The Edinburgh fringe festival is drawing to a close. Earlier this month, the cast of Rikki Beadle-Blair's play Stonewall was nominated in the Best Ensemble category of The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence.
Beadle-Blair, who adapted the play from his 1996 screenplay of the same name, told Scottish magazine The List: "The perception is that gay rights have moved forward but it’s not far enough.
"Societal attitudes are obscured as gay people can walk down two streets in every capital holding hands without being beaten up, however gay teens are three times more likely to commit suicide and to kids (and a certain radio DJ) 'gay' is another word for 'lame'."
The Awards consist of categories for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Ensemble and Best Solo Performer.
Nominations are chosen by the newspaper's review team who view hundreds of productions before making their choice.
The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence were founded by the publication in 1995 to celebrate the best performances in theatre-based productions each year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The judging panel consists of the principal reviewers for The Stage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Jeremy Austin, Gerald Berkowitz, Thom Dibdin, Duska Radosavljevic, Nick Awde and William McEvoy.
The play La Femme est Morte, or Why I Should Not F**k My Son, a contemporary reworking of the Greek myth of Phaedra, eventually won the award at a ceremony at the Cafe Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, on Sunday, August 26.
About the play
On June 28, 1969, a New York City gay bar underwent one of its regularly scheduled, almost ritualistic police raids.
For some reason on that night the queens fought back, beginning a week of riots and demonstrations that are celebrated as the beginning of America’s gay pride movement.
Rikki Beadle-Blair’s play celebrates the myth of Stonewall in a way that is true in spirit if fictional in plot, and that provides one of the most thoroughly entertaining dirty pleasures of the festival.
Set in a magical version of history in which the entire cast is covered head to toe in glitter, the play follows newcomer to New York Matty Dean, who falls for La Mirada, one of the drag queens who frequent the Stonewall.
More political than most, Matty is at first drawn to the cautious Mattachine Society’s way of working within the system until he sees how ineffectual and compromising they are, returning to the Stonewall world just as a cop picks exactly the wrong moment to hassle one of the queens.
With the romance of Matty and La Mirada at its centre, the play gets the chance to look at a cross-section of the 1969 gay world, from the most flamboyant of queens to the tragically closeted man who can’t face the fact that he loves one of them. It also celebrates the spirit of liberation by interrupting the action at regular intervals with lip-synched musical numbers set to the recordings of girl groups of the period.
Strong performances from Alexis Gregory as La Mirada, Joel Dommett as Matty, and the author-director as the gang’s spiritual den mother lead a large cast and set a tone that encompasses the real personal dramas and the spirit of liberation.
Stonewall has all the glamour of a drag queen’s dreams and all the sleaze of a morning after a night that was well worth it.
* The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence 2007
* Edinburgh Fringe Festival
* Review in the Scotsman
* Interview of Beadle-Blair in the Independent
* Interview of Beadle-Blair in the Guardian
* Rikki Beadle-Blair on Wikipedia
* Stonewall Riots
Friday, August 31, 2007
The Edinburgh fringe festival is drawing to a close. Earlier this month, the cast of Rikki Beadle-Blair's play Stonewall was nominated in the Best Ensemble category of The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence.
The mark the 40th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, BBC Four have put together a series of programmes under the title Hidden Lives. The season takes place in the first week of September.
It's Not Unusual: A Lesbian and Gay...
...History: 1/3. Age of Innocence. Part of the Hidden Lives season. The story of gay life in Britain since 1918, beginning in the inter-war years when public awareness of homosexuality was rare.
BBC Four, Sat 1 Sep, 21:00-21:50 50mins Stereo
It's Not Unusual: A Lesbian and Gay...
...History. 2/3. Double Lives: Part of the Hidden Lives season. Charting the story of gay life in Britain since 1918. Focusing on the late 40s and 50s when the gay community went underground.
BBC Four, Sat 1 Sep, 21:50-22:40 50mins Stereo
Our Hidden Lives
Part of the Hidden Lives season. Drama inter-weaving the real diaries of four ordinary people living in postwar Britain. Starring Sarah Parish, Ian McDiarmid, Richard Briers and Lesley Sharp.
BBC Four, Sat 1 Sep, 22:40-23:55 75mins Stereo Widescreen
Our Hidden Lives
Part of the Hidden Lives season. Drama inter-weaving the real diaries of four ordinary people living in postwar Britain. Starring Sarah Parish, Ian McDiarmid, Richard Briers and Lesley Sharp.
BBC Four, Sun 2 Sep, 03:15-04:30 75mins Stereo Widescreen
It's Not Unusual: A Lesbian and Gay...
...History. 3/3. Coming Out: Part of the Hidden Lives season. Charting the story of gay life in Britain since 1918, exploring the 70 and 80s, and looking at Gay Lib, AIDS and Clause 28.
BBC Four, Sun 2 Sep, 21:00-21:50 50mins Stereo
Breaking The Code
Part of the Hidden Lives season. Derek Jacobi stars as Alan Turing, the mathematical genius who cracked the Enigma Code, but who was persecuted for being homosexual.
BBC Four, Sun 2 Sep, 22:30-00:05 95mins Stereo
Philby, Burgess and Maclean
Part of the Hidden Lives season. Ian Curteis' play from 1977 about the three Russian spies who penetrated the British Foreign office. Starring Anthony Bate, Derek Jacobi and Michael Culver.
BBC Four, Mon 3 Sep, 20:00-21:20 80mins Stereo
Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!
Showing as part of the Hidden Lives season. Michael Sheen stars as Kenneth Williams in this drama adapted from Williams' own diaries. Contains strong language and sexual content.
BBC Four, Mon 3 Sep, 21:20-22:40 80mins Stereo Widescreen
BBC Four, Tue 4 Sep, 01:55-03:15 80mins Stereo Widescreen
Arena: Joe Orton: Genius Like Us
Part of the Hidden Lives season. An Arena programme from 1982 profiling the life and tragic death of playwright Joe Orton. Following his journey from Leicester to RADA, to West End success.
BBC Four, Mon 3 Sep, 22:40-23:55 75mins Stereo
Reputations: Frankie Howerd
Part of Hidden Lives. A profile of Frankie Howerd from his early days in South London and early acting jobs, through radio stardom to tv triumphs, depression, money problems and his sex life.
