The conversations about Boston’s gay nightlife scene often center around the closings of cherished establishments and rapid gentrification of once-gay neighborhoods. Longtime revelers lament the loss of Paradise and its sweat-soaked basement with no cell service and lots of jockstraps; city stalwarts reflect fondly on the days when Fenway was known for cruising instead of glistening high-rises. Like nearly every other city, Boston has seen a decline in LGBTQ-specific venues in recent decades.
But those who only mourn the past are missing out on an exciting and innovative present. Sections of Dorchester, once the epicenter of Boston’s Irish Catholic working-class, are now miniature gayborhoods — complete with Sunday tea dances. The Theater District is home to multiple clubs that regularly host big-name DJs and queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race (season 15 winner Sasha Colby performed at Legacy this winter), and Back Bay remains filled with gay-friendly neighborhood haunts. ManRay, the LGBTQ-friendly nightclub that caters to Boston’s goth and alternative communities, also reopened this year in Cambridge.
With a proud history of supporting gay rights and a large LGBTQ population, Boston is unsurprisingly one of the most inclusive metro areas in the country. It is true that gay people can feel comfortable galavanting anywhere, from Eastie’s waterfront to Somerville’s Davis Square.
Still, there is a need for gay-specific spaces, and a new generation of socialites are ensuring that Boston remains a destination for LGBTQ people. With Pride Month getting started, here is a look at the city’s gay bar scene and all it has to offer.Read More