Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

VIEGAS at mints

Ahead of his basement debut at Mints this Friday VIEGAS had a little chat with promoters Jon and Emma!

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Hi Viegas! We are so excited to have you for your Dalston Superstore debut at the next Mints! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for having me! Come from the suburbs of Lisbon, just finished a photography course, currently work at the contemporary/modern art museum of Lisbon and at Radio Quântica which is the Portuguese community web radio, and have been djing for the last few years.

You are one of the organisers behind Lisbon queer party institution Mina – can you tell us about the collective and what inspired you to start your own party?

 mina is the daughter of two vital Portuguese underground projects. My friend Pedro Marum had long ago started this night that turned into an artistic experimental space called Rabbit Hole. Lisbon was, and still is, a place of prudeness and there was lacking a space where the boundaries for our pleasure were defined by mutual respect instead of being forced by a corporate institution. One of the nights that Rabbit Hole hosted was called Barghain, as a pun for the Berlin club but with a cheap price, and that was a huge success. Violet and Photonz  played one of those nights and loved the vibe. I was collaborating with Rabbit Hole back then and Pedro invited the three of us to start this night that would soon become mina. Two years later, the party is now organized by 13 people and supported by hundreds of queers that attend every event, wherever they happen.

You guys recently joined forces with Berlin-based queer party collective Lecken for a rave on NYE at Fully Automated Luxury Oblivion. We can only imagine the madness… How was it?!

Unfortunately I missed that event but from what I’ve heard it was wild.

You are closely involved with Radio Quantica, the radio platform run by Superstore favourites Violet and Photonz. How did you guys come to be working together?

 It all started with an invite from Varela, who is also an Icon and dj from Lisboa. He was part of the radio since the beginning and invited me to be a guest at his show. After that Inês and Marco heard me play a couple more times and asked if I wanted to start my own show. Since then they have been really supportive and kind.

Which record isn’t leaving your bag at the moment?

Play009 – D for Doggo, by dokter doggo.

What is the best thing about the Lisbon electronic music scene?

 The most interesting things are happening in the fringes, either created by the sons of the African & Brazilian communities (Príncipe Label is the perfect example) or the Queer kids, influence by a global web culture, starting to produce and self-release their music in platforms like soundcloud. There is still a lot of work to be done because most of these people don´t have a regular place to showcase their music.

 What is your earliest musical memory?

 From a very young age my mother used to take me to this big communist party that happens every year in Portugal. The melody from “carvalhesa” which is the trademark of the event is in my head since I can remember.

 Who are some of your DJ inspirations?

 BLEID from mina, Aggromance (and the whole Hiedra Club de Baile), Tzusing, Lsdxoxo and Bala Club collective from London are some of my favourites at the moment.

Can you tell us about some of your Portuguese peers who are doing exciting things at the moment?

 BLEID inspires me a lot. She produces and djs and her sets range from noisy ambient to gabber, and everything in between. Odete is also a key figure in our scene. She was one of the first to mix pop music with more experimental and forward thinking electronics and has just released her first Ep “Matrafona”. Kerox is also somebody to look up to. He owns the sickest tunes and just released a banger called “Braved the storm”. Fabaítos  and Stasya have been uploading really good music on soundcloud (Listen to Paradisis, fabaítos first Ep or Stásya´s Túmulo).  Yzhaq and Shade are also starting to mix and to produce (along with Odete and Stásya they’ve created ÇIRCA, also a name to remember) and I´m really excited to hear what they have to say. RS Produções (from príncipe) have just released a mad ep called Bagdad Style and are one of my favourites from the label. finally DJ VENENO666 is my latest obsession. His soft and melancholic take on dembow infused rhythms is sometimes the only thing I can listen to.

 If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/when, where would you go?

Grace Jones’ 30th Birthday Party.

 Do you have any exciting plans for 2019 that you can tell us about?

Have some ideas for both individual and collective projects that hope will come into form, also have a couple of dates planned outside of Portugal. The Dalston gig will be my first this year so this is a nice start :) 

mints at dalston superstore

Find the event on facebook here

CAMP

CAMP is the new group exhibition launching at Dalston Superstore on 07.02.19. It features the work of photographers Anna Sampson, Spyros Rennt and Emily Rose England.

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Is there a common thread between your work as artists?

Anna: We all shoot on film, and we all document and celebrate LGBTQ+ identities and communities.

Spyros: The fact that we all photograph our surroundings, the people close to us, intimate moments – and of course the queerness of our subjects.

Emily: We all come from various queer communities and whilst or work differs in aesthetics it is obvious to me that our backgrounds and involvements within our respective communities is a major influence and shape on our work. As a result, our work has a tendency to explore and celebrate queer identities.

What does camp mean to you?

Anna: I’m a huge fan of Susan Sontag; and after re-reading her “Notes on Camp” a few weeks ago it seemed the perfect title, in relation to our work. Camp, to me, means glamour, decadence, flamboyance, fearless, exaggerated, androgynous, gorgeous.

Spyros: Camp stands for visibility, resistance, unconventionality and worlds unseen.

Emily: Freedom & fabulous queer identity.

How does queer identity inform your work?

