Our Story

We've come along way from our humble beginnings as a pop-up store just a few years ago. Here's just a quick snapshot of our history so far.

June 2021

The pop-up store

The Queer Emporium was founded as a pop-up in Royal Arcade, Cardiff for Pride Month. The idea was to bring individual LGBTQI+ market stalls into a single space.

The venture came about after Yan (CEO) and his partner, Dan, ran market stalls during the COVID-19 lockdown for their queer social enterprises.

June also saw us host our first ever event: 'Drag in the Arcades' featuring local legend Victoria Scone and Jolene Dover.

Buy our first posters

July 2021

We're not going anywhere!

The pop-up was a huge success, generating wide-spread attention from the community and media alike. We decided to take on the space in Morgan Quarter for the long-term.

In July, we also hosted our first ever LGBTQI+ stand-up comedy event 'Howl! in the Arcades' as well as a night of vogue with The Welsh Ballroom community.

View our events

August 2021

Brunch anyone?

Our first Bottomless Brunch - hosted by Polly Amorous & friends on Cardiff Pride Weekend. The brunch formed part of the Coming Together project, a partnership between other Queer venues in the capital in aid of the celebrations.

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September 2021

Draglings

In September, we launched Draglings - an evening of performance dedicated to new and upcoming Queer talent.

The acts perform alongside experienced artists - our first experts being local talent Rahim El Habachi and Polly Amorous.

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October 2021

Transition

We launched Transition: A dedicated evening to trans, non-binary and fluid individuals to explore gender in a safe space.

The events feature drag performers, special guests and a Q&A session with experts as well as resoruces from Trans Aid Cymru.

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February 2022

The Community Program

We launched the community program - a series of events designed to be more intimate and lower cost (mostly free and always under £5).

Events included 'Litteray Bent: Communal Play Readings', Speed Friendshipping, Skye's Craft Circle, Funny Huns Comedy and more.

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March 2022

Our partnership with The Iris Prize

We partnered with The Iris Prize to present a new series of film screenings in the historic surroundings of the Royal Arcade in Cardiff.

Established in 2007, The Iris Prize is an international LGBTQI+ film prize and festival, open to films by, for, about or of interest to Queer audiences.

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June 2022

The Queer Fringe Festival

We organised Cardiff’s first LGBTQI+ Fringe Festival, celebrating Queer theatre, comedy, live music, film, drag, visual art exhibitions, dance and digital arts.

The aim of the festival was to platform (and pay) LGBTQI+ artists, from grassroots to more established ones, giving audiences opportunities to see new and unique content.

The festival took place over 40 venues across the city, from iconic Queer venues to coffee shops.

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July 2022

Pride Pop-ups

The Queer Emporium goes on the road with pop-up shops at pride events across the UK. Our first one was just over the bridge in Bristol in July. Since then, we've been to Oxford, Birmingham, Powys, LLanelli, Newport and Heart of Wales Pride.

Keep an eye out, as we might be at a pride near you soon 👀.

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August 2022

Our first march!

We marched in Pride Cymru's Parade! The turn out was incredible with over 100 members of the community putting on face paint, flags and t-shirts in support of pride and the work we do for LGBTQI+ people.

Our signs were ✨iconic✨.

Support us with a donation

January 2023

Looking for love?

Following the success of our Speed Friendshipping events, we decided to turn up the heat up with our Speed Dating series!

We held dedicated nights for those identifying as Sapphic, MLM, Bi/Pan, Poly, Aro/Ace and T4T.

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Feburary 2023

Taking Over Cabaret

The arcade can get a little chilly in the winter, especially in the evenings.

So, we took our events down the road to Cardiff Bay to the new Cabaret space at Wales Millennium Centre.

Events included Comedy in The Canoflan, Transition, Sound Check, You are Invited and Chwarae'r Chwedlau.

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June 2023

Enby's

Cardiff's newest Queer venue opened as a four-day pop-up during Pride week. The late-night venue hosted a variety of events including a drag coronation, The Welsh Ballroom community and a Princess Diana Rave!

We hope to bring Enby's back as a permanent space as soon as possible.

Updates on Enby's

November 2023

The online store

We wanted to expand our reach to an audience beyond South Wales.

So, in November, we launched our brand new online store, stocking hundreds of products from our physical store as well as a number of online exclusives.

We're continuing to invest in our online presence with the hope of showcasing our partner Queer vendors in the near future.

Shop now

December 2023

Our first Queermas Market

We launched our first Queer festive market, a space for LGBTQI+ vendors to showcase their winter gifts and goodies. The market was a huge success, and we hope to host it again with even more vendors next festive season !

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January 2024

Closed for Refurbishment

After a very busy December, we decided to give the shop some TLC. We closed for three weeks whilst the work took place.

Improvements included a new service counter, a window-facing coffee bar and a digital signage screen. We also painted the shop a beautiful ✨dusty pink ✨.

We covered up the windows to keep it a surprise! 🤫

View our opening hours