3 Fun Day Trips for Under £3

Want to get out this weekend, but your wallet’s pretty empty and you don’t want to top up your Oyster card?

Don’t mope around your dorm—just check out these fun day trips close to both Kingston and Surbiton that you can take for under £3!

  1. Visit Bushy Park

Located near Hampton Court Palace, Bushy Park is a short bus ride away from either Surbiton or Kingston. Perfect for your Instagram story, the park is filled with roughly 320 wild red and fallow deer that roam as they please. Pack a lunch and bring a good friend, and enjoy a day lounging around this lovely park.

If you want an easy day trip that’s not too far from home, get in touch with nature here—just be sure to stay at least 50m away from the deer, since they are still wild, and we don’t want another goring incident.

Cost: £1.50 each way (1 bus connection)

  1. Check out Guildford Castle

Take a leisurely ride on the 465 bus and the 715 bus to the historic Guildford Castle, built back in the 1000’s and located in—wait for it—Guildford. The moat has been converted into a beautiful flower garden, and while the castle is in a state of ruin, the top of the Great Tower is still open to the public for a panoramic view of the city.

Be sure to check out the memorial to author Lewis Carroll and the Guildford Museum by the old gatehouse while you’re there, and wear walking shoes. The path that goes around the keep is a nice stroll for a sunny day!

Cost: £1.50 each way (1 bus connection)

  1. Visit Eel Pie Island

Just hop on the 281 towards Hounslow Bus Station from either Kingston or Surbiton, and ride it all the way to Twickenham—Eel Pie Island will be waiting for you. An island in the middle of the Thames, this place is a music lover’s dream. Filled with musical history and kooky artwork, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another time.

Musical phenomenons like David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Genesis and The Rolling Stones performed on the island at the now-burned down island hotel, before it was taken over by a cult in the 70s. Whether you believe in mystics, magic or just want to stretch your legs, Eel Pie Island is a fun afternoon jaunt.

Cost: £1.50 each way (no changes)

Where’s your favourite place to escape to on the weekends? Let us know!

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Disney Takes Aim to Trademark “Hakuna Matata” in Controversial Move

“Hakuna Matata”—it means no worries for the rest of your days!

But soon, that might not be the case, thanks to Disney.

Namwali Serpell’s recent article for the Guardian discusses the Disney corporation’s decision to trademark the Swahili tagline “Hakuna Matata,” which roughly translates to “no worries.”

This news comes as the company is gearing up for The Lion King reboot, directed by Jon Favreau.

Audiences seem particularly unhappy with this controversial decision because it portrays Swahili as somewhat of a made-up language that only exists to create catchphrases. The fact that Disney has trademarked an existing language seems to ignore the fact that real people actually speak this language.

Serpell calls Disney’s decision “rampantly greedy” and a way to capitalise on a culture that is so often unfairly stereotyped in the media. Subsequently, with this trademark decision, it “paints this ‘Africa’ as an imaginary space but nevertheless uses broad, stereotypical tropes about the continent (animals and warrior tribes and mangled accents).”

Serpell not only talks about how problematic this decision is, but that is also simply doesn’t make sense—nobody would ever think to trademark a Western, widely spoken language, so why is it okay to trademark Swahili?

“There is a patent absurdity to the idea that Hakuna Matata would be subject to trademark,” writes Serpell. “It’s like copyrighting ‘goodbye’ or ‘hang loose’.”

As a result of the outrage, a change.org petition has been created that seeks to “say no to Disney or any corporations/individuals looking to trademark languages, terms or phrases they didn’t invent.” The petition has already received over 120,000 signatures.

What are your thoughts? Is this an example of “PC nonsense” or is Disney wrong in trademarking the term? Let us know!

How to Survive “Re-Fresher’s” Week

You relaxed over the holiday break. You ate too much cheese, drank a bit too much champagne, spent time with your family, and caught up on sleep.

We get it. You’re ready to return to university and get back to your debaucherous self.

While we can’t stop you (but have you finished all your assignments?), we can provide you with a guide to survive the dreaded “re-fresher’s” week.

1. Take it easy and take it slow

When you first came to university, you were probably ready to get away from home. The freedom to cook your own mediocre ramen-based meals and drink until the sun comes up… it was romantic, wasn’t it?

If you do decide to go out, take it slow at a pub instead of a club. Remember to wash your hands religiously (it is cold and flu season, after all) and listen to your body.