Anna: In Gender Trouble, this collection very much challenges the notion of gender identity by merging and blurring gender clichés and stereotypes – and by photographing and representing these androgynous, sexless, queer beauties, I look to subvert and overthrow this male/female; active/passive binary, to demonstrate that gender, like sexuality, needs to be respected as fluid and non-binary.

Spyros: I live my life as a gay/queer man and my work is about the documentation of this life. My circle of friends and acquaintances, the places I frequent, the music I listen to: queerness surrounds me like a warm blanket.

Emily: I document the life and community around me: the queer community of East London. It was never an intentional thing to go out and document the queer scene for the world to see, more an organic progression which has become an internal view into our community – as opposed to an external view which can often result in work becoming exploitative. Although it wasn’t intentional to capture our community for the world to see I’ve realised over the years how important it has become. With the recent rise in far-right groups and ideologies who would love nothing more than to erase our existence it is important to capture and celebrate our loving, beautiful and creative community. it is important to show and celebrate that or identities do exist and are completely valid.

What other things/artists/themes influence your work?

Anna: I find my influences mostly in gender/sexuality/feminist/queer theory. I owe so much to theorists like Laura Mulvey, Judith Butler and Simone de Beauvoir – as well as artists such as Kathy Acker, Valeria Solonas, Cindy Sherman, Claude Cahun, Ren Hang, Robert Mapplethorpe, …. the list could go on and on and on.

Spyros: As much as I love all the great artists that came before me and paved the way, I also enjoy following the work of my contemporaries. Instagram, despite its many negatives, works great for me in the sense that it helps build a community of creatives with whom I can actually interact with and exchange opinions. And of course my own life and experiences influence the work I produce.

Emily: As my work is about capturing what is around me, things such as different nights put on and art and movements created by my peers is a massive influence: us existing is an active rebellion against patriarchal hetero normative society.

How and why did you get into photography as an art form?

Anna: I was a painter, yet grew too impatient to see a painting through, so took up photography (accidentally) in the final few months of my degree. I simply bought a cheap red leather point-and-shoot off eBay to take with me on nights out – but this quickly became the main outlet for my artistic practice/voice. I think it suits my style and sensibility perfectly. Seeing as most of my favourite artists are photographers I guess it was just a matter of time before I started shooting, too!

Spyros: Photography was always spoken to more than the other art forms, maybe because it was the most accessible to me. I like it as a documentation of events transpiring. My memory abandons me some time but photos are always there to remind me of feelings, faces and actions.

Emily: I’ve always been creative and drawn to creating art from an early age. Photography was a natural step for me, I mean essentially you are still painting but with light instead of paint! Once I had begun working with it, it completely made sense to me to pursue it as an art form. I have always been fascinated with its ability to capture a moment or idea like a snapshot in time.

What is your most memorable superstore moment?

Anna: Just a few weeks ago it was my staff Christmas party and we ended up at Superstore. I was very anxious this day, so almost didn’t go out but ended up dancing on the bar, and woke up covered head-to-toe in bruises.

Spyros: The last time I was in London in October: a packed Superstore, watching some drag shows with good friends, spilling my drink left and right (as I said, it was packed), flirting with cute boys – it was quite a night!

Do you have any special treats in store for us for the launch?

Anna: I have very few Gender Trouble zines left, so come and grab one if you want. I won’t be re-printing anytime soon, and they are all sold out at The Photographer’s Gallery!!!

Spyros: I am excited to be showing some prints that I have never shown before. I am also bringing a few copies of my book “Another Excess” with me for anyone interested.

Emily: I will have postcards available of my work to buy as well as first opportunity to buy the prints once the exhibition has finished. Also you will be treated to my divine djing skills!

Come down for the launch on 07.02.19 from 7pm xxx

            12138568_10153054455481954_6898427387920960713_o             spyr 2            Gender Trouble #13

Positive East

Ahead of our World AIDs Day fundraiser on the 1st of December we had a little chat with Alex, the fundriasing officer for Positive East. Alex has been with the charity for 2 and a half years, and works to engage with the local community and encourage them to support the work of Positive East!

What is Positive East’s mission?

All of the charity’s work and services are designed around our mission to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities affected by HIV in East London.

 Can you tell us a little of the organisation’s history? How did it come into being?

Positive East came about at the height of the AIDS pandemic and was born out of an urgent need to address the significant issues that HIV presented in East London in the 80s.  Two organisations were established – London East AIDS Network and the Globe Centre – which then merged in 1991 to better meet the needs of people living with HIV and became Positive East.

What kind of services do you provide?

We offer a wide range of services.  We have an advice line, counselling and peer support services, tailored support groups including our Re:Assure Women’s Group which supports HIV positive women with past experiences of trauma. And of course, we deliver free HIV tests in the local community.  We are a community-led organisation and I think one of the best things about our services is that so many of our programmes and groups are co-delivered by volunteers, many of whom are living with HIV themselves which means they are much better at understanding the issues and barriers that so many people living with HIV still face.

Why is it important that services like yours exist?

It’s so important – even more important than ever really – as less and less funding is being given to the HIV sector.  This is a very significant time in the world of HIV.  There are some great things to celebrate – a dramatic fall in new HIV diagnoses, particularly amongst gay men in London and London has also exceeded the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target (90% of people living with HIV are diagnosed, 90% of people diagnosed are on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment are adhering to their medication).  We can also now say categorically that someone living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load cannot pass on the virus (Undetectable = Untransmittable) and PrEP works as an effective method of preventing onward transmission!

