Lost Spaces explores queer experiences as told through now-closed bars and clubs. Every episode singer/songwriter K Anderson interviews a different member of the community to find out about a venue from their past, the memories they created there and the people that they used to know. Theme song - 'Well Groomed Boys' by K Anderson
In ye olden days (ok, like 20 years ago) London used to be full of small neighbourhood queer bars that had more of a community feel than the bigger, anonymous drinking establishments in the West End. And, if it was a lesbian bar you were after then your best bet would be to head to Stoke Newington in the north east of London, which has been described by today's guest as a 'lesbian mecca'.
And, who is today's guest? Well, it's none other than lesbian romance novelist Clare Lydon, whose London Romance series has been described as “The L Word, set in London.", so she knows what she's talking about when it comes to London and lesbians.
We caught up to talk about her time living in Stoke Newington, her beloved lost space, Blush Bar, which was open from 1997-2015, and why pool is the sport of choice for so many lesbians.
Do you have any memories of Blush Bar of fighting over a pool table that you want to share? Well, if you do please get in touch - you can contact me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as @lostspacespod, or you can go to my website www.lostspacespodcast.com and leave a comment there.
To find out more about Clare visit her website http://www.clarelydon.co.uk where you can download some free stories, and mark your calendar, as Clare's next book, Big London Dreams, is out on July 28th.
Today we are talking about Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which on June 12, 2016, became the site of the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks of 2001. And, the repercussions were felt worldwide- I remember how shocking and terrifying it was to hear about this happening in a country like America..
But, before it was the sight of this tragedy Pulse was a place where people came to meet likeminded queer folks, dance, be messy and forget their regular lives.
I caught up with leukaemia warrior and makeup artist Jared Lipscomb, who grew up in Orlando to talk about body image, first times and why that space will always have a special place in his heart. In lots of ways this is a very serious episode because we’re talking about a horrific incident, but in other ways it’s very joyous as we talk about what made the place special.
Do you have any memories of Pulse that you want to share? Well, if you do please get in touch - you can contact me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as @lostspacespod, or you can go to my website www.lostspacespodcast.com and leave a comment there.
Follow Jared on Instagram at @jaredlips, and give a wee listen to his podcast Back on Air (wherever you listen to podcasts)
Today's guest has a pretty damn impressive CV. She is the recently elected Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, as well as the co-founder of San Francisco's Transgender District (which happens to be the first transgender district in the world, so no small feat!). Oh, yeah, and you might know her as a contestant on Season 5 of Ru Paul's Drag Race, where she showed off, amongst other things, her love of kaftans.
In 2016 Honey Mahogany became a co-owner of The Stud after it became the very first co-operatively owned nightclub in the United States. The bar, which was San Fransisco's oldest queer bar, having first opened in 1966, was another victim of Covid-19, and the collective chose to close in 2020.
We caught up to discuss Honey's early days in drag, what makes San Francisco drag so unique, and why the bar will always have a special place in Honey's heart.
Do you have memories of The Stud? Anything about today's episode that you want to talk about, maybe the stigma of being a drag queen? Well, I'd love to hear from you. Get in touch and let's have a chat about the show and where we should go next on Lost Spaces. We're on facebook, instagram and twitter with the userhandle is @lostspacespod (or check out the website www.lostspacespodcast.com)
Follow Honey Mahogany on IG for more - @honeymahogany
And, the Stud has its own podcast, Stud Stories, which you should definitely check out - https://www.studsf.com/podcast
This week we are heading to San Francisco to meet Creative Strategist Nat Gunn. And, when I say strategist I do mean strategist! Moving to San Francisco in 2014 Nat came equipped with a game plan that she took that seriously, throwing herself in to the dating world. It was this very plan that led her to meet her partner Bridget, and their first date together brought them to Virgil's Sea Room, a queer bar on Mission Street that recently closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We caught up to talk about astrology, online dating profiles and the importance of queer spaces.
Do you have memories of clubbing in San Fransisco? Anything about today's episode that you want to talk about? Well, I'd love to hear from you. Get in touch and let's have a chat about the show and where we should go next on Lost Spaces. I'm on facebook, instagram and twitter with the userhandle is @lostspacespod
This week we are heading to the northern Scottish city of Aberdeen for some old school drag glamour.
We are talking to none other than the mama of Aberdeen's drag scene, Romy Deepcheeks, a queen who has been pioneering the artform in the city since the early 00s.
We caught up to talk about the scene, and discuss venues including Club 2000, Castro's and Foundation, but, in typical Lost Spaces style, we also talk about a whole host of tangentially related things, including Romy's coming out relatively late in life at 28, being ex-communicated by the Mormon church, hooking up with guys whilst in drag, and I get to ask a bunch of ignorant sounding questions about the fine art of tucking!
Do you have any memories of clubbing in Aberdeen? Have you ever tried tucking? Got anything to say about this episode? Well, I'd love to hear from you. Get in touch and let's have a chat about the show and where we should go next on Lost Spaces. I'm on facebook, instagram and twitter with the userhandle @lostspacespod
And, whilst you're at it say hello to Romy on IG - @missromy14
This week we are catching up with Craig Seymour, an American writer, music critic and former stripper. And, we are heading back to the 1990s to find out about his time stripping at various clubs throughout Washington, DC.
At that point in time there was a strange quirk in the zoning laws that meant that strippers could be fully naked and fondled by customers. Whilst a graduate at the University of Maryland, Craig started to write an ethnographic study of the clubs, and what better way to learn about your subject than immersing yourself?
We talk all about a number of clubs which include La cage aux folles, Secrets, and Wet, and all of the experiences that lead to Craig writing his memoir, 'All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C.'
