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Everything You Need to Know About Hamilton’s Gay Scene

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

To be perfectly honest, I feel out of my depths in providing the full scoop on Hamilton’s queer scene. Whenever I go to gay bars and events, somehow, I always find myself on a train to Toronto urging my friends on a night out at Church and Wellesley, Toronto’s designated gay village. It’s never occurred to me that I could find the same sense of community in Hamilton, simply because I never made the effort to look. To try and right my wrongs, I’ve scoped out some queer hotspots that anyone new to the city could go to!

Located at 161 Wellington St. N, The Well has become Hamilton’s token gay bar. They claim to be Hamilton’s newest all-inclusive safe space, and they have done a great job in proving that. Not only is it a place to drink and dance, but they also hold plenty of other events. From drag shows to brunches, and karaoke, it seems like they don’t have a shortage of fun. They even have student nights where students with valid IDs could attend events for free before midnight. Their Instagram has full updates on upcoming shows and cover prices if you’re interested in a fun night out!

If you’re the outdoorsy type, then Cedars Campground may be for you! It’s situated on the Niagara Escarpment and provides a queer camping experience. It’s at its peak during summer, and the season ends in October due to the weather. During peak season, they hold gay events such as karaoke nights, bingo, and pool days. At night, the Barn doubles as their nightclub, so it satisfies both your needs to be in touch with nature and to dance to great curated tunes!

Of course, these aren’t the only places to go when you’re in need of belonging as a queer person. As a McMaster student, there are plenty of events and clubs that can help you get situated in the community. For example, the McMaster Student Union often holds an event hosted by drag queens called Dirty Sexy Bingo. While it isn’t necessarily a queer event, you can almost guarantee a trail of queers to follow wherever drag queens go. Sometimes when you attend these queer spaces in Hamilton, it often feels like the demographic is much older than you. Looking into the McMaster club directory and seeking out queer clubs will guarantee you a community with people your age.

One last shout-out I need to make is a community-based company called Fruit Salad. I found out about them a while ago when the Westdale Theater and Fruit Salad had done a community mingle and screening of But I’m A Cheerleader back in March. Checking out their Instagram would give you updates on a lot of their collaborative events with other local Hamilton businesses.

Although sparse, safe queer spaces in Hamilton are still alive and thriving. A little digging here and there would provide you with a whole new (and queer) world!

Krissie Cruz is a National Writer for the Wellness department and a contributor to the Her Campus McMaster chapter. She writes a slew of topics but primarily focuses on all things culture, wellness and life. Aside from Her Campus, Krissie is currently a fourth-year political science student with a specialization in public law and judicial studies. She also has a minor in philosophy and an interest in applied social sciences research. Although her initial dream was to pursue law, her passion for writing has led her to a future in the publishing industry. Despite a shift in interests, politics and social justice hold a special place in her heart. In her free time, she spends hours binge-reading, taking film photography, and curating oddly specific Spotify playlists. She’s an active participant in the queer Toronto space by attending events and if her schedule allows it, volunteering for Pride Toronto.