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The Official Guide to Pride London 2009 THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO PRIDE LONDON 2009
















“Pride London is well established as one of the largest events in the UK, and is now one of the biggest LGBT events in the World.” Welcome to Pride London, and what a great year! This year promises to offer a tremendous range of entertainment, both on 4th July itself, and through our two week festival, kicking off on 20th June. Highlights this year include our partnership with the fantastic E4 Udderbelly at the Southbank Centre, the POUT Film Festival bringing the best of queer cinema, the third Outburst UK Festival, and of course the Gay Icons exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

On the day

itself, the Parade is set to kick off at 1pm, and this year promises to showcase some of the best floats yet. Following on from that, come and watch some great entertainment on Trafalgar Square, dance away in Leicester Square or have a drink and be entertained throughout Soho. As always, Pride London remains FREE, so you can do all of this, and have one of London’s best days out, without it costing a penny. Pride London is well established as one of the largest events in the UK, and is now one of the biggest LGBT events in the World. This has been recognised this year with two great achievements for Pride London – winning a Visit London Gold Award, and Pride London successfully bidding for WorldPride in 2012. With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in London that year, and WorldPride sitting right in the midst of it, 2012 promises to make London the most talked about and exciting city in the World, and is the LGBT community’s chance to showcase what it can do to the World. But it’s not all entertainment. Pride London this year hopes to highlight that gay men are still prevented from donating blood. Few people seem to realize

that this ban prevents any man who has ever had intercourse with another man from giving blood – a ban not extended to prostitutes or intravenous drug users: check it our yourself from the National Blood Service. Not only is this just plain offensive, it also deprives the country of much needed blood for vital operations, and is based on spurious assumptions. Pride London is also working to highlight some of the grave injustices that LGBT people face World-wide. This year LGBT people were arrested in Moscow simply for trying to organise a public meeting; indeed even in fellow EU member Latvia, the City Council attempted to ban their Pride event in the capital city Riga on the ridiculous grounds that it was immoral. Pride London was there offering support. Further afield, we still see jailing sentences, harassment and even executions of LGBT people simply because of who they choose to love. Find our more about Pride London, what’s on, and where to go further on in this magazine – full details of are contained within. It’s looking to be a tremendous year, so forget about those credit crunch blues and come out and play with Pride London.

Paul Birrell

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52 Stage line-up – Who and Where? 54 Clear your diary – It’s official!











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Breaking Stories & Breaking Down Barriers


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Danielle Carter Editor


3 Paul Birrell 8G  ordon Brown Prime Minister 10 Sir Ian McKellen 12 Mayor of London Boris Johnson


See you in 2010!



always suspected that what gets you through life is courage and conviction and this was confirmed to me when I interviewed some of the most amazing and successful people in the LGBT community who follow their life paths with pride and dignity. Their stories help paint a picture of the LGBT landscape in 2009. All of whom confirmed they felt that even though we have come a long way there is still a distance to go. I feel excited and privileged to bring to you the Official Guide to Pride London 2009. I hope this magazine reflects the momentum that has been building for many years and will continue gathering pace to World Pride 2012, taking place in our very own capital city. This magazine is a culmination of the creativity, diversity and passion that is the foundation and fabric of the community. I hope you all have a fantastic Pride London 2009 and you enjoy this magazine.

We find out why Jodie harsh is the real Queen of England The feeling is love– Danielle Carter speaks to Icon Dan Gillespie-Sells Do Rhon Rhon – Britain’s best loved lesbian comedian, Rhonna Cameron answers our questions Burn baby Burn – Pete Burns spins the record round and sets it straight Prince Charming – Andrew Prince, Outburst UK tells Pride about his longstanding work championing the rights of B.A.M.E Karma Chameleon – Boy George gives his first interview since his arrest.



For fair treatment and equal rights at work, join a union!

To answer your questions about your rights at work, and for advice on which union to join, visit or call the TUC Know Your Rights line 0870 600 4882.


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Our fashion partners (tel 020 8802 3499) are offering the unique TUC Pride T-shirt for just ÂŁ12.99 each, with discounts for bulk. Wear it with Pride!




20 It’s Been a queer old year – 365 days of gay 22 Where we’ve been, where we’re going – LGBT Timeline 32 Come Out & Play – Coming

67 Every child matters – Danielle

out is never easy, here we have two stories from Pride members.

