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We’ve all been there: a weekend drag brunch becomes a bottomless pit of mimosas, a hangover that creeps into the beginning of the working week, only to be cured by post-work drinks in the local queer bar. One round of G&Ts followed by yet another shot of something dark and unnaturally sweet and suddenly you’re half way through the month, finances in disarray, and forced to live off beans on toast for another two weeks.

With many of our historic queer spaces being pubs and bars, such as The Stonewall Inn in New York or the fleet of venues on Old Compton Street in London, it’s hard not to notice the lack of iconic LGBTQIA+ community spaces that aren’t centred around alcohol. If you want to be surrounded by queer community, you’re normally in a space that is booze heavy or only opens its doors once the sun has gone down. 

In broader society, however, our growing access to information regarding the harmful impact alcohol can have on our physical and mental health means that more young adults are opting to remain dry. As the sober community continues to grow and more non-alcohol focused social events are created, people who don’t drink for cultural or religious reasons are finding they too have more safe places to socialise and enjoy themselves.

So what about LGBTQIA+ folks? Where can we go to meet members of our community? Well, while you might not realise at first glance, many sober LGBTQIA+ community spaces are being created everyday to help us keep connected to our chosen family without the booze.

Eager to find out more? We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of our five top picks for a delightful, alcohol-free queer experience. 



Looking to get your move on? BEND has got you sorted. With a mission of inclusivity and togetherness for all LGBTQ+ people within the world of fitness, BEND provides a home to some of the best queer-led and queer-friendly fitness classes in London. From their Queer Running Club to Pecs Education – a trans masc, non-binary strength and conditioning class – founders Georgie Okell, Kole Fulmine and Nita Lorenzano have created a space where everyone is free to explore their body with safety, dignity and respect.



Even if we’re trying to cut down on the booze, many of us are still drawn to the atmosphere and connection that a bar can provide. With its dim lighting and romantic charm, a sober bar can be just the spot for a perfect date night. Tørstigbar (which means “thirsty” in Danish) opened in Brighton in 2022, and exemplifies the sultry mood of a speakeasy. However, it’s got a trick up its sleeve: it boasts an innovative low alcohol and alcohol-free cocktail menu. Our favourites include the almind, a 0.5% ABV take on a cherry bakewell, and the ørsoø, a low alcohol take on an old fashioned. Although they’re not an explicit LGBTQIA+ venue, Tørstigbar welcomes all sober folk and recently celebrated pride month with its LGBTQIA+ customers.



With creativity at its heart, this Queer Space Bristol hosts a wealth of creative endeavours directed towards LGBTQIA+ individuals. From LGBTQIA+ book clubs to social meet-ups for queer parents, it’s a breath of fresh air for those wanting to unwind and express themselves. With a focus on mindfulness and mental health, the space is open to LGBTQIA+ people of all ages and identities and prides itself on being for the community, by the community. 



Nestled in the East End of London, The Common Press is a firm favourite of LGBTQIA+ Londoners and tourists alike. Despite only being open since 2019, the multi-disciplinary space is home to a book shop, podcast studio and cafe by day while hosting events in the evenings and weekends – such as Yoga For Queers. And did we mention it’s available for private hire? 



Creater in 2019 by a group of founders including DJ, writer and counsellor Aisha Mirza, Misery Party is a grassroots mental health collective and sober rave which creates spaces of radical healing for QTIBPOC folks. Their in-person events span everything from foraging to film screenings, while they also conduct regular online programming – including a recent free digital grief circle. The strength, community and interconnectedness of Misery Party is a shining example of what mutual aid can look like in 2023.