BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY WHAT SHE SAID
Founded by Róisín Murray in 2019, What She Said is the event platforming a safe space for Manchester’s LGBTQI women and non-binary people. Though Manchester is one of the LGBTQI capitals of the UK, at present, its Gay Village largely overlooks inclusive community spaces. What She Said seeks to change that, returning on 5 February to fulfill all those queer party needs.
Starting as a small-scale event held in a room above a pub, What She Said has expanded rapidly. Taking place at the Carlton Club in Whalley Range on 5 February, WSS is exploring fresh avenues. Featuring performances from Gina Breeze, Brett Denning and Midnight Cowboys, it’s set to be one hell of a party.
Founder Róisín states: “I grew up on Canal Street finding my true self in the late 90s/early 2000s. I fell in love with a girl for the first time and got my heart broken for the first time – and thousands of times more – on that street.
“Today there’s nowhere on that street I or any of my LGBTQI female or nonbinary friends can call our own. There are men-only bars, but the only bar for queer women hasn’t been exclusively for us for a very long time – and that’s not their fault; it’s how they survive on a street designed for men, run by men and where men go to meet other men.
“I’ve realised that women and nonbinary people are an after-thought on Canal Street and nobody is really talking about it, so I decided to do something about it and plan events that put women and non-binary people top of mind, featuring headline acts that look and love like us and who they will love to see live, in spaces they won’t feel threatened, out of place in, or too old for.
“What She Said is somewhere that women and non-binary people can go to meet new friends, new lovers and – let’s be honest – probably new exes. But unlike Canal Street’s men-only bars, we’re welcoming everyone within the LGBTQI community and beyond, as long as they respect of the nights’ main purpose and leave their egos at the door!”
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.