TQ’s joint editor Annette Pryce is in short, a little bit butch, she’s a little bit short as well, but we wont hold that against her. She took a look at the renowned lesbian+ club night Butch. Please! at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
There isn’t a woman who loves women on social media who hasn’t come across the Butch. Please! party nights at the RVT, and we have all drooled in anticipation of these nights on the calendar, most of the time my teaching load doesn’t allow me to venture down to the event as it’s midweek, but half term was here and I wanted to see what it was all about.
I wasn’t disappointed, there was none of that weird awkward tumbleweed when you walk in at the start of an event in a bar and you’re unfashionably early. As soon as the doors open there are hordes of women sweeping in to bag their favourite vantage point, being met by the friendly security for a friendly frisk, ooer, (seriously though this is a good idea), and incredibly smiley faces of the organisers.
Tabs Benjamin shared the story behind the concept, re-posted here with permission:
“Butch, Please! is a club night and celebration of butch, through music, art and performance. I started it because I felt that there weren’t any nights in London where I felt at home. I love that other butches, and lesbians of all ages, have also found a home at Butch, Please!” (Stem Magazine)
Very quickly the room becomes packed with all kinds of women, and every age demographic is represented. The players, the shy ones in the corner, the students, both femme and butch, and a sprinkling of men. The diversity of the crowd is singularly spectacular in a society where currently there’s a minority within the lesbian community trying to divide us.
I was genuinely surprised to have women just chat randomly to me , after all this is London is it not? But they did, and they even have a group who support women who turn up by themselves, which is amazing as it can be quite difficult to go to any event like this without a group of friends. A lesbian film is silently projected onto the screen behind the stage as people mingle, a night of music, spin the bottle, including at this event we had Orlando & Queer Boi Butch on stage as well as some awesome DJ’s makes this one of the ‘go to’ events in London for us in the LGBTQ+ community.
Tabs goes onto say that: “For me, intergenerational connection is a really important part of being butch” . I think this is incredibly important in todays LGBTQ+ scene in that where there are so few spaces left for women at all, the few that do exist are either run by men or overrun by 20 somethings, and while we don’t begrudge the younger generation their space, this event brings us back to the roots of our community in a way not seen for a decade or more. This night will not disappoint.
Butch, Please! runs every other month at the Vauxhall Tavern, with pop-ups and specials at The Glory and other venues across London, from 8pm to 2am.
Follow Annette on Twitter (@LGBTEXEC)