To keep thriving, queer communities have learned that health and contentment are rarely found at the bottom of a Blue WKD. That’s why here at QC we love people like Rein Lee Banks, a young artist at Kingston University, who has created London Queer Sober Spaces, a zine/map of safe alcohol free venues that every queer traveller should have on their trip to the city!

We met Rein at the Queer Britain Museum by chance when they asked us to take part in their survey for the project. We were really excited to find others who believe that sober spaces are a keystone to healthy, happy queer communities! So we wanted to hear a little about the project from Rein and share their work with y’all:

I am Rein Lee Banks, a young artist currently studying illustration and animation at Kingston University. My work is deeply influenced by my identity as a queer individual, which has led me to create ‘London Queer Sober Spaces.’ This project is a foldable zine designed to introduce newcomers to a variety of LGBTQ+ community spaces in London. 

The zine features a cover that doubles as a map, highlighting these welcoming meeting places. Inside, there’s an accordion-style booklet filled with anecdotes from visitors, youth workers, and volunteers, sharing their experiences within these spaces.

The purpose of ‘London Queer Sober Spaces’ is to address common concerns and uncertainties that first-time visitors to these centres might have. Much like the spaces featured, this zine aims to celebrate the importance of intersectionality, introducing alternative queer meeting grounds that would be accessible to a diverse range of people in need of support and a sense of belonging.

The zine is mostly based on anecdotes and personal stories I got from people during my interviews, detailing the type of help you can get, why it can be more accessible for others, and the brief history around it that needs to be cherished.

Words and Images Rein Lee Banks | Contact @rein_lee