BBC Four, Tue 4 Sep, 20:00-21:00 60mins Stereo Widescreen
Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful: Part of the Hidden Lives season. The life and times of the musician Liberace, with contributions from family and friends.
BBC Four, Tue 4 Sep, 22:30-23:20 50mins Stereo Widescreen
Andrew and Jeremy Get Married...
...Storyville: Showing as part of the Hidden Lives season. Following the lives of Jeremy Trafford and Andrew Thomas as they prepare to get married. Contains strong language and sexual content.
BBC Four, Tue 4 Sep, 23:20-00:30 70mins Stereo Widescreen
BBC Four, Wed 5 Sep, 03:00-04:10 70mins Stereo Widescreen
The Naked Civil Servant
Part of the Hidden Lives season. John Hurt stars as Quentin Crisp in a BAFTA award winning performance in this classic drama first broadcast in 1975.
BBC Four, Wed 5 Sep, 19:40-21:00 80mins Stereo Widescreen
Part of the Hidden Lives season. Drama starring Charles Dance as Jack Wolfenden who fifty years ago recommended that homosexuality be decriminalised.
BBC Four, Wed 29 Aug 21:00-22:20 80mins Stereo Widescreen
BBC Four, Wed 5 Sep, 21:00-22:20, rpt 2:25-3:45 80mins Stereo Widescreen
BBC Four, Thu 6 Sep, 02:25-03:45 80mins Stereo Widescreen
BBC Four, Fri 7 Sep, 22:10-23:30, rpt 1.45-3.05 80mins Stereo Widescreen
Arena: The Strange Story of Joe Meek
Showing as part of Hidden Lives. A profile of the legendary producer and song writer Joe Meek, composer of the massive hit Telstar who recorded most of his hits in a home studio in Holloway Road.
BBC Four, Wed 5 Sep, 22:20-23:20 60mins Stereo
Gay MPs - Pride and Prejudice in...
...Politics. Part of Hidden Lives. Eddie Mair takes a look at the history of homosexuality in the Houses of Parliament and finds that there is nothing new about gay politicians and scandal.
BBC Four, Wed 5 Sep, 23:20-00:10 50mins Stereo Widescreen
The Legend of Leigh Bowery: Storyville
Part of Hidden Lives. Exploring the extraordinary life of the outrageous fashion designer Leigh Bowery. Contains very strong language, explicit sexual content and upsetting scenes.
BBC Four, Thu 6 Sep, 00:10-01:25 75mins Stereo Widescreen
We are dedicating a page on our website to LGBT health issues, health history, health resources and current health campaigns.We want this page to be as inclusive and comprehensive as possible. This space will contain biographies, timelines, current issues and links to all those organisations working in the field, with their logo and a brief summary of what they do.
If you are part of a LGBT health organisation, we are looking for your organisation's logo and a brief summary of who you are and the services you provide.
Do you have an account of the history of your organisation?
Do you have a piece of LGBT health history that you might share or some research that you can provide?
Do you have any issues which you would like to raise or comments you would like to make?
If you do, please contact:
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Jon Savage threads together the extraordinary lives of Brian Epstein, Joe Orton and Joe Meek - three men persecuted for their homosexuality who died in 1967 - the year the stigma was supposed to be lifted.
Read the full Guardian article here.
BBC Four will be broadcasting documentaries on Joe Orton's and Joe Meek's lives next week as part of their Hidden Lives seasons. More details about the season will be posted here tomorrow.
* Brian Epstein
* Joe Orton
* Joe Meek
When: Saturday September 1st. 1-6pm.
Where: Kensington Gardens. Opposite the Serpentine Gallery entrance. Stroll over towards to the biggest tree in the long grass. Map
Who: All trans folk, friends, partners, family and allies.
What: Bring food and drink to share, picnic blankets, picnic tablecloths, parasols, and bunting to mark our spot. Also please all bring a contribution of small change, notes, or cheques made payable to 'Press For Change' for the picnic fundraiser collection.
Press For Change
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The 75-minute special is set against the deliberations of the Wolfenden Committee, established by the then Home Secretary to look into the law relating to Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in September 1954.
Consenting Adults follows the diverse members of the committee as they struggle towards their radical conclusions.
Its principal recommendation – the decriminalisation of homosexuality – remains a turning point in British social, legal and cultural history, even though the legislation took another ten years to come to the statute book (and even longer in Scotland and Northern Ireland).
The film unravels the inherent drama of the situation, using the transcripts of the original committee hearings, the rich cast of committee members, witnesses, contemporary court cases and fictionalised moments in the corridors of power.
But the public drama is mixed with the more private but equally compelling personal conflict between Wolfenden and his son, Jeremy, then a brilliant undergraduate at Oxford.
Committee chairman John Wolfenden, played by Charles Dance (Bleak House, Fingersmith), thought homosexuality "an abomination", but he knew that his own son Jeremy, played by Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood in Harry Potter), was an active homosexual.
Despite his personal views he led the committee to conclude that the law should not interfere in the private lives of consenting adults or enforce any particular pattern of behaviour. It was a triumph of reason over instinct.
The drama, written by Julian Mitchell, is directed by Richard Curson-Smith, produced by Robert Dawson-Scott and executive produced by Colin Cameron for Lion Television Scotland.
Wednesday 29th August 2007 9pm-10.20pm
Monday 5 September 2007 9pm-10.20pm; rpt 2.25am-3.45am
Friday 7 September 2007 10.10pm-11.30pm; rpt 1.45am-3.05am
A trailer can be viewed on the informative microsite dedicated to the film.
An interview of writer Julian Mitchell and actor Charles Dance, who plays Wolfenden, conducted by Mark Lawson for BBC Radio 4's Front Row, can be downloaded here.
The film is part of a BBC Four season on homosexuality intitled Hidden Lives.
June 2007 marked two remarkable 30 year anniversaries: the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and the release of the Sex Pistols’ irreverent God Save the Queen with its infamous single cover by Jamie Reid. To coincide with these landmark events, Barbican Art Gallery is staging Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years.
The exhibition explores art produced from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s in Britain and the United States, at a time when both countries were a breeding ground for subcultures of punk and post-punk. Although the punk movement is largely known for its music, fashion and graphics, this exhibition exposes the vibrant art scene that emerged during these years, most notably in London, New York and Los Angeles.
