LGBTQ+ friendly venues around the Pride London celebrations
June 27, 2022
2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of Pride celebrations in the UK and this year’s theme – #AllOurPride – will focus on “uniting the collective past, present and future of pride from all corners of the LGBT+ community”. Celebrations have already started across London and everyone is pointing to the parade that first took place in London 50 years ago on July 1st 1972, inspired by the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York. Depending on how you want to celebrate Pride, London has pretty much got you covered – even the Royal Mail is on board! Here are some of our favorite options.
The actual parade – Saturday 2nd July
The UK’s largest and most diverse Pride March takes place in central London on Saturday 2nd July. Make your way to one of the stages – there are four: Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Soho Dean Street, Golden Square – and join the party as you enjoy the sounds of Samantha Mumba, Emeli Sandé or Queen Bey with the Beyonce experience. The festivities begin at 12pm and the entire parade route – which can be found on the website – will be surrounded by bars showering the paraders with Pride-related libations and offerings. As always, there is a purpose behind the party and organizers of London Pride have said they want to use this year to “march towards progress”. They are calling on the UK government to ban conversion therapy for all LGBTQ+ people, reform gender recognition legislation, give LGBTQ+ communities equal protection from hate crimes, establish a national AIDS memorial and more.
For more information, visit the Pride website here.
The Little Scarlet Door
One of those alleged Soho bars where paraders are showered with Pride-related libations is the newly opened The Little Scarlet Door on Greek Street. They’ve partnered with The Queer Brewing Project, founded by Lily Waite in 2019 to give LGBTQ+ people visibility in and around beer and raise money for key LGBTQ+ charities for a special month-long menu featuring a special selection of Eye-catching pint-sized cans including Tiny Dots, Existence As A Radical Act and Glitter Veil – a guaranteed kick-start to the celebrations! £1 from every beer sold will be donated to support the important work of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity, AKT.
For more information on The Little Scarlet Door, 12-13 Greek Street W1D 4DL, click here.
Drag Bingo – Every Thursday
Over in Hammersmith, The Duchess pub continues its weekly drag bingo night with live singing, lip syncing and prizes. The beauty of this event is that it’s not just for Pride, you can come to The Duchess every Thursday throughout the year and join Aidan Orange and Miss Joelle in all their celebrations. The food is great too, so reserve a table with some friends and make a night out of it. Balls drop at 7 p.m.
For more information on Drag Bingo, The Duchess 320 Goldhawk Road Hammersmith London W6 0XF click here.
The Iconic Ball in Koko – Thursday 30 June
Over in North London, Koko has teamed up with CIROC to throw a free (but paid) party: The Iconic Ball. Hosted by Ballroom pioneer Jack Mizrahi (pose, legendary), Jonny Woo (comedian and drag queen) and Shon Faye (writer and author of The Transgender Issue), with music by DJ Biggy C, the ball becomes the who’s who of the world The UK Ballroom community will come together to compete for the title of Iconic House of 2022. 5 Houses, 5 Decades and 1 Iconic Battle. Each house will compete in five selected categories spanning five decades. From VOGUE’s 1970s category, ‘Smooches Darling’, celebrating icon Ted Brown and the upbeat Queer Kiss-In he organized in 1972. Up to the 2010 RUNWAY category, which indicates how far LGBTQIA+ have come. A limited number of tickets will be available for collection at the Koko Shop on the day of the event, Thursday 30th June. First come, first served, from 1 p.m.
For more information on the Iconic Ball, visit Koko’s website here.
Rooftop Sing-Along Cinema – Thursday 30 June
If you like singing, visit the Rooftop Film Club. If you travel east, Stratford is showing The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and if you’re across the river over in Peckham, the Bussey Building will take you closer to the stars with Elton’s Rocketman. Doors open an hour before the performance, so arrive early for spectacular views of the London skyline or Stratford’s Olympic Park. Always mindful of what’s eating, there’s of course pizza at the Bussey Building from Share A Slice, or filled Turkish flatbreads from Raastawala, Kati buns from Piddaji and delicious desserts from the Treats Club in Stratford. Tickets start at £16.95.
For more information, visit the Rooftop Film Club website here.
Crossroads at Fabric – Sunday 3rd July
In one of London’s last remaining superclubs, Crossbreed – currently one of the hottest nights in London – celebrates the Pride at Fabric. This edition of the queer sex-positive rave will see Manfredas and Kiwi behind the decks, with a fully-equipped playroom for attendees to explore, as well as a wellness retreat for those in need. Crossbreed is about creating a safe space for people to express themselves. So be sure to read the party rules on the website before getting your ticket. Pre-sale tickets are about to sell out, so grab them quick. Tickets are £18 upfront and as part of the Feel Free programme, Crossbreed is offering 10+ free tickets to any of their events for lower income, transgender, people with disabilities and queer people of colour.
More information about Crossbreed at Fabric can be found here.
Rainbow Dumplings at Yauatcha (in June)
Until the end of June, Yauatcha’s City and Soho restaurants are offering a limited edition series of Rainbow Dumplings to celebrate the 50th anniversary. There’s a dumpling for each color of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and purple), with fillings like cumin, chicken and chives, pork and shrimp, and truffle-yam. £1 from every dish sold goes to the Micro Rainbow International Foundation, a charity focused on providing safe shelter, promoting social inclusion and facilitating access to employment, volunteering, training and education for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers .
For more information on Rainbow Dumplings at Yauatcha, click here.
Between the Bridges Drag Brunches – Saturday 2nd & 9th July
If you’re a drag race fan, head to Southbanks Between the Bridges Drag Brunches, where the stars of the UK and US series drink, dance, dine and DRAG! – Elegance!
Baga Chipz, Tia Kofi, Pangina Heals and more will perform alongside bottomless Prosecco and delicious street food, and host quiz and lip-sync opportunities. Sashay over to get your tickets. Prices start at £25
For more information on Between the Bridges drag brunches, click here.
Fame in the Haggerston
It’s a perennial favorite and if you haven’t been then Pride month is the time to go! Self-proclaimed ‘London’s Leading Queer Venue & Performance Mecca’, The Glory hosts regular club nights such as the legendary Havoc. But if you’re hungover from Saturday’s parade, something a little more mellow like Queer Art Club and Queer Funghi on Sunday 3rd July might be just the ticket. In collaboration with @queer.as.funghi – Susy (they/they) will host a walking tour around the Glory to share the myths and legends of some of the plants and fungi that grow there. Often these myths and legends are male, pale and stale, so the fun will be recreating your own before returning to glory to make plant comics full of queer myths, trans legends and gay lore! Glory also has forged (vegan) snacks and drinks.
City Food Walk takes place in Haggerston Park from 12.45-1.45pm. Comic Making takes place from 2pm to 4pm at The Glory, 281 Kingsland Road London E2 8AS. For more information visit the website here.
UK Black Pride – Sunday 14th August
UK Black Pride – Europe’s largest pride celebration for LGBTQI+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latino and Middle Eastern descent – proves that Pride isn’t just for the months of June and July and returns on Sunday 14th August. UK Black Pride’s latest in-person event drew over 10,000 people at Haggerston Park in Hackney after the crowd at Vauxhall Park in Lambeth became too large. As a sign of continued growth, this year’s annual event will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. Visit their website to keep up to date with the events and program, and there is also an opportunity to volunteer.
For more information on UK Black Pride click here.
Photo: Header courtesy of Pride London