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Updated: Feb 7

Have you ever found yourself thinking - where the fuck are all the queer tradespeoples at? Well we have, because I don’t know about you but I’m tired of giving my money to businesses whose CEO’s say things like “I don’t know what women are complaining about, they basically have more rights than men now!” (they’ve definitely read Elon Musk’s biography btw). 

Thankfully for us, Queer East had the genius idea to create an online business directory for queer-run businesses & freelancers, so you can all easily find and support each other- think of it as the gay yellow pages! It’s completely free to add your business to the directory, because  they believe everybody should have the opportunity to be showcased to their community, regardless of financial situation. 

This online directory is a space where queer professionals and residents in East London can connect with each other. It’s set to provide a safer environment for the community. What we mean by this is, queer individuals may feel more comfortable doing business with other queer people. For instance, if you’re looking for a DIY person, you may feel more comfortable welcoming a  queer DIYer  into your home, especially in situations where you could otherwise  feel vulnerable or unsafe. You may be apprehensive of a cis straight man entering your space - in the fear of  inappropriate comments because he doesn’t understand queer-based etiquette (perhaps he continuously misgenders you etc). There are endless reasons a queer directory helps support a safe community. Here’s a few more:

  • Shared Understanding and Empathy: Queer people often share common experiences, struggles, and challenges related to their identity. This shared understanding can foster empathy and trust between queer individuals. They may feel that other queer people are more likely to understand their concerns and boundaries, especially in sensitive situations like invasion of privacy or discrimination.

  • Safety and Security: Given the prevalence of discrimination and violence against queer individuals, particularly trans and gender-nonconforming people, there may be a heightened sense of vulnerability when allowing strangers into their homes. Queer individuals may feel safer and more secure with someone who shares their identity, as there is an implicit understanding of the potential risks and the need for safety measures.

  • Cultural Sensitivity and Respect: Queer people may have specific cultural norms, practices, or ways of living that they feel more comfortable sharing with others who understand and respect their identity. Inviting another queer person into their home can ensure that their space is treated with sensitivity and respect, without the fear of judgment or discrimination based on their identity.

  • Community Support: Building a sense of community and solidarity within the queer community is important for many individuals. Inviting other queer people into their homes can be a way to strengthen bonds, provide support, and create a safe space where they can be themselves without fear of prejudice or discrimination.

  • Boundary Enforcement: In situations where a straight person may enter a queer person's home inappropriately or disrespectfully, having a queer person present can serve as a form of boundary enforcement. The presence of someone who understands the importance of consent, respect, and personal space can help mitigate potential harm and provide support to the queer individual.

Overall, the decision to let other queer people into their homes may stem from a desire for safety, understanding, and support within the queer community, especially in situations where they may feel vulnerable or threatened by the actions of others.

The directory is a perfect foundation for this!  Especially for artists, photographers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, tradespeople and visionaries. It will be launching this month but you can send in your application to be a part of it right now! You can send in an application here.

Speaking of queer-run businesses, if you are searching for a place to work from where you can be surrounded by like-minded, queer people, Queer East offers a co-working hub to the East London community. For a very affordable price, you can rent out one of their private offices, 8 hotdesks, a creative studio (perfect for photography) and even a barber’s chair for the hairdressers among us! Click here for more information on CoWorking at Queer East.

What’s clear from all of this, their goal is to create spaces for queer people to exist in a safe, diverse and inclusive place - whether that’s on a dancefloor, behind a desk, or even in your own home, they’ve got you!

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