Let me know what you thought of this episode - @lostspacespod on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
You can also find Craig on Instagram and Twitter with the user handle @craigspoplife
And go and discover his books -
Luther: Life & Longing of Luther Vandross; https://tinyurl.com/yz6uvtnj
All I Could Bare: My Life in Strip Clubs of Gay DC. - https://tinyurl.com/3adkpt77
This week we are heading back to the Big Apple with Conor Kelly O'Brien, an actor, theatre maker and creative arts organiser, originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania -- after a day of soul-zapping auditions Conor found himself at 9th Avenue Saloon, a gay dive bar in Hell's Kitchen. It was here, whilst commiserating over an alcoholic beverage or two, that Conor met a man, got pleasantly distracted, got frisky, and then... well, you'll have to listen to the episode to find out... but, yeah, definitely one of the more interesting one-night-stands I've heard about.
Find out more about Conor -
This week we are heading back in time to the early 00s - this is the time when the Spice Girls were unravelling, we had e-mail but not social media (not even MySpace!), and electroclash was at its peak.
And it was at this time that my guest Jordan King - a Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, archivist, and historian, with her personal work currently focused on the overlap of drag culture and trans female identity - and a small group of friends started to host a weekly party in the then recently renovated basement of the Lotus Hotel in Vancouver.
We talk all about the subtle difference between being a 'ringleader' and being a 'wrangler', Jordan's casting in the Hollywood film Connie and Carla, and the magic and chaos of throwing yourself head first in to something you're passionate about...
Follow Jordan on Instagram - JordanKingArchive
Listen to Jordan's podcast Radio Never Apart - https://soundcloud.com/neverapartmtl/sets/radio-never-apart-podcast
This week we are heading back to Bristol to meet Sharifa Whitney James, a Queer, Black activist, footballer, model and facilitator.
Originally from Wiltshire, Sharifa moved to Bristol to take a spot at a football academy when she was just a teenager about 15 years ago. And Bristol was the city where she first went out on a queer scene, visiting clubs like Flamingos, Vibes and Bent. But, those spaces didn't always feel quite right and weren't always welcoming... and that's where Kiki Bristol came in, a night co-founded by Sharifa and created for QTIPOC (Queer, Transgender and Intersex People of Colour) and their friends.
We caught up to discuss homophobia in football, having sex in a tent, and drunken straight male stag parties...
If you want to find out more about Sharifa make sure you follow her on IG - @gold_fro
And, she's also going to be starting her own podcast soon - The Queer Blackity Black Joy Podcast - you can also find that on IG - @thequeerblackityblackjoypod
This week it's my very first three-way interview, which I was absolutely shitting myself about beforehand, but which turned out good (well, you'll see!).
Nana and Rose are the hosts of the Two Twos podcast, which they describe as 'two black lesbians living in London speaking their unapologetic truth whilst creating a safe space for people like themselves and bridging the gap between LGBT+ people and cis-gendered straight people'.
We caught up to talk about Hidden, and more specifically a night there called Work, which was held every Wednesday night in a railway arch in Vauxhall, London, which Rose and Nana visited before they'd even met each other in the early 2010s.
Find out more about Two Twos by following them on Instagram @twotwospodcast, and on Twitter @TwoTwos_Podcast
Inspired by the American direct action group of the same name, Queer Nation was a club night that started in London in 1990 and quickly built a reputation as an attitude free, affordable and welcoming night that played the best in soulful house.
And my guest this week is the activist, health promoter, and mentor Marc Thompson, who tells me why the night is so dear to his heart.
As well as being an absolute sweetheart Marc has an incredibly impressive CV and I'm just going to break down a few of his accomplishments. He is:
Co-director of The Love Tank (http://thelovetank.info/), a community interest company that promotes health and wellbeing of under-served communities through education, capacity building and research,
Co-founder of Prepster.info (https://prepster.info/), a community based intervention that aims to educate and agitate for PreP access in England and beyond.
Co-founder of Blackout UK (https://blkoutuk.com/about/) a movement dedicated to working with and building safe spaces for Black gay men.
Key to all of this work is a focus on Black and queer communities, sexual health and HIV, and he is particularly interested in the intersection of race, sexuality and HIV.
Ah, and a quick note - the club got around, having been hosted in venues including Fire, Crash, and Barcode, but the era that we focus on in our conversation is in its early days at Gardening Club, where it first started, and Substation South.
Follow Marc on Twitter - https://twitter.com/marct_01
If you listened to my interview with artist John Lee Bird about his days working at Crash you might remember a few mentions of his flatmate, who was... shall we say... exposed to some salubrious shenanigans whilst hanging out with John.
Well, I've been nagging for a while, and finally got John's flatmate, Ros, on the show to share some of her story!
We started talking about different venues and nights in London in the early 00s, but the conversation really became about the importance of their relationship - a gay man and a straight woman - and also the importance of safe spaces and communities when you're on the journey of becoming who you are...
This week we are headed back in time to the early 80s and small(ish) town England, with the writer David Ledain, author of This Forbidden Fruit, Having Gay Sex and his most well-known work Gay Dad, a non-fiction book that compiles the stories of gay men who married women and started families.
We talk about his experiences of dipping his toe in gay life at Granny's Nightspot in Portsmouth and The Bush Inn in Chichester, grappling with his sexuality, and then deciding to turn his back on it to marry a woman.
We also talk about all the heartthrobs he remembers from those days, so get ready for some lusting and reminiscing about men he hasn't seen for almost 40 years!
You can follow David on Facebook and Twitter @davidledain, and also be sure to check out the Rainbow Dads podcast, of which David is a contributor.
