2 December, 2021       LISBON - MAX. Partly sunny and breezyº, MIN. 03º

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Folders  |  Lisbon, new Gay destination
Lisbon, new Gay destination
Jan de Kerne
Lisbon, new Gay destination
Jan de Kerne lives in Paris and works in audiovisual. He has been working a long time as journalist for television and, simultaneously, for the gay press. He has also been working in production, shows and communication. He has fallen in love with Portugal, homeland of ‘fatal’ beauties such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma ;-) but even more with Lisbon. Just after this lightning stroke, this sun stroke, Jan de Kerne has created the first illustrated written in French blog on this gay friendly and very promising destination, the Atlantic city which, according to some, was founded by Ulysses.

Here are some first steps in the fantastic and rich gay life of Lisbon …

Not so long ago, among the French (and also Europe’s) gay community, names of gay ‘eldorados’ began to echo: Barcelona, of course, Madrid too, also London and, to a lesser extent, Berlin. Barcelona was the queen city where the whole dancing and laughing gay Paris ran to in summer to protrude and flex muscles, with their poses, sunglasses and the very latest dance steps.

The years have passed and one has to admit that without exception, all those who have known well Barcelona, Madrid, London, Berlin and Lisbon, will unanimously affirm that there is only one city where they could live, an all-promising city for gays, a place in this tough world where the gentle way of life, history, sun, quality of life, the beauty of the boys, the energy of youth and effervescent nights are at its paroxysm: Lisbon.

(photo: Betty Brown at the Sétimo Céu)

In Paris, the ‘pride parade’ or gay pride, annually registers between 500,000 and 700,000 walkers, which, by the way, turns it into the largest national demonstration (equivalent to two or three demonstrations against, for example, the CFE – Contract First Employment (in French CPE – Contrat Premier Embauche!). Well, take good note that the ‘ Arraial pride’ organized by ILGA Portugal, only registers 2,500 persons. Nevertheless, this small crowd exhibits such a joyful atmosphere and enthusiasm. The Lisbon gay pride looks very promising. It is unsophisticated, good-natured, tasty, amusing and, obviously, militant. But there is still much to be done.

Gay Lisbon can be resumed in these six words: there is still much to be done. While Barcelona, Madrid and other cities are more in a sinking phase having shone for so many years on the gay planet, Lisbon is on its way up and every year conquering new fans from France and elsewhere.

Here, gay life melts without any problems into the peaceful atmosphere and into general festive life of the city, where heterosexuals and gays understand each other and (almost) walk hand in hand. There is no gay ‘ghetto’. It is this ‘development’ that enables the city to give birth to this electrifying and very emotional atmosphere.

In practical terms, how do you take the first steps into gay life in Lisbon? First, by clicking on http://lisbonnegay.blogspot.com where you will find essential information on gay places to visit, some pictures, glimpses of life, jokes and other curiosities. In brief, the starting point of your gay journey must be ‘Bairro Alto’, the partying city quarter, where all tendencies and styles melt.

The bar ‘Sétimo Céu’, in Travessa da Espera, is an excellent starting point. Ask the barman for a map of gay bars and night clubs. Then, you can proceed to Portas Largas’, Rua da Atalaia. It is an institution, although the quantity of gay customers tends to fewer and fewer numbers.  ‘Frágil’ was the first gay night club. In fact, it was the first night club in Bairro Alto.

The whole city quarter was built around it. Then, the owner sold it and created from scratch the incredible ‘Lux’ (a three level night club, incredible decoration, veranda, etc.). ‘Frágil’ is still running, and it is still a very good gay friendly location, but the real high spots for gay parties are the following: the night club ‘Le Trumps’, Rua da Impresa Nacional, and Finalmente’, Rua da Palmeira (never before 1 or 2 am). Also make a note of ‘Bar 106’, Rua de São Marçal, which every Sunday evening proposes the famous ‘message party’. You are given a number and everybody exchanges messages. Encounters are guaranteed.

Besides bars and night clubs, there are also gay beaches, among which the famous beach number 19 (also number 17) in Costa de Caparica. The access is not evident, but once there, you can enjoy both the incredible quality of the surrounding landscape and the multitude of encounters. The blog http://lisbonnegay.blogspot.com provides you with more details.

Please make a note: soon available on the blog, the ‘BOGOSSE GAME’: a treasure hunt where you have to find the most beautiful barmen of Christendom, photographed in Lisbon… Well, for all additional information, here is my email address:

‘Até logo!’

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