Gay In Spain
Posted by Sammie
Information about the gay and lesbian scene in Spain.
If you’re homosexual, lesbian, transgender, bi sexual or just plain straight and feel like going to a bar where you don’t have to worry about being harassed by the opposite sex, Spain has a thriving and very active gay scene. Gay clubs, bars, hotels and associations are rampant throughout the country with more of a presence in the larger more cosmopolitan cities, yet still very active within smaller cities.
Currently, it is estimated that 10% of Spanish people live in same-sex couples, or are attracted to the same sex, meaning that there are around four million lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people in Spain.(Andalucia.com)
Homosexuality in Spain however, hasn’t always been so accepted. During Franco’s rule in Spain, homosexuality was illegal. With the onset of the Spanish constitution in 1978 it was legalized and since then the gay community in Spain has thrived. Due to the recent introduction of the controversial homosexual marriage law, Spain became the third European country after the Netherlands and Belgium, to legalize same-sex marriage between native Spanish citizens and also registered foreigners living in Spain. Even though the Catholic Church strongly contested the marriage bill, the large majority of people (especially in urban areas) support equal rights for homosexual couples.
An estimated sixty-two per cent of Spanish people supported the move to legalize same-sex marriages. This law now gives Spanish-resident same-sex couples the right to marry and the same rights of ownership, inheritance and adoption as married heterosexuals. An important thing to note is that this law also improves the legal situation for children born into or adopted by lesbian or homosexual couples, giving them civil and inheritance rights currently denied them under law. Since the law has been passed, at least 5,000 couples have already applied for permission to marry.
Due to the new marriage law and the growing support within the country for homosexuality, Spain has become a popular tourist and vacation destination for the gay community.
Specific Gay friendly areas around the country:
When it comes to popular gay travel destinations in Spain, Barcelona has always had the reputation as being a city with a vibrant and integrated gay scene. While there are definitely gay barrios within the city, basically everywhere in Barcelona is welcoming and gay friendly. For both Barcelona residents and travelers the city offers a gay and lesbian hotline (900 601 601) as well as the SexTienda, a useful resource which lists gay bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants within the city.
Popular Gay areas within Barcelona
Eixample is the heart of the gay scene in Barcelona. Although it’s not exclusively a gay area, this is where most of the gay bars, clubs and hostels can be found. This area is a beautiful and relatively modern and trendy district in the centre of Barcelona and offers an active social scene for both the gay and straight community. It is located around c/ de Cent and c/ d’Aribau near the metro stops Universitat, Urgell and Passeig de Gràcia.
Another area that is very popular with the gay community - just an hour outside of Barcelona, is Sitges. Sitges holds the biggest gay event in Barcelona, the Carnaval. Every year in late February or early March Sitges hosts the greatest gay parade in the country.
Sitges was an artists´ colony in the late 19th century, (where Dali had his holidays) and has become one of the most popular gay beach resorts in Europe with the gay population making up almost thirty per cent of summer tourism.
The Gay beach in Sitges is called Playa de la Bossa Rodona and is directly under the Picnic Restaurant on the seafront.
The bars and discos in Sitges are mostly located around Calle de San Bonaventura. Although there are no lesbian clubs right now in Sitges, with the growing number of clubs hosting lesbian only nights, a lesbian club is bound to open in the near future.
- The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)-Gay shopping
- Gracia Nightlife - Bars and Disco
- Ciutat Vella Saunas, cinema and Nightlife – Disco
Some Popular Gay Barcelona Bars and Clubs:
A very popular club with European house music.
Location: Ronda de Sant Pere 19-21, La Ribera
Tel (+34) 93 318 06 86
This is a restaurant/music bar with food until midnight and intermittent drag shows.
Location: c/ Consell de Cent 245, the Eixample
Metro: Urgell or Universitat
Aire Sala Diana
The most popular lesbian bar and club in town.
Location: c/ Valencia 236, the Eixample
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Tel: (+34) 93 451 58 12
This discoteca is a gay Barcelona classic.
Location: c/Balmes 32, the Eixample
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Tel: (+34) 93 487 83 42
A great bar and club open till 5am with a funkier, more ‘off the beaten track’ gay scene. There’s no cover.
Location: c/ d’Aribau 27, the Eixample.
Lesbian and mixed bars in Barcelona include:
- Dietrich-(Dance Floor and Nightly Drag Shows) Consell de Cent, 255
- Zafron -(Lesbian - Gay Bar)on Casanova, 68
- Matchin-Casanova, (just above Gran Via)
- All free woman-(just above Gran Via) Casanova
- Cafe de le Calle-(meeting place for lesbians & gay men) Carrer de Vic, 11
- Bahia-(predominantly lesbian bar open until about 2.30am) Carrer de Seneca, 12
- La Rosa-(predominantly lesbian) Passatge de Brusi, 39