This week we are catching up with Chris Hubley, a musician, artist and art historian who is also known by his drag alter-ego Crystal Mighty.
We talk about a LOT of things this episode - language and how it evolves, strange, intense platonic relationships, and DIY culture... which were all the subjects that branched off of our original reason for meeting, which was F.A.G. Club, an event night held initially in Cardiff, but for the majority of its run in Bristol. F.A.G Club was an inclusive D.I.Y night for QuAGS (queers of all genders and sexualities), that Chris put on with a group of friends after meeting them at the Queeruption, which is an annual international queercore festival.
Some of the terms discussed on the episode (I stole these definitions from https://gender.wikia.org/)
Transtrender, a portmanteau of the words transgender and trend, is a derogatory term used to describe someone who is pretending to be transgender for attention or for pity.
Transmedicalism / transmed is broadly defined as the belief that being transgender is contingent upon experiencing gender dysphoria or undergoing medical treatment in transitioning. Transmedicalists, sometimes referred to as "truscum" by themselves or others, believe that individuals who identify as transgender but who do not experience gender dysphoria or undergo a medical transition—through methods such as sex reassignment surgery or hormone replacement therapy—are not genuinely transgender.
Transmasculine is a term used to describe transgender people who generally are assigned female at birth, but identify with a masculine gender identity to a greater extent than with a feminine gender identity. Usually transmasculine people try to appear stereotypically masculine in terms in their gender expression in order to create social recognition of their dominant male identity.
AFAB - Assigned Female at Birth
AMAB - Assigned Male at Birth
Assigned Sex (also referred to as birth sex) refers to the sex you were interpreted as at birth, which usually corresponds to the gender identity you were raised as and/or assumed to have in childhood. As a phrase, this is a way to refer to the sex that was put on your birth certificate, without making assumptions about your actual/current sex, body or identity.
This week we are talking to Bernie Hodges, a voice artist, actor, and co-host of the 'What, That Old Queen?' podcast.
Moving to Bristol in the early 90s with a few mates when he was just 21 years old he quickly built a life for himself, but struggled to find his tribe and that sense of belonging that comes with that.
But, that all changed when he started to go to Horseplay, a club night that billed itself as an 'underground homo disco' which started in 2011.
We caught up to talk about pleather harnesses, what it really means to be an A-Gay, and death by dildo...
I am so freaking excited that the guest for this week's episode is Ultra Nate, the dance music superstar best known for the 90s classic 'Free'.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ultra fell in to club culture in her first year of university. From here she met the production group the Basement Boys, started writing songs with them and... well, the rest is history...
Ultra and I discuss the Baltimore house sound, being famous in one country and unknown in another, and the etiquette of snogging on the dancefloor....
This is really an episode about a number of venues - Odell's, Club Fantasy, and The Paradox (so legendary that it has its own wikipedia page!), with the common thread being the pioneering owner Wayne Davis. Whilst none of these venues were queer, they did host specific nights promoted to this community, and, being dance venues, the audience they attracted was really diverse.
This week is our first visit to Wales, and we're going to the second largest city, Swansea (which has a population of around 250,000) to find out about the lost bar Champers.
I caught up with Craig Law, Host of the #InTheMix show on Gaydio, the world's biggest LGBT radio station to find out why the bar has a special place in his heart. Craig gives me advice on what to do when your friend pulls and you're left standing on your own like an idiot, shares the impact of Section 28 on his coming out, and ponders what happened to Swansea's once vibrant queer scene (with special mentions for other queer bars Talk of the Town, Hush, and The Kings Arms).
Go and give Craig some love at https://twitter.com/djcraiglaw and listen to his mixes at https://mixcloud.com/djcraiglaw
If you were queer in London in the naughties then you would no doubt have spent an evening or two at Popstarz, the alternative institution that is most well known for being held at Scala in King's Cross.
I caught up with the host of the filthy, filthy Probably True podcast, Scott Flashheart, to talk all about his first days in London, nights out at Popstarz, vodka coughs, and the lost art of eye-banging...
If you enjoy this episode make sure you go and give Scott some love on twitter - @ScottFlashheart - And, whilst you're at it, give the Probably True podcast a listen too!
Mrs. Kasha Davis came to international fame after appearing in Season 7 of Ru Paul's Drag Race.
Before Drag Race, she was one of the main drag performers at Muthers, a bar in Rochester, New York. We caught up to talk about angry white poodles, the Ethel Merman disco album, and some of her memories from her early days in drag.
This episode includes shout outs to many drag legends - Ambrosia Salad, Pandora Boxx, Darienne Lake, Aggy Dune, Annie Rexic, Miss Richfield 1981, and the club's owner, Naiomy Kane.
Make sure you give Mrs. Davis some love on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/mrskashadavis/
For a while in the early 2010s XES Lounge was THE place to be on a Monday night, where drag queens Frostie Flakes and Bob the Drag Queen (who, at the time was going by the name Kitten Withawhip) hosted their show 'Sisters?', winning crowds over with their ramshackle charm.
In the crowd every week was Honey La Bronx, vegan drag queen, LGBTQ rights activist, host of the Big Fat Vegan Radio podcast and Bob's drag daughter.
We caught up to discuss the pull of Manhattan, why it's not a good idea to take your tap shoes to the club, and how XES Lounge provided a sense of community and home.
Follow Honey on Instagram - @honeylabronx , and make sure to check out her website https://www.vegandragqueen.com/
And we're off to the northern English city of Sheffield, home of the world's oldest football club (who knew?), and the town responsible for legendary bands such as Pulp, Moloko, and The Human League.
