A REYT QUEER EXTRAVAGANZA: OUR BIGGEST PARTY EVER!

Five people stand together smiling under a golden sign that days 'reyt queer'. They are all dressed to impress.

We showed Leadmill how to really throw a party this July with our biggest event ever – A Reyt Queer Extravaganza!

An evening packed with lewks, lipsyncing and crazy choreography, our artists and fantastic audience made it a night to remember.

Legendary MC Rikki Beadle-Blair kicked off proceedings in full bridal couture, and served powerful looks and even more powerful laughs throughout the night.

Rikki Beadle-Blair, a black man, stands at the front of the stage with his hands outstretched. He's wearing a classic long white wedding dress and veil
Host Rikki Beadle-Blair stunned in bridal couture

Sheffield’s very own House of Forgeous made their debut bringing style, vogue, attitude and queer joy to the catwalk.

Jaws were seen dropping as South Yorkshire legends Bi Polar, King Confuza, Ivy Alexander, Ditzy O Darlin, Northern powerhouses Val Qaeda, Kaan Ghetto, incredible singer/rapper Meduulla and the unstoppable House of Noir and House of Blaque – stunned with impressive looks, walks and tracks in categories from Turn a Lewk to Queer Kink to Lipsync.

Yvn Noir kept it cool

Overseeing the evening was our judges – Stuart, Claud Cunningham and Heather Paterson who gave 10s across the board to our performers.

Stuart – one of our judges

Tasty vegan cake, merch and a slightly more chilled vibe was found in room 2. There, our audience could take a breather, have a chinwag, meet our fantastic volunteers and try to stop themselves buying all of our badges!

And the whole crowd looked incredible of course – were we ever in any doubt?

We’re so grateful to all of you who came down and made A Reyt Queer Extravaganza our biggest party ever. Getting together in a huge party, seeing the support for the artists and being in a room full of love and joy made the night truly magical!

Party goers enjoyed a dance

And a huge shoutout to our fantastic volunteers (who really are the glue that holds everything together), our incredible audience and to our partners Arts Council England and The Civic, Barnsley – your support made this event possible!

Keen for more? Get tickets to The Kingdom Come #6 NOW!

A Reyt Queer Do: Back with a bang!

A black femme presenting person with blue Afro hair wears a black PVC mini dress and smiles on a mix in front of a crowd of people. She is lit by purple lighting.

On the 12th June we produced our first live cabaret event in 2.5 years at Sidney and Matilda with our 6th Reyt Queer Do. The night was full of great music, cake and stunning looks from both the acts and audience.

A Reyt Queer Do #6 at Sidney and Matilda. Supported using funding from Arts Council England.

Hosted by Sadie Sinner, with performances by cabaret star RhyssPieces and a host of Yorkshire talent including drag queen Ditzy O Darlin, poet Audrey Violet, singer Jordan Meriel, singer songwriter, Laura Hegarty and drag king Raymond Petty, the venue was filled with queer cheer. The audience did not disappoint, as they also brought the energy with singing, dancing and general enthusiasm.

Our raffle was back too, with 1st place winning a hamper of queer goodies and treats, and 2nd place winning a gift box from Beer Central. The proceedings went towards the Pay It Forward ticket fund, enabling us to provide those on low incomes and refugees with free or discounted tickets at future events.

RhyssPieces works the crowd at Sidney and Matilda

We would like to say a huge thank you to the crew and volunteers who helped us to run this event. Thank you to those who bought tickets to support the acts, and to those who bought raffle tickets. A huge thanks to all the performers for showcasing their talent, and to Sidney and Matilda for hosting us.

We’re even more geared up for A Reyt Queer Extravaganza, our collaboration with Ghetto Fabulous, supported by Barnsley Civic in July now!

Here are some more photos all taken by Sophie Okonkwo of our acts and audience….

A caramel skinned drag performer wearing a long auburn wig, heavy makeup and red beaded dress on one side. They are wearing short black hair and a black suit on the other side.
RhyssPieces
A white drag performer kneels in front of the crowd. They are wearing a blue leotard with long sleeves, thigh high black PVC boots and a brown mullet wig.
Drag Queen from Donny, Ditzy O Darlin
Jordan Meriel and Leo our BSL interpreter
A group of 7 performers, joined by the co-founder of Andro and Eve (bottom left, wearing pink).

Feeling Fabulous Workshops

A purple two - tone poster with a diagonal colour block effect has the words Feeling Fabulous Workshops in white text in the centre. Some of the purple has a glitter texture. Below are the words Werk a runway, strut, dance and pose!

Werk a runway, strut, dance and pose!

We’re collaborating with Ghetto Fabulous to bring some fabulous queer dance and movement workshops for all levels, to the people of Sheffield.

Feel Fabulous with Ghetto Fabulous. Skimpy clothing not a requirement though!

On three Tuesdays in June, you can join dancers from Ghetto Fabulous to explore queer movement. You will learn to werk a runway, whether you sissy that walk or turn out the trade! Alongside walking you’ll have space to explore finding your own picture perfect poses and style. Use the killa soundtrack to tap into the fierce fabulousness that’s inside of you just screaming to get out.