However, although these are fabulous developments, the challenge remains that not everyone and not all communities are benefiting.  HIV stigma is still a reality and there are far too many people undiagnosed or diagnosed late.  There are 50,000 Londoners living with HIV which of course means that HIV support services are still needed.

How has the work that Positive East does changed over the last decade?

We have always worked and will continue to work towards improving the lives of people living with HIV.  We know that there have been incredible developments in HIV medication but unfortunately, society – and its approach to HIV – needs to catch up.  Stigma, isolation and ill mental health are still very real challenges that require bespoke support and there are now fewer organisations that offer similar services.  Without our work, thousands of people living with HIV would not receive support and advice to manage an HIV diagnosis.

 How has austerity affected your service users and your work as an organisation (if at all)?

It has impacted us severely.  Sexual health services, Positive East included, are facing significant funding cuts year on year.  It looks like this is going to continue into the future as well which means we are becoming increasingly reliant on the support of our local community.

 What advice would you give to someone who has been newly diagnosed with HIV?

First of all, you’re not alone.  Positive East is here to support you.  As I mentioned, HIV medication is very advanced which means that someone diagnosed now, who adheres to their medication, can continue living their life as normal with very few changes.  And all of our programmes and services are designed to make the journey towards managing an HIV diagnosis as smooth and stress-free as possible.

 What are the best ways for people to get involved in and support Positive East’s work?

I mentioned that we are facing some fairly significant funding cuts, so we urgently need both people and organisations to support us so that we can continue our work.  You can make donations to the charity through our website – www.positiveeast.org.uk – or you can fundraise for the charity by setting up an online fundraising page.  We cannot thank Dalston Superstore enough for the fantastic support they have shown for Positive East as well – you are so amazing!  We are always looking for volunteers to help us deliver our work, whether that’s staffing our reception desk for a couple of hours or delivering outreach in the local community to raise awareness of HIV.  There are lots of different roles!  You can find out more by emailing our Volunteer Manager at volunteering@positiveeast.org.uk

Most importantly are you looking forward to letting your hair down at the party after the World AIDS Day Red Run?!

YES!  Absolutely!  It’s been really fantastic organising what has now become the UK’s largest World AIDS Day community event and I can’t wait to continue the celebrations with Superstore on the night!

Find the event for our World AIDs Day fundraiser here. All profits from the door price will go directly to Positive East.

VALUE PACK ft BRAT

Hi babies! Value Pack is our brand spanking new weekly monday night shindig. There will be trashy, nostalgic music, cute vibes, CHEAP DRINKS FOR STUDENTS and maybe a little bit of drag action… Before the first installment this monday (05/11) we had a cheeky little chat with our resident discount pop DJ BRAT.

value pack at dalston superstore

Hi Brat

U K, Hun?

Good thanks babe! You’re a founding member of Bodycon, one of our monthly Thursday parties, tell us a bit about that..

Bodycon is the messy binch you have a fab time in the smoking area with bt would NEVER invite to the afterparty bcs she’d be the one to break the sink.  She’s obnoxious and makes absolutely no sense, but the club is where she shines. She’s that girl who posts constantly on Facebook and is only funny 10% of the time IRL.  

Bodycon at dalston superstore

What exactly is Discount Pop

Discount Pop is a culmination of all the bangers you’d hear pulsating out your older sisters door in 2003. It’s the choreo to Girls Aloud – Sound of the Underground. It’s a celebration of the once overplayed, now underplayed that will guarantee a toe tapping and more than one bussy popping.

How many times are you going to play Jennifer Lopez – Waiting for Tonight?

I guess u’ll have to Wait until mon Night to see 😉 

How many shots of Tuaca are you going to hammer?

I’m usually a Jägerbomb chik, u know this. But I’m going to see if my expired student card works @ the bar 😉

tuaca student discount at dalston superstore

Does she even go here?

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. If she’s wearing a Peplum, she’s not getting in.

value pack at dalston sueprstore

What’s you’re most memorable Poundland moment?

Who hasn’t done a last min High Drag lqqk w/ Poundland accessories? 

If you were a multi-pack of crisps, what choice of flavours would you contain?

Jägerbomb, Vegan Cheese, Strappy Cork Wedge and Special Edition Tuaca.

What’s the cheapest thing you’ve ever done?

Nothing I do is cheap, it just looks like it is. 

Are all the things she said running through you’re head?

All the things she said will be slut dropping in ur head Tues morn !!;*

Bye BRAT! c u monday night xxx

Lyl xxxx

LGBT+ Yoga with Tommy

Dalston Superstore is thrilled to announce something a little different… yoga classes for the LGBT+ community in the basement! Tommy Hibbitts Yoga is bringing all sorts of love and energy to the basement of Dalston Superstore for some much needed soul reconnection through the art of yoga! We caught up with Tommy to find out what he has in store for us!


