Probably you’ve heard terrible things about safety of LGBTQI people in our country. About forbidding by politicians and assaults by football fans (better to call them ‘hooligans’) during Parades of the Equality. That we cannot strike domestic partnerships up which are disregarded in Poland. Yes, that’s true. But on the other side, especially in Tri-city area (Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot) which is very open metropolis of entertainment , we live well here, cheerfully and what is more, not only in secret.
Tri-city area is, as a matter of fact, one of few major city, where Parades of the Equality aren’t organised but we have a few clubs, saunas, organisations and trade beach. The enthusiasts of retro will find also pickets, usually in parks and public conveniences.
Maybe I will disappoint you, we don’t have any gay districts and our clubs aren’t big. One of them is even in the converted attic. However, they are climatic, friendly and with sensible prices.
And it’s worthwhile adding that majority of the clubs in Tri-city area is LGBTQI friendly. So you don’t have to isolate yourselves in the trade clubs and boldly drop in for the cocktail to ‘Spatif’, ‘Sfinks’ or ‘Absynt’ which, by the way, is the most popular place in Tri-city to meet somebody for one- night- stand.
Like probably worldwide, men have the biggest range of entertainment. And the specificity of Tri-city is the fact that the night life is concentrated in Sopot. The most impressive Tri-city club is ‘Sixty9’. ‘69’ is located in the city centre of Sopot, at three levels of the modern tenement house at the crossing streets Kościuszki and 3rd May.
Parties, also performances of the best Polish drag queens, take place mainly on Fridays and Saturdays. But on weekends, we advise to pop into the club not earlier than at 11 p.m. . However on Thursdays in ‘69’, it’s the most often to have fun at the karaoke.
Another club in Sopot is ‘Pepe’, by the Independence Avenue which is not so big, but really cosy. It is run by the true legend of Tri-city club life, forever young – Magda ‘Smurfette’. Ask for ‘Smurfette’ by the bar. If she’s in the good mood, she’ll tell you how it used to be in Tri-city area and she will give the most recent rumours away for you or even pair you off with somebody from the dancefloor.
There are two more places in Sopot which are so gay friendly, that surely you’ll meet some of the local celebrities. It is ‘RetroManiak’, located in the former garage on the back of the tenement house by the Independence Avenue. It used to be the typical trade club called ‘Blue Cat’ (pol. ‘Niebieski Kot’). The visitors and tolerant staff stayed. As the name itself indicates, hits of the 80’s and 90’s are played there.
Relatively new place is a really smart club ‘Three Sisters’ (pol. ‘Trzy Siostry’) at the Grunwaldzka Street, run by ...three sisters. As far as know, it’s the meeting place of Tri-city lesbians.
In Gdansk, there is only one, little club, baptized by the owners as a ‘straight-friendly’. It’s ‘Que pasa?’ located in the Old Town at the Chmielna Street on the ground floor of the modern tenement. The environment of LGBTQI is not convinced to it, but local, young people are. Eighteenth birthday parties, stag nights or hen parties are often organised there. The staff came from the already mentioned ‘Absynt’. Probably thanks to it, there are often dances on the tables and bars till dawn. In ‘Que pasa?’, stripteases are organised as well (women’s on Fridays and men’s on Saturdays). Stripteases in ‘Que pasa?’ can be planned or spontaneous because at dawn, the dancers from the city centre cabaret ‘Ewan’, pop into for the last drink.
Also in the city centre, but much more calmly, a film café functions, called ‘In old Frame’ (pol. ‘W Starym Kadrze’). They serve delicious coffee, local beer, cocktails and good, home-made desserts. In ‘the Frame’ there are film shows every day and sometimes meetings and events of the local LGBTQI organisation. In Tri-city area thankfully there are also events for women who love other women-famous women’s parties of the informal group ‘Pomoże’.
Events are organised every a few months in different clubs, recently in the club next to go-kart path. The events have always thematic motif, are full of competitions and games and they attract the cream of Pomerania women. To take part, you have to know the right people or follow the blog of the group ‘Pomoże’. www.ngpomoze.bloog.pl
In Gdansk, between districts Stogi and Gorki Zachodnie, for many years there have been functioning beaches: nudie one and gay one. You’re welcomed from Spring to Autumn.
ACTIVISM AND QUEER CULTURE
Tri-city area is one of first regions in Poland, as well as of countries of the former Eastern bloc, where the activist gay movement operates. It had its beginning in the 80’s. For nine years on the Pomerania, there has been a local group of the biggest Polish organisation LGBTQI- The Campaign Against the Homophobia. The CAH organises regular events, happenings and also arranges aid activity. More information: www.trojmiasto.kph.org.pl.
The Campaign with other organisation, Political Criticism, organises every month LGBTQI films shows. We invite to Involved Rainbow Cinema every last Tuesday of the month. Besides, it’s worthwhile keeping up with the Tri-city offers of the institutions and organisations, both public and extragovernmental.
Such places like: Art Institute ‘An Island’ (pol. ‘Wyspa’), Modern Art Centre ‘Baths’ (pol. ‘Łaźnie’), Gdansk 2016, theatres: “In the window” (pol. ‘W oknie’) and ‘OFF de bicz’ or Discussion Film Club ‘Love of the Blonde’ (pol. ‘Miłość Blondynki’) at the state Gdansk University, often and openly present achievements of Polish and world queer culture. University is also a meeting place of the Tri-city group of transgender people.
We invite you!
Sixty9, Sopot, 68a Kościuszki Street, www.sixty9.pl
Pepe, Sopot, 796 Independence Ave.
RetroMANIAK, Sopot, 771A Independence Ave.
3 Siostry, Sopot, 47 Grunwaldzka Street, www.3siostry.pl
Que pasa?, Gdansk, 101 Chmielna Street, www.quepasa.com.pl
W Starym Kadrze, Gdansk, 3/4 Grobla I Street, www.wstarymkadrze.com
Elektro, Gdynia Orlowo, 52 Inzynierska Street