Including the work of some 30 artists, the exhibition examines art which shares many of the concerns and attitudes associated with the punk years. The event is not of direct LGBT interest but the exhibition features artworks by a number of LGBT artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Derek Jarman and Nan Goldin....
Art in the Punk Years
5 June 2007 - 9 September 2007
Barbican Art Gallery
Tickets: Tickets online £6
£8 on the door
The exhibition contains work of an adult nature
Open daily 11am-8pm, excluding Tue 11am-6pm
1st Thu of every month until 9pm
Mention Michel Serrault to most filmgoers and a spangled vision of the most outrageous drag queen ever to burst on to the screen is evoked. Serrault, who has died from cancer aged 79, became internationally renowned as Albin/Zaza, the extremely effeminate, temperamental and middle-aged performer at La Cage aux Folles, a transvestite nightclub in St Tropez in the 1978 French movie of the same name.Despite its international success, the film, then a very rare representation of homosexuality on French screens, left many LGBT spectators cringing for its caricatural and not always sympathetic representations of gay characters. Only the third film of the series (La Cage aux Folles 3 - "Elles" se marrient, 1985) starts to laugh with the characters rather than laugh at them.
Albin's volatile yet loving relationship with his longtime companion Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) is put to the test when they must pose as a "normal" family to please the puritanical future in-laws of Renato's son. The film, which was to break all box-office records in the US for a foreign-language film to that date, spawned two progressively awful sequels in 1980 and 1985 (featuring the same stars), a Broadway musical and a Hollywood remake.
Serrault had played Albin for five years from February 1973 on stage in Paris opposite Jean Poiret, who wrote the play La Cage aux Folles.
The Guardian - 03 August 2007
Serrault, who became over the years one of the major French actors of his generation, won the first of his three best actor César awards (French equivalent of the Oscars) for his role as Albin/Zaza.
He is survived by his wife of many years and one daughter.
· Michel Serrault, actor, born January 24 1928; died July 29 2007
* Michel Serrault on Wikipedia
* Cage aux Folles star Michel Serrault dies - Times Online
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Press Release 28th August 2008.
Ministry of Justice supports LGBT History Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month is very pleased to add the Ministry of Justice’s logo to the LGBT History Month website as they offer us both financial and intellectual support. Their logo joins those from other parts of the criminal justice system – the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police Service and Authority, who have supported us from the outset.
Michael Wills MP, the Human Rights and Ministry of Justice Equalities Minister said
"The Ministry of Justice is pleased to sponsor of LGBT History Month because it demonstrates our commitment to equality and diversity inside and outside the workplace. The month provides an opportunity to highlight discrimination and promote respect and tolerance all year round."
LGBT History Month is also very pleased to announce that the London Criminal Justice Board will host their Pre-Launch for LGBT History Month 2008 on 26 November 2007 at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Paul Patrick, Co-Chair of LGBT History Month UK, states,
“We are very pleased that the criminal justice system sees our work as challenging the ignorance and stereotyping of LGBT people from which much homophobic crime stems. We are delighted that they see a major part of their role as working for prevention of such crime rather than only the effective prosecution of it when it occurs.
This is a function of their role that sadly the education system has yet to recognise or embrace.
We are proud to have these organisations amongst our sponsors.”
LGBT History Month UK takes place every February.
Contacts: Paul Patrick: 01282 441601 07883091678 email@example.com
Ministry of Justice Press Office: 020 7210 8500
Andy Warhol died on 22 February 1987. To mark the twentieth anniversary of his death, the National Gallery of Scotland is holding the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist's work ever shown in Scotland.
Andy Warhol, A Celebration of Life... and Death aims to show how a life/death duality runs through all of Warhol's work. The show presents a broad range of the artist's work from the early 1950's to 1986 in a wide range of media - Painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, film, photography and installation. Many of the works are being lent by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and there are also loans from other museums and private collections in Britain and Europe.
Andy Warhol became a central figure in the art movement known as Pop Art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter; an avant-garde filmmaker, a record producer, an author and a public figure known for his presence in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats. A controversial figure during his lifetime (his work was often derided by critics as a hoax or "put-on"), Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books and documentary films since his death in 1987. He is generally acknowledged as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.
Andy Warhol on Wikipedia
Bank of Scotland totalART: Andy Warhol
4th August to 7th October 2007
National Gallery Of Scotland
Tickets £8 (£6)
Audio recordings of selected events related to the Warhol exhibition events programme are also available for download. These include:
Andy Warhol: The Art of Camouflage
Tom Sokolowski, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, opens this major exhibition with an illustrated talk.
Andy Warhol: Social Spaces
Mark Francis, Director of the Gagosian Gallery in London and formerly founding Director and Chief Curator at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, talks about Warhol's installations created throughout his work using paintings, wallpaper, films, dance and music.
You can download the recordings here.
Also on display at the National Gallery of Scotland: The Naked Portrait (until 2 September).
On Tuesday 28 August, Michael Buerk, presenter of The Choice, will interview the controversial ninth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson.
The programme focuses on people from all walks of life about a choice they made which irrevocably altered their lives and takes them through the whole process from the dilemma, through the risks they faced, to how the choice was made and living with the consequences.
Robinson is the first openly gay, noncelibate priest to be ordained to the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Robinson was elected bishop in 2003 and entered office on March 7, 2004. This appointment prompted warnings of a possible schism between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
Tuesday 28 August 2007 9:02-9:30
Repeated: Tuesday 28 August 2007 21:30-21:58
Monday, August 27, 2007
Films featuring gay themes or characters are to take centre stage at this year's Venice film festival, with the introduction of a new award. The "Queer Lion" award will sit alongside the regular Golden Lion award, with the aim of highlighting and honouring films that represent aspects of gay culture.
Venice's competition follows the lead of the Berlin film festival, which has awarded its own gay film award - the Teddy - for the past 21 years. "We aren't looking for the next Brokeback Mountain," competition director Daniel Casagrande told the Hollywood Reporter. "We are just looking for films that accurately portray gay characters or themes." Casagrande admitted that he had been lobbying the festival authorities for nearly four years to introduce the award.
