Posts Tagged ‘lesbians’

THEM FATALE

THEM FATALE! is a brand new night ran by and for non-binary, trans* and gender non-conforming folx. Their SICKENING line up features trailblazers of the trans* community including Lewis G Burton, DAWTA, DJ PUSSIEPHUSSShayShayRODENT, ELLIOT, ORNOGRAPHY and hosts UNORIGINALMINDS, Cool DadLucia Blake & Caviar J

We caught up with promoters UNORIGINIALMINDS (aka Jo Alloway) & Lewis G. Burton to chat about their inspirations behind THEM FATALE, why trans* representation in nightlife is so important and what we can expect from Friday! 

 

 

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Can you introduce yourselves?

Hi there! I’m Lewis G. Burton DJ and performance artist and I’m Jo a haggard old queen and *jazz hands* together we are Them Fatale!

What’s your favourite kind of bread?

Lewis: I’m a northern girl and true to my roots I love a good stottie.
Jo: Does eggy bread count? Love it sloppy babes.

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What was the inspiration behind Them Fatale?

Lewis: I helped Jo do the door at Superstore around Christmas and we were saying as non-binary people wouldn’t it be fab if there was a night for us and our trans brothers/sisters and gender non-conforming folx. Six months later here we are!

Jo: We’ve both been around London’s queer nightlife scene for awhile ( obviously Lewis has been around ALOT longer than me), and trans*, non-binary and GNC folx are paving the way in the scene whether as performers, DJs or artists. I guess, one of the main reasons that both Lewis and I wanted to put this night together is to curate a space where we are able to celebrate and showcase the talent of the community.

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What can we expect from the party?

Lewis: Lots of incredibly talented non-binary, trans* and GNC babes playing some banging music and dancing on the bar in all of our glory.

Jo: Yeah… what they said. 

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If you could sum it up in one track what would it be?

Lewis: Thomas the tank engine theme song

Jo: Ms Kevin Le Grand’s rendition of The Cheeky Girls.

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Why is trans representation in nightlife so important?

Lewis: I think alot of cis gay men have forgotten their history as they’re being assimilated into hetronormative society. Trans* people are the reason we have more freedoms now than we have in the past 100 years. Trans* people have always been at the forefront for the fight of equal rights and yet we’re still the most marginalised members of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re still being brutally murdered and beaten worldwide for our very existence. This is why representation in nightlife and just in the media, on TV and film and within pop culture is vital now more than ever.

Jo: Trans* folx face violence everyday, whether that’s systematically, societally or to our bodies. Its because of this that trans* folk need spaces to go to, now more than ever. Nightlife has always been a safe haven for the trans* community and an important site for gender expression, activism and community for queer folx more broadly . In the context of rising homogeneity amongst nightlife venues and the loss of independent queer venues in London the once close relationship between radical politics and nightlife has been diluted.  The majority of nights & venues cater to those who have cash in their pocket (aka the ‘YAS’ screaming, glitter smeared, cis white gays who work in finance). Marginalised LGBTQ+ folx have been pushed out of the very spaces they created and need now more than ever, whether that’s QTIPoC communities, queer women or trans* folx. For us to have the opportunity to put together THEM FATALE, which is trans* led,  has an all trans* line up and is an opportunity for our community to not only take up space, but take ownership of a space feels quite important. We are just apart of growing move in Queer London that is trying to reassert trans* representation in nightlife including Transsister, Transmissions, Wimp as well as Clash Bash and Femmi- Erect at Superstore to name a few. So things are looking up in this context, but we need to keep on pushing further!

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If you could be any animal crossed with another animal, what would you be?

Lewis: Theresa May mixed with Boris Johnson because I can’t think of any worse monstrosity.
Jo: Jon Sizzle mixed with a possum. Thoughts?

Can you tell us a little about some of your DJs and performers?

Lewis: DAWTA is the DJ alias of BBZ Co-Founder Naeem Davis who is an absolute force to be reckoned with and doing so much for the QTIPoC community. DJ PUSSIEPHUSS is the alias of UNITI founder Englesia who has curated an incredible line-up of parties this summer. Lucia Blake is mother of transmissions and organiser of the first ever London Trans* Pride!

Jo: We’ve got some familiar faces from superstore too! ShayShay, RODENT, Orny & Elliot and COOL DAD aka Katayoun Jalili have all been trailblazing for the community for years now ! Just so excited to have all of these incredibly talented trans* folx on our line up!!

What are some of your favourite Superstore memories?