62 Going Global –

LGBT around the World

Carter fights her way through the legal minefield of gay and lesbian fostering and adoption

72 F or better and for worse – Civil Partnerships revealed

83 P  imp my pet – Danielle Carter

dips into the strange world of animals and those who love them.

83 Many miles to go –

98 S  tudent Soho or student nono – Going out on the cheap



41 Iconic – Gay Icons

92 Opening Night 92 Art 92 Music 93 Literature 93 Walks 94 Theatre 95 Film 97 Comedy

Twenty years after Stonewall’s foundation. Where are we at?

portrait exhibition 42 Bursting out – Find out exactly what Outburst UK offers and what to expect on the Pride London BAME stage 56 Pride’s got talent – We spotlight some of our hottest creative talents

60 O  ne-on-one with the Priscilla cast – Quickfires 75 78

with Jason Donovan, Tony Sheldon and Oliver Thornton Paint the town Indigo – The closest thing you’ll get to lesbian royalty, The Indigo girls chat. Party Time – Clothes to get you in the party mood

Pride Listings

38 BHM Waterstones Offer 49 S tar Reads 54 W  ho’s the Man? - Issac Hayes 136 W  ith knowledge comes power 4 the Record

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Equality and Human Rights Commission – celebrating with Pride 2009

We are a public body charged with helping to create a society where people can live their lives to the full, whatever their background or identity. We are here for the 60 million people of Britain, to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We believe no one should have to suffer discrimination, and that prejudice has no place in a modern, open society. To find out how we can help you, call our Helpline: 0845 604 6610, log on to our website where you can find out more about the work of the Commission, and sign up to our e-bulletin.




hts of the London summer and I’m Pride London is one of the highlig ntry BT marchers from across the cou pleased to welcome one million LG and around the world. ts nment has achieved on LGBT righ I’m very proud of all that this Gover m Fro . face of fierce opposition these last 12 years – often in the g the ban on military service, equalising the age of consent, liftin ating civil partnerships to scrapping introducing gay adoption and cre r Recognition Act and banning section 28, introducing the Gende we’ve provision of goods and services, discrimination at work and in the ality. More recently, we have taken taken massive strides towards equ g in schools, made incitement to action to tackle homophobic bullyin rights d unprecedented lesbian fertility homophobic hate a crime, secure and introduced the Equality Bill.

the ply couldn’t have done it without But I also know that we quite sim y ver ’re BT community, so I hope you activism of our out and proud LG s, has achieved: you’ve changed law proud of what your campaigning nged the world. you’ve changed lives, you’ve cha st can never be complacent and mu Together we’ve done a lot – but we gress isn’t reversed. always be vigilant to see that pro fight standing at your shoulders in the This government is committed to one very simple principle when it for equality and we are guided by legislate love. comes to LGBT rights: you can’t Best wishes and have a great Prid

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“The central streets and squares are crammed with revelers for a unique day, celebrating equality for LGBT people.” Sir Ian McKellen .......

From its

proud beginnings in 1972, when just 2000 gay activists marched to demand changes in UK law, London Pride has developed into a major event in the capital’s calendar, attracting visitors who value human rights from all over the world. The central streets and squares are crammed with revelers for a unique day, celebrating equality for LGBT people. Yet its lasting impact is intensely personal. We can discover or confirm our individuality in the company of friends and strangers who share our hopes and pride. Of late, politicians and enterprises, both local and international, large and small, have wanted to identify themselves with gay rights. Long may their support continue. The Pride parade ends in Trafalgar Square on July 4th this year. The rainbow flag will again fly above St Martin’s in the Fields church nearby. Proud as the lions at the base of Nelson’s column, the neighboring embassies of Canada and South Africa, where gay marriage is legal, stand as protectors of equality. On this unique day, everyone, straight or gay, young or old can simply feel better about themselves and the future. London would not be the same without Pride. Nor would any of us.

Ian McKellen Proud as the lions at the base of Nelson’s column, the neighboring embassies of Canada and South Africa, where gay marriage is legal, stand as protectors of equality.”

