I am a student who attends Salford University but was born and bred in Surrey. I was heavily involved in amateur dramatics and that was probably the closest and most open that I ever came to people talking openly about their sexuality. In terms of its gay infrastructure, the only comparable place down South, is Brighton. I have always loved Brighton for its North Laines, an area of quirky, vintage shops - the ultimate people-watching place if that happens to be one of your hobbies too!
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Canal Street is the main focus of Manchester's gay community and is lined with gay bars , clubs, cafes and shops. At night time and in the daytime during the warmer months the street is filled with party-goers, many of whom are gay and lesbian tourists from all over the world. The Manchester Gay Pride festival, formerly known as Mardi Gras and Gayfest, is held in this street and the surrounding area during the second half of August each year. The event culminates with a three day festival known as the 'Big Weekend', which is held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Canal Street was built alongside the construction of the Rochdale Canal, with pubs built to service the users of the canal.
In a flick through our City Life eating and drinking guide from , we look back at the scene in the Village and Portland Street areas. Sign up for our What's On newsletter - for all the latest whether you're staying in or heading out and about. Manchester's Gay Village was one of the first spaces in the UK to develop into a bustling quarter dedicated to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture. When Manto opened in , it had already firmly established itself as a part of the city committed to sexual tolerance and equality, but certainly the huge bar on Canal Street was a real catalyst for substantial development in the area. By , when our CityLife guide to bars, restaurants, and cafes in the city came out, it was already a pretty handsome area with tons going on and other social spots in the planning.