The lost space we are finding out about in this episode is The Cossack, a tiny pub in the city centre that was open for around 30 years from the early 70s to the early naughties.
I caught up with drag artist, DJ, community worker and activist Heather Paterson to talk all about the anticlimax of coming out to friends and family, sneakily reading lesbian magazines at the newsagent, and finding friends for life at The Cossack.
Make sure you follow Heather on twitter - her username is @heatherpaterson
Remember the days when you'd put on your fanciest/glitter-iest/sluttiest outfit and then.... catch public transport to the club?
Big Dipper, rapper and podcaster extraordinaire, sure does.
Before moving to his current home in LA he lived for a few years in New York City, where he cut his teeth performing at Westgay, a queer night hosted by the influential Frankie Sharp at a bar called Westway (see what they did there?) every Tuesday night from 2012 to 2015.
We talked about waiting in line even when your name is on the guest list, avoiding fluids so you don't have to deal with the club toilets, and the magical feeling of leaving the club when the sun is rising.
Make sure you listen to Big Dipper's podcast Sloppy Seconds, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter - @bigdipperjelly
It is frequently listed as the most progressive country in Europe for LGBTQIA+ rights, but what is life really like for queer people in Malta?
What’s it like spending all your savings on drag?
How could your parents not realise you're gay when your they world's biggest Mariah Carey fan?
I found the answer to these questions (and more!) when I caught up with drag queen, stand-up comedian and writer Chucky Bartolo to reminisce about Klozet, a beloved lost gay bar in Malta.
Make sure to follow Chucky on instagram - @chuckybartolo
Will Warren is the co-host of Track by Track, a podcast that reviews, track by track (see what they did there?), brilliant pop albums from the past. And, we're talking unashamedly pop - think Girls Aloud, Pet Shop Boys and Kylie Minogue.
But long before he was reviewing albums online he was drinking a ridiculous amount of alcohol at Flamingos, a bar in Bristol, England that billed itself as THE South West Gay superclub.
We caught up to talk alcopops, pre-drinks, and all you can drink alcohol for £20....
Find out more about Will by following him on twitter - @willwpw
AND, also check out @trackbytrackuk to keep up to date with the podcast and the albums they're reviewing!
Rory Boyle is the host of Queer Ear, a podcast that shines a light and spills the tea on unexplored queer issues
Before he moved to London to study he had a gap year in his home town of Dublin where he got to explore his sexuality safely and dance all night (on the podium, no less) at cult club night WAR at Andrew's Lane Theatre.
We caught up to discuss the weird etiquette with bathroom attendants, conversations that happen in smoking areas, and favourite Spice Girls songs....
And, after you've done listening to this episode go and check out the Queer Ear podcast, and follow it on instagram - @queerearpodcast
This week we are doing something a little different and visiting a lost website.
Launching in 1997, long before the likes of Grindr and Scruff, Gay.com was a chat, personals, and social networking website catering mostly to gay and bisexual men. which operated up until 2017.
I caught up with Chicago based drag queen, co-host and creator of hit youtube show IMHO Darby Lynn Cartwright to discuss what the site meant to her as a queer kid growing up in Tennessee in the late 90s.
Follow Darby on instagram @darbylynncartwright.
Also, make sure you follow IMHO on youtube - https://www.youtube.com/c/IMHOtheSHOW
Have you ever been clubbing on your own? Is it thrilling, exciting, or... terrifying?
If you've had experience standing awkwardly against the wall, unsuccessfully striking up a conversation with a stranger, or loitering at the end of the evening in the hopes of to wangling yourself an invite to an after party, then you'll love hearing all about singer-songwriter Venn Smyth's adventures at East London basement bar East Bloc.
We talk about the magic of London, long walks home, and deep and meaningful conversations with drunken strangers!
Find out more about Venn on instagram @vennsmyth
Holestar is an entertainer, DJ and bio-queen. and, she'll hate me saying this, but, after knocking around for nigh on 17 years is a true veteran of the London drag scene.
We caught up to reminisce about Too2Much, which was a theatre bar and club in Soho, London, open between 2004 and 2006 before changing its name to Soho Revue Bar.
We discuss the T-word, army life, and the joys or packing your performance gear in to neat little bags!
Follow Holestar on IG - https://instagram.com/theholestar
Casey Mecija is a multi-disciplinary artist, academic and musician, who used to be the lead singer for indie-pop band Ohbijou, and now records as a solo artist.
We caught up to talk about The Beaver, an alternative queer space in the heart of Queen West, Toronto, that closed in 2020 primarily because of restrictions in place due to coronavirus.
Find out more about Casey by visiting her website - http://www.caseymecija.com/
And, if you want to hear more about The Beaver check out my interview with Prawn Waters about the very same bar and their experiences there.
Spin was a multi-level, 9,000 square-foot, super club in what was then called Chicago's Boystown district. Opening in the 90s it quickly established itself as the place to go for cheap drinks, house music, and wet t-shirt competitions before closing in 2014.
I caught up with Alexis P Bevels to find out about her first days in drag, serving drinks on roller skates, and being one of the founding members of the coolest gang in town, the Drag Mafia....
Make sure you follow Alexis on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/alexisbevels/
Melissa Ferrick is an American singer-songwriter whose career exploded when, in 1991, she was a last minute replacement support act for a Morrissey tour. Since then she has released an impressive number of albums, and has even had one of her songs, 'Drive', named as a 'lesbian anthem' (and, trust me, that song is FILTHY).
We caught up to talk about Manray, a bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which closed in 2005 after nearly 20 years of business.
Follow Melissa on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/melissaferrick/
Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian award-winning novelist, public speaker, and LGBTQ-refugee activist who was born in Damascus, Syria.
