As a heterosexual woman, I saw the event as the opportunity to learn more ways that I can support a community that I’m an ally to, whilst continuing to educate myself on LGBTQIA+ experiences today.
I spent the day with my new blogger friend Chloe, who had travelled down from Brum for the event, and after hours of exploring Soho and Camden, we headed to Her Upstairs.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the loveliest bouncer I’ve ever met, followed by a member of the wonderful SkinnyDip team. We made our way to the SkinnyDip-only room to find ourselves surrounded by gorgeous SkinnyDip-style decor, plenty of delicious treats, and a roomful of good vibes.
The bar was (incredibly generously) filled with complimentary Prosecco, fresh pizza and the best dessert ever – shot glasses of cookie dough topped with sprinkles by Naked Dough. I’ve followed them on Twitter for a while so I’m so glad I finally got to taste their products! I’m going to be thinking about those for a long time.
After mingling, snacking and Instagramming, we made our way to our seats to find a gorgeous little goodiebag filled with SkinnyDip products and more!
Before we knew it, the discussion began! Hosted by drag queen extraordinaire Crayola, the panel was made up of award-winning influencer and LGBTQIA+ writer and blogger, Lottie L’Amour; Editor in Chief of award-winning LGBT+ magazine FRUITCAKE, Jamie; Youth Engagement Officer for The Albert Kennedy Trust, Zoe; and out-of-drag drag queen Ophelia Love.
SkinnyDip created a warm and welcoming safespace, which meant for a wonderful discussion. The evening was centred around coming out as part of the LGBTQIA+ community in the 21st century, along with its simultaneous importance and, sadly, often difficult experiences. This gave us the opportunity to hear each panel member’s coming out story, both internally and externally. I learned so, so much which is exactly what I’d hoped for. As a straight person, I’d never considered the fact that coming out to yourself is part of the journey before coming out to others, for example. It was incredibly moving and is incredibly important to be able to hear from people who have to go through so, so much just to be themselves.
I am so moved not only by how open and honest the panel were about who they are, but also the way in which they taught us that there is literally no need to ever put yourself in a box. You’re just you, and that’s simply wonderful.
It always overwhelms me just how sweet the SkinnyDip team is – they make every single attendee feel so safe, welcome and supported, making sure to welcome us personally to each event and offer every refreshment and goodiebag there is.
I know that when I’m going to an event held by SkinnyDip I’m going to have a wonderful time with wonderful people (team, panel and fellow attendees).
Thank you so much to Crayola, Lottie, Jamie, Zoe and Ophelia for such a moving and intimate discussion, and thank you to SkinnyDip for running another fantastic evening. I can’t quite get my head around how generous this brand is and I’m so, so grateful and appreciative of the love and thought that went into every single element of I’m Coming Out by the SkinnyDip team and the incredible panel.
If you can, I would absolutely love for you to donate to Stonewall UK. No member of the LGBTQIA+ community deserves to be left homeless for having the courage to share who they are with the world.