Becoming They: Gender expression within drag culture

A look into how the boundaries society imposes on gender expression can affect drag culture from reaching its full potential

By Amelia Canty

Since the dawn of time itself, humans have been looking for ways to make sense of the world we live in. Inherent to human nature is the desire to understand what we are, and more importantly, who we are. Embedded in our curiosity is a need to define, box and label, in order to comprehend where, as individuals, we belong.

The biological differences between a man and a woman are arguably the only concrete factors setting us apart. What we have come to know as sexual dimorphism – something so simple – has transcended into seemingly irreversible social conditioning regarding the differences between a man and a woman’s capabilities. These findings have rooted us in a society built on the foundations of patriarchy, defining our roles and establishing our limits as people based on the sex we are assigned at birth. Sexism and toxic masculinity are accessories to our triumph in creating, what was thought to be, a perfectly functioning society. Although now, after being fuelled for so long, their rigidity surpasses the efforts made by those who challenge the very ideas that birthed them.  

The same goes for that of gender expression. Destructive behaviours and attitudes that follow when society feels the need to label and file away anyone and anything that pushes the boundaries of what it understands to be conventional, is inevitable. Establishing firm archetypes and integrating them into the bones of a functioning society has always been present, yet people are complex, and no two people fit into the exact same box. Remaining regimented to expectations of what it means to be a man or a woman – be it in terms of presentation or capability – is a learned concept, not a natural one. The very idea of fluidity, in terms of gender and sexuality, is something people have always been exploring in the shadows.

Joe’s body posed

William Shakespeare himself was amongst the first to push the boundaries of gender expression; the birth of drag occurred on his stage. Given there was no place for a woman in the theatre, the term was coined after the long dresses men wore to play a woman’s part would ‘drag’ across the floor.

Although this very notion of expression potentially only occurred from the absence of a woman’s presence, the flamboyancy of the characters depicted a lack of acceptance for the two-gender norm. His influence and attitudes were carried through to society, were the vivaciousness of men in their ‘gender-bending’ and ‘cross-dressing’ were celebrated later off the stage too. 

As reported in the Telegraph, Professor Sir Stanley Wells and Dr Paul Edmondson recently conducted a fresh analysis of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets from the 1609 edition, in the order in which they were most likely written. Adding the sonnets from his plays, the scholars were left with 182 sonnets dating from around 1578 onwards. They found evidence strongly indicative of the much controversial suggestion that Shakespeare was, in-fact, bisexual. Needless to say, gender fluidity and sexuality are not explicitly linked, although this would suggest that given his poetic approach to challenging his era, and as a potential member of what has now become the queer community, he certainly wasn’t opposed to playing with the boundaries of gender and sexuality. 

Joe exhibiting a serious face

To look at drag today, defined by The Conversation as “a temporary and deliberate performance of gender used to break down the limitations of masculinity and femininity”, compared to how it began, shows dramatic progression, albeit tainted with irony from its emergence. 

Joe Harris, of Bradford, is a gender queer creative who has recently started experimenting with drag. 

“Being non-binary, my interpretation of drag is more an extension of my personality as opposed to something that I’m creating. It’s more hyper-realised, more extreme. I think because I only recently got to understand that I am non-binary, I did push drag away from myself for a bit – I thought it was only really for cisgendered people who wanted to explore the other gender, which just isn’t the case. Drag is something that is for everyone. And it is something that is a process. It’s not just lip syncing, it’s not just death dropping, it’s not just performing, it’s not just looks – it’s everything and anything that that person or that entertainer wants it to be. It’s something that’s subjective and interpretable and can’t be defined”.

Joe’s fist pulling and stretching their tights out

Presently, drag encapsulates the all important conversation of exploring and accepting various gender identities which is increasingly becoming the most pressing one to grasp an understanding of. According to data giant Statista, in a global survey conducted in 2021, two percent of respondents from 27 countries currently identify themselves as transgender, non-binary/non-conforming/gender-fluid, or in another way of their own description. Considering the widespread discrimination faced by people within these communities, it wouldn’t be too far removed to suggest there are many more than what the statistics implicate. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race is an extremely popular reality show which, when it hit our TV screens in 2009, was seen as a groundbreaking celebration of all things queer. In recent years, it has effectively turned drag culture into a pop culture phenomenon.  On the show, contestants lip-sync, walk runways, do celebrity impersonations, design and create custom outfits and more, all in a bid to be crowned as the best drag show performer. It has taken a heavily marginalised subsection of society, and thrust them into the mainstream media’s spotlight, exposing many people to the ways in which gender constraints can be eliminated in a highly entertaining and engaging way.

Many queens themselves have claimed RuPaul’s drag race has been pivotal in helping to change attitudes towards drag. Drag queen and performer in the show, Charlie Hides, said it shows drag queens as “fully formed, three dimensional people with feelings and souls”. She continued: “We’ve been humanised and that’s important, that we’re seen as more than just a dancing freak. We’re actual people”.

A close-up of Joe looking past the camera

For all the positive impacts it has served for the drag community, there is a darker  side to RuPaul’s Drag Race, plagued by the restrictions defining and boxing can impose on something as progressive as the show. 

RuPaul himself was recently at the center of a controversy regarding his comments and previous treatment over transgender queens on his show. Peppermint, an iconic New York City transgender performer, made the finals in season nine. In an interview with The Guardian, RuPaul stated he “probably” wouldn’t have admitted a transgender woman like Peppermint, if she had already started gender-affirming surgery. In response to growing backlash to his comments, he later took to Twitter to justify his position: “You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics”. 

As aforementioned, the emergence of RuPaul’s Drag Race into the mainstream media has largely expanded its target demographic in the past few years. Consequently, a large part of Drag Race is catering to straight people, commercialising drag culture to make it easy to understand, easy to market and more likely to be a hit. Within this pursuit of making drag appealing to everyone, the heart of it – arguably one of the purest forms of self expression – has seemingly been lost in translation. 

Drag is something that is for everyone. It’s something that’s subjective and interpretable and can’t be defined.

Joe Harris, non-binary creative

RuPaul’s compromising – subconsciously or not – on the core of what drag stands for, is testament to the idea that people naturally seek out things they know to work and understand the functions behind, becoming reluctant to respond to changes, whether it’s necessary or not. The introduction of transgender queens and non-binary queens upsets the status quo within what mainstream drag showcases. The idea of it not just being a man or a woman cross-dressing pushed the boundaries of what everyone has, owed to its portrayal within the media, become to understand as drag. Boundaries prevail, even within a space that is supposed to be a safe haven to those from the queer community; there is fear in the unknown, even in drag. 

