Wow, last week was almost uncomfortably political. This week, we’re doing something safe – reviewing queer venues. So you know where to go on a late Saturday night after you ditch your heterosexual/closeted drinking buddies at Red Square, in order to hang out with fellow queers (and get yourself a piece of tail, while you’re at it). Back in the days of the glorious Pound monopoly, queerdom was united under a single venue.
Alas, those good times are gone. But such is the nature of Wellington – a town where bars open and close like cheap gay prostitutes.
Imerst: 13 Dixon St. Busiest from 12-3am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. Lots of drags shows and pretty boys gyrating. Evenly spread male age range from eighteen to about forty-five. The dance floor has a high ceiling, so you don’t feel like you’re suffocating when you mosh. And if you want to be able to hear what the person next to you is saying, there are couches (along with nice, low lighting) upstairs. Not an awful lot of women at the peak hours, though. For some reason, queer women collectively tend to pike early – presumably because hot lesbian sex takes many, many hours. Hats off to you, ladies.
Our Bar: 201 Cuba St, next to the sleazy porn shop. Good décor and lighting. Very pleasant atmosphere, especially in the early evening. Less about the gyrating and more about the actually talking with the person/people you came with. I’d recommend having a date there, or taking your co-workers for drinks. The food is yummy, especially the cream cheese wontons – so good. It’s a little pricey on a small budget, but UniQ is working hard on trying to get some drink specials there for students. Unforeseen bonus – it has a balcony type thing right on the street, so you can heckle straight passers-by (if you feel so inclined). Also, on the second Saturday of every month, Our Bar has a women’s-only dance party. It starts at 8:30pm, and costs $5. The next will be on the 14th of April – a White Out party. So wear white.
Blondini’s: The upstairs bar of the Embassy theatre has lesbian after-work drinks from 5:30pm on the second and fourth Friday of every month. So – a lot of professional lesbians there. It’s quite nice, and they seemed quite happy to welcome new people. You just have to sort of… join their table, somehow.
Checkmate: This is a “NO GIRLS ALLOWED!” kind of place, if you know what I mean. (Hmph! What can you do with a big bunch of men anyway?) Hence, I’ve never been. But I hear it has “more porn on TVs than you can shake a stick at”, “lots of condoms all over the place”, and a spa and a shower block – “so you can get all spic and span before and after”. Sounds lovely. It’s on 20 Garrett St, and costs $16 for students (ID required). Non-students pay $20.
Finally, of course, there’s UniQ. They hold meetings every two weeks (either on campus or in town), and lots of other events. Join their mailing list to receive the latest information – email@example.com
So yeah. That’s uh…pretty much it, in terms of venues. However, Wellington has a lot of support groups. Check out www.gaynz.com – they have everything you could ever want to know.
I hear that Auckland’s queer scene is much more exciting than our own, with actual young, single, queer women. I refuse to believe it. It sounds too good to be true. Sigh.