Queers without beers: alcohol-free social spaces

Research around the experiences of bi, lesbian and gay people suggests around twice as many of us are binge drinking at least once or twice a week as the rate among straight people. The bar-focused queer scene seems a likely factor in this.

We caught up with Laura from Club Soda, a London LGBT social group consciously trying to break that link.

After a run of popular events earlier this year, Queers without Beers, London’s only queer dry social night, will be popping up on the first Thursday of every month in its own venue; Paper and Cup in Shoreditch.

It is a friendly social aimed at people from the LGBTQ+ community who would prefer to socialise without the added pressure of drinking.

Queers Without Beers started as a one-off event between Club Soda and London Friend to support their Sober Start fundraising campaign in January 2016. It has now grown and found a permanent ‘pop-up’ home in the Paper and Cup Shoreditch, as well as a new logo designed by designer Zed Gregory.

It came into being as many of our members are queer and they thought a separate meetup would not only be great for them as they change their relationship with alcohol but also good for the whole scene.
We have been quite taken aback by the response – especially from younger LGBTQ+ people, who like the rest of young people, are just not drinking as much.

As a result the age range, gender and sexuality mix is very mixed (which is really exciting).

Moving to our own venue means the range of drinks is wider (gay venues still have a long way to go) and there is more room to mix and socialise without being squeezed around one small table. The response has been really good and we hope this next event kicks off a new era.

Club Soda was set to support everyone to achieve their own goals around drinking whether it is to cut down, stop for a bit or quit but we are also queer run (actually we are both bisexual) – so it’s now surprise that many of our members identify as queer and that this event has found its way into our calendar. The LGBT community do drink a lot!

Thanks Laura!

Find them online at www.meetup.com/Queers-Without-Beers