Queers at Body Movements festival on what queer spaces mean to them

7 mins
04 Aug 2022
Queers at Body Movements festival on what queer spaces mean to them

We photographed some of the Hackney Wick event’s best outfits – pirate-slash-Avril Lavigne, upcycled army gear, and glitter

image Eoin Greally

words Jack Ramage

Self-expression and hedonism kiki in a safe space with banging tunes. Really, that encapsulates the spirit of London’s Body Movements Festival and the crowd that flocked to Hackney Wick last Saturday to celebrate and party with over 60 queer artists, DJs, and performers on the line-up. This queer chaos is a long time coming too, having been postponed for three years previously because of Covid.

Bodymovements is the brainchild of renowned DJ Saoirse Ryan and Clayton Wright, founder of the LGBTQAI+ collective Little Gay Brother. “There was no such thing as a festival, to such a large scale, which represented different queer identities, subcultures and genres altogether,” Saoirse tells Woo.

Advertisement
WOO_banner_BREATHE-v1.jpg

“There was a real lack of queerness in a lot of major festivals around the world. We wanted to pull together a really broad and diverse spectrum of the queer party and just have a really great party.”

‘Great’ would be an understatement. The day rave, which took place across a number of venues in Hackney Wick, ventured intimate sets from the likes of I.JORDAN, Peach, SHERELLE, Shy One – as well as countless more underground and established acts. Collectives like Pxssy Palace, Little Gay Brother, Inferno, Daytimers, and many more also lay down pumping sets which saw revellers party through the night.

Taking place in Hackney Wick, the industrial space became a glorious queer utopia for the day and evening with 16 spaces and stages. This festival felt like a true melting pot, a celebration of a community of unapologetically queer people in an environment where the utmost care is taken to make them feel safe, welcome, and loved. Body Movements partnered with trans-championing community group We Exist to open up more spaces for trans people and contribute to its trans healthcare fund.

We caught up with some Body Movements attendees to chat about the festival, the importance of queer spaces, and all things fashion.

KYLIE (SHE/HER)

image-309
Photography Eoin Greally

I just love gay events, straight events are not the vibe… I love to see so many people happy being themselves and just loving their lives – being unapologetically themselves.

We love Jungle Kitty [QPOC Afrobeats, Dancehall and House Party in Dalston] – we‘ve been to their events a lot, so we’re excited to see them and have a boogie.

For me, Body Movements means being free: loving life, doing whatever the fuck you want and just being queer as fuck.

The inspiration behind my outfit was the alien galactic, Kylie Minogue vibe. I got the main part of my outfit from Cyberdog and then I’ve had Buffalo London’s for ages – I’m 4ft 11 so I’m a short bitch. My sunglasses are from Amazon too… but fuck Amazon.

GEMMA THEY/THEM

image-310
Photography Eoin Greally

Queer people bring me to Body Movements. Lots of queer people: my mates, queer artists, queer performers – basically a lot of queer stuff in one place, which is quite rare.

Normally there’s a club night here or there, Big Dyke Energy [London party] or Bitch, Please [Bristol party] – they’re usually intermittent and it’s a very one vibe. It’s a very ‘let’s get bevved and have a really good time’ vibe, which I do agree with, but there’s also space for wandering around with your pals, not getting fucked, having a good chat and having fun.

You normally see queer people in very corporate and white-centric spaces, like Pride, which is just not what queerness is about. There’s also Trans Pride, which is less corporate but almost like a celebration and a protest in one. Body Movements is just fun – which in itself is a protest - queer people just having fun, just existing. It’s nice to just be.

My eyes weren't open to the expanse of outfits and expressions until I started looking at queer people. My chaps are sick and designed by Amy at Aimless Galery – all of their profits go to Mermaids, the charity for trans and gender diverse youth, which is fantastic.

The inspiration for the pattern was from the photographer Luke Gilford who went around a took photos of queer cowboys and made them into a book. The actual inspiration for wearing them, however, was just seeing other people wearing them.

ROW (SHE/THEM)

image-311
Photography Eoin Greally

Body Movements is about celebrating what makes our bodies unique. It’s also about community…

I think a lot of the way we overcome what we face on a daily basis is by being in a community – talking about each other's identities, outlets, and struggles. I think it has such a power to it. We have to make a continuous effort to do more things within our community, this is one of them.

Today, I’m going for pirate-slash-Avril Lavigne with my look.

JOSH (THEY/THEM)

image-312
Photography Eoin Greally

Honestly, some friends were coming and I just wanted to hang out! I’m new to the city so I wanted a chance to meet some new people.

Queer spaces feel like home. I never feel comfortable in straight spaces, even though they’re fun sometimes I don’t always feel safe. I don’t even know who I want to see. I’m just here for the folks, the people, that’s it!

MARCUS (THEY/THEM)

image-313
Photography Eoin Greally

I’m here because my partner is playing – I got in for free. I kind of just got my clothes on and came! I’m most looking forward to JREM.

Queer spaces mean a lot to me. They just feel easier when a lot of places don’t, you know?

My fashion inspiration today is getting cheap shiny things and putting them all on at once.

JAKE (HE/HIM)

image-314
Photography Eoin Greally

I’m here working for Noisey and to party! Also to soak up the vibes, it’s quite rare that you get all of the queers in one place at one time – it’s nice.

I’m a baby gay so this is all pretty new to me but queer spaces, for me so far, have been dead friendly and welcoming. It sounds cliche but it’s a place to explore and be more of myself. I grew up in a very heteronormative setting and went to a lot of straight, white house parties where I loved the tunes but didn't really connect.

Coming to a place like this, the people are better, the tunes are better and I just look around and think “ah, these are my people”.

Today I’m going for schoolboy chic. I’m loving the schoolboy look at the moment. I bought these M&S shorts the other day and I’ve been rinsing them all summer. I bought the badge from Waste – a little shop in Hackney which makes these wacky shirts and bits. I’m getting punk vibes from it, so I had to have it.

HONOR (SHE/‘WHATEVER REALLY’)

image-315
Photography Eoin Greally

I came here last year and I didn’t really know what it was going to be like – I was just astounded by the number of gay people. There are dykes in front and behind me, I just love it. I don’t really camp so being in a space where I can use my bed and have a shower, as well as experience a festival and meet so many gorgeous gay people.

As for my outfit, my jacket is a US army number I got for six dollars in New York and obviously, I have the Uniqlo white vest with an old APC bum bag because I always lose my shit. I just dyed my hair blonde so I want to be so beige I no longer have a physical form…

Queer spaces are safety, the experience of just being able to really let loose. It’s transcendent and gorgeous, and I love it.

more stories

keep reading