‘Desperate’: The only Australian capital city with no gay bar


Drag queens at shuttered gay bar Flamingos Dance Bar in Hobart, Tasmania
Image: Flamingos Dance Bar

The licensee of shuttered Hobart LGBTIQ+ venue Flamingos Dance Bar is still in a “beyond desperate” search for a new home for the long-running gay bar.

First open in 2005, Flamingos Dance Bar was Tasmania’s only permanent LGBTIQ+ community venue for 18 years.

The gay bar reopened in July 2020 following Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. However just a few months later, Flamingos had to move out after its longtime home at 201 Liverpool Street in Hobart sold in October 2020.

“Ever since closing, we’ve been contacted on a weekly basis by locals and tourists alike,” Flamingos licensee Gary Quilliam told the Mercury.

“[They’re] searching for a safe space in Hobart to catch up with other like-minded people for a drink and to socialise.

“To the best of my knowledge, Hobart is the only capital city in Australia with no dedicated LGBTIQ+ bar or club.

Quilliam described the search for a new home as “beyond desperate, it’s embarassing”.

“Despite our best effort to date searching for a suitable venue, the options are very limited,” he said.

“Plus we believe we are also subject to homophobia, which could have played a role in preventing us from being able to secure our desired premises.

“We were the only permanent dedicated safe LGBTIQ+ venue in Hobart.

“It means members of the LGBTIQ+ community, either locals or tourists, no longer have a safe space to go to on a weekly basis, should they want to.”

‘It’s a tough gig’

Across Tasmania, some pubs and clubs still host periodic queer-themed nights. One dance party event, Limbo, is on at Hobart nightclub The Grand Poobah.

That venue’s operator Juniper Shaw told the Mercury appropriate venues that did not attract noise complaints are hard to find.

“We try to offer a safe and inclusive space and regular parties pop up for the LGBTIQ community,” she said.

“It’s a tough gig post-Covid with costs going up.”

Read next: Tributes after sudden death of Flamingos Dance Bar founder Thomas Williams

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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