Brighton drag queen Lola Lasagne announces move to Manchester
A DRAG queen has announced he will be leaving Brighton after more than 23 years.
Lola Lasagne, real name Stephen Richards, said it was time for “new challenges” after moving to Brighton in 1998 and will move to Manchester this Friday.
He said: “If Brighton and I were a couple then I still love him but we stopped having sex a while ago.
“Manchester gives me new paths to take and new people to meet.”
Stephen also said the death of James Ledward, an LGBTQ+ activist who died after a short illness in 2019, “has dulled our city and our scene in so many ways”.
The entertainer will still perform in Brighton on occasion and said he will “definitely” take part in Pride celebrations next year.
Hello Twitter! I have some news.
Great news ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0cDpRf0pvQ
— Stephen Richards (@MissLolaLasagne) August 8, 2022
Stephen took to the main stage as Lola at the Pride festival on Saturday, paying tribute to James and introducing Christina Aguilera on stage.
In his speech, he said that Pride remains a protest and that the LGBTQ+ community must prevent progress towards equal rights from being eroded.
He said: “Our rights are under threat in some parts of the world – we’re going to say it’s not going to happen in the UK.”
Looking back on his time in Brighton, Stephen said: ‘I’ve seen the LGBTQ+ scene evolve quite nicely and through my gig, my association with Pride, The Rainbow Fund and James Ledward, I’ve learned to produce shows , making my voice heard and above all learned the right words to say by doing so.
“I worked with mayors, council, police and boycotted Pride during those two terrible years in 2010 and 2011 when it lost its purpose and abandoned much of the community.
“I had some of the best gigs and times of my life here. Brighton has been quite magnificent.
Stephen will be back for his first Brighton gig as Lola on September 4 at the Charles Street Tap in Marine Parade.