Photos by Yan White, The Queer Emporium

The Queer Emporium is celebrating its third birthday at the very start of June, and that’s not at all a coincidence – the store originally launched as a pop-up shop for Pride month in 2021, and has since grown into one of South Wales’ most recognisable queer brands. Best of all, the collective uses all profits to support an ever-growing list of community projects run by local LGBTQ+ folks.

Combining the features of an events space, community space, and a shop, The Queer Emporium is owned, managed, and almost exclusively operated by non-binary people. Self-described as ‘home for minority genders’, the LGBTQ+ hub is based in the heart of Cardiff, and over the last three years has become the go-to affirming space for everyone in the community.

In between showcasing queer-run businesses and organising events, the venue also has visitors covered with decadent drinks and cakes made by LGBTQ+ folks, including the now-iconic colour-changing BisexualiTea, or the glittering rose and hibiscus lemonade drink memorably named The Camp Disco Diva.

The program of events at The Queer Emporium ranges from bottomless brunch, speed dating, and comedy nights to the Draglings shows which showcase new queer performers, and the hugely popular Transition events, which provide trans, non-binary and fluid individuals with a safe space to explore gender. 

Find out more about the community hub at 

The Queer Emporium in numbers

  • 50% Young People: At least 1 in 10 of The Queer Emporium customers are under 18, with a further 40% are aged between 18 and 25.
  • 97% of those surveyed said that The Queer Emporium has had a significant impact on the local LGBTQ+ community.
  • 30% of The Queer Emporium’s base are non-binary or gender non-conforming.

In the past year, The Queer Emporium has had:

  • Over 300 LGBTQ+ speed dates
  • 150 people showing up to Speed Friendshipping
  • 270 literature events attendees
  • Served approximately 30, 000 people
  • Introduced new community-focused events, including make-up nights, an Iftar, Welsh Language LGBTQ+ nights, Craft Club, LGBTQ+ History Tours of Cardiff and lots more 
  • Supported over 50 new small LGBTQ+ businesses via markets and the Vendor Spotlight programme
  • Renovated the store, introducing indoor seating to the venue (a much-asked-for addition) and repainting the shop to a gorgeous pastel pink 

Yan White: Illuminating Cardiff’s LGBTQ+ Scene

Meet Yan White, the visionary behind The Queer Emporium. For Yan, it transcends mere commerce – it’s a passion project dedicated to fostering a thriving community and instigating genuine, uplifting transformations for Cardiff’s LGBTQ+ individuals. Every visit to The Queer Emporium isn’t just a transaction; it’s a contribution to a larger movement.

Beyond the bustling walls of The Queer Emporium, Yan loves spending time among their verdant companions or getting their blood pumping with some exercise (formerly a proud member of the Cardiff Lions, until an injury sidelined them). Their love for plants isn’t just a pastime – it’s a sanctuary, a tranquil retreat where Yan can recharge.

Author WCS

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