Video: Gay Sports Day 2009
With a population of 8 million, London is the largest metropolis in the European Union and the second largest in Europe. London extends over 44 kilometers along the Thames river and has a moderate climate with its summers not too hot and the winters not too cold.
Throughout its history London has always been a center of attraction for different cultures and religions whether it be Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs or Buddhists. At the beginning of the 20th century, mainly Irish, Poles, Italians and Eastern European Jews came to London, while starting around 1950 the majority of immigrants comes from former British colonies such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Today, the cultural, ethnic, religious and economic background of London's population is one of the most diverse worldwide.
London has a flourishing artistic, theater and music scene. Just think of the West End with its numerous musical theaters or the many world-famous London-based bands and musicians, such as the Rolling Stones, The Who, Queen with Freddie Mercury, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Culture Club with Boy George, the Pet Shop Boys, Coldplay or the Spice Girls. Whole music genres such as Punk came from London and first conquered Europe and then the world.
This vitality and diversity of London is also reflected in its gay scene:
it is huge, diverse and ever changing.
There are the cafes, bars and shops of a classic gay village in the
Soho district of Central London,
particularly in the area around Old Compton Street.
Many clubbers go to the huge party temples in the railway arches in
or to the alternative clubs in the up-and-coming East End,
formerly a working class area that became popular with students and artists.
And not to forget the many traditional gay pubs and neighborhood bars that are scattered all over London.
No matter what you like, there is certainly a place in London where your needs are met – and were they ever so fancy.
Annual gay highlights in London are, among others, the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in spring, the Easter weekend, London Gay Pride end of June, and the bank holiday weekends in spring, end of August and around New Year's Eve.