Pride has a plethora of meanings to different people. Its origins are deeply political, beginning as a protest to stand up for gay rights following the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. Now, it has developed into a global movement striving for acceptance, equality and visibility, with Pride month taking place every year in June. For many, it is a safe zone where you can be yourself and celebrate the beautiful colours that make up the queer and LGBTQI+ communities. It’s a chance to unapologetically express identity, and not give a damn about being a minority.
Every year there are huge street parties taking place, that bring people from all sexualities and identities together, and it’s rather special. However, the mainstream perception of Pride often connotes the shiny glitz and the commercialisation of gay culture (don’t get us wrong, we love squealing along to Kylie just as much as the next person), so we we’ve got you covered with our top picks of unmissable alternative gay parties. We've also curated an essential Pride playlist, which you can hear below.
UK Black Pride: Sunday July 8 2018
Get ready for one of the best Pride parties in Europe. UK Black Pride is one of the biggest and baddest events that you could ever experience. Filled with amazing vibes and inspirational people, the party which takes place in London’s Vauxhall is the reason why Pride in London hasn’t died yet.
UK Black Pride. which started in 2005, has been home for the marginalised groups within the community that feel left out and under-represented. Spear-headed by the infamous Lady Phyll, UK Black Pride is the largest a celebration of queer POC in the whole of Europe.
Expect good music, good food, and great speeches from key figures in the LGBTQI+ community. It’s the perfect end to your Pride. Learn more here.
WUT? Club: Saturday July 7 2018
WUT? Club is notoriously outrageous, sexy, and oozing with colour. As one of London’s best queer nights, usually taking place in the depths of Dalston Superstore, here you will find yourself falling in love with show-stopping drag queens, skanking away to the bounciest beats or singing along to disco classics.
All are welcomed through the mighty doors of WUT? Club, which is fronted by Turbo Recordings’ ABSOLUTE., who captivates his audience with each dynamic shake of his limbs as he plays. He described last year’s Pride party as “one of the most iconic parties we've ever experienced in our big gay lives”, so we can’t even begin to imagine the level of excellence, flamboyance in store for 2018…
You can catch the action on Saturday night at Saw Swee Hock Student Centre with a stellar line-up of ABSOLUTE., Boulet Brothers, Rouge Mary, Wax Wings, Coco Cole and more. Find the event page here.
Femme Culture presents Proud: Saturday July 7 2018
Label and collective Femme Culture are throwing a party and you are all invited! Femme Culture’s main ethos is to champion women in the arts and to support the LGBTQ+ community the best they can. They have held several international parties around the world and also recently joined up with Boiler Room to release their International Women’s Day comp to raise money for UN Women.
In Femme Culture’s opinion: “Pride is the ultimate time to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and bring everyone together so its essential for us to put on a banging party, raise money for an amazing LBGTQ charity and be PROUD."
This party makes no exception with a diverse line up featuring acts like Prestige Pak, Jossy Mitsu, Bamz and Femme Culture head honcho Elkka. This is a party not to be missed.
B, Please Day & Night Parties: Saturday July 14 2018
Bristol’s Pride scene grows stronger every year, and this month, party starters - Bitch, Please (founded by DJ duo ZenZero) are switching things up with a day and night party schedule. The night started back in 2016, and has thrown raves all over the city, with line-ups boasting of The Black Madonna, Honey Dijon and more. Now, it reaches a huge following of LGBTQI+ clubbers or as they put it, people “that like to strut their junk”.
The daytime event is at The Christmas Steps and then the celebrations will continue at The Love Inn in Bristol. All proceeds for these events go to The Bristol Pride Charity and The Albert Kennedy Trust, and with a key players like DJ October, ZenZero, Ellie Stokes, Suze Rosser and Kiki House of LaVolta, it sounds like a party you can’t refuse.
Get all your details here.
Ellie Prohan Presents - GLo with Special guest Lady Leshurr: Saturday July 7th 2018
DJ and Presenter Ellie Prohan has been a busy girl over the past few weeks. Not only has she just finished shelling down a Boiler Room set alongside the likes of Ray Blk and Jamz Supernova, she will be traveling around the country for the festival season playing Lovebox and Bestival.
