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With the advent of the Internet and an increasing acceptance of LGBT people across the Western world, the relevance of gay bars in the LGBT community has somewhat diminished.
Other names used to describe these establishments include boy bar, girl bar, gay club, gay pub, queer bar, lesbian bar, drag bar, and dyke bar, depending on the niche communities that they served.
After homosexuality was decriminalized in the UK in 1967, gay bar culture became more visible and gradually Soho became the centre of the London LGBT community, which was "firmly established" by the early 1990s.
Gay bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs are centred on Old Compton Street.
Reports from as early as the 17th century record the existence of bars and clubs that catered to, or at least tolerated, openly gay clientele in several major European cities.
The White Swan (created by James Cook and Yardley, full name unknown), on Vere Street, in London, England, was raided in 1810 during the so-called Vere Street Coterie.
The raid led to the executions of John Hepburn and Thomas White for sodomy.