Lewis: My club night INFERNO started out with humble beginnings at Dalston Superstore which was an absolute ball for me and start of a really exciting journey!
Jo: I feel like I’ve been apart of the furniture at superstore for awhile now, I’ve worked on the bar and the door for 3 years and used to go as a punter for a few years before that. So as you can tell there are far too many memories to recount. But I mean…. having one of your managers jump over the toilet cubicle, slap you awake, pull your pants up and put you in a cab is definitely a moment.

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The event is raising money for Gendered Intelligence- can you tell us a little about the work they do?

When we started talking about creating THEM FATALE, we wanted to make sure that we would be able to raise money for those organisations who work tirelessly to provide much needed services for the Trans* community. Gendered Intelligence is just such an amazing organisation we had to reach out to them!

Bit of information about them for you all;

Gendered intelligence is a not-for-profit charity, established in 2008.They work with directly the trans community and those who impact on trans lives and specialise in supporting young trans people under the age of 21. Find out more information on their website AND make sure you put some cash in their buckets on the night. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, everything really does help.

With an unlimited budget, what would your dream line-up for Them Fatale be?

We already have the line-up of our dreams!


 

Them Fatale launches this Friday 31st of May at Dalston Superstore. Find the facebook event HERE.

Whitney Weiss

This Thursday Paris-based international DJ Whitney Weiss joins us for a r’n’b infused jam at weekly girl-night Clam Jam! Ahead of the party, residents Bica and Cathal quizzed Whitney on Parisian lesbians, songs involving prolific use of the word “pussy” and Prince…

By Bica and Cathal

Hiya Whitney! Welcome to cLAM jAM……what naughty words on the street have you heard about it?

Oh hey! I’ve heard wonderful things about Clam Jam, that it gets packed and crazy and there are apparently a lot of cuties and interesting fashion choices involving denim? I hope that’s all true. I’m very excited.

As an international lady loving bird, give us some inside info on Buenos Aires and Parisian lesbians?

Buenos Aires is great because it seems like there’s not so much nesting, plus there are tons of mixed parties where  you can’t tell who sleeps with who until you try to sleep with them, which I think is cool. The art mullet is very much alive and well there, for better or worse.

Since it’s not that big, Paris is already a city where it can feel like everyone knows (or has slept with) everyone in a particular subculture. This is especially true with Parisian lesbians. If you want to engage with a French lesbian—which you can totally choose to do—try asking her about the best place to get gluten-free bread in Saint-Ouen/Canal St. Martin/Montreuil, her electronic music project/accessories line/adorable puppy, or how amazing it was to be a lesbian in Paris during the Le Pulp era, which you (and I) tragically missed out on.

On the “official richter scale chart of lesbianism” 0 being closeted Barbara next door – 10 being being Ellen Degeneres baking muffins with Portia De Rossi whilst listening to Tracy Chapman on the radio, what position would you say you were?

I’m more of an Angelina Jolie circa Hackers vintage 1990s overly-optimistic college sophomore sexuality/gender is fluid kind of girl, to be totally honest!

You played with some big acts/DJs, but I kinda wanna know about the most recent one, Zebra Katz. How did that go?

It was absolutely wonderful and also somehow super-French. We both played at this lovely party called ONO at Faust, which is a new club under the Pont Alexandre III bridge in what used to be like a customs space for maritime imports. So just picture a huge bougie cave of a room packed with people who work in fashion and lesbians in heels with expensive haircuts and professional voguers and stylish foreigners of indeterminate sexual orientation and a handful of enthusiastic barely legal French teenagers, all frolicking together. I got to play thanks to my dear friend Kiddy Smile, who DJed an incredible set the same night. Vjuan Allure, who is an amazing ballroom DJ from the US, also turned people out. And of course Zebra Katz was fantastic.

I know you gonna bring it at cLAM jAM! Tell our girls what kinda music choices have you got cooked for them?

So much Janet, a reasonable amount of ballroom, a little bit of freestyle, some Robbie Tronco songs that prominently feature the word “pussy” and mid-90s treasures you forgot you knew the words to but will remember when on the dance floor. Oh and Prince. There will be Prince.

First time I met you was at legendary CHERYL. Mental night in the best possible way. How did you get involved with that?

