Sunderland has taken its own direction in the last five years. Sunderland now seems to be taking a leaf out of Manchester's book and diversifying itself. The influx of the growing student economy has allowed the late night entrepreneurs to cash in and start the mid-week booze boom.
An unusually hard to understand or explain fact. Sunderland used to be a laughing stock as the only city in the UK without a cinema. The only gay in the village? Can it be true? I did feel like I was the only gay many years ago when I was I packed my bags and left for Manchester. I stayed there for six years until I missed my Mackem roots, and came back to what I know and love.
My home - Sunderland. Things have improved for us pink Mackems. Gay Tuesdays I go to The City Tavern on Fawcett Street every Tuesday and can mix with those like me, those who like me, even those who do not like me but are still like me: The City Tavern has always been a traditional gay haunt.
Never officially of course. But now we gays, mincers, dykes and bisexuals have Tuesdays. So much is our gratitude to have somewhere to spend our pink pound. The place is packed out every week and is fast becoming an unofficial gay hot spot. Honky Tonk is every Tuesday too. The owners are very much cashing in on the fact us gays have no other choice.
We gays will keep going back there. Because we are grateful to have a club to go to and we need to have a club to go to. Until there are any seriously good alternatives on the same night or at the weekend, we will line their pockets with pink mackem cash.
So what happens at the weekend, do we all go to Newcastle or London or Manchester to line other cities pockets? Because we want to socialise at home, not away. I can't wait for the weekend At the weekend Sunderland has probably got the biggest non-gay, gay scene in the entire land. Several bars are full to the rafters with homo revellers who keep it quiet for the sake of being in Sunderland, rather than elsewhere. I will not name these other venues, simply because I do not wish to out anybody before they are ready.
I put it to Sunderland and all its investors and entrepreneurs - build upon this city's growing night time economy, make it a mecca for the socialite. But please somebody, anybody, Mackem gay! Here is a selection of your comments on this feature… Carl Hiya, great article and alot of valid points have been pointed out here. I'm 16 and I go to sunderland most tuesdays and I go to newcastle friday, saturday and sunday.
I always feel more comfortable in Newcastle than I do in Sunderland but sunderlands tuesday nights out are more fun.. Just thought I'd point it out.. I am a bit confused as to the English in this article. It was very hard for me to follow and I assume it has to do with a dialect of the area. Anyway, the way gays and "dykes" were referred to made me a little less proud of who I was. I really don't enjoy this article being used as a voice for the so-called community.
G Since this article has wrote we now have a new venue, The Point on a tuesday. A new club, but it is also a good night But i agree sunderland has a long way to go, but when a brand new club opens and immeditaly launches a night, surely can only be a good thing, and competiton well surely drive down prices Gill I am a mackem but moved to London several years back as there was no gay scene in Sunderland.
Its nice things are moving forward but there is a long way still to go and it would nice if someone could take a risk and open a gay bar for all days of the week. This would help to put Sunderland on the gay map instead of loosing business to Newcastle, Manchester or London.
J you cant go out in sunderland on a so called 'straight night' if ur obviously gay. I think though, that the real idiots stay away from a place labbled gay.
An extra venue, somewhere central with a gay crowd would be nice, from a gay perspective. Or Perhaps different venues that are central could consider having gay nights on other nights of the week and the weekend. Thats way the openly gay scene would have a choice each night of the week. May be the reason we dont have a gay area is that gay people dont want one. I believe that the sunderland bar scene is amongst the best and most livley in the country it has seen a renaisence that can prove that any body can enjoy a good night out in a nice bar with an ever increasing quality of music without been labbled trendy or paying through the nose its the good genreal mix in the town that makes it as vibrant as it is.
If you have an exclusive gay bar or club you take out of the rest of the bar scene the contribution made by the gay community a bar should be gay freindly but openly gay means that a division will be made, and an obvious target for the idiots is then apperent. Bri The reason Sunderland doesn't have a gay scene is because the majority of Sunderland residents are narrow minded and would be mortified to have a gay scene or official gay bar 'down the town'.
A gay scene in Sunderland would never work. Ni[x]Y The tavern forever.. We are moving to Sunderland in a couple of weeks but it never occurred to either of us to check out the scene before it was all arranged. I come from Glasgow and have lived in Manchester and London so naturally i just assumed there would be at least a small selection of places to enjoy our weekends. Dont get me wrong, i enjoy a night in a straight bar just as much but occasionally its nice to chill with other people of a similar nature.
Suppose i wont get to see any of the scene! Firstly this is a great website its good to see comments that are constructive and hopefully can point the mackem gay scene in the right direction. Donald Mathews Good article. I think Sunderland does not have openly Gay Scene, due to fear, due to homophobia. I do not think Sunderlands Gay Community feels safe or supported. Well at least my article proves one thing: I am not the only Gay in the village haha. But am I the only gay trying and willing to make a difference to Sunderland and its hidden gay community?
Wish there were more places that were official at weeekends. I just love charvers and Sunderlands full of them x x x A promoter I think this article and all the comments will lead to steps towards more gay-friendly nights in Sunderlands str8 bars - but the gay community really need to be loud and proud and start breaking down outdated attitudes in Sunderland to revolutionize the city. Sunderland needs more culture and more diversity if it's gonna compete with the likes of Newcastle and Manchester.
There's no reason why it can't transform itself. You've now got a premiership footie team again, Radio 1's Big Weekend has just been, the music scene is now nationally recognized as a hotbed of talent. And I know from the inside of the local entertainment scene that things are afoot to bring more diverse entertainment ventures to Sunderland.
It's time for Sunderland to pick itself up! Louise and Gemma I want a gay bar in Sunderland that is trendy and plays good music. I dont want to see naff drag shows. Please can we move forward and have something new and exciting?
If only I had the cash myself!!! Or my lass did, we could sort it out! Cross Dresser Sunderland is a very narrow minded place. Thats why I moved to Manchester. This article is right. Nobody cares enough to try and make a difference. I think people in sunderland are scared to make a difference. The gay nites that do exist are not listed in any of these places: If you do not advertise something it will not be succesful.
Marki The problem with sunderlands gay scene. Is that when anybody does open a gay venue. They open it in direct competition with other gay nites. I know that a lot of people arnt supporting the gay scene even tho an extra bar was given to them, yes we get busy but there is more gay people in sunderland than what we get in!
Sam Hey, good article. I know I'd go even if I wasnt working. I love the sunderland scene and I think it'll always offer something that newcastle never could. A truly gay pub is gay owned and run thats why newcastle and middlesborough have established gay scenes. Dooky Hey man this is good article. I am bisexual and would prefer there to be more diverse place to chill in Sunderland. Minty Young Diva is always overpriced and expensive for drinks even on 'straight nights' so dont think you're being descrimintated against.
Why does it have to be official, the other nights of the week arent official straight nights are they? Thanks for the comments. I also have a partner. We are both openlly gay and do go out around Sunderland and dont feel so much that we will get beat up the world is getting better. BUT when we have showed open affection for each other.