Skip to main content

Storyhouse Queer

A week celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community in Chester and beyond with film, performances, workshops and more!

What is Storyhouse Queer?

In 2023, we launched Storyhouse Queer as a brand new festival and invited people of all ages and identities to join us in celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and putting queer talent centre stage.

This year, Storyhouse Queer returned with an all new programme of specially curated events across our theatre, cinema, library and community spaces – celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community both in Chester and beyond.

Our annual festival will return in 2025 – keep an eye out for announcements later in the year as we reveal the next lineup of queer talent and speakers.

2024’s highlights…

Queenz: The Show with Balls!

Direct from their smash-hit run in London’s West End, these dazzling divas deliver a night of fun and fabulousness as they dance like Britney and sing like Whitney.

Get ready for jaw dropping LIVE vocals and a set list full of pop party anthems, you’ll be feeling fierce and fabulous before you know it!

★★★★★ – ‘Beautiful, fun & vital‘ – The Scotsman

★★★★★ – ‘One of the best shows I have ever seen!‘ – Gay Times

In the poster artwork for BI-TOPIA, a man plants a bisexual pride flag into a sand dune.

BI-TOPIA

A ‘hilarious, honest and raw’ coming-of-age story, exploring the highs and lows of the bisexual experience.

Join Sam; a self-confessed people-pleaser, in the war room as he embarks on his biggest mission yet. Shame is coming in from the west flank and gay thoughts are sailing in from the east…this is war!

★★★★½ – ‘Compelling story-telling delivered flawlessly…candid, powerful and gentle’ The Reviews Hub

Laugh Out Proud

Laugh Out Proud is a brand new LGBTQIA+ comedy night, featuring the best in established and upcoming acts from the community on the UK comedy circuit, giving acts and audiences alike a fun and friendly place to express themselves, kick back, have a laugh and enjoy an inclusive and welcoming comedy club environment.

Proud Marys & Friends

Join Chester’s LGBTQIA+ choir as they invite their friends from across the North West onto the Storyhouse stage to celebrate queer talent from across the community.

Expect a joyful afternoon of song and colour in a warm and friendly environment!

Barbie Kitchen Party

Barbie’s back, and this time she’s taking over Storyhouse – join us in The Kitchen for a pastel-pink party as 2023’s box-office smash hits our big screen as part of Storyhouse Queer.

Expect sequins, sparkles and a specially curated selection of cocktails and food to help you dance the night away – while our DJ plays pop party anthems until late!

Community events and more…

Storyhouse is home to local community groups and organisations who use our building as a place to meet, collaborate and socialise. Throughout the festival, local groups and organisations will be holding special events to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, including workshops, talks, socials and more.

Storyhouse Queer festival is held in partnership with Chester Pride – click here to find out more about the work they do to support the city’s LGBTQIA+ community.

FAQs

Who is Storyhouse Queer for?

Storyhouse Queer celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as its allies and supporters. If you feel like this festival and any of its events are for you, then please come along.

While everybody is welcome, we would kindly ask you to take a look at our Storyhouse Queer Code of Conduct below before your visit.

9.35% of people aged 16 years and over in Chester City & Garden Quarter are lesbian, gay, bisexual or other –  Storyhouse Queer festival is curated both for and by this community.

How can I get involved with the festival?

Storyhouse Queer is held in partnership with Chester Pride and co-curated with lots of local LGBTQIA+ groups and individuals. We want even more people to be involved!

Please join us at the festival, or get in touch. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas so that next year can be even more incredible.

Do you have any LGBTQIA+ events throughout the year?

Absolutely! Storyhouse is, and always will be, a safe space and a home for the community, whether that’s through our programmed shows, films and events, or through providing community spaces for local groups and organisations to meet, socialise and collaborate.

Keep an eye on our upcoming community events and to discover some of the groups and organisations that come together in Storyhouse.

What is the Storyhouse Queer Code of Conduct?

Storyhouse is for everyone.

In order for us to be able to come together to be creative, to celebrate ourselves and each other there are a few ground rules to ensure that everyone feels as welcome and comfortable as possible at all times.

  • Please treat everyone with dignity and respect and without prejudice toward any protected characteristic.
  • Please be respectful of and try not to make assumptions about the identities and experiences of performers, participants, and staff at the event, or any other visitors to the building.
  • Do not attend any event with the intention of sharing hateful or derogatory opinions, or engaging in behaviour that is likely to cause harm to others.
  • If you have any concerns please raise them with one of our volunteers or members of staff.
  • Anyone behaving in a way that doesn’t uphold these values will be asked to leave the event.
Why have you chosen the name 'Queer'?

We are aware that the term ‘queer’ has historically been used as a slur. However, it has now been widely reclaimed by the LGBTQIA+ community and is understood to now be one of the most inclusive ways that the community self-describe, reject specific labels and address intersectionality.

We have co-programmed this festival with people from the LGBTQIA+ community, of all ages and identities, and ran a series of drop ins for artists at Storyhouse to consult with the wider community about the programme and the festival’s name.

We use ‘Queer’ specifically as its a gender neutral term and covers a wide variety of sexual orientations and gender identities that are not exclusively heterosexual or cisgender. Queer isn’t a narrow definition, so it allows space for fluidity of identity and many people find it useful as a way of describing themselves without being too specific about their exact identity, either for reasons of comfort and safety or just because they are still exploring and learning about themselves.

We’re also not alone in our use of the word queer; both Shout Festival in Birmingham and Homotopia in Liverpool describe themselves as celebrating and platforming queer art and artists.

As per the LGBTQIA+ charity, Stonewall:

Queer is a term used by those wanting to reject specific labels of romantic orientation, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can also be a way of rejecting the perceived norms of the LGBT community (racism, sizeism, ableism etc). Although some LGBT people view the word as a slur, it was reclaimed in the late 80s by the queer community who have embraced it.

Events in this season

Event info for Chester LGBT+ Book Group
Free

Chester LGBT+ Book Group

Monthly
Event Info
Event info for Silver Rainbows
Free

Silver Rainbows

21 Feb–18 Dec 2024
Event Info
Event info for Close

Close - Chester Film Society Season 2023/2024

22 Feb 2024 • 7pm
Rating 12A
At Garret Theatre
Event Info & Tickets
Event info for Bottoms

Bottoms

28 Feb 2024 • 8:30pm
Rating 15
At Storyhouse Cinema
Event Info & Tickets