Exploring the LGBT-Friendly Lyon

BY HETEROCLITE

“The group ‘Hétéroclite’ brings together a community that formed around the eponymous free monthly magazine dedicated to the current trends of the cultural scene through the prism of LGBT and feminist issues. In parallel to its magazine and website (www.heteroclite.org), Hétéroclite publishes every year, in the days surrounding the Gay Pride of Lyon, Out, the guide of LGBT events in the Rhône-Alpes region.”

Stéphane, Administrator

Free monthly magazine present in Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne and online at www.heteroclite.org, Hétéroclite deals with cultural news through the prism of LGBT and feminist themes since 2006. Each year, the magazine’s teams also publish Oùt, the guide to LGBT outings in Rhône-Alpes.

LE XS BAR | 19 rue Claudia, 2nd arr.

As its name suggests, the XS is a tiny little bar of the Presqu’île area, sitting opposite the Cordeliers parking lot. Every night of the week, it is, however, the inevitable venue for the gay community of Lyon, who gathers there after work for an apero. Bears, twinks and everything in between come here to have a good time, and it is not uncommon to see the crowd of customers spill out onto the other side of the street.

BASTON | 9 rue de la Quarantaine, 5th arr.

Inaugurated in April 2019 by Steve, Bastien and Emma, three friends who made Lyon their second home, the latest addition to the city’s LGBT scene is open every day from 11 am to 1 pm, except Monday. A bar-restaurant in the day, Baston hosts DJs and performers at night, including shows of Dragones, a famous local group of drag queens. Its wood-panelled walls, its cozy interior, its commanding view over the Saone River and its old kitchens converted into a smoking room make it an iconoclastic place in the heart of the Vieux Lyon.

BLITZ | 4 rue Louis Vitet, 1st arr.

This concept-store by David Bolito, also resident DJ at the LGBT parties ‘Garçon Sauvage by Le Sucre’, is packed with unusual objects ranging from mugs to small furniture items to soap bars and books. A life-saver for those who need to find a gift at the last minute, Blitz also hosts each month a new exhibition: the previews that take place around the much talked-about ‘gossip bench’ are second to none in the city.

LE LAVOIR PUBLIC | Impasse de Flesselles, 1st arr.

On the slopes of the Croix-Rousse district, this uncommon place of culture housed in a former public wash house and led by director Olivier Rey is home to all kinds of artistic expressions (theatre, music, dance, cinema, etc.). Around the basin, a LGBT and LGBT-friendly bunch of experts of electronic music gathers here every first Saturday of the month for the ‘Arm Aber Sexy’ nights that give Lyon a Berlin-like feel.

LE IT BAR | 20 Bis Montée Saint-Sébastien, 1st arr.

The die-hard night owls who make every effort to hold back the night always end up in this bar overlooking the Place Croix-Paquet. Xavier and Christophe, the owners, usually entrust the track list to their patrons, who prove more or less inspired. Be sure you’ll be thrilled when the song you carefully wrote on a tiny piece of paper is played on the dance floor.