You’ve put your liver through a lot this past semester. So, stop it. Don’t pre-drink a fifth of vodka and please remember to eat a balanced meal. Someone passed out on the street during Fresher’s Week is relatively funny; someone passed out on the street in mid-January will catch hypothermia and die.

2. Remember that this time, your classes matter

Gone are the days of first-week syllabi and second chances. Midway through the semester, your professors (and classmates, for those neglected group projects) are expecting quality work from you.

Don’t go out drinking on a Tuesday night when you have an 8 a.m. lecture on the Wednesday. Or, at least, stash some extra clothes at a friend’s house that’s nearby campus so you can stay over. And take a shower, please.

3. A night in can be just as fun as a night out

Look, frankly, it’s cold. One of the main reasons to go out during Fresher’s Week is to make friends, but it’s January, and hopefully you’ve made some friends by now.

Invite your friends around for a bottle of wine and a Netflix binge–every takeaway restaurant has a deal, so you have literally no excuse to leave your house.

4. Keep yourself controlled

Going home can be a stressor for a lot of people, and maybe you’re geared up and ready to get back to that “super fun, super cool uni life.” That’s all well and good, but not if it jeopardises your body, health or education.

The most important thing is to listen to yourself. If you feel ill, but your friend wants to take another shot, just decline it. Likewise, the world won’t end if you go home at 10 p.m. instead of 2 a.m.


“Re-fresher’s week” is just a name. It’s nothing special, and while it’s lovely to catch up with friends, don’t put pressure on yourself to start the semester off on the wrong foot.

The 18 Most Iconic Moments That Made 2018 Into 20gayteen

2018 is coming to an end. It’s been a year full of ups and downs for the LGBT community (and the rest of the world, to be honest), but let’s focus on 18 iconic pop culture moments that made 2018 into 20gayteen.

  1.     Hayley Kiyoko coming up with the term “20gayteen”

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Thank you, Lesbian Jesus.

  1.     Miss Vanjie… Miss Vanjie… Miss Vanjie!!!

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Season 10 of Rupaul’s Drag Race was good, but would have been nothing without MISS VANJIE!!

  1.     Brockhampton releasing gay merch. Literally.

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It obviously all sold out in minutes.

  1.     Queer Eye blessing our screens

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And it’s already been renewed for a third season. The power of the Fab Five!

  1.     Janelle Monaé’s Pynk. That’s all.

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An ode to vaginas? We have to stan.

  1.     Britney Spears performing at Brighton Pride

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Moving was impossible and getting to Brighton was a struggle, but at least the Queen herself was there.

  1.     First ever openly gay K-Pop idol’s debut

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For those of you who don’t know, K-Pop idols have to follow some very strict rules. Most of them aren’t even allowed to date, never mind be openly homosexual. Holland is Korea’s first openly gay idol, and he’s releasing music without the support of any of the main entertainment companies. He made his debut with a song called I’m Not Afraid, which is quite fitting.

  1.     America’s first professional transgender boxer won his first pro fight

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Patricio Manuel was competing as a woman for a decade, and after coming back to the ring as a male boxer, he won against Hugo Aguilar. Here’s to many more wins!

  1.     We finally had a MASSIVE teen movie in cinemas, which was about a gay love story.

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Yaaaassss Love, Simon!

  1.  Courtney Act won Celebrity Big Brother.

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And then became the host of The Bi Life! What a queen.

  1.  SO many celebrities came out.

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Alyson Stoner, Reece King, Kevin McHale, Amandla Stenberg, Brendon Urie, Kehlani and so many more.

  1.  Speaking of Kehlani… Our queer angel is having a baby. And the dad’s bisexual!

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The singer surprised everyone with her pregnancy in October.

  1.  There was a lesbian wedding in a mainstream cartoon!

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Steven Universe’s creator knew it would be important for queer representation and visibility—and aren’t Ruby and Sapphire the cutest?

  1.  Harry Styles’ world tour

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He went on tour and spent pretty much every night dancing with rainbow flags, showing his support to the community, and saying things such as, “I mean we’re all a little bit gay, aren’t we?”

  1.  Queer superheroes!!

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Hi, Teenage Warhead and Yukio. You’re cute.

  1.  She-Ra and the Princess of Power

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Netflix’s She-Ra reboot features a same-sex couple, and they’re canon! What else would you expect from highly-acclaimed queer showrunner Noelle Stevenson?

