The very first gay bar in Europe and probably in the world was the Zanzibar in Cannes on the French Riviera. As a result of the decision, the pub is legally able to advertise as a "gay only" establishment, and door staff can ask people whether they are gay before allowing them inside, and can turn away non-gay people.
Gathering places favoured by homosexuals have operated for centuries. Hired dancers called go-go girls or go-go boys may also feature in decorative cages or on podiums. Historically and continuing in many communities, gay bars have been valued by patrons as the only place closeted gay men and lesbians can be open and demonstrative about their sexuality without fear of discovery.
Before gay marriage was
- Most have a steam room or wet sauna , dry sauna, showers, lockers, and small private rooms.
- In the s their number grew rapidly and they clustered in and around a number of streets, although this was limited to bars, clubs and shops and they never became residential areas for gays, like the gay villages in the US.
- Gay bars once served as the centre of gay culture and were one of the few places people with same-sex orientations and gender-variant identities could openly socialize.
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