Features editor Andy Love provides a quick guide to the Quench LGBT+ section and the wider Cardiff LGBT+ community, including the society, spots in town, and events.
Hello, everybody! Welcome to the first LGBT+ page of the year! We would like to take this opportunity to clarify what to expect from both this section and Cardiff University as your chosen place of study in regards to its LGBT+ policies. Quench is one of the few magazines in the country to actually run an LGBT+ section and, though a poltical like the rest of the magazine, it serves as an open forum for relevant debates, ideas and news content for its students. It is important to clarify that an LGBT+ section is not restrictive to the community itself. It would be very interesting to find out what other communities, genders and sexualities think of issues such as equal marriage, homophobia and the LGBT+ community: all issues that are so related to everyday media exposure. With that in mind, if you have a friend or a story that you think could be interesting, but you do not self identify as LGBT+, then don’t shy away. Articulate those ideas and help us make this a welcome space for suggestions, questions and debates.
But without further ado – HELLO FRESHERS.
Welcome to your first year at Cardiff University – are you feeling a bit lost and not sure of where to go? Well, Cardiff University has an amazing LGBT+ society and community: one of the few that you can join free of charge and that will help you to get on down with some interesting and friendly socials for everyone. For example, did you know that Cardiff hosts the big Iris Prize Festival? A four day event showcasing the best LGBT+ themed films! It is a brilliant event and a welcome break from the standard, alcohol-fuelled night out.
Before we jump on the societies, let’s get to know Cardiff’s LGBT+ Scene. Most places in Cardiff are LGBT+ friendly and you can have a great time in most clubs. However, it is down in Churchill way and Charles Street where you will be able to find most of its venues. On Churchill Road you can easily spot WOW – a well illuminated place where you can watch drag shows and take part in friendly competitions and fun events like karaoke. They also offer food during the daytime and it’s an ideal place for a light snack. Next to WOW, you can find KINGS – an upbeat pub with a small dance floor and an entertaining environment. Drinks correlate with the standard student budget, especially early on in the night. Top tip: Use Kings as a pre-drinks venue before ‘big nights out’. Finally, we have Pulse – directly opposite WOW and Kings – and the chosen venue for ‘big nights out’ for most of the LGBT+ community.
Pulse is not expensive (drinks are quite easy on the wallet too) and it has a good young vibe to it. The music here is always loud, with the usual pop charts playing throughout the night. Pulse also offers food, operating as a regular pub during the day (the upstairs area) – so pop in if you’re ever in need of a quick grub-stop with mates. On Charles Street you can spot Bar Icon with its big blue sign – an alternatively decorated place with loud music and videos. Drinks and cocktails here are generally affordable and it’s a good place to go if you want somewhere fairly chilled out (you will know what I mean when you have your first WOW outing). On this same road you can also spot Eagle – a “private club” for older men (the bears!). Another interesting spot is The Golden Cross at The Hayes – a classic looking pub with a pleasant environment. They hold events every now and then too, which always prove popular. There is also Pride and the Cardiff Mardi Gras around August/September: an event not to be missed during your time in Cardiff. It has a fantastic atmosphere and is home to a lot of partying. Another interesting event and one that happens at the end of every month is “Attract” Cardiff – bolstered with the presence of Cardiff’s Mr. Gay UK 2011, Samuel Kneen. The event is advertised as a ‘upmarket’ gay night for people in Cardiff, so there is a dress code of ‘smart casual’. The event usually happens at Crystal Boutique Nightclub in the centre of town which is a fairly trendy venue.
If you’re not into pop music and the mainstream scene, then don’t worry – Cardiff has a place for you, too! Every month stay tuned for Hell’s Bent, Cardiff’s monthly alternative night. It can sometimes get really busy later in the night and the venue changes quite often, so do a bit of research in advance if you’re interested. It is definitely my favourite night in Cardiff and where you can get the opportunity to meet a lot of different people. Are you into Sports? WOW sponsors a gay friendly Football team: The Cardiff Dragons FC so make sure to get in touch with them. They are always on the look out for new people to train with.
Now, back to the Society. It has quite a few diversified members which means there is space for everyone: geeks, jocks, preps – we all get along here! It is really easy to start getting to know everyone. Do not shy away after a couple of socials, as it helps to see each other more frequently to create a bond. Our society Facebook page currently has 502 members; a combination of present and past Cardiff University students. This is the place to go if you are looking to share something interesting you found online, want to gather some people for a social event or find out what’s happening that week.
Society events are designed to be lighthearted and enjoyable. Above all, they give you the opportunity to meet society members which will be invaluable on those sunny days when you have a group of people you can go to the park and chill with, so make sure to check out our next event details at the bottom of this page. Should you have any concerns or issues – you can find the Cardiff University LGBT+ Society on Facebook, or check online on the website: http://www.cardifflgbtplus.co.uk/