It is estimated that between 10 and 12 films will be eligible for this year's Queer Lion. The winner will receive a replica of the Golden Lion, with its wings painted in the rainbow colours of the Gay Pride flag.
The 64th international Venice film festival runs August 29 - September 8.
* Queer Lion to roar at Venice Film Festival - Reuters
* Festival to offer gay film prize - BBC News
Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival on Wikipedia
Friday, August 24, 2007
More than a thousand people defied foul weather to take to the streets of Doncaster over the weekend to celebrate the Yorkshire town's first ever Pride.
The event, organised by Doncaster Partnership Against Homophobia and Transphobia, was held in the Market Place.
Revellers were treated to six hours of live performances as well as speeches from local police and council representatives.
There were also fairground rides and a busy market.
A spokesman for the organising committee said: "It was fantastic to see the mixture of different cultures, faiths and communities who came together for the sole purpose of celebrating and having fun.
"Safety was a main concern for the LGBT community and South Yorkshire Police, however what we saw and felt was mutual respect and acceptance of people's differences, which turned the atmosphere into confidence and excitement, and a very enjoyable event, for which we praise everyone involved."
The committee has already promised to be back with Pride 2008 and are planning a parade next year.
Organisers were pleased that the event drew straight people and families from the town as well as the LGBT community.
Safe in South Yorks
With thanks to PinkNews.co.uk.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We have just found a new home for the LGBT History Month website and we are in the process of moving it to this new abode. This means that the website will be offline for a while. The move will allow us to bring you a series of exciting new features later this year. Watch this space for more information.
We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause you.
On Friday 24 August, veteran film director, John Waters, will be interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Film Programme.
The Programme reviews the latest cinema and DVD releases and films on TV.
John Waters is a gay film director, author and visual artist famous for pushing the boundaries of conventional propriety and movie censorship. His most famous films include Polyester and Hairspray which was recently remade by Hollywood. Both films featured the drag artist Divine.
The interview will remain available to listen on the programme's website after broadcast.
The Film Programme
Friday 24 August
4.30pm - 5pm
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
To mark Pride week-end in Manchester, the Out in the Past trail explores the twists and turns of over 200 years of lesbian and gay history and takes in many of Manchester's concealed secrets. Learn how the resolve and courage of so many pioneering citizens resulted in a number of hidden quarters, where together they could express their sexuality freely.
Tour guide, Paul Fairweather gives a fascinating insight into the times when the simple right to decide upon the nature of personal relationships was denied. Using a mixture of humour and hard hitting facts, Jon delivers both a painful and amusing tale of characters who could be regularly found in the City. Highlights of the tour include the Police account of "disgraceful proceedings" at a city centre location where 22 of the 47 attending were men, dressed as women and all in 1880!
Friday 24th August, 3pm
Sunday 26th August, 3pm
Monday 27th August, 3pm
The tour begins at the Tourist Information Centre.
The trail is free but you will need to book a place by calling 0871 222 8223, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information go to www.visitgaymanchester.com or click here.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
On Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of August, London's gay and lesbian baskeball club, the Cruisers, will be hosting an international asketball tournament at the Score Sport Centre in Leyton (east London). The Cruisers teams will be competing against 10 other teams coming from countries as varied as Sweden, the Netherland, the USA, France, Russia, Nigeria and Germany.
The London Cruisers first got together as a women's team to play in the Gay Games in Amsterdam, eigght years ago. Today London Cruisers Basketball Club comprises four teams, 2 women's and 2 men's team that have already found their way to the top of major gay sporting events. In 2006, at the Gay Games in Chicago, the men's 35+ team won gold medals and the women came away with bronze medals in Group B, to add to their bronze medals that they picked up at the Gay Games in Sydney 2002.
Attendance to the competition is free for spectators and the event will be followed by an award party held at the Head and Tails bar in Clerkenwell on Sunday evening (£7 entry). Details of the tournament can be found here.
London Cruisers Basketball Club
The international sports event comes as it was revealed two months ago that Leftfooters FC (one of the London based football clubs) had won the bid to host the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association ("IGLFA") World Championship in London in August 2008.
While the UK Black Pride will be hosted in London on 18th of August (see our article here), the first edition of a new annual Black LGBT Pride festival will take place in Vauxhall a week later on Saturday 25th. The event will run from midday to 7pm and will features singers, dancers, rap artists and DJs. There will also be a fashion show and community and food stalls. The party will move on to Kennington from 10pm till 3am.
A flyer for the event can be viewed here.
See also our page on the festival here.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
When Gordon Brown announced his candidature to the position of leader of the Labour party, in May this year, which would ultimately lead him to assume the position of Prime Minister, questions were raised around his record on LGBT rights.
Brown had never voted for gay rights until earlier this year when he voted in favour of the Sexual Orientation Regulations.
A few weeks ago, Brown addressed some of the questions PinkNews.co.uk readers sent in about his record and intentions on LGBT rights.
How can members of the LGBT community be assured of your commitment to Equality when, apart from the recent 'Goods & Services' regulations, you have been notably absent from every other 'Gay Equality' Bill the Government has introduced since 1997? John Irvine
John, let me be clear: I am proud of this Government's record on gay rights. I was brought up always to treat people equally, and that is core to what I believe.
I would like to think that my whole political life has been a fight for equality and a fairer society.
The Britain I believe in is one of fairness and opportunity for all - for me that means no one should ever feel unable to fulfil their potential whatever their race, religion or sexuality.
This Government has, as you kindly accept, improved the position of gays and lesbians in this country by removing unfair barriers and tackling discrimination.
I think this Government has made a huge amount of progress: for example, we've equalised the age of consent, repealed Section 28, and made it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.
I can promise this Government will continue to do all it can to make Britain a fairer and more tolerant place.
David Cameron and Tony Blair have spoken about their support for civil partnerships - why have you said nothing? What is your view? Paul Hillindon
I am very pleased, Paul, to have this opportunity to put on record my support for civil partnerships.
When I was at the Treasury we ensured equality for gay couples in the tax system, particularly inheritance tax, as part of the civil partnership legislation.
The fact is, when you are Chancellor, you tend to concentrate more on talking about the economy so there are quite a few areas of policy on which I have not said much.
Now I am in my new job, this will change - and I'm looking forward to it.
