Earlier this month we celebrated two years of Andro & Eve with a special edition of A Reyt Queer Do. It was nearly two years to the day that we first screened But I’m a Cheerleader in Cafe 9, Sheffield, and we marked the occasion with a night of drag king cabaret, cake and queer joy.
We transformed Broomhall Community Centre with our trademark handmade decorations and we were happy to welcome new and familiar faces to the venue. One of our audience stating ‘the decorations were like something out of a dreamy retro prom dance’. Yasss!
The vegan cake sold out super quick, and no less than eight drag kings performed, some for the first time. Host Zayn Phallic gave everyone life with his 90’s pop themed act. A humble leaf blower brought all the drama, conjuring up Michael Jackson’s Earth Song in the best possible way.
As always we want say a big thank you to our volunteers, who work so hard to make our events run smoothly. Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and supported the night, and to the kings for sharing their drag acts. We’re also grateful to Broomhall Community Centre for the use of their hall.
This was our last event before the summer break but we’ll be popping up at various events over the summer, including DocFest next week! We’re working hard behind the scenes on the next steps for Andro and Eve. Make sure you’ve signed up to our mailing list to be the first to hear all the news from us!
Here’s some more snaps of our audience and drag kings…
Today marks two years since the first Andro & Eve event at Cafe #9 with a screening of But I’m a Cheerleader. Last night we celebrated that anniversary in the best possible way, surrounded by the community we care so much about, at a special edition of A Reyt Queer Do.
When starting out, we had no idea we’d be producing events on the scale we are now, and we’re so pleased to be making space in Sheffield to celebrate queer culture. In the time since we founded Andro & Eve, the world can sometimes seems more hostile. Spaces where those often marginalised from the ‘mainstream’ can come together to celebrate and feel free, somehow seem more vital, and in a weird way, more radical. Our events are about creating a physical space where many different people can come together and enjoy culture that speaks to them. Welcoming new and familiar faces to the events gives us LIFE!
We want to say a huge thank YOU to everyone who has supported our work over the last two years. Whether that be through buying a ticket, pin badge, telling a mate about us, sharing one of our tweets, or contributing to our accessible ticket fund, you’ve helped this endeavour grow.
Special thanks go to our volunteers, without them we would not be where we are today. And one in particular who was our only helper for the first year of the venture! It has been brilliant welcoming new volunteers and building a team who help us create quality events that audiences love.
We also want to say thank you to the artists who have travelled to Sheffield to perform and brought such joy to our audiences. A special mention to Adam All and Apple Derrieres, creators of Boi Box in London, who supported us in creating our drag king cabaret – The Kingdom Come. And we want to mention the venues and organisations we’ve worked with who have given us space for free, or seed funding to cover event costs. These are Walkley Community Centre, Theatre Deli Sheffield, Broomhall Community Centre and She Fest. Thank you for believing in what we do and supporting our work.
We’ll be taking a break from running events over the summer, but we have plenty plans and much behind the scenes work going on, so watch this space for announcements about our future coming soon! You can also sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear news from Andro and Eve first.. Just sayin…!
We’re reyt chuffed to have been featured on the revamped Our Favourite Places, in their ‘Meet The Locals’ section. In case you’ve not comes across it, Our Fave Places, is an online Sheffield Culture guide that features all you need to know when planning a visit to the Steel City. With the lowdown on everything from exhibitions to pubs, theatre, music, coffee shops, film screenings to unique events, all written by in – the – know Sheffielders. The new Meet The Local’s section is a great way to find out about the people creating things and making good stuff happen in Sheffield.
They say, ‘An immediate success, Andro and Eve’s events were clearly just the kind of thing the city’s LGBTQ+ community and their friends were hungry for – friendly, positive, and above all lots of fun’.
Read the full interview with Andro and Eve founders, Katherine and Rhiannon here.
On Saturday 10th March we brought The Kingdom Come back to Walkley Community Centre for it’s third outing and what a night it was. The event sold out well in advance and our enthusiastic audience certainly made the effort, turning up with more beards than we’ve ever seen before. Ginger? Crochet? Rainbow? Yep, they were seen at The Kingdom Come 3, along with some incredible outfits too.
