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For years, gay bars were a vital refuge—but it’s time we challenged the idea that LGBT spaces are synonymous with drinking

Not only do plenty of people prefer not to drink, but multiple studies suggest that LGBT are at greater risk of alcoholism. In 2019, isn't it time we offered more spaces to an often marginalised community?

By Beth Desmond  

Rainbow covered wine bottles in gay bar in Leeds. Photo: PA

Alcohol has played an outsized role in the modern history of the LGBT community. In New York in the late 1960s, hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police in protest against an NYPD raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Manhattan. Since the 1990s, Coors Brewing Company has put a lot of time and money into winning back the custom of LGBT drinkers after a long-standing boycott which began because of what activists saw as homophobic hiring…

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