previous events: 2021

On this page you will find details of our previous events from 2021. We were delighted to have put on so many incredible events and wanted to thank everyone for contributing during this tough time in the pandemic. A big thank you also goes out to the Metro for funding us and all the institutions who collaborated with us!

Defiance: Queerness in a State of Illegality

19th January 2021

In collaboration with House of Rainbow 

Chair: Adebayo Quadry-Adekanbi

Speakers: Harry Itie, Timinepre Cole, Kayode Somtochukwi Ani, and Chizoba Okosa

On 19th January we had Harry Itie, Timinepre Cole, Kayode Somtochukwi Ani, and Chizoba Okosa all come and talk to us about the ways in which queer people are mobilising and resisting the state in Nigeria. The topics covered were intensely important but please keep in mind that there were many sensitive topics covered so please keep that in mind when viewing. This event was done in collaboration with the fantastic House of Rainbow We also recommend you take a look at Harry Itie's film Defiance which is freely available on Youtube as this formed the basis for the conversations that took place in this event.

"Excellent speakers, really inspirational and moving contributions."

- anonymous -

'Compton's Cafeteria': in conversation with Susan Stryker

25th January 2021

Chair: James Whitfield

Speakers: Susan Stryker, E-J Scott, Nim Ralph and Morgan M Page

On the 25th January 2021 we were lucky enough to be joined by Susan Stryker, E-J Scott, Nim Ralph and Morgan M Page! They came to discuss Susan Stryker's renowned film "Screaming Queens: The Riots at Compton's Cafeteria" as well as the current occupation of the site of Compton's Cafeteria by a private for-profit incarceration facility. 

"Absolutely fantastic panel. I loved the format of panellists responding to each other"

- anonymous -

LGBT+ History Month with Founder Prof. Sue Sanders 

9th February 2021

Speaker: Prof. Sue Sanders

On February 9th we had a one hour interactive talk with the founder of LGBT+ History Month UK and chair of ‘Schools Out’, Prof Sue Sanders.

Sue discussed the people chosen to represent 2021’s LGBT history month theme: ‘Mind, Body, Spirit’ in an interactive quiz/presentation.

Given the interactive nature of this talk, it was not recorded.


LGBT+ History Month with Founder Prof. Sue Sanders

"relaxed, fun and informative"

- anonymous -

Bois Of Isolation Workshop

16th February 2021

In collaboration with Bois of Isolation

Host: Phoenix Wilks

Workshop Leaders: Dawn Wooley & AC Davidson

On February 16th we had an informal, creative workshop in which we used selfies to explore our sense of identity and its manifestation within our surroundings.

Participants discussed and devised selfies that queer the gender binary: questioning and subverting dominant binaries and visual signifiers of power through a series of guided selfie-taking activities.

Participants could document their ideas and these were shared (with permission) through boisofisolation.

You can also check out a blogpost from them here.


"I loved the feeling of community it generated and the speakers were incredibly welcoming"

- anonymous -

Groove At Home: Disco and Voguing Workshop 

20th February 2021

In collaboration with SHOUT Festival

Workshop Leader: Danny Tokay Reid

We co-hosted three events with SHOUT Festival.

Our first takeover event was a fabulous disco and voguing dance workshop! Danny Tokay Reid taught us about the history of these dance forms and then it was followed with an easy-to-follow taught session.

Since this was an interactive session it was not recorded.


"Fantastic, positive vibes, safe and supportive space to share a fun and love of dance! Danny was amazing!"

- anonymous -

A Brief Queer History of Zines

20th February 2021

In collaboration with SHOUT Festival

Speaker: Dr Jonah Coman

We co-hosted three events with SHOUT Festival.

In our second event of the day in our SHOUT takeover we held a hands-on workshop run by queer historian and award-winning zinemaker Dr Jonah Coman explored the queer history of zines, beginning as far as the invention of the press (or, controversially, even before that), and then turned it into an exercise in participating in the queer art of the zine.

"Jonah's presentation was very interesting and cheerful. I felt very inspired and am thankful for all the amazing tips on zines."

- anonymous -


Queer is in the Heart: A History of Disco and Queerness WITH Music Video Premiere of Josh Leach/Tom Aspaul Collaboration

20th February 2021

In collaboration with SHOUT Festival

Speaker: Ibi Profane

We co-hosted three events with SHOUT Festival.

Next in our SHOUT takeover we had a talk on the amazing history between queer culture and disco, presented by local-nuisance-turned-superstar Drag Queen Ibi Profane.

Ibi was joined by award winning animator Josh Leach, who showcased his animated music video to West Midland singer Tom Aspaul’s song W.M. from his critically acclaimed album Black Country Disco. 

"Great review of some queer history with an amazing host!"

- anonymous -


20th February 2021

In collaboration with SHOUT Festival

Artist: DJ Harry Gay

We co-hosted three events with SHOUT Festival.

As the final part of our SHOUT takeover, we welcomed Harry Gay to DJ for a zoom party and dance.

The event was an absolute blast and if you want to find more about Harry, he is the founder of Queer House Party and can be found spinning pop, disco, house and techno at all of their events.

