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Old Posted Jan 29, 2014, 9:03 PM
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SignalHillHiker SignalHillHiker is online now
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My favourite thing about the LGBT community in St. John's is how large and integrated it is. There is a stereotypical gay scene, with gay bars, cafes, B&Bs, travel agencies, flower shops, candy stores, and everything else - but the vast majority of LGBT people simply participate in mainstream society.

When we go downtown, it's rare that we go to a gay bar. We just go to George Street. There are friends we never see except during Pride Week at family events such as the Pride Bonfire at Middle Cove Beach and Pride Family Day at Bannerman Park.

Also, whatever the genetic component of being LGBT, we have it in droves. For a city of only 200,000 people, our gay community is absolutely enormous.

Here are a few interesting tidbits. We were one of the first cities in North America to have openly an openly gay-friendly and an officially gay bar:

In the early 1960s, there were already gay-friendly establishments in St. John’s where the LGBT community could socialize as openly as felt comfortable for them. One of the first was The Porthole, a bar located on Water Street that is known to have been gay-friendly at least as early as 1966. Another popular hangout, primarily for gay men looking to “socialize” with foreign fishermen and sailors, was The Waterfront Club.

By the 1970s, St. John’s was widely recognized as one of the most gay-friendly cities in North America. This was, in many ways, the golden era of the LGBT nightlife in the city - a time of tremendous excitment, joy, discovery, and, of course, pride.

The extremely popular Admiral’s Keg, located in the old Newfoundland Hotel, was the place to be for most of the first half of the decade, from 1969 to 1974.

“It was named by Time Magazine as one of Canada’s top gay-friendly destinations in the early 1970s,” Fitzpatrick added.

Then something extraordinary happened.In 1974, the first officially-established gay bar opened. Friends, as it was called, was an instant hit. It’s impossible to over-emphasize how warmly this establishment was received - not only by the LGBT community, but St. John’s as a whole.!St-Johns...1-87DC0172E9F9

And today we're leading the provinces in LGBT tolerance education:

“Newfoundland and Labrador endorsed the results and became the only province in the country to begin a mandatory LGBT Safe School initiative,” Rose said. “The fact it was mandatory was critical. There are school boards across Canada that, to this day, won’t let us in the door. But your province said: in Newfoundland and Labrador, every single principal, vice-principal, administrator, and guidance counsellor will get EGALE’s intense training.

“We want everyone to know there are LGBT youth in our school system, and there are heterosexual children who have LGBT parents. We want to ensure they all feel safe, that they see themselves represented in the curriculum, that they feel they belong. We lose about 600 children to suicide in Canada every year, and 40% of them are LGBT. It’s about saving lives. And Newfoundland and Labrador is really leading the way for Canada.”!NL-leads...7-87E9DEF2F609

And a little peek at a couple of gay events:

Manila Luzon from Ru Paul's Drag Race:
Video Link

And more:

Note to self: "The plural of anecdote is not evidence."

Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Jan 29, 2014 at 9:27 PM.
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