THE GOLDEN YEARS
To celebrate the golden anniversary of the passing of the findings of the Wolfenden Report ‘The Golden Years’ aims to bring to life hidden queer histories while also kicking off some contemporary queer activism and developing some vibrant community activism relating to today’s queer issues. Golden Years consists of monthly events plus the launch of Queer Tours of London, a guided walk through historic queer places in the Capital.
We are looking for people to be involved in each of the projects below so that they result in long term tangible change for the LGBTQI community. No experience needed, just pure queer passion.
If you are interested in getting involved as an individual or as a partner organisation and if you are press please email firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ are being set up to tell the stories of London’s queer history, shedding light on the lives, spaces, sexual encounters, identities, repression and resistance that form the backdrop of LGBTQI lives today. To be launched on the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality – 2017 – the tours aim to be educational and interactive, while drawing connections between the history of London’s queer spaces and the issues and struggles that our communities face today.
The heart of the programme are the walking tours to start in early 2017 around the themes of
(1) Power – the institutions, campaigns and discourses that shaped the oppression, conditioning and liberation struggles of gender and sexual minorities;
(2) Sex and Identity – how practices, behaviours and attitudes towards sex, social interactions and related identities changed over time; and
(3) Spaces – bars, clubs, art spaces, performance venues, community centres and other arenas that were produced or claimed by queer individuals and communities, their historical and contemporary significance and how these have changed under processes of capitalism, austerity and gentrification.
Against the backdrop of the mass closure of LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex) cultural spaces and support services, ‘Queer Tours of London’ are being developed to support London’s current queer activism and culture and in all its glory. ‘Queer Tours of London’ are working alongside various institutions – Bishopsgate Institute, Arcola Queer Collective, London Metropolitan Archives, People’s History Museum (Manchester) and we welcome further collaborations.
On top of the walking tours we are planning a series of cabarets, queer street-art, queer protest interventions all to draw attention to the controversies, complexities and lived experiences relating to the passing of the Sexual Offences Act and to build discussion around the realities of being part of London’s LGBTQI communities of today. These will begin in Autumn 2016 in the run up to the launch of the tours in 2017.
Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time Calendar
If you would like one of these events in your community and / or would like to be involved in any way or are press then please email email@example.com ASAP
NOVEMBER – Look Back in Pride
For the 50th anniversary of the ‘decriminalisation’ of homosexuality and the passing of the ‘Abortion Act’ please come to a tribute night, swing dance and feast to the activists who made it happen. Saturday November 26th 2016 8pm – 277A Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 2TZ
NOVEMBER – ‘Queer Sex and the City’ Queer History Crowdsourcing Cabaret Tour
Invited speakers and performers will tell tales of London’s Queer History and participants will be invited to add their own stories to our collection. From hanky codes and lesbian nightclubs to struggles against contemporary queer venues being closed we will examine and celebrate a people’s queer history.
NOVEMBER – Queer Museum, where art thou? Filing Cabinet Street Intervention
London has no Queer Museum. As a call for such a museum and to see if a campaign can be seeded a block of pink filing cabinets will be created, displayed and paraded from Soho Square to City Hall.
Why is our history in filing cabinets gathering dust? We’ve never been allowed to exist as equals because there hasn’t been a place allowed to share our history. Section 28 of the Local Government Act made exhibitions about gay and lesbian life risky grounds for museums, as it banned anything that might promote homosexuality to schoolchildren. Since then courageous people, programmes and institutions across London have exhibited Bloolips posters, stories of gay women in the Suffragettes, Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, responses to AIDS and the Black queer experience – but they are all temporary. On the 50th anniversary we are all uniting and saying loud and queer that it’s time for a permanent home. Come and join us at sites across London to demand that we get a home. In the meantime, look out for the pink filing cabinets in the streets.
DECEMBER – ‘Camp As Christmas!’ – Xmas Queer School
Are we, the queer community, truly free? Can the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation fuel the flame of our continuing struggles for liberation? Christmas is one of the hardest times for many queer people as continued inequality, LGBTQI hate crime, access to services and homophobia results in increased isolation. 1 in 4 of the UK’s homeless population are LGBTQI. This Christmas will be different. The Xmas queer school exists to cultivate the next generation of queer artists, activists, revolutionaries and change-makers dedicated to ending homophobia, transphobia and all forms of oppression. The weeklong programme involves skill shares by key voices at the heart of our ongoing liberation to develop new effective campaigning skills, cultural expression and queer arts and media.
A visit to prisons, medical institutions and religious sites that played central roles in the criminalisation, repression and marginalisation of queer individuals and communities.
Activist training with pioneers of LGBTQI counter-culture – the Gay Liberation Front.
Tour highlights with leading LGBTQI writers, poets, artists and historians of London’s queer history.
