For Immediate Release
THE ‘KILLER QUEENS’ GATHERING TO CELEBRATE FREDDIE MERCURY’S FLAMBOYANCE, TALENT & HIV/AIDS FUNDRAISING LEGACY!
Saturday Sept 7th, 2019
2pm – 11pm
Assemble at Jack Straws castle and follow the signs to a secret location in the woods.
In 1991, at 45 years old, we lost Freddie Mercury to AIDS. How he lived his final days became inspirational for people living with HIV/AIDS today. In his studio in Montreux on Lake Geneva, six months before his death, he knocked back a vodka and recorded the electrifying vocal for ‘The Show Must Go On’. Right until the end he didn’t let the disease define him.
Publicly announcing he had AIDS in 1991 emboldened people to take action against HIV/AIDS at a time when it was shrouded in silence and stigma. This can be seen in part by the fundraising legacy after his death which was led by people who loved him. After a hugely successful tribute concert at Wembley stadium in 1992 to raise awareness of the disease, broadcasted to a billion viewers around the world, the band used profits to launch The Mercury Phoenix Trust. In the last 21 years, this AIDS charity organisation has raised over 15 million dollars and funded 700 projects worldwide in the battle against HIV/AIDS in Freddie’s name.
Increased testing and rapid access to effective antiretroviral therapy (undetectable = untransmittable) along with PrEP has meant that new HIV diagnoses in the UK are finally on the decline. Despite this amazing progress it seems we are going backwards with 25% being slashed from our sexual health service budgets even though there has been a 5% rise in STI’s from 2017 to 2018.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), says:
“We have high quality and dedicated sexual health services across the country. But year-on-year cuts to sexual health budgets are pushing these services to breaking point. Services cannot keep up with need or demand and sexual health inequalities are deepening. This shocking 26% increase in gonorrhoea diagnoses must be a wake-up call to Government. Reverse the cuts to public health and increase substantially the funds available to sexual health clinics. That is the only way to get on top of these serious infections.”
“We are finally starting to win the war against HIV after all these years! Having an STD increases your chances of contracting the virus so the closure of clinics and subsequent longer waiting times could have disastrous consequences”
Alex Jupiter – organiser
“Queen was the soundtrack of my childhood. Freddie died when I was twelve, it was the first time I heard of AIDS and HIV. “I’ve been living with HIV for the past decade thanks to medication that came too late to save Freddie and the millions of people who died because of AIDS. There’s a drug called PrEP which stops people from catching HIV but the NHS rations it so not everyone who needs it can get it. It’s disgraceful that the NHS denies people this opportunity that neither I nor Freddie had” Hywel ap Dafydd, ACT UP LONDON
‘In a time of continuing homophobia, stigma, silence, isolation and the sell-off of health and wellbeing services it’s so important to promote queer visibility and leadership of those living with HIV and AIDS – including this hugely important biography of our icon Freddie Mercury.” dan glass, ACT UP LONDON, Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time
Regarded as one of the greatest lead singers in the history of rock music, Freddie Mercury had 4 extra teeth and a 4 octave vocal range. It was well documented that this icon of rock had relationships with both men and women. At one point he claimed to be bisexual but then proudly told the New Musical Express in 1974, “I’m as gay as a daffodil, my dear”.
Whatever he was, it’s undeniable that Mercury’s role in bringing ‘queerness’ into the public eye has played a major part in helping people become more accepting of those of a different sexuality. He was delightfully camp, dramatic and a fearless on-stage cross dresser. He once even helped smuggle Princess Diana into the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in drag so she could have a proper wild night out!
He also LOVED ludicrous parties so we’re throwing a right banger in his memory that’s fit for a Killer Queen. Join us to pay tribute to this legendary performer, to make some noise about the cuts to our sexual health services, to remember those lost to HIV over the years and to furiously dance in the woods for them. Let’s break free and create a kind of magic!
If you want to strut your stuff and perform/ if you’re press / if you want to publicly announce anything on the day or get involved in any other way please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Jupiter –email@example.com // 07413 426018
In assocation with ‘Queer Tours of London’ and ‘Act Up London’