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If homosexualit y is a disease, let’s all call in to work: “Hello queer .  Can’t work to da y, still queer.”  Robin Tyler

Volunteer Police Officers 16 hours a month – London Whether your job involves mixing tracks, ingredients or cement, there’s no more rewarding way to spend your free time than as a Special Constable with the Met. Volunteering just 16 hours a month, you’ll get all the training and support you need to become a volunteer Police Officer with the same powers and uniform as a regular Police Officer. What’s more, you’ll make a real difference to your London, while gaining unique skills and experiences you simply can't get anywhere else. Visit our stand at Pride London 2009 in Leicester Square on Saturday 4 July and you will have the opportunity to talk to the Met Careers Team, who’ll answer all your questions and advise you about a career with the Met. To find out more or download an application form please visit Alternatively, text SPECIAL153 to 84880 for an application form or call 0845 727 2212 Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm, quoting ref: 223/09 for more information.

Whatever you do, do this.



“The diversity and vibrancy of the (LGBT) community is to be


Mayoral message of support for Pride London 2009 magazine

I’m delighted to welcome Pride celebrations to the streets of London again.

Our city

is frequently voted the top gay friendly holiday destination. I believe Pride celebrations play a huge part in promoting the tolerance and rich diversity of London, the most attractive and distinctive features of this global capital. Over the coming years I’ll be doing everything in my power as Mayor to continue to support the LGBT community and propel London to the forefront of the equalities agenda. I want to see Pride developed into a superb world-class event that attracts visitors from far and wide. Pride is a demonstration of equality that is intrinsic to the spirit of London. This city should be a place where everyone

I’ll be doing everything in my power as Mayor to continue to support the LGBT community and propel London to the forefront of the equalities agenda.” TE FAMOUS QUOline can be straight, or a street, t? A What is straigh s curved like a heart, oh, no, it’ but the human ee Williams, A ntains. Tenness ou m h ug ro th road ed Desire, 1947 Streetcar Nam

12 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

should have the right to live their life free from fear, discrimination and abuse. I have supported a number of initiatives for the LGBT community and I will continue to work with key organisations like Stonewall to tackle homophobic bullying, as well as supporting gay businesses, organisations and community events. I am very proud that London is home to one of the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities in the world, the diversity and vibrancy of the community is to be celebrated. Its contribution to the economic, social, cultural and political fabric of this great city, is enormous. Have a fabulous Pride day.

Boris Johnson

Defra delivering on diversity At Defra we are proud to be recognised as one of the UK’s top 100 gay friendly employers (Stonewall Workplace Equality Index). Our success reflects the activities and achievements of both the Defra LGB&T staff network and our Diversity Team. We are committed to delivering an action orientated programme which benefits all of our people.

To find out more information go to our website DCMS Pride 125x183



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Working with DCMS DCMS is a key Government Department which aims to improve the quality of life for all through cultural and sporting activities, to support the pursuit of excellence and to champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries. We are responsible for delivering the 2012 Olympic Games and are working to ensure that culture and sport play their part in delivering cross-government objectives and targets.

We provide equality of opportunity and do not tolerate discrimination on any grounds. The Department is supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff. As evidence of our commitment we are a member of the ‘Stonewall Diversity Champions’.

We look for people who can make a positive impact on the successful operation and development of the Department. We value our staff through a supportive team-working structure.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport 2-4 Cockspur Street London SW1Y 5DH

For more information on DCMS, please visit:


Pride London

Pride London Objectives

Key Campaigning – 5 areas: Tackling Homophobia and Transphobia Our Rights, Your Rights, Human Rights Our Health and Wellbeing Love Beyond Borders Celebrate! Art, Community & Culture

Pride Patrons and Celebrity Supporters

Sir Elton John

Kate Middleton

Stephen Fry Baron Waheed Alli

Claire Summerskill

John Barrowman

Mz Fontaine 14 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |


London is a movement that brings together Trade Unionists, Voluntary & Community Groups, Charities, Businesses and individuals, who are all committed to creating a fair and just society for all. Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia have no place in our society, and whether at work, school, or in our communities Pride London will continue to eradicate it, through education and celebration.

Tackling Homophobia and Transphobia Pride London’s key priority will always be to tackle inequality and injustices felt by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender communities. We aim to create through the Pride Festival the opportunity for the many campaigning groups and activists to come together and highlight the difficulties faced by our community. Pride London uses theatre, music, debate, art and entertainment to raise awareness of discrimination and the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of LGBT people, over the two week Pride Festival that culminates in our centre-piece Pride London parade, which attracted 825,000 people in 2008.

