Queer District Collective

Current stage: Being supported

Please support this project

Collaborators

  • Farley’s Food Co-op
  • Take a Part
  • BigUps Signs & Graphics
  • LOCI Collective
  • Minerva Clothing & Cafe
  • The Swallow
  • Gossip 
  • OMG
Describe your aims and ideas
 
– Plymouth’s queer scene continues to develop, with the introduction of Drag events, queer theatre-making, and more recently with the establishment of a central queer district, home to Plymouth’s leading LGBTQIA+ venues.

– We would like to harness queer and ally people-power to help with the development of Bretonside as Plymouth’s queer district, and explore how this is complemented by city wide activity.

– There were 6,363 reports of hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2014-15, the year same-sex weddings became legal in the UK, compared to 19,679 in 2020-21 – a total increase of 210 per cent.

For reports of transphobic hate crimes, there were 598 in 2014-15 and 2,588 in 2020-21, representing a rise of 332 per cent.

Only ten out of the 45 UK police forces recorded a decrease in hate crime, and the vast majority of those who provided data had seen a year-on-year rise in hate crime reports since 2014.

Among them were Liverpool’s Merseyside Police, which has been battling a wave of homophobic attacks in the city this year. Back in 2014-2015 the hate crime reports numbered just 64; in 2020-21 this figure soared to 834.

[Source: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/10/11/hate-crime-rise-transphobic-homophobic/]

– Anecdotally, members of the queer community have experienced abuse and violence within queer spaces in Plymouth in recent years. We believe that this can be traced, in part, to a lack of community cohesion and visibility for queer people.

– To bring down and irradicate instances of abuse and violence against the queer community, a community wide celebratory approach is instrumental – hence the establishment of the Queer District Collective (QDC).
 
Describe how will you work together to achieve this.
 
– As Public Realm Producer for community engagement CIO, Take A Part (TAP), Rhys Morgan has a wealth of experience in overseeing the setting up of community groups; helping them to develop strategies for development and delivery of projects and fundraising. Within his own artistic practice Rhys has worked extensively with members of the queer community on issues surrounding visibility and public perception.

– As a key business owner in the area, running food cooperative Farleys, Josh Puleston has a vital role in linking up the local community, the queer community and other local businesses. This will be fundamental in starting to effect changes in attitudes towards members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Josh is also a trustee for Take A Part, with a sole focus on the queer district.

– Minerva, Lo-Ci, Farleys, and TAP have already have a track record of working collaboratively, with the introduction of the monthly pop up exhibition First Thursday, celebrating the work of queer people and their allies.

– Farleys have already started building positive relationships with the queer spaces on Bretonside, with management from Gossip, The Swallow, North Street Cafe (Cafe Kiss) and OMG already on board, or interested to know more.

– Queer District Collective will be an action group accessible through membership of Farleys Food Co-op, with an aim for the collective to become its own multi-stakeholder co-operative.
 
During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?
 
How would it be best to engage them and their community with the queer district?

Which organisations – that are not overtly queer or queer friendly – should be engaged throughout the process?

Please follow us on Instagram to be kept up to date.

@queerdistrictcollective