Joe’s legs staged for the camera

The importance of determining clear cut vocabulary and establishing distinct definitions when you’re in control of such powerful narratives is crucial. A pattern has emerged within the mainstream media of discussing trans people and drag queens synonymously, which isn’t only insulting to queer people’s identities, but also dangerous when a person not part of the queer community is using it as a means of education.

Joe Harris explained their frustration at the lack of awareness cisgendered people continue to possess surrounding the boundaries of gender. 

“It’s just not our responsibility to explain ourselves or justify ourselves to someone just because they want to know more. I don’t owe you anything. I think what a lot of straight people and cisgendered gay people do not understand, is that a lot of genderqueer people have had to explain themselves their whole life; with different people, in different jobs, in different education. I explain myself all the time. I explain what my pronouns are, what I identify as, I still get misgendered on the daily and I just think, I have to experience that for something that is so natural to me, but so complex to someone else”. 

Joe posing with their hands resting on their face
A highly focused photo of Joe’s earring from behind their shoulder

The restrictions in perceiving gender as a binary have been acknowledged at an institutional level by 10 countries. Currently, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Ireland, and Nepal offer gender-neutral passports. The UK failed in becoming the 11th country after activist Christie Elan-Cane’s efforts were in vain. Elan-Cane, who identifies as “non-gendered”,  took a case to the UK’s High Court to get the Home Office to provide “X” passports, meaning people would be able to enter “X” instead of “M” or “F” in the sex category of their passports. Unfortunately for her, the Home Office ruled they did not have an obligation to do so.

 Speaking to the Guardian at the time, they said: “The UK’s passport application process requires applicants to declare whether they are male or female. It is inappropriate and wrong that someone who defines as neither should be forced to make that declaration”. 

Joe’s side profile adorning a highly stylised pose

North America is home to an indigenous community named Two-Spirit. Within their society, gender non-conforming members have been celebrated since at least the 1800s. As the 1992 documentary Two-Spirit People explains, individuals who have both masculine and feminine qualities are seen as conduits between the physical and spiritual world, and are therefore revered and put in positions of power within their communities.

The foundations of their functioning society resides on the belief that in order to be an enlightened being, you have to understand both femininity and masculinity, and how they are both a part of us. To them, understanding the fundamentals of gender fluidity is essential to being your own higher being – they don’t accept, or need to accept, gender binaries as a basis of understanding people. Seemingly, it is majorly the West that uses these methods of classification to understand who people are.

Joe’s tattoo reading ‘queen supreme’

When discussing how they used drag to surpass boundaries that restricted their own understanding of themselves, Joe emphasises the importance of internalising, before you can externalise.

“I’ve never felt more in control of myself, or more understanding of myself being in the position that I am today with my gender identity. Drag is only helping that, it’s only encouraging me to go deeper. I would now go out and do a look as a man – for almost 22 years of my life, that was something that I was so uncomfortable with – whereas now I can see beyond that, I can see beyond my once-desperation to present feminine, so I’m not scared of it anymore. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me because I’m okay with it. I’m comfortable with me”. 

Joe staring head-on into the camera

Considering where we stand today, with more informed, more transparent and less prejudiced conversations, especially amongst our future generation, it seems the prospect of beginning to unlearn centuries worth of overbearing boundaries is potentially feasible. Early exposure and education has the ability to remove the fear we possess of the unknown within our society, and reduce the temptation of attempting to pigeonhole someone or something into a category within your individual realms of understanding.

For those who are members of the queer community, it seems as though drag is a fundamental art form which will continue to be regarded as a safe space for self expression. And to those genderqueer queens who have been looking in on what should be your home, your way is being paved now.

To drag or not to drag: that is the question.

Bring It (Y2K) Back

Isobel Howard

Sophie in pink chunky sunglasses

Remember pleated skirts, velour tracksuits, chunky sunnies, wide leg jeans, the colour pink, and low waisted everything? 

This supposedly, could have been about yesterday or in fact from 1990s/early 2000s; who would have realised?

Oops! I Did it Again is at the top of the charts, MTV music videos everywhere you turn, butterfly tops. Need I say more. Yes, because this era was gaudy (in a phenomenal way). The days of The Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, Sugababes and of course not forgetting Kylie Minogue and not Jenner. Where nobody – absolutely nobody cared less about ‘insta’ likes, follows, or unfollows and where fashion evolved dramatically to an insane level of chicness.

Only difference is the social media explosion and with this, the Tik Tok frenzy during the long months of Covid-19. Having this platform widened its horizons to lure more and more people in with its addictive short, snippet clips combined with a global pandemic of everybody instructed to stay inside; it was inevitable Tik Tok would be an enormous triumph.

Sophie stood outside on a street in Headingley

The launch of Bratz dolls played a huge role in the influence of fashion of its day, which was very early 2000s. Styles were assembled together to create the ‘Y2K’ fashion era which now within the 21st Century, is seeming to be gaining huge popularity once again across the Generation Z’s. And this doesn’t seem to be anything to complain about. 

Now in 2022, young women (and men) are strutting their stuff in cropped sequin tops and miniskirts, which is not any different to nearly 30 years ago. 

Y2K Sequin Top

Sophie White has been a student for three years, living in the vibrant, edgy, and assuredly the place for an experimental phase through various fashion styles. Headingley – where thousands of students are based for the few years they study (or not) at university, trial and erroring their way through to eventually, discovering their “vibe.”

She’s got a passion for fashion
Being a fashion lover herself, she certainly keeps up to date with the latest fashion trends when she heads out on a night. And she is no stranger to designing a show-stopping outfit together. With her degree in Fashion Marketing, she seems to look the part.

Sophie getting herself ready to go on a ‘night out’

“I think I prefer the putting together of my outfit than the actual going out part to be honest!”

Sophie continues, “When me and my friends are getting ready for a night out, they always come into my room to have a nosey through my wardrobe to see what they can borrow. At first, I didn’t like it at all but now, to be honest, I actually quite like it!”

“Don’t tell anyone but it actually gives me a little bit of an ego boost, knowing that I’ve got the best fashion sense!”

Sophie and her housemate drinking together before their ‘night out’

With Leeds being an indie city with students based in the Hyde Park and Headingley area, there’s always room for improvement within your ‘look.’ Trends are always interchanging but the Y2K style making a comeback has shaped the Millennials. 