Our Rights, Your Rights Human Rights Pride London is committed to ensuring we retain our role campaigning, advocating, and lobbying for positive, inclusive change. Pride London will continue highlighting and creating discourse, through all of our activities around issues of importance to the LGBT community. Pride London has been at the heart of equality campaigning, from legislative changes, including the removal of Section 28, to the introduction of Civil Partnerships,

as well as more intricate lobbying around the new LGBT equality focused ‘Goods And Services’ Act, our work engages with groups and individuals, and both informs and empowers them to voice their opinions.

Our Health and Wellbeing The realities of homophobia and transphobia manifest themselves in many ways, while most people think of the ongoing physical and verbal attacks faced by the LGBT community, moreduplicitous knock on effects affect our community. These health and wellbeing inequalities vary wildly ranging from; 1 in 3 of all homeless young people are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual; to 1 in 5 trying to commit suicide with a third of our community self harm, and not forgetting the Gay community still suffers from the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS transmission and infection, these are the realities of being a member of our community, and Pride London is committed to being part of the solution to these problems, from Campaigning for better support services, to informing our community of the effects of higher risk activities, and sign posting towards the excellent LGBT charities and groups that help or prevent individuals and sections of our community being put at any further risk.

Love Beyond Borders Pride London believes in equality for all, regardless of birthplace or residence. Our ‘Love beyond Borders’ campaign looks at how as British Citizens we can combat Homophobia and Transphobia, throughout the UK, Commonwealth and World. The LGBT community is one community regardless of where we reside and LGBT equality is only truly equality when we are all afforded the same basic protections and rights!

It’s in the mix. Career Opportunities People from all sorts of backgrounds give us the edge. Their different interests, aspirations and points of view help us look at client issues from every angle. In fact, as diversity is such a valuable business asset, we encourage it with structured training and development, secondments and opportunities to move in many different directions. As long as you’re good enough, you’ll get on. Whether you’re about to graduate, a recent graduate or an experienced professional, find out more about our opportunities in Assurance, Tax, Financial Advisory, Actuarial or Consulting by visiting our website.

Opt to Every child deserves a loving family The Hackney Adoption Service are asking you to think about adoption. By adopting, you could give a child a chance of lifelong happiness. In return, they’ll give you so much more. Don’t rule yourself out from applying to become an adoptive parent. Your sexuality, marital status and ethnicity will not affect your application and in most cases neither will your age - you have to be over the age of 21 to adopt but you don’t have to be under 40. Having the love, time, energy and space to share your life with a child, is what’s important. Come and find out more about adoption at one of our information evenings. Visit our website or call the team for more details.

T 08000 730 418 © 2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved. “PricewaterhouseCoopers” refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

Pride event 09_hackney.indd 1

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Name: Shaun Newport Position at Pride: Associate Director of Festivals What Does that mean? Leading on all the development, programming and management of arts events, activities and parties the fortnight before 4th July. Top speed dial number on your mobile: Invariably my ever updated voicemail. Favourite hangout at Pride? That toss up between Macbook/mobile or mates/mojitos was always a tough one.

Name: Emma Hands Position at Pride: ViceChair, Chief Executive and Communications Director What Does that mean? I spend too much time looking after a charity in my spare time! Top speed dial number on your mobile: Now that would be telling... Favourite hangout at Pride? ha ha, we don’t get to hangout because we are working all day!

Name: Danielle Carter Position at Pride: Official Pride Journalist. What Does that mean? It means that I have put together editorial that hopefully everyone reading this magazine will enjoy. From silly to serious, exclusive interviews to amazing pictures, I have included it all and over the next few years I will be keeping you all up to date with our preparations for Pride 2010 and of course World Pride 2012. Top speed dial number on your mobile: Telephone banking, Don’t even go there! Favourite hangout at Pride? Really sorry, can’t pick one. I plan to spend the whole of Pride running around and seeing as much as I can. Everybody has worked so hard and I would like to take a moment to see everyones work come to fruition on the day.

Name: Trevor Edwards Position at Pride: Chief Steward & Associate Director What Does that mean? I run all the parade logistics, from a equipment to steward management and training, I have the ability to start and stop the parade. It also means lots of people shouting in my ear for most of Saturday! And I get spooked by the number of people who seem to know my name. Top speed dial number on your mobile: My home number – there always seems to be a message to pick up as I am hardly there. Favourite hangout at Pride? Steward sign out – so I can thank as many of our volunteers as possible.

