Club Night For Butches & Beyond: An Exclusive Interview With Founder Of Butch, Please!

If you’re looking for a vibrant and inclusive nightlife experience in London, look no further than Butch, Please! Founded by Tabs Benjamin, a passionate advocate for the lesbian community, Butch, Please! has become a staple in the London LGBTQ+ scene.

We’re gonna delve into the inspiration behind Butch, Please!, its contributions to the visibility and inclusivity of the lesbian, non-binary and trans community, and its recent move to the iconic Clapham Grand venue. We also have an article on London’s best club nights for queer women and non-binary people. You’re welcome.

Image of one of Butch, Please!'s events. Depicts crowd of people having fun, dancing.

The Birth of Butch, Please!

Butch, Please! was born out of a deeply personal longing for a space where butch lesbians could truly feel at home. Tabs Benjamin, a butch lesbian herself, recognised the lack of representation and inclusivity within the lesbian community in London. With a burning desire to create a night she would enjoy, Tabs embarked on a mission to establish Butch, Please! in 2015.

Image of founder of BP events, Tabs Benjamin.

“I started Butch, Please! 8 years ago because as a butch lesbian, I didn’t feel at home anywhere on the scene,” Tabs explains. “My only goal was to create the kind of night I’d like to go to – and it still is.”

The butch identity seems to be having a moment. “I think I’ve opened up a space within the scene where it’s cool to be butch again. As a cultural producer, I’m really proud of the people who’ve been inspired by Butch, Please! to create and continue the story of our community,” says Tabs.

Nights are themed, often with a nod to queer history. One evening there was a handkerchief code: a discreet way of signalling sexual orientation used by gay men in the 70s who would stuff coloured handkerchiefs in their back pockets.

The Butch, Please! Scene

Butch, Please! is more than just a club night. It is a community-building platform that celebrates the diverse identities within the lesbian community. From butches and femmes to non-binary and transgender individuals, Butch, Please! embraces and uplifts all members of the community.

Tabs emphasises the importance of inclusivity within Butch, Please!, stating, “Being inclusive is easy when you understand that our community is diverse and fabulous. There are historical and global roots to the connections that we have to each other. I create a space where butches, lesbians, trans and non-binary people’s unique identities are celebrated in a way which acknowledges and builds on those connections and understandings.”

Tabs takes pride in the fact that Butch, Please! has reinvigorated the celebration of “butchness” within the scene, creating a space where it’s cool to be butch again. By creating a space that acknowledges and builds upon these unique identities, Butch, Please! ensures that everyone feels valued and represented.

Tabs emphasised that “Butch, Please! has always been a super friendly night out. Our mantra has always been ‘wear what you like, be nice, have a good time’. It means that we have a really diverse crowd that aren’t afraid to chat and make connections with each other IRL. It’s always been the kind of space where people can come on their own and walk away with a community.”

The event provides a space where people can authentically express themselves, whether through their fashion choices, dance moves, or connections with fellow queer women. Butch, Please! has become a place where individuals can find themselves and their people, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Image of people dancing at Butch, Please! events.

Showcasing Lesbian-Owned Businesses and Artists

Supporting lesbian-owned businesses and artists is a core value of Butch, Please! Tabs wanted to showcase “that a butch lesbian could run a mission-driven, sustainable business that provides a platform for lesbian, trans, and non-binary artists of all kinds.” And hopes that “Butch, Please! inspires others to do the same.”

When it comes to selecting performers, speakers, and artists for Butch, Please! events, Tabs likes to try and “fuse the artistic with the political, with humour and with style and music.” Tabs adds, “Our community has always had a sideways look at the world and that’s what makes what we create different and innovative.” By curating a diverse and representative lineup, Butch, Please! ensures that attendees have the opportunity to engage with a wide range of talents and experiences.

Image of two people at BP events kissing. Both are wearing a baseball cap. It's in black and white.

Unforgettable Moments and Exciting Future

Over the years, Tabs has been part of numerous unforgettable events and moments that have left a lasting impact on her whilst running Butch, Please! From “riding a Harley Davidson into the venue for Dykes on Bikes to meeting KD Lang and a game of giant spin the bottle stand out.”

However, according to Tabs, the most remarkable aspect has been the incredible people they’ve met along the way – “individuals who have brought their love and energy to Butch, Please!

Of course, organising and running the events hasn’t been without its challenges. Tabs told us that she has faced scepticism and lack of recognition, telling us “People don’t take me seriously as a butch lesbian, as an artist and as a businesswoman both inside and outside of the scene. But I’m pretty good at ignoring that now. It takes confidence, extra self-belief and a thick skin.”

Looking ahead, Tabs Benjamin has exciting plans for the future of Butch, Please! The recent move to The Clapham Grand, Tabs told us “I’m so excited to move to the Clapham Grand. We’ll be there monthly 2 September, 14 October, 11 November and New Year’s Eve. We’ve grown so much over the last few years that it’s time for us to take up more space. It’s going to be the biggest party for lesbian, trans and non-binary people in the UK and the biggest party celebrating butches in the world!”

Image of group having fun at BP events. Red tone lighting.

Getting Involved with Butch, Please!

If you’re interested in joining the vibrant and inclusive world of Butch, Please!, it’s as simple as purchasing tickets for their upcoming events. Visit butchplease.co.uk to secure your spot on the dancefloor and be a part of this groundbreaking celebration of lesbian culture.

Get ready to dance, connect, and celebrate the diversity and resilience of the lesbian community in London. Join Butch, Please! and experience a night like no other – a night that embraces individuality, fosters community, and champions inclusion.

Crowd in BP events dancing and having fun at Clapham Grand. Someone in the middle cheering.

We’ll see you on the dancefloor,

Love, Team Nonchalant x

Feature images and article images credit to Henri T and Christa Holka.

Shannon Casey
Shannon Casey

Shannon is a passionate writer and recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of the Arts, London. With an unwavering dedication to intersectional feminism, she seeks to empower marginalised voices and promote inclusivity through her writing. Whilst aspiring to become a MILF in later life, Shannon’s current focus is on honing her skills as a writer and amplifying stories that shed light on the struggles and triumphs of diverse communities. Her love for storytelling and commitment to social justice fuel her desire to create meaningful content that sparks conversations and drives positive change. You can connect with Shannon on Instagram to join in on discussions about feminism, culture, and everything in between.

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