JADE HOSKINS IS LADY PHOENIX, THE TRANS WOMAN BEHIND ZODIAC BAR
You originally successfully opened Zodiac Bar in Tufnell Park, miles away from the traditional LGBTQ+ commercial “scenes” of Soho or Vauxhall. Now you have relocated to Camden, making you, I think, the only LGBTQ+ venue in London’s Camden following the demise of the legendary Black Cap. What occasioned the move to Hampstead Road and what makes Zodiac different to other bars and venues?
I have lived in Camden for over three years and I loved the diversity of the area. I found this great space in Camden and felt like it could be a great home for the local LGBTQ+ community. The difference with ZODIAC is that we are not a corporation, we are a community space with a family feel where everyone from the community is welcome.
As a trans woman, have you found any problems with acceptance among the “traditional” LGBTQ+ commercial “scene” and, if so, how can we – as a community – help to improve that situation?
One of the reasons I wanted to start ZODIAC was that I felt that I didn’t always have a place in some of the gay bars in London. Some of them seemed to cater to a specific crowd and I didn’t always feel welcome. I think as a community that we need to embrace all parts of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s important to realise that we are all more alike than we are different, we have all had a difficult journey and we should work to lift each other up.
The trans community has – arguably – become more accepted and certainly more visible during the past few years. What more remains to be done and how can Zodiac help?
I think there is a lot of educating to do, especially outside of the LGBTQ+ community so that people better understand gender dysphoria. I hope to show with ZODIAC that we can all walk together, and that there are opportunities for Trans people in life. I also hope to give opportunities and a voice to the Trans Community.
There are – again arguably – many commercial LGBTQ+ venues in London which exist just to take money out of their customers’ wallets. What will Zodiac be giving back to the community?
We are just launching our first event aimed at raising money and supporting Trans charities, we are looking to do many more events like this that raise awareness and money for LGBTQ+ charities. We also want to give a platform for new LGBTQ+ event promoters and performers, so that they have a chance to create opportunities for themselves.
Sum up the Zodiac Bar On the Hampstead Road in three words.
Community, Love, Family
Who is your hero/ heroine?
My hero is my mother, she was always the centre of our community where I grew up in the Philippines and brought people together, I feel like I am very much like her!