Hi Tommy! We can’t wait to do a bit of yoga with you! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I can’t wait to start teaching yoga with you guys! The support so far has been incredible and it is all thanks to the platform you’ve given me! I’m a recent journalism graduate and I’ve lived in London for four years now. I love travelling and exploring different cultures and communities and understanding the weird and wonderful ways we humans work.

How long have you been practising, and when did you decide to become a teacher?

I’ve been practicing yoga for around two years but it wasn’t until the end of last year I really started dedicated myself to the art. I increased my practice to almost daily and would attend regular classes. My love for yoga grew with every practice and once you start noticing all the wonderful benefits, it’s hard to give up. I decided that once I finished university I would fly over to Rishikesh, known worldwide as the ‘home of yoga’ and gain my teaching qualification there.

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What are your goals as an instructor?

As an instructor I want all my students to see the beauty that can come from regular, dedicated practice and the increase in the level of awareness you find with your body. I hope they’ll enjoy the flow I create with my sequences and that they really awaken the connection between their mind and their body through a series of yoga techniques, and the practice itself.

What do you love about yoga?

I’m obsessed with the freedom I feel it gives both my mind and my body. If I’m ever feeling an emotion that I’m not particularly happy with, such as frustration, I’ll go off and do some self-practice and it really allows me to take everything in and relieve. I also love the gratification I feel once I’ve been practicing poses that have been difficult in the past and I get to places I’ve never reached before. It’s such a rewarding experience.

Why did you decide on Superstore as a venue for your classes?

Dalston Superstore is a venue that encourages acceptance of everyone and is also a pioneering venue within our community. I was hoping you guys would team up to create some thing for our community that was a little different and allows people to explore places they may not have before. I thought an LGBT+ focused yoga class would be a fantastic way to bring our community together and I’m so happy you thought so too!

Do you play music in your classes? What can we expect to hear?

I’ll be playing a mixture of chilled out progressive psychedelic music. It’ll be relaxing but also highly motivating – something that can be needed when putting yourself through an intense class.

What advice would you have for beginners who are a bit nervous about starting out?

For beginners I would say just relax, listen to your body and the gentle instructions. I want you to enjoy yourself as well as push yourself and focus on your own goals. Remember that everyone was a beginner at one point and you’ll always get there in the end!


Catch Tommy’s first LGBT+ yoga session on Thursday 28 July from 6pm at Dalston Superstore!

 

Opening Doors London

This week we sat down and had a chat with some of the lovely volunteers at Opening Doors London, a huge project in the UK that provides information and support services for and with LGBT people aged 50 and above across London. We posed a few questions to those at the frontlines of the different services to find out what they do and why they do it…

Annie Southerst

Annie from Opening Doors

How did you become involved with Opening Doors London?

Well I retired three years ago and looked for projects to volunteer for. I came across such passion and commitment at ODL, from both staff and volunteers and a real sense of involving members in what and how services are provided.

What are the most important services that ODL provide in your opinion?

Either the befriending which tackles isolation at its roots, or the array of social activities that keep us connected.

And what services orprograms are you actively part of and what do they do?

I am an Ambassador with two roles. I am ODL’s representative on SCIE (The Social Care Institute for Excellence) which is a national body leading the way in best practice in Social Care. I am part of their equalities group ensuring that the voice of the older LGBT person is heard.

My second role is as a fundraiser and part of a small team of volunteers spreading the word, and engaging LGBT employee groups in industry.

Is there anything you wish that Opening Doors did provide (in a world of unlimited budget of course!)

Oh yes! A housing project that will ensure that we have a place to go when we need care that will understand the issues facing Older LGBT people.

What does Opening Doors mean to you?

It gives me the opportunity to use the skills I have honed during a life time of paid work, the company of inspiring people and the knowledge that when I start needing some support it will be there for me.

Brian Baylis

Brian at Opening Doors

How did you become involved with Opening Doors London?

I became involved with ODL after finding the local council’s treatment of a close friend suffering from dementia and in a local care home – and myself as his advocate – so objectionable that I took the matter to the ombudsman who fined the council and caused them to rewrite some of their policies.

And what services or programs are you actively part of and what do they do?

I participate in both the social and campaigning aspects of ODL’s work and find that many of the members are impressive in so many ways, like the ways in which some people are rebuilding their lives after a long-term partner has died, and those who cope with loneliness and disability and others who live bravely and creatively with daunting news about their own health. Opening Doors offers fellowship, support and ways of coming together for many who have had very mixed fortunes in their lives.

Nickie Roome

Nickie at Opening Doors

How did you become involved with Opening Doors London?

I first heard about Opening Doors London when I attended a research seminar in Nottingham on bisexual ageing in summer 2013. I looked for bi groups/activities, and finding none badged as such, asked for inclusion. As a result I helped organise an event for Bi Visibility Day and the Bi Visibility Group was a direct result.

What are the most important services that ODL provide in your opinion?

I value all the work done by ODL. The most important thing is that they exist as a focus for LGBT people as they age. Different people have different needs. Breaking isolation and providing advice and information to people in need as well as social contact all helps to ensure happy and active involvement in community as we age. I also value the policy work being undertaken by Ambassadors who are often working at high levels with government and health and social care providers.

And what services or programs are you actively part of and what do they do?