And it was in Damascus where his flat became a safe space for other queer Syrians. We caught up to talk about the flat, his experiences coming out, sexual citizenship, and the ethics of having sex with your clone.
Follow Danny on twitter or instagram - @dannyseesit
Town Danceboutique was the largest gay danceclub in Washington, D.C., open between 2007-2018. And it was really one of those mega-clubs that you don't see much of anymore - split levels, multiple rooms, outside areas, video installations, LED lights, and a proper stage.
I met up with singer/songwriter Tom Goss, who lived in D.C. for ten years after leaving the seminary, and first happened upon the Town through one of its events, Bear Happy Hour.
Follow Tom on IG: https://www.instagram.com/tomgossmusic/
Joseph Segaran is a British Artist living and working in Amsterdam, and whose art is inspired by the architecture of the city... and you really have to check it out - black and white ink drawings which are drawn freehand using a very fine Japanese ink pen and also papercuts which are cut using a tiny craft knife from a single sheet of black paper.
But before he lived in Amsterdam he lived in Newcastle... and before that he lived in York, a small city in the north of England where he grew up. We met up to talk about The Bay Horse, a provincial gay bar in the city.
Expect to hear about incestuous gays, having to come out to your parents twice, and, as a special treat, Josephs reads out a break up note from a man who broke his poor wee heart...
Find out more about Joseph at https://josephsegaran.com/
It's our first ever visit to Manchester!
This week I'm joined by the, quite frankly, charming Liz Naylor, who, amongst other things has been a writer and music industry bod, before embarking on her recent adventure as one of the founders of the charity Foundation for Change,
We caught up to discuss the Manchester scene in the late 70s, how grim lesbian bars were at the time, butches and femmes, and the overlaps between the punk and queer scene...
Basic white gays - what are they good for?
Ok, ok, a bit of a sensationalist headline.... But, what do you do when you don't quite fit in with the commercial queer scene, and how do you find your scene?
This week I'm joined by writer, director and filmmaker Joseph Amenta to talk all about The Henhouse, a small, queer dive bar in Toronto's west that closed in 2015 as a result of rapid gentrification in the city. Expect to hear about Celine Dion Dance Parties (which are a thing in Canada, apparently), and taking inspiration from the magic of safe spaces....
Make sure you follow Joseph on IG - https://www.instagram.com/josephtakesphotos
And check our their amazing films here - https://vimeo.com/user6867443
How was it that, in days of yore (ok, pre-internet) queer kids that were scattered all over the world still somehow managed to find and fall in love with the same movies and books and music?
I explored this, and a few other burning questions, when I caught up with comedian/singer/host Tranna Wintour to find out about Psychic City, an underground club in Montreal that hosted Trannavision and closed in 2018.
Find out more about Tranna by following her on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/trannawintour/
XY had a short run, opening in 2015 and closing in 2018. But, in that time, it firmly established itself as the go-to club for drag and performance within Vancouver, hosting events most nights of the week.
I caught up with THE Jewish non-binary drag artist Rogue to find out about their first time there, Drag Race girls, and I got a little advice about the art of sucking up.
Follow Rogue on IG - https://www.instagram.com/itsjustrogue/
Did you know that there are three distinct styles of voguing? I didn't, and, in my ask-a-bunch-of-stupid-questions approach to interviewing I found out all about them when I sat down to chat with Gerard Reyes - choreographer, dancer, teacher, video artist, somatic sex educator, intimacy coordinator and Montreal's kiki ballroom scene pioneer.
We caught up to talk about Citibar, which, prior to its closing in 2014 served as a meeting point for t-girl sex workers and the men who loved them. The venue was also the initial inspiration for Gerard's choreographed piece, The Principle of Pleasure, and in our chat he shared what was special to him about the place.
Find out more about Gerard at his website - https://gerardxreyes.com/
This week we are joined by Canadian singer/songwriter Ember Swift. Known for her unique, jazz-influenced guitar playing and elastic vocals, Ember has released a whopping 12 albums since her first release way back in 1996!
We started off talking about The Coral Reef, a lesbian bar in Ottawa that opened in the late 60s and closed in the year 2000, and a space where Ember went when she was a student in the city. As is the way with most of my interviews, though, the conversation morphed to discussing, in a broader context, what community means, and the sense of abandonment Ember felt from her own community after she fell in love with a man in the late 00s.
Follow Ember on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/emberswift
Ember's website - http://emberswift.com/
Brandon Ash-Mohammed is a Toronto based comedian and event promoter. After graduating from comedy school (which is a real thing) he started to go out on the open mic scene, honing his stand up skills. One of the very first places he performed was Slacks, a lesbian bar in Toronto’s Village area, which was open from 1997-2013, and had a comedy night every Wednesday.
We caught up to discuss thanksgiving flavoured chicken wings, bombing on stage, and how within that venue he made life long friends…
Give Brandon a follow on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/brandonamcomedy/
Established in 2006 by Lynn McNeill and Will Munro, The Beaver was an alternative queer space in the heart of Queen West, Toronto. In 2020 the bar's owners made the tough decision to close knowing that they wouldn't be able to remain profitable with physical distancing rules in place because of COVID-19.
I caught up with prawnographer, resident crustacean of crust-nation, and pencil-thin moustachioed Prawn Waters to discuss performing to well-dressed loungey gays, overcoming pee shyness, and what the bar meant to them...
Be a dear and follow Prawn on insta - https://www.instagram.com/theprawnwaters/
Jamie Jamal is the Bristol based lead singer of electronic pick n mix duo This Human Condition, which has been described as early Depeche Mode meets a darker Erasure.
