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At queer bars and venues, I've found unbridled joy

By Ella Braidwood

13 Jun 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

In this personal piece, Ella Braidwood describes the joy and safety she experiences in LGBTQ+ spaces.

A lot of LGBTQ people will be able to tell you about their first trip inside a gay bar. Mine? I was 17, and was snuck into a club called Outrageous, in Carlisle, northern England, by the lesbians on my football team.

The interior was as its name suggested. The window frames were a garish pink; they played Rihanna's "S&M" every time I went; and off to one side, there was a model horse - taken from an old-fashioned carousel - that people would sit on and take photos of themselves. The club nicknamed the horse "Randy."

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