However, there are at least several gay bars in most major cities. Mega-clubs like Zouk and Avalon are also a big draw for the gay crowd. Hub of men-only gay bars in Cape Town , South Africa Like most bars and pubs, gay bars range in size from the small, five-seat bars of Tokyo to large, multi-story clubs with several distinct areas and more than one dance floor. These places, however, were sometimes clandestine but tolerated by local authorities, which often meant that they were allowed to exist so long as the owners paid bribes. While traditional gay pub-like bars are nearly identical to bars catering to the general public, gay dance venues often feature elaborate lighting design and video projection, fog machines and raised dancing platforms. LGBT rights in South Africa The history of gay and lesbian bars in South Africa reflects the racial divisions that began in the Apartheid era and continue, to some extent, in the 21st century. In , the California Supreme Court affirmed the right of homosexuals to assemble in a case brought by the heterosexual owner of the bar.
In the s, straight nightclubs began to open their doors to gay clients on designated nights of the week. As a result of the decision, the pub is legally able to advertise as a "gay only" establishment, and door staff can ask people whether they are gay before allowing them inside, and can turn away non-gay people. When the bar was first opened, it was infiltrated by government undercover agents who were concerned about its effect on public morality and outed the owner as homosexual to his family and friends. Relative freedom from official harassment continued until when Mayor Ernesto Uruchurtu closed every gay bar following a grisly triple-murder. Some gay bars and clubs which have a predominantly male clientele, as well as some gay bathhouses and other sex clubs , may offer occasional women-only nights. Some of these sub-cultures are defined by costume and performance. Some of the longest established gay bars are unofficial hosts of elaborate local 'Royal Court' drag pageants and drag-related social groups. In the s, a lesbian bar named Crocodile Rock opened in Far East Plaza, which remains to this day the oldest lesbian bar in Singapore. A fairly visible presence was developed in large cities such as Guadalajara , Acapulco , Veracruz and Mexico City. Historically and continuing in many communities, gay bars have been valued by patrons as the only place closeted gay men and lesbians can be open and demonstrative about their sexuality without fear of discovery. Like non-gay establishments they serve as a meeting place and LGBT community focal point, in which conversation, relaxation, and meeting potential romantic and sexual partners is the primary focus of the clientele. Hired dancers called go-go girls or go-go boys may also feature in decorative cages or on podiums. A large venue may be referred to as a nightclub , club , or bar, while smaller venues are typically called bars and sometimes pubs. But by the late s several Mexican cities had gay bars and, later, U. There are also gay bars that cater to certain races, such as ones for Asian men "and their admirers", Latin men, or black men. One male bar patron said Korean bar culture was not as direct as in the United States, with customers indicating their interest in another customer by ordering him a drink through a waiter. In , the California Supreme Court affirmed the right of homosexuals to assemble in a case brought by the heterosexual owner of the bar. The White Horse Inn in Oakland, California , also operating legally since Prohibition, but likely during the period where sales of alcohol were banned in the U. Julius is New York City's oldest continuously operating gay bar. Hub of men-only gay bars in Cape Town , South Africa Like most bars and pubs, gay bars range in size from the small, five-seat bars of Tokyo to large, multi-story clubs with several distinct areas and more than one dance floor. While traditional gay pub-like bars are nearly identical to bars catering to the general public, gay dance venues often feature elaborate lighting design and video projection, fog machines and raised dancing platforms. These bars were often the targets of police raids. Andrew Sullivan argued in his essay "The End of Gay Culture" that gay bars are declining because "the Internet dealt them a body blow. The language of Gayle had its roots in the Cape Coloured and Afrikaans -speaking underground gay bar culture. The oldest lesbian bar in Seoul is Lesbos, which started in Lesbian bar Vivelavie in Amsterdam Gay bars and nightclubs are sometimes segregated by sex. During the struggle against apartheid, some of these shebeens were important meeting places for black gay and lesbian resistance fighters.
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