We caught up to discuss Just, a nightclub which was open between 1994-99.
Expect to hear about guncles (which are, if you don't know, gay uncles), ways to keep cool on the dancefloor, and a healthy debate about the age old conundrum - who is better, Kylie or Madonna?
Find out more about Jamie's band This Human Condition at http://www.thishumancondition.com/. AND, he has a new act named Flux, which you can find out all about at https://twitter.com/fluxmusicuk
Eric Himan is an award-winning singer-songwriter, and has played with the likes of Ani DiFrance, Melissa Ferrick and Leon Russell.
To celebrate his new single, Local Gay Bookstore, we caught up to discuss his favourite lost bookstore, Lambda Rising in Washington, D.C. (as well as other book shops like Outwrite in Atlanta, and the distributor Goldenrod).
Before you listen, I need to warn you - we go ALL about the houses, with a bit of a peer support session in the middle of the episode all about the trials and tribulations of being a musician!
Find out more about Eric by visiting his website - https://www.erichiman.com/
Darryl W. Bullock is the author behind books such as 'David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music' and 'Florence Foster Jenkins:The Life of the World's Worst Opera Singer'.
We met up in a previous episode to discuss Crackers in Gloucester, and throughout the interview Darryl kept bringing up Bath Tap, a bar that he would go on to frequent when he became a mature age student and moved to Bath in the mid-90s.
So... I invited him back to reminisce about life in his grotty, miserable bedsit, freaky sex with a fantasist, and enormous bags of free bacon....
Follow Darryl on twitter - https://twitter.com/dwbullock
Marcus Hunter-Neill, also known as Lady Portia, is Northern Ireland's First Lady of Drag, and has been charming audiences for the last two decades.
It all started when she, with two friends, formed their first drag troupe and convinced the owners of The Parliament to let them take over the venue on a Sunday night.
We caught up to discuss first times in drag, plucking up the courage to enter a gay bar, and tips for I get some tips about the best pick up lines!
Smashing was a club night that found itself at the epicentre of the Britpop scene, and though it wasn’t a queer night, had what my guest and co-founder Martin Green calls a queer sensibility.
With regulars including Blur, Oasis, Pulp and Leigh Bowery, it was a club night that quickly became the place to be seen, and was thriving between 1991-1996 in various venues across London.
To help promote his new compilation 'Martin Green Presents: Super Sonics – 40 Junkshop Britpop Greats', I caught up with Martin to find out about the club's origins, Oasis' first time there, touring with Pulp, and I embarrassingly fan-girl about the band Shampoo for about five minutes!
Find out more about Martin:
Timberlina is back! We had such a fun, rambling, meandering conversation the last time that we decided to get together again to talk about another lost space and another time in her life, when she was nannying for a young family in Westchester county, north of New York City.
On weekends she would mostly flee to the bright lights of the big apple, exploring the queer scene in Manhattan. But, occasionally she'd venture to an out-of-the-way bar called Triangles, in Connecticut. We caught up to talk about being queer in the 90s, chasing excitement, and to read over the online reviews for the bar.
Make sure you listen to Timberlina's own podcast, Live from Rye!
This week we're going to do something a little bit different! Rather than visit a lost bar or club we're going to get down and dirty reminiscing about a lost cruising space with Conner Habib - author, lecturer, and sex workers’ rights advocate.
In the late 90s and early 00s, whilst studying at the University of Massachusetts Amerherst Campus, he discovered a fun past-time to while away the hours between classes! We discuss the art of cruising, angry Pennsylvanians, and good ol' fashioned gloryholes.
Find out more about Conner by following him on social media:
Jess McAvoy is a Brooklyn based performing artist, songwriter and musician who was born in Perth, Western Australia. Before they moved to the big apple they lived in Melbourne for a number of years, forging their way in the Australian music scene...
We kinda meandered all over the place, and, although we started talking about the lesbian bar Glasshouse we settled on the mixed night Queer and Alternative (or Q&A) which ran from 1996–2013 on Thursday nights at the Builders Arms on Gertrude Street in Collingwood, Melbourne.
Find out more about Jess at www.jessmcavoy.com
Mr Pussy’s Cafe De Luxe was a cafe and restaurant dreamt up by Jim Sheridan, Gavin Friday, and Bono and hosted by old-school drag legend Mr Pussy.
Opening in 1994, the place quickly established itself as the place to be seen in Dublin, and hosted a number of record launches and after parties. But, just as quickly as it arrived it disappeared, closing a year after it opened.
I caught up with drag super star, singer and recording artist Veda to discuss her time working at the cafe and the adventures she got up to.
Follow Veda on Instagram - www.instagram.com/vedalady
Now, I know that I've been using the term 'icon' to describe a lot of my guests lately, but, if ever there was an appropriate time to use the word it is now. Shirley Temple Bar burst on to the scene when she won Alternative Miss Ireland in 1997. Since then she has hosted bingo weekly (for the last 23 years) at The George in Dublin, and hosts the National Lottery gameshow, Telly Bingo.
None of this compares, however, to the fact that she has MET THE SPICE GIRLS... Like, all five of them...
We caught up to discuss H.A.M at P.O.D, meeting Ms. Halliwell, and the heady, heady days of 90s Dublin.
Find out more about Shirley by following her at https://www.instagram.com/shirleytemplebar
Candy Warhol is co-Host Of Comedy Central UK's ’Dragony Aunts’, mother of the Haus of Mockie Ah, and, on top of all of that, an absolute sweetheart.
But before she was Candy she was a fresh faced 18 year old who worked herself all the way up from the glass collector to the manager of Instinct Bar, a gay bar in Cork that opened in the naughties.
