Does Vermont Have a Gay Bar? Exploring LGBTQ+ Nightlife and Community

Planning a trip to Vermont sparked a particular curiosity: does this scenic state have a gay bar? Known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and progressive values, Vermont seemed like a place that would naturally embrace diversity. As a queer traveler, finding spaces that cater to my community is always a priority, and this question led me on a fascinating journey to uncover Vermont’s LGBTQ+ nightlife.

My research revealed that Vermont is home to one official gay bar: Fox Market and Bar in East Montpelier. This discovery piqued my interest further. How could one venue serve the entire state’s LGBTQ+ population? But the more I delved into the local scene, the more I realized that Vermont’s approach to queer-friendly spaces is unique and multifaceted, extending beyond the traditional gay bar.

This journey also introduced me to Burlington’s Dyke Night, a monthly pop-up event that has become a vital part of the local queer community. Through engaging with locals, exploring inclusive spaces, and experiencing the warmth of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ culture, I discovered that Vermont may have only one gay bar, but it offers a rich, welcoming environment for all.

A Scenic Journey to Vermont

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First Impressions

Vermont’s allure begins the moment you cross its borders. The rolling hills, lush forests, and charming small towns paint a picture of serene beauty. My trip started with a drive through these picturesque landscapes, each turn revealing a postcard-worthy view. However, my quest for a gay bar in Vermont added a layer of excitement to this tranquil setting.

Initial Research

Before arriving, I did some research and discovered that Vermont is home to one gay bar: Fox Market and Bar in East Montpelier. This piqued my interest, as I wondered how one venue could serve the entire state’s LGBTQ+ population. However, I soon learned that Vermont’s queer scene is more nuanced and spread across various inclusive spaces and events.

Discovering Fox Market and Bar

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A Hidden Gem

Fox Market and Bar, located in the quaint town of East Montpelier, stands as Vermont’s sole gay bar. The drive to East Montpelier is a journey through classic New England scenery, with the destination tucked away in a serene, rural setting.

The Experience

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a welcoming atmosphere. Fox Market and Bar exudes a cozy, laid-back vibe. The rustic décor and friendly staff made me feel at home immediately. It’s a place where locals and visitors alike gather, making it a true community hub. The bar offers an impressive selection of local beers and ciders, as well as a menu featuring farm-to-table dishes.

Community Spirit

One of the highlights of my visit was engaging with the patrons. Conversations flowed easily, and I quickly realized that Fox Market and Bar is more than just a bar; it’s a crucial space for the local LGBTQ+ community. It serves as a gathering place where people can be themselves, share their stories, and connect with others.

Burlington’s Dyke Night: A Monthly Celebration

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Introduction to Dyke Night

While Fox Market and Bar provided a welcoming introduction to Vermont’s queer scene, my journey didn’t stop there. I had heard whispers about Dyke Night in Burlington, a monthly pop-up event that has become a cornerstone of the local LGBTQ+ community.

The Birth of Dyke Night

Dyke Night was founded in 2022 by Zoo Holmström, a former bartender in Burlington who recognized the need for a queer-friendly space. Despite moving to Los Angeles, Holmström’s vision continued under the stewardship of Joules Garcia and Teppi Zuppo, two dedicated regulars who have kept the spirit of Dyke Night alive.

Wallflower Collective: The Venue

Dyke Night is hosted at the Wallflower Collective, a bar in downtown Burlington. The venue, just east of City Market, Onion River Co-op, offers a perfect setting for this vibrant event. With its eclectic décor and welcoming ambiance, Wallflower Collective becomes a hive of activity on Dyke Night.

Attending Dyke Night

Arrival and Atmosphere

I arrived at Wallflower Collective on a chilly Monday evening, eager to experience Dyke Night firsthand. The line outside the bar was a testament to its popularity, with people from all over Vermont and beyond waiting to get in. The excitement was palpable, and as I stepped inside, I was immediately enveloped by a sense of community.

