From Seaside Resort To Vibrant Queer Hub, England’s Margate Shows How Inclusive Places Should Be

Margate is now one of the UK’s most vibrant and inclusive queer hubs

by Tejashee Kashyap
From Seaside Resort To Vibrant Queer Hub, England’s Margate Shows How Inclusive Places Should Be

Once known primarily for its Victorian charm and traditional seaside attractions, Margate is now one of the UK’s most vibrant and inclusive queer hubs.  This charming seaside town in Kent, England, has undergone a significant transformation over the past few decades.

Coastal Town To Queer Town

Margate’s history as a seaside resort dates back to the 18th century when it became a popular destination for those seeking the health benefits of sea air and bathing. Its golden sands, scenic views, and historic architecture drew visitors from across the country. LGBTQ+ individuals have long been lured to these heady pleasure zones. The percentage of people who were classified as LGBTQ+ in Margate’s Cliftonville West neighbourhood (7.09%) was greater than that of queer-friendly English cities like Manchester (6.67%) and Bristol (6.07%) according to the most recent Census published in an article for BBC.

One of the oldest coastal resorts in the UK is Margate, which dates back to the 18th century when people came here to wash for health benefits. Sundowners, the homosexual pub that has been there the longest, opened its doors in 2003. As it happens, Brighton’s LGBT history, which dates back to the early 1800s, is both more extensive and more documented than Margate’s.

 

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Margate has a Pride weekend every August that draws more than 15,000 visitors. It’s a relaxed occasion that starts with a colourful and festive seaside procession. In contrast to larger events held in Brighton or London, this one is community-run and non-commercial. Margate’s emergence as a queer hub is rooted in its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. The town has become a haven for LGBTQ+ individuals seeking a supportive and vibrant community. This transformation is evident in Margate’s social and cultural landscape.

Also Read: 11 LGBTQ+ Friendly Cafes & Bars In Delhi Celebrating Pride With Vibrance & Inclusivity

Around Queer Margate

Looking ahead, Margate’s future as a queer hub appears bright. The town’s ability to adapt and evolve in response to changing social and economic conditions bodes well.

 

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Margate is home to many excellent bars and hangouts, including Daisy, Margate Off Licence, and Xylo. But CAMP is unique—a committed gay bar that deserves special mention. Developed by an enthusiastic group of residents, CAMP is a dynamic venue created to honour the town’s thriving LGBTQ+ community. Cliftonville’s Margate Arts Club beckons with its welcoming meetings. On Ethelbert Crescent, Faith In Strangers provides the backdrop for monthly DJ performances with a variety of musical styles, including funk and drum & bass.

The artistic community has played a crucial role in its queer transformation.  This creative environment fosters dialogue and raises awareness about LGBTQ+ issues. Queer-owned businesses, from cafes and boutiques to wellness centres and hotels, have flourished in Margate.

Margate’s transformation from a traditional seaside resort to a dynamic queer hub offers a compelling vision of what a truly inclusive community can look like!

Cover image credits: Instagram/Margate Pride