Although most Montrealers are at least functionally French-English bilingual (many are fluent in both, and many are trilingual), if you’re in town, seriously try to use your French! It’s known as a lesbian bar but it’s really an all-encompassing “we’re queer and we have nowhere better to go on a Saturday night” bar.

It does cater to the ladies, however, and during Pride many of the big events for the girls will be held here.

The crowd is tattooed and cooler-than-thou, the music is usually good, the service is normally fast. With a cheap menu of decent bar snacks, a manageable drink list, a dimly lit kitschy interior, and good music all night, Else’s is a gem barely off the beaten path between St-Laurent and St-Denis. A queer/trans* dance your pants off party, sometimes literally.

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They’ve got a lot of potential (and gender neutral bathrooms) but the bar service is sometimes so slow that you leave or you get over yourself and just have to dance sober (and thirsty). Also, this is where people find themselves if they get impatient waiting for a drink at the Royal Phoenix.

Le Belmont (4483, boul St-Laurent) is often partying down with DJs spinning drum n bass or dubstep.

Afterward, the partying continues and swarms of your fellow semi-nude LGBTQueers screw up the heteronormative traffic flow en route to promiscuous, debaucherous Pride parties (AKA lunch, bars, and/or the T-dance).

Pervers-cité: “the underside of Pride.” Enough said. Divers/cité is outdoor music, cinema, performances, and drag: queers and trans* people are awesomely talented and creative and Pride isn’t actually about how much sangria you can drink or your endless quest for not-tacky rainbow boxers. On the plus side, that equals student discounts, multi-cultural queerdom, and lots of barely used Ikea furniture being sold on craigslist for dirt cheap. Mc Gill University is an Ivy league level English-language university in beautiful old buildings all over the downtown area.

Full-contact strip clubs are nestled between office buildings and shopping centers. The city on the surface is only part of the show – there’s a whole The alternative crowd has a magnetic attraction to Québec’s sin city and its sea of underground culture and cutting edge art. **Some of the resources here are only available in French.

It’s bitterly cold and snowy in the winter and savagely hot and humid in the summer (ever walked around under someone’s tongue? It’s also one of the more tolerant and homo-friendly spots on earth, and its population is legendarily good-looking. Wherever possible, I’ve linked to a bilingual or English webpages. Le Drugstore (1366, rue Ste-Catherine Est) Drugstore is a giant gay pub-club-situation on a whole bunch of levels with various patios and occasional roof-top wrestling in a kiddie pool.

Spend the weekend checking out queer-centered art exhibits, buying cool boxers from obscenely handsome gay men and collecting free condoms (safer strap-on sex FTW) on Ste-Catherine Street, and hitting up some of the zillions of dance parties that take place over the weekend.

On Sunday, get a big drunch (drunkbrunch, in case this special word is unfamiliar) with your most homotastic pals, grab some plastic cups and pretend you’re drinking apple juice, and find a spot to watch the really, really long parade while acting like you’re not getting sunstroke.

It’s a little more about the boys, but there’s no shortage of lesbians and there is a sizeable trans* population as well.

The majority of the gay clubs are here, as well as a ton of great restaurants and countless places to get coffee.

) if that’s what you need to comfortably express your gender identity. (For more Concordia info, go to Autostraddle’s fairly recent college guide.) UQÀM, one of Montréal’s French-language universities, is located downtown in the mish-mash of Mc Gill, Concordia, and 19 year old bar tourists from The States.