GLo came about after Ellie noticed that when it came to clubbing, both the queer and heteronormative worlds did not collide. Being queer and feeling like she was in the middle, she created GLo, a party where you can invite your gay, or bi-curious best friend, or even somebody new to the LGBTQI scene. Ensuring that the crowd is inclusive but exclusive.
Ellie explains more about the idea behind GLo: ”I have a lot of gay friends who are intimidated about going to scene nights on a regular basis. For someone who always gets told ‘you don’t look gay’ it’s pretty frustrating when avoiding unwelcome attention from men at nights that I DJ at, to not being able to approach women that I find attractive in fear of rejection.”
So what are you waiting for? Get down to this night at the Curtain. The official launch in Shoreditch is on London Pride night 7th July RSVP at www.glohere.com
Alternative Pride Leeds: Tuesday July 31 - Saturday August 4 2018
Leeds is going the extra mile this year with an entire week dedicated to hosting smaller scale events, in contrast to the annual corporate parade that spills out onto the Northern city’s streets. Expect community events designed to bring people together including film screenings, a drag ball, workshops, discussions, crafts, quizzes, spoken word, party, food, stalls and more.
It all kicks off with a showing of Before Stonewall in partnership with the Leeds Queer Film Festival at Hyde Park Picture House, then a Queer Quiz Night at Live Art Bistro with tasty food and cheap bevs, and finally a closing party, held in honour of - but not in the slightest way limited to - members of the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) LGBTQI+ Family.
Find out everything you need to know here.
Dobby Presents Witchezz Brew Ball: Thursday July 19th 2018
At the mighty age of 21, Dobby from Reprezent Radio is putting on one of the finest balls known to us all. When she isn’t busy supporting Mistajam and Jamz Supernova, she's touring the world with Ashnikko and Rachel Foxx. We honestly don’t know where she finds the time to put on her own party.
Taking inspiration from Studio 54 and the ballroom culture, Witchezz Brew Ball is open for everyone. This event has a safe space policy prioritising the safety of Womxn, LGBTQ+ community and POC and all proceeds from ticket sales will go towards Safeline, a charity working to prevent sexual abuse and to support those affected in their recovery.
Dobby’s life has been saved by Safeline. It was the first place she turned to when dealing with childhood trauma 6 years ago. “It's so important for me to execute, especially for Safeline and as I'm about to turn 22, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, they helped me get the courage to tell my parents and seek help for my mental health which was damaged through the trauma of going through that.”
End your Pride in style and by helping others - Find out more about Dobby’s amazing night here.
Sagrada Familia Showcase: Friday July 13 2018
Sagrada Familia is where good vibes and good music come together as one. Named after the archaic Barcelona church, Sagrada Famila, meaning ‘sacred family’, is the new party brand to come from DJ Syreeta, a purveyor of high energy tech grooves and big bass lines. The night welcomes LGBTQI members and their fabulous friends, who are sure to dance the night away to the finest deep cuts, disco and tech.
Syreeta said: “‘Sacred family’ is its meaning, and that’s what we are. This is a place for us to come together and be who we want to be.The party came about after we struggled to find parties within the community that catered to our musical taste, but here you can expect a fun house party vibe with a friendly atmosphere with all your mates!”
The launch takes place on July 13 at The Tiger in Hackney Wick. Entry is free and all you need to bring is your sparkle and meet your sacred family under the disco ball… Check out the event page here.
niv Acosta And Fannie Sosa Presents: Black Power Naps / Siestas Negras: Ongoing
Black Power Naps (Siestas Negras) is installation at the Matadero Madrid arts centre by Afro Latinix Artists niv Acosta And Fannie Sosa.
The importance of this is very clear. Historically black people have been deprived of sleep. From Scientific racism to the Jim Crow law, there have been may ways to fuck up the lives of black people across the globe. Even today, black people have to work twice as hard as white people in everything. From jobs to education there's not much time to do anything. Black Power Naps explores the idea of the sleep gap which shows the disproportionate amount of sleep that people of colour get in comparison to their their white counterparts still to this day. The aim of this installation is to reclaim rest and taking the time out which we all deserve.
Black Power Naps first kicked off with an amazing self titled festival last month with acts like Nadine Artois (Pxssy Palace) and BBZ. niv Acosta And Fannie Sosa project is one not to be missed if you are in Spain for the next month or so.
For more information on niv Acosta And Fannie Sosa amazing installation check out the Matadero Madrid site here.
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Listen to our Essential Pride playlist here