How Local Zine Queer Notts Is Aiming to Shine a Light on Our City’s Vibrant LGBT+ Scene

Words: Lizzy O'Riordan
Photos: Jade Bramley
Friday 12 August 2022
reading time: min, words

With a surprisingly small amount of queer venues in Nottingham, it might be easy to believe that we don’t have a thriving LGBT+ scene. But according to one local zine creator, the Nottingham queer community is thriving and in desparate need of celebration. In light of this, we catch up with Jade Bramley, the creative behind Queer Notts, to chat the vibrancy of queer creatives and their latest zine based around the queer Nottingham music scene…


You’ve just released the second Queer Notts zine. Can you tell me about your inspiration?
Nottingham doesn’t have that many specifically generated queer venues, unlike other cities of a similar size, and because of that I feel like a lot of queer individuals and communities don’t get the shine or the spotlight that they deserve. The zine was actually my final project at uni where I created the first issue based around my group of friends and their house, they called it the Gay Goblin Garden and it was an event space that was really safe for everyone. So I thought they deserved a spotlight and then the zine has grown from there - but that’s really the point of it, to celebrate Nottingham’s queer community.

It’s great timing because the 150th issue of LeftLion is all about celebrating Nottingham. Why do you think it’s so important to celebrate queer voices? 
I think because we have so few spaces, lots of queer people move out of Nottingham onto bigger cities, which is such a shame because I think the community we have here is so special. Especially in the creative quarter, there is so much talent and it would be a shame if they all moved to cities with a focus on queer districts and venues because they didn’t feel valued here. So hopefully letting them know that Nottingham does appreciate the value they add to our culture will encourage them to stay. 

I think it’s inherently political to celebrate queer voices, when those voices have so long been sidelined…
There definitely is politics to it, and when stuff comes up I do include it. For example, in the next issue - which is about queer musicians - I try to include a bit of queer history where I talk about the homophobic response to the disco music in the seventies and eighties. Also, though anyone can read it, my zine really is intended for a queer audience. I’m making queer content for queer people to enjoy and that in itself is political, to target specifically queer people.

I’m making queer content for queer people to enjoy and that in itself is political

You mention that the second zine centres around music. How has the process of creating that been? 
It’s a little bit different because the first issue was focused on one group of friends, whereas this one is more looking at individuals across the Nottingham music scene. So, it was a lot more important to me to get a diverse pick of people; for example, there are bands, DJs and solo artists. There’s a huge range of talent and also identities in there and that was important for me, because I do think that you can unintentionally just reproduce what’s in your bubble which is the opposite of what this zine aims to do. 

That sounds amazing. Do you have any ideas for future issues yet? 
I haven’t contacted anyone yet but the next issue is going to be about alternative drag, and I think the one after that will be focused on queer football fans because that’s something I’m interested in learning more about. 

And finally, where can people pick up a copy?
You can go to Instagram and message me and then I’ll post one free of charge. But if you want to get it at a physical location, there are going to be copies behind the bar at Bodega, Rough Trade, JT Soar and the Contemporary. But there will be more locations pinned on my Instagram too!


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