Category: Press and Media

For Immediate Release – 12.02.19 – ‘Equality Zap’ for access finds progress towards disability access in Soho

Equality Zap’ for access finds progress towards disability access in Soho

Kevin Wilson and manager at ‘The Yard’ bar

On 02.02.19 – A year and a half on from a ‘Queer Disability Tour’ highlighting LGBTQI venues which denied disabled people access, campaigners have found the majority of gay bars and clubs stepping up for equality – and others continuing to fail disabled people.

Outside ‘Old Comptons’

The ‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ group visited six venues in Soho, asking them what access changes had been made since the group’s first visit in July 2017, when the campaigners requested that the venues improved disabled access.

Of the six venues, five had installed temporary ramps, while one, Comptons, has also installed a sign and doorbell.

Four promised to put up a window sticker so that passers by can see that stepfree access is available.

One, Balans, which has a step into the premises and no ramp, had made no changes since the campaigners first requested that they improve access. When questioned, the manager on duty would not commit to implementing equality for their disabled customers.

Since 1995, pubs and bars have had a legal duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as purchasing a portable ramp to ensure that disabled customers can access their premises with the same freedom and independence as non-disabled customers. However, compliance is poor.

The group is now considering legal action against Balans under the 2010 Equality Act.

‘Before I was de-motivated about the whole thing but this year i feels we have achieved something! We’ve got somewhere and we are gonna move it to another level if they don’t do something this year. Get moving because we are coming for you people!’ Kevin Wilson, ‘Queer Disability Justice Tour’ guide and activist

It’s easy. I ordered the ramp and access sticker in a day, and put in the doorbell overnight. ‘Why should people have to question whether they are allowed to come. All of a sudden you allow people that might not have thought they could come into the venue that they care about us.’ James Bartlett, Manager, Old Comptons.

“It’s great to see that more LGBTQ venues in Soho are getting serious about inclusion and equality, making the changes that ensure their disabled customers can have a night out without access stress.
More than twenty years after the Disability Discrimination Act, it’s just unacceptable that there are still venues out there turning away disabled customers. A ramp costs £50 – why would you not want to comply with the law?” 
Lianna Etkind, Queer Disability Justice activist

Chris Nagel has been the head doorman at Freedom for over 19 years. He said: “We are putting in access because it is a must. Everyone should be able to come into the venue.”

Shane Knight, who works at the Duke of Wellington, said: “We’ve had a ramp for years. It’s about access for all”.

Karl Nixon, Manager at Admiral Duncan and ‘Queer Disability’ activists

Karl Nixon, from the Admiral Duncan pub, said: “We got a ramp, and we’re going to get a sticker [to let people know a ramp is available], because it’s important to the gay community and beyond. We have a lot of people coming in with wheelchairs now, it has made a difference”.

Notes to Editors:

1. Kevin Wilson can be contacted for interview on queertoursoflondon@gmail.com / Photo credits – Holly Buckle / Video credits – Sophie Falkenburg

‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’exist to shine a light on London’s rich LGBTQI history through creative and life-affirming interactive tours. We tell the stories of London’s queer history, shedding light on the lives, spaces, identities, repression and resistance that form the backdrop of LGBTQI lives today. We do this through educational, accessible and interactive walking tours, cabarets, street-art and events that bring life to the complexities and lived experiences of our history, present and vision for the future. ‘Queer Tours of London’ are for everyone in London – visitors and residents – to be inspired by our history and get involved in our future.We also welcome requests for special-themed tours, private tours and all kinds of collaborations. Contact us on queertoursoflondon@gmail.com for all involvement / press requests / collaborations. 

3. The Equality Act 2010, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, makes it unlawful not to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to enable disabled people to access goods and services. Reasonable adjustments may include include a ramp; a lift; a large print menu or a hearing loop. More information at www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/multipage-guide/using-service-reasonable-adjustments-disabled-people

4. Coverage of the July 2017 action: https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/a33gjg/the-highs-and-lows-of-clubbing-with-a-physical-disability

5. The Equality ‘Zap’ was in the tradition of ‘Zaps’ originally organised by gay activists in the 1970s. ‘Zaps’ have continued to be used by LGBTQI activists throughout the 1980s and 1990s and beyond. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zap_(action)

Venue2018 Changes Made
Admiral DuncanHave ramp – but don’t have a sign in window – GM wasn’t aware should have one. But very happy to talk to us and accommodating.
ComptonsJames was really amazing. They had a ramp and disability sign. Talked about how a few years ago there was an incident in which they didn’t know where the ramp was, since then they have taken changes to make the venue way more accessible.Has taken huge changes.
BalansSeemed super disinterested and uncaring.“I have only been here 9 months”Saw it as a structural issues that just wasn’t in his hands!Really poor accessibility – no ramp. Didn’t commit to any promises
Yard BarIs movable ramp, but not visible. Don’t have sign letting people know but happy to put sticker up.
Duke of WellingtonsRamp available.
FreedomKevin had spoken to Chris Nagel, head doorman a few weeks ago, and he said he would put up visibility sign – not there  yet.However very receptive, and said would put in sign in 2 weeks max.
Movable ramp is there, but supervisor didn’t know how to use it.