This was not recorded due to the interactive nature of the event


"I loved seeing the energy from everyone involved and feel the giddiness you get from being out"

- anonymous -


Nowt As Queer As Folk 

26th February 2021

Chair: James Whitfield

Speaker: Lucy Mooring

Respondent: Dr Cath Lambert

Lucy Mooring provided an interesting discussion on the relationship between queerness and rural spaces. Lucy talked about how queerness is often posed as antithetical to rural spaces, indeed when authors discuss rural settings in a queer context it is often to further a narrative that it is a place of homophobia and isolation. This conception is challenged in this talk and is recommended to anyone interested in the intersection between queer and rural. 

"Brilliant research, careful and kind facilitation, easy to understand structure, lots of information both within the talk and in advance."

- anonymous -

Aesthetic Resilience and Queer Arts 

12th March 2021

Chair: Adebayo Quadry-Adekanbi

Speaker: Prof. zethu Matebeni

On March 19th we welcomed Prof. zethu Matebeni who discussed aesthetic resliance and queer arts as a necessary form of activism in university spaces with Adebayo Quadry-Adekanbi.

There was a video shown in the session but the recorded quality was not good and so you can find this seperately here.

"I really appreciated how lively the conversation was, found it incredibly generative, and I am excited to read sources shared. Thank you this event was really incredible"

- anonymous -

The Gay Villain Rides Again: The History of a Queer Biker

16th April 2021

Speakers: Migueltzinta Solís and Suzanne Lenon

This presentation of archival images and historical research investigates the story of Solitaire, a mysterious figure who haunted the background and fringes of gay and lesbian (queer) motorcycle clubs. Solitaire’s archive is a puzzle, appearing momentarily in one decade then disappearing without a trace, then appearing again in ephemera printed ten years later. Like with many queer ancestors, the archival traces of this outsider have been largely dismissed, and it has only been thanks to cross-disciplinary scholar Migueltzinta Solís’s exhaustive research that Solitaire’s story has begun to come to light.

"The most playful, fun and meaningful event that I have attended in a long time. Impactful, immersive and communal."

- anonymous -

When the King is/is not a Woman: Queering Elizabeth I 

6th May 2021

Speaker: Aidan Norrie

This talk discussed Elizabeth I, one of England’s most famous monarchs. This fame (or notoriety) is largely the result of her depiction as the Virgin Queen—after all, she is considered unusual for neither marrying nor having children. Few monarchs are so inseparably intertwined with their gender, or more accurately, the heteronormative and patriarchal view of their gender. However, Norrie suggested that throughout the entirety of her reign, Elizabeth asserted her gender identity in ways that today could be described as genderfluid. By analysing Elizabeth’s reign through the lens of genderfluidity, the truly genderless exercise of sovereignty in early modern England is made clear, and scholars can stop using Elizabeth’s gender as a way to demonstrate her apparent alterity.

"Really interesting, engaging and accessible - both the speaker and the chairing."

- anonymous -

Mystical Transformations: Gender in Mythology and the Occult

25th October 2021

Speakers: Sinéad Keogh, Nate Richardson-Read & Amy Jefford Franks

This event involved two talks by Sinéad Keogh and Nate Richardson-Read. Sinéad Keogh discussed 'Gender Magic and the Queer Occult', centring on the histories of “queerness as outcast” in relation to the occult through the perspective of “normative” Western societies. Nate Richardson-Read looks at 'The Marriage of Þorr', seeking to re-examine Þrymskviđa (Þrym’s Poem) in the Poetic Edda where transformation in relation to gender takes place, using queer theory and correlation to modern queer experiences. Talks were followed by an 'in conversation with' Sinéad, Nate and Amy Jefford Franks, and a Q&A session with the audience.

Safe Distance: Queer and Chinese in the time of Covid

28th November 2021

Speakers: Jamie Chi, Qiu Bai, Scarlett Ng and Hsien Chew.

This event started with an online screening of the documentary ‘Safe Distance’ by Jamie Chi, which explores the overlapping marginalisation that Chinese queer people face against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising anti-Asian sentiments in the UK. Following the screening, we had a panel discussion and a Q&A session with the audience, to discuss questions around the documentary, the Chinese queer community and how we can imagine and build solidarity with the mainstream queer communities and organisations as we enter the ‘post-Covid’ era.

The panellists included Jamie Chi, director of ‘Safe Distance’, Qiu Bai, founder of Queer China UK, Scarlett Ng, researcher of Chinese queer migration and PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Oxford, and Hsien Chew, coordinator for Proud Voices Asia and Pinkdot London.

Complicated Fascism: Cross-dressing, the Wehrmacht and the Camera

Sunday 12th December, 

Speaker: Paola Medina-Gonzalez

This event featured a talk by Paola Medina-Gonzalez which was followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

This talk aimed to explore the complications that arise when researching cross-dressing within the Nazi military as it muddles soldierly gender dynamics and defies cultural memory. Delving into military cross-dressing through amateur photography taken by Wehrmacht soldiers during basic training, the front lines, and prisoner of war camps. The images showcase non-heteronormative play through stage productions, celebrations, and ambiguous activities. They illustrate instances of jovial camaraderie and merriment alongside potential cruising, powerplay, and hazing. These photographs show the soldiers drive to commemorate these events within military life, all the while conducting the War of Extermination. Ultimately, this talk attemptsto illustrate the difficulty of identifying and defying queerness within a system that propelled to cleanse itself from it.