Oh my god I have such fond memories of that night! It was one of the highlights of my summer for sure and the London debut of Father Figures, my party/DJ and production project with DJ Traviesa. I had heard about CHERYL through a friend in New York and actually wanted to bring them to Buenos Aires a few years ago. We went out for Polish food and totally got along, but bringing them to Argentina fell through in a colossal way thanks to South American logistics. Instead of hating me, we stayed friends and they had me play CHERYLWEEN V, CHERYL: Alien, and Jennifer Aniston’s fake funeral, which was a personal highlight of my clubbing life. I joined them on their tour two summers ago in Europe, which actually eventually led to me moving here—thanks, CHERYL! I absolutely adore them and they consistently throw the best parties. We had a wonderfully debaucherous time together at Glasslands in August, too; just thinking about it makes me grin. I just can’t say enough good things about them.

You are also involved in the Vogue Balls in Paris. Tell me more……?

Yes! I am Whitney Míu Míu, the DJ for the kiki house Míu Míu. The absolutely wonderful Kiddy Smile invited me to play the Grace Jones Ball last fall, and it kind of grew from there. There was a Janet Jackson Ball last summer, which was great as well. I’m definitely not an expert on the Paris vogue scene at all, but it seems like it’s really growing and expanding. Teki Latex, who is an amazing French DJ, is also quite involved now. I’d say the vogueing community is one of the most creative and legitimately fun facts of Paris nightlife, since people aren’t afraid to dance and actually appear to be enjoying themselves when at parties.

P……p……ppp PRINCE gonna just come out with it. What’s going on between you two? Is it love or lust or both?

Oh my god, it is something that I’ll never comprehend, just like his gender identity/sexual orientation. I’ve been deeply in lust with Prince since puberty and felt funny feelings for him starting with when I was a precocious youngster and saw the cover of Purple Rain in my parent’s record collection. I’ve been listening to him since I was 9 or 10, long before I understood what he was talking about (which explains a lot, really). I love and respect him and am a little bit afraid of him at the same time. I have started relationships with people where their level of enthusiasm for Prince was a determining factor, no joke. Also, according to Wendy and Lisa, he counts as a lesbian. Do with that information what you will.

Join Whitney this Thursday 4th December for Clam Jam at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 2.30am.

Visit Whitney Weiss’ website: www.whitneyweiss.com

Axelle Roch

Homodrop, a brand new homo electro night, makes its Dalston Superstore debut next weekend, with special guest Axelle Roch visiting from Paris. Joining her will be Greg Lowe, Greg Spencer, Bamboo Hermann and TWANG over both floors of Superstore. To find out more about this French babe, we caught up with Axelle ahead of the party to quiz her on techno in her city, LGBT rights in France, and some French language tips to use at queer nights…

What are your highlights of the Parisian dance music scene- where do you go dancing when you are not DJing?

I don’t go out often, so when I party don’t really have a special place I love. I look who is playing… But if I have to choose, I prefer ephemeral/transient places like warehouses. I have been going out clubbing for a long time, so now when I go out, I’m looking for something different than my own experience.

Who or what is the Fox Parisian Crew?

Fox Parisian Crew is a collective and for three years we’ve organised parties at Batofar Club. We’re passionate DJs. Now our party is also in Lyon. We booked a lot of headliners…

We have a simple concept: Beer & Techno! Haha!

How welcoming is Paris to LGBT people?

Since gay marriage has been approved in France, we’ve seen and experienced a lot of trouble. Riots, especially in Paris. LGBT people just want to have the same rights as heterosexuals: marriage, children, and so on… It’s a long way to open mindedness for some people. I think it’s like that everywhere. Gay people are welcomed by some, and not for others… I heard that in Montpellier a gay flag is flying on an official building, at the same time at the place where first gay marriage has been celebrated… so, I take this like a hope. 

Who are your techno heroes?

I love Audiofly, Tini, Villalobos… I think there’s a new generation of very good DJs. I especially love music from Fuse London Label. Seb Zito is also amazing! Jessica Diaz too, she’s from Argentina, she’s great. Recently  I discovered Dana Ruh on Brouqade Label, woos! I mean, her music is exactly what I’m looking for actually. Also music from Romania, minimal, very class..  yes I have to admit it, women are very good DJs and producers, their music has more soul, it really talks to me.

When we spoke to Jennifer Cardini earlier this year she told us all about Le Pulp and the birth of Paris’ (more open) lesbian scene… how would you describe it now?

I think people are now trying to be together. Whatever your sexuality or sexual orientation… I mean we don’t care if the music is good, as long as the vibe is good; all people share the same vibe. Love and dance… for me it’s exactly that sensation I am looking for. A community of dancers… 

But I know that a place like Pulp did a lot of good for lesbian community. A lot of straight people think: Oh! A lesbian party cannot mean good music or good vibe! Hahah you know?!  But I was too young during the ”Pulp” period. I’ve been there just one time. 

