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Popular bar and club Taboo along Neil Road is a mainstay of the gay club scene. (Photo: Pernod Ricard
Behind the doors of Singapore’s gay night club scene

in SINGAPORE, 02/01/2013

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Chinatown in Singapore, there are pockets of quieter areas that are somewhat removed from the maddening crowds in your typical party spots. And for many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Singapore who embrace an alternative lifestyle, there are a plethora of entertainment nightspots in the area as well, where they can lay their hat down and enjoy a night out without any concern.

In these places, they can find those of their ilk who are cut from the same cloth, as well as the supportive atmosphere of friends and family – all gathering in conviviality. For owners and patrons of these places, this has been a haven for many who seek the freedom to be themselves, and sometimes away from prying eyes.

To Addie Low, the owner of popular bar and dance club Taboo, it's important for people who may feel marginalised or not fully-integrated into society to have a safe space to have fun. He says, having been in the business for 15 years now, that achieving balance amongst all parties is critical.

“We just want to have a bridge between the authorities, the public and the gay clubbers. So we started an area that you can call home. When you party, you do not need to have a second pair of eyes looking at you from top-to-toe, wondering ‘What’s wrong with you?’ At the same time, we don’t want the other side of the coin to say ‘Wow, my goodness, they are just getting out of hand.’ So everything is just inevitably putting two parties together, and we are just the link.”

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