Non-binary DJ and event planner reshapes Johannesburg’s events scene by curating safe spaces for women and queer people.
A Wits BA in theatre and performance graduate is championing the inclusion and safety of queer people and women in the events industry with their DJ training workshops and nightclub event, P_ssy Party, which is celebrating its seventh anniversary this month.
P_ssy Party provides women and queer DJs with opportunities through their diverse DJ line-ups, which include students from the P_ssy Party DJ training workshops. Founder Rosie Parade believes playing live is a big part of how they “nurture a student DJ”.
Parade says that the workshops and inclusivity in line-ups are important because male DJs often get more job opportunities than women and queer people.
“When people say ‘do the bare minimum’, that’s the complete opposite of [Rosie],” says Ri, a long-time friend and frequent collaborator of Parade’s.
For Parade, ensuring the safety of women and queer P_ssy Party attendees does not only mean good security and watchful eyes on the dance floor, but it also involves being clear about the event’s values.
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“We try to get everyone on the same page,” they say about their social media accounts where, while clear that anyone is welcome at the events, the safety of women and queer people is one of P_ssy Party’s main focuses.
After seven years of running P_ssy Party, Parade still considers creating safe spaces a challenge. “Women are still getting harassed in the club.” Nevertheless, they find that, “The more we do it, the better we understand what a safe space actually is.” Additionally, they stress the importance of having a conversation “when people step over the boundary”. This includes acts of harassment that cause discomfort for partygoers.
P_ssy Party was initially part of Kitchener’s Carvery Bar, became a standalone event in 2017, but continues to host weekly events at the bar called “P_ssy Thursdays”. The general manager of Kitchener’s, Changir Ceziknem, says that they would like to continue working with Parade and P_ssy Party because they are “very considerate” of staff and attendees.
Parade hopes that P_ssy Party can be “a good old time” for any trainee DJs or event attendees.
FEATURED IMAGE: Rosie Parade in their home studio with their large vinyl collection. Photo: Rufaro Chiswo
- Wits Vuvuzela, Safe partying on campus, February 2015
- Wits Vuvuzela, New haven for queer students, August 2021