27.02.19 – The ‘Gay Liberation Front’ Dance Party – 50th Anniversary Special!

The ‘Gay Liberation Front’ Dance Party / Fundraiser – 50th Anniversary Special! – Get your tickets quick – click here – limited spaces!Facebook event page here

50 years ago a rag-tag group of queers, queens, dissidents and whores started a revolution. This year – on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots they have re-united to reclaim the Pride they started!

Join us for the (re)launch of the ‘Gay Liberation Front’ in London with special performances, DJ sets and dances from the original GLF members + a new generation of artists in tribute + special mystery acts!

PARTY! CELEBRATE! BUILD QUEER POWER!

Come and join us for our LGBT+ History Month party and get involved in the year of action.

WHEN – Wednesday 27th Feb Show 7-9.30pm / DJ’s and dancing 9-midnight.

WHERE – REDON, Railway Arches, 289 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9HA – Wheelchair accessible.

DRESS CODE – FANTABULOSA

TICKETS – Broke £5 Unwaged £7.50 Standard £10 Solidarity £15.

There are a handful of free tickets are for LGBT+ migrants and for LGBT+ folk struggling with housing. If this is you and / or you have any issues being able to afford the ticket please email us ASAP – queertoursoflondon@gmail.com. All profits will go into a Summer of events and activism to catalyse a new set of radical demands by the activists who started Pride. 

Get your ticket here! 
https://www.outsavvy.com/event/2403/the-gay-liberation-front-dance-party-50th-anniversary-special-tickets

All details at www.queertoursoflondon.com – 

*** DONATE *** Please donate to our crowdfunder here

08.02.19 – QTOL at Friday Late: London Stories At London Transport Museum

PRESS RELEASE – 23 January 2019

Friday Late: London Stories At London Transport Museum – Friday 8 February 2019

19:00 to 22:00 (last admission 21:15)

·         

New exhibition opening and Friday Late combined

·         Workshop fun with a perfume salon, temporary tattoos and vinegar valentines

·         Talks on romance and early Victorian celebs, live poetry performances, a bar, DJ, and quiz with a top host

·         2 for £12 London Lovers pomegranate and gin cocktail

Party people can join London Transport Museum for the opening night of its new exhibition, The Poster Prize for Illustration 2019London Stories at a special love-themed Friday Late on 8 February in the heart of Covent Garden. Guests will be among the first to see one hundred new illustrations, each capturing a different story inspired by life in one of the world’s greatest cities – London.

With a London Lovers cocktail in hand, guests can enjoy a jam-packed evening of activities including talks on travel and romance, a perfume salon allowing visitors to discover the scents that were considered attractive in different eras, a tattoo parlour where they can get their lover’s name inked temporarily, and a Victorian craft workshop where they can print their own anti-Valentine’s card.

Visitors will be transported by poet Ella Frears’ Love on the Tracks performance in the Museum’s vintage “padded cell” Tube carriage, can hear a talk on the good, the bad and the ugly of London’s architecture and go on a guided tour of the new exhibition. There’s also a bar, DJ, and quiz with Amy Bee Sting, one of London’s best quiz masters.

Highlights of the evening:

Talks

·         Steamy Romance: step back in time to discover how trains transformed the romantic lives of everyday people. With Sophie Ratcliffe, author of The Lost Properties of Love

·         Stardom on the Strand: find out how the Gaiety Girls wowed late-Victorian London, redefined stardom with their daringly modern musical comedies and laid the groundwork for today’s celebrity culture.  With Rob Gallagher, editor at strandlines.london, a digital archive celebrating lives on the Strand, past and present

  • Architectural Marmite: explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of London’s architecture, and question why it divides us. Topics include brutalism and how high-rise buildings make you feel. With Oliver Green, a Research Fellow for London Transport Museum and a freelance historian, author and curator
  • What to expect on a Queer Tour of London: talk by Andrew Lumsden, QTOL guide and founder of Gay News in 1971
  • Queer Tours and Accessibility: talk by Josh Hepple, QTOL and Access4All guide, disability equality trainer, and activist

Workshops and performances

  • The Scent of Love: perfumer Sarah McCartney is holding a fragrant salon in the Museum’s 1930s lounge. Smell your way through a hundred years of perfume history and discover what scents were considered sexy, romantic, or attractive in different eras

·         Temporary Tattoo Parlourget your lover’s name inked, but without any of the regret! Let our resident face and body painter Jenny Hawkins adorn you with tattoo-inspired designs

  • Vinegar Valentines: print your own Vinegar Valentine, the Victorian way to fend off and insult unwanted suitors. Use an original printing press and learn about the history of Fleet Street’s printing industry with objects from St Bride Foundation’s collection
  • London LGBT+ Stories: visit a pop-up display of objects documenting London’s LGBT+ transport history; take a photo and record a mini oral history in the Museum’s photo booth for its collecting project; add your own love stories to a giant map of meeting places with London Transport Museum Documentary Curators Ellie Miles and Susanna Cordner. Meet OUTbound, TfL’s LGBT+ staff network group and learn about their work supporting LGBT+ transport workers in London today.  

