Her Upstairs || London LGBT Venues
The first word that always comes to mind when I think of Her Upstairs in Camden is the word 'safe'. It's swiftly become my happy place, despite the fact I've only been visiting for a little over a year. And truly what a year it has been.
Her Upstairs, for those not in the know, is a queer cabaret venue set in the heart of Camden. It is quite literally a stones throw from the Camden Town station (thank the gay gods for that one), and is easily spotted by the large pride flag that hangs outside, and the general aura of queer power that envelopes the building. Marvellous, right?
It's such a magical venue that even getting into the main bar area involves ascending a stairway (to heaven) decorated with flowers, vines, and quotes from various pop culture moments. If you've never been to Her Upstairs before, there is quite literally nothing like it, and I fell in love the moment I set foot on the stairs. I don't know if it was literal magic or just knowing that I had come home, but I for sure wasn't mad at it.
Decor aside (and what decor it is - did anyone say fake animals painted pink? Her Upstairs did), the thing that makes Her Upstairs so goddamn fabulous is the queer family it's home to. Hosting many drag evenings every single week, Her Upstairs is headed by the fantastical Meth. She's an established queen on the London scene, and what an incredible one she is. Dressed in a sequin gown, mashing Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' with Maggie Smith in Downton? Meth has done it. You can often find her strutting her stuff on the stage in Her Upstairs, or hosting Not Another Drag Competition. Much like that show, NADC has spring boarded many a drag performers career, and prides itself on being inclusive, having previously featured contestants of all genders and niches.
Meth isn't the only drag queen you'll find in the hallowed hall of Her Upstairs. You'll also find Meth's 'foster children' putting on various nights with various themes, and many other events like the Cocoa Butter Club for queer people of colour, and club nights like Bombshell downstairs in the sister club Them Downstairs. Performers that frequent Her Upstairs include Herr (madness personified but in the best way), Cheryl Hole (death drop extraordinaire), Ophelia Love (beautiful songbird), Tayce (came here to dance, came here to slay), Ruby Wednesday and Mynxie Monroe (stunning and slightly intimidating goth royalty, also fire), Flynn Rideher (the best name, the best king), Chiyo (will rip your heart out and then tread all over it), and many more. Jinx (better known as Glitch in drag) wrote a whole post about London drag if you'd like to know more. You can find that here.
That's Her Upstairs in a nutshell. A warm and welcoming cabaret venue lit by fairy lights and fuelled by booze, filled to the brim with queer campery and general shenanigans. I could not think of anything better if I tried.