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If you’re looking for an amazing lesbian event or a bar other than SHE, the Dogs and Dykes event at Zodiac is the place to be in London.

They launched their first event in September and the latest one was on the 6th of October. First Friday of every month to be precise.

I’ve been both times and it truly deserves more lesbian attention. It not only feels like a party, but it also exposes you to a friendly and massive lesbian community in London.

The pink and purple lighting of the event to compliment the Pink Friday theme

I say lesbians because of the Dogs and Dykes event but actually, their events are for all non-binary people, trans and bisexual women as well…and straight women who are allies but I don’t see the point? Come for the vibes!

They call the event Dogs and Dykes but it’s also called Pink Friday. I understand because as I entered, I was enveloped by a flattering pink and purple layer of light. And when I looked around, I could see everyone coated the same way, with the prettiest smiles and a warm welcome.

There was something particularly wholesome about this event, I don’t know if anyone who’s been to SHE feels the same way but for me, it feels a bit like a girl group bar. Like a group of girls just go in for a fun night with their friends. And there’s fewer opportunities to actually talk to someone and make a connection.

However, at this event, it’s super easy to spark a conversation with someone and not feel isolated in any way.

When I went to their first ever Dogs and Dykes event in September, I walked into a stellar performance by a local drag queen singing her heart out to ‘Dancing Queen’, strutting through the dancefloor and holding out the mic for the audience to sing along.

There was also a Zodiac labelled photo booth set up to take pictures with the gorgeous drag queens, or with friends and partners. A classic banger playlist for everyone to groove and sing to, friendly bartenders who dance with you as they mix your drink.

Me with one of the drag queens who performed that night at the event’s photo booth

I wouldn’t suggest drinking too heavily at this event for the price. Definitely pre-drink if you’re not willing to spend fifteen quid for a double G&T. But a harmless pint for under seven quid isn’t too bad to feed into the mood. 

I met some lovely women at the first event, they were from different parts of the world and I got to learn a lot about their culture. Some of them also identified with my culture in India and spoke about the recipes they’ve mastered which quite frankly, I can’t even think of attempting.

And when I went the second time, the ambiance was quite similar to the first event. I sparked a conversation with a woman who is a pilot. I was mesmerised by her journey around the world and how London eventually became her home.

She introduced me to a few of her friends who are non-binary and we spoke about the evolution of LGBTQIA+ in London across generations. They were kind, soulful and wonderfully friendly. They knew the organisers of the event and introduced me to them as well. 

Hilly Pilkington, one of the organisers, spoke to me about how the idea of Dogs and Dykes came about. The music was loud so I couldn’t completely capture the entire story. But from I can dig into my ears and remember, they told me about a lesbian community where they go dog-walking occasionally. Eventually they figured hey, why not make an exclusive Dogs and Dykes event in London to create a safe and fun space for lesbians, bisexual women, trans women and non-binary people?

The organisers of the Dogs and Dykes event

We laughed about a silly comment I made about how I thought Dogs and Dykes meant lesbians dressed up as dogs. We exchanged numbers and they so kindly added me to their Whatsapp group with a multiverse of groups and communities. I realised this was a huge community of over 250 people actively making plans to meet for drinks/parties, dog-walking activities, mountain climbing and so much more!

It feels like such a live and let live group where newbies don’t feel like newbies, we were just meant to be in it all along and destined to cross paths.

It’s funny, I usually went to these events to find a significant other or a one night fling but opening myself up to acquaintances filled my heart more. This event truly made me look at life as a lesbian in a more dynamic way, rather than just a linear approach of a hopeless romantic in her late 20s.

Dogs and Dykes has shown me so much more to being a woman, a human being, and a soul that appreciates others. Who’ve also fought their way to reach this moment of celebration and completely embrace love in all of its definitions.

The vibes at the Dogs and Dykes event at Zodiac in London on the 6th of October.

If you’re in London and you’ve been looking for an event like this, this is definitely your calling and I’ll see at Zodiac on the 3rd of November for the next Dogs and Dykes event. 

Click HERE to purchase tickets on the OutSavvy app.

About the author

Adishri Chengappa

Former professional women’s cricketer from India, Adishri Chengappa came to the UK as a journalist student. She has now tuned into her talent as a writer and hopes to be a healer of the world through her words. Her recent experience with DIVA magazine helped her with her sexuality as a lesbian and found that writing for the community is part of her destiny. She’s had a spectrum of experiences as a cricketer, tennis player, content writer and a social worker. She uses her experiences to be a kind and supportive journalist to whoever she speaks to or writes about. Her stand out piece in recent times was her interview with Yorkshire folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow from the BBC show, Gentlemen Jack. Her vision is to connect with people from all over the world on a soulful level and write their stories and her own to spread the message of peace and love.

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