However, this craze for constant new outfits does not come cheap. 

“It is quite difficult as a student obviously affording all these nice outfits but that’s really where all the money I earn goes. Some people think that this is a stupid way to spend money, but this is what I’m passionate about and I just love how I feel in these clothes.”

Runway collections have now been adopted and filtered by high street brands to make them readily available to everyone. This being the ‘Trickle-Down Theory’ coined by economist Thorstein Veblen in 1889. Essentially, where an adaptation of modernistic styles of a specific era are taken and then offered to customers at much lower rates. Which is the reason why so many can now purchase these voguish items and able to sashay around local supermarkets in low-rise jeans paired with a tight tee.

Some major fashion brands such as; Jaded London and Urban Outfitters are examples of ‘Trickle-Down Theory’ where they have imitated high-end, designer clothing by allowing for more affordability for their consumers. These can also be noted across the whole of Sophie’s wardrobe.

Sophie wearing the Urban Outfitters brand ‘iets frans…’ tracksuit which is very similar to the 90s/00s velour

Naturally, with the stylish gear lowered down to a much cheaper price, an increased number of shoppers may be aware of this and more likely to cooperate to pay these reduced prices.

As Sophie can be included within this bracket where she has also noticed this difference, “I see it in shops and online too, and obviously with online shopping being so popular now, I see it a lot more duplicates of the styles or patterns which are first seen by well-known brands but at much bargained prices.”

According to Healthy Human Life, the global population has doubled since 1970 and along with this, witnessed the rapid increase of the demand for the fashion market. Therefore, this inflation means there is more opportunities for fashion retailers to cut costs on several processes which then allow the overall costs of clothing items for a customer to be much cheaper than high street stores. 

SHEIN is renowned for being an ultra-fast fashion online company, originated and ran by China, and has now enticed a huge quantity of the world’s population who have kindly added to their revenue of nearly $10 billion.

“I’ve been using SHEIN since the first lockdown as I kept seeing ads for their website but at first, I thought it was some kind of scam page, so I always clicked off it. A couple months later somebody on Tik Tok did a ‘haul’ on one of their videos and they showed all these different items of clothing which looked absolutely amazing. She then said at the end of the video that she had only paid £80 for everything! And I’m talking denim shorts, dresses, tops, bikinis, skirts, basically everything you can think of.”

Nevertheless, SHEIN now holds many rumours that could potentially affect its brand. People have slammed the online clothing site as mistreating their employees by going against child labour laws. Speculations which signify truth, that their workers are forced to do excessively long hours partnered with such little reward – being their salary. It seems difficult to be able to understand SHEIN’s ethics behind their brand as they provide unclear and misleading information to the public.

With their abundantly diminished prices of clothing they are selling, the production and quality demonstrates this as garments are reported as ‘terrible’. This may be due to the pace of which trends shift and therefore, SHEIN are trying to match these by producing extremely low-quality clothing to satisfy their consumers. And for several years, this has been the case as there are a vast number who enjoy shopping at SHEIN. The fabrics utilised to fund SHEIN’s business have been said to have severe environmental impacts and are continuing to damage each time a customer presses order.

Sophie explains, “I, myself, use SHEIN quite frequently if I’m being honest, and when I’ve heard and read about these negative comments about it, I do feel bad knowing that I am contributing to the problems. But I don’t think SHEIN will lose out on customers as I know so many who still shop on there and don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.”

“Some people with lots of followers on social media will promote SHEIN, regardless of the detrimental issues surrounding it.”

Sophie and her housemate getting ready for a ‘night out’ together, wearing vibrant flared trousers

Fashion usually only comes back around every 50 years, however, is now only around 20 years, if that!
So as mentioned, flared jeans, flannel shirts and not forgetting the low waisted skirts ruling the 90s. This fashion era still dominates the youth of 2022 where even now, chainmail tops and low-rise maxi skirts are in popular demand. The 1980s were all about the biker shorts, leather jackets and oh yes, leg warmers. And these unexpectedly, have also made a return. Who would have thought? High waist governed the 70s Disco era alongside chunky platform boots and the corduroy craze. Bandanas were another popular fashion trend in the 1960s which are now again, very groovy within today’s culture. The 50s silhouetted elegance and class where mid-length pencil skirts were very on trend. One particular item of clothing which still holds popularity is the silk scarf.

Sophie explains, “I was so excited when I saw all these trends coming back around because I know my mum still has some of these bits of clothing which I couldn’t wait to steal from her wardrobe!”

Sophie holding old brick-like phone, wearing square 2000s inspired sunglasses and velour tracksuit

Just when you thought that was where the history lesson ended, how could the most famous garment all the way back from the Victorian era be neglected? The one and only; the corset. Now these have come back even better than ever as instead of nearly suffocating you to death when worn for longer than 20 minutes, they have now matured into a more cosy and pleasurable wear. As seen on The Met Gala’s red carpet, the corset is not a fashion piece to forget about.

Within fashion trends, there will always be those bits of clobber which have never seemed to go out of the stylish ‘label’. These including leather jackets, LBD (Little Black Dress), converse trainers, animal prints. Therefore, if an outfit consisting of the above items can be cleverly designed, this would be much appreciated!
It was inevitable that the extreme advancement of the technological world would have many beneficial assets. Sophie explained, “Social media is obviously so widely used across the younger generation and so, that’s where most of my fashion inspiration comes from. For example, if I see some of the bigger influencers or models wearing an outfit, I’ll then want to buy that top or skirt or whatever it might be because I know it looks good and is on trend at the minute.” 

Sophie looking in the mirror whilst doing her makeup

“Fashion trends now are so fast, like something could be on such a small scale but then Instagram will be rapid in helping it to flourish so quickly. And so, sometimes within hours, it will on trend.”

Unfortunately though, and aside from all this excitement, we shouldn’t ignore the underlying consequences which accompany large and usually the most popular fashion brands. Fast fashion has gradually begun to influence heavily on how clothing became notable at budget retail prices.

There are a variety of clothing brands who unexpectedly, are within this remit of ‘fast fashion’ which globally, is becoming more of a concern. Though this is worrying, with the costs of these items being significantly less; many shoppers are more likely to purchase from these types of stores. And designer retailers are extremely dubious to budge their prices down to a more affordable level as this would demolish the whole concept of ‘high-status’ attire.

After documenting Sophie’s night outs for several weeks, the transparency of her passion for fashion was extraordinary. She demonstrated the nostalgia, excitement and fascination of ‘Y2K’ fashion and with it still being in its prime within 2022.