·         Love on the Tracks: A short voyage of verse: With Valentine’s Day just a short hop away, join poet Ella Frears in the intimate surroundings of a vintage Tube carriage on an intoxicating voyage of verse themed around London and love

The Exhibition and Museum galleries

London Stories Highlights Tours in the Exterion Media Gallery: join a tour of the new exhibition The Poster Prize for IllustrationLondon stories and discover more about the artworks on display,with Brian Webb, panel judge for the Prize for Illustration and renowned designer and director of Webb & Webb Design, and Sabine Reimer, the Association of Illustrators’ Awards Manager, and a graphic designer herself. Or browse the exhibition in your own time and then enjoy London Transport Museum’s other galleries.

Bars and music

Try the Museum’s specially concocted seductive London Lovers gin and pomegranate cocktail which is on offer at the special price of 2 for £12 all night, then dance your heart out to a DJ set celebrating London and love. The Upper Deck café bar will also be serving drinks and hot and cold snacks. 

The London Stories Friday Late is from 19:00 to 22:00 and entry is £15/£12. Adults only. To book tickets in advance go to www.ltmuseum.co.uk/friday-lates

For further information visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk or call 020 7565 7298.

In addition to the Friday Late event, London Transport Museum is holding a series of talks to coincide with the new Poster Prize for IllustrationLondon stories exhibition. These three talks are:Living with Buildings and Walking with Ghosts, with Iain Sinclair, Thursday 21 February 2019, starts at 19:00, Bus Fare: Stories of the London BusThursday 21 March 2019, starts at 19:00,London Made Us: A memoir of a Shape-Shifting City with BBC broadcaster Robert Elms, Thursday 4 April 2019, starts at 19:00. All three talks take place in the Cubic Theatre at London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB. Tickets cost £12/£10 and advance booking is available at www.ltmuseum.co.uk.

Ends

For media requests, interviews and images please contact
London Transport MuseumCandice Jones – PR and Marketing ManagerPhone 020 7565 7448Email candice.jones@ltmuseum.co.ukClaudia Pearson – Marketing ExecutivePhone 020 7126 1807 Email claudia.pearson@ltmuseum.co.uk Association of IllustratorsSabine Reimer – Awards ManagerPhone 020 7759 1012Email  sabine@theaoi.comFor further information, please see:www.ltmuseum.co.uk Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at:https://twitter.com/ltmuseum https://www.facebook.com/ltmuseum www.theaoi.com 

Editors notes:

About the Poster Prize for Illustration 2019 judging panel:

o    Derek Brazell, Projects Manager, Association of Illustrators

o    Roger Browning, Art Editor (Lifestyle), Country Living

o    Brian Grimwood, Managing Director, Central Illustration Agency

  • Miranda Leedham, Head of Customer Marketing and Behaviour Change, Transport for London
  • Steve Pill, Editor, Artists & Illustrators, BRITAIN and Discover Britain magazines
  • Rachael Stevens, Associate Editor, Creative Review
  • Michael Walton, Poster Art Commissioner, London Transport Museum
  • Brian Webb, Director, Webb and Webb Design
  • Sarah Thomson, Head of Art Production, Ogilvy & Mather (1 Unilever)
  • Jason Cotterrell, Group Chief Strategy Officer and UK Managing Director, Exterion Media

About London Transport Museum

·         London Transport Museum is situated in the heart of Covent Garden and filled with stunning exhibits; the Museum explores the powerful link between transport and the growth of modern London, culture and society since 1800. Historic vehicles, world-famous posters and the very best objects from the Museum’s extraordinary collection are brought together to tell the story of London’s development and the part transport played in defining the unique identity of the city.

·         London Transport Museum is an educational and heritage preservation charity. Its purpose is to conserve and explain the history of London’s transport, to offer people an understanding of the Capital’s past development and to engage them in the debate about its future. The Museum’s charity number is 1123122.

·         London Transport Museum is supported by public funding from Arts Council England

·         London Transport Museum opening hours:

  • Daily 10.00 to 18.00 (last admission 17.15)

·       Public information:

  • Talks & events bookings: +44 (0)20 7565 7298 
  • Switchboard:  +44 (0)20 7379 6344 – general information
  • Address: Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
  • 24 hour information: +44 (0)20 7565 7299
  • www.ltmuseum.co.uk

About the Association of Illustrators

·         The Association of Illustrators (AOI) is the UK’s leading illustration body supporting and sustaining illustrators and the illustration industry. Established in 1973 the AOI offers members professional support, online resources and a growing programme of events. The AOI has successfully increased the standing of illustration as a profession and improved commercial and ethical conditions. With a membership that includes freelance illustrators, agents, students and colleges the AOI continues to educate future generations and support illustrators at every stage of their career. It publishes the biannual Varoom magazine and has run juried illustration Awards, such as the World Illustration Awards, for over 40 years.