What will you be doing to help persecuted LGBT community worldwide from persecution and violence from right wing governments? What about EU countries that are hostile to gay rights? Ross Hunter
This Government has taken a lead in ending discrimination against gay and lesbian people in Britain, but as you say, Ross, the fight to counter discrimination is not restricted to the UK.
The reports we hear are deeply concerning: around the world gay and lesbian people are outlawed, persecuted and killed for advocating their rights.
We have announced an international strategy to promote rights overseas, which includes Britain's commitment to the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.
We are and will continue to work with foreign partners and domestic organisations to protect the human rights of gay and lesbian people throughout the world.
New Labour has pushed through much needed reforms to tackle homophobia in all areas of society, but evidently more needs to be done. What proposals do you plan to introduce to further combat this? Val
I agree with you, Val, that there is more to do, and as I've said I can promise this Government will continue to do all it can to make Britain a fairer and more tolerant place.
One of the areas where more needs to be done, and is being done, is to tackle homophobic bullying in schools - to ensure that children are provided with a safe educational environment free from all forms of bullying - and, where it occurs, discrimination in the workplace.
We also need to ensure the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights not only ensures that anti-discrimination laws are enforced but also, importantly, plays its full part in changing attitudes.
All six candidates for Labour Deputy Leader agreed to a new offence of incitement to homophobic hatred - do you agree with them? Alan Stone
Alan, I believe that there is no place in twenty-first century Britain for homophobia, racism and any other form of discrimination which can destroy lives, poison communities and weaken the fabric of our national life.
There is a range of legislation already in place to protect individuals from harm, including criminal harassment, verbal abuse and incitement to violence.
In addition, we have ensured that courts impose tougher sentences for offences motivated or aggravated by the victim's sexual orientation, unless the court gives a good reason not to.
But while safeguarding the right of individuals to live free from discrimination and abuse, we also have to respect this country's long tradition of free speech, which this Government enshrined in the Human Rights Act.
There has to be a clear dividing line between robust debate and incitement to hate crime.
This is one of the reasons why we have brought the Serious Crime Bill before Parliament, including proposals to amend incitement law to make it easier to prove reckless encouragement of criminality.
Although the law is important, we should not neglect other ways of tackling unacceptable prejudice and extremism.
For example, we know that up to 90% of homophobic crime goes unreported because victims are too frightened and believe their story will not be believed or taken seriously.
In response, one of our key priorities is to increase reporting. When people do report, we must ensure it is taken seriously, that the incident is investigated and brought to justice.
We have set up Community Safety Units specifically to deal with hate crimes promptly and sensitively, with a Home Office hate crime strategy to improve confidence in the police while funding third-party groups to encourage reporting and help people who may feel uncomfortable about reporting directly to the authorities.
Lots of gay people who are too young to remember the last Tory government think that David Cameron is more gay-friendly than you. Does that worry you? Jen Ainslett
Well, Jen, I can assure you it isn't true.
I think we have to remind young people of the fact that gay and lesbian people did not have equal rights in 1997 and that the changes that have since taken place did not come about by accident but because of the actions of the Labour Government.
That's not to suggest that our party is the only one which contains politicians pressing for a fairer and more tolerant society.
But it is our party which has delivered the changes that were needed.
When I talk of building a progressive consensus, this is really what I mean: I can't now see anyone in a mainstream political party trying to reverse the progress we have made. That's a good thing.
Friday, August 17, 2007
We are very pleased to add the Ministry of Justice’s logo to the LGBT History Month website as they offer us both financial and intellectual support.
Their logo joins those of other parts of the criminal justice system – the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police Service and Authority, who have supported us from the outset. We are also very pleased to have the Pre-Launch for LGBT History Month 2008 hosted by the London Criminal Justice Board on 26th November 2007 at the Royal Courts of Justice.
It is reassuring to note that the criminal justice system sees our work as challenging the ignorance and stereotyping of LGBT people from which much homophobic crime stems. We are delighted that they see a major part of their role as working for prevention of such crime rather than only the effective prosecution of it when it occurs.
This is a function of their role that the education system has yet to recognise and embrace.
We are proud to have these organisations amongst our sponsors. A full list of our sponsors can be seen at the bottom of our website's homepage and we are keen to hear from any others who wish to support this important work.
Ministry of Justice
In the late 1950’s Josie Pickering was leading a double life. By day she was a ‘proper’ 1950’s housewife – married and looking after her young children. But at night she visited the lesbian bars and clubs of Manchester. Eventually she left her husband for another woman. As the Woman's Hour's team on BBC Radio 4 discovers, Josie’s story is typical of those examined in a new book - Tomboys and Bachelor Girls 1945 - 71 by Rebecca Jennings - which looks at the lesbian history of post war Britain.
Clare Jenkins has spoken to Josie Pickering at her home in Manchester and Jenni talks to author, Rebecca Jennings, and Lisa Power, Policy Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust who came out in the late 1970’s, about the history of lesbianism in post war Britain.
You can listen to this segment here (opens Real Player).
Using a rich array of oral histories and archival sources, Tomboys and bachelor girls provides the first detailed academic study of lesbian identity and culture in post-war Britain. Described by psychiatrists as immature and neurotic, and widely ignored as taboo by mainstream society, lesbians nevertheless recognised and accepted their same-sex desire and sought out women like themselves.
Challenging the conventional picture of the post-war decades as years of austerity and conservative femininity, this book traces the emergence of a vibrant lesbian social scene in Britain, centred on the metropolitan nightclubs of post-war London, but also developing across the country, through lesbian magazines and social organisations.
Tomboys and Bachelor Girls: A lesbian history of post-war Britain 1945 - 71 by Rebecca Jennings is published by Manchester University Press ISBN 978-0-7190-7544-5
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Pink News 16th August 2007 13:35
Article available here
Jacob Breslow - My Journey from Scared Teen to Gay Activist
The first time I came to the UK, I was amazed by its history, architecture and bustling cities.
Now, over ten years later, I have come back to experience this amazing place once again.
As a third year student from the University of California Santa Cruz, I am currently doing a full time internship with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) History Month and Schools OUT.
Coming to the UK to do LGBT work has been truly refreshing.
I feel I have come at an opportunistic time, shortly after a change in government and shortly after national laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people have passed.
I have been an advocate for the LGBT community since I came out when I was 14.