I volunteer as organiser of the Bi Visibility Group. We hold monthly social group meetings. Many who come along have never before experienced safe space where they can discuss bisexuality and not be afraid of being out as bi. I provide information and support about bi community events outside ODL as well.

I attend Ambassadors’ meetings and get support for bi activism in the wider world, as well as providing bi input at conferences etc. 

I also regularly attend the mixed weekly coffee and cake mornings at Tavis House – I’m usually up at crack of dawn baking, but the appreciation makes it worthwhile, not to mention that if I don’t bring suitable food I won’t get anything because of my allergy to cows’ milk!  

I’ve occasionally attended the mixed socials at London a Friend which are jointly organised with ODL.

Is there anything you wish that Opening Doors did provide (in a world of unlimited budget of course!)

More mixed groups would be great as I hate spaces divided by gender – I’m happy to be in groups where men predominate as long as I am also welcome, but I won’t attend women-only groups. I’d enjoy a mixed crafting space where we could share resources and skills.  More dancing lessons would also be very welcome.

What does Opening Doors mean to you?

It means recognition that the LGBT community still surrounds me as I grow older and reassures me that there is somewhere where I will meet with understanding and be welcomed as myself. It’s also a great opportunity for me to help with work on bi inclusion and get support for doing so. I’m really happy to have found ODL and will do my best to contribute where I can, ahead of needing more support personally. We never know what’s round that next corner.

Ola Satchell

Ola at Opening Doors

How did you become involved with Opening Doors London?

I became involved with ODL via Outwest a LGBT charity that I work for. One of my remits is to work with the older LGBT population so ODL was an obvious way to help fulfil this.

What are the most important services that ODL provide in your opinion?

I think the most important services are the social ones, as loneliness and isolation are such potentially big problems in the older LGBT community, and that many other issues they face are symptoms of these and result from them.

And what services or programs are you actively part of and what do they do?

I am involved in the Ealing older LGBT group and do occasional publicity and promotion work for ODL, like speaking at conferences which also is part of my role with Outwest, so both organisations gain something. 

Is there anything you wish that Opening Doors did provide (in a world of unlimited budget of course!)

It would be great if there were easily accessible day services run across London, extensive outreach and befriending services and large numbers of staff to run them with the resources to run what the older LGBT community found the most rewarding to them.

What does Opening Doors mean to you?

To me ODL is a group of people who accept me on my terms. The ordinary world often will only take me and other trans*  people on its terms, which occasionally leaves one at best feeling peripheral at worst ostracised – ODL is as much a social support for me as it is work; a time when I can always feel positive about myself and accepted.

Visit the Opening Doors London website: openingdoorslondon.org.uk

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

Albert Kennedy Trust

This Saturday Homoelectric teams up with national charity the Albert Kennedy Trust to help raise awareness and funds for their 25th Anniversary! Tasked with taking care of the nation’s homeless LGBT youth, the AKT recently launched the Purple Door, a housing project that goes a step further helping these at-risk LGBT teens. Ahead of the party we spoke to Helen, one of the Albert Kennedy Trust team that works at the London Purple door to find out more…

Helen Greaves from the AKT

How did you find out about the Albert Kennedy Trust and become involved?

Through The Guardian. I applied for the position of Purple Door worker.

Tell us about the Purple Door and why it’s such an important service for London’s LGBT teens…

Purple Door is a short to medium term supported housing project for LGBT young people who are at risk of homelessness and abuse. It’s very popular and almost always full; we knew the need was out there because we carefully researched it before we opened our doors. It’s much needed because despite making up a quarter or more of the youth homeless population LGBT young people have very little specialist provision designed for them and in fact a lot of what’s out there is pretty difficult or risky for them to access.

Without putting anyone’s anonymity at risk, how diverse would you say the range of teens at the Purple Door are?

The background of the young people who have stayed, or are currently staying in Purple Door is very diverse. We have young people from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds. Although we do have a higher percentage of males over females.

What’s the one thing or moment that makes your job completely amazing?

Seeing young people achieve what they thought was unachievable in their lives and living situation.

What would you say to anyone considering being a mentor to one of the kids in your care?

To be honest, open, realistic with your availability and expectations, patience… and to try and learn as much as you can. That it is a very rewarding and eye opening experience, and you really can make a difference.

To have fun.

What can we personally do to help support the younger LGBT generation?

Trust and celebrate them. They’re wrestling with social issues that many of us hoped would be eradicated by now: poverty, abuse and violence based on their sexual and gender identities. They’re surviving in a hostile environment. They’re brilliant.

What’s one amazing Albert Kennedy Trust success story you can share with us?

 We don’t single young people out and call some stories successes and others failures. For one young person success is a university place; for another it’s joining an LGBT swim team; for another it’s making contact with their family safely and positively after years of difficulty; for another it’s their first job, their first respectful loving relationship, or a place to call their own. Working for AKT we get to support young people to achieve the things they want, and that’s a huge privilege.

What are some of the ways people can help to raise awareness and funds for AKT?

Access a wider range of services and events/club nights, etc to try and reach different races, religions, etc within the community. Events like Homoelectric at Dalston Superstore are an amazing example of how the community can get involved and support us and our work.

It’s the charity’s 25th Anniversary- how did it get set up all those years ago?

