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This page gives some basic information to help gay men in the UK.

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Gay man - a man who is sexually attracted to other men
Straight man - a man who is sexually attracted to women
Homosexual - someone who is attracted to a person of the same sex (may be a man or a woman)
Bisexual (or bi or AC/DC) - a man (or woman) who is sexually attracted both to men and women
Transgender - a person who has changed his or her sex
LGB (or GLB) - lesbian, gay or bisexual
LGBT (or GLBT) - lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered
GWM - gay white male; GBM - gay black male
Homophobia - a strong dislike of gay or lesbian people
Transphobia - a strong dislike of transgender people
Homophobe - a person who dislikes gay or lesbian people (a type of bigot)
Gay friendly - openly welcoming to gay people
Coming out - telling friends or family for the first time that you are gay

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Information for gay visitors to the UK is available from the Visit Britain's website:

UK publications for gay men include the following:
- Gay Times is a monthly magazine available from newsagents or by subscription:
- AXM is a monthly magazine aimed at young gay adults:
- Attitude is a monthly lifestyle magazine for gay men:
- The Pink Paper is a fortnightly newspaper for gay and lesbian people:
- ScotsGay Magazine is a Scottish monthly magazine aimed at gay or lesbian people:
- Boyz is a free weekly magazine for gay men in London:
- Fitlads is a free magazine for gay and bisexual men, published every 2 months:
Some free publications can be downloaded from the website, or printed copies may be available in gay/lesbian pubs or clubs.

There is an index of gay sites in the UK at A gay search engine is:

A number of groups will offer free confidential advice to gay men, including:
- London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is a 24 hour information line for lesbians, gays and bisexuals:
- Kairos in Soho is a voluntary organisation promoting the welfare of gay and lesbian people in London:

Gay & Lesbian London: The Time Out Guide
Publisher: Time Out Publications Ltd
Date: July 2008
Loving Ourselves: The Gay and Lesbian Guide to Self-esteem
Author: Kimeron N. Hardin
Publisher: Alyson Publications
Date: March 2008
(Gay men's health)
Author: Patriic Gayle
Publisher: Millivres Prowler Group
Date: June 2001
London (Out Around series)
(Gay guide for visitors to London)
Author: Paul Clements
Publisher: Thomas Cook Publishing
Date: January 2002
Ultimate Gay Sex
(Gay sex)
Author: Michael Thomas Ford
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Date: May 2004
Coming Out
(Telling people you are gay)
Author: Orland Outland
Publisher: Alyson Publications
Date: June 2000

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London (in south England), Brighton (on the south coast of England), and Manchester (in north England) all have large gay communities.
A popular gay entertainment area in London is in Soho, in and around Old Compton Street. Manchester's gay village is around Canal Street. Brighton's gay quarter is in the area called Kemp Town on the eastern side of the town, around St James's Street.
Blackpool, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle also have significant gay communities.

Information for gay visitors to London:

There is a directory of gay organisations (sorted by location) produced by the Gay Times:
There are a large number of gay pubs, clubs and social groups. Gay bars often use pink or rainbow signs so that they can be identified easily.

The Queer Youth Network is a discussion forum for LGBT youth in the UK:
Most universities have a LGBT society. You can find details on the website of the university or of its students union.
There are gay youth groups in many locations (usually for people under 25).

Gaydar Guys is a gay personals web site:

A centre for London's
gay community

Gay pubs often use rainbow signs

Pride In The Park

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Every summer there are Pride events in major cities across the UK. These are organised by members of the LGBT community and often include a parade, rally and entertainment. For photos and website links, see: Ideas/Album/Pride.

There is an annual film festival in London showing gay and lesbian films (see:
Three popular British films which consider attitudes towards gay men are:
Get Real:
Billy Elliott (known in some countries as Little Dancer):

To find out about gay sports groups in London or other parts of the UK, try:

Gaydar Radio is a UK radio station for gay people:

The weekly magazine Time Out includes information about gay venues and events in London:

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Many gay people in the UK still find it difficult to admit their sexuality, especially while at school or university. Many men try to hide their sexuality from other people, often leading to feelings of loneliness. The term coming out refers to the stage when someone lets those around him know that he is gay.

Over recent years, young British people have generally become more tolerant of homosexuality, and it is becoming more common for gay men to come out openly (including some politicians and pop stars, for example). However, there are still some young people who bully gay men or call them names (using terms such as "gay boy", "queer", "fag" or "homo" in an unpleasant way). It is not common to see gay men to show their sexuality openly in public (for example by holding hands or kissing). Many older British people still find it difficult to accept homosexuality, but do not usually show this openly. The official teachings of most religions in the UK remain hostile to homosexuality.

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- The age of consent is the youngest age at which sex is legal. Homosexuality was legalised in the UK in 1967, and the homosexual age of consent has been reduced since then from 21 to 18 and now to 16 (the same age as for sex between men and women).
- You are not allowed to have sex in public places.
- Since 2003 it is unlawful to discriminate in the workplace against someone on the grounds of his/her sexuality or perceived sexuality.
- Gay men (and women) have been allowed to serve in the military since February 2000 (before this time, each year up to 200 people were dismissed from the armed services for being gay).
- Gay weddings are not legal in the UK. However, the Civil Partnership Act (passed in 2004) creates a new legal relationship of civil partnership, which two people of the same sex can form by signing a registration document. Civil partners will have a range of legal rights and responsibilities, although not all of those associated with marriage. The act came into force in December 2005.

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HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) is a virus which weakens the immune system (which defends the body against disease). It can spread by men's semen or blood, or by women's vaginal fluids, breast milk or blood. It can cause AIDS (Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome), which may lead to death due to the body's inability to fight illnesses.

The risk of contracting HIV can be reduced by using a condom during sex (use proper lubrication and strong condoms), by having fewer sexual partners, and by not sharing a needle or syringe with another person.

If you are worried that you may have HIV, confidential HIV tests can be obtained from any sexual health clinic, sometimes called a STD (sexually transmitted disease) clinic or GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinic or VD (veneral disease) clinic.

If you are HIV positive you should always tell your partner about this before having any sexual contact with him.

The National AIDS Helpline is a free telephone service for people worried about HIV or AIDS. The telephone number is 0800 567 123 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). The Terrence Higgins Trust is a UK charity providing help and advice about HIV and AIDS at

The Health Protection Agency provides information about HIV and AIDS in the UK:

It is safer to avoid accepting drugs you may be offered, for example in clubs.
For a warning about the use of the drug crystal meth, see:

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Pride events: Ideas/Album/Pride
Brighton: Travel/Tours/England/Brighton
Manchester: Travel/Tours/England/Manchester
Personal health: Personal/Health

Home page: Home

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