Name: Pete Heyes Position at Pride: Events Director. What Does that mean? Strategic overview of the parade and event, leading the events team. Top speed dial number on your mobile: Mother. Favourite hangout at Pride? TUC stalls.

Name: Paul Birrell

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Name: Tom Barber Position at Pride: Associate Director Press and Media. What Does that mean? I’m still finding out what that means! I joined the Pride London Board this year after making a short film for the event in 2008. I do the press releases, the press conferences and handle the media on the day of the parade. Top speed dial number on your mobile: The boyfriend of course! Favourite hangout at Pride? Before it was walking with the parade then lying on the grass with a pint getting sun burnt in Soho Square. This year I expect to be running around backstage dealing with reporters and film crews all day so my favourite hangout will probably be the nearest bar when the event is over!


Name: James-J Walsh Position at Pride: Associate Director: Volunteers & Charity Liaison What Does that mean? In a nutshell this role is about working with people who want to volunteer with Pride London. Top speed dial number on your mobile: Not so much a top speed dial, but due to Pride I do happen to have the telephone numbers for all the top Gay Bars in London, which is surprisingly handy! Favourite hangout at Pride? In the earlier hours I’ll be helping Stewards sign in, a little later I may will be at the Youth@Pride Brunch event, Midday - somewhere just behind the head of the Parade with all the VIPs and sponsors. Afternoon Checking out the Rally in Trafalgar Sq, before popping up to the Ku Music Stage. Then a quick “disco-change” before heading off to all the after parties.

The Team

Name: Carl Smith Position at Pride: Parade Director & HR Director What Does that mean? Parade director, is a huge role with in the Pride Structure, I work along side the Chief Steward, planning and delivering one of Europe’s Largest Parades. HR Director, as a huge charity, we have to ensure that our people are supported in the correct fashion. Top speed dial number on your mobile: I don’t use Speed Dial, but the most frequent number I dial is my best sister, Basil Blanco....... Favourite hangout at Pride? On the Day I’m normally in the Parade Area,from about 6.30am, but afterwards, Trafalgar Square, Followed by a large glass of Champagne somewhere fun.

Name: Marko Kyronlahti Position at Pride: Associate Director What Does that mean? Procurement Top speed dial number on your mobile: 1 Favourite hangout at Pride? Trafalgar Square

Who’s who The Pride London Team explained

Name: Darren Waite Position at Pride: Associate Director of Entertainments What Does that mean? I get the job of looking after the stages, and booking the acts for PRIDE day. I ensure a smooth running of the main stage in T Square, and (from backstage) watch all you fabulous people enjoying yourselves! Hope you enjoy the day. Top speed dial number on your mobile: believe or not, my Mum, because if I need something, I know she can get it for me. (Thanks Mum) Favourite hangout at Pride? Probably hanging from the stage rafters by 9pm! if not I’ll be around at Barcode with the boyf!

Name: Colm Howard-Lloyd Position at Pride: Associate Director (Business Liaison) What Does that mean? Spending far too much time trolling around the bars and businesses trying to get them involved, and drag money out of them to Keep Pride Free. This is my excuse for the bars anyway but don’t print that bit! Top speed dial number on your mobile: Top texting number is the Twitter SMS number, I spend far too much time being opinionated on there. Top number called is my mother that I call often through a combination of love and fear. Favourite hangout at Pride? Like most of us I have to work on the day, ensuring all our businesses and bars are happy, but a quick drink and a dance at Leicester Square will be on my list this year!

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Danielle Carter has a conflab with Jodie Harsh and finds out why the self proclaimed real Queen of England doesn’t google herself, what her chats with Perez Hilton are all about and how she plans to be the ringmaster at this year’s Circus.