Y2K inspired items on Sophie’s desk


How My Life Changed In Lockdown: I Started A Business

When Leon Joe was 19, lockdown during the pandemic began.

In his first year at the University of Westminster studying Music Business, Leon was unsure of what could occupy his time spent indoors, and what could be productive without leaving the house.

Being a fan of the game ‘Minecraft” itself, Leon saw a breakthrough into something much more than online gaming. But instead, a community of business that revolves around online gaming within the Minecraft sphere – here was birthed “Quartz”.

“I started Quartz in the middle of lockdown. It is a design and experience company creating content for Minecraft. It sounds niche and random, but there is a huge market lying around for online gaming cooperations. We have a whole team running that communicates through a Discord server and spend their time working in order to help Quartz progressive further.”

Quartz, who is currently in partnership with BlockLab Studios, actively releases a range of Minecraft add-on products such as skins for avatars, and the products are highly in demand.

“Though it doesn’t particularly seem like the stereotypical business, it definitely is. The market in online gaming is astronomical and the products people are willing to buy range from anything you can possibly think of.”

Mia Eden Progress Report 02/05/2022

For my final progress report, I decided I would try and edit some photos I would potentially be using in my Photo Journalism final project.

I wanted to showcase not only skateboarders, but skate culture in general. Therefore, I decided to get some photos of graffiti around the skatepark. I managed to get this one of Malala on the inside of a ramp.

I like this photo, as I think it showcases the culture and meaning behind skateboarding, and what type of atmosphere a skatepark is like. However, I wanted to update the photo to make it black & white.

Though I didn’t change too much about the photo, I did manage to put a black & white filter over the original photo, alongside toning down the exposure so more of the facial features could be seen, and highlighting the black point in order to give the photograph a more dark and mysterious aesthetic.

I also wanted to incorporate some LGBTQ+ friendly skatepark graffiti, and came across this also on the side of a skate ramp.

Due to the fisheye lens being a large aesthetic in skate photography culture, I decided this photo may look cooler, more vibrant, and more relevant to the skating culture with a fisheye lens. I took the same photo through the fisheye lens, and adjusted the saturation and vibrance in order to enhance the colours on the photograph. I believe it gave the photo a more interesting and unique approach.

Rolling With The Girls: Re-Inventing Skate Culture

Rolling With The Girls – Re-Inventing Skate Culture. 

By Mia Eden

Skateboarding hasn’t always proven it’s for everybody. When you think of skateboarding, perhaps you expect teenage boys hanging around skateparks and invading your local town’s nearest flat surface, and more often than not, the expectation lives up to the reality. 

Skateboarding is quintessentially a boy’s sport, the faces of skateboarding are men (when you search “famous skateboarders” on Google, it takes scrolling past 42 men to finally reach a woman in the sport), and the highest-earning YouTubers and influencers are men, and even the most influential skate photographers are men. 

Women often find it hard to find their place in a niche sport with little exposure in schools, clubs, and even mainstream sports channels. Naturally, the funding and exposure for the sport is very minuscule, and representation for marginalised genders in the past has been near to non-existent. Skateparks for women are somewhat intimidating, and easily off-putting if confidence is lacking in the first place – hence why many women ditch the sport before they’ve even begun.

However, with the likes of 13-year-old female British-Japanese skateboarder Sky Brown winning bronze for the UK in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, and Brazilian-American 6x X-Games gold medalist Leticia Bufoni gaining over 211,000 followers on social media, the future of skateboarding for marginalised genders is looking better than ever before. 

Worn-Out Wheels.

Leeds based minority gender skateboard group “Rolling With The Girls” is aiming to tackle the stigma around women and non-binary genders in skateboarding. The community of female and non-binary skaters was set up in 2018 and regularly hosts scheduled meetups and events for skaters of marginalised genders to attend. Since 2018, the community has grown rapidly, with over 4,500 followers on Instagram, and exclusive merchandise sold at local Leeds skateboard shop “Welcome Skate Store”. 

The community is actively involved in giving a platform to those in skateboarding who haven’t previously seen it before, monthly events are usually 2 hours long, held on the last Monday of every month, and cost £5 a ticket. The events are described as open to all “who aren’t cis-gendered men. RWTG welcomes non-binary people, non-gender conforming people, genderqueer people, trans people, women and girls.” 

Rolling With The Girls Organisation Member.

Tegan Paige, who is a frequent attendee of Rolling With The Girls events, shares how she fell out of love with skateboarding before she found Rolling With The Girls. “I got into skateboarding when I was younger, but stopped skating. I then started up again a year or so ago after finding out there’s a whole skate scene based in Leeds that made me feel so comfortable!” 

 “RWTG really have done a great job at starting to tackle gender discrimination already. By women and marginalised genders forming an alliance so to speak, it has helped more women and marginalised genders come forward and start skating by attending the skate meetups! I’ve made some wonderful friends and I am very lucky to be a part of it.” 

Not only do Rolling With The Girls aim to tackle sexism within skateboarding, but they also attempt to make a safe and friendly space for queer people to express their individuality without fear of discrimination. 

Queer skate culture is already increasing in popularity, and with support groups like Rolling With The Girls being openly LGBTQ+ friendly, as well as other more popular organisations such as the Queer Skate Alliance (that have bases in LA, New York City and London), more queer people are tightening those trucks and taking to the decks. 

The more skateboarders that identify as queer gaining representation and popularity in the community have inevitably enhanced more support for LGBTQ+ rights in traditional skate places. Skateparks and graffiti have historically always intertwined with one another, and political outlooks frequently play a part in skate culture and “aesthetics’ ‘. 

Nowadays, more skateparks and street skate spots around larger cities such as Leeds and Manchester are showing support to the LGBTQ+ community with graffiti on the ramps that read statements such as “gay is not a sin”, and “love will always win.”

LGBTQ+ Graffiti at the Skatepark.

The increasing representation of women and marginalised genders within skateboarding has paved the way for marginalised sexualities and races to also find their place in the skate community through groups namely Rolling With The Girls, that previously have not found a place in a cis-gendered male-dominated sport. Tegan went on to state “I do think marginalised people in society still face discrimination today, but definitely not as much as they used to. I think it’s a smaller number of people that may feel uncomfortable with marginalised people skating, however, I think this is changing every day and I think everyone is a lot more inclusive now.”