My commitment to our community has led me to work with government, police and schools.
Growing up as an out gay kid in my community was torture.
For a long time, I was the only out student, let alone person, at my school who was open about their sexuality.
The community that I grew up in was concerned with two things: getting into a prestigious university and making a lot of money.
Clearly, being gay didn't fit into this plan.
Although I knew that my parents would be supportive, I dared not come out to them in fear that one of my brothers found out and spread it to my school.
With no one to talk to and no support from my school or my community, getting through each day became a battle. Eventually, I gave up.
Leaving the hospital after my second suicide attempt, I became determined to prove to my community and my school that I was more than their expectations.
It was my goal to make sure that no one went through the isolation and harassment that I experienced.
I quickly joined youth groups and raised awareness of LGBT people at my school.
Six years on, I have worked with five LGBT youth organisations, most of which are aimed at improving the environment for LGBT youth in schools.
My passion for community work has also influenced my current studies, as I am focused on learning about the culture and oppression of LGBT people.
This year, I was awarded by the Point Foundation for my commitment to my academics and to our community.
The foundation is the largest publicly-supported organisation granting scholarships to LGBT students of merit in the US.
They have given me this amazing opportunity to come to the UK and do my work for Schools OUT.
It is really exciting to be working in a country that legally recognises the lives of LGBT people.
It is because of this recognition that organisations like Schools OUT and LGBT History Month have been able to create such substantial change.
This is the fourth year for LGBT History Month, which happens every February in the UK.
We are celebrating with a pre-launch at the Royal Courts of Justice this November.
The work of the LGBT History Month is important because it makes visible the contributions of LGBT people to our world.
By celebrating our past we can create a greater future.
I am really excited to see where the internship takes me.
My current plans are to finish undergraduate and then continue on with graduate studies in queer theory or feminist studies.
I am truly grateful to everyone who gave me this opportunity and I am really excited about continuing my work in the UK.
For more information about LGBT History Month click here.
For more information about Schools Out click here.
For more information about The Point Foundation click here.
On 30th July, BBC Radio 4 in their religious programme Beyond Belief explored the relation between homosexuality and the Bible.
Often at the heart of all religious views on homosexuality is the interpretation of scripture. Gay people are no different, with many developing their own readings of the Bible and creating gay-affirming theologies.
Taking part in the debate hosted by Ernie Rea are:
- Rabbi Dr. Alan Unterman, Minister of a Manchester synagogue and lecturer in Compared Religion at the University of Manchester.
- The Revd Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude and psychotherapist.
- Dr. Janet Soskice, University Reader in Philosophical Theology at Jesus College, Cambridge with a special interest in Religion and Gender.
The contributors first highlighted the fact that although there are strongly worded and often quoted passages in the Bible proscribing certain sexual acts and promoting others, it does not define a homosexual identity. This is what leads to the Catholic Church's doctrine of love to the sinner and hate of the sin and also, more generally to the proscription of any sexual acts outside of matrimony.
After an quick evocation of the ancient world to put the biblical text in context and a short discussion of the stories of Sodom and Gomorah, Ruth and Naomi and David and Jonathan, the programmes featured an interview with Steve Greenberg, considered to be the first ever out orthodox rabbi, where he talks about his coming to term with his feelings, his subsequent coming out and his current experience.
The conversation then moved one to more contemporary themes, such that the possibility of a religious acceptance of homosexuality, the role and meaning of marriage in a religious context with Colin Coward's own experience as a starting point.
You can listen to the 30 minute programme here (opens Real Player).
* The Bible and homosexuality on Wikipedia.
* The Bible and homosexuality on Religious Tolerance.
* Homosexuality and the Bible by Walter Wink.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
A petition to the Prime Minister to introduce specific homophobia and transphobia hate crime legislation
In remembering the 40th anniversary of the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality and those who have been murdered and had their lives destroyed by homophobia, including David Morley and Jodi Dubrowski, we the undersigned urge the Prime Minister to introduce specific homophobia and transphobia hate crime legislation. We believe that the law should be re-written now to target incitement of hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Posted by Ed. at 16:24
I congratulate the UK Black Pride Board for coordinating this high profile festival building on last year’s hugely successful event,Website: www.ukblackpride.org.uk
Metropolitan Police Service Support for UK BLACK PRIDE…
It gives me great pleasure to support this year’s UK Black Pride on behalf of the whole MPS.
The TUC, on behalf of six and a half million trade union members, offers its support and best wishes for UK Black Pride 2007
We believe that black LGBT people remain an underrepresented section of the LGBT community
PCS Salutes UK Black Pride 2007 …
PCS is proud to recognise the contributions and achievements made by our black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters.
UNISON, the public service trade union, sends greetings to all at UK Black Pride 2007
We know the importance of coming together in strength and celebration.
For full statements of support please visit www.ukblackpride.org.uk
We look forward to welcoming you on Saturday 18th August.
Achievements of UKBP: Founders of a black pride known as the first ever UK Black Pride - Winners of Black Lesbian and Gay Awards 2007
Press enquiries contact details: email@example.com
The FCE Literature Programme at Birkbeck, University of London is offering a new course exploring some of the decisive moments in modern queer fiction.
22 meetings, led by Paulina Palmer and Jonathan Kemp, in the London School of Economics. Starts Weds 3 October, 6.45pm–8.45pm. £220 (£110 cons.).
To enroll ring 020 7631 6674/6656, fax 020 7631 6686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (quoting FFLT141UACB CE).