real Queen The



Danielle Carter: Jodie, where do we begin? Such an amazing career, where did it all start? Jodie Harsh: I started doing drag when I moved to London in early 2003 as a creative outlet really. I just thought it was so obscure and interesting. I loved seeing people’s reactions – good and bad. I found work in clubs, mainly promoting at places like Heaven and even dancing on the bar at Ministry of Sound. Then I started my night Circus as a place where all my friends could hang out on Fridays, and no one was around (or cheap enough) to DJ the early set, so I taught myself. Now I would consider myself a DJ before I am a drag queen. DC: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career in the public eye? JH: Be strong. The last time I googled myself I saw so many untrue or bitchy things written about me by anonymous people on the internet, I don’t do it anymore. There’s so much hate and negativity out there to try to get you down. It’s such bullshit! Work hard. I’m at the desk in my office at 9:30 every morning and start the day off with a phone meeting with my manager before I’ve had coffee. I email, sort through music and have meetings all day until 6 or 7, and then get into drag for a DJ set, which is often out of London. I reap the rewards – everyone knows my name because I’ve worked my balls off, going against the grain, to get here – not because I was lucky.

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DC: What do you think about LGBT personalities that have remained in the closet? Do you think that they have a responsibility to come out? JH: Perez Hilton and I had this discussion in a gay magazine once. I think everyone should have the option to come out when they wish. I was outed by some school friends who I thought I could trust and I remember how that felt. These celebrities stay in the closet for one reason or another – I know of an extremely well known public figure who feels he can’t come out until his elderly mother passes away – that’s his choice so fair enough. The days of outing people like Stephen Gately and Will Young are drawing a close, but I do appreciate that it’s hardly sending out the right message to young gay people if a celebrity they admire ‘admits’ they are gay so late in their career. It’s hardly confidence building for the gay youth of today. DC: Have you been a victim of homophobia? JH: Not directly, no. I’ve been quiet lucky. I was never really bullied growing up because I went to stage school. Some of my gay friends were severely bullied because of their sexuality. In an age where the word ‘gay’ is being used by Chris Moyles on his Radio 1 breakfast show as an alternative adjective to ‘rubbish’, we are still far from youth equality. DC: Would you say that the general public are largely positive or negative towards you? JH: It’s a bit of both. Some people get me, and I get so many nice comments from people for entertaining them or saying that they love what I’m about, and other people don’t get the whole drag thing. But, hey, even Madonna has her haters! DC: You are staging circus on the night of pride. Can you give us any clues as to what we can expect? JH: I am so excited to be teaming up with Pride to host the official Pride after party. Matter is an amazing venue and Madonna is performing in the same building (the O2 Arena) that night too. Our line-up is immense – Siouxsie (as in Sioux) is doing her first ever DJ set, Kissy Sellout and VV Brown are performing live, and Dan from The Feeling, Frankmusik, Kris di Angelis and myself are playing the main room while Gutterslut take over room 2. The production will be second to none – think lots of performers and lots of special effects. And lots of dancing! It will be party of the year. DC: Apart from circus at Matter, what other projects are you working on? JH: There’s a lot going on this summer, including festival shows and Circus at Pacha in Ibiza on 3rd August with Ladyhawke performing. I am planning a Circus UK tour this Autumn taking in cities like Brighton, Manchester and Leeds, and I am embarking on a world tour with Manumission, so I’ll be making people dance in places like Bali, Moscow and even Romania! I’m remixing for a few artists at the moment and I plan to work on more of my own music production soon, too. Think Fatboy Slim in a wig...














It’s been a queer old year 365 days of gay – Danielle Carter has a brief sojourn through the highlights and the lowlights of last year’s LGBT calendar.

Oh my

dear it has been a queer old year. From Ellen and Portia tying the knot in the biggest ever Juliet and Juliet LA love fest that catapulted lesbianism, vegan wedding fayre and dress designer Zac Posen into the consciousness of hetero land, to the arrest and imprisonment of one of our most beloved icons Boy George; this year has been a whirlwind of pink. The one thing that we can say with gusto is that the pink globe definitely likes to shake things up and in just one rotation the Austrian Terminator over saw the reverse of Proposition 8 in California, a backward step that appeared so natural to most of America that even Craig Revel Horwood would have probably described it as ‘flawless.’ From this very depressing state of affairs to the bizarre. Every lesbian in the country is wondering who killed Jenny. Yep, the L Word may not have ended

We all wait with bated breath to see how Obama will reset the agenda for human rights and place LGBT equality at the centre of his manifesto.”

