Lick My Legacy: Are Women-Identified Spaces Still Needed to Nurture Women-Identified DJs?


  • Maren Hancock York University



DJs, Gender, Nightclubs, Canada, Lesbian


This article documents Lick Club; a Vancouver, BC lesbian bar that operated from 2003 until 2011, employing predominantly female (as well as trans and non-binary) DJs. Specifically, this study examines the effects of Lick’s physical space on the careers of those DJs in the region, focusing on the queer DJ network that evolved from the club. The author bases her findings on qualitative data generated from interviews with key players in Lick’s localized DJ network. The interviewees describe how their participation in Lick provided them with access to mentors, DJ equipment and performance opportunities that proved to be integral to their development as professional DJs. This research corroborates other studies of female DJs in the USA (Farrugia 2004, 2012) and Europe (Gavanas and Reitsamer 2013, 2016) that demonstrate how mentors are of acute importance in fostering the careers of female and non-binary DJs. This study concludes that, although female and non-binary DJs are becoming more common in Canadian nightclubs and festivals, networks such as the one fostered by Lick are still significant to the careers of DJs whose identities do not afford them access to the “boys’ club(s)”.

Author Biography

Maren Hancock, York University

Maren Hancock is a PhD candidate in Gender Studies at York University in Toronto. The author of Lady Lazarus: Confronting Lydia Lunch, she is presently completing her dissertation on female DJs in Canada. Maren is also a professional DJ and a critically acclaimed MC, singer and performer. Previously a member of hip hop/electro outfit StinkMitt, she currently makes music with a colleague under the moniker #entertainment; they recently released an official remix of Peaches’ “Dick in the Air”.