Prinx Silver (they/them/he/him)
Prinx Silver is a campaigner and Spanish drag king sensation, known for his political boylesque numbers seasoned with a hint of comedy and for getting naked on stage. In his own words, he has ‘a jawline so sharp that he runs a diamond-cutting business on the side - to pay the bills!’.
They're part of Friends of The Joiner’s Arms, which is currently crowdfunding to open the first community-run, accessible queer venue in London, with the aim of raising £100,000 by mid-August 2022.
Prinx Silver is also co-hosting a new club night in London called T-Boys Club to celebrate trans boys across the gender spectrum.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride for me means community. A celebration of - and showing up for - our community as well as a protest. Especially regarding trans people and how the current climate is in this country, Pride should still always be a protest.
What is your first recollection of a queer person?
That’s a cute question! I think it was a teacher. She taught Literature (classic!) and she was someone who was different. My first memories were thinking ‘this person is different, what does this mean?’. There were rumours that she was gay but apart from her there was no one in my school that I knew was gay or queer. And I was really curious about this teacher, I wanted to be her friend. I admired her and I thought she was weird but I liked her.
What do you think are the biggest challenges that the LGBTQ+ community still faces?
Definitely the hate and discrimination that trans people are facing right now. The media is inherently transphobic here (in the UK) and we have also seen a divide between our community and LGB but LGB makes no sense without the T. We have our rights because of trans people on the frontlines and the riots before us. It seems like people have forgotten that. Trans people are suffering the kind of hate and discrimination that we have almost forgotten gay people faced back in the 60’s/70’s. That’s the biggest challenge: we need to show up for trans people in our community.
How useful is it for brands, businesses and organisations to engage with LGBTQ+ creators and activists, as Begg x Co and QUEERCIRCLE are doing?
Above all, my advice would be don’t just to do it once a year. Don’t just change your logo and not have a longer plan of action. A lot of big brands do just that. The problem is a systemic one. Brands can engage if the teams behind the scenes are also queer and trans people. Not just the models for the hype, but hiring people that are queer, trans, queer POC, queer Black people, different intersections. That’s the problem, we are sometimes seen as props to seem cool and progressive. The change should come from the inside the organisation to be genuine and not just a token for Pride month.
We came across your work for the first time when you raised the flag of consent in drag performances. How can we create safer places across our different platforms and performance spaces?
I work in nightlife and events and I have looked a lot into working with other clubs and communities to create safer space policies. Obviously, it’s impossible to create spaces that are a 100% safe because there will always be behaviours and people that still need to learn. We can have the policies, but these need to evolve and be flexible, but it is important to have a specific structure in place to know what do if something happens. For example, consent, it needs to be very clear from the beginning that if someone is not behaving appropriately we have the right to throw them out and not put up with that. There needs to be a safe space policy in place, making sure that performers and attendees all feel as safe as possible.
How has London been a queer hub for you and what are the challenges here?
Sometimes I wonder if I hadn’t moved to London whether I would have come to realise my trans identity or even have role models that I could look up to. In Spain and where I grew up in the South, it is still quite binary and traditional. Moving to London was a full queer and trans awakening for me. Just seeing all these other people like me, loads of them, meant that it was possible, that it is a reality. That came from visibility and a big city like London, a queer capital, allows that. Now, it’s more of a challenge when I go back to Spain. British people can be quite arrogant when you are a migrant or when English is not your first language – I get patronised a lot, hey xenophobia! – but within our queer community, because of our politics, where I move is quite an intersectional and inclusive environment.
What is the one message or project coming up that you would like to highlight right now?
I’m part of the activist group Friends of the Joiners Arms and that’s the main project that I am working on right now – probably the biggest one so far. We have been going for around seven years but we are about to open the first community-run, queer venue in East London. We are a community benefit society so it means we need people to buy shares in it. You can become a shareholder and you then you will have a say on the decisions made about the space. We have already secured £100k through grants but we need another £100k to open a venue that is fully functional. It will have a bar and different spaces and we have launched our crowdfunding recently, already having reached £40k. People have until mid-August 2022 to invest. When we reach our goal we will be able to open it.
Oh, and I’ll end this interview with my motto: long live queer spaces!
Begg x Co + QUEERCIRCLE Supporting Pride
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride march, Begg x Co has once again teamed up with LGBTQ+ organisation QUEERCIRCLE, this time on a capsule collection of lightweight summer scarves. Proceeds from this unique partnership will support the organisation’s ambitious LGBTQ+ arts, culture and social action programmes.