Posted October 19, 2018 07:07:49If you’ve ever been to a Melbourne gay bar, or even just been to one, you’ve probably seen the “baths” and “dinner” shows that are hosted at these venues.
If you haven’t been to an LGBT event in Melbourne, or Melbourne’s gay bars, you’re probably missing out.
While the word “bathhouse” is pretty universal for Melbourne, Melbourne’s queer community has always been pretty diverse.
And they’re not just “straight” and heterosexual; many of them are transgendered too.
The LGBTI+ community in Melbourne is also pretty diverse, too, with many having a mixed history with their sexuality.
But the biggest difference is that they all have the same “bathhouse” theme.
“The bathhouse is a place for people to meet up, get some food, and get a good night’s sleep,” says Kevin, who only goes to the bathhouse with other people who he knows well.
“There’s no expectation for anyone to be there, just like every other place in town.
It’s a place where you can get some fresh air and relax.”
The main reason why Kevin and his mates go to a bathhouse (which he describes as a “party place” and is just as much a party as it is a bath) is that the city has so many LGBTI people in the community, and that means that the quality of the people at these gay events can vary quite a bit.
And for Kevin and Kevin’s mates who have come to Melbourne from all over Australia, there’s no better place to meet other like-minded people than the bathhouses.
“I think that if you’ve never been to Australia, you may not be as familiar with how different it is,” Kevin says.
“I think it’s important to be able to go out and meet other queer people and learn a little bit about what the LGBTQI community is about.”
And so Kevin and the rest of his friends have started the Melbourne Gay Bathhouse Project, which is an effort to create a better understanding of the diversity of the LGBTI community in Victoria.
The project’s first goal is to create “a database of Melbourne bathhouses”.
In order to do this, Kevin and a team of volunteers will collect data about bathhouses across Melbourne and compare it to the data available on LGBTI-specific bathhouses in the city.
They’ll then compile a list of bathhouses that meet the criteria of the Bathhouse Dataset.
It’s the second step of the project’s goal to create an online directory of LGBTI bathhouses, with the aim of providing “a resource for people in Melbourne who are interested in finding a bath house that meets the standards for the Bath House Datasette.”
To that end, Kevin says the BathHouse Project is not only creating a resource for LGBTI Bathhouse owners, but also a “community resource” for the wider community.
“If we can get information out there, then it makes a huge difference to people who are coming out and not having the knowledge of the issues that are going on,” he says.
So if you’re an LGBTQI person in Melbourne and you’re curious about Melbourne’s bathhouses or the LGBTQIA community in general, you can find out more about the project and get in touch with the volunteers to learn more about how the project will benefit them.