As the happiest city to live in the UK (Shawbrook Bank 2021), Aberdeen is an inclusive, diverse, and safe city. But how exactly is Aberdeen celebrating and supporting its LGBTQ+ community? Find out all about LGBTQ+ groups, venues, and events in this blog.
RGU is not affiliated with and does not endorse any of the businesses listed in the post. This post contains no paid for content.
LGTQ+ Network at RGU
We have a LGBTQIA+ Network in our Students’ Union which aims to provide a safe space for members of the community to come together, make friends and discuss issues. Members actively collaborate with us to bring positive change to the University by being involved in discussions and organising events.
They are really active to bring to you exciting social opportunities on and off campus. Some of the events they have recently organised include:
- Queer movie screenings
- Drag show nights
- Guest speakers events
- Halloween pub crawls
- Games nights
- A “Gaylidh” (ceilidh)
- Zine making event
Have a look at their webpage on the RGU:Union’s website.
CHEERZ Bar & Club is Aberdeen’s oldest and most established LGBTQ+ venue, established in 1996! You can find it in the heart of the city centre, just off Union Street, ideal for a night out with friends, or even for a chill afternoon.
During the day, you can enjoy hot drinks or non-alcoholic beverages in a relaxed environment. In the evening, you will find live entertainment and one of the largest drink ranges in the city. They also organise a lot of events for you to take part in such as “the campest pub quiz in town”, club nights, karaoke, pride events, or drag shows.
Four Pillars is an Aberdeen-based LGBT+ charity supporting the community with mental, emotional, physical, and sexual health. They offer drop-in services, one-on-one support sessions, community groups, and organise events, with the biggest one being the annual Grampian Pride!
They have a cafe/community hub on Regent Quay called “4 Unity” which offers a safe space where you can grab a hot drink for a reasonable price, pick up free condoms and sanitary products, browse their free library, play games (board games, PS4 and the WII are all available), use the free WIFI, shop their merch, and much more.
If you want to join one of their groups, have a look at their website to see which one would be of interest to you. You should also check out their events’ calendar as there are some exciting things happening, such as an LGBT+ writers’ club, games nights, drawing sessions, etc.
Grampian Pride and other events
Four Pillars organises Grampian Pride every year in Aberdeen and around the region for the biggest LGBTQ+ celebration of the year! As a University, we take part in the parade with staff, students, and alumni all marching behind the RGU Pride banner. Have a look at some photos from previous years:
After the parade, the fun continues with the Grampian Pride Village, accessible with a wristband from Four Pillars. There you will find artists performing on stage, charity stalls, food stalls, and even entertainment for kids!
But you will also be able to attend other LGBTQ+ events throughout the year. For example, the OGV Taproom hosts a drag show by the Aberdeen duo Sleepy and Cadenza every second Wednesday called “Joy on Tap”. You can find out more about upcoming events on their Instagram account.
And recently, Look Again – a creative unit based at our very own Gray’s School of Art – organised a Queer Performance Art Club Night at the OGV Podium to celebrate queer joy and Aberdeen’s LGBTQIA+ community. The night was a huge success, with a wide range of queer performers, and funds raised for Four Pillars. Follow Look Again on Instagram to see more of what they do in the future.
Geek Retreat, founded by RGU alumnus Scott Leslie, is a gaming shop on Union Street which was opened to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ players and other marginalised groups. The store isn’t only there to sell collectables, trading cards, comic books and board games, but also to bring the community together through various events such as gaming tournaments.
Though the store caters to a wide clientele, they offer LGBT board game nights and a general inclusive environment for those who are into “geek culture”. Find out more on their Instagram account.
Do you have a favourite LGBTQ+ venue or event in Aberdeen? Let us know in the comments!