Inclusivity and Diversity

One of the most striking aspects of Dyke Night is its inclusivity. The event is open to “dykes of all genders and experience,” making it a safe space for transgender women, transgender men, nonbinary individuals, lesbians, and bisexual people. The use of color-coded stickers to signal intentions (green for flirting, yellow for friendship, and red for hanging out) adds a thoughtful touch to the experience, ensuring everyone feels comfortable and respected.

Vibrant Social Scene

The bar was packed with people dressed in everything from Vermont-casual flannel to more flamboyant attire. Conversations and laughter filled the air, creating a lively and joyous atmosphere. Groups of friends lounged by the pool table, while others mingled by the bar or relaxed on vintage couches. It was clear that Dyke Night had successfully created a space where the queer community could come together, celebrate, and connect.

Interviews and Stories

Conversations with Organizers

I had the opportunity to speak with the event’s organizers, Joules Garcia and Teppi Zuppo. They shared their passion for maintaining Dyke Night’s DIY ethos and its importance as a community space. “Every single leaf of the LGBTQ+ community deserves their own place to be centered,” Garcia explained, emphasizing the need for spaces specifically for sapphic people.

Stories from Attendees

Talking to regulars like Isa DeMarco highlighted the significance of Dyke Night. Isa mentioned, “I feel like the demographic of people who identify as dykes kind of get the scraps of queer spaces, historically. It’s nice to know that you’re in a space with somebody who identifies with a label that you also identify with.” Their words resonated deeply, underscoring the vital role such events play in fostering a sense of belonging.

The Broader LGBTQ+ Scene in Vermont

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Beyond Bars: Inclusive Spaces

While Vermont may have only one dedicated gay bar, the state boasts a range of inclusive spaces and events that cater to the LGBTQ+ community. These include cafes, bookstores, and community centers that provide safe and welcoming environments.

Annual Events and Festivals

Vermont is also home to several annual LGBTQ+ events and festivals. Pride Vermont in Burlington is a highlight, drawing people from across the state and beyond to celebrate diversity and equality. Other events, such as the Winter Rendezvous in Stowe, offer additional opportunities for the community to come together and celebrate.

Advocacy and Support

Organizations like the Pride Center of Vermont play a crucial role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community. They offer a range of services, including health resources, advocacy, and social events, helping to create a more inclusive and supportive environment statewide.

Challenges and Future Prospects

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The Decline of Lesbian Bars

The disappearance of lesbian bars is a well-documented phenomenon across the United States. Factors such as increased social acceptance of queer couples and the rise of online dating apps have contributed to this decline. Vermont is no exception, with Dyke Night filling a critical gap left by the absence of dedicated lesbian bars.

Hopes for the Future

Despite these challenges, there is hope for the future. The success of Dyke Night demonstrates a clear demand for queer-friendly spaces. Organizers like Garcia and Zuppo are optimistic about expanding their offerings to include a variety of events, from picnics to night markets, catering to a broader range of interests and preferences.

Potential for Growth

Lauren McKenzie, co-owner of Wallflower Collective, expressed her hopes that the popularity of Dyke Night might inspire the creation of a permanent queer bar in Burlington. “Clearly, there’s a demand in this town to do things like this,” she noted, highlighting the potential for growth and development within Vermont’s LGBTQ+ scene.


A Unique and Welcoming Scene

My journey to Vermont revealed a state with a unique and welcoming LGBTQ+ scene. While Vermont may have only one dedicated gay bar, the sense of community and inclusivity found at places like Fox Market and Bar and events like Dyke Night is truly special. These spaces provide vital support and connection for the queer community, making Vermont a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travelers.

Personal Reflections

As I reflect on my trip, I am grateful for the opportunity to experience Vermont’s queer culture firsthand. The warmth and openness of the people I met, combined with the beautiful landscapes, made this journey unforgettable. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bar in a rural setting or a vibrant monthly event in the city, Vermont offers a variety of experiences that cater to the LGBTQ+ community.

Encouragement to Visit

If you’re a queer traveler considering a trip to Vermont, I highly encourage you to explore the state’s LGBTQ+ scene. From the friendly faces at Fox Market and Bar to the lively atmosphere of Dyke Night, Vermont has much to offer. Embrace the journey, connect with the community, and discover the unique charm of this beautiful state.