘Pansy Patch’, which on Sunday hosts the highest density per square metre of Speedo wearing muscle boys.

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