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La Camionera: Hackney’s first trans-inclusive lesbian bar

A queer power couple have launched La Camionera: a vibrant, trans-inclusive lesbian bar and café in Hackney.

It will be the first of its kind, setting itself apart from the well-established SheBar and SheSoho, as not just a place to party but a place where queer members can together for coffee, brunch and support other queer artists in the community.

Co-founders Alex Loveless and Clara have publicly crowd-funded £50,000 to open the bar. La Camionera will open its doors later this March and is still accepting donations.

Alex said: “Every donation means the world to us, it’s just a total dream to see people supporting us the way they have, it was a real team effort, we couldn’t have done it without our community.

“It’s just nice to get a career out of this and further that it was a dream come true. I never intended to open the bar as any kind of political statement, all my friends are butch lesbians and I just wanted to create a space for them to come hang out.”

Queer activist Emma Jackson, from Safe Space, commented: ‘We are thrilled at the opening of this new space.

“Queer spaces are a lifeline for many, especially those that are trans-inclusive due to the unfortunate upheaval of transphobia in today’s world.”

The bar, itself, has been described by Alex as “a queer space with actual taste”.

The bar hosted a one-night extravaganza on 16 February to prelude its opening and it took the queer scene by storm.

An estimated 500 lesbians flocked to Broadway Market for a curated drinks menu including Vermouth, Negronis and natural wine by the bottle.

Drinks were chased by Spanish olives, cornichons, and pickled chilis. The atmosphere was thick with sapphic sex appeal accompanied by intimate Spanish guitar solos.

It may be London’s sexiest new spot for Sapphic lovers, but any self-respecting foodie will be taking note of La Camionera.

Alex, the mastermind behind La Camionera, said the inspiration for the bar came from the infamous queer TV show the L Word’s ‘The Planet.’

The 90s drama is set around a group of lesbian and bisexual women’s lives in downtown LA, the main congregation point being the café/bar The Planet.

Much like the Planet, Alex wants it to be a place for queer friends to come meet up, gossip, discuss their exes and rival each other for top tables in the lesbian pecking order.

He directly referred to himself as London’s version Marianna, season one’s Planet manager.

This new lesbian bar comes at a time when a record number of gay spaces have closed more recently The Glory in Haggerston and Soho’s G-A-Y Late.

According to data from the Greater London Authority, the number of queer bars that closed between 2006 and 2022 decreased from 125 to 50.

In such a time of queer space removal and shortage, La Camionera couldn’t come at a more desperate time as a shining beacon for women-loving-women.

Alex made it clear that he never wanted to be the centre of attention and just wanted the bar to speak for itself.

When asking him if he had any statements he wanted to make about the bar’s solidarity with queer and trans community he said that he wants the bars line up, events and programming to speak for itself.

Alex added: “It’s more about doing than saying.”

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