If you had a time machine and could visit any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen where would you want to go dancing?

I think I’d explore every decade, the ’60s, ’70s ’80s, the new wave scene, the punk scene, even rock ‘n roll! Also I’d have to swing by Studio 54 in NYC… and why not explore the future in 150 years? 

Can you teach us some essential French for going out in Paris to queer nights and dance clubs…?

“C’est Fat!”, “Ca envoie du Lourd!”, “Je suis saucée!”

It’s Fat! It’s heavy! I’m like a salsa! 

What record in your collection would surprise people to learn that you love?

Brouqade Label, and music from Romania. I love Romanian underground resistance. It’s groovy deepy and sexy!

Who are your top underrated French DJs?

Easy… David Guetta, Bob Sinclair, ect…. 

What’s the biggest misconception about techno in Paris that outsiders have?

The Parisian scene is really rising up… we have something like a subdivision ministry dedicated to the Parisian nightlife… Our mayor Mme Hidalgo writes letters to congratulate some Parisian clubs, when they are rated Top 10 in international magazines, for example Badaboum. I honestly think it’s so cool and encouraging! 

Join Axelle for Homodrop on Saturday 22nd November at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Photo Credit: Chill Okubo

Tania Olive

Currently displaying on the walls of Superstore is photographer Tania Olive’s ongoing series Dyke Of Our Time. Comprising of deadpan shot of local lesbians shot in their own homes, the work aims to highlight gender fluidity and combat sexuality stereotypes. As the show comes to a close next weekend, we spoke to Tania about her inspirations, the shooting process and why she wanted to represent sexual identity in her work…

Which portrait photographers inspire your work?

Catherine Opie, August Sanders, Thomas Ruff, Lise Sarfati, Rineke Djkstras, Asa Johannesson, Julie Fogarty, Cindy Sherman. I’m interested in deadpan photography and have a love for a lot of German photographers. I like an honest style. I like portraits that make me wonder about the person.

What do you ideally want people to take away from your exhibition?

I hope it challenges peoples stereotypes. I get so frustrated when people first find out I am a lesbian and their reaction is “Oh I would never have known, you look so straight.” Really? Is that supposed to be a compliment? What does a ‘straight’ woman look like?  I am trying to challenge those stereotypes and show that there is no ‘lesbian’ look. 

Did you pick the backgrounds featured or did you let the subject choose an environment that sums them up?

I wanted each person to choose the area that they wanted, sometimes it was collaboration and sometimes there really was no choice, especially for those in shared places, so their room was the only space that was solely ‘theirs’. It was quite a challenge in some places, with no space, moving beds and furniture around, but I think that is a London thing!

What influence, if any, does your previous job as a paediatric A&E nurse have on shooting portrait photography? Do you still need a professional bedside manner of sorts?

I guess I am very aware of trying to make people feel at ease. And talking about stories from A&E is always a good topic to take away any nerves they have!

Pick one person, living or otherwise, that you wish you had the opportunity to shoot…

Michael Jackson. 

What other LGBT photography projects are piquing your interest at the moment?

Julie Fogarty’s A Queer Time And Place, which she has been doing over several years; the light and intimacy of each image is beautiful. 

I saw Catherine Opie’s Girlfriends series last year in London which has been shot over about 20 years and was so inspiring. I love how the style and pose of these butch women change over the years. 

Is there one portrait from Dyke Of Our Time that you’re particularly proud of for any reason?

I guess Elle. This series was the first time I was shooting with a Hasselblad and the first time I was shooting with lights so there were quite a few teething problems, and Elle was the first roll that came out in focus, it was an emotional moment!

 Dyke Of Our Time - Elle

Why was it important to you to represent sexual identity in this work?

Lesbians are quite poorly represented within media and I wanted to produce something that says”Hello, we are here; we have always been here!” I think society is changing, we are getting more of a voice slowly, but is it needs more people shouting hello! I know a lot of lesbians who feel invisible, or whose sexuality is not taken seriously by different areas of society. 

Why did you decide to include a self-portrait in the exhibition?

Because I am a Dyke Of This Time. 

And finally, who for you in the public sphere sums up the title of your exhibition “Dyke Of Our Time”?

Beth Ditto. 

Tania’s exhibition Dyke Of Our Time is currently running at Dalston Superstore and ends Sunday 26th May.

See more of Tania’s portraits on her website: www.taniaolive.com