·         The Association of Illustrators, telephone: 020 7759 1010, email: info@theaoi.comwww.theaoi.com

For Immediate Release 24.01.19 – Hundreds to protest LGBT+ murders at Russian Embassy on Holocaust Memorial Day


This Holocaust Memorial Day – 27th January – hundreds of people from London’s LGBT+ community and their allies will protest outside the Russian Embassy in London against the new wave of brutal attacks against LGBT+ people that are taking place in Chechnya, Russia. Their message will be ‘NEVER AGAIN EVER!’

This Holocaust Memorial Day – 80 years since the start of World War II – the protest  remembers the thousands of LGBTQI+ who perished during the Nazi Holocaust and the millions of Queers across the world who have been killed or brutalised since. The protests immediate focus is to act for those who have been killed, detained and tortured in a new crackdown on LGBT+ people in Chechnya.

The reports earlier this month echo those that started in 2017 and haven’t stopped since. Hundreds of people were rounded up because of their sexuality or perceived sexuality by authorities in Chechnya and subjected to beatings and electric shocks in secret prisons, provoking international condemnation and sanctions. Worryingly, verified reports from the Russian LGBT Network suggest three people have been killed in recent weeks.

The protests Demands

  1. We call on Theresa May to publicly condemn these atrocities;
  2. We ask all Governments to give shelter to those fleeing from Chechnya;
  3. We call for a United Nations Independent Investigation on Russia with a specific mandate on the human rights violations in the Chechen Republic
  4. We urge Russian authorities to bring those responsible for these atrocities to justice and, failing that, for the international community to intervene and arraign the perpetrators before the ICJ

Testimonials in support –

‘We are truly grateful to everyone who supports us! Moreover, we believe that it was an international pressure that stopped the first wave of persecution, so yes, it will be very useful!’ Russian LGBT Network

“The heart-breaking reports of renewed state torture and murder of LGBT+ people are a damning indictment of the tyrannical Chechen regime and of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has refused to use his powers to stop the homophobic terror campaign and to bring perpetrators to justice. We deplore all human rights abuses in Chechnya – including detention without trial, torture and arbitrary killings. At this protest, we stand in solidarity with Chechen LGBTs and all persecuted Chechen people.” Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation

‘All four of my grandparents were Nazi Holocaust survivors. The influence their stories had on me was one of my main reasons I co-founded ‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’. I know all too well how the LGBTQI+ community has suffered but also resisted fascism throughout history. Wild horses wouldn’t stop me from getting involved in this Sunday’s protest to make sure homophobic genocidal maniacs get their comeuppance! I’m so looking forward to be with our glorious LGBTQI+ community in London, send love and solidarity to our Chechen queer family and in my own way – get justice for others that my grandparents never had. Never Again Ever!’ dan glass ‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’

‘I thoroughly condemned the actions of the Chechen government and the brutal treatment of it’s Lgbt+ citizens, which is tantamount to state sponsored genocide. We, the Muslim Lgbt+ community in the UK stand in solidarity with our Lgbt+ friends and allies in Chechnya.’ Ejel Khan, LGBTQIA+/Human Rights Activist & Freelancer

‘We must all come together, all manner of humanity – queer, trans, bi,non-identifying,  hetero, whatever sort of human being you see yourself as … and explicitly, loudly and clearly, resoundingly reverberate our shared message in front of the Russian Embassy, that the horrific and cruel, deeply prejudiced mistreatment of our Chechynean sisters and brothers is wholly unacceptable. We will all come together with controlled rage, non-violence, and  deep Love, explicitly showing that all human brothers and sisters are one, and we will not have it any other way.’ Steve Burak

Michael Salter-Church MBE, Co-Chair of Pride in London, said: “50 years on from brave activists taking a stand at Stonewall, the appalling events in Chechnya highlight with vivid brutality that the fight isn’t over. “Whilst the UK is focused on Brexit we mustn’t forget those who need our support. We must take a stand for our community in countries where they can’t as it could – and does – cost them their lives. The British Government must raise this at the highest level with Russia and call for both an end to this persecution and the prosecution of the perpetrators. Let us also show the world our support of human rights by raising this at the UN. “We urge members of the LGBT+ community in London to join protests and give money to activists in Chechnya, Russia and other countries where people face death and imprisonment for being who they are.”

The news of a new wave of anti-gay persecution in Chechnya is deeply disturbing. Silence is complicity. All world leaders, including the UK Prime minister, must condemn these atrocities and ask Russian authorities to bring those responsible to justice.’ Matt Beard, Executive Director, All Out.

Fifty years ago this June the LGBTI movement was born. This human rights crisis demands that we all become activists like those brave people half a century ago. We cannot stand back whilst our LGBTI siblings are being detained, tortured and killed.’ Kristine Garina, President, EuroPride

Contacts –

Shames Abdelwahab – 0044 (0)2033972190 / shames@petertatchellfoundation.org

Dan glass – 0044 (0)7717811747 / queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

Yuri Guaiana – +39 340 46 94 701 – yuri@allout.org

Notes To Editors

27.01.19 – 1pm – 2pm QUEER POWER PROTEST against Chechnyan murders this Holocaust Memorial Day – Facebook page here – PLEASE SHARE THIS FAR AND WIDE – WE ARE HERE! WE ARE QUEER! All contributions / if you would like to speak / press requests to queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

Where – Russian consulate, Corner of Bayswater Road and Ossington Street, London W2 4LW – nearest tube ‘Notting Hill Gate’

When – 1-2pm on Sunday 27th January 2019

What – Please bring as many people as you can AND bring as many pairs of shoes as possible for a sculpture of shoes just like those piled up outside of Auschwitz.

