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.
SPECIAL VANCOUVER PRIDE FESTIVAL TOURS
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
To learn more about the company and its various walking tours, see the Forbidden Vancouver website.
Other tours with Forbidden Vancouver include the following:
- Lost Souls of Gastown Tour – in Vancouver’s historical Gastown district where the guide is a professional actor playing the role of a character from the past.
- Dark Secrets of Stanley Park – a walking tour around Stanley Park.
- Forbidden Vancouver Tour – a tour around Gastown and other parts of downtown Vancouver.
- Monumental Scandals Tour – the newest tour in the series, this one takes place in downtown Vancouver and has a focus on landmark buildings, their architecture and scandals that have happened in them.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Restaurants
- Hotels in Downtown Vancouver
- Vancouver Sightseeing Tours
- Vancouver Pride Festival
- Lower Mainland Pride Events