20 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

here but thanks to YouTube we have been afforded the gift of a digital crystal ball allowing us to watch this well loved lesbian ensemble break-up and sink into the sea of the modern lesbian canon without a satisfactory ending that has yet again left a lesbian population bereft. I think it is fair to say that the Sapphic nation has not been as bemused, confused and in some cases amused since Anne Heche jumped back over no man’s land and landed on a man. But despite all of the doom and gloom that has happened there are still a few of us out there rallying and one of them is Chairman of Pride Paul Birrell and his amazing team at Pride London who went out to Vancouver and won us the bid for World Pride 2012. All I can say is if you think Pride is brilliant on a usual day, you aint seen nothing yet. As the journalist for Pride, I can often be found creeping around corners and listening in on the Pride Board’s ‘private’ conversations and I tell you this will be the most amazing event that you have ever seen. So in 2012 London goes gay, this is a must have date for every pink Filofax in the gay isles. But this year not only went Pink it went Black, with Barack Obama grabbing the helm at the White House steering us hopefully away from mass murder to a more hopeful future. We all wait with bated breath to see how Obama will reset the agenda for human rights and

place LGBT equality at the centre of his manifesto. And as Pride goes to Press we have just heard that the ban on Riga Pride has been overturned. Yep the Baltic Pride was banned due to the fact that it was offensive to public decency. Chairman Paul Birrell was one of many who went out to stage a protest against the blanket veto and it was successfully overturned. The blood ban has gone from bloody awful to bloody ridiculous. The ban that stops gay and bisexual men who are sexually active from giving blood is still firmly in place and just one of the causes that Pride London is campaigning against. But we will keep going and hopefully soon there will be a breakthrough. And of course we can’t complete this retrospective without the whole Lindsay Lohan saga which MySpace subscribers have particularly enjoyed over the year. Like watching a car crash the is-she?, isn’t she? story kept us captivated all year but we have finally reached a conclusive conclusion and the answer is yes, she is – really fucking annoying.

Top to bottom: The cast of L Word, Ellen DeGeneres, Barack Obama and Chris Moyles.

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Where we’ve been, where we’re going

Danielle Carter takes a trip down the pink memory lane of LGBT history and rights.






First mention in English common law of a punishment for homosexuality.

Treatise in England prescribed that sodomites should be burned alive.

Buggery Act introduced by Henry VIII brought sodomy within the scope of statute law for the first time and made it punishable by hanging.

First published use of the term ‘homosexuality’ (Homosexualitat) by Karoly Maria Kertbeny, a German-Hungarian campaigner.

The trials of Oscar Wilde and his sentencing to two years prison with hard labour under the 1885 Act.






Gay Life, the first ever gay TV series, commissioned for British TV by London Weekend Television. Gays the Word bookshop is established in London

Lord Arran’s Bill to reduce the gay age of consent to 18 defeated in the House of Lords. Ian Paisley launched ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign.

Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (later called Lesbian & Gay Christians) founded.

London Gay Switchboard (later London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard) was launched.

First UK gay helpline founded in Oxford.






Male homosexuality decriminalised in Scotland. First black lesbian and gay group founded.

Male homosexuality decriminalised in Northern Ireland with the passing of law reform in the House of Commons. Terrence Higgins Trust launched, named after the gay man thought to be the first to have died with AIDS in the UK

New lesbian and gay television series, One in Five, shown on Channel 4.

Gay Times began publication in May.

Pink Paper founded.

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22 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

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Release of the film Victim, the most important British film on a gay theme pleading for tolerance towards homosexuals and an end to the blackmail of gay men.

Sexual Offences Act came into force in England and Wales and decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age and ‘in private.’

Stonewall riot began in New York on the night of 27/28 June.




Gay News, UK’s first gay newspaper, founded. First UK Pride carnival and march through London held on 1 July.

First gay march through London took place, ending with a rally in Trafalgar Square, protesting against the unequal age of consent for gay men. Lesbians invaded the platform of the Women’s Liberation Conference in Skegness, demanding recognition.

First ever organised lesbian and gay pride march took place on 28 June in New York City commemorating the previous year’s Stonewall riot. First gay demonstration in the UK took place in Highbury Fields in Islington.




Lesbians abseiled in the House of Lords and also got into BBC1’s newsroom, while Sue Lawley was reading the Six O’clock News, in protest against Section 28. The first British national conference for lesbians and gay men with disabilities was held.

Stonewall Group set up to oppose Section 28 and other blocks to equality for lesbians and gay men. Stonewall organised first lesbian and gay receptions at the Liberal Democrat, Labour & Conservative Party conferences.