Skateboarding has always, in some ways, faced its own discrimination and backlash from the public in itself, and the stereotypical outlook of skateboarders often relates back to mere defiance of social norms and behavioural expectancies. Chances are, your grandma won’t be the audience demographic to understand or acknowledge the art of skateboarding. The sport (particularly in street skateboarding circumstances) is often seen as destructive and childish, and the poster face is routinely boys being defiant.

Backlash towards skateboarding making its debut at the Olympics in Tokyo 2021 was considerable, it is frequently disregarded in terms of what it means to participate in a “real” sport and be a “real” athlete. Rolling With The Girls also wanted to change the perception of what it means to be a skateboarder, and how it isn’t all defiance and destruction. 

Founder of Rolling With The Girls, Jessica Birley, wants to change the perception that you have to be world-class at everything you do, “everyone that does skate does it for the passion, it’s not about whether you are good or bad. If you are coming to RWTG, you won’t be judged. It gives people the confidence to start something they may have not previously tried before. It is full of confidence-building and positivity that helps uplift people in the community that may have been previously torn down.” 

Rolling With The Girls Member Street Skating.

There is often a stigma around newer skateboarders within the skate community. People that don’t follow the standard rules of skateboard culture frequently get labelled as slang terms such as a “poser” in the predominantly male community. Though a “poser” is more so described as someone that does not skate but actively “poses” as somebody that does, the “poser” term has frequently been used by skateboarders in order to intimidate those they feel shouldn’t be a part of their community. 

This has a tendency to intimidate the people that do not usually see themselves at the forefront of the community. The “poser” term is used heavily,  even potentially describing someone that doesn’t hold their board in the “correct” manner. Therefore, more old-school, intimidating, stereotypical skateboarders roam around the ramps, it’s only natural that marginalised communities may feel unwelcomed during their first time at the park. 

However, Rolling With The Girls aims to make its spaces free of judgement and full of encouragement and positivity. “This is why I love RWTG’s so much”, shares Tegan, RWTG have done a great job at starting to tackle gender discrimination already. Jess has created a space where people feel safe, included and not judged.“ 

Rolling With The Girls has created a community in Leeds that inspires women and other marginalised genders to step out of their comfort zone and learn something discomforting. With the influence of RWTG, more female and marginalised gender-skate friendly organisations are arising, including the Neighbourhood Skate Club, an organisation based in London and Leeds that teaches girls and women to skate with female skateboard instructors. 

Lyndsay McLaren, a female instructor at the Neighbourhood Skate Group, shares “teaching women to skate isn’t just about getting them on boards, but also helping to build a culture of support, shared hype and kindness. Pushing away from female rivalry and the concept of “one seat at a table”. If you’ve already ‘made it’, whether that’s in skateboarding, or anything else, don’t intentionally or unintentionally haze other women by putting them through the same challenges you’ve faced. Send the elevator back down!” 

Women Empowering Skate Graffiti.

Due to the growing interest of women and queer communities being involved in skateboarding, a sub-culture has arisen within skateboarding that shows off what it means to be the quintessential queer female skater. Fashion has emerged from the scene, such as newer approaches to 1990s “street-wear” fashion, including chequered Vans and shirts, cargo trousers, and beanies. 

The aesthetic of skateboarding plays an astronomical part of what it means to identify yourself within the culture. Women and marginalised genders, however, are re-writing what it means to be fashionable and cool within the skating community. 

Luna Swift, a female skateboarder based around the North West, proposed how women and queer people don’t have to cater their aesthetic to fit the aretypical male skateboard visual. 

“I don’t think that “looking like a skateboarder” should be as present in the community as it actually is. Women are reevaluating what it means to “look like a skateboarder”. These days, I see skateboarders wearing Hijabs, traditional clothing,  skateboarders wearing dresses, skateboarders wearing skirts, it’s really all about how you want to identify now, and all identities are accepted within female and queer skate culture.”

Skateparks (especially those around metropolitan areas, such as Hyde Park Skate Park), are becoming spaces representative of everyone. Just a walk around Hyde Park Skate Park shows queer, feminist graffiti that shows inclusivity and integration in the community is becoming vastly more accepted. Photos of Malala are pictured around the ramps, with feminist ideologies surrounding the graffiti. 

“The men have to skate around these photos and those ideas”, Swift goes on to add, “it’s quite difficult to claim a space as your own when you don’t agree with the fundamental ideas that the parks now stand for. I think that women have essentially reclaimed the space as their own, and if people don’t like it, they no longer stand for what skateboarding is about.” 

Skateboarding has adapted to its surroundings and the cultural shift is becoming prevalent in newer skateboard aesthetics. Rolling With The Girls generally uses female-centred, queer pop-culture movement’s and styles, whilst simultaneously incorporating retro styles. What once appeared on promotional flyers for mostly male skate communities in the 1990s (such as The Pharcyde and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals) is now replaced by the likes of the queer female cult-classic “Clueless” protagonist or the iconic Buffy The Vampire Slayer. RWTG’s aims to keep it retro, but with a stereotypical queer and female audience.

Malala On The Ramps.

Although male skaters were not originally as welcoming to other members of the community, Luke Burgess, a male skater based in Manchester, thinks that everyone, including the men, are adapting to how the community is changing. 

“There has definitely been a huge increase and it’s great to see, there has been a lot more companies coming out that are focused on women in skating and groups forming in support too. For instance, Projekts SkatePark in Manchester has started doing female-only sessions on a Monday night.

I feel like for the most part most men are cool with more women picking up skating nowadays, as the community has grown to become very accepting.” 

As Rolling With The Girls continues to grow in numbers, and more women and other marginalised genders make their debut into the skateboarding world, the more inclusivity and integration in the sport we will see. The more female skateboarders, such as Samarria Brevard and Aori Nishimura, that make their debut into the mainstream community, the more young girls, women, and other marginalised genders will realise it has never been a better time to pick up the board and start skating. 

Drop In From A Ramp.

Mia Eden Progress Report 25/04/2022

Due to the fact I would be capturing people in my final project, I wanted to do some landscape test shots with people.

I took this photo of two of my friends at a festival.


I thought this photo had potential, particularly due to the greens and pinks in the background that have the ability to pop out when edited correctly.

In order to achieve this, I adjusted the brilliance and heightened the shadows in the photograph. This immediately made the greens stand out further. I then slightly adjusted the vibrance and saturation in order for the array of colours, such as the slight pink, blues, and purples, to stand out, as they fade slightly in the original photograph.


