FOTJA in The Metro: On EastEnders’ New Gay Bar

Published today on the website of everyone’s favourite free morning paper, this amazing article by FOTJA members Olimpia, Isabella and Dan discusses the recent announcement that Albert Square will be featuring its first gay bar and places it in the context of the struggle currently facing London’s real-life queer venues. They mention our long running campaign to highlight the reality of the obstacles that our community’s nightlife is facing.

We at Friends of the Joiners Arms (FOTJA) welcome Kate Oates’ news. For the last four years we have fought to protect queer spaces and have successfully won planning protections for our infamous Hackney Road venue on historic grounds. If they are essential for our communities’ wellbeing, venues shouldn’t just be taken up by property developers. We are now working to bring the replacement venue into community ownership, where it belongs.

EastEnders has never shied away from tackling difficult issues and we hope this will provide a platform for exploring some of the challenges faced by our community, as well as celebrating our full spectrum.

We wish all the best to this most recent addition to the East End’s queer scene, and hope that FOTJA can join them as venue operators soon!

Read the whole article at


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