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Introducing: FLXRT Speed Dating

Introducing: FLXRT Speed Dating

Introducing FLXRT, the brand new queer speed dating event, launching on Thursday 21 September at Superstore’s little sister The Karaoke Hole! Frustrated with the lack of diversity and inclusivity at other speed dating events, friends Mariella Collins and Kitty Edgar have joined forces to create an intentional speed dating space that actively centres trans folk and queer people of colour. FLXRT is  open to queers of all stripes. You might meet your next lover… Or you might end up with some platonic friends as a little bonus! We caught up with Mariella and Kitty to chat open-minded dating, heartbreak anthems and plans for the debut event.

Mariella Collins (L) and Kitty Edgar (R)

Hi Kitty and Mariella! We are so excited for the upcoming launch of FLXRT Queer Speed Dating at The Karaoke Hole! What inspired you to start FLXRT?
I love dating! It’s such a good way to learn about yourself as well as other people. But the only place I have ever met people in the past have been clubs, or queer events, where lots of alcohol is involved. And when I’m out at the club, I’m trying to have a good time with my friends! So we wanted to create that intentional space for like minded single queers.
K: Well I’m terminally single… and just wanted to learn to date in a fun, non intense way. Mariella and I were looking for speed dating nights and couldn’t find many that were our vibe. So we were like … let’s do our own! Mariella decided we should call it FLXRT so I could hopefully finally learn how to flirt with people…
Who is FLXRT for?
M: Everyone – all genders & queer folk are welcome! There are so few POC-centred queer spaces, so while creating FLXRT we really focused on centring the QTPOC experience & ensuring it’s a totally safe space for everyone.
What’s the biggest challenge about queer dating in London?
Dating in the queer community can be difficult, then being a queer person of colour adds to that difficulty. It’s important for me to know that the people I am meeting are either people of colour, or if not, people that understand the need for us to take up space.
K: I think the biggest challenge for me is, I hate the apps and that seems to be the main way to meet people. I just really struggle to get past that one or two day back-and-forth messaging that leads to one person ghosting the other.
What is FLXRT going to offer the queer community that other speed dating nights are lacking?
K & M: We are both pansexual, and we want everyone under the LGBTQ+ bracket to feel welcome. 
This means, you might have some friend dates along with romantic ones. 
The beautiful thing about the LGBTQ+ spectrum is the intersections between everyone’s identities and who they are attracted to. We want FLXRT to be a space that celebrates that. And doesn’t exclude anyone (except the straights, soz. ya’ll have enough)
What is your most nightmarish first date story?
Back when I was dating cishet men (something I actively avoid now) I went on a date with a guy- we argued the whole time as he was clearly a Tory (he spoke at length about how important it was to send children to private schools) When I ordered food he was like ‘Really? You’re going to eat?!’ – he told our mutual friend it had gone so well and he didn’t know why I wasn’t texting him back *eyeroll*
M: Oh god, I have loads! If you come to FLXRT I’ll tell you some of the best ones
Online dating red flags?
Straight couples looking for a third…
M: People who match with you, and then don’t message.
What’s your favorite broken heart anthem?
Nicest Thing by Kate Nash is perfect when you’re in the ‘crying stage’ but when you’re in the ‘fuck you stage’ it has to be It’s Not Right but it’s OK by Whitney (The Thunderpuss remix is banging too)

M: Greasy by Ojerome. I used to listen to it when I was dating a fuckboy to remind me that I wasn’t alone! Ha

What is your advice to those who are intrigued about booking a ticket to FLXRT but are a little anxious about attending solo?
I totally get it, I know I would feel a bit nervous as I’m in no way a serial expert dater. But Mariella and I are here to be your mates – reach out to us on Instagram if you’re coming alone and we promise to meet you at the door and get you settled in for a great night. Also don’t panic – there’s no karaoke – you won’t be forced to serenade your potential dates…we can all agree that would be cringe AF.
M: I have been speed dating before, and I genuinely think it changed the way I look at dating forever. It’s a quick, easy way to meet people. Also,  having to keep the conversations quick takes away the element of any nerves or awkward moments during the dates. We will be there to support everyone, so you will be in a room full of people wanting to grow their confidence but also have similar intentions to you.
Join us at the debut of FLXRT Queer Speed Dating on Thursday 21 September from 7-10pm at The Karaoke Hole!

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Introducing: FLXRT Speed Dating