Wear what ever will make you feel fabulous, just remember you’ll need to be able to dance and move!

If you’re in Sheffield, you’ll need to head to the Montgomery Theatre, where we’ll be taking over the dance studio on the 7th, 14th, and 21st June. If you’re in Barnsley, three sessions will be held on Wednesdays 8th, 15th, 22nd June at The Civic.

These sessions are designed to build the confidence and skills of those new to dance and are open to everyone. You just need to book in advance so we can keep an eye on numbers.

A second block of three workshops will take place on Tuesdays 12, 19, 26 July in Sheffield at the Montgomery Theatre. These extra free sessions are designed to enable participants from the June workshops in both Barnsley and Sheffield to come together and develop their performance skills and form collectives. The collectives will perform together at Andro and Eve’s Reyt Queer Extravaganza, alongside Ghetto Fabulous, and performers from across the North of England, on Saturday 30th July at The Leadmill, Sheffield.

Strike a pose!

Whether you feel super confident about moving your body, or need space to bring you out of your shell, we encourage you to come along to these sessions to meet new members of your queer family, and get inspired and creative. If you attend the June sessions theres no obligation to attend the July workshops, but the July dates are aimed primarily at those who’ve come along to at least one or two of the June sessions.

Need further info? Just drop us a line. We’ll be happy to answer any questions.

You can book for the June Sheffield dates here.

Back with a Bang!

a group of Black, female and femme dancer strike poses onstage lit by blue lighting. They wear bright orange jackets and tight black dance wear.

We are super excited to share that we have received Arts Council funding enabling us to produce a programme of live events and talent development opportunities in South Yorkshire this summer.

In a new partnership with The Civic, Barnsley, we will be collaborating closely with Manchester’s Ghetto Fabulous, to bring Sheffield a ‘Reyt Queer Extravaganza’ this July. What’s that? – we hear you cry! Well…

A Reyt Queer Extravaganza, hosted by writer, director and actor, Rikki Beadle Blair, will showcase some of South Yorkshire’s most exciting queer performance talent, as well as dancers and drag artists from across the North of England, alongside community participants who want to show off their fabulous selves.

Ghetto Fabulous. Credit Fotocad.

In the run up to A Reyt Queer Extravaganza, due to take place iconic Sheffield venue, The Leadmill* on the 30 July, Andro and Eve and Ghetto Fabulous will host a series of ‘Feeling Fabulous’ workshops for members of the LGBTQ+ community to participate in. These will happen in both Barnsley and Sheffield. The aim of these workshops is to help participants feel more confident, gain some dance and performance skills, and develop a short performance to be showcased at the Reyt Queer Extravaganza.

We’ll also be bringing our drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come back to Sheffield in October. Plus another edition of queer cabaret, A Reyt Queer Do in June, which platforms emerging queer performance talent, as well as hosting online drag king workshops in May with drag king Christian Adore, and a Gender Exploration workshop at The Civic in June.

three white people look upwards with smiles and eyes closed as they enjoy glitter being thrown over theirselves in a dark party setting
A Reyt Queer Do will be back later this year – Credit Ndrika Anyika

Finn Warman, Artistic Director for Andro and Eve says; ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be back producing accessible events to celebrate queer culture where everyone is welcome. Through the pandemic, we’ve continued to bring our community together with online workshops and smaller in person events. However, we’ve not been able to produce the scale of events we were known for before 2020’.

Finn continues, ‘We’ve been in talks for a long time with Ghetto Fabulous to bring to Sheffield the sort of events you’d see in Manchester, and are just so chuffed to have secured the funding that will allow us to do this and make this work accessible. We’re also really excited to be able to provide larger platforms for South Yorkshire queer artists and space for the LGBTQ+ community to come together and celebrate their resilience and joy. Our offer also includes digital engagement, enabling those more comfortable with online activity, to engage with our programme’.

The Kingdom Come will be back in Sheffield this September. Image credit Ndrika Anyika.

David Sinclair, Head of Visual Arts and Engagement at The Civic says ‘The Civic is really excited to be partnering with Andro & Eve and Ghetto Fabulous on this landmark queer event for South Yorkshire. Part of our organisation’s core values is to amplify the voices of those typically marginalised in the arts. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to provide these events and workshops to offer an amazing platform for our home grown queer talent, as well as providing opportunities for our LGBTQ+ community to develop new skills but more importantly celebrate queer joy and have fun!’

The Andro and Eve community together in 2018. Credit Ndrika Anyika.

Alongside this programme of work, we’re super excited to announce our first project for teenagers in South Yorkshire, in a partnership with Site Gallery. In collaboration with Site Gallery’s young people’s group, Society of Explorers, we’ll be producing a new zine themed around our Gender Awareness Training, which aims to help organisations and groups build more inclusive practices for transgender and gender expansive people. An open call for participants aged 14 – 18 will be announced soon.

We want to hear from queer performance artists living in South Yorkshire that may want to be part of our events in 2022. Keep an eye on our social media channels for further artist opportunities and freelance roles to be announced soon. Tickets for A Reyt Queer Extravaganza will go on sale at the start of May. Make sure you’ve signed up to our newsletter to bag early bird discounted tickets for what promises to be a night to remember!