In 1989 there was already a sense that young LGBT people were not being adequately looked after by the system, and as a result many were being made homeless. Cath Hall and a group of volunteers and decided to do something about it, by setting up a charity that provided safe homes with LGBT positive carers for young LGBT people in need.

And finally, what’s one piece of “it gets better” advice you have for any LGBT teen readers?

I don’t give this advice per se. I remind young people that they are amazing now, that they have done so well to survive what they have, and that it is a test of their own ability to make it better by just being here, working with us at AKT. Life is good and bad, I’m hopeful that we can provide young people with the skills needed to navigate brightly their own futures. I just like to remind them how special they are and how much better they can and will be.

Join us this Saturday 5th July to celebrate the Albert Kennedy Trust’s 25th Anniversary with Homoelectric at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Stonewall

As gay charity Stonewall launch their latest campaign “Gay: let’s get the meaning straight”, tackling the homophobic and colloquial use of the word “gay” to mean “rubbish, we caught up with Chief Operating Officer, Cathryn Wright, to find out more about about the organisation’s history from launching in 1989, and what they get up to now. From recent popular campaigns like the ads on London buses, to their current one, and even what they’re doing to help support those affected in Russia, Cathryn kindly talked us through it all.

Gay Let's Get Over It by Stonewall

And not only did we get the opportunity for an in-depth chat, but they’ve also given us a fabulous goody bag to give away! For your chance to win a Totes Equal Marriage bag full of Stonewall goodies email hello@dalstonsuperstore.com by Monday 2nd December 10am with the email subject “I want a Stonewall bag please” and the correct answer to the following question…

What year was Stonewall founded?

a. 1899
b. 1989
c. 2009

Totes Equal Marriage Stonewall bag 

Stonewall Goodie Bag

Stonewall was set up to battle Section 28, but now you focus on fighting homophobia… can you tell us three ways in which you do so?

Stonewall’s fundamental mission has always been to secure equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. For many years this was all about changing legislation. In the past decade we’ve successfully run campaigns to allow gay couples to adopt, to ensure you can’t be fired because of your sexual orientation and legal recognition and protection for your relationship. 

But we also know that we need to change opinions outside of Westminster. Our biggest campaigns now are our programmes in workplaces and schools across Britain. 

Our Workplace Team works with over 600 employers – who employee more than six million people in the UK – to help employers create gay-friendly workplaces. Organisations that value equality for gay people make better employers for everyone. We’re now extending this work to support LGB people around the world too. 

We also work with 10,000 schools across Britain to tackle the really shocking levels of homophobic bullying that still exists. This includes getting involved with school assemblies, providing guidance and training for teachers and running national campaigns to tackle things like homophobic language. 

The bus campaign has had far-reaching global acclaim- were you expecting this level of success?

Not at all! The slogan ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ was originally thought up by a group of school children for a campaign against homophobic bullying. We had no idea at the time that it would develop in to an iconic statement that would be seen on buses and posters up and down the country.

Despite the fact that SPAGGOI (as it’s known at Stonewall!) is nearly 5 years old, we’re constantly amazed how it continually appeals to new audiences. 

SPAGGOI Bus Stonewall

What are your personal favourite Stonewall campaigns past and present?

That’s a tricky one – and I wouldn’t want to get in trouble for picking favourites! 

I think one of the most exciting campaigns we’ve ran lately was our ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign to tackle homophobia in football. I’m not a football fan, but it was pretty incredible to see how we were able to start a national conversation about gay footballers and homophobia. It also showed how important it is to move out of your comfort zone and reach new audiences. 

We’ve always believed there’s no point always talking to people who already agree with you. That’s why it was inspiring to see us campaigning with groups and individuals we’d never reached before. 

I’ve also absolutely loved Stonewall’s equal marriage campaign. There was such a sense of history around the campaign and it was brilliant to see hundreds of people at the rally outside the House of Lords. It was a great mixture of Stonewall’s traditional lobbying with MPs and members of the House of Lords with some amazing public involvement with supporters. 

What can we look forward to in 2014 from Stonewall?

It can sometimes feel a bit daunting when we look at all the work still to do in school, workplaces and internationally. 

2014 is going to see a big focus on our International work. We’ve achieved so much in Britain, which really contrasts with other countries around the world. We see places like Russia and Uganda actually regressing in terms of their treatment of LGBT people. We’ll be campaigning hard to support LGBT activists and help them run campaigns to protect their human rights. 

In Britain our campaigns in workplaces and schools will continue, but we’ll also be working much more prominently to tackle pretty shocking rates of hate crimes against gay people. We’ve seen in Hackney in the past few years that violence against LGBT people can be shockingly brutal. We need to make sure police forces take a zero tolerance approach so people feel safe in their communities. 

Can you recommend some great grassroots LGBT projects in London that are worth a look?

I love the work that the Bethnal Green charity, Step Forward, does. They have a long-standing LGBT group which focuses on personal development as well as the more traditional ‘youth group’ social aspects.  One of the ways it differs from some LGBT services is that it sits within a young people’s centre, which means that they have a much greater opportunity to have conversation with young people about their sexuality and identity. They also have other programmes which bring people together from diverse communities which helps to de-stigmatise LGBT people and build community cohesion. They’ve been going for over 20 years so have stability that young people can rely on.