CHECHNYA: ‘TWO DEAD AND DOZENS HELD IN LGBT PURGE, SAY ACTIVISTS’ GUARDIAN 14.01.19

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/14/chechnya-two-dead-and-dozens-held-in-lgbt-purge-reports

Please support and sign the global ‘All Out’ petition here – https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya-2019-uk/

Donate here – https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya-donate/ and support the Peter Tatchell Foundation here – www.petertatchellfoundation.org

06.02.18 – Gay Liberation Front (GLF) ‘Think In 5’ – Reclaim Pride! Everyone welcome :)

06.02.18 – Gay Liberation Front (GLF) ‘Think In 5’ – Reclaim Pride!


When – Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 6 PM – 8:30 PM – Facebook event page here

Where – Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4QH London, United Kingdom

This is the space for all Gay Liberation Front (GLF) Activists and new friends to connect, celebrate and plot for the upcoming significant anniversaries –

2019 – 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots
2020 – 50th anniversary of GLF UK
2022 – 50th anniversary of Pride

We are having monthly ‘think in’s’ to develop our demands and action plans. Everyone new or old to the movement and who is committed to ‘LIBERATION FOR ALL’ is very welcome.

‘Think In’s’ are a concept which the GLF activists first used to have a space, a sanctuary in which to make sense of the world away from the pressures of homophobia and how to effectively respond. 50 years on there is still so much work to do to complete the ultimate aim of ‘freedom for all’.

We are busy writing the ‘GLF demands 2’ to present to the world and organising the 2019 timeline of events and actions to pay tribute to the radical roots of Pride by those who started it. 2019 will be a year of TRANSFORMATION, JUSTICE AND TRUTH for Pride and the Queer Community!

If you wanna get involved and join the ‘Think In 5’ on Feb 6th at The Bishopsgate Institute (a haven for queer archiving and campaigning) and /or be added to the mailing list please email queertoursoflondon@gmail.com with a few lines of who you are and your committed to radical (getting to the root) queer freedom. Thanks to everyone who is making this happen!

#Weareherewerearequeer
#Gayisgood
#Wearethepeopleyourparentswarnedyoubout
#ComeTogether!

Read more about the GLF history here – http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/21cc/counterculture/liberation/cometogether/cometogether.html

*** Contacts – 

‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ – queertoursoflondon@gmail.com / www.queertoursoflondon.com

‘Queerseum’ info@queerseum.org / www.queerseum.org

*** Why do we need to ‘reclaim’ Pride – a message from ‘Gay Liberation Fronts’ Andrew Lumsden.

‘Where do our rebellions lie now? How can we best tie them into our shared history?’ Andrew Lumsden, GLF activist / Gay News founder (1971)

“Surviving Gay Liberation Front activists were sidelined by a London Pride Committee on our 40th anniversary in 2010. Mayor Johnson and his bodyguards – he never spoke to us – were put in front of us on the July march, though we invented such marches. And we were allowed 15 minutes to speak from the Trafalgar Square stage, cut at the last moment to 5 minutes.

Young people ask us, what was Gay Lib like, and they love Stuart Feather’s 2016 book about it, Blowing the Lid, Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution & Radical Queens.

We’d like things to go better for the 50th anniversary in 2020 even if we’re all in wheelchairs. But there’s been no approach to us by the present Pride in London Committee. It keeps the Pride franchise awarded by Mayor Khan until 2022 and is known to consider themes for later marches under its supervision. Months ago we suggested a conversation, and were told we would be contacted. We never have been.

Never mind. We invented things before and can cheerfully do it again, with the help of friends. So we’d like – since venues have to be booked – to consult with friends about what we might do that would simultaneously

. highlight campaigns today

. and celebrate the Gay Liberation Front”

‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time in 2019’ celebrate Stonewall Riots 50th Birthday!

‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ celebrate Stonewall Riots 50th Birthday!

“The Queer Walking Tour crew turned a load of drab civil servants into sparkly, queer knowledge hubs. We absolutely love the Queer Walking Tour crew, and can’t get enough – we’re onto our third tour with them now and every time we learn more, understand a bit more and hopefully become confident allies and activists. What are you waiting for? Sign up and get queer walking!” Kate Leslie

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that led to birth of modern Pride (‘You can’t have Pride without the Marsha P Johnson’ photo above) as we know it and Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time are going to celebrate in style.

OUR PURPOSE

‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ tours, events and protests serve 3 main purposes (1) Shine a light on London’s rich LGBTQI history through creative, audacious and life-affirming interactive walking tours (2) Knowledge is Power – Understanding our Queer History to build for our Queer Future (3) Generate People Power and Financial Support for London’s Queer campaigns.

