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LGBTQ+ Sheffield: Welcoming students back with an October events round-up

It’s that time of year when the Steel City gets nice and busy again, as we welcome the return of our resident student population. Whether you are new to the city or returning to your term-time home for studies, here’s an overview of what Sheffield’s LGBTQ+ has to offer by our columnist and blogger, Heather Paterson.

Both universities and Sheffield College have active LGBTQ+ student societies putting on a range of socials and events throughout the year. Head to your respective students’ union to see what’s coming up. If you are looking for the city’s queer venues, then head to the bottom of the Moor, where you will find Dempseys, Queer Junction and Spirit of Sheffield. There are also regular monthly nights down at Kelham Island at Piña and Yellow Arch Studios and a short journey away in S6 there are drag nights at Malin Bridge Inn. We have a host of pop-up events taking place across the city with queer art and drag from Andro and Eve and our own drag groups Funky Beavers (drag queens) and The Full Montys (drag kings). The Leadmill nightclub also hosts regular drag nights with most of RuPaul’s alumni having sashayed their runway at some point.

There is regular queer film and theatre to enjoy at Showroom Cinema and Theatre Deli. Sheffield is very much a festival city and you can usually find a good amount of queer content in our annual events Doc/Fest, Festival of Debate, Off The Shelf and others. We also usually have an annual pride festival each summer, which hopefully is due to return in 2022 following two years off due to Covid.

Sheffield’s ‘scene’ on first glance may not seem as big as some other cities in terms of gay villages/areas, but we have lots of pop-up DIY, community-led events which feels a lot more Sheffield. It can sometimes be more difficult to hunt out what’s happening, so check this here LGBTQ+ column in Exposed every month to see what’s coming up or head to for up to date listings.

In addition to the official LGBTQ+ events, we also have a number of very queer-friendly nights and venues, including Rutland Arms next to Hallam Union, Nightowls at Sidney and Matilda and house night CuckooBox. So, here’s a big friendly welcome to you all – and happy exploring!

What’s On

It’s October already and we all know what that means – spooky season! So dust off your broomsticks and get ready to celebrate Halloween AKA Gay Christmas.

First up, following the success of their launch event, we see the return of PSSY Culture promoting female, non-binary and queer artists at Yellow Arch Studios (Sat 23 Oct) with spooky tunes, fancy dress and a night full of fun. Also helping make Kelham Island a little queerer, we have new monthly night Piña is Burning (Fri 29 Oct) – a big queer disco with music dedicated to all things funky, big gay disco beats and ballroom vibes. And for one night only we have the Club Xes reunion (Sat 2 Oct) taking place at Red Lion, bringing back staff and regulars from what was a staple of Sheffield’s LGBT+ scene until it’s closure 12 years ago – with original DJ Baby D back behind the decks. All three events will also be raising money for Sheffield’s LGBTQ+ youth charity, SAYiT.

There are more spooky season celebrations at Malin Bridge Inn where Miss Tish Ewe and Electric Blue will be hosting their Halloween Drag Queen Bingo and show (Sat 23 Oct) with four games of bonkers bingo with hundreds of pounds worth of prizes, Halloween audience games, cabaret show and comedy. And over at Hillsborough Arena, Funky Beavers Emma Maezin, Ditzy O’Darlin, Vivian Twist and Miss Cleo present their HalloQueen! Show (Sat 20 Oct).

Elsewhere we have Spirit of Halloween at Spirit of Sheffield (Sat 30 Oct) hosted by Anna Kissed with a guest DJ slot from Katy B. Spirit will also be hosting a special drag race viewing party every Thursday for Season 3 of Drag Race UK, plus LGBT+ Sheffield’s Women’s Disco (Sat 9 Oct) and as Rainbow Blades (Sheffield United’s LGBTQ+ supporters club) partner venue will be hosting pre-match socials every home game throughout the season.

If you are a student, whether new or returning, Sheffield University are hosting a packed calendar of socials and events. Head to one of their weekly Friday Coffee Socials, starting on Fri 1 Oct, to meet other LGBT+ students in their private lounge in the SU and check out what they have coming up.

Last but by no means least, over the past year staying in was the new going out, so if you want an event you can join from the comfort of your own sofa, check out Andro and Eve’s Video Call Calamity (Wed 6 Oct) – an exciting new show by Zoyander Street and Dietrich Squinkifer. Video Call Calamity is an online interactive play about the awkwardness of video calls, and the scripts and protocols that we use to try to pass as ‘normal’. Audience members are invited (but not forced!) to take on the roles of two of the main characters, while the rest of the audience creates the script live, through voting and text chat. Expect some big feelings, uncomfortable silences, and unsolicited rants about queerness and neurodiversity.

That’s your lot for this month! Will catch you again in the November issue.

Until next time, love and rainbows…


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