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I would urge people to protest to the Nigerian ambassador in London as soon as possible, urging that the charges be dropped and that Nigeria's anti-sodomy laws be repealed on the grounds that they contravene international human rights law (see details below). The name of the Nigerian Ambassador in London is Dozie Nwanna. Ambassador Nwanna can be contacted via this email address: email@example.com
The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights affirms the equality of all people: Article 2 states: "Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status." Article 3 enshrines equality before the law. Article 26 says: "Every individual shall have the duty to respect and consider his fellow beings without discrimination, and to maintain relations aimed at promoting, safeguarding and reinforcing mutual respect and tolerance." The UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Nigeria acceded in 1993, protects: The right to freedom of expression (article 19), freedom of conscience (article 18), freedom of association (article 22), and affirms the equality of all people before the law and the right to freedom from discrimination (articles 2 and 26). In the historic, landmark 1994 legal case of Toonen v Australia, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors the compliance of member states with the ICCPR, ruled that sexual orientation should be understood to be a status protected from discrimination under these ICCPR articles. States cannot therefore legitimately suppress or restrict the enjoyment of human rights on the basis of sexual orientation. The UN Human Rights Committee later urged states not only to repeal laws criminalising homosexuality but to also enshrine the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation into their constitutions or other fundamental laws.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
The era of the ‘post-homosexualist’ isn’t upon us
Will Young - Times Online
Article available here
Last week I found myself in a London taxi heading home after a night out. The cabbie seemed rather perturbed and amused at the same time. “It’s funny, Will,” he said. “I wasn’t gonna pick you up ‘cos I was having a fag break, but I didn’t want to say this to you if you know what I mean?”
I was musing on this line when he then asked me where I was going. “Queenstown Road, please”. He let out a loud squawk of amusement “No . . . you’re having a laugh. You mean QUEENStown road; who else lives there? Elton John?”
I remembered this little incident after reading Matthew Parris’s article in The Times on Thursday. He used his column to out himself out as “posthomosexualist” and chronicled his boredom with any talk about gay rights – all the battles have been won, he wrote, what’s left to say? We’ve got the political changes we’ve wanted, so we gays should stop banging on about being gay.
I’m not so confident that we can afford to be so complacent. I’m not so sure that someone being gay is not an issue for other people; old fears still lurk. Were the taxi driver’s remarks, for example, a) a veiled bigoted response from someone reacting unfavourably to my sexuality? Or b) a good-hearted attempt at dealing with his own discomfort and awkwardness. Ever the optimist, I choose the latter.
And there is a lot to be optimistic about. Much of what Parris wrote I agree with. In the 40 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the passing of gay rights on to the statute book has been a triumph. Gay couples have more security and equality thanks to civil partnerships, and gays are now treated with fairness before the eyes of the law. So as a gay man, I celebrate this and feel lucky to be alive in Britain in 2007.
But it is important to draw a distinction between legal change and the shift in attitudes. It is quicker to pass a law than achieve the necessary movement of public opinion – and attitudes still lag behind the law. So we can’t yet give ourselves a proverbial pat on the back.
The next stage is trickier. It’s how to make people understand that gays are utterly normal; it’s how to change outlooks so that it never crosses people’s minds that to be gay is to be so different or alien; or to stare if two men hold hands, or to do a double take if a man says “meet my husband”; it’s how to be able to be honest about yourself without people accusing you of “ramming your homosexuality down my throat”. Hop over to the Netherlands and sexuality is not such an issue; but here in Britain things are different. I am still often referred to as the “gay pop idol – Will Young” (very much in that order of importance); yet in other countries the gay word doesn’t come into it – someone’s sexuality is regarded rightly as a being an irrelevance or unnoteworthy.
When I made my decision to be open about my sexuality, the overwhelmingly positive response astounded me. But sadly you still read headlines in papers that say so and so “Admits to being gay” or “Confesses to being homosexual”, as if saying you prefer to sleep with men is an admission of some guilty, sordid shame. Coming out should just be a statement of fact – I have red hair, I drink tea, I sleep with the same sex.
So the next battle needs to be fought not in Parliament but in the arena of everyday life. For instance, where are the gay actors who get the leading roles in Hollywood blockbusters? Why are the studios so nervous about casting gay men in the big roles, or let them loose on playing straight characters? And, why do so many gay actors still feel a need to be discreet about their sexuality? It’s as if the curse of Rock Hudson still hangs heavily over the hills of Hollywood.
And where are the gay sportsmen, athletes and footballers – they must exist, surely you don’t believe that gay men can’t throw balls or have an innate fear of getting muddy? Or is the culture of locker room “backs-to-the-wall” homophobia still so rampant that gay men are frightened to make a stand?
The importance of seeing men who happen to be gay on your local cinema screen, or being able to cheer on a sportsman who happens to sleep with men isn’t trivial. It all helps to normalise the issue of homosexuality, to help to kill off the last remnants of homophobia.
Yes, Matthew Parris is right that homosexuality as an issue pales beside war, pestilence and famine. But still one musn’t underestimate the example that Britain can set to countries that are farther down the ladder of gay freedom, or not even on the first rung. By continuing to push the boundaries of social acceptance here in Britain, we help those who are fighting genuine oppression, intolerance and raw prejudice in countries from the Arab world to Zimbabwe.
But, alas, gay rights has fallen off the agenda, supplanted by such titanic issues as the need to curb public smoking. Perhaps I should have replied to my learned cabbie by saying “fag’s aren’t allowed anywhere these days!’.
Finally, I’ve decided to take the plunge. I’m coming out . . ., Matthew Parris, The Time, July 26, 2007
New documents released by the National Archives give an enlightening account of the views of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other Cabinet ministers towards homosexual men in 1950s Britain.
The notebooks kept by the Cabinet Secretaries contain short handwritten accounts of the conversations of ministers on a range of issues, and have just been released to the public.
On the 24th February 1954 the Cabinet discussed the issues of prostitution and homosexuality, then inextricably linked as 'sexual offences' in the eyes of the legislators.
Gay sex between consenting adults, even in private, was a criminal offence, and many hundreds of gay men were being caught and convicted of sodomy and gross indecency every year.
The high-profile journalist Peter Wildeblood had been arrested for homosexual offences the previous month, but he did not stand trial until March.
The scandal surrounding his arrest and that of Baron Montagu of Beaulieu led to public discussion of homosexuality.
At Cabinet the Home Secretary David Maxwell Fyfe seemed mystified at the spike in convictions for homosexual offences:
"While crime generally has doubled, these offences have risen four and a half times.
"Some think existing law should be limited to protection of young and public indecency. I don't agree: homosexuals make a nuisance of themselves. But admit I can't account for this increase."
Prime Minister Winston Churchill bluntly replied that the Tory party were not going to accept responsibility for making the law more lenient towards gay men.
He suggested that an enquiry might be the way forward, proposed limiting press coverage of the convictions of homosexuals, and suggested that any man caught by police should be offered the option of medical treatment.
"Otherwise, I wouldn’t touch the subject," he said.