We exist to shine a light on London’s rich LGBTQI history through creative and life-affirming interactive tours. We tell the stories of London’s queer history, shedding light on the lives, spaces, identities, repression and resistance that form the backdrop of LGBTQI lives today. We do this through educational, accessible and interactive walking tours, cabarets, street-art and events that bring life to the complexities and lived experiences of our history, present and vision for the future.

‘Queer Tours of London’ are for everyone in London – visitors and residents – to be inspired by our history and get involved in our future. We also welcome requests for special-themed tours, private tours and all kinds of collaborations. Contact with us on queertoursoflondon@gmail.com for all involvement / press requests / collaborations and an info-pack for new tour guides.

NEXT TOURS AND EVENTS

Come and join us at our next tours and events

This Wednesday 9th January we have our ‘Gay Liberation Front’ and friends ‘Think In 4 to reclaim Pride’ at LSE and Thursday we will be at the Goldsmiths Queer History Fair with our friends from see ’the best LGBT+ events in London this week’.

Watch this space for the ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson’ Film Screening at the end of January to launch the Stonewall 50th year of action. Into February ‘LGBT+ History Month’ we have the LGBTQIA+ Disability Tour – Accessibility for all! On the 2nd, the ‘GLF and Friends Think in 5 @ Bishopsgate Institute’ on the 6th of February, the ‘Gay Liberation Front’ Special Soho Tour – Celebrating Stonewall – on the 9th and on the 23rd of February we have the ‘Trans Herstory Tour of London – Stonewall Special.’ On the 13th of February we have the ‘Queer Ghost tour of Shadwell – Happy BIrthday Wilfred Owen’. In April we have our ‘Out of the Archive and into the Street’s archive launch party at the Bishopsgate Institute, the Justice for Xulhaz Vigil / Protest at the Bangladesh Embassy – on the 25th of April and lots more exciting events to be announced including our ‘LGBT+ Migrant Rights’ tour and ‘Lesbian Tours.’

2018 HIGHLIGHTS

2018 was the 30th anniversary of the beginning of ‘Section 28’ and we damn well made sure that we weren’t going to go underground anymore. Some of the highlights included

                     

Keep on Mincing! Have a great start to 2019 – we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the streets! Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time 🙂

 

14.12.18 2-3pm – Toilet Humour – Re-Open Soho Toilets! Photocall and Protest

14.12.18 2-3pm at 26 Broadwick St (the toilets), Soho, London W1F 8HX- Toilet Humour – Re-Open Soho Toilets! Photocall and Protest – Facebook page here 

TOILET HUMOUR – A STREET PROTEST ABOUT THE MISMANAGEMENT OF WESTMINSTER’S PUBLIC CONVENIENCES
 
FRIDAY 14 DECEMBER FROM 2PM to 3PM
 
Are you a taxi driver / market trader / visitor / tourist /older person / homeless or vulnerably housed / human?
 
Then please come and show your support for our campaign for secure, clean and available public conveniences in Soho
 
Why
 
For seven months this summer the Broadwick Street Public Conveniences (pictured above) were closed. No credible explanation has ever been given and the loos are still dirty and only open sporadically. The current provider (Carlisle Cleaning Services to which Westminster granted a 12 year lease in 2010) removed the toilet warden that kept the loos clean and safe.
 
Soho’s toilets are part of our history.
 
Westminster CC want to promote the “Oxford Street District” as an unrivalled tourist attraction at a cost of £150 million over three years yet can’t keep the public toilets open and clean. Why not get the basics right before farting about with Oxford Street?
 
Toilets matter for visitors and workers in Soho. The British Toilet Association has detailed research on why people need toilets. It’s not rocket science. We agree with the BTA! We want unrivalled toilets suitable for a global city.
 
We are a ragtag army of residents and punters who stand for the people and not just for the elite and WE DEMAND A GLORIOUS CLEAN PUBLIC CONVENIENCE brought back to public ownership preferably with nice soap and loo paper.
 
Bring Sound Systems
Bring Placards (“Toilet Training for Westminster Councillors begins now” )
Bring your own ‘Porta-loo’
Dresscode “Toilet Humour”
 
Please get in touch at queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

15.12.18 – Queer Tour of Whitechapel – Justice for Xulhaz and Mahbub

15.12.18 – Queer Tour of Whitechapel – Facebook event page click here .

Please get your tickets ASAP on Outsavvy hereProfits go to Amnesty International – Take action for Human Rights

Time : 12:00 to 1:00 pm
Meeting point: Altab Ali Park, Adler St, London E1 1HD

The upcoming ‘Queer Tour of Whitechapel’ focuses on Bangladesh LGBTQIA+ movements and welcomes Bangladeshi LGBTQIA+ people who are living in London and especially living in East London. The tour guide is Mazharul Islam – Attitude Pride Award Winner 2018 – one of the pioneer LGBT activists from Bangladesh who fled from his country immediately after the killing two of LGBT activists friends. This tour will give you a brief idea of Bangladeshi LGBT movements; How these movements started; what is the current situation of Bangladeshi LGBT movements, what is the future of Bangladeshi LGBT movements; how the Roopbaan Magazine was published; how the murder of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy took place in Bangladesh and what we here in London can do to support the Bangaldeshi queer community here and abroad. If you are interested to know more details please come and join us with this Whitechapel tour and email queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

