Category is Books
For anyone who’s ever felt like queer representation in books is hard to find, this place is a dream come true. Opened in the Southside of Glasgow in 2018, the independent bookshop Category Is Books has an amazing collection of all things queer literature. Whether you’re after a novel, a comic book, or a small press zine, Category is Books has got you covered! They even have a selection of second hand books, the proceeds of which are donated to different LGBTQ+ charities. And don’t worry if you don’t know where to start, the wusband and wusband team Fin and Charlotte who run the bookshop, are always happy to help out with book recommendations. They also have a Pay-It-Forward Bookshop Solidarity scheme, so consider donating some money to that if you’ve got an extra dime.
Ushi’s Coffee Corner
Named after the owner’s own cat, newly opened Ushi’s Coffee Corner is a café, bar, and event space, located on West Regent Street in the City Center. Hosting events like workshops, movie nights and plays, Ushi’s coffee corner is the perfect place to just hang out, drink a cup of coffee, and take part in queer events. They are in the process of opening in a second location, so keep your eyes peeled for future filter coffee news!
Opened last summer, Bonjour is a profit-sharing workers co-op queer bar in the area east of the city center called Saltmarket. The co-op is clear with its priorities– it wants to create a safe space for the queer community, and particularly for Black, Brown, Trans and Non-Binary folks. Bonjour regularly hosts club nights, quizzes, and karaoke nights, but personally, I love just coming here on an odd Wednesday or Thursday when it’s a bit more quiet. With its checkerboard flooring, bright red walls, and polaroid photographs, this is one of the most iconic queer spaces in Glasgow.
Small Trans Library
The Small Trans Library is a library of over 400+ ‘trans-authorised’ books for loan, with branches in Dublin and Glasgow. Apart from lending books, they also run a grocery fund for trans people who are struggling, and they regularly organise reading groups, workshops, and events such as their weekly ‘trans dinner and a movie’. Their events are free to attend, and open to all trans people, but since it’s run by volunteers and supported by donations, please consider donating to them via their patreon (patreon.com/smalltranslibrglasgow) or paypal (@translibrgla).
Pink Peacock די ראָזעווע פּאַווע
Pink Peacock די ראָזעווע פּאַווע in Southside neighbourhood Govanhill, is a queer, anarchist, vegan, pay-what-you-can café and infoshop, and, as its owners have pointed out, it’s probably the only one of its kind in the whole world. The pink walls of the café are lined with art by queer and Jewish artists, and in addition to providing delicious vegan food, the café also runs a community fridge, has weekly ‘low sensory’ and ‘dog free’ days, and hosts lots of events. The café is alcohol-free and open late evenings, so it’s the perfect cozy place to hang out during the evenings if you’re not keen on pubs and bars.
Despite my hesitations to include Polo in this list, I figured it was worth a quick mention. The club has received some criticism regarding their bouncers, who regularly seem to turn people away on unclear and unjust grounds. Nothing is more annoying than getting ready for a night out just to arrive at the club and hearing the all too common ‘not tonight guys’. On Google Maps, Polo is described as a ‘Hetero-Friendly gay bar & club’, and honestly, I think it sums it up quite well. Although, I must admit, thanks to their free entry for students before 11pm, I spent quite a few nights there in first year. It’s nothing special, but it’s (usually) a good time. After all, they keep me happy with their never ending Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga tunes.
And finally, one of the best ways to get involved is through the GULGBTQ+. It is Glasgow University’s own LGBTQ+ society, and one of the biggest societies on campus. They run weekly coffee meetups with different groups, for instance, ‘Lesbian Coffee’, ‘Non-Binary Coffee’, ‘Postgraduate Coffee’ etc. They also host larger events such as film screenings and picnics. Clubs and societies are always a great way to take part in the university community, and where better way to start than here?
[Matilda Eker (she/her) @matildaeker]
Image credits [https://www.categoryisbooks.com/]