That’s just the audience. The line up of drag kings left us all gasping for breath with their hilarious and thought provoking drag acts. Luke Warm was the perfect host, charming the socks off the audience, getting them *really* involved and utilising a random glockenspiel to great effect.
Richard Von Wild treated us to some super lip syncing and his Tony Stark was hella realistic.
Sigi Moonlight took us to the movies with his dramatic drag, while highlighting the issue of diverse representation in mainstream film with an act where he transformed into the Oscars statue.
Joey Bambino floored us with his Silence of the Lambs themed act which was fantastically funny and creepy in equal measure.
Lastly, but by no means least, Oedipussi returned to The Kingdom Come to save the day, stepping into the large gap left by a poorly Zayn Phallic. Oedipussi’s costumes get bigger and more fantastical every time, delighting the audience and even managing to give one of them their own striped beard. #sharethelove.
The vegan cake went faster than you could say ‘I follow a plant based diet’ and the raffle was a hit, with our generous audience raising £184 towards our accessible ticket fund. This is brilliant, as we will be able to provide more tickets for those on low incomes at our next event.
We want to say a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers who helped the night run like clockwork, we’re so grateful for those that give their time to help Andro & Eve develop. And of course thank you to Luke Warm, Oedipussi, Richard Von Wild, Joey Bambino and Sigi Moonlight for travelling to Sheffield and performing for us.
Thanks also to Walkley Community Centre for letting us use their lovely venue, and SheFest for providing funding to support accessibly priced tickets. Lastly thank you, awesome audience, for turning out, dressed up and ready to cheer on our drag kings. You made it a night to remember.
On Saturday 27 January we curated and produced a special event in Sheffield focused around the film, The Revival: Women and The Word, directed by Sekiya Dorsett. We originally saw this documentary at SQIFF in 2016 and fell for its warmth, humour, honesty, and unique perspective on an often overlooked part of the LGBTQIA community. The film follows a group of Black lesbian poets on a salon style tour of the US organised by creative force and entrepreneur Yaani Supreme fka Jade Foster.
Documentaries like this allow you to imagine a different world, one where Black, queer womanhood is centered, celebrated and given space to breathe. We felt it was important to not only show the film, but make sure the Black British community was celebrated, while giving our audience a taste of the talent that exists within the UK, by showcasing poets of colour on this side of the Atlantic. To do this we worked closely with Manchester’s Rainbow Noir and Sheffield’s Our Mel to programme artists, and help Andro and Eve reach new audiences. We cannot praise Rainbow Noir’s organisers enough for their generosity and support of our aims for this event. It was also awesome to work with another grassroots organisation in Sheffield, through Our Mel, and realise we have many of the same ambitions of creating special events where our communities feel free to express themselves.
As massive lovers of zines and indie publishing we also curated a stall selling the words of women of colour.
The event sold out a week in advance, and on the night over 70 people from across the UK turned out to our specially chosen, (and secret) Sheffield venue to enjoy the evening. As ever, we were thrilled that so many people had made the journey out on a cold night to attend, and we want to say thank you for those who supported our work in this way.
Thanks also to all the people who have been contributing to our accessible ticket fund. This was the first event where we were able to offer discounted ticket prices for those on low incomes, and we can say it certainly encouraged some new faces to attend.
The poets, Ella Otomewo, from Manchester and DYLEMA from East London, performed their captivating poems after the film, making quite an impression on our audience and us. It was so rewarding to listen to the comments from those that had gathered together for this event, and realise the hard work had paid off.
We’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but special thanks should go to Rainbow Noir, Our Mel, LAS Sheffield, QTIPOC Notts, Enjoy Your Homes Press, our fabulous volunteers, and last but no means least, photographer Ndrika Anyika, whose images you see in this post.
If you missed this event, hopefully we’ll see you at The Kingdom Come #3 on March 10th! Tickets are on sale now.
