About this Archive
Sue Wade arrived in London from her hometown of Middlesbrough in 1978, escaping the verbal and physical abuse she received there for being ‘out and proud’. She met Sue Gee in a club in 1979; they were together for six months before Sue G went to the U.S. for the next six-and-a-half years. In 1982 Sue Wade created Heds, a 'new club for a new era' in Stratford Place, Mayfair. Heds attracted an eclectic crowd including Armistead Maupin (who immortalised the club in his book 'Baby Cakes'), androgynous French singer/performer Ronny and punk icon Jayne County.
Sue W’s 33 years of lesbian visibility started with her photo in Tatler magazine in a piece on 'Sex and Gender in London’s Subculture'. Sue G arrived back in London in 1986; she and Sue W have been together ever since. In 1990 Sue and Sue opened Clubworld, London’s first women-only weekly Super Club.
In 1993 their new venture, Wow Bar, led to a report in the Sunday Express about the controversy surrounding fashion’s link to the lesbian scene. There was a Wow Bar Stage at Pride 1995-1997. In 1997 Sue and Sue were interviewed for the Channel 4 documentary 'Invasion of the Big-Haired Lesbians'. 1999 saw Sue W directing the 'Switched On Show' at Her Majesty’s Theatre, a women-only fundraiser for Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. In 1999 Sue and Sue inaugurated a new club night, 100% Babe. They were civilly partnered in 2006. In 2017 they appeared on the Channel 4 programme ‘Prejudice and Pride: the People’s History of LGBTQ Britain’ marking the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.
Scope and Content
Booklet and papers regarding Sue Gee, Sue Wade and their dyke bars and queer clubnights Heds, WOW and Babe, [1982-2019]
- typescript timeline, '4 Decades of Lesbian Visibility', listing events such as the opening of Heds clubnight (1982), Heds Gender Benders featuring Ronny and Jayne County (1983-1990), clubnight 100% Babe (2000), Sue and Sue's civil partnership and their appearance on the programme 'Prejudice and Pride: the People's History of LGBTQI Britain' (2017)
- programme from a preview showing of 'Prejudice and Pride: the People's History of LGBTQI Britain' at the BFI (2016)
- flyer from the 'Gender Benders' nights featuring information about Ronny, 'the bisexual French girl singer with a penchant for dressing in menswear' and Jayne County
- colour photocopy of a photo of Sue and Sue with Armistead Maupin, who mentioned Sue Wade's first club, Heds, in his novel 'Baby Cakes' (2019)
- booklet, 'Boss Babe Club Nights 1982-2012 & Media Visibility', featuring photos, images from the press and other publications regarding Sue and Sue (2 copies)