London

"A queer call to arms": Why I'm setting up a bi youth group

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No laughing matter: Sexism on the comedy circuit

no-girls-allowedWhat do you call a woman at a comedy club? The waitress.

I recently experienced some old school, 50s-style sexism at the hands of an award-winning London comedy club. Don Draper didn’t pinch my bottom. I wasn’t thrown out of the board room. I was kept out of a less glamorous room – the upstairs of a north London pub.

A little bit of background – I’m not a professional comedian. I’m entirely new to the world of comedy, having just done a beginners course, and I’m trying to book a few London gigs and make performing a semi regular hobby. I’d heard that this club (which shall remain nameless) runs a well respected new acts night. When they told me that they were fully-booked for the foreseeable future it wasn’t particularly surprising – clearly lots of people want to get on the bill there. But then the surprising thing happened. Three male friends who had done the comedy course with me were given spots, despite having asked after I was told no.

So what does a girl do in this situation? Well firstly, I obsessed that I had somehow come across as an unfunny idiot in my initial email, and that’s why they’d said no. Then I went into detective mode. I set up a new email account under a male name, emailed the club pretending to be a completely new person, and waited. Lo and behold, my male alter ego was given a spot, no questions asked.
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Past the look: What is demisexuality?

love-560783_1280One thing that has bothered me for a while when it comes to LGBT+ spaces is that they are primarily focused on bars and clubs: spaces revolving around alcohol and casual sex. For me, as someone who doesn’t drink, they are only places I would go if I was with a larger group of queer friends. Outside of that however, it is rare that I come across somewhere that is both queer and casual that I would like to spend my weekends.

I have recently been doing some research on the asexual (ace) and aromantic (aro) communities that are included within the LGBT+ umbrella but are very often ignored. One main difficulty the ace community faces is people rebranding the “A” in LGBTQIA as being for allies and not asexuals. This erases them even further as they are replaced by non-queer representation, which is exactly, not, the point.

The problem with LGBT+ spaces being hypersexualised means that queer ace people could feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in queer spaces due to the heavy focus on indulging in casual sexual behaviour, which is totally fine and awesome if you are into that sort of thing, but if you aren’t it leaves you in the cold as to where to find queer spaces and likeminded queer individuals. This oversexualisation of queerness and queer spaces also means that asexuals get forgotten and are sometimes not seen as being “queer enough” to be part of the community. Which is something that to bisexuals sounds strangely familiar…
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"No, I'm not straight… or gay": Coming out to new acquaintances

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“I don’t want to closet myself, but I also don’t want to be asked for the thousandth time which gender I’d choose if I had to, or if I’m down for a threesome”

Amanda Gun looks at the often complicated process of explaining your sexuality to people you’ve just met…

One of my friends recently moved to London, and is staying in a  hostel until she finds more permanent accommodation. She’s been hanging out with a group of boys who are also staying there, and while she thinks they’re perfectly okay to hang out with for now, she doesn’t really want to stay in touch – and because she’s not the type to shout it from the rooftops, she hasn’t come out to them yet.

That isn’t a problem in itself, most of the time (I am of the school that if you feel comfortable coming out, you probably… Continue reading

Review: Chick Habit @ She Bar

chickhabit1Top DJ Jen Long (BBC Radio 1) helped us rip up the dancefloor at last night’s Chick Habit, She Bar’s weekly indie and alternative bash.

You know you’re having a good night when £300 of camera nearly drops out of your hand and transforms itself into considerably fewer £s of parts… and you’re almost having too much fun to care. Oops!

Chick Habit always provides a delicious mix of indie and alt classic and new, with a dab of truly danceable cheese thrown in, and last night was no exception.chickhabit3

DJ Jen Long seemed to be having a whale of time on the decks, chatting cosily with the clientele as she spun. It wasn’t a huge crowd, which is a shame, but there were enough of us to fill the intimate venue comfortably and it was nicely mixed.

Drinks prices good for the area – under a fiver for a… Continue reading