Your guide to LGBTQ+ venues in London that are more than just clubbing.

Your guide to LGBTQ+ venues in London that are more than just clubbing.

Moving to London can be thrilling for LGBTQ+ students. After all, it’s bursting with every kind of queer hangout space, from crafternoons to cruising clubs. But it can be hard to know where to get started, especially if you’re looking for something more than clubbing at G-A-Y or Heaven. Here are some good places to visit first.

Dalston Superstore

 

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A good all-rounder hosting art exhibitions, club nights and a daytime food menu with plenty of vegan options. Only 25 minutes from Northampton Square by bus, drop by to join the drag queens touching up their makeup over avocado toast, or check out the flyers for events all over London.

DIY Space for London

DIY Space for London/Wikimedia.

DIYSFL is a ‘cooperatively-run social centre’. They’ve served as a host for London’s DIY, punk, artsy queer scene since 2015. It’s definitely worth making the hike into South London (hop on a 4-minute train from London Bridge to South Bermondsey). Check out ‘Queer to Create’, a monthly Saturday meetup for “makers, crafters and creators”.

London Friend

London Friend at the Pride parade. Katie Chan/Wikimedia.

London Friend (only 25 mins from Northampton Square) is the oldest LGBTQ+ charity in the UK. It offers counselling, socials and a comfy sofa with a bookcase full of queer literature. Groups range from Older LGBTQ+ Drop-in for those 55 and over, to Pink Ink creative writing and October’s series of stand-up comedy workshops for LBT women.

Queer Ballers

 

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For the sportier students, Queer Ballers is a “community meetup” for playing netball and other sport. It pitches itself to people who did like school netball, but “hate compulsory heterosexuality”. They post about events on Facebook or can be reached via email.

Misery Party

 

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If you’re looking for a group exclusively for black people or PoC who identify as queer, trans or intersex, then Misery Party might be a good place to start. Launched this year, Misery is a “mental health collective” and “sober night club” that has an entire roster of events planned, from herb walks to board game hangs. A space that centres around ‘healing and joy’ for QTIBPOC, information about Misery’s upcoming events can be found on Resident Advisor.

The Outside Project

 

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Et innlegg delt av The Outside Project (@lgbtiqoutside)

2017 saw the launch of UK’s first LGBTQ+ community and shelter. The Outside project runs a crisis/homeless shelter, but their timetable also boasts life drawing, crochet groups and a regular Community Hub. Events are hosted in different spaces, most often at the Castlehaven Community Centre (in Camden Town, just three stops from Angel) and Clerkenwell Fire Station. Information on events can be found on their website and across social media.

Vogue Fabrics Dalston

 

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Et innlegg delt av VFDalston (@vfdalston)

You might associate VFD with Lemony Snicket, but in LGBTQ+ London, VFD denotes queer performance arts. Another one close to Northampton Square, this East London venue is just over the road from Dalston Superstore. It boasts a calendar replete with spoken word, cabarets, and Transmissions, a weekly meet-up space that centres trans people (Mondays from 8pm).

TAGS Swimming 

TAGS is a group where trans and GNC people can meet for a private dip in Lewisham, Swiss Cottage and other venues around London. In the summer, they organise swims in the Hampstead Heath ponds, a must for all adventurous bathers. Email organiser Roberta for all the latest information about meetups.

Meetup.com

 

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If nothing above stimulates your interests, then Meetup.com is a haven for anyone looking for hangouts that meet their niche. From Asexual Lesbians London to LGBTQ+ Vegans, book clubs to hiking groups, start feeding words into the search bar and see what pops up.

Isadore Auerbach George
MSc Library Science

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