London hosted the first Europride. Isle of Man decriminalised homosexuality.

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Titles and prices subject to availability while stocks last at participating stores/online. Prices may vary online. © 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 23




Biggest ever London Pride - almost 200,000 people attended the celebrations in the East End’s Victoria Park. Gaytime TV launched and one million tuned in every week. Capital Gay folded with its last issue on 30 June. Freedom FM ran the first ever UK lesbian and gay ‘restricted service license’ radio broadcasts in London.

Waheed Alli took his place in House of Lords as the UK’s first openly gay life peer. On 22 July the House of Lords defeated the clause to lower the age of consent to 16 for gay men.

On 30 April, a bomb exploded in the Admiral Duncan, a gay pub in Old Compton Street, Soho, the third in a series of bombs targeted at minorities by a lone extremist. Three people died and several were injured. Dame Butler-Sloss, Chair of the Family Law Division, stated that gays should be able to foster and adopt and the Children’s Society lifted their five year ban on lesbian and gay fostering and adoption. House of Lords ruled that same sex partners should be treated as family and have the right to succeed a tenancy. Angela Mason received an OBE for services to the gay community and appeared in the Observer’s 300 most powerful people in the UK. Repeal of Section 28 included in the Local Government Bill. Popular television series Queer as Folk premiers on British TV.





Age of consent reduced to 16. First same-sex partnerships registered in London at the GLA.

Equal rights granted to same sex couples applying for adoption.

Repeal of Section 28. Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations became law on 1 December making it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the workplace.

Civil Partnership Bill introduced. Lesbian television sensation The L Word takes the L World by storm (cast pictured right).






As Pride goes to press we hear the sad news that beloved entertainer Danny La Rue has died aged 81.

Pride London wins the right to host World Pride in 2012

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, gives a keynote speech at Stonewall’s annual Equality Dinner in March.

Section 28 repealed in the Isle of Man. The first Stonewall Awards are presented to those people and organisations that have supported lesbian and gay people.

First civil partnerships take place in Northern Ireland on 19 December 2005, followed by Scotland on 20 December and then England and Wales on 21 December.

24 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

A registered charity in England & Wales (no.288527) and in Scotland (no.SC039986).

g n i l e e f e h T e v o l is speaks to Danielle Carter spie-Sells Icon Dan Gille The Feeling. lead singer of

We went on for a long time with everyone assuming I was straight and no one ever asking the question. I was a little pissed off actually.�

26 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |


I first

for me. My record company are very good became aware of Dan and were totally cool with the choices that when I became obsessed I made from the start. I was out of the with The Feeling as someone desperate not closet when I signed my record deal and to ever let go of the Brit Pop era; to keep there is no way I would ever go back in. my skinny jeans and Gazelles on whilst “I don’t think that I have been pigeon dancing around a pit in South London holed. We are a band and I am only one with 18 year-olds that I had no business part of the puzzle. Besides, we went on being near. The Feeling filled that void. for a long time with everyone assuming I It would now be hard to find an iPod was straight and no one ever asking the in the land that hasn’t been held hostage question. I was a little pissed off actually. by Dan and his stripped melodic vocals. “My sexuality has a lot of influence The Feeling have topped the charts with on lots of parts of my life. And as I write Never Be Lonely, Fill my Little World about what goes on around me my sexuality and my personal favourite Love it when must come through in the songs. The music you call, which has a special place in industry is a place where you are constantly my household as a summer musical encouraged to make compromises of one accompaniment du jour, with memories type or another in exchange for success I of lazy evening BBQs and jugs of Pimms. think being gay has made me want to do So that was how I stumbled across the things differently and always be myself. musical phenomenon who is Dan Gillespie“I have never really been in. I was Sells; A man with a huge following, raised in a very liberal family. My mother who is open about his sexuality. is gay and my father is straight. It was No, surely not? never assumed that I would be either, so Well, apparently yes. no need for the closet! Growing up with The first time I became aware of Dan the knowledge that I could be whatever as a community figurehead was when I I whatever I wanted to be was the best was invited to attend student Pride. Dan gift my parents could have given me.” was part of the debate panel and spoke in Dan has always been actively involved such an eloquent and considered manner in gay rights I asked him what advice about his experiences that I was literally he would have for others coming out blown away. He was someone who was and what activism means to him. really taking his position seