Words by Joe Williams
There are plans to open a new LGBTQ+ Community Centre in East London, with a diverse range of resources and activities, and also with the simple aim of providing a safe space for the community.
It will be the fourth LGBTQ Community Centre in London, joining London Friend in Islington, Elop in Walthamstow and Metro Charity in Greenwich.
Joe Williams spoke to the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre group, ahead of their fundraiser at Dalston Superstore this Friday, to find out how they plan to open a new, invaluable space for the city’s LGBTQ+ community.
You guys are raising money to establish an LGBTQ+ community centre in London. Can you tell us a bit about how the project started out?
The idea of creating a community led and community driven space is one that has been discussed by some of us for a while. There currently isn’t a space like this that’s open and safe for LGBTQ+ people in the area. So we decided to get a group of people together to see how much interest there would be across the wider community. The response has been amazing, with hundreds of people wanting to help out and be involved.
What kinds of things will the centre be looking to provide that are currently lacking in London?
The centre will be a safe space that is run by and for LGBTQ+ people as a not-for-profit. We aim to be a completely accessible multi-purpose space, open from morning until night for individuals, the community and campaigning groups to make use of. As we grow, our ideas may change and adapt, but we hope to be able to provide a space for all members of our community.
You’ve had a few open sessions now in which you invited all members of the community to take part in the discussion – how have those been going?
They’ve been amazing. We’ve covered a lot of ground in a really short amount of time, with people from across the community wanting to help make this idea a reality. We’ve established working groups, booked in fundraiser and met with community groups. We are also actively working to ensure these events and meetings are reflective of our diverse community – it’s really important for us to spread the message and get as many people involved as possible.
Are there particular marginalised groups within the community that the centre will look to cater to specifically?
Ideally, the centre will cater for all members of our community. To make sure this happens in the right way, we need to have a diverse range of people involved with what we are doing. We will be working on community outreach, getting in touch with local charities, community and campaigning groups and actively encouraging everyone to come along, have a say and work towards making this happen.
Can you tell us about some of the special guests who will be playing at the fundraiser?
We’ve got an awesome line-up! Joining us are The NYC Downlow’s head honcho Gideön and Superstore boss Dan Beaumont in the basement. Disco Spritz resident Chaka Khan’t will be playing alongside Michelle Manetti (Fèmmme Fraîche) and PATSY regular Jaye Ward! The event will also be hosted by Rodent DeCay, Unoriginalminds and Katayoun Jalili! We can’t wait!
You’re also running a raffle at the fundraiser, what kinds of fabulous prizes are up for grabs?
We have got some seriously amazing prizes up for grabs, including 2 x VIP Tickets to Mighty Hoopla , 4 x tickets to Bjork at All Points East, a portrait session with Eivind Hansen , a Heyland Whittle Care Basket, some Suqqu makeup kits worth up to £172 and twelve bottles of Smirnoff vodka!
How can our readers get involved with the project?
You can find out more info about the project on our Facebook page where we’ll also list any upcoming events and meetings. If you’d like to get touch with the team, you can also drop us an email on [email protected].
Everyone is welcome to get involved!
The We Are Family: LGBTQ+ Community Centre Fundraiser is on Friday 19th January at Dalston Superstore. Hit attending here.