• Camdenist
  • Posts
  • Queer Here M'dear 🏳️‍🌈

Queer Here M'dear 🏳️‍🌈

Highlights to catch at LGBT History Month

That time we shot a Camdenist print cover by setting up a ‘living room’ on the LGBT road crossing on Camden High St

Queer self-expression has always added an outsized contribution to our culture, something that doesn’t really need to sit under the banner of LGBT History Month to be fully out, loud and proud.

The season nevertheless presents a welcome excuse to put on a load of special events, while drawing attention to the injustices that are still sadly going on today.

February offers a time for reflection - and a fair bit of celebration too (of course) - as society takes faltering steps forwards and backwards on the road towards genuine equality for people of all genders and sexual identities.

Camden and Islington traditionally like to go LARGE on all this, and 2024 is no exception, with bi-borough equality charity Forum+ presenting a suitably diverse programme of events throughout month, with plenty of other organisers joining in with their own events, too.

True to the ethos, there really is something for everyone, so you can download a PDF of the full Forum+ programme, and/or graze our selection of a few upcoming highlights.

🌈 9 of the many LGBT History Month events you might like to know about

📽️ Covent Garden’s lovely Garden Cinema plays host to a series of films about East and Southeast Asian women and non-binary people from Sunday through to Friday (9th) under the banner of Queer East: We Were Always Here. The cinema’s regular Friday night slot with celebrate drag musicals all month, kicking off with a showing of Hedwig and the Angry Inch tonight.

🎤 Dragaoke, the karaoke night hosted by ‘drag royalty’ shines brightly with a late night session from 10pm every Tuesday night at the infamous Phoenix Arts Club on Charing Cross Rd.

📚 Countercultural Bloomsbury bookshop and meeting place Gay’s The Word and similarly-minded Housmans in King’s Cross will both host events and stock masses of queer literature, including Housmans Queer Book Club this Thursday (8th) - a discussion of LOTE by Shola von Reinhold.

🤣 Make sure to pay a visit to Archway’s Queer Comedy Club, which has shows on virtually every night of the week all this month, including the competitive vote for the best comedian, aka Gag Race, on Fridays.

🏳️‍🌈 Euston’s Zodiac Bar goes big on Drag Bingo every Thursday, getting the weekend started early with what they promise is a ‘whole new level of crazy’.

📔 The British Museum is running a free 15-object history trail entitled Desire, Love, Identity that you can dip into any time. There’s even a 30-min short visit version.

👩🏻‍⚕️King’s Cross trailblazing museum Queer Britain is delving into this year’s History Month them of Medicine, with a workshop on Mapping Queer Wellbeing and a panel on Trans+ healthcare, alongside their usual exhibition on LGBT action through the years.

🚣🏻 Rainbow Paddlers is a free social canoeing session, where the LGBTQ+ take to the waters of Regent’s Canal from Camden Town’s Pirate Castle pontoon, next held on Friday 16th as a history month special.

🍻 King’s Cross‘ legendary backstreet queer pub Central Station celebrates its 33rd birthday with a huge free party on Sat 17th Feb with free prosecco on arrival to warm you up for the karaoke.


☕ Work (and play) at Kentish Town Stores

This week we’ve been speaking to Luci Noel, owner of NW5’s loveliest coffee and cake hangout, Kentish Town Stores, about the building’s role as a community hub, and an exciting offer.

Some rare fixed desk space has just become available in the upstairs, away from the cafe hubbub but still very much at the centre of the Stores vibrant all-day buzz.

Discover more about the workspace offer for freelancers and small businesses, the great projects they’ve been doing with the local Kentish Town Community Centre, and the new season of KTS Lates, combining running and book clubs with social events after dark.


More Fitzrovia and Brunswick newcomers

🍷Fitzrovia’s already enviable global food offering is soon to be joined by an all-day Alsatian-inspired restaurant and wine bar call July. Opening in the spring, you can expect cheese and meat sharing plates and a strong list of low intervention wines. You’ll see food writer Solynka Dumas and her co-founder Julian Oschmann surrounded by that kind of tasty fayre in the image above.

🍜 The Bloomsbury area’s latest noodle bar destination, DaGe, has just opened at The Brunswick Centre, brining halal claypot noodles, skewers and bubble teas with a neon-meets-street art interior aesthetic.

🧋The Brunswick is also hosting The Hot Milkshake Unbelieva-bar for the next 10 days, a promotional experience beano courtesy of Costa Coffee, who claiming to be using it as a launchpad for ‘the world’s first hot milkshake’. If that just sounds like a hot chocolate with extra syrup and whipped cream, you’re probably not going to find it that unbelievable, so there are various games to try to win some money or something, and take the ubiquitous Insta snaps.