  1.  The number of LGBT characters on TV reached a record high

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*20gayteen intensifies*

  1.  Pansexual became one of Merriam-Webster’s words of 2018

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If this doesn’t define 20gayteen, what does?

What a ride. What was your favourite moment of 20gayteen? And are you ready for 20biteen?

Violence in Video Games: A 2018 Look at “The Last of Us”

Let me start by posting this Forbes article that was published last year.

The gist of Erik Kain’s article—and of many other video game reviewers’ articles that have been published since the release of The Last of Us II trailer last year—is that the first trailer for newest instalment of the mega-hit post-apocalyptic video game is much too violent.

First off, I think the author’s worries about the tone of the new game are completely founded. The Last of Us is a game about learning to love and trust those around you after going through a terrible loss. It is emotional and devastating in the best way possible, and The Last of Us II seems like it is going to be much darker than the first.

Neil Druckmann, the game director for The Last of Us, said that the next instalment is a “…story about hate.” This doesn’t instil confidence that the game will have a happy tone. However, I feel that the majority of these articles miss the mark when discussing the violence of this game series.

The Last of Us is a game about parasites that infect humanity and turn them into cannibalistic monsters. Many, MANY main characters die (SPOILER: one of them is the main character’s tween daughter about 15 minutes into the game), and the game has a plethora of extremely violent imagery.

It is by no means a happy game.

So when I read articles condemning the violence in the most recent The Last of Us II trailer, I can’t help but think that the context of this series was simply not taken into consideration.

For instance, Julia Alexander’s recent article for polygon.com (Stop Using Violence To Sell Your Game), is a well written discussion about violence against women in video games. However, I see the newest trailer for The Last of Us as being empowering to women—not another example of misogynistic game play.

The only characters that have any lines in this trailer are women. This trailer, now that most of the characters have been named, passes the Bechdel Test (see Hollywood executives? It’s not that hard).

The main character is ripped. Like completely shredded. She doesn’t exist in this post apocalyptic world to be feminine eye candy for the male protagonists. She is realistically shaped to survive in the world she is in. However, who is she saved by? Not by a man, but by two young women (who are not white, but that deserves a whole other conversation about race in video games).

One is androgynous, another example of what real women can look like, and the other is defiant even in the face of defeat. Yes, her arm being broken is shown in graphic detail, but she gets right back up and kills two of her captors despite this. The women are subjected to violence because the world of The Last of Us is violent.

But are they shown to be victims? Do they cower in the face of violence like so many female movie and video game protagonists do?

No. They show that women, no matter if they are a villain, a pair of badass saviours, or a mysterious anti-hero, can survive an apocalyptic world just as well as any man.

We see the survival instincts of Tess, the fortitude of Ellie, and the spirit that makes The Last of Us such a beloved game. So, no—I am not worried about the tone of the next instalment of this series, because from what has been released so far, I can see what makes The Last of Us unique: the fight all people have—no matter their gender, age, race, or sexuality—to keep their humanity and stay alive in an incredibly violent world.

Keep an eye out for the new Last of Us game coming out in 2019!

The 10 Female Artists You Should Be Listening To

There may be a few successful women in music at the moment, but there still aren’t enough. And, let’s be honest, some of them suck anyway.

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of ten female artists and female-fronted bands you may not know, but you should definitely listen to. Oh, and they are all proud feminists and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community too, which we’re always here for.

King Princess

King Princess, born Mikaela Straus, is a 19 year old singer-songwriter from New York, who’s signed to Mark Ronson’s label. She’s smart, funny and incredibly talented. She’s also in the longlist for the BBC Sound of 2019 award (previously won by artists such as Adele and Sam Smith), so you may want to check her out before she takes over the world. Listen to 1950, which is probably her most popular song – Harry Styles even tweeted the lyrics to it!

Billie Eilish

Even if you don’t know Billie Eilish, you know Billie Eilish. The 16 year old (yes, 16) has the voice of an angel, and sells out venues in minutes. She is loved by big stars, such as Ellie Goulding and Julia Roberts, and hopefully will be loved by you too: listen to her latest single when the party’s over, but be careful, the video might freak you out a little.

Greentea Peng

She’s just so awesome. As you can guess from her name, Greentea Peng is a London girl. She has a beautiful jazzy voice, and looks too cool to be real. If you’re into chill music (or are a stoner), she’s the girl for you. Check out Moonchild, and if you’re not into trippy music videos, just focus on her voice.

