In this, the year of 20gayteen, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate the mainstream way. There’s set to be more than ever bank-sponsored floats, sponsored freebies and TFL-approved rainbow decorations to enjoy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing - part of the protest of Pride is a fight for acceptance on a mass scale. Everyone deserves to love who they love and be who they are without prejudice, and central London will be rammed full of people looking to celebrate how far the LGBTQ+ community has come and galvanise us going forward. But if you fancy something a little off the beaten path this weekend, there are plenty of other events to get to...
Alternative Pride Events London 2018 - Grazia
CHOOSE LOVE X PRIDE 2018
The historical British export of homophobia sees thousands of LGBTQ+ people feeling afraid to be themselves in their home countries. Immigrating comes with many consequences, though - Home Office bureaucracy and hard-to-access queer communities can result in further isolation. This pop up going some way to redress the problems facing this doubly-marginalised community by fundraising for Say It Loud, a refugee LGBT+ group, through sale of a rainbow rendition of the iconic Katharine Hamnett Choose Love T-shirts. DJs will be playing throughout the week. Pop-up open daily until 7th July from 10am-7pm at St Martin's Courtyard, WC2E 9AB
Home to queer art school alumnus, pompous stylists and a few guys who dress like they're just waiting at a bus station, the Hackney Road dive bar opens its doors for a Francophile celebration ahead of Bastille Day. Expect Francophone artists such as Alizée and Mylene Farmer alongside Daft Punk, Sebastian Tellier, Christine and the Queens and more. Put together by Tom Aspaul and Vitor Forte, there's also space on the playlist for un plus petit Frenchness e.g. the bridge of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance and the intro to Cheryl's Promise This.6th July 10pm-3am at The Queen Adelaide of Cambridge Heath, 483 Hackney Road, E2 9ED. Check out the event here.
Scottee’s NAFF DRAG Pride Party
Following its sold old debut, performance artist Scottee's Naff Drag is back to celebrate all the people left behind by the hulking white muscular mass that is homonormativity. Queers, trans* people, non-binary folk and art fans are all very welcome to a night at this huge Hackney space where they can enjoy performances from hula hoop artist Symoné, The LipSinkers, Harry Clayton Wright, Lj Maries, Unskinny Bop and some top secret guests. This is a sober-friendly party, with any teetotallers welcome to the Sober Lounge after midnight, where tea and biscuits will be available. 7th July 9pm-3am at Hackney Showroom, Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace E8 2BT. Buy tickets here.
FEMALE TROUBLE x Karaoke Hole
Celeste Guinness's Female Trouble night has been entertaining lesbians of all ilks at Dalston Superstore though 2018, giving queer women and their allies what the boys have long had: vampy hosts, performance art, techno, house and trance-pop. This time, the women are off to cause Trouble down the road, at Dalston's newly anointed Karaoke Hole, where smoke machines, lasers and everything else befitting an epic kitsch singalong will be deployed to distract you from running into an ex. DJ Yoko Fomo will play tunes between the belters, if you're keen to catch your breath. 9pm-3am 7th July at The Karaoke Hole 95 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB. Buy tickets here.
Pride At Bistrotheque
If you're looking for somewhere classy yet spirited to sing out the remainder of your Pride, head to this Hackney restaurant, where resident pianist Xavier will be playing gay anthems in the corner of the room. Enjoy modern European food alongside modern European camp - whether the piano is up to a rendition of Loreen's Euphoria, we will have to discover.6pm-11pm on 7th July at BISTROTHEQUE 23-27 Wadeson Street E2 9DR. Find out more here.
SODOM AND BEGORRAH
An Irish-focused party, this event is seeing the "gay" put back into Gaelic, featuring performances from Annie Pics and Xnthony. Whether this means a full ceilidh, B*Witched spun over and over or thumping Roisin Murphy is uncertain, and knowing The Glory it could be all three tumbled into one, but it's certain that the night is open to all, immigrants of all nationalities, everyone from the LGBT+ spectrum and, especially, Britons desperately applying for Irish passports post-Brexit.9pm-3am 7th July at The Glory 281 Kingsland Road London E2 8AS. Buy tickets here.
Classic x High Hoops presents Love + Pride
House, disco and techno are front and centre of this night, which the organisers describe as "a grandiose hullaballoo of love, creativity, diversity and passion open to all!". They've booked Honey Dijon, Luke Solomon, Dan Beaumont and Michelle Manetti to DJ, and Jay Jay Revlon will also be entertaining with the London Ballroom Scene.9pm-3am at Hangar 2-18 Warburton Road, London E8 3FN. Buy tickets here.
BUMBLE x Cora Delaney Pride Party
Bumble isn't only for Nice Straight Guys from Tinder looking to show straight women they're not foul creatures, but for queer couplings too, as this free party at Hoxton Basement will attest. Filling that crucial gap between central London's celebrations and the late-night parties, this stop-gap will feature drag queens, gay pop and hip-hop bangers. Host Cora Delaney will be sure to let loose, as will free drinks and goodies, and never mind if you don't hook up on the night, that's what apps are for. 7th July from 7pm-12pm at Hoxton Basement, 12-18 Hoxton St, London N1 6NG. Find out more here.
This dive bar/arts space will be home to a celebration of "lesbian love in all its possible denominations" following Pride. Promising music, decorations, competitions, prizes - all adhering to a lesbian theme - there's also a fundraiser element in form of collections for Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. With tickets only £5 on the door, you're invited to use your spare change help the charity, founded in 1977, continue its work for lesbians, women of colour and intersex people. Residents from Nice Mover and the Femme Collective will be on the decks to play pop, disco, and a lot of trash. In a good way. 7th July 9pm-3am at Vogue Fabrics Dalston, 66 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XB. Find out more here.