What are you fave queer spaces in the city?

I live in Hackney and I think it’s quite a unique area now, in that most places have a queer vibe or are at least queer-friendly. The great thing though is how well integrated the gay community are – it’s often visibly queer, but it’s not a gay ghetto. 

I love stuff like the Fringe Film Festival, which grows year on year and is rooted in the East London queer creative scene, but is welcoming to everyone. I also have a soft spot for some of the stalwarts – pubs like the Joiners Arms and nights like Unskinny Bop.  And of course Dalston Superstore – the epicentre of Kingsland Road!

What do you do in your role as Chief Operating Officer?

All the ‘boring stuff’…  I oversee things like Finance, HR, IT and strategic planning. Our team is proud to be the backbone of the organisation! 

It’s a tough economy for all charities, so to ensure our work can continue on track we really have to focus on making sure every pound is spent effectively and that we know what our key priorities are. 

One of the great things about Stonewall is that every staff member gets involved in all of our campaigns and events, so no matter which area you work in you feel part of the whole team. 

What can the rest of us do to help support Stonewall?

Stonewall couldn’t function without volunteers and supporters. We don’t take any core government funding which means we’re reliant on the generosity of thousands and thousands of individuals. We always need new people to get involved – that might involve volunteering to help out in the office, buying a ‘Some People Are Gay’ t-shirt, or becoming a Friend of Stonewall. 

We also want gay people to be the change that they want to see in their local community. By stepping up and becoming a school governor, getting involved with a local hospital patient group or joining an LGBT network group in your workplace you can make an incredibly positive difference. 

We love your t-shirts in cyrillic… can you tell us more about what Stonewall is doing to support Russian LGBT people?

The truth is that the situation in Russia is incredibly complicated. Britain’s ability to influence the Russian Government is pretty limited as we don’t give them international aid and our diplomatic relations are quite strained.

Despite that, we’re working with groups like the inspiring Russian LGBT Network to advise them how to run campaigns. Stonewall was founded to campaign against ‘anti-gay propaganda’ legislation like the kind being imposed in Russia now. 

We’re also making sure that the issue doesn’t slip off the agenda here in Britain by talking to the media and, importantly, to agencies like the Foreign Office, the Department for International Development as well as the Commonwealth. 

What’s one song that would be the Stonewall office’s anthem?

Cold Rock A Party by MC Lyte. Oh no, sorry, that’s just my favourite song… 

Our musical tastes are too diverse – I don’t think we could ever agree on an organisational anthem. There’s usually blood on the dance floor at the staff Christmas party with people fighting over the playlist…

Visit Stonewall’s website to find out more about their latest campaigns: www.stonewall.org.uk

Peter Tatchell

Ahead of this Sunday’s special fundraiser for the Peter Tatchell Foundation over in London Fields, we spoke to the man himself to find out what the Foundation’s aims are and what we can do to help LGBT issues around the world…

What are the Peter Tatchell Foundation current priorities?

Our current big campaigns are Love Russia Hate Homophobia, Commonwealth: Common Rights, Equal Love and Boot Out Homophobia (from football & other sports): petertatchellfoundation.org/campaigns

What’s the best thing we can do to help LGBTQ people around the world facing oppression?

We need to show solidarity with LGBT people worldwide. They are part of our queer family. Please join the protests against homophobic persecution in Jamaica, Russia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Iran and Uganda. I would also ask people to lobby their MP via the website: www.writetothem.com. Ask your MP to protest to the London ambassador of homophobic countries. Request your MP to press the government to switch foreign aid from anti-LGBT governments to local aid agencies that don’t discriminate. 

What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve ever put yourself in?

Getting beaten unconscious by President Mugabe’s henchmen in Brussels in 2001, when I tried to do a citizen’s arrest. But also being bashed by neo-Nazis when I attended Moscow Gay Pride in 2007. Both times I was in fear of being killed. I’ve still got some minor brain and eye damage as a result. 

How effective do you think armchair activism is?

Clicktivism has a role. Mass online petitions by groups like All Out can be very effective in pressuring governments. They don’t always work but sometimes they gets results. The e-petition about Alan Turing persuaded the government to issue an official apology for the way he was treated. 

Do you think LGBTQ activism in London is being rekindled of late and if so what’s promoted this?

Appalling abuses of LGBT people in places like Russia and Uganda have reminded people that that the global battle for queer freedom is far from won – and this realisation has got them activated. 

How far have we got to go here in the UK to reach equality and what is threatening it?

All major legal discriminations against us have been repealed in the UK – at last! But faith organisations are still allowed to discriminate in certain circumstances. They have exemptions from the equality laws that apply to everyone else. LGBT refugees from homophobic persecution are often denied asylum. Sex education and HIV education in most schools is woefully inadequate. Gay bashing violence and homophobic bullying in schools is still far too prevalent. 

Do you ever go out dancing and what is your favourite track right now?

I love clubbing but rarely get a chance to indulge. My favourite track is a bit old: Tinie Tempah’s Invincible. It’s great love poetry; plus I interpret it to express my belief that LGBT people and our liberation struggle are invincible. 

Who are your heroes?

Mohondras Gandhi, Sylvia Pankhust and Martin Luther King. 

