Home Vancouver Sightseeing Tours Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours Forbidden Vancouver’s Really Gay History Tours in Vancouver’s West End

Forbidden Vancouver’s Really Gay History Tours in Vancouver’s West End

Forbidden Vancouver Tour Guide

The Really Gay History Tour is a fabulous walking tour with a 2SLGBTQIA+ theme. It’s one of a number of great tours offered by Forbidden Vancouver.

This particular tour explores Vancouver’s West End. It also dives into the history of the city’s gay community. On the tour you’ll learn about police raids, bombings, the impact of AIDS and other struggles the 2SLGBTQIA+ community has faced over the years. The tour is enlightening, informative, educational, entertaining, fun and highly recommended.

For full details about the tours, and to reserve your spot, see the forbiddenvancouver.ca website.



The Really Gay History Tours usually take place on Sunday mornings from March until October. The Vancouver Pride Festival, however, happened in 2023 between July 23rd and August 6th. Because the Vancouver Pride Parade was on August 6th this past year, which was a Sunday, there was no Really Gay History Tour that day. There were, however, extra tours on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday of August 3rd to 7th.


Really Gay History Tour


Really Gay History Tours & Forbidden Vancouver

Forbidden Vancouver is a local company that offers a number of wonderful walking tours, including its Really Gay History Tour. Other ones in downtown Vancouver include the Lost Souls of Gastown, Forbidden Vancouver and Monumental Scandals Tour. There is also the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park which explores the history and sights of world-famous Stanley Park. We’ve been on all of the tours and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them.

To learn about the other tours, see our articles about Forbidden Vancouver or the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park. To learn about the tour with a 2SLGBTQIA+ theme, either continue reading or visit the forbiddenvancouver.ca website.


Forbidden Vancouver's Really Gay History Tour


Vancouver’s Really Gay History Tours

You don’t have to be gay or lesbian, or have gay or lesbian friends or family, to enjoy one of Vancouver’s Really Gay History Tours. They are excellent for everyone. You’ll learn a lot! Similar to other tours with Forbidden Vancouver, however, the 2SLGBTQIA+-themed tours have mature content. This particular tour is recommended for adults and youth ages 12 and older.

On the Really Gay History Tour you’ll learn about drag queens, gay church clergy, persecution, resilience, police brutality and Canadian politics.

The tours start outside the Robert Lee YMCA at 955 Burrard Street. That’s where you’ll meet your guide, Glenn Tkach, and other members of your tour. Glenn is an expert on gay history in Vancouver. He is knowledgeable, funny and entertaining.

One of the first things you’ll learn on your trip is the significance of Vancouver’s main YMCA building and its connection to one of the world’s most famous 1970s disco/pop songs. Other places of interest on the tour include St. Paul’s Hospital, St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church and Davie Village. You’ll also see and learn about bookstores, streets and other sites of historical significance.


Really Gay History Tours in Vancouver


Tours With Forbidden Vancouver

As of the summer of 2023, walking tours with Forbidden Vancouver cost $32 for adults and $29 for youth and seniors. Tours take between about 1.5 hours and two hours. The Really Gay History Tours usually last for around an hour and 45 minutes, plus or minus.

The tours are an excellent way to explore and learn about Vancouver. They all have a slightly different theme. The Really Gay History Tour is about gay history, gay culture in Vancouver, and the city’s West End. The other tours have different themes and explore other areas of town.

Whether you are a local resident or a tourist, we highly recommend you check out the tours with Forbidden Vancouver. They consistently get five out of five reviews!


Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours


Tips & Things to Know

Below is some advice and extra information about the Really Gay History Tours.

TIP #1: The tours are wheelchair accessible.

TIP #2: Plan to arrive early to give yourself time to find parking if going by car. Parkade parking is probably best because street parking often comes with a two-hour maximum time limit (which won’t quite be enough for your tour).

TIP #3: If you are hard of hearing, let Glenn know. He is pretty good at projecting his voice, but happy to speak even louder if needed. Don’t be shy.

TIP #4: Tips aren’t mandatory. They are, however, greatly appreciated! Vancouver is an expensive place for Glenn to live!

TIP #5: If you like live theatre, especially musicals, in the summer of 2023 you could enjoy Theatre Under the Stars. It’s a theatre company that does musical plays outdoors at Stanley Park. The shows are excellent. In 2023, The Prom played. It’s about a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom in a small, conservative town in Indiana. It has a great message and a 2SLGBTQIA+ theme.


Theatre Under the Stars


Other Information

To learn more about the company and its various walking tours, see the Forbidden Vancouver website.

Other tours with Forbidden Vancouver include the following:

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