With your tour guides: Mazharul Islam – Attitude Pride Award Winner 2018 / Olimpia /Sinthea / Dan Glass

Tour details:

12:00: Participants Arrival
12:00 to 12:05 Introduction
12:05 to 12: 20 visit place 1-Bangladesh LGBT movements
12:20 to 12:35 visit place 2- History of Boys only Bangladesh( First LGBT plat form of Bangladesh )
12:35 to 12:50 visit place 3- History of Roopbaan ( First LGBT Magazine of Bangladesh)
12:50 to 13:00 Quiz and Traditional Bangladeshi snacks distribution:
13:00 End the tour and closing remark from Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time

Amnesty International – Take action for Human Rights – ‘Hacked to death for defending LGBTIQ Rights’ – send a letter of support to Xulhaz’ family – click here

Xulhaz Mannan and a colleague were in his apartment when men posing as couriers burst in wielding machetes. Both men were hacked to death in front of Xulhaz’s 75-year-old mother.

Xulhaz was a founder of Bangladesh’s only magazine dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) issues, a daring venture in a country where same-sex relations are illegal. His attackers are believed to belong to Ansar al-Islam, the same extremist group responsible for a spate of similar assaults on bloggers promoting atheism, feminism, science and other secular issues.

Over a year since the April 2016 attack, and despite evidence including eye witness testimony and CCTV footage, no one has been charged for the murders. On top of this slow police response, the government has shifted blame onto the victims. Shortly after Xulhaz’s murder, a government minister stated that movements promoting “unnatural sex” are not allowed in Bangladeshi society.

This reluctance or unwillingness to find and charge Xulhaz’s killers sends a devastating message to LGBTIQ activists and others who challenge the status quo with their work. As Xulhaz’s brother says, the police’s inaction shows that “the government is least bothered… and believes that ‘this’ issue [same-sex relations] has died with Xulhaz”.

Tell Bangladesh to bring Xulhaz’s killers to justice.

‘QUEER TOURS OF LONDON – A Mince Through Time’ exist to shine a light on London’s rich LGBTQI history through creative and life-affirming interactive tours – www.queertoursoflondon.com / @ queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

Xulhaz Mannan and a colleague were in his apartment when men posing as couriers burst in wielding machetes. Both men were hacked to death in front of Xulhaz’s 75-year-old mother.

Xulhaz was a founder of Bangladesh’s only magazine dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) issues, a daring venture in a country where same-sex relations are illegal. His attackers are believed to belong to Ansar al-Islam, the same extremist group responsible for a spate of similar assaults on bloggers promoting atheism, feminism, science and other secular issues.

Over a year since the April 2016 attack, and despite evidence including eye witness testimony and CCTV footage, no one has been charged for the murders. On top of this slow police response, the government has shifted blame onto the victims. Shortly after Xulhaz’s murder, a government minister stated that movements promoting “unnatural sex” are not allowed in Bangladeshi society.

This reluctance or unwillingness to find and charge Xulhaz’s killers sends a devastating message to LGBTIQ activists and others who challenge the status quo with their work. As Xulhaz’s brother says, the police’s inaction shows that “the government is least bothered… and believes that ‘this’ issue [same-sex relations] has died with Xulhaz”.

Tell Bangladesh to bring Xulhaz’s killers to justice.

‘QUEER TOURS OF LONDON – A Mince Through Time’ exist to shine a light on London’s rich LGBTQI history through creative and life-affirming interactive tours – www.queertoursoflondon.com / @ queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

Hackney Pride 365 presents Queer Tours of London history walks – June 23rd and 30th

Drag Queen nuns on the 55 bus, the grave of a drag king, and gay cabaret during The Blitz… uncover Hackney’s fascinating and not-to-be forgotten LGBTQI+ history with an interactive walking tour.

As part of the Council’s Hackney Pride 365 celebrations, Queer Tours of London will take people on a journey, telling the stories of the borough’s queer history, shedding light on the events, spaces, identities, repression and resistance that form a backdrop for LGBTQI+ lives today.

Read about our last Hackney tour! – Transgender nuns, gay cabaret and the poll tax: history tour with a difference uncovers Hackney’s LGBT heritage’ Hackney Gazzette

Sign up to the facebook page here. To find out more and to book, visit: www.queertoursoflondon.com; book on outsavvy here or e-mail: queertoursoflondon@gmail.com. All press requests please email queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

Our press release – For Immediate Release – Queer Tours of London sheds light on un-told Hackney history

Walk 1: Saturday, 23 June, 4-6pm. Meet outside Stoke Newington Town Hall, N16 0JR.
Walk 2: Saturday, 30 June, 4-6pm. Meet outside Stoke Newington Town Hall, N16 0JR.
There is a suggested donation of £10. Walks take 2 hours and are fully accessible.
To find out more and to book, visit: www.queertoursoflondon.com; or e-mail: queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

For Immediate Release – 10.5.18. The Alternative George Michael Royal Wedding

For Immediate Release – 10.5.18.

