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Visiting Madeira Last Updated: Jun 28, 2008 - 12:29:23 AM


The gay and lesbian lifestyle in Madeira
By Jorge Barbosa
Jun 7, 2008 - 11:20:30 AM


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The most important addition to the gay lifestyle in recent times has been the opening of the gay bar, restaurant and night club called “Archipelagos” situated in Rua do Bom Jesus – right opposite the Francisco Franco museum and high school. The other all-important and vigorous meeting place for gay Madeirans is the internet! In particular the - very popular we might say - Gaydar web site, which has a very active and plentiful list of individuals seeking to meet others.
Until recently the “Bar do Teatro” was a place to be seen by gays. This bar is situated in the terraced yard alongside the Municipal theatre (the “Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias”). But its constant change of management – every five years or so – changes the theme and ambience of the watering hole. In its current evolved state it is a very commercial esplanade with a heavily frequented night club area (covered by a tent) visited mostly by young Madeiran turks and upwardly mobile young individuals who happen to be quite gay friendly.

Most night clubs are a mix of straight and gay revellers in Madeira anyway – the alternative lifestyle is not seen as so alternative anyway. You could go to the casino, for example, and play some games there. The Copacabana night club incorporated into the casino structure is a good example of the subtle mix of straight and gay participants. It is rare, almost unheard of, to hear of any type of gay bashing in Madeira. It seems that Madeira lives up to its warm Mediterranean spirit – that of liberal social standards in a warm and friendly environment.

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