London’s Oldest Gay Cafe to Close

Photo taken by Sabine Reichel
The First Out Cafe, central London’s oldest gay cafe, is going to be shuttering its doors in two weeks. The cafe, which open in 1986, is only one of a number of business being affected by the construction of a new Crossrail line.

The cafe has long been a haven for young people coming to grips with their sexuality. From the BBC:

Director Maria Tejada said it provided “a safe place for people to be themselves, without any fear”.

“Lots of people say it was a haven,” she said.

“It was a place where they felt totally relaxed. They felt welcome.”

She said many people made friends or met their first partners there, and for others “it was part of their growing up”.

Ms Tejada spoke of a number of people for whom the cafe provided support.

“You have a young person trying to come out, and you almost feel protective towards them. They feel they have someone who can understand them.


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