The wild history of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community comes alive with stories of struggle, unity, and oh so much humour. From Downtown Vancouver to the Davie Village “Gaybourhood,” meet a history of outrageous drag queens, bookstore bombings, and brave citizens who fought for acceptance.
A historic gay village
The gayest beer parlour in town
The “kiss-ins” of Granville Street
Drag queens who made a difference
How a gay church clergy made history
The site of an infamous bookstore bombing
The bravest pioneers of the LGBTQ2+ community
How a community defied police brutality….and won
Seriously funny gay humour – and its political bent
Outside the entrance to Vancouver City Centre Skytrain station, downtown Vancouver
Vancouver is home to Davie Street, one of North America’s most vibrant gay villages. Our city’s annual PRIDE parade draws crowds in the tens of thousands. Our city has openly gay politicians and monuments to gay activists. But it wasn’t always this way…
Meet the unsung heroes of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community who forever changed the social fabric of our country. From the steps of the courthouse where an infamous drag queen fought for federal decriminalization to the chapel where the United Church of Canada ordained their first openly gay minister, Vancouver has played a larger-than-life role in the queer liberation movement.
Researched, designed, and guided by Forbidden Vancouver guide Glenn Tkach, the Really Gay History Tour weaves a colourful history of people and events that set the stage for the inclusive society we all now enjoy. For members of the LGBTQ2+ community and allies alike this is a must-do experience. So join Glenn as you laugh, cry, celebrate and feel true PRIDE on the Really Gay History Tour.
Meeting outside Vancouver City Centre Skytrain Station, the walking tour first visits the historic Hotel Vancouver to talk beer parlours and clandestine gay meetups. Across the street you’ll learn the strange case of Rex vs Singh at the old courthouse, now the Vancouver Art Gallery. Next you’ll cut through Robson Square to Granville Street, once home to the city’s very first gay bars.
Weaving a path through Imperial Court coronations, drag kings at the Quadra, gay struggle at the United Church, Patient Zero and Nelson Park, you’ll find yourself in the gaybourhood on Davie Street.
The walking tour strolls the historic West End as you discover protests, bookstore bombings, Jim Deva Plaza, a transgender campaigner who blew the whistle on the biggest crime in Vancouver history, Vancouver’s secret gay village, and the remarkable story of two-spirited warrior Gone to the Spirits.
You’ll finish in the heart of the historic Davie Street village with its wonderful array of bars and restaurants. The perfect place to enjoy a post-walking tour cocktail!
Prices exclude fees and taxes. Student and senior pricing available on all walking tours. Contact us for private tours.