In Brussels’ dynamic heart, a transformative wave is reshaping the nightlife, with Fred Da Soghe, the pioneering owner of StammBar, at its helm. Once a traditional haven for gay men, StammBar is shattering its previous identity, unveiling the THEM party—a vibrant, inclusive beacon for the entire LGBTQIA+ spectrum.
“THEM stands as a celebration of diversity, an embrace of inclusion, and a recognition of the multitude of gender identities and sexual orientations,” Da Soghe articulates with conviction. “Our goal is a simple one: everyone who walks through our doors should feel welcome, regardless of how they identify.”
Driving Change in the Community
This radical shift isn’t just about changing a single venue’s atmosphere; it’s a response to a larger movement within the LGBTQIA+ entertainment landscape. Da Soghe observes the dwindling allure of the conventional cruising bar, affirming, “The landscape is changing, and we’re not just moving with the times – we’re looking to be the tide that brings in the new era.”
“Change can be challenging, but it’s a path to something greater,” Da Soghe admits, reflecting on the mixed feedback to StammBar’s evolution. While some voices in the community express skepticism or outright criticism, Da Soghe’s resolve is steadfast. “We’re navigating this transition with our eyes and ears open to the community’s heartbeat. Our dialogue is ongoing, and every step we take is with the intention of serving our community better.”
A Partnership for a Brighter Future
The THEM party isn’t a temporary experiment but a lasting alliance. “Our partnership with THEM is symbiotic. They’re as dedicated to inclusivity as we are, and together we’re exploring uncharted territories of what an inclusive space can signify,” Da Soghe shares, highlighting the continuous exchange of ideas that fuel this collaborative venture.
For those intrigued but unsure about experiencing THEM parties or the new StammBar, Da Soghe offers reassurance rather than persuasion. “The essence of THEM is attraction, not promotion. We want people to feel drawn to us, to be curious about what we offer. The THEM team’s commitment is to an ever-evolving space that invites questioning, encourages debate, and fosters a proactive search for solutions.”
Celebrating a Milestone with Reflection and Evolution
As he reminisces about the recent commencement of their 10th-anniversary festivities, Da Soghe can’t help but express his elation. “The depth of discourse around ‘safer’ and ‘brave’ spaces, the electric atmosphere our DJs create—it’s more than we could have hoped for.” His appreciation extends to everyone contributing to StammBar’s journey, reinforcing that it’s a collective effort.
With THEM, Fred Da Soghe is reimagining not just StammBar, but the very fabric of LGBTQIA+ nightlife in Brussels. It’s a clarion call for unity in diversity, an invitation extended to all, to step onto the dance floor and into a world where identity is celebrated, not just accepted.
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