Understandably when you move to a new city as a student, things can be pretty intimidating. What can be even more intimidating is if you identify yourself within the LGTBQ+ community and yearn for those safe havens where you can take away the shell and be your pure self. Now, for some, York might not seem an overly queer place to live in. However, I am here to tell you that York absolutely is an LGBTQ+ thriving city. Take it from me, your friendly queer student who has been living in the city for nearly three years now. Take a read for my five favourite spots of LGBTQ+ Safe spaces in York.
Lunar Cafe: York’s First LGBTQ+ Cafe
Lunar is a safe space, where you can find like-minded people and connect; an arts space; a space to be yourself and truly embrace your queerness.
Opening in just 2021, Lunar Cafe has taken the city by storm as the leading, and only, openly LGBTQ+ cafe in York. Cosied upstairs from The Portal Bookshop you can take a seat and find like-minded students and locals who identify within the LGBTQ+ cafe. Grab a hot coffee or an iced latte as well as their flag-themed cakes; nonbinary orange cake anyone?
Lunar Cafe thrives in maintaining a welcoming space for all ages, and it also includes a hairdresser too! They host Drag Queen bingos, quizzes and various workshops, recently hosting a feminising workshop.
Downstairs from Lunar Cafe is one of my favourite bookshops; Portal Bookshop. Home to all books LGBTQ+ related from fiction, to non-fiction as well as wonderful badges, flags and everything you could want in order to decorate your room with your identity. They also have a website where you can order books too. Whenever I go in, I always manage to come away with one more book for my shelf at home and feel incredibly welcomed whenever I pay a visit to the lovely team at Portal Bookshop.
Cosy Time Cafe
What LGBTQ+ person doesn’t love a good coffee shop? Well, Cosy Time is another LGBTQ+ safe cafe for you to curl with a wonderful hot chocolate and a good book.
We are a friendly coffee shop located in the heart of York’s bustling city centre. Our customers pride us for inclusivity. We are dog friendly, an LGBTQ+ safe place and we can cater to the specific dietary requirements of our lovely customers!
York LGBT Forum
The York LGBT Forum is a registered charity with membership. Our members are active in setting our strategy and vision. We currently have full, associate and corporate members. Members must be 16+ as per charity rules.
The LGBT Forum in York aims to promote inclusivity for members of the LGBTQ+ within society and also welcomes allies. They host regular events for people within York City, such as coffee mornings, and they support all ages within the community.
Pride and other events
York hosts an annual Pride in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and in memory of the rich history that comes with Pride.
Since September, York has also hosted many LGBTQ+ Club nights. Every first Sunday of the month, the nightclub KUDA hosts ‘Kween’ a night dedicated to all things queer and LGBTQ+.
YUSU LGBTQ+ Network is also in collaboration with the Nightclub Flares in York, hosting LGBTQ+ nights every week 4 and 8 of Term. The events are themed, previously having ‘Gaycation’ and ‘Neon is the new black’. Even if you don’t fancy the club night you are always welcome to attend the pre-drink social held at one of the college bars on Campus so you can still mingle and get to meet other LGBTQ+ identifying members at University.