Thank you all those who have supported us throughout the last two years. It has taken a lot of effort to survive through the pandemic, and bring this programme to fruition. But we’re so excited to be back to live events and we can’t wait to see you soon!

*make sure you’ve also signed the petition to save the Leadmill and change Section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

where will we pop up next?

A Black, androgynous person stands on the right hand side of small stage speaking on a microphone. They are wearing a black tee with the words 'Bad Lay Dee' in white letters and black jeans. Their hair is short and bleached. On the right hand side of the stage is a BSL interpreter who is gesturing. She has cropped bleach blonde hair and is white. She wears a black hoodie and blue jeans. Behind the stage is a patterned pink curtain with warm white lightbulb surrounding, and Theatre Deli painted in white letters.

Last week you may have seen the news that Theatre Deli Sheffield have been served notice to leave by their landlord. As Andro and Eve’s key partner organisation, this news also has a big impact on us. We wanted to provide some clarity on where we’re at. 

Theatre Deli’s business model is based on ‘meanwhile use’ of buildings, meaning they get to occupy buildings for cheaper rates than commercial lets, but usually with a 30 day notice period to vacate. That’s why they will be gone from their current building on Eyre street by the start of January. 

Although Theatre Deli plan to find new premises, this could take some time.

Use of Theatre Deli Sheffield formed part of our plans to come back to larger scale live events in 2022 (hello Reyt Queer Do!) so without use of their wonderful, accessible space, we are currently shifting those plans and seeing what alternatives there are. In the last 18 months we’ve loved delivering a whole range of online activity including workshops, panel events and craft socials, along with our zines, Joyful Noise and Centre, but we are also determined to be able to have a larger scale in person offer in the next year. 

Online drag king workshops. July 2020

Sheffield has a long standing problem with provision of accessible, centrally located venues for culture and community activity. If many of the organisations, artists and festivals lose access to Theatre Deli Sheffield owing to those issues, even for a period of 6 months, this has a huge impact on the cultural landscape of the city. 

Theatre Deli Sheffield has made its name by supporting emerging artists, platforming marginalised voices, and making space for communities not otherwise served in the city. We very much hope that new space is found for this treasured venue. 

A Reyt Queer Do, Theatre Deli Sheffield. 2019

For us, they’ve been champions of the work of Andro and Eve since 2017, becoming our partner venue in 2018. We are indebted to the support of the whole team at Deli for making Andro and Eve feel so welcome, and supported. Support that included free venue hire, space for meetings, reviewing funding applications and morale boosting when times got tough. 

We very much hope we can continue this partnership, and that Deli find a suitable venue to carve out space for many communities and artists in Sheffield. However, if there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is that we need to be flexible and adapt. So we’re currently reviewing other options for larger events in 2022 in order that we can return with a bang! This means extra work, so timescales will move. It means Andro & Eve needs more time to rejig funding applications. 

Sveto Slava, Reyt Queer Do. Nov 20219

So why are we sharing this? Because we need your support. We are not out of this pandemic. Our business model of producing events and creative opportunities is still precarious, and while we have managed to curate and produce a whole range of activity throughout the last 18 months, we don’t have the resources of a more established organisation. 

So if you can spare funds, we’re asking you to donate. You can do so via the button above. Or buy some of our queer merch! Those donations and sales will help cover our overheads (IT, insurance, licenses, wages, etc) while we apply for more funding to make 2022 a year packed full of joyful queer events. It takes a huge amount of energy to plan, prepare and submit those funding bids, but they are the most effective way to ensure we can return to live events and provide meaningful opportunities for artists and our wonderful community to celebrate queer culture. 

As always, any support given is gratefully received and makes a real and vital difference. Because of you, we’re still here, still queer, still making space. And we’re determined to continue. We hope you enjoy the photos of past events at Theatre Deli Sheffield below!

Big love

Finn 

A crowd of people cheer on a performer out of shot. They are in a warmly lit venue with umbrellas above their heads.
The crowd at Reyt Queer Do 5, at Theatre Deli Sheffield. November 2019
a Black androgynous rapper stands on a small stage holding a pint of beer while speaking into a mic. They have short bleached hair and wear black tee and jeans.A crowd of people seated and standing surrounds the small stage lit with warm lamps
Bad Lay Dee, Reyt Queer Do 5. Nov 2019

Our QUEER SHEFFIELD – 2021 UPDATE

A slim, olive skinned drag king with long dark hair, stands on a small cabaret stage. In front of him is a crowd all whooping for him. They are lit by warm light and surrounded by lots of umbrellas hanging from the ceiling

Back in the day, after a year of running Andro and Eve we started to learn a lot more about the LGBTQ+offer in Sheffield. And it was fairly slim pickings. Then a guide came out describing the gay scene as ‘thriving’. So we wrote this blog in response. We basically were talking about cats in DIY shops as ‘queer’, because we were working so hard to find you all the queer things!

But its 2021, and despite a global pandemic, things have changed a bit for the better in terms of an LGBTQ+ offer in Sheffield. Theres a long way to go, but there is at least *something*.

We were recently commissioned by Visit Sheffield to write this article for LGBTQ+ visitors to the city, and locals too. Below you’ll find much of the info repeated, but with added sass and, (no shade), better font sizing.

