A two-week long festival of drag events, talking circles, cabaret and more kicks off this week!
Supported by Arts Council England, Genderland Festival will provide a space for members and allies of the queer community to dive head first into the gender spectrum, engaging with complex ideas of what it means to exist outside of ‘the binary’ (two gender system).
Rebecca Clarke, founding member of Mooncup Theatre and one of the festival’s organisers, said: “Genderland Festival is an opportunity for the queer community and allies to share and learn together in safe, creative spaces, exploring the gender landscape and unravelling the socially constructed ‘norms’ that have been thrust upon, and can harm, us all.
“So often in conversations about gender, I hear people say they’re worried to ask questions about gender for fear of getting it ‘wrong’.
“Genderland is also about allowing space for people to share thoughts, ideas, feelings about the complexities of gender, without fear of making mistakes, because knowing the right ‘terminology’ shouldn’t be a barrier to acceptance and growth.
“And it wouldn’t be Mooncup if we weren’t going to have a bit of anarchic fun with it too. Do watch out for our ‘drag promenade’ across the city and cabaret events and make sure you grab yourself a ticket…”
The festival is aimed at members of the LGBTQIA+ community, artists and allies but organisers are clear that everybody is welcome. Those who want to learn more about gender and how to be a good ally are encouraged to take part.
Isobel Balchin, founding member of Mooncup Theatre and one of the festival’s organisers, said: “We all experience gender, whether we realise it or not.
“However, there is a chasm of difference within our society around ideas of gender, with people that challenge the so-called ‘norm’ often suffering discrimination just for existing as their true selves.
“At a time when Liverpool’s queer community is still reeling from a series of hate crimes in recent months, we wanted to offer a platform so that the voices of those from marginalised groups can be heard and validated.
“Genderland is really about hearing from these different voices and sharing your own, to help each other navigate the worries, wonders and downright weirdness of our own gender identities.”
The festival programme includes talks on; ‘Genderation Z’, ‘Gender nonconformity in 19th C Britain’ and ‘Gender and Language’ and workshops including; ‘Gender Exploration’, ‘Talking about Gender through poetry’.
And why not don some sequins and discover your drag alter-ego with Mooncup Theatre’s very own Spice Boys in the much-awaited ‘Drag Workshop & Promenade’ – which will see festival-goers take to the city’s streets in full drag!
Festival-goers can also enjoy a cabaret evening and disco finale with DJ Campbell L Sangster.
Events will take place in locations across Liverpool, with the majority being held at Metal Liverpool.
View the festival line up and ticketing information on Mooncup Theatre’s website here: www.mooncuptheatre.org/genderlandfest
• Full Festival Pass – £45 (£40.conc) – available
from Sunday 19 September.
• Day Pass – £10-£15 (£8-£12.conc) – available
throughout, subject to availability. See events
below for individual day tickets.
• Gender Cabaret – £10
Organisers recommend booking a full festival pass if you plan on attending on two or more days (as individual days cost £10-15).
Concessions are available for students, pensioners and those on a low income or in receipt of benefits.