THE ALTERNATIVE ROYAL WEDDING PARTY ON HAMPSTEAD HEATH TO CELEBRATE GEORGE MICHAEL’S LIFE, TALENT,  & COURAGE IN PROMOTING SEXUAL FREEDOM

Saturday May 19th 2018 – 1pm- Bandstand, Golders Hill Park, Hampstead Heath – 

A coalition of London’s LGBTQI+ community groups (1*) are holding a  ‘George Michael – This is My Culture‘ free party to remember the Queer Icon’s life, talent and courage in celebrating sexual freedom.  2018 also marks 20 years since the release of his song, ‘Outside’ which was George’s response to being ensnared by a ‘pretty’ policeman in an LA toilet, arrested for indecency and subsequently cruelly publicly outed.

The event is back by popular demand after last year hundreds gathered on the Heath. This year the party is being held on the date of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to provide an alternative celebration of love for the LGBTQI+ community. Guests are being asked to wear their wedding frocks. 

“As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry don their crowns and bow down to the Queen, join us for this very special occasion where we celebrate ‘OUR CULTURE’ where public displays of affection are everyone’s duties and we show the world that QUEERS ARE FABULOUS, and we are never going underground.” Dan Glass, Queer Tours of London, A Mince Through Time

The event will also help raise awareness of the work of ‘The Outside Project’, which supports and campaigns for the homeless LGBTQI+ people. Any profit from the event will also go to the charities services (*2).

“George Michael was dragged through the press for cottaging when I was 13 years old; this was my introduction to homophobia and shaming.  His defiant response – Outside – became the anthem for my queer youth. ‘This is My Culture’ is a beautiful way to celebrate the life, activist and sexual freedom and power that I feel he gave our community.” Carla Ecola. Outside Project Director.

2018 is also the 30th anniversary of ‘Section 28’ when Margaret Thatcher tried to ban the public promotion of homosexuality with ‘Clause 28’.  While this nasty law was abolished in 2000 we aim to also highlight the issues that the LGBTQI+ community still faces, and engage people to be more active in the fight for LGBTQI+ rights, health, wellbeing and safety.

“No longer with us but with presence stronger than ever, we gather at the world famous cruising  area on Hampstead Heath, to ‘Go Outside’ in honour of George Michael. His every statement and action after his nasty public outing in 1997, said screw the judgement of others. We dance and sing and roll together and shout out, in the immortal words of George, “This Is My Culture!” Nell Andrew, organiser, Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time guide and cruising guru

“George Michael was a Great British Gay Icon. Hugely talented and never afraid to knock out a tune, and much else too, in defence of his and other people’s sexual freedom for the LGBTQ+ community.” Alex Green ‘Loud and Queerly’ entertainer and director of campaign to save the Black Cap, Black Cap Campaign

“Throughout history our bodies and same sex desire have been sanctioned by the moral compass of the law.  We may have lost a legend last Christmas but ‘F**k off this is my culture’ is George Michael’s liberating mantra; advocating sexual freedom mapped in the landscape of cruising grounds and public toilets. It’s here where his memory lives on in our celebration of his life and work and unapologetically taking our love outside from the closets and into the trees. Damien Arness-Dalton, Queerseum

Main contacts

Dan Glass – queertoursoflondon@gmail.com / 07717811747

Alex Green – alex@loudandqueerly.com / 07779580393

www.queertoursoflondon.com / queertoursoflondon@gmail.com / Facebook page here

SUPPORTING INFORMATION

Media links from 2017 –

April 2017 – Huffington Post – George Michael’s Life Celebrated In One Of His Cruising Spots – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/george-michael-sex-party-held-to-celebrate-cruising_uk_58eba928e4b0ca64d917ea20

April 2017 – Ham and High – PICTURES: ‘cheeky’ party for George Michael on Hampstead Heath – http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/pictures-cheeky-party-for-george-michael-on-hampstead-heath-1-4968542

April 2017 – I.D. Magazine celebrating george michael and the history of cruising – https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/mbveeb/celebrating-george-michael-and-the-history-of-cruising

April 2017 – VICE – ‘A True Queer Life’: Photos from an LGBTQ Dance Party to RememberGeorge Michael

April 2017 – I.D. Magazine – celebrating george michael and the history of cruising – https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/mbveeb/celebrating-george-michael-and-the-history-of-cruising-us-translation

ITV – HUNDREDS PARTY ON HAMPSTEAD HEATH FOR GEORGE MICHAEL – HTTP://WWW.ITV.COM/NEWS/LONDON/2017-04-09/HUNDREDS-PARTY-ON-HAMPSTEAD-HEATH-FOR-GEORGE-MICHAEL/

Notes to Editors

*1 The Outside Project, Loud and Queerly and Ecoqueers, in partnership with Queer Tours of London

*2 ‘The Outside Project’ is a LGBTIQ+ community shelter & centre. Independent, grassroots project led by queer ex-homeless, homelessness professionals, community & activists. wwwlgbtiqoutside.org/