Well this guide is not about the spaces a quick web search will help you find, (few though they may be). It’s about the queer alternative, the low-key and welcoming venues that are not LGBTQ+ specific, but where you will find LGBTQ+ people.

It is written by a 30 – something non binary person (androgynous to masculine presenting) who has experienced their fair share of homophobia and misogyny and understands the need for spaces that are genuinely welcoming. This is one of the reason’s I co-founded Andro and Eve back in 2016.

two women, one south Asian with shoulder length brown hair and the other middle eastern with long curly hair stand smiling with their arms round one another. They both have moustaches drawn on their face with eyeliner.
The audience at an Andro and Eve event

From night – life to cafes, culture and sports, this guide should have something for you to enjoy. This guide focuses on more centrally located places owing to their accessibility to the majority. Access has also been prioritised. The majority of spaces have been chosen because they offer options for those with physical disabilities, dietary requirements or sensory processing issues.

So read on to discover some hidden gems!

Pubs and Bars

Traditionally the LGBTQ+ scene has centered around LGBTQ+ specific venues for important safety and community building reasons. Although this guide is about so much more than that, its still well worth highlighting some Sheffield drinking establishments you can spot fellow queers at, and that feel safe.

The Rutland is a ‘traditional pub’ in the sense that it has original windows, and an excellent selection of cask ales, wines and spirits, but that’s as far as the traditions extend. It stands out from the crowd for its décor. Understated it aint. Think queer with a capital Q, weird horror, placards from previous protests in Sheffield, topped off with a bit of spangle and the surreal. The jukebox creates a real sense of atmosphere (just don’t choose the forbidden songs), and their beer garden is spacious. Their famous ‘Rutty Butty’ is chunky and reyt tasty, and like the rest of their food, gives you a decent amount of vegan options. Reliably open 7 days a week, and situated in a handy to access spot in the Cultural Industries Quarter. Step access at the front, but the venue has a ramp they can grab. Sadly no disabled toilet. Pre pandemic they’ve been known to run LGBTQ+ specific nights, but you’ll always find a selection of Sheffield queers here.

A white man with glasses and hipster beard pours a pint of beer with his back towards the camera. A plywood wall of spirits and beers is shown with brighlt coloured mural on.
The Industry Tap

Nearish to this on Sidney Street is Industry Tap. Relatively new to Sheffield’s roaring real ale scene, its already made a mark for its frankly banging, and ever changing selection of draught beers and ales. Its position means the outdoor seating gets that lovely late afternoon / evening sun, and it is unofficially run by queer women. Attracting a real mix of people, from goths to hipster types, its got level access and a disabled toilet and does not play loud music. There are two gendered toilets but they are both self contained off the main space. Gluten free and vegan options, and open Tuesday – Sunday.

Beer Engine is worth checking out for its tasty tapas, (hello vegan and GF options) delicious wine, gin and cask ale selection and decent sized beer garden. Situated on the edge of the city near London Road, you’ll often find some LGBTQ+ community members (often lesbian / queer women) tucked into its cosy snugs and raising a glass to their chosen family. Toilets are gendered, but decent.

a plate of fresh tacos sits on a white plate with blue rim on a yellow table
Tasty tacos from Pina

Down in Kelham, Bar Pina is the one for those of you who love a cocktail. This Mexican themed bar is refreshingly free of any signs of cultural clichés, and simply serves up mouth – watering margaritas and fresh tacos. Their tacos are so fresh with great vegan options. Staying open late on weekends, the bar can get lively, but their beer garden is the perfect place to chill with friends. As of Summer 2021, they’ve also started doing a monthly queer night. They have ramp access through the beer garden, but the ground outside is gravel. Gendered toilets but with private full – length cubicles.

Over in the upcoming area of Victoria Quays, is quirky waterside drinking hole, Dorothy Pax. LGBT+ owned, it’s really come into its own in 2021, with a lively crowd drinking by the canal day and night. Known for its eclectic live music offer, often featuring folk artists, it comes highly recommended for the service and warm welcome guests are provided with. Sadly, no level access, (unless you stay canal-side, where the ground is uneven).

Nightlife and Entertainment

Drag King Oedipussi at The Kingdom Come 2019.

If you’re after a night out, but want a cultural hit to be the focus, look no further than Andro and Eve! We are most well known as the creator of drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come. (Drag kings have often been the overlooked artists of the drag scene, so we put them front and centre). Pre pandemic, you could find us popping up in venues around the city, including Abbeydale Picture House, sharing the most exciting UK queer performance with a side order of vegan cake. During the pandemic, drag king workshops previously offered in person, have moved online, along with workshops in zine making, creative writing and gender exploration. Plans are afoot to bring back an in person offer, but in the meantime, you can get hold of our print offer, in the form of Centre zine, or upcoming zine, Joyful Noise.