We write this post because, yet again, the Drag Kings we work with have been done a disservice by the media. Sadly, this time it is Sheffield independent publisher Now Then that has pretty much failed to represent what a Drag King is while promoting our next event A Reyt Queer Do. While we’re very happy that the work we’re doing gets exposure, we cannot have the drag kings we work with be described as ‘women in men’s garb’. At best the phrase is reductive, at worst it is insulting.
If you’re sat thinking, ‘hey, thats what a drag king is right?’ then please read on.. Because that description does such a disservice to a scene that has traditionally embraced a wide range of gender identities, and often provides an outlet for creative expression for queer people who may not feel welcome in mainstream ‘gay’ venues. Yes, 19th and early 20th century music hall stars like Vesta Tilley or Hetty King were women impersonating men, but the UK Drag Scene now, is very different and so much more exciting. As London scene star Benjamin Butch puts it,
“A King show will overturn any expectations you may have, we are performing gender to introduce a position from which perspectives can be viewed differently”. 1
To break it down. You may perceive a person as ‘female’, but that doesn’t mean that is their gender identity. Ask before using a pronoun that misgenders a person. Many Drag Kings are trans, meaning their gender identity does not align with the one they were assigned with at birth. Generally a Drag King will perform as a ‘he/him’ on stage, but that does not mean they become ‘she’ offstage. This is similar to the Drag Queen scene where..
‘To many queens past and present, the distinction between gender performance and gender non-conformance is blurry, if it exists at all’. Alex Varman. 2
It is because of gender pioneers like Leslie Feinberg, Marsha P Johnson,Miss Major and others, and the work of nights like Bar Wotever’s Non Binary Cabaret, and Boi Box’s weekly drag king open mic, that we have a UK Drag scene that plays with and critiques gender and celebrates trans identities. Our aim is to make a space for this wonderful scene to flourish in Yorkshire. To widen access and be part of the network of regular drag nights like Kingdom in Brighton that help spread the appeal of Drag Kings outside the UK’s capital city.
And while we’re at it. The term bio queen is gross and misogynistic. As performer Rodent Decay said ‘If you’re policing the genders of the performers you’re completely missing the point of drag’ 3. This piece also gives a broader discussion of the importance of women to the evolution of the drag scene.
For further reading we recommend this piece published earlier this year in ID magazine. Get to know and love some of the most interesting Drag Kings on the UK Scene right now! Sure to be appearing at a Sheffield venue near you sometime soon..
As part of our efforts to make Andro & Eve events as inclusive and accessible as possible, we are fundraising to support our activity and provide discounted ticket prices for those on low incomes. Part of those efforts now include the option for those purchasing tickets for our events online at Tickets For Good, to make a contribution to our accessible ticket fund.
We want to roll out our accessible ticket fund from 2018 so those on low / no income can get a discounted ticket for Andro & Eve events. Money donated via Tickets For Good will go directly towards ticket subsidies for future events. Fundraising starts now, so if you’re buying a ticket for A Reyt Queer Do, then please consider contributing a little extra money towards this fund. Thank you.
We’ve organised a get together and training session for current and newbie volunteers with Andro & Eve on December 13th. With Vegan Cake! We’re expanding our volunteer event team to help us run our programme of feel good events. We basically don’t want any more photos to emerge of Drag Queens carrying chairs at our events.. Hi Apple Derrieres! 😉
So if you’re interested in events, love queer performance and don’t mind giving up an evening now and then to make ace stuff happen locally, join our friendly volunteer team! Ideally you’ll have attended one of our events before, but this is not a necessity. We’re looking for people who can commit to helping run two or three events a year and have a ‘can do’ attitude.
If you want to help us put on events, meet cool people, and guarantee at spot at our sell – out events by volunteering, then join us at The Old Workshop on December 13th for our volunteer training session. Come along and find out about Andro & Eve’s plans for future events focused on queer culture, from the duo behind Andro & Eve. We’ll be covering areas such as event management, health and safety (yes, we will make that interesting!), and the vision for Andro & Eve, as well as finding out a bit more about your reasons for volunteering. And we’ll eat vegan cake.
If you’d like to attend, please drop us a line using the contact form on our website. If you can’t make this event, but would still like to lend a hand, get in touch. Thanks!
