A guide to LGBT student life in Edinburgh

A guide to LGBT student life in Edinburgh


Student's-eye-view of the Edinburgh gay scene

Starting university can be a daunting experience, even more so if you find yourself jumping headfirst into the LGBT scene of a new city. Luckily, uni is a great place to meet some brand new queer pals. Charlotte Runcie gives you the lowdown on the best places to start embracing gay student life


An eclectic underground queer party that’s new to the city and already causing something of a stir, with spoken word, drag, live art, live music and comedy taking over their regular club nights. If it’s dancing you’re after, worry not: there’s a ‘kaleidoscopic soundtrack’ and filthy disco to finish off the evening. Keep an eye on their Facebook page (DIVE! Queer Party) for details of upcoming events.
Henry’s Cellar Bar, 8–16 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8BJ

LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing

A source of all kinds of helpful, practical advice as well as the venue of gay book groups, LGBT music jams, community projects, peer support services and ‘life skills’ workshops for those undergoing gender transition. It’s also the centre of the LGBT Helpline Scotland, providing, among other services, information and emotional support to anyone questioning or wanting to discuss their sexuality or gender identity.
9 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TE, lgbthealth.org.uk, 0131 523 1100

CC Blooms

Something of an institution to Edinburgh’s gay scene, CC Blooms has been around a long, long time and everyone has a slightly unsavoury story to tell about what happened there. Go, just to say you’ve been.
23–24 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA, 0131 556 9331

The Regent Bar

Stop in for a pint at Edinburgh’s gay real ale pub. The Regent has impressive range of beers and a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere ensures this is very much not-your-average gay bar, just a lovely place to hang out with friends for some high quality food and drink. No glittery campery in sight.
2 Montrose Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5DL, theregentbar.co.uk, 0131 661 8198

Edinburgh Goth and Rock Society … or whatever floats your boat

If you’re an Edinburgh Uni student, it’s always worth checking out a society that’s special-interest-focused but determinedly queer-friendly. First and foremost all about the music, but usually queer-heavy and queer-friendly too, EDGaR (Edinburgh Goth and Rock Society) is accepting of anyone who likes any kind of alternative listening. You’ll find a range of fans of different alternative music, including metal, rock, punk, goth, European electro-bit-pop and the rest. If alt.rock’s not your bag, try to join as many uni societies as you can, or form your own mostly queer gang.