A crowd of people cheer on a performer out of shot. They are in a warmly lit venue with umbrellas above their heads. They have their hands raised clicking their fingers.
The Andro and Eve crowd at Theatre Deli Sheffield

The ever welcoming Theatre Deli, home of Andro and Eve’s queer cabaret, A Reyt Queer Do, is a great place to find the best in new theatre, with plenty shows focusing on LGBTQ+ stories, and a programme exploring diverse voices. Home to excellent local festivals including Migration Matters, you can also catch some exciting Fringe shows before they make their way to Edinburgh. The venue is quirkily decorated, with level access and both gender neutral, gender specific and disabled toilets.

Newly relocated DINA also serves up a healthy dose of queer performance, including alternative drag shows and locally run variety evening Sounds Queer. Their new venue in Fitzalan Square feels airy, with a bar serving drinks and snacks, and level access and disabled toilet. The performance space however, is not wheelchair accessible. You can also catch bigger drag acts and live music at famous Sheffield venue, the Leadmill, which has level access and disabled toilet.

Gut Level Sheffield has a very cute urban garden in their courtyard

For late night thrills head down to Gut Level, Sheffield’s new queer club and workshop space, run on a not for profit basis. Gut Level is now the home of long running queer techno / acid house night Club Rush, (@club.rush.party) as well as hosting workshops with collectives including Working Them’s Club and Flaw Collective, focused on making space for marginalised genders. Their courtyard also offers opportunities to garden with Wet Patch. No level access or disabled toilet, but toilets are all gender. To gain entry you need to be a member.

If your after a queer film or two, get down to Showroom Cinema, Sheffield’s original independent cinema which also has a bar where you’ll often spot more mature members of the LGBTQ+ community and bag a drinks offer. Level access and disabled toilet provided.

Two white people are shown in the foreground sat at a modern wooden table playing a board game. They are in a light and tal ceilinged cafe with pillars and a wall of board games in the background.
Treehouse Board Game Cafe

If you’re keen on some board games you might want to check out Treehouse Board Game Café. Situated at the bottom of London Road, tables are booked in timed slots, and then you have access to over 700 board games. With a café / bar serving a great selection of cask ales, wines and spirits and plenty hot beverages non alcoholic options, alongside homemade food catering for vegans, you can expect a warm welcome here. Pre pandemic they ran Treehouse Rainbow Gamers, for all members of the LGBTQIA community. Keep an eye on their social media to see when this may return. Level access and disabled toilet.

Cafes / Eateries

As well as being famous for its ales and local brewing scene, Sheffield also does good coffee, and has a thriving independent café scene. You can find top quality coffee and your fair share of the LGBTQ+ community in fave local haunts like Tamper Sellers Wheel, a New Zealand inspired café, with sheltered courtyard and level access, which serves delicious fresh cooked food, and Kelham based Gaard Coffee, which also has a cute courtyard with an emphasis on cakes and simple food catering to vegans. Both venues are open daytimes seven days a week, and have level access but no disabled toilet. However, all gender toilets are provided in the form of self – contained bathrooms.

Birdhouse Tea Studio. Always supporting the LGBTQ+ community

Airy and bright Birdhouse Tea Bar and Kitchen is the home of Yorkshire’s much loved loose – leaf Birdhouse Tea, and open Wednesday – Sunday. Situated on Sidney Street, this independent local business offers a plethora of drinks, with tea both served traditionally, and in cocktails and tea lattes (their chai latte is dreamy). Owner Becky is a whizz at creating moreish cakes and bakes, catering to a range of dietary requirements and they serve stone baked pizza and tasty brunches. Their courtyard is a great place to meet friends, and they have level access with disabled toilet, and all gender private toilets. Birdhouse is welcoming of everyone, and a real mix of people can be found here. Also, rather uniquely for a city centre venue, if you have a canine companion, you’ll be pleased to know dogs are also catered for, with doggy treats and water provided.

Steamyard Coffee is a bit legendary in Sheffield for their dedication to coffee and doughnuts. They also serve up amazing grilled sandwiches, bagels and stock Elly Joy doughnots, for those who need their sweet treats gluten free and vegan. Located on Division Street, and attracting a real mix of folk, their service is always excellent. Toilets are self – contained bathrooms and they have level access and disabled toilet.

Terrace Goods in the city centre

Opened in 2020, Terrace Goods is centrally located on a sheltered terrace in Orchard Square, and is open Wednesday – Saturday. This place comes recommended for its very friendly service, delicious diner style food (vegan diets catered for) and cocktails. They are soon to launch bottomless brunch events. If you like your music loud, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere. Sadly it is not wheelchair accessible.

For those of you more inclined to get active, Sheffield is called the Outdoor City for a reason. To be honest, historically it has been harder to meet fellow LGBTQ+ people if you are not the sporty type in this city! Thankfully, Sheffield’s ‘active’ offer now has something even for those who prefer to watch than participate!

You can’t go wrong with some rock climbing in Sheffield, and there are a huge choice of climbing walls in Sheffield. But for guaranteed ‘flirting’ aka, ‘checking in’ with a queer hottie who just fell off a wall / scaled to the top, the Climbing Works bouldering centre wins.

