I first set foot in the Joiners Arms when I was 18-year-old. I had just moved to London from Rome and was looking for a place to belong. The Joiners Arms provided me and many others with this much-needed sense of acceptance and belonging. Its inclusive ethos, encapsulated by its motto ‘Life, Love, Liberty’, delivered a sense of safety to many lesbian, bisexual, and queer women in search for a home.
But despite being a thriving business and a cherished community space, the Joiners Arms closed its doors in January 2015. The closure is part of a wider negative trend in which we have seen 58% of our venues closed in the last 5 years alone.
After three dedicated years of tenacious campaigning, we can proudly say we have secured a replacement late-license LGBTQI+ venue on the site of the Joiners Arms. Building on its legacy, we believe there’s no reason a venue can’t throw banging parties whilst also engaging in grassroots politics. We thus seek to build a radically inclusive, democratic, and collectively-run space that is even more inclusive of all sections of the LGBTQI+ community, more empowering of workers, and more responsive to pressing social issues than a venue has ever been.
Due to this home-from-home, I have become actively involved in supporting this venue’s campaign, and invite you as LBQ women to join us as we develop what this new venue and LGBTQI+ space will look like and offer to the community.
The Friends of the Joiners Arms invites you to join us in the next phase of our campaign: to establish a venue under queer community control!
We want everyone from the community to have ownership over the direction this exciting project takes. To this end we are running regular community meetings and invite members of the community to attend. We particularly want to ensure that women engage in these meetings.
These meetings will be facilitated, and involve break-out groups, discussions, as well as idea-sharing. The aim is to create a strong, diverse, welcoming organisation which will undertake everything needed to create a queer pub run by the community, for the community!
When are the next meetings?
- Saturday 10th of March 2018, 3-5pm
- Wednesday 14th of March 2018, 7-9pm
Where are the meetings?
Hackney Showroom, Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT
The venue is fully-accessible!
Although entry is free, we ask you to register so that we know how many women to expect.