We’ve been planning this for some time, and we’re totally thrilled to reveal our new Andro and Eve logo!
While we loved our old logo, we spent summer 2017 reflecting on Andro and Eve and one of the things we realised was how much we love our name. It felt like we needed to make more of it within our ‘brand’ and so we played with lots of ideas to do this, and realised we had to get rid of the old logo image.
Although we liked that quiff and lips picture, itsometimes wasn’t clear what they represented, for example, when the curving lines were rotated on a badge, which wasn’t ideal. By losing this image, we also show Andro and Eve is for everyone, regardless of what hair – style you choose to wear!
But mostly we’re serious about Andro and Eve. This is our grown up logo for the next phase of Andro and Eve. It represents our dedication to seriously fun, inclusive, queer events and making them happen regularly. Watch this space, follow us on social media, or sign up to our mailing list, for more announcements about our future plans soon!
This post comes about after reading this article by Vibe Sheffield which hilariously describes Sheffield’s ‘thriving’ LGBT scene. Please. Hold my cuppa. Can we just giggle gleefully that Sheffield’s LGBT scene just got described as ‘thriving’?! If you didn’t laugh you’d cry. So instead of sobbing into our almond milk chai, we’re doing this. While we totally understand the need to highlight the good that happens in a city, rather than be negative, we also think the scene in Sheffield is in more of a germination stage, rather than the thriving and bearing fruit phase we just read about. Its also reflective of the wider situation at present where many lesbian bars have closed. The links will take you to a discussion of those issues. We’re of the opinion though, that there are more things a queer woman wants to do than socialise in a bar serving mainly alcoholic drinks! Think big people.
With that in mind, we decided to compile and publish our own alternative guide that highlights where, as a queer person you might feel super welcome and even, – whisper it – find fellow queer people!!! While Sheffield is generally a very open and friendly city, we have been on the receiving end of homophobic abuse / attention more times than we’d like, and we feel its important to highlight the very best this city has to offer for queer people.
Here’s the disclaimer: This is a highly biased and personal guide. (We’re both cis, white, queer, lesbians). It also focuses on alternative stuff a quick google search won’t unearth, and that we’d actually recommend. But neither of us can say we know all there is to know. So we write this with the hope that you’ll get in touch and say ‘hey, I know about this cool thing’ and then we’ll update this post. But we also know Sheffield is very good at keeping things close to its chest, so we realise all the queer secrets may stay just as that. And thats fine. But with no central hub that tells you all the LGBTQ+ things going on in Sheffield, it feels like this is a good moment to get something out there. To share the reality of trying to find queer spaces in this city. And hopefully help those new to town, or just new to identifying on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, where you might find your new queer family. And now to our guide!
Well first off, theres Andro and Eve! Jokes. No really. We’re one of the only organisations in Sheffield creating regular pop up events celebrating queer culture. From film nights, to spoken word events, to our highly successful drag king night The Kingdom Come, and queer party series A Reyt Queer Do, you’re sure to be met with a warm welcome and DEFINITELY be in the company of fellow queer people. Our events are for everyone*, and can be found on this website, by signing up to our mailing list, or on Facebook / IG / Twitter. *Occasionally we host Autostraddle Brunches for lesbian, queer and bisexual women / non binary people only.
Pity Like is an occasional queer club night focused on talent, inclusion and rejecting gender binaries. Its at DIY space the Audacious Art Experiment and if you like a sweaty, alternative club experience with BYOB you’ll love it. Audacious also hosts Cub Rush, ‘Blissful dance hooliganism – for queers and freaks’. We hear its good, but we haven’t yet checked it out. Climax is the biggest LGBT+ club night in Sheffield hosted once a month by Sheffield University Student’s Union.
Verse Matters is a feminist spoken word and poetry night held once a month at Moor Theatre Delicatessen. You’ll find a warm welcome here and plenty interesting haircuts. Trust us. Its inclusive and diverse and you can often get warm fuzzy feelings from the friendly vibes. Speaking of Moor Theatre Deli, they’re known for their weird and wonderful theatre and performance programme and support of LGBTQ events. Based in new venue on Eyre Street, we think it’s the friendliest theatre venue in town.