The photograph then ended up looking much more colourful and vibrant, and portrayed the atmosphere of the festival.

Mia Eden Progress Report 18/04/2022

For this task, I decided to adjust the photos I had previously taken in Berlin the year prior.


This photo is a street in Berlin close to the Brandenburg Gate. I thought the photo perfectly captivated the vibrance of Berlin, however the photo is dull in tone and does not catch your eye.


When editing, I lowered the exposure to make sure the photo did not become over-saturated, but instead slightly heightened the brilliance in order for the green, blues and reds present in the photograph to pop. I adjusted the saturation slightly, and heightened it to give it a more retro European feel, and heightened the Vibrancy to allow the colours to pop ever so slightly, and make the photograph more eye catching.

I took this next photograph at the top of a bus in Berlin. I thought it had potentially as the photograph is completely centralised, and has a lot of intricate detail that can come through with some editing.

What I did to this photo was similar to that of the first photograph, the brilliance, saturation and vibrance was heightened, as was the black point – in order to give it that deeper, more intense feel. The saturation and vibrancy helped the blues pop out, and overall makes the photograph more appealing to the eye.

Mia Eden Progress Update 11/04/2022

For this progress update, I wanted to take a photo of some scenic nature. It is not something I have particularly experimented in taking before, and I wanted to play with the vibrant colours of greens and see how the photo could improve in the process.

I took this photo of the forest in Halifax in West Yorkshire.

Before Picture

I didn’t adjust this photo too much, however, in order to make it appear more vibrant, I toyed around with the brilliance, exposure and highlights of the photograph. I increased the brilliance and the exposure, and lowered the black point in order to make the greens pop further. I heightened the warmth to the photograph to give it a more scenic approach.

After Photo

After the adjustments, the photo looked more vibrant and eye-catching with the emphasis on the greens.

Vaisakhi 2022: The inspiring stories behind the sea of colours

Kaveen Dhesi

On the day of April 16th, a sea of vibrant colours disembarked upon the streets of Leeds. Soft hymns drifted amongst the masses of head scarves, creating a serene atmosphere. Spirited children lined up with open arms as they were gifted traditional Indian delicacies, emanating sweet aromas.

On the day of April 16th, a nation came together to celebrate one of the most significant days within Sikh history.

Vaisakhi (also known as Baisakhi), is a harvest festival that marks the birth of Sikhism.

However, I have never taken part in the celebration of Vaisakhi and being Sikh myself, I am almost disappointed. Within my adolescence, I was naïve, I overlooked my faith and its customs. I would turn my nose up at my lunchbox when it was filled with chapati or when I would have to come home to an array of curry’s for dinner.

But one should try to embrace their faith with open arms, especially one that teaches us to see beyond our differences and work together for peace and harmony.

So, I decided to embark on a journey through the celebration of Vaisakhi. I wanted to achieve an increased understanding of the birth of my religion and speak to the inspiring individuals who have come together in support of the Sikh community.

A plethora of people as they parade through the streets of Leeds

Vaisakhi was traditionally celebrated as a new year and harvest festival in the Punjab region of India long before Sikhism began. However, in 1699 Guru Gobind Singh – the tenth and final living guru for Sikhs – used the occasion of the festival to challenge Sikhs to show allegiance to their religion. Five volunteers responded to his challenge to enter his tent and sacrifice their heads to their Guru. In the end it is said that they were miraculously unharmed and, because of their willingness to sacrifice themselves, the Guru baptised them and gave them the title of Panj Piare (the five beloved ones).

Vaisakhi commemorates the beginning of the Khalsa (fully initiated Sikhs), or collective Sikh brotherhood, and many Sikhs choose to be baptised into the Khalsa during Vaisakhi.

My journey started with a Nagar Kirtan. Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi through a Nagar Kirtan, which is an annual procession, where communities take to the streets to sing hymns. The procession is led by five chosen men who represent the Panj Piare (five beloved ones).

The Panj Piare (beloved five) standing ready to lead the procession

As I walked alongside the Panj Piare, I noted that they stood tall and honourable. Their facial expressions held sincerity as they led the Sikh community through the streets of Leeds.

For Raja Parkash, having the opportunity to represent the beloved five is an honour. Parkash is a practising Sikh and has attended Vaisakhi celebrations in Leeds since he was ten years old. “I remember when I was little, I always used to be the one who would be standing on my tip toes, trying to get a better view of the Panj Piare in their bright orange robes, wondering how they managed to walk such a long distance with no shoes on.” He explains smiling.

“Now it’s hard to believe that I am one of those men in the robes. To be chosen, is a memory I will never forget. You would think that walking barefoot for over four hours would cause some problems, but I zone out, I focus on the ones I love, and I focus on serving our Sikh community.”

Raja honouring those closest to him

But for Parkash, this year’s Vaisakhi is not just about celebrating the creation of Sikhism. This year’s Vaisakhi is about remembering his wife.

Parkash and his wife were married for 25 years, however last year, his wife sadly passed away. Before the pandemic hit, they used to celebrate Vaisakhi together almost every year. “Vaisakhi was my wife’s favourite Sikh celebration. So not having her here by my side has been quite hard, but I do know that she is watching down on me. I hope that I have led this procession in a way that has made her proud.”  

Pakarsh’s demeanour remained cheerful, even when touching on sentimental memories. To him, Vaisakhi is not just a celebration, it has become a day where he can honour those closest to him.

However, the Panj Piare, were not the only group of significant men leading the procession. With thousands of people weaving through the streets of Leeds, from Chapeltown to Millennium Square, we cannot forget those who allowed for this to occur safely.

Five motorcyclists played a key role in ensuring that the procession was led through the correct roads. 59-year-old Gurjeet Kapoor, was amongst one of them.

Gurjeet readies his motorcycle for the long journey ahead

Kapoor grew up in the Punjab in India, he learnt how to ride a motorcycle at the age of 12.

“Even though I grew up riding my bike in the hectic streets of the Punjab, leading the procession during Vaisakhi can be equally as stressful,” he shares.

With road closures and delayed traffic lights being prominent throughout the city, he explains how some members of the public become irritated by the matter. “People do get impatient, that is expected. But on the odd occasion I have had to deal with some people being racist towards me.

“I once had someone tell me to swap my turban with a helmet, some may view that as disrespectful, but I laughed about it. I am getting old now, I have heard it all before,” he explains laughing. “I will always believe that everyone is equal as that is what our faith teaches, I am here to celebrate my religion and I have a number of people who come to see me and support me.”

