Come and (re)make history! Gay Liberation Front (GLF) recreate first Pride in London
Where – Trafalgar Square Lions, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN, UK
When – Monday, June 17, 2019 at 5 PM – 7 PM / Facebook event page here
Dresscode – whatever makes you feel liberated Press / Enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone who lives and acts in the spirit of the demands below are welcome – the more the merrier!
Beforehand please come and help re-create the original banners on Saturday 15th June 6-9pm at London Action Resource Centre (LARC), 62 Fieldgate Street, Shadwell, London, E1 1ES – Facebook event page here
An Invite from the Gay Liberation Front
Hello all today’s protestors and revellers.
It’s fifty years since the Stonewall Uprising and next year it will be fifty years since the Gay Liberation Front reached London. How time flies! – forty-seven years since the under-21s of the Gay Liberation Front organised London’s first Pride March.
We are a few activists from the Gay Liberation Front, the first wave of out activism. We who were there have written ‘Rainbow Planet’ – A Souvenir Brochure for Pride 2019 – and on June 17th we invite you to come join us to launch it on the very place we had our first demonstration.
In our culture we invert the pink triangle to honour the memory of all those who died in the gas chambers of the Nazis and the Stalinists. We were part of the first openly public demonstration by homosexuals in this country and present on the first Gay Pride March. Others are millennials, activists from Act Up who celebrated the achievements of GLF in 2015 and we all came together in 2016 to prepare and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 2017. We are now preparing to celebrate next year’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and the foundation of the Gay Liberation Front in New York, the origin of the fight back that inspired and brought hope to LGBTQI+ of every country in the world. Gay Liberation will always be a socialist movement by virtue of its demand for social change.
2020 brings the 50th anniversary of the start of Gay Liberation in London, the moment everything changed in Britain by giving us Coming Out, Gay Pride and the first Gay Pride March in 1972, making 2022 the 50th anniversary of that political demonstration and celebration.
GLF stands for liberation: the choice is always there – liberation or slavery.
Join us to recreate the spirit of the Gay Liberation Front 1970 and Pride March of 1972 and build strength in community to re-politicise what we started and fight for our demands. Feel the zeitgeist of the years that changed the world for LGBT people … and for everyone else!
We did what we did to rescue ourselves, but we always thought of you as well – you who would come out after us, and will come out until the world ends.
Our demands for the 2020 50th anniversary of pride that we started are loud and clear – here they are.
1. Pride should be free for all – no one should be denied entry to Pride because they don’t earn enough
2. Overturn the 2004 PiL stipulation that Pride is no longer a protest but a parade. Pride has and always should be an uprising until 3. GLF’s original aim of ‘Absolute freedom for all’ is met.
4. LGBT+ justice community groups actively engaged in grassroots LGBTQIA+ empowerment programmes at the front of the demonstration and corporations at the back.
5. No arms dealers or irresponsible sponsors which violate the U.N. International Charter on Human Rights.
6. Fully accessible for all.
7. Gay Liberation Front (GLF) should lead the production of Pride in London 2020.
8. No limits on numbers attending and no wristbands.
9. No police presence.
10. No diesel powered vehicles.
The Gay Liberation Front
That apathy and fear are the
Barriers that imprison people
From an incalculable landscape
Of self awareness
That they are the elements of
That every person has the right
To develop and extend their
Character and explore their
Sexuality through relationships
With any other human being,
Without moral, social or political
That no relationship formed
By such pressure, or not freely
Entered into, can be valid,
Creative or rewarding.
To you, the others, we say
We are not against you, but
The prejudice that warps your
Life, and ours
It is not love that distorts,
On your behalf, and ours,
The same right to public
Expressions of love and
Affection as society grants
To expressions of hate and scorn.
The right to believe, without
Harm to others, in public and
Private, in any way we choose,
In any manner or style, with
Any words and gestures, to wear
Whatever clothes we like or to
Go naked, to draw or write or
Read or publish any material or
Information we wish, at any
Time and in any place.
An end to the sexual propaganda
That disturbs the innocence of
Children, conditions their image
Of human relationships and implants
Guilt and nurturers shame for any
Sexual feelings outside an
An end to the centuries of
Oppression and prejudice that have
Driven homosexuals from their
Homes, families and employment, have
forced them to cynicism,
Subterfuge and self-hatred and
have led them, so often, to
Imprisonment or to death.
In the name of the tens of
Thousands who wore the badge of
Homosexuality in the gas chambers
And concentration camps, who
Have no children to remember, and
Whom your histories forget.
We DEMAND honour, identity and
John Chesterman for GLF 1970
Read more here – ‘BLOWING THE LID: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens’ by Stuart Feather. Stuart Feather co-founded GLF Street Theatre; was a member of the radical queens’ commune, the Bethnal Rouge commune and bookshop, and later a founding member of Bette Bourne’s gay theatre troupe Bloolips. Since hanging up his tap shoes he has been painting. His first exhibition at the Drill Hall in 1995 received critical acclaim from Emmanuel Cooper.