Freelance writer Eleanor Forrest meets the founder of Lick Events Teddy Edwardes which is an event catered to create a safe space for Gay, Bi, Queer and Trans women that allows queer wxmen and their fxmale allies entry.
We find out what to expect from their huge pride party this Saturday.
This year’s Pride is back with a vengeance and for good reason - the London bus attacks of two women who refused to kiss for a group of men has highlighted the persistent nature of hate in our country and reminds us of the very real reasons Pride is celebrated.
But what about events tailored to lesbians and queer wxmen within the LGBTQ+ acronym. In recent years there has been a shift, as spaces tailored to this integral group have dwindled.
Witnessing this and also the lack of diversity in these zones, Teddy Edwardes set up Lick Events to take a step in right direction and create a relevant and current safe space for Gay, Bi, Queer and Trans women that only allows queer wxmen and their fxmale allies entry.
For Pride however, they’re serving something special this weekend with the Lick Pride Party.
Taking place at the iconic Fire & Lightbox, doors will open at 10pm providing you with six genres of music, including Hip Hop and Grime, performed in all their glory by the talented Suki Rae and VYLIT, to name a few.
It’s certainly not a night to be missed, to get more of an idea, and to understand the issues facing lesbians and queer wxmen, I spoke to Lick founder Teddy Edwardes.
What can people expect from the Lick Pride Party?
TE: “2000 girls, 4 arches of music and a VERY big surprise that might be a game changer!”
What has the response been towards Lick's monthly event?
TE: “The response has been amazing and in the last year Lick has grown incredibly quickly. More and more women are understanding the benefit of a woman only event and I only see it getting bigger.”
How difficult has it been to find a night tailored to queer wxmen?
TE: “Tailored to queer womxn - there are a few nights in London, but they’ve always previously been aimed at a much older crowd and they also allow men as guests which I think defeats the point.”
"Lesbian bars aren’t failing, the people running them are. It’s all very out of date and still majorly lacking diversity, we are bored of it."
There has been a gradual closure of lesbian and queer female bars, in comparison to the male queer and gay spaces - Why do you think that is?
TE: “Lesbian bars aren’t failing, the people running them are. It’s all very out of date and still majorly lacking diversity, we are bored of it. A lot of the gay bars in London don’t even let lesbians in because of the old stereotypes about how we don’t spend money and we cause trouble. Events are really taking over and the gay bars are going to suffer from it unfortunately!”
How important was it for queer wxmen to have this safe space?
TE: “It’s more important than ever for womxn to have safe spaces. Men forcing lesbians to kiss in clubs, harassment and unwanted attention is something that is extremely common in straight bars and also gay clubs. Lesbians are still so sexualised and it’s incredibly hard for us to be taken seriously so having a womxn only space where we can feel comfortable to be ourselves is a breath of fresh air.”
After the London Bus attack, it’s clear queer wxmen are still sexualised by a straight, male audience. Will there ever be a time when queer wxmen, and women in general, stop being objectified in this manner?
TE: “I think it’s a lot to do with awareness, the more men see lesbian women being represented the more it will normalise it. The more equality women get, the more they will be taken seriously. It’s about education and teaching men about their privilege.”
Lick’s Pride Party takes place Saturday 6th July at the Fire and Lightbox, London.
Click the link to find more information and tickets here.
But hurry, tickets are selling fast!