Gurjeet smiling as he is surrounded by loved ones

When Kapoor discussed the racial discrimination that he had encountered, he continued to stay positive – instead reflecting on how Vaisakhi enables him to maintain his faith and move past negative situations.

As my journey continued through the Nagar Kirtan, I had already started to feel inspired by those around me. After speaking with Kapoor, he was adamant that I be introduced to some old friends of his, who supported him in a time of need.

Back in 2004, Kapoor had just recently migrated to Leeds from India – he had come alone and was struggling to adapt to the British lifestyle. He then met Tracy and Mark Evans at a Vaisakhi event the year after. Tracy and Mark have been married for 18 years and have attended every Vaisakhi celebration in Leeds since crossing paths with Kapoor.

Tracy reminisces on the time they met, “we had always wanted to get involved with Vaisakhi, the parade would always go right past our house. One year we were standing outside and Gurjeet approached us. I remember his warm expression; he was very welcoming as he handed us some food and told us to join in.

“Gurjeet will tell you that we helped him but, in our eyes, he helped us.”

The Evans family coming to support the Sikh community

Vand Chakna is one of Sikhism’s core principles, it teaches people to share with others, help those in need, as well as participate as part of a community. The spirit of giving, sharing and caring, even to those from different faiths, is central to Sikhism.

When the Evans family first got involved in Vaisakhi, they instantly felt a sense of belonging. Mark explains, “we were amazed at how friendly everyone was, we were welcomed into the community as if we were one of their own.

“For years we have joined the parade, and not once have we felt left out. Me and Tracy admire the Sikh religion and everything they stand for. We have encouraged our friends and family to get involved, and together we have made loads of great memories whilst celebrating Vaisakhi.”

Throughout my journey, it is clear that Sikhs use Vaisakhi to emphasize the importance of inclusivity, as people from different backgrounds and communities are urged to take part.

For this year’s Vaisakhi, Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) were invited by the Sikh community to get involved. The YAA are an independent charity that rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help save lives across Yorkshire.

The giving of charity is considered a religious duty within Sikhism as they believe it encourages compassion. Therefore, by inviting the YAA to the procession, it allowed for their volunteers to fundraise in a fun and interactive way.

A volunteer for The Yorkshire Air Ambulance handing out stickers to children

As I approached members of the YAA, the enthusiasm that radiated from them was admirable. Kerry Dwyer, who is the Director of Fundraising for the YAA, explains how this year’s Vaisakhi is the first religious event that they have taken part in.

“This year our charity wants to be involved and immersed in all of the different cultures in Yorkshire,” Dwyer shares, “so we were delighted when we knew that we would be able to come out today to celebrate Vaisakhi.

“It’s great to see all the different communities and all the different religions coming together as one. Because of Vaisakhi, we have managed to build really strong contacts with all of the Gurdwara’s during the walk today. The Sikh community have really supported us, and we couldn’t be more appreciative.”

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s Mascot: Dr. Priti, bonding with a priest from The Sikh Temple

As I drew towards the end of my journey, I observed that there is a palpable need for communities to be integrated. The reason behind this primarily stems from the fact that we have not been able to celebrate Vaisakhi properly for the past two years, due to Covid-19.

However, even though the majority of us have abandoned the masks and are back out in full force, there are still some who cannot celebrate Vaisakhi the same anymore.

Before the pandemic hit, 65-year-old Bhajan Atwal and his wife used to come out and celebrate Vaisakhi every year. However, last year his wife caught Covid and fell critically ill, meaning that this year she could not attend.

Atwal explains, “I had in my mind that I wasn’t going to come today but my wife insisted that I had too. It does not feel the same celebrating without her but there are people here who have helped the both of us, so I know that I need to show my support for them.”

Bhajan wearing a mask amongst the busy crowds

As Atwal described his wife to me, his eyes lit up and even though he was wearing a mask, I could still make out the huge grin that was starting to spread across his face. He continues, “I tried to get some pictures and videos to take back to her but with my old Nokia, I can’t say that they are the best.

“But I know she will be pleased because she appreciates the small gestures and that is why I love her.”

Hearing Atwal’s touching story was a pleasant way to finish my journey. Vaisakhi has taught me that the Sikh community is compassionate, considerate and welcoming. But it’s not just the Sikhs that inspired me along my journey, those who come from different faiths allow there to be integration which instils a sense of union across all communities.

I finished my journey feeling motivated and ready to commence on my next journey as I now have more of an insight into my faith.

The sea of colours as it comes to an end

Cinema: The COVID effect

By Caitlin Bardsley

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to anything and everything worldwide. For over a year the world was on and off. Many businesses unfortunately didn’t survive the continuous lockdowns the UK went through and were forced to close their doors forever. 

Cinemas took a massive hit when the lockdowns came into effect, with new releases being pushed back due to uncertainty about the pandemic. James Bond: No Time to Die, was the first cinema release to be affected by COVID. The release of the film was pushed back 3 times before it’ s release at the back end of 2021.

Many directors, during this time, had to think about if it was worth it to wait for a cinema release or if to send it straight to DVD or streaming platforms. One of the top streaming platforms Disney+ came about before the first ever UK lockdown, at the time, it wasn’t known that, that platform would get people through the uncertainty. For an additional fee on £20 on top of the subscription fee, you could watch these new releases from home as the cinemas were still closed.

Whilst some directors held off and wanted to wait for a theatrical release, some just sent straight to streaming platforms, knowing that would be the best financial move for them and they would walk away with a profit. For example, the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre film (2022) was released under Netflix. Some think that this move was because this generation won’t be lining up in cinema to watch but would happily watch it at home on a whim.

Another example is The Irishman by Martin Scorsese. The director made the decision to release it on Netflix as the streaming platform offered the filmmakers the budget and resources to be able to compete with Hollywood blockbusters.

Empty cinema foyer

Before, during and after Covid

Eventually the cinemas began to open, but the days were slow. Anya Keleher, a customer assistant cinema worker in Leeds, talks about what the cinema was like before COVID, “We’re in the city centre so there used to be a constant stream of people. During the week it was usually slow because people were at work or school or university, but there was always something to be doing, there was always a customer to be serving.”

“Fast forward to, how long has it been? Nearly 2 years? People in work are struggling for hours. Only being given one shift a week. It’s not fair, but we know it can’t be helped. Most of the staff working here are students or recent graduates. We still have bills to pay, we still need to eat. It’s definitely made me more conscious when it comes to money.”