For many of us queers, going out at night is, well, just a bit much. The sofa and a Netflix session / queer web-series holds too much appeal. So heres the DL on what Sheffield has to offer the active queer during daylight hours. Its actually a bit shocking we’ve waited this long to mention ROLLER DERBY. Whoops. Sheffield has not one, but THREE roller derby teams including, Sheffield Steel Roller Girls, (A and B team) plus , The Hallam Hellcats and mens team The Inhuman League. All are trans friendly and inclusive in their ethos. If you don’t fancy whizzing round on skates at top speed, you can just go watch a match! Spending a weekend day at one of SSRG’s bouts is like entering a magical queer land. There’s plenty of stalls including those selling vegan food, a raffle and of course top quality sports entertainment.
Sheffield Hiking Dykes has the best name of all the names ever and is just great. One solely for lez-beans, so head on over to their Facebook Group and request to join so you can attend one of their once monthly walks. AFC Unity are an awesome independent women’s football team. While not specifically for those identifying as LGBTQ+, their inclusive attitude and focus on championing good causes means they have a healthy proportion of queer folk on the team. The Climbing Works is for those of you who don’t mind falling hard from fake rocks! But also. There can often be several queer women hanging around (quite literally), at the same time, thus making you feel the queer family is quite active. Also, theres a real friendly, chilled vibe and helpful staff to boot.
Lazy Queer Days
But I’m not active! We hear you say. If the last time you wore trainers for actual sports was in a PE lesson way back, when touching your toes was an achievable goal, don’t worry, here’s what you need to know for where to go on a super queer lazy day.
Pom Kitchen is a newish vegan and veggie cafe on Sharrow Vale Road that does the best gluten free and vegan cakes we’ve come across. Courtesy of Fro by Joy, who also supplies their delicious Froconut (coconut ice cream). Seriously, you need to try it. As well as great tea and coffee and amazing banana bread, they serve things that are not sweet too. The welcoming staff and clientele are mostly women and our spidey senses have definitely picked up a queer vibe from many of those enjoying their Rainbow Bowls.
Down the road from Pom is Sharrow Vale Hardware. We include this shop solely because of George the cat, manager of said shop. Stroke his fur and wonder at its softness. He often sits on the counter and oversees his human staff. Kitchenware and cats. Lesbian shopping experience sorted. (Resisting puns so hard here). Insert your own. Other cafes you might spot fellow queers / hipsters* are The Holt, one of the City centre’s most calm spaces, serving a good mix of vegan and GF treats and great coffee, Tamper Sellers Wheel, Forge Bakehouse,Homemade by Thelmas and Cafe #9, the latter two both in Nether Edge and offering good veggie and vegan food options.
* gaydar interference from hipster style is a problem these days)
If you like a good bit of queer literature, seek out Jepps Books, Sheffield’s radical book emporium. They stock plenty good queer magazines, zines, and books, plus the LSGSM ‘Pits and Perverts’ Tees and badges. Originally situated at Moor Theatre Deli, they’re now in a period of transition, so you’ll find them at various locations. However, plans are afoot for opening a proper store. Fingers crossed. Also good for picking up queer magazines like Girls Like Us is La Biblioteka situated on Pinstone Street, Sheffield City Centre.
If you want to get creative, Edge of the Universe Printing Press often host screen printing and zine making workshops. Fond memories of an afternoon cutting out fine shapes, and watching the print designs transfer, surrounded by many a queer lady, come back to us. With a real welcoming approach and affordable; it’s a fun way to spend a few hours.
Like unicorns, the LGBTQ+ community can sometimes be so elusive as to be invisible. But sometimes, magically, they’ll appear at an event and the next day you’ll think, was it all just a queer dream? The following, are all events in Sheffield that happen once or more than once a year, and fit our ‘its a bit queer here’ theme.
