Montreal - Gay & Lesbian -

Montreal is an extremely inviting destination for gay and lesbian tourists , and it is arguably the most gay-friendly city in North America. Canada's contributions to gay rights have recently become widely known, but Quebec was the first province in Canada to pass a non-discrimination law for sexual orientation and to provide same-sex civil unions. Same-sex marriage is legal in Quebec (neither residency nor citizenship are required for a marriage license, but there is a three-week waiting period after you receive the license). Canadian and Quebec immigration law allow residents to sponsor their same-sex partners or spouses.

Montreal itself is a very safe, open, and inviting city. It has the largest gay village  in North America (rue Sainte-Catherine from rue Saint-Hubert to av. Papineau - metro Beaudry, whose entrance is marked with rainbow pillars). Montreal's pride celebration, Divers-Cité (last week of July, first week of August) is the second-largest in North America after Toronto's. Montreal has as many gay and lesbian bars as San Francisco, and every October on Canadian Thanksgiving (Columbus Day in the US) hosts the Black and Blue circuit party, attracting thousands to enjoy the thrill of harder dance music and hordes of pretty, shirtless men.

Trendy gay establishments include Unity (Ste-Catherine and Montcalm), Sky (Sainte-Catherine and Alexandre-de-Sève), and Parking (Ste-Catherine and Amherst), all in the Village. Le Drugstore (1366 Ste-Catherine)is more casual and attracts a large lesbian clientele for happy hour on Fridays. Bars catering to a male leather clientele include Stud (Sainte-Catherine and Papineau - not exclusively leather) and Aigle Noir (Sainte-Catherine and Panet). Cabaret Mado (Sainte-Catherine and Wolfe) is a drag show with outrageous spectacles every night, run by the city's chief drag queen, Mado Lamotte.

Outside the Village, gay bars include Agora (René-Lévesque and Mackay, metro Lucien-L'Allier) and Mystique (Stanley between Sainte-Catherine and De Maisonneuve, metro Peel), both quiet, friendly neighbourhood bars in the west end of downtown. To find out everything about what's going on, pick up a copy of Fugues, the free monthly gay magazine with a complete listing of what's on where. You can get it at Priape, the gay sex shop and unofficial information clearinghouse in the Village on Sainte-Catherine between de la Visitation and Panet. Fugues is in French; if you don't read French, ask the staff at Priape for help.

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License

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