Local initiative aims to create space for queer communities

Photo by Darien Funk

While KW seems to be lacking dedicated LGBTQ+ bar spaces, one initiative is looking to tackle that.

Dyke Bar Takeover KW, launched by Reba Joy, is an initiative that partners with local artists and venues to create pop-up events across the region. 

“Our mission at Dyke Bar Takeover KW is to create more regular spaces for queer womxn to find community, to feel safe and to feel empowered and [to] also just show support within the community,” Joy said. 

DBT-KW creates events for queer, cisgender and trans womxn, as well as non-binary folx who are comfortable in spaces that center around womxn. Allies are also welcome to attend these events.

“The first place that started this was a lovely group in New York and one of the reasons why they named it Dyke Bar Takeover is wanting to take back that word and make it a more positive and empowering word for our community, because there have been so many negative connotations with it,” Joy said.  

Before ultimately launching the initiative, Joy was already looking for spaces to connect with other LGBTQ+ womxn.

“I was really craving it before the pandemic happened, and looking for spaces I could go to and I just wasn’t finding enough consistently,” Joy said.

Joy said that when the DBT-KW was launched, they received many comments from people who were excited to join in and get involved. 

“It just really reemphasized how much our community was craving that.”

“So the goal there would be once a month, we partner with a different bar in the area—having an artist or activity involved, and also an LGBTQ+ artist involved — and raise funds for a queer charity,” Joy added. 

With this initiative being launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person events will be put on hold until it is safe to meet.

“Especially because we’re like a mingling business we want to really wait until it’s really safe to [hold events at bars],” Joy said. 

“Obviously we have no idea what that timeline is. So, we’re starting to do online events and I’m really excited for what we have coming up.” 

DBT-KW is holding their first event, a virtual trivia night, on Oct. 14. 

“All the questions are going to be queer focused. We’re having a fabulous host, Suzie Taka, who’s been involved in the community, advocating for the community, making people laugh through queer comedy nights and doing a lot of things over the years,” Joy said. 

They have upcoming collaborations with Comic Sans this November and with Good Company Productions in early 2021. 

When it comes to hosting in-person events in the future, DBT-KW is looking for accessible spaces (non-gendered washrooms and wheelchair friendly). They also offer artists paid work opportunities, and all funds raised go towards LGBTQ+ charities. 

“One thing we’re looking for is queer artists, BIPOC artists and business owners that we can support through our events, help advertise [and] get people excited about what they’re doing and make sure we’re lifting other people up too,” Joy said. 

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