Sheffield Zine Fest usually takes place in February and is probably the gayest space we’ve been in in a long time. Queer zines for everyone! So much feminist literature you end up rushing back to the cashpoint to refill your wallet just so you don’t miss out on this rich bounty! Its marvellous. We love Girl Gang Sheffield for their immersive film screenings, sharing positivity and empowerment for all genders. Events are usually announced via their Facebook Page. Catch Out Aloud, Sheffield’s very own LGBT choir at one of their concerts throughout the year. Their repertoire involves a good mix of material and concerts provide an uplifting atmosphere.
Transforming Cinema is Sheffield’s first film festival focused on transgender and non binary films and storytelling. The first, held in November 2016 was produced by E.D.E.N film, who also often run film courses for those LGBTQ identified. Hopefully it will return. Peace in the Park is a free community arts festival offering live music, a climate zone, healing area and all sorts of other interesting stuff. Its inclusive and diverse and the vibe feels a bit like an early 90’s rave but with added yoga, trees and families. Peddlar Market happens on the first weekend of every month on Burton Rd, Kelham Island. With food, beer crafts and music, you can often spot a few queers in the crowds, and the choice of food just keeps getting better.
On May 17th Sheffield celebrates International IDAHOBIT Day with a one minutes noise, usually at The Peace Gardens. That’s reyt Yorkshire. Pride Sheffield at Endcliffe Park happens in the summer, and has both performances, stalls and a community tent. Its all free too. Bring a picnic and enjoy soaking up the rainbow fest. Sheffield Docfest brings together some of the world’s best documentary film makers. While the festival is still learning how to engage with the local community, it does offer the chance to meet some brilliant queer people and see the newest queer documentaries.
A special mention now for all the live music that happens in Sheffield. Pick your fave artist, and hopefully your queer family will have also chosen the same gig to attend.
Support Services and Groups
The aforementioned Vibe guide gives a good run down on the support services available for LGBT+ people, so we’ll not replicate that here. Though we would also add that SAYit offer support to young people 13 – 25 identifying as LGBTQ+ and their families. T – Boys is a peer run community social and support group for those assigned female at birth who consider themselves on the trans spectrum or who are questioning their identity including trans men at all stage of transition, non binary, genderqueer and intersex people. Sheffield Bi Social is a social meet up group for bi/ pan people and their allies. Tiger Strut is an organisation active in Sheffield with the aim of increasing the visibility of South Asian LGBT people.
The personal is political for us LGBTQ folk, so if getting angry about this heteronormative world is often an issue for you, why not check out Sheffield’s anti capitalist queer group QASH (Queer Agenda Sheffield). They can often be found attending protests and organising DIY parties. Action for Trans Health also do great work in raising awareness and fundraising for trans healthcare.
Now. A common misconception seems to be that all LGBTQ+ identified people are somehow really into terrible dance music and alcopops. We’re not. Luckily Sheffield is apparently the real ale capital of the world, and so we’ve handpicked some pubs where you can enjoy some fine ales in friendly and stare free atmospheres. The Rutland Arms in Sheffield City Centre does the greatest Halloumi Burger. Ever. Plus lots of other very tasty pub grub options and impressively leafy beer garden. The Broadfield on Abbeydale Road has a good cocktail menu as well as a chilled beer garden and The Beer House on Eccleshall Road, has a friendly atmosphere and great ales too. There are plenty other great pubs and cafes in Sheffield, but we’ve focused on the ones where time and again, we get a warm welcome and find ourselves in the company of fellow queers.
So that about rounds up our queer guide to Sheffield. Phew. Who knew there would be so much? Well, there’s not. And thats the point. Partially due to rising acceptance of LGBTQ people, but probably more to do with economics, LGBTQ spaces are getting harder to find. Its great that LGBTQ people like us don’t have to spend all our time in one basement bar for fear of hate crimes, but at the same time, queer family is a real and important thing. Finding them makes life richer and more enjoyable. We hope this guide might make that a bit easier in South Yorkshire’s biggest city. And we hope to see you at an Andro and Eve event in future; a big warm welcome awaits!
If you want to suggest a cool place / thing we’ve missed off, and you can guarantee it fits our criteria of being queer friendly and being top quality, use the contact form on this website to get in touch and tell us about it.
Andro & Eve x
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