📊 This week’s 1-click poll

With Camden New Journal reporting on the latest plans for NW5’s recycling dump to become a Hollywood-style movie campus:

What do you think of this prospect?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

So over Dry January? Enjoying what you’re reading?

Support Camdenist for less than £1.50 a week and get £100 of independent pub discounts with CityStack as a thankyou…


The pick of live gigs round here

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

🎶 The Green Note Basement Bar sees Yuko Yokoi bring her warm Brazilian improvised bossa nova sounds - with a trademark twist of jazz - tonight (Fri 2nd)

🎻 An evening of piano works, poetry and readings takes place this Saturday (3rd) at Laurderdale House when the annual Schubertiade concert returns, celebrating the life and music of Franz Schubert.

🎸 02 Forum Kentish Town sees two metal powerhouses go head-to-head this Tuesday (6th) at Glory and the Beast - featuring Beast In Black and Gloryhammer.

🎙️Wednesday (7th) sees Chalk Farm’s Roundhouse hosting a star-studded gala in aid of Nation Youth Theatre, featuring alumni including chart, lockdown kitchen and now Tik Tok sensation Sophie Ellis-Bextor plus loads more.


Talking heads and launches

The weekly Camdenist column: a week of living, working and playing in the borough…

TUESDAY: To the BFI off Tottenham Court Rd for the premier screening of a full-length documentary on 30 years of the Top 100 DJs Poll. As readers of this diary may now be familiar, back in the 00s I worked for DJ Magazine which, among other things, was custodian of an annual popularity contest which grew into a proper global monster. For the doc, I joined an all-star line-up of talking heads including David Guetta, Carl Cox and Fatboy Slim, to add my hazy memories of how we managed the poll as the internet supercharged its global expansion. There are plenty of Camden links to the back story, even if they weren’t quite relevant enough to put in the 47 minute doc. But it’s forever impressive to consider that what began in a tiny office opposite Holborn station, with a couple of postal sacks full of voting slips readers had cut out of the pages of the mag and sent in, later blew up to a poll which clocked 1.3m votes online in 2023. And for many years, DJ Mag was based at Highgate Studios in Kentish Town, where a young Tiesto dropped by under cover of darkness for a secret cover shoot the first time he won the poll. Seeing as he went on to DJ at the Olympics opening ceremony two years later, you could say it marked a pivotal moment. I’ll save you from the full story of when I had to travel straight from the 2003 poll winners party afters (a clandestine event held at North Rd’s Shillibeers) to present Tiesto with his award - in front of 25,000 people at a gig in Holland the following night, with no sleep… 😅 But the DJs themselves have plenty of their own Top 100 memories worth hearing about, from Hardwell skydiving as a bet upon topping the rankings, to David Guetta being booed by the Dutch trance faithful the first time he won. Watch the full documentary now exclusively on YouTube.

WEDNESDAY: Islington Council leader Kaya Comer-Schwartz gave a good introduction to the LGBT History Month programme at Proposition Studios in Chalk Farm. She said how she’s not really a fan of ‘months’, but until such time as there is true equality, understands why they are absolutely vital. She also revealed - live on stage - how difficult it is to use the LGBT initialism (let alone adding on the other letters) when public speaking as a dyslexic.

This section of the weekly newsletter is where to find all the extra benefits of being a signed-up member of the Camdenist list.


We’re still busy compiling the list of your favourite pizza spots for a future feature (watch this space), and if you haven’t voted already, please let us know which slice slays the rest:


Help this newsletter to grow and we’ll reward you with gifts and advantages! Begin adding points to your running total right away. Share the link below with friends and family you know would love to get Camdenist every Friday morning (and keep an eye on your total as it grows):

  • 60 mins of free Forest bike rides: Download or open the Forest app, then enter promo code CAMDENIST60 to ride for free right away. Minutes can be used for multiple trips for up to 3 months, on top of Forest’s standard 10 mins free each day too!

  • Get a free City Stack pack when you become a founding annual premium member of Camdenist - upgrade now 😉


Got an editorial idea you’d like us to consider for a future newsletter? Just fill in the online form:


NEW! Boost your event, business or special offer to more than 5k weekly readers & 1,000s more on social.

Your feedback, suggestions and requests are always welcome. Reach out to us: [email protected] 
This weekly Camdenist newsletter is run on Beehiiv.

It’s the new all-in-one tool tailored for growing email newsletters (rather than plan old marketing mails), so it’s the ideal platform for us – and one you might want to explore too.. Try Beehiiv absolutely free with no credit card required.