She then went on to say, that it’s not all bad as it is a very flexible workplace, where you can pick up shifts and give them away if needed.

“When it’s the school holidays like Easter, the hours are pretty good, and everyone is happy. Also, when there’s a popular release like a Marvel film, you know for the next few weeks you’re guaranteed a good set of shifts, possibly overtime too.”

Before COVID, depending on where you went, cinema tickets could range from £4.99 up to the £15 mark. That’s just for tickets. Regulars to the cinema have noticed a ticket price change and have wondered if that was the pandemics doing.

“We don’t get told ourselves when prices are changing. We log onto our till and have to notice and figure it out ourselves. Sometimes there not a massive change, but there are times we have to have a mess around for a few minutes to get a hang of it.”

“Even though we have staff discount, we still understand a rise in prices is going to cause people to complain or stop coming to the cinema all together. But at the end of the day, we’re not the one in control of our prices. Customers know this, but it still doesn’t stop a select few thinking that it’s my fault.” 

Ben & Jerrys stand

Buying snacks at the cinema has always been universally known as a ‘rip off’ but that doesn’t stop people from coming in early to purchase their snacks. Some still try sneak snacks in, not knowing that you don’t need to be secretive and that it’s not illegal to do so.

“There have been a few times where I’ve seen people’s bag’s bulging with snacks and trying to cover them with a jacket. We don’t care, we know ourselves how expensive cinema snacks are, and how expensive a cinema trip can be. I think to deny someone from bringing their own drinks and snacks to watch a 2 hour plus film is cruel, but I think every, if not most, cinemas allow outside snacks.”

sweet, salt or mixed?

As the lockdowns are over and COVID has essentially ‘gone away’ to some, that still doesn’t stop people from choosing to watch the new releases from the comfort of their own home. During the lockdowns when places were opening and closing every other month, cinemas followed the recommended guidelines of keeping a metre distance between each customer. This also applied when sitting in the screens, so there was limited space and tickets available. 

At the same time whilst films were being released in cinema, they were also being released on Disney+. Some you had to pay for or wait a few months to watch for free, and sometimes they were available straight away. Whilst the film Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds, hit cinemas, it wasn’t long before it was available on Disney+ for free at the same time. It’s a no brainer that people would rather stay home and watch it.

“Yeah, there has been a few times where were playing something that’s free to watch somewhere else. I feel like Disney+ has gotten in quite a bit of trouble during COVID for releasing things, but thankfully everything is back to normal and if you want to watch something you have to come to the cinema.”

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Did COVID kill cinema?

There has been debates that the pandemic has killed cinema or has sped up the death of it. Having new releases sent straight to streaming services has made people realise how much more convenient it is to watch at home, as well as how much cheaper it actually is. Being told to stay at home forced people to turn to streaming services, illegal and legal, to watch films that would usually be in cinemas.

Lawrie Lee, a cinema worker who has been there for 8+ years said, “Cinema is slowly dying. COVID definitely pushed that along, but with streaming services, cinema is bound to die out soon. I’m not talking next week or next year, but soon, directors are just going to be sending their films straight to platforms.”

“Working in the cinema before, during and after COVID, you can tell the difference. It was James Bond and the new Spiderman which got people back to the cinemas. I know if there’s a big release there will be big numbers because there are certain things that do need to be watched in cinema, but I know some people may not feel the same or care about where they watch a film.” 

“For some, sitting in a dark screen with a bunch of strangers all experiencing something for the first time is quite exciting.”

“I’ve worked here for long and have seen so many changes. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I don’t think people know how much the lockdowns affected cinema and the industry.”

Cinema worker Lawrie Lee

In 2020, the MPA, Motion Picture Association, released a report about the theatrical and home entertainment industry worldwide. According to their reports, “In 2020 the entire global theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market totalled $80.8 billion, the lowest figure since 2016 and a decline of 18% from 2019. The sharpest decline was in theatrical revenue which dropped from $42.3 billion in 2019 to $12 billion in 2020. Theatrical entertainment accounted for only 15% of the total global entertainment venue, compared to 43% in 2019.”

There was no choice but to reply on home entertainment, but what would the figures be like if the pandemic never happened? 

The future of cinema

Trying to predict the fate of cinemas is near impossible. 2 years ago, if you would’ve told the world that they would be in the mist of a global pandemic which would change their entire way of living forever, guarantee they wouldn’t believe you. 

What’s to say something like COVID wouldn’t happen again. We’ve learnt from first-hand experience how uncertain the world is and that anything life changing could happen on a random weekday. If another pandemic was to happen, could that be the final straw for cinemas all over the world? There will always be a demand for cinema as it is a good pastime and a great place to make memories, but with streaming services, illegal and legal, being easily accessible, it’s understandable why people would rather stay at home. 

For some COVID has made them feel uncomfortable leaving the house. With government guidelines no more, places still encourage you to wear a mask, but as it’s not a requirement anymore, you cannot be made to. 

To make some customers feel more at ease, cinemas have kept up the plastic partition to try and protect its workers and the guests.

Partition between worker and customer

Even before COVID, people were slowing turning into home bodies, preferring to stay at home instead of venturing to the cinema. But with people being forced to stay at home, this has encouraged more people to stay in their ways even now that things have gotten back to normal. 

The appeal to stay at home and watch Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ has only grown more since the latest releases of films have been above a certain age range. At home, no matter your age, you’re free to watch whatever film you please, but at the cinema, rules are rules. No ID. No entry.

“The new Batman film was a 15. We had to take it off our do it yourself screens because people were just getting sent back down for refunds due to them not having ID. I think the workers get kind of nervous when it’s a popular film, especially ones rated 15. It’s that age where the person could genuinely be 15 or 13, whereas with an 18 rated film, you have a better understanding if someone is of age,” says Lawrie.

“If I had a pound for every refund I’ve done relating to ID issues, I’d be set for life.”

Film age ratings & meanings

Having a drink is also an option people like to have when watching a film, but to continuously be leaving the screen to grab another drink is another reason people would prefer the streaming flatform route. If you need to grab or do anything, just pause.

Cinema’s alcohol policy

Whilst it doesn’t seem like cinema is going anywhere at the minuet, the continuous rise in ticket and snack prices could be pushing potential customers away. With new streaming platforms popping up every year with their competitive subscription price, it’s easy to see why staying at home is the desired choice.

Why would you pay nearly £10 for one singular ticket when you could subscribe to a streaming platform for less than that and have access to hundreds of films?