Follow Candy on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/candywarholqueen/
I have a new boyfriend. His name is Phil T. Gorgeous.
But, alas, he's only the drag persona of Mia Campbell, emcee and genderqueer weirdo (their words, not mine!).
So, instead of flirting wildly we sat down to discuss Kiss, a lesbian and bi women only night that ran for about 10 years through the Naughties in various venues (but predominantly the Tivoli on Francis Street) in Dublin, Ireland.
Make sure you find out more about Phil on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/philtgorgeous/
Bob Downe is the stage name of comedian (and polyester lover) Mark Trevorrow, who is… if I can be so bold as to say, a bloody legend. Getting his start in the Globos, a 60s throw back band, in the 80s, his life was turned upside down when the band broke, and in amongst the changes was a move from Melbourne to Sydney. In Sydney he discovered the legendary Albury Hotel, which is one of two queer venues that were used as the inspiration for the film Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert.
We caught up to find out about that time in his life, the basement full of drag costumes, and being the ‘dag of dags’!
The Greyhound Hotel was a 160-year-old venue that, in its last decade, transformed in to a state of the art drag venue, before closing its doors and being demolished in 2017 to make way for.... a boring blocks of apartments.
I caught up with performer / photographer / singer / motormouth Dean Arcuri to find out about his first time, the memories he has of the drag queens who performed there, and his most embarrassing make out story.
Find out more about Dean on twitter (@deanarcuri)
Katie Underwood came to fame in the year 2000 following her appearance on the first series of Australian Popstars, and her subsequent role in the band that was formed on the series, Bardot.
We caught up to discuss The Market, a club on Commercial Road, Prahan in Melbourne., which closed in 2011.
Expect to hear about going clubbing with your mum, inspiring young queers to get in to latex, and alternative uses for the disabled toilet (if you know what I mean...)
Follow Katie on instagram - @katieunderwoodhealing
'You're out of here, queen!' are the last words that Fat Gay Vegan heard from the owner of Patches, a queer bar in Brisbane, Australia in the late 80s, just before he was banned for life.
We caught up to talk about growing up in Redcliff, old school drag queens, and the impact of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Brisbane in 1991.
Find out more about Fat Gay Vegan at www.fatgayvegan.com
Mark Brummitt is an Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and Assistant Dean of Students at a small post-graduate college in Rochester, New York.
In the early 90s, after a decade of service, he left his role as a Salvation Army Lieutenant and started exploring his queerness at The Black Cap, an iconic drag bar in Camden, London.
We caught up to talk about that transition, Regina Fong and other drag legends who performed at the bar, and what happens when you run in to your brother at a gay bar.
Isn't that just the way? You wait months for one bearded drag queen to show up, and then two arrive a week apart!
One week after schmoozing with Diana Fire I had the utter joy of chatting to Timberlina about living in Dalston in the 90s, how to cruise in the pre-internet days, and the perils of falling in love with a police officer.
Find out more about Timberlina and The Duke of Wellington pub in Islington, London on this week's episode of Lost Spaces.
Diana Fire is Portland's Daddy Bear Drag Queen, and is best known as a contestant in Season 2 of Camp Wannakiki. She first cut her teeth in drag bar Embers Avenue, which she performed at for the last few years of its existence up until late 2017.
We caught up to discuss bachelorette parties, stinky basements (and no, that's not a euphemism!), and the confusing, confusing world of drag families!
Find out more about Diana Fire at https://www.godianafire.com/
Gregory Douglass is a singer-songwriter, born and raised in rural Vermont. Though now based in Los Angeles, he still has a soft spot in his heart for 135 Pearl, the only gay bar in the state of Vermont which closed in 2006.
We talked breast reduction parties, making out in the men's bathroom, and sealing the deal with the love of your life.
Find out more about Gregory Douglass at www.gregorydouglass.com
Aww, student life! Staying out late, sleeping in, eating cereal for dinner, and.... handing out condoms to strangers in bars...
Or, at least, that was Venn Smyth's student life, after he started working for LGBT Youth Scotland on their sexual health project.
We caught up to discuss the difference between Scotland and England, how a femidom works, and what it was like being one of the only boys on the netball team!
Find out more about Venn at https://www.instagram.com/vennsmyth/
Drake Jensen is a Canadian country singer, who was born and grew up on the tiny Cape Breton Island, which is on the Eastern coast of Canada. After coming out, he moved to the nearby city of Moncton, where he discovered Triangles, the only gay bar in town.
We caught up to discuss the straight gentrification of queer bars, why leather is the butch version of drag, and growing up gay in a small town.
Find out more about Drake at www.drakejensen.ca
This week's episode is our first trip to the US!
Norman Brannon, musician and writer, was busy figuring himself out when he first stumbled upon Big Cup, a gay coffee shop that stood in Chelsea, Manhattan between 1994 - 2005...
I ask a bunch of awkward questions about life as a hare krishna rock star (who knew that was a thing?), and the rules of living life as a Straight Edge-r. We also talk about the thrill of being in your first queer venue, the changing face of New York and the importance of non-alcoholised spaces.
The London Lesbian & Gay Teenage Group, which started in 1975, was pretty damn revolutionary as one of the world's very first youth groups exclusively for queer kids.
Kevin O'Neill was a fresh faced 19 year old when he started going to the group, which at this stage was based in Manor Gardens in Islington, London. We caught up to talk about his coming out experience, his memories of the group, and some of the shenanigans he got up to with other members....
John Lee Bird is an artist/designer/musician and all around glorious human being. He is also one of the last people that I had imagined would have fond memories of Crash, a dance party held in South London from the 90s-00s (being a self-described 'pale awkward goth' type)!
