Reconnecting Rainbows has been funded by a Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Fellowship Local Area Grant to identify ‘Rainbow Safe Spaces’ in Southampton. Our Rainbow Safe Space Awards project celebrates and promotes independent cafes, restaurants and pubs where everyone can feel safe and comfortable – whatever their sexuality, gender or ethnicity. We honour venues that are truly committed to LGBTQIA+ and BAME equality and inclusion – not just at Pride, but all year round.

In the first year of the project, we focused on mapping and promoting independent cafes, pubs and restaurants in Southampton that were directly nominated by the LGBTIQA+ community as ‘safe spaces’.  We’ve also added a shout out for other awesome businesses that go the extra mile for the LGBTQIA+ community, especially in the Cultural Quarter, which is emerging as an inclusive and affirming arts scene.

  • All Rainbow Safe Space Award recipients are committed to making sure that if any customer feels threatened or is being harassed, the staff will have their back.
  • They’ve all agreed not to give a platform to artists and groups who are openly racist, homophobic or transphobic.
  • Some even go the extra mile by hosting and promoting events by LGBTQIA+ artists, providing Diversity and Inclusion training for their staff, and/or providing meeting spaces for support groups and social groups.
  • As gender-neutral (unisex) toilets are hugely important for many trans and non-binary people, our map includes information on what type of toilets each venue has!


2019 Award Winners

We’d like to congratulate all seven venues that were awarded Rainbow Safe Space Awards certificates and window stickers during Pride 2019:

  • The Art House CIC, 178 Above Bar Street
  • Board in the City CIC, 38-40 Onslow Road
  • Cafe Thrive, 18 Hanover Buildings
  • The Dolphin Pub, St Denys
  • The Hobbit, 34 Bevois Valley Road (under new management but hopefully still a Safe Space)
  • The London Hotel, 2 Terminus Terrace
  • Marco’s Kitchen, Frobisher House, Nelson’s Gate (near the railway station)
  • Shooting Star Pub, 40-42 Bevois Valley Road

Please click the link below for a downloadable PDF version of the map:

Rainbow Safe Space Awards Map 2019


Rainbow Safe Space Awards 2020 – let’s make it bigger and better!

We’re working in partnership with Southampton Queer Collective to create an extended version of Rainbow Safe Space Awards in time for Pride 2020, with a directory and a map.  We want to include a wider variety of businesses, including hair and beauty salons, libraries, and even LGBTQIA-friendly places of worship.

If you are a business owner and think your place might be a Rainbow Safe Space, please contact us and let us know how you’re already supporting the LGBTQIA+ and BAME community and what else you hope to achieve within the next year.  We’ll be in touch soon for a chat, and if you’re successful in gaining an award, we’ll put you on the map!