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The Gay Side of Cape Town

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The Gay Side of Cape Town

A look into what makes Cape Town so gay friendly

Cape Town is pretty Gay

I dare you to deny it. Popular as a traveller's destination generally, and for varied reasons, including but not limited to its beautiful beaches, majestic skyline, vibrant night life, exciting activities and of course, the Mountain. These same reasons (and more) make it undeniably popular as a Gay Hotspot.

The Mother City has even oftime been referred to as the second San Francisco (San Fran commonly known as the Gay Capital of the World).

You could even go so far as to say that we've become possessed with the spirit of co-operation

The term Rainbow Nation has a far more umbrella, enveloping effect than most realise. It’s not limited to just race; but all who take refuge in our Mother's arms.

Historical information points to C.T. as having been popular to gay travellers from as far back as the 1700's, sailors coming over on some of the most luxuriant, beautifully designed boats ever seen.

As a country as a whole the appeal is obvious - South Africa was the first country in the world to enable protection from persecution and discrimination on the grounds of  race, gender and - sexual orientation; meaning that for the first time discrimination was made illegal. This law was passed in 1996, following the 94' democratic elections and the purging of our Apartheid past. 

So our gates opened to the world, welcoming one and all

But still – why Cape Town specifically? Why not Johannesburg, or even Durban? Are our beaches so beautiful, our scenery so resplendent, our nightclubs so chic, that the magnetism is simply irresistible?

Yes.

We give the best welcoming party of all, and what a party it is. Cape Town offers famously picturesque, natural beauty that alone should be sufficient a card to trump other South African cities. We’ve always been a favoured tourist destination for that very reason.

But Cape Town also has hotspots such as Greenpoint and Seapoint, gay nightclubs of the highest calibre, the whole city in fact filled with an unoppressive, almost opulent nature, an... essence that other South African cities fail to compete with.  This is contrasted with a laid back atmosphere, ideal for those who yearn to lead a more relaxing lifestyle.

We don't discriminate, Cape Town is mother to all

Once you've seen the eccentric characters that one does on long street etc., being gay hardly registers on the extrememometer, there are far more wacky and wonderful characters to point at.

With the ever increasing number of Gay residents and tourists, there is even accommodation available that is specifically tailored for homosexual clientele. Then there are our beautiful beaches - ones like Clifton 3, which have become largely 'Gay' beaches, some nude, some a teeny bit more conservative.

But the fabulously minded don't discriminate either

Whether partying at the popular Bronx club or getting an all-body-tan at the furthest end of the beautiful Sandy Bay, you won't be excluded because of your personal sexual preference.

Another major attraction is of course our extensive events, parades and gay festivals (Cape Town Pride, Moby Dick, MCQP Jungle Fever for example). The Mother City Queer Project and other organisations have proven themselves adeptly skilled at arranging parties and occasions that truly light up the city, painting it pink with unequalled fervour, flavour and flair.

In March of 2010 Big Concerts even brought over The Queen of England, Elton John, for our musical enjoyment. Rumours’ abound that soon they’ll be able to bring over his younger sister, Ricky Martin.

We take immense pride in our diversity of culture - taking joy in rather than segregating because of 'difference'; celebrating our metropolitan delights; all brought together in a wonderful fusion of the people that make our beautiful city a humdrum of exciting activity and festivity.

By John Scharges

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Laugh at the Queen and at yourself at this hilarious Cape Town drag show.

Our spirit of inclusion welcomes Mr Gay World back to our shores for Mr Gay World 2019.

Looking for a good gay night out? Check out our list of the Best that Cape Town has on offer.

Be sure to keep up-to-date with who’s doing what in and around Cape Town by subscribing to our monthly Editor’s Pick’s Newsletter.

Cape Town Events Calendar
November 2022
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Old Fashioned MonthThe best bars for Old Fashioneds + how ...

Where to drink one of the world’s oldest cocktails + a recipe

Fairtrade giveawayTake a quiz, win coffee + tea for a ...

Life isn’t fair. But you can be (and win). It takes 2 minutes

Drumstruck performersDrumstruck at Silvermist! African drum ...

Drumstruck is back from Broadway and playing for a limited run in Cape Town

Picnic in the parkPicnic in the Parks, fun workshops for ...

Book a picnic basket, get it delivered to the park + do interactive workshops

Distiller's UnionMake your unique brand of gin

At Distiller’s Union you get to also pick the flavour, colour + do a beer tasting with ...

Elvis BrewElvis Blue’s “lekka” padstal on ...

Elvis Brew in George has the closest viewing deck for large aircraft in SA

Bar KeeperBar Keeper is open on Sundays till ...

Order 1 bottle to many cases online or in store, get it delivered same day, cold

Sweet River Brewery ingredientsBook out this distillery for your next ...

Make your own at Distillers Union + get beer and pizza at Sweet River Brewery

Art Haus origamiLearn how to do origami from a Guinness ...

Help an artist create an art piece and learn to make origami from a pro

Bombay BrasserieBombay Brasserie offers sumptuous ...

Taste 7 unique dishes (+ a surprise) at Taj Cape Town’s signature eatery

The Purple WindmillWeekend market that has it all

Craft beer, kids playpark, aqua golf, target shooting, donkeys and more

Black Elephant Vintners music and wine pairingEver imagined a rock ‘n roll ...

Silent disco, wine barrel tables + rock star murals at Black Elephant Vintners

Blue Train ParkKids Party Idea: Take a ride on the ...

BOOK Now and let the outdoor adventure begin!

Breathwork Africa foundation3+ ways to get your breath back and ...

Classes, courses, retreats on conscious breathing run by the trainers leading the global ...

The Blue Room interiorLive jazz at The Blue Room

Dine, drink cocktails while top local muzos jam at this moody new bar

Taj kids bedHere’s an unbeatable deal: Kids stay ...

You’ll get 2 interleading rooms, 1 harbour + canal cruise and royal treatment

The Galileo open air cinemaThe Galileo Open Air Cinema in the Cape ...

The Galileo screens at a different wine farm every Saturday. See schedule

Oasis Association Claremont coffee shopDo Good

3 ways to support Oasis: shop, donate or take your recycling there

Leopard's Leap FamilyLeopards Leap serves succulent ...

Family-style lunches are its speciality, plus there’s a big lawn for kids to play on

White Shark Cage Diving - BoatSpectacular rates on shark-cage diving ...

Where conservation meets adventure. FREE Buff + ask for current CapeTownMag specials

Ficks CocktailsFicks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

Strolla RestaurantGet Irie On The Sunset Deck At Strolla ...

Weekend sunsets at Strolla mean live DJs and reggae (Rivertones)

La Motte Tasting RoomVirtual and on-site wine tastings at ...

Or do this specialised La Motte wine-tasting virtually

Honeybee Heroes Be a beekeeper for a day at Honeybee ...

Adopt a hive, learn about bees, take a beekeeping course, buy honey

Klein Roosboom tasting caveTaste wine in a cave

Boutique winery with 6 six cosy tasting nooks. Plus platters, picnics + trails

Irma Stern Museum artHere’s what’s on at the Irma Stern ...

Celebrate 50 years with art workshops, walkabouts and discussions

Canto Wines champagne + macarons tasting3 unusual pairings at this Durbanville ...

From MCC to tonic tastings: there’s something at Canto for the whole family

GiveawaysTravel Tips