I really enjoyed this interview, where John told me all about his time working as a barman during student life, avoiding the club's dark room, and whacking sweaty men with bags of ice!
Find out more about John at www.johnleebird.com
Though he only lived in London for a short while, author Colin Clews has fond memories of The Fallen Angel, a bar in Islington. Whilst desperately waiting for a visa to go to Australia, Colin volunteered at the newly formed Terrence Higgins Trust, and supported fundraising efforts of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and has a slew of stories from this time to share!
Find out more about Colin at https://www.gayinthe80s.com/
Her Upstairs was a kitschy drag and cabaret bar in Camden, London, which opened shortly after another nearby bar, the iconic Black Cap, closed in 2015, and filled a much needed gap for local queers. Though the bar was only open for two years, there was an uproar in the community when it abruptly closed in 2018.
I caught up with the self-proclaimed #queernuisance Dr J to talk about what the venue meant for them during a very tumultuous period of their life.
Expect lots of chat about drag, language, and how popping candy can be used to spice up your sex life!
More rambling (her words, not mine!) goodness from the one and only Princess Julia.
In this episode, which covers the mid-80s until now, we talk about her first steps in to the world of DJ-ing, the gothic movement, and Princess Julia ponders whether she was the world's first bio-queen! Taking in clubs such as The Embassy, Crash, Ghetto, and Kinky Gerlinky, there's sure to be a club you remember!
Princess Julia launched into her tales before I got a chance to even set the mic up, and so I hastily pointed one in her direction and let the conversation carry on! We went on a potted tour of queer venues in London from the late 70s until the 00s - so many conversations in so many directions that I’ve decided to make it a two-parter!
Find out about how queer punk was, where you could get the best spam supper, and ‘the twilight world of unhappy gays’!
Not all queer spaces are queer. Or, at least, exclusively queer...
In smaller towns and cities, where there isn't the population to support a full-time queer bar, straight bars can fill the gap by hosting themed nights weekly or monthly, providing a much needed opportunity for local queers to meet and interact...
I caught up with Darryl Bullock, author of 'David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music' to talk about Crackers, a bar in the south western English town of Gloucester, which held a weekly gay night on Mondays in the late 80s.
Tantrums, smashed items and picking strange men up in phone boxes… It's another episode of Lost Spaces!
Obscene badges, old-school game shows, and exploding butts were all things you could expect to see if you attended Shinky Shonky, a legendary club night in London in the 00s. I caught up with Boogaloo Stu, host/producer/DJ/you-name-it of the night to reminisce about it and The Polar Bear, a bar in Soho that hosted the event for the majority of its life.
What's the difference between regular drama and lesbian drama? What is the lesbian uniform? Which dodgy dance moves are guaranteed to woo the ladies? I found out the answer to these (and many other) questions when finding out about a little gem of a lesbian bar called 'Ace of Clubs', which ran for about a decade and was DJ Jo Bunny's stomping ground soon after she moved to London in the late 80s!
Spread over two floors, Trash Palace was THE drinking place of choice for alternative queers for a hot minute in the mid-00s, and is another of central London's disappearing bars (thanks largely to higher rents)...
I caught up with Quiet Choir to talk about the skills needed for flirting, the halcyon days of myspace and projectile vomiting down Charing Cross Road.
We are back to London this week, and visiting another venue that fell victim to the Crossrail development (a large scale construction project which saw a good chunk of central London demolished to make way for a high speed train line).
I had the delight of talking to Ali Brumfitt, a performance poet and all around charmer, about First Out Cafe, one of London's only daytime queer venues, which was open from the mid-80s up until 2011.
Brighton is generally accepted as the ‘queer capital’ of the UK, with an estimated 15% of all adults identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual, and a thriving queer scene. That’s part of the reason it was such a shock when lesbian bar, The Princess Victoria (otherwise known as The PV), closed its doors. I caught up with radio presenter (and founder of Brighton Gin!) Kathy Caton to discuss the beloved bar, her first days in Brighton, and getting kicked out for disorderly behaviour!
Queensland didn’t legalise homosexuality until 1991 (which kind of blows my mind when you think of Australia’s reputation for being an open and welcoming country). That, says dj and all-around-charmer Kurt Luthy, is what made going to The Terminus in the mid-80s such a thrill.
London’s heart broke when legendary drag bar ‘The Black Cap’ closed in 2015. I caught up with artist, music fan and dj Joe Pop to talk about his life as a ‘punk kid’, the ‘dignity in toast’ rule, and watching Pete Burns perform their heart to a bar full of bewildered patrons.
Ever fallen in love on the dance floor? That’s what happened to journalist and writer Charlotte Richardson Andrews at the legendary London club ‘Ghetto’. We caught up to discuss online dating, queer role models and falling asleep on the night bus home.
I had never heard of ‘Kudos’, which was an out-of-the-way pub in Charing Cross, London, but I loved hearing from sculptor Wilfrid Wood about his experiences there, and what the place meant to him whilst he was figuring out who he was and what he wanted from life. What I loved most about this conversation was how candid and up-front Wilfrid was… I’m sure you’ll enjoy his frankness too!
Who hasn't spent an evening stumbling out of The Joiners' Arms, which was once described as 'Britain's trendiest gay dive'? Due to its late night opening the bar had a reputation as a 'last chance saloon', and was often where people would head to instead of home when everything else had closed.
I spoke to Mark Walton - a fantastic poet, and founder of social enterprise Shared Assets - about some of his fondest memories of frequenting the bar after he moved to London in the mid-00s.