Pin It
Estrid_HumanKind_Nadine Noor_1
Courtesy of Estrid

Pxssy Palace’s Nadine Noor on the importance of funding queer spaces

Razor brand Estrid is funding the QTIPOC collective as part of its new grant programme – and there is another £25K up for grabs

A rare example of a good pride campaign, this month razor brand Estrid announced it was launching the HumanKind Initiative – a £25,000 grant which will be awarded to someone from the LGBTQ+ community later this year. Exhausted, as we all are, of “love is love” slogans, ugly rainbow merch and 10 per cent donations, this grant is a refreshing example of how brands can put their money where their mouths are and actually make a difference. 

Open to the public, the grant will go to an individual or small organisation that is doing great work in the queer space already or that has a project they want to make a reality. Applications are open here. Alongside the money that is still up for grabs, as part of the initiative, Estrid has already funded the projects of three individual activists: Kenny Ethan Jones, Harnaam Kaur and Pxssy Palace’s Nadine Noor. 

Founded in 2015 by Noor and Skye Barr, Pxssy Palace is a club night that prioritises people of colour from marginalised genders and sexualities. Over the past seven years, Pxssy Palace has been doing vital work raising money for LGBTQ+ youth, helping trans femmes of colours stay safe, and enraging cis straight white men. They are truly an example to us all. 

Keeping a queer space open is hard, however. Thanks to gentrification, rising costs of living and operating, and lack of resources, the number of gay bars in London and the rest of the world has decreased dramatically in the last decade – just 21 lesbian bars remain open across America. Pxssy Palace will be using Estrid’s grant to help sustain their projects and expand the platform’s offering to QTIPOC individuals beyond the confines of a club night.

Here we caught up with Noor about the future of Pxssy Palace, supporting queer spaces and their upcoming festival, Overflo.

Why did you want to be a part of the HumanKind Initiative? 

Nadine Noor: It’s a great opportunity to support my business and to allow others to fund their dream idea or project. Brands continually want to ‘represent’ marginalised communities without recognising that those communities need continued support beyond a campaign, so it's good to see Estrid prioritising this.

How will this money help Pxssy Palace? 

Nadine Noor: We recently won a government grant to hire a social media person but it was taken away just as we were ready to hire someone. We had a lot of right-wing media attention at the time who were criticising our prices in which straight men have to pay a premium if they want to come to an event. The grant’s head office was offended by this and didn’t believe it would be an ‘appropriate’ place for a young person to work. 

The HumanKind grant will be going towards hiring the social media person, which we have really needed, as well as some training for the team and consultancy to keep us sustainable.

How did the lockdown affect Pxssy Palace?

Nadine Noor: On the one hand it was hard because it was a lifeline for the people who work in clubs and the guests who need the space to feel like they can be themselves, however we needed the break and it provided some time for me to think about what Pxssy Palace needed and how I could make sure it continued the legacy. 

How has Pxssy Palace evolved since it was founded? What is the dream for the future?  

Nadine Noor: It was once a house party that has grown into a huge party that people are inspired by worldwide and has set a standard for how people should be treating their guests. I could never have predicted that my love for raving would turn into my full-time job. In the future I would love a space to call our own, there is a shortage of spaces due to gentrification and we have been losing queer-friendly venues so creating a space just for us is important.

You have your first festival Overflo coming up in September. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Nadine Noor: Omg yes so exciting! We have made such an impact in the club world and believe we can do the same within the festival circuit. Line ups and organisers are still overwhelmingly straight, white men and our community still do not have a lot of access to events that happen during the day, where they feel they can be themselves. So we’re really happy to provide this. 

We’ll be offering a sick line up across two stages featuring names such as Young MA, Amaria BB, BBYMUTHA, LSDXOXO, NAYANA IZ as well as art installations, workshops, recovery zones and a queer marketplace. We want it to be a festival that you could still have a great time at even if you weren’t going for the music.

Brands are often criticised for performative statements around LGBTQ+ solidarity, particularly during Pride. How can they do better? 

Nadine Noor: I always think if you are asking LGBTQ+ people to buy your product then you need to look at what you are doing to make sure they feel included in the product - are they represented behind the campaign as well as in front, do you see them in the office and post production, what struggles do your customers face and can you make a commitment to actually support them as your business becomes more successful off the back of your perceived support?

Why is it so important to support and save queer spaces?

Nadine Noor: If you look back at history, you see that queer people have created so much that has benefited the rest of society. Queer black men and trans women within disco, house, techno and vogue, as well as social issues such as Pride itself. If you support the most marginalised it benefits the rest of society. I could say this for Pxssy Palace too, it looks like we are thriving on the outside but it's still a struggle and very fragile, and I think that’s upsetting considering how many people have been inspired by us and adopted our ethos worldwide.