A Mentoring Programme – where each young person partakes in a year long programme of advice / support with one of the activists that led to the passing Sexual Offences Act (1967).
FEBRUARY – Queer Brandalism Week
There are no LGBTQI+ advertising standards in Britain, unlike other countries, so we are constantly on the margins of cultural representation. ‘Queer brandalism’ week is our opportunity to play with public space and open up questions about homophobia and stigma perpetuated in advertising, media consumption, and consumer culture more generally. Queer Brandalism week will generate direct interventions into the heteronormative advertising that dominates our culture and constrains our imaginations. The billboards are our canvas, the shopping streets are our playground. Print off the pink triangle, stick it up, hashtag it and make your mark.
MARCH – ‘Mother Clap’s Molly House – A night of a thousand rosebuds Pop-Up Club Night at key London LGBTQI+ venues’
MARCH – Queer History Tours – 1st Tour (Continued monthly)
VALENTINE’S DAY – FEBRUARY 2014 – Buggery Act Tribute Show followed by ‘Love and Buggery’ after-party at ‘The Glory’!
In 1533, under the reign of Henry VIII, the Buggery Act was passed. This Act was the first legal milestone that would lead to centuries of increasing persecution of men who have sex with men. Henry was worried that if we weren’t criminalised we would set up buggery clubs and bugger the night away. So on the 50th anniversary of ‘decriminalisation’ let’s have a party where it all began*. Join us with our specially inscribed ‘Buggery Act’ dildos for a giant ‘Flash-Bugger’ as we bugger outside Henry VIII’s statue.
*We welcome all requests for sponsorship from Royalty, sex toys manufacturers and outfit companies.
APRIL – MAY – Meet the Activists Film and Q&A Nights
3 x evening events – (1) Meet the Lesbian Avengers – Film and Q&A (2) Meet the Gay Liberation Front – Film and Q+A (3) Meet the Rebel Dykes – Film and Q&A at a range of LGBTQI+ spaces across London
JUNE – Auntie Sharon Tribute Show – Trafalgar Square
‘Auntie Sharon’ is a tribute to all the queer people in our family tree who went missing and their stories have been left untold. It is a tribute to the Rebel Dykes, Gay Liberation Front, L&G Support the Miners, Lesbian Avengers, and those who 50 years ago like the Homosexual Law Reform Society, the Albany Trust and the North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee fought for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain. ‘Auntie Sharon’ serves to name, recognise and acknowledge all of our queer ancestors electrocuted, beaten and killed before the overturning of the ‘Sexual Offences’ Act 50 years ago. Come to the vigil in Trafalgar Square – Come with an image of someone, personal or wider, to contribute to a collective statue of those who have made us who we are today. Come listen to some of the UK’s sparkliest queer performers and LGBTQI performers from around the world still fighting for decriminalisation. Come release our grief together. Come and contribute to our collective consciousness.
27th JULY – Queer Parliament Party on the 50th Anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act passing.
50 years ago today the ‘Sexual Offences’ Act was passed. Centuries of legislated homophobic murder and abuse was over. Was this the deed of the Government? Nope. The Homosexual Law Reform Society, the Albany Trust, and the North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee, for-runner of the Committee for Homosexual Equality led the charge against the Government to overturn the Sexual Offences Act. Let’s remind the world on this day that it is ordinary people standing up to injustice who lead the law to change. In the spirit of ordinary people standing up for Queer freedom come join us for the most fabulous queer party around Parliament ever and hear from the activists who were there 50 years ago.
AUGUST – Her Royal HIVness
One of the little-known root causes of the global HIV pandemic is due to homophobic legislation introduced by the British Empire during the height of colonialism. In the 75 countries where homosexuality is still illegal, HIV transmissions are still on the rise as stigma and discrimination remain a major barrier to people seeking treatment. Join us for our subversive royal HIV celebration march towards Buckingham Palace calling for the immediate overturning of homophobic legislation everywhere. The march will commence at the ‘London Royal Palace Lavatory’ [the closest notorious cottaging spot to Buckingham Palace].
AUGUST – LGBTQI+ Voices of the Revolution
In partnership with ‘In Place of War’ we shall be curating and producing an LGBTQI+ special of the annual festival ‘Voices Of The Revolution’. The programme brings together We are an inspirational line up of all-LGBTQI+ musicians from countries where it is illegal to be LGBTQI+ to collaborate, create and perform with each other. They will be under the musical direction of leading pioneering LGBTQI+ composers and will perform together collectively as ‘LGBTQI+ Voices of the Revolution’.
This will be a unique musical work, previewed at key London musical establishments and then performed at some of the UK’s most exciting festivals. For many of the artists this will be their first time outside their home countries. Through the project and the music produced we aim to provide a platform for LGBTQI+ artists in places of conflict to tell their stories, share their cultures and take part in a life-changing experience.