Kim Petras

Kim Petras is the pop princess we all need. Although she is mostly known for being transgender and having transitioned at a young age, she makes some pretty great music too. Make your Y2K music video dreams come true and check out I Don’t Want It All.

PVRIS

PVRIS (resist the urge to call them puh-vuh-ris – it’s pronounced Paris) are a female-fronted rock band from Massachusetts. Their sound is unique and lead singer Lynn Gunn has an incredibly powerful voice, which sounds exactly the same when she sings live. Listen to White Noise and keep an eye out for them if you’re planning on going to Reading or Leeds Festival!

Willow Smith

You obviously all know Willow Smith. But, forgetting Whip My Hair, did you know she makes good music? She doesn’t release enough of her own, but is featured in a few of her brother’s songs. If you want a taste of what she sounds like, listen to Jimi, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty is a 21 year old rapper, mother, and legend in the making. Her music will make you feel like a boss, and she already has six mixtapes out, so your playlist will be on fire. Rico knows she’s weird and lives for it, which should only inspire you to be yourself as well. Check out her song Countin Up, but be careful: it will be stuck in your head for hours.

Yonaka

Yonaka are an alternative band from Brighton. They just toured Europe and the UK with Bring Me The Horizon, and will share a stage with them again at All Points East festival in May. Don’t worry, they don’t sound anything like BMTH, but hopefully the band will bring them the attention that they deserve. Listen to Creature and go wild.

Princess Nokia

If you need some music to boost your confidence, or just to dance along to, listen to Princess Nokia. The American rapper has a unique voice (which can sound very different from song to song) and talks about herself and her life in a candid way in all her songs. She seems to do what she wants, and it’s working out for her. Tomboy is one of her most popular songs, and will give you an idea of what she’s like.

Brooke Candy

Brooke Candy looks and sounds unique. Sia loves her (she’s actually kind of her mentor), so you should too. Brooke is also idolised by the gay community, and it’s clear she takes inspiration from drag queens with her makeup looks. And Brooke Candy is her real name, so you know she was born to be a star. Music wise, her song Nasty is a jam, and there’s nothing better than hearing her refer to a guy as hoe.

Are you a fan of any of these artists? And is there anyone you think should be on the list? Let us know.

Netflix Flops: Should You Watch “Don’t Watch This”?

What is it with the human brain and the compulsion of doing something when you’ve been specifically told not to? That’s exactly what I did when I saw Don’t Watch This on NetflixI clicked on it almost immediately.

Now, looking back, maybe I should’ve taken it seriously.

Ghouls, psychos and dark obsessions are the protagonists on Netflix’s brand new horror anthology, Don’t Watch This. It was created as a collaboration between Netflix, Crypt TV and Queer Eye’s executive producers. Good combo, right?

I was more than excited when I read the loglines for the episodes, which don’t have anything in commonnot the theme, not the length, nor the atmosphere. Still, I had been proven before that horror anthologies could, in fact, work.

Unfortunately, what I was served wasn’t much more than another XX or ABC’s of Death.

It pains me to say this but Don’t Watch This failed to bring originality, scares and overall entertainment.

Perhaps the lack of common denominator is what caused the anthology to collapseit didn’t have any grounds to stand on. In spite of all the bad, it has its good sides. I really enjoyed two shorts: Incommodum, the third one, and Antoni Psycho, the last one.

Incommodum is an experimental short, with no conventional narrative; therefore all of our need of clear storyline and resolution should be thrown out of the window when watching it. It shows distorted images of “ominous symbols, bodily horrors and other frights [that] converge in a surreal nightmare that’s not for the squeamish”, as one of the producers kindly wrote.

The last one is an homage to Mary Harron’s iconic American Psycho. In this short, Antoni Porowski, one of the fab five from Queer Eye appears as himself in a parody that feeds from American Psycho and the personality’s fame after the success of Queer Eye.

Its style and tone are perfectly copied from Harron’s feature, as it shows a duplicate from the opening scene where Christian Bale’s character gets ready for his day, voicing his day-to-day routines. Both in the feature and in the short, the voice-over is as painfully boring as it is important for the character development. Although the protagonist on the short film is a real person, both versions explore the absurd of human vanity.

As I mentioned before, Don’t Watch This is not Netflix’s best, but it is worth a watchdespite its namefor its novelty. It is Netflix’s first attempt to swim in uncharted waters and even betterit is really, really short!