What’s been the proudest moment of your life?

The OutRage! campaign against police harassment of the LGBT community in the early 1990s. We won police reforms that saved thousands of gay and bisexual men from arrest and conviction. 

And what are you currently reading?

Forbidden Forward – The Justin Fashanu Story by Nick Baker. You can find out more about it here: www.justinfashanustory.com

Join Peter this Sunday 1st September for Cold War – The Peter Tatchell Benefit Party at The Pit near London Fields from 2pm to late.
 
For more information about Peter Tatchell’s LGBT campaigns and to make a donation: 
www.PeterTatchellFoundation.org 
 
Cold War - Peter Tatchell Benefit Party

International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia

As today is International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia we thought we’d share our favourite recent LBGT videos, images and links from around the internet…

Alan Turing Sculpture

WWII codebreaker and tragic gay computing pioneer Alan Turing has been chosen as a “local hero” of Paddington and commemorated in this 2D sculpture.

Via Pink News

This is the moving story of 11 year old Caine from Texas who was bullied badly at school because of his lesbian mums. He fought back by giving this speech to his school board.

Via Upworthy

This eloquent monologue comes from a young boy in Singapore who addresses his homophobic bullies directly in an incredibly mature manner. 

Via All Out

Meanwhile, over in France, this heartening clip shows a waitress stand on a table to announce she’s a lesbian who can finally marry. The diners applause is what makes this video so amazing.

Via Buzzfeed 

Finally, over on Autostraddle, one trans woman writes about how there is no right or wrong way to be trans in I’m A Trans Woman And I’m Not Interested In Being One Of The “Good Ones”.

Via Reddit

Main image: The I-35 Bridge in Minneapolis lit up in rainbow colours to support same-sex marriage via Buzzfeed.

 

Beige Magazine

Glossy gay mag Beige join us this Saturday for the launch party for their winter issue. They’re teaming up with DJ Rokk and the Body Talk crew to bring one amazing night of  music and celebration of LGBT creativity here in London. Taking to the decks deep down in the lazer basement will be Firecracker Records producer, the enigmatic Linkwood. Whilst his sound is hard to pin down you can be sure it’ll traverse all sorts of house, disco, techno and funk.

Ahead of the party we caught up with Beige’s Publishing Editor Barry Johnston to find out the lowdown on his magazine and why you should already be a regular reader…

What is Beige Magazine’s ethos?

Tagged as ‘The Provocative Cultural Quarterly’ we aim to deliver passionate, creative and diverse coverage to the LGBT community and beyond, in a visually striking and thought-provoking format, destined to be a keep-sake collectors item.

Why did you decide to set up the magazine?

Partly due to our frustration at the misrepresentation of the LGBT community being a one trick pony in the gay press. We felt that this was not doing us any favours, and often portraying a negative image of our lifestyle to the ‘outside’ world. We are part of such a rich tapestry of talent and creative people who deserve to be captured and presented in a clean, crisp format, minus the aspects which would prevent you from being able to read it on public transport or leave it out on the coffee table at home because your mum might find it.

Who has been your favourite cover star so far?

We’re in awe of all of the covers. Having the likes of Patrick Wolf and Marc Almond on previous covers was epic for us. Ana Matronic, who graces our current cover, is our first female cover as well as Ana’s first solo cover. A perfect example of how we are trying to the break boundaries as to what you would expect from a homo magazine, a seductive and gorgeous female cover is just as visually enticing to us as a half naked man would be.

Beige Magazine Winter Issue cover

Who are the Beige Magazine heroes… who inspires you?

We are inspired by people from all walks of life. If you have an interesting story to tell then we’re prepared to listen. We actively seek out new people to feature and collaborate with, not just from our community, but beyond, drawing inspiration from the past and hunting out new ideas for the future.

What and who is on your 2013 wish list?

Like our covers, which don’t give anything away regarding the content of the issue, our content is always a closely guarded secret – we like the element of surprise.

Why is it important to have a diverse range of LGBT press here in London?

London epitomises diversity and it’s healthy to have press coverage that caters to all tastes and persuasions. 

What is a local issue dear to your hearts?

Helping to give exposure to up and coming artists, designers and performers who deserve a platform and to get their name and work out in the public domain.

Who are Beige Magazines best new discoveries?

We have worked with so many incredibly talented and undiscovered people in producing Beige. In turn we try to utilise that talent again in a way/shape/form that may not be expected, i.e: using an artist as a photographer for a fashion shoot or having a previously featured author interview one of their heroes.

Why did you decide to have your winter issue launch here at Dalston Superstore?

Superstore has always been a favourite hang out spot of ours. We love the transition from cafe/art gallery by day to club by night. The crowd Superstore attracts is always as diverse as our content so it was a no brainer. It is also an honour for us to be working with Body Talk and Linkwood.

And finally who is currently on the Beige stereo?

We are still slightly obsessed with Lana Del Rey and her epic music videos. Needless to say that due to our involvement with Body Talk, Robyn and Linkwood have been on repeat lately in the studio.

Join the Beige Magazine team for their issue launch this Saturday 15th December with Body Talk and Linkwood from 9pm – 4:30am. 

For more info on Beige visit their official site: www.beigeuk.com