DYKE NITE: A Celebration of Queer Love and Joy 

“We are very political. We want to talk about sexuality, sexual politics, and things along those lines. We wanted an event to explore that freedom and creativity of the community on our own terms.”

Dyke Nite is Limerick’s first and only event dedicated to, in their own words, “trans women and men, butches and bisexuals, fags and femmes, sapphics and stones, and everyone in-between.” Since its first event in July 2022, Dyke Nite has formed into an extraordinary evening, bringing with it fun, friendship, and most of all, a sense of belonging. 

El Reid-Buckley spoke to Limerick Voice about how the beloved night came to fruition and how it has got to where it is now. El is a trained sociologist, along with being a writer, artist, curator, and community organiser in Limerick City. El is also an outgoing activist, working with CATU, Ormston House, Spacecraft Studios, and the Trans Limerick Community.  

El explained that the idea for Dyke Nite first originated from a group chat “as all great ideas do” with friends and now co-founders, Neev Kennedy, and Aoife O’Toole, known as DJ, who in passing would say to each other: “We should throw a big dyke party.”  

After toying with the idea for a while, El, Neev, and DJ decided to take a leap of faith and organise it.  

Photo by Jodie Galvin

“We wanted to do something that was going to be financially accessible but also something that centred queer people who don’t necessarily fall into that hegemonic cis gay man, cis lesbian role, and we were also acutely aware of how queer women are so often sidelined in these events too.” 

Highlighting the importance of the trans community, El said: “As three organisers of a party who are non-binary and work a lot with trans communities, we know there isn’t a lot of trans events either, so we really wanted to create something that was going to celebrate these communities and the diversity within them.”  

Something that was considered heavily by El, Neev, and DJ, as artists, was that the arts are underfunded and much of the programming for events wouldn’t align with their values.   

El stated, “We are very political. We want to talk about sexuality, sexual politics, and things along those lines. We wanted an event to explore that freedom and creativity of the community on our own terms.”  

And so, the iconic Dyke Nite was born, a perfect addition to the city centre. It brings with it a safe space for queer people living in Limerick, which is something that is most desperately needed. After the closure of Strokers gay bar, which was located on Upper William Street, in 2017, Limerick has been left without a space for queer people and Dyke Nite has filled that gap. 

Photo by Jodie Galvin

Dyke Nite is now holding more frequent events in the Commercial Bar, having previously hosted nights in Pharmacia. The event has amassed great success, with people travelling from all over the country to attend, and tickets selling out when released. It is an event for the people, by the people that not only hosts a judgement-free zone, but also highlights up-and-coming queer artists, making sure all performers, including DJs, drag queens and kings, get paid.  

El admits that the planning and organisation that goes on to host Dyke Nite is stressful but worth it in the end to see people be unapologetically themselves, with El sharing: “We’re for lovers, we’re for others, we’re for everyone.”  

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