"Let it get worse - in hope of a more united public pressure for some amendment."
The idea of an enquiry into prostitution and homosexual offences was considered by several Cabinet ministers, among them Oliver Lyttleton, Secretary of State for the Colonies.
But the Prime Minister perhaps best explained the realities of politics in 1954.
"Remember that we can't expect to put the whole world right with a majority of 18," he told his colleagues.
Seven months after that Cabinet meeting, the Wolfenden committee met for the first time to consider whether a change to the laws on homosexuality and prostitution was needed.
They took evidence from a range of people, including religious leaders, police officers and Peter Wildeblood.
When the Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution was finally published in 1957, it came to the conclusion that:
"The law's function is to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others.
"It is not, in our view, the function of the law to intervene in the private life of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour."
It was ten years before a Labour government backed a private member’s bill to introduce the changes to the law on homosexuality that the Wolfenden committee recommended.
To read the Cabinet Secretary's note click here.
Monday, August 6, 2007
The latest edition of the LGBT History Month bulletin is now available, as usual packed-full of news, information, notices of upcoming events and quotations.
To access the latest bulletin please click on one of the links below:
You can view all previous bulletins here or register to our mailing list here.
In August 2005 three black lesbian women decided to organise a social outing to Southend on Sea. What originally started out as a mini bus trip to the beach, quickly turned into three coaches of women making a trip down to Southend on Sea.
During the day's outing, several conversations took place and the concept of developing and having a UK Black Pride was explored. Feedback from the day’s event only reconfirmed a need for a space where BME LGBT people could foster a sense of black pride.
An executive committee was formed in 2006 from members of the BME LGBT community. The committee members along with the support of volunteers came together and assisted with the organising and deliveryof the first annual black pride event which was to be officially known as “UK Black Pride”
UK Black Pride aims to create a safe space for the black LGBT community to celebrate their achievements and take pride in who they are.
UK Black Pride 2007 will take place on 18th August 2007 in London's Regent's Park. The theme for this year's event is "Moving on Up". The festival will host a fun filled day of music and artistic entertainment, live performances by the hottest new acts, music by London's best DJ's, a market place and information stalls and much more.
For more information, visit:
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Published: 01/08/2007 - 10:59:56 AM
Article available here
Cllr Marc Cranfield-Adams, the Mayor of Richmond upon Thames, has announced that his community concerts raised about £4,000 for his Charity Fund.
Mayor of Richmond upon Thames
The three community concerts, held at York House, were Youth Night, World Music Night, Rainbow Nigh, and were designed to complement the Mayor’s theme for his year in office of “diversity and inclusiveness”.
“Although the weather could have been kinder, the concerts were a great success and the Sunken Lawn at York House proved to be a wonderful venue, which we should use for this purpose more often” said The Mayor.
“I want to thank all those who participated in the concerts from our local schools through to the professional acts such as ‘4 Poofs and a Piano’ – they were all superb and each concert generated its own unique atmosphere. The firework display at the end of the Rainbow Night concert was simply superb.
“The support of the Richmond Music Trust, the Council’s Head of Arts, the Facilities Team at York House, the Deputy Mayor, the Twickenham Town Centre Manager, all the staff volunteers, the Orange Tree Theatre and Mr David Machekie, who acted as MC, was essential to the smooth running of the events.
“I would also like to thank Pepsi Europe, Anheuser Busch Europe, Fosters Europe, Sainsburys, Waitrose, The Cabbage Patch, the Twickenham Tup and Pallavi for their support in kind.
“Subject to the availability of York House we will hope to hold a Sunday afternoon prom concert, with the Kew Wind Orchestra, in early September and maybe repeat the Rainbow Night concert next February to coincide with LGBT History month.”
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Thursday 2 August 2007, 19:00
Love, Sex and Metaphor: A Queer Gaze
What makes a picture queer? What happens to a painting when confronted with the private (queer) imagination? Sadie Lee, artist, and Shaun Levin, writer, explore the portraits they fancy and the paintings that inspire them.
Sunday 19 August 2007, 11:30 - 16:00
National Portrait Gallery Walks
Coming Out of the Picture - Gay and Lesbian Soho
A one-day event, the first of a series, which makes the connection between lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-gendered (LGBT) people, portraits from the National Portrait Gallery and the built environment. Enter into the world of some of the LGBT characters that have lived, worked and played in Soho, through the paintings. Then walk along the streets that have witnessed fascinating LGBT trials and triumphs over the centuries. In association with Kairos in Soho
Tickets: £15/£10 concessions (lunch not included)
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Worldwide homophobia is the subject of a new documentary from the BBC. Pink News wrote this article (click to launch site) discussing the documentary:
"This month the BBC World Service broadcast a documentary about homophobia in Jamaica and what it is like to come out in such an intolerant country.
In the first of two programmes in a new series entitled Coming Out, Clare English explored why some societies are more tolerant than others.
The first programme examined the struggle for acceptance in Jamaica and speaks to LGBT people about coming out on the island.
Jamaica is a notoriously homophobic country. There have been calls for a gay eradication day, mob violence towards homosexual people is tolerated by the police, and fear and ignorance prevail.
Gay rights are not on the agenda and are unlikely to be in the future. As a result, many homosexuals stay firmly in the closet.
Jamaica has a long history of homophobic crime and controversy surrounding gay rights.
In 2005 Jamaican AIDS activist Lenford 'Steve' Harvey was abducted and murdered by gunmen on the eve on Worlds Aids Day.
British pop star Elton John has openly criticised violence against gay men and women in Jamaica and said it showed how important it was for governments and laws to set a good example.
He told The Observer in 2005: "It is precisely because homosexuality is a criminal offence, punished with up to 10 years hard labour in Jamaica, that ordinary people feel it is OK to hate and exclude gay people. It does not take long for this hate to turn to violence."
There are many examples of homophobia within Jamaican society, from the gay hate lyrics of dancehall stars to Christian ministers telling their congregations that homosexuality is 'imported' from the US and UK.
Coming Out (click to go to page) looks at what happens when people choose to be honest about their sexuality under such hostile social circumstances.
UK residents can hear the BBC World Service documentary on Jamaica."
Pink News, Gemma Pritchard 7/31/07 "BBC documentary highlights homophobia worldwide"