Sheffield Rainbow Blades

Rainbow Blades is a Sheffield United supporters’ group but they welcome everyone. They meet at Sheffield LGBT+ bar / café Spirit of Sheffield every Sheffield United home match day, where they eat, drink and socialise in this safe & welcoming LGBT+ venue. Even if you don’t feel comfortable attending Bramall Lane, you can still attend their meet up’s to meet likeminded people.

two roller derby players, wearing helmets and black close fitting outfits grapple with one another in an indoor gym.
Sheffield Steel Roller Girls (SSRG)

If you like your sports fast and furious, and have some skating skills, you might want to get involved with Sheffield’s ever popular Roller Derby scene. Sheffield Steel Roller Derby (SSRD) are the OG’s with skating opportunities for both 18+ and juniors 8 – 18. The juniors’ league is open to all genders while the adults’ league caters solely to female and non-binary skaters, and they are explicitly trans-friendly. As of Autumn 2021, SSRG are returning to weekly in person training at Skate Central. Matches, when they happen again, are a brilliant way to be surrounded by queer women and enjoy the thrills of this welcoming sport. For those wishing to be part of a more gender expansive team, The Inhuman League based in the North of Sheffield are open to all adults.

If you like Skating but in more of a chilled, ‘have a go at an ollie and fall over, but everyone cheers anyway’ then Queer Skate Sheffield could be for you. Currently organised by a very informal group of volunteers, in meet up’s around Sheffield, boards or blades are welcome to attend. Check out their Instagram @queerskatesheff for more information.

Trans Active is a social group for trans and non-binary people in and around Sheffield. Their aim is to provide a relaxed space where trans and non-binary people can socialise and improve their fitness and mental wellbeing through sport. Their current offer includes weekly swimming sessions for trans and non-binary people, and monthly activities which are also open to cisgender friends/ family/ partners.

If you’re looking for non – sport based activities to meet fellow LGBTQ+ folk, then read on.

Out Aloud are Sheffield’s LGBT+ choir with over 80 members and have been going strong since 2006. They’re open to anyone from the LGBT+ community with no auditions. Out Aloud’s mission is to sing to build pride and resilience, and to educate people about the LGBT+ community. Singing everything from pop to madrigals, they have performed in Paris, Dublin and London and are regulars at Pride. You can also find them giving a free concert every Christmas in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens and performing at civic events.

E.D.E.N Film Productions facilitate film making courses for LGBTQ+ people

E.D.E.N Film productions are a brilliant social enterprise based in Sheffield who offer online and in-person filmmaking workshops for the LGBTQ+ community, producing short and feature films, as well as running events such as trans film festival, Transforming Cinema. Head to their website to find out about free upcoming courses.

Another ace way to meet fellow queer people is at Sheffield Zine Festival. This annual one – day festival showcases queer and margnialised voices making print and zines on all sorts of topics, and is a brilliant way to unearth hidden stories. Although on hiatus owing to the pandemic, they are always up for hearing from folk who’d like to get involved and help support future editions.

For those aged 11 – 25, SAYiT, offer activities and support groups for LGBT+ young people, supporting their emotional wellbeing. LGBT Sheffield is a volunteer-led charity attempting to give Sheffield a unique, centralised and shared LGBT identity, and can signpost LGBT+ people to specific services that may be on offer.

So that concludes this Alternative LGBTQ+ Guide to Sheffield. It is by no means comprehensive, but hopefully has given you some inspiration or helped you discover something new. Happy exploring!

Finn

two events for May!

An east Asian drag king looks smoulderingly into the camera. He has short black quiff with a bleach blonde streak through it and shaved sides. He wears a white dinner jacket and ubuttoned white shirt with a shocking pink bow tie undone.

We’re delighted to share that this May, as part of Sheffield’s Festival of Debate, we are producing two online events.

The first is DRAG BEYOND THE BINARY, a panel discussion, chaired by Andro and Eve’s artistic director, Finn Warman, that aims to shine a light on the UK’s exciting drag scene, exploring how drag has helped expand many people’s understanding of gender. This will take place on Monday 10 May at 5.30 – 7pm.

The panel of UK drag artists including Wesley Dykes, Venus Dimilo and Sigi Moonlight (pictured above) will be reflecting on the ways drag has helped them explore their own sense of identity. With the rise and rise of drag queens in UK culture, this discussion and Q&A will also discuss this visibility, and provide space to reflect on drag beyond the binary and its importance for LGBTQ+ communities.

Wesley Dykes will be appearing on our ‘DRAG BEYOND THE BINARY’ panel event.

The second event, on 17 May at 7.30pm, is a Gender Exploration workshop. This workshop will provide a space for those questioning or wanting to explore their own gender. Andro and Eve’s Artistic Director Finn Warman will be joined by drag artist Christian Adore, to facilitate this creative and playful session.

The words 'Gender Exploration Workshop' are set against a purple and pink blended background.

Using conversations and creative exercises, this workshop will help participants reflect upon and be inspired by different ways to express gender in their own lives, rather than on stage. We’ll be getting participants to think beyond the binary and enjoy some gender fluidity! It is intended as a space for self reflection and connection for people of marginalised and diverse genders.*

We’re really pleased to be part of this renowned Sheffield festival that explores politics, economics and society. When you identify as LGBTQIA+, the personal is political, so its great to be platforming and making space for a diverse range of LGBTQ+ identities. Check out the full programme, happening throughout May, on their website here.

Further info and ticket links can be found on our events page. We hope to see you at one or both events!

Photo credit of Sigi Moonlight – Corinne Cumming

2020 In Review

a zoom video call shows over 20 people onscreen and they are all doing their makeup

2020. Wow. We did not see that coming. The start of the year seems like a hazy fog, where the idea of putting on a huge drag king cabaret for 350+ people is like some mad dream. But that’s what we were preparing for back then.

Despite all the nonsense, heartache and grieving this year has brought, here at Andro and Eve we have things to celebrate. And as relentless purveyors of queer joy, (because joy is resistance, to so many communities), we’re here to review the highs, and some challenges that 2020 has brought.

Silvana Imam, a slim, blonde haired rapper, kneels at the front of a stage rapping. She wears desert boots, shorts and white hoodie.
Swedish Rapper Silvana Imam

We started the year with a screening of music documentary, Silvana, at legendary music venue, Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield. Collaborating with Sheffield Doc/Fest, was a first for us, with Melanie Ireldale the deputy director, introducing this celebration of the story of Swedish rapper Silvana Imam, her rise to fame and blossoming romance with Swedish pop star Beatrice Eli. Many in the audience fell hard for this lesbian power couple that evening.

5 drag kings are placed in a montage. There is Prinx Silver, a spanish, white king with a crown and moustache. Christian Adore, who has olive skin, long balck hair, and dinner jacket on, with a bare chest. To his right is Georgeous Michael, a George Michael lookalive wearing a silver jacket, and in the centre is Wesley Dykes. He is a Black king with purple hat and sharp suit on. Mo terboat is in the corner, playing a guitar with open mouth. Mo is a white bloke with hoodie on.
Clockwise from top left, Prinx Silver, Christian Adore, Georgeous Michael, Wesley Dykes, Mo Terboat.

In March, we had the 6th edition of The Kingdom Come planned at Abbeydale Picture House with a stellar line up of talent. Just a few days after we trained our amazing team of volunteers at the venue, the board of Andro and Eve discussed the situation, and made the unanimous decision to cancel our drag king cabaret, scheduled for the 21st.

Facing a significant financial loss, the next week was a blur, but our community came through, with 85% of those who had already booked tickets, donating their ticket, which bought us valuable time to plan for a very different year and apply for funding. Thank you to you if you were one of those kind people.

In May we found out we had been successful in securing Arts Council England Emergency Funding. And with that a bit of breathing space. Launching our drag king workshop course in June, we were bowled over for demand for places on the course, with 50+ people taking part in 3 sessions led by drag king Christian Adore in July. Have a peep at what that involved, and what our participants thought in the video below.

Developing talent is key to our work. Our 2020 programme included an online Cabaret College, which we produced in collaboration with LoUis CYfer. Over 8 weeks, 13 emerging drag and cabaret acts were given the opportunity to develop their own material with regular mentoring from LoUis, and 4 creative sessions. As one of the participants said

The whole experience was so safe and welcoming. I was VERY nervous and always felt supported and like I could ask for help

As well as developing talent we were also aware that digital delivery would limit the audience for our work, and wanted to use print to connect. So we commissioned graduate artist, and founder of Racezine Collective, Okocha Obasi to produce a brand new zine. Okocha was mentored by artist Seleena Laverne Daye, and worked closely with Assistant Producer, Emma Bentley – Fox.

The resulting zine, Centre, featured the voices of a whole range of Northern LGBTQ+ people, specially commissioned pieces by director and writer Rikki Beadle – Blair, activist and founder of the Black Trans Foundation, Azekel, as well as an interview with one of our friends from Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield. The zine sold 50+ copies in its first month on sale, raising £105 for Yorkshire’s Racial Justice Network. 50% of all sales go towards RJN, and we still have copies on sale, so grab one before they’re all gone.

A bright yellow zine with the words Centre Zine, in bold, black lettering sits on top of a hot pink surface.

We launched Centre zine with a special online party, A Reyt Queer Night In. With a vogue workshop by Mother of House of Ghetto, Darren Pritchard, and a party makeup workshop by Christian Adore, the night was topped off with a brilliant set from Gal Pal’s DJ Xzan. The night certainly went down well with attendees..

The music was amazing, really good range covered. I liked being greeted on arrival, the friendly, multigenerational space and chance to put in requests

It sure beat our first attempt at an online party – a Netflix screening party of Clueless on March 28th! It was cute, but, not quite up to our usual standard..!

DJ Xzan at a Reyt Queer Night In

In November we launched a new range of merchandise including postcard sets, badges and tote bags in the Trans Pride Flag colours. Because trans rights matter and we’re here to celebrate trans lives. They look lovely on our newly redeveloped website.

Behind the scenes, we filed our first year accounts to Companies House (what a highlight!), and Artistic Director, Katherine developed a Gender Awareness Training session, aimed at staff in organisations and businesses of all sizes. Both Assistant Producer Emma, and Katherine, undertook anti racism training through Racial Justice Network, with Emma also taking part in Access and Audio Description training with Quiplash. This will inform the way we work in the months to come and is an important part of our mission to make our work accessible and inclusive to all. 

a slim, East Asian model with mid length black hair is wearing a purple jumper and holding a turquoise and pink andro and eve logo tote bag.
New Andro and Eve logo tote bags in the Trans Pride flag colours!

On that note, we’ve just launched a new Community Survey. We don‘t know what the future holds, but we want to make plans with our community as the focus. If you’ve been to one of our events or workshops before, or follow us online and have 5 -10 minutes to spare, please complete the survey here. You can win a bundle of Andro and Eve goodies too!

Another highlight for Andro and Eve in 2020 was being invited to join Queer Arts North – a network of queer arts and Northern performance venues, platforming and providing talent development opportunities for LGBTQ+ artists in the North of England. It was great to be part of an artist networking event as part of Homotopia Festival in November.

Artistic Director of Trans Creative, Kate ODonnell, and Artistic Director of Andro and Eve, Katherine Warman at Queer Arts North Artist Showcase in March 2020.

The events of 2020 made us even more determined to work towards equality for all, and support the Black lives matter movement. The fight for racial equality would be nowhere without Black feminists like Audre Lorde, Angela Davis and Olive Morris, and Black LGBT+ community pioneers including Marsha P Johnson, Storme DeLarverie and Miss Major. We continue to familiarise ourselves with our history, and participate in anti racism work. On that note, this year, we’ve platformed Stop the Scandal, a campaign to prevent the use of mobile fingerprint scanners, linked to the Home Office database, by the police. If you haven’t read it yet, check out the piece by the Stop the Scandal campaign here. 

At this point, please excuse some soppiness in expressing a wholehearted thanks to the two new members of the Andro and Eve board, Lola White and Ellie Wyer. Having only joined the board in February, they came through hard for Andro and Eve, and have supported the development of the organisation in this most difficult of years. A special mention must also go to Assistant Producer, Emma, who has gone the extra mile to help us produce and market all our creative projects and events in the last year.

We want to say a massive thank you to all the artists we worked with in 2020, for your dedication, creativity and hard work. Thank you also to the team of freelancers who help make our work look so bold and beautiful. And thanks so much to the volunteers who’ve helped out this year too.

Andro and Eve volunteers enjoying some pizza, post training, March 2020.

In a year filled with challenges, and so much division sowed between communities, COVID has shown how unequal UK society is. We know in a way, that Andro and Eve and our tiny team are some of the lucky ones, we’ve carried on, while other enterprises have simply not been given the same support, or opportunity. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to make art, and access to culture. So we’ve dug in and got through 2020, and in many ways grown. But we know there is so much work to be done, and it is only in collective effort that we stand to make an impact.

Thank you to everyone who has told a friend about us, bought a ticket, donated, shopped or shared what we do. Your support is the reason we’re still here.

With love and solidarity

Finn

Launching our Community Survey

The words, community survey, are placed on the centre of a pink square tile. They are surrounded by triangle shapes in purple and yellow. The Andro and Eve logo sits at the top, whch features the words Andro and Eve in white, over a purple inverted triangle.

With 2020 drawing to a close (phew), and with pretty much nothing this year turning out how we expected it, we, like many other organisations are looking ahead to 2021.

COVID-19 has affected the way we share queer culture with our community, with the delivery of online workshops and the publication of our first zine, Centre in 2020. We, like everyone, are unsure what 2021 will bring, and are keen to plan ahead using the views of the community which we serve. So we’re launching a Community Survey, to get a sense of what, and when you’d like us to be doing in 2021.

A slim, Black man is striking a old school vogue pose with his hands framing his face. He is wearing a pink jumper and big, black shades and we can just see his head and shoulders.
Who knew we’d be delivering Vogue dance workshops online in 2020?

As a community – led organisation your opinions matter to us very much, so if you have 5 – 10 minutes to share your thoughts, and you have either been to one of our events / workshops, bought a copy of Centre zine, or just follow us online, please do complete our survey.

What you say will likely have a direct impact upon when we return to live events, or what other offers we can make in 2021.

As a thank you, if you leave your email address we’ll add you to a prize draw, where you can win a bundle of Andro and Eve goodies, including our new tote bag!

Open until 1 February 2021 you can complete the survey here. Thank you!

We are Andro and Eve

a set of faces appear in outrageous costumes in a zoom gallery

We’re Andro & Eve and we celebrate queer culture! Check out this new film sharing our work. If you’ve been to one of our events or workshops before, you might just spot yourself! You can also find out more about what we do here.

We’re proud to have continued to bring you creative activity during the last 6 months. This has been made possible through public donations and Arts Council funding. We’re continuing to fundraise behind the scenes to support activity in 2021.

You can help us. Want to know how? Here’s some ideas!

  • Buy a copy of Centre zine – packed full of queer goodness – a brill way to stay connected to queer culture.
  • Tell your workplace / boss about our new Gender Awareness Training, helping support more inclusive service provision for Transgender and gender diverse people.
  • Buy some of our cute new merchandise!
  • Sign up to our newsletter. Link below.
  • Donate using the ‘Support Us’ button on our website.

Your support the last 6 months has been so appreciated. It has enabled us to continue to bring people together and celebrate queer culture in these most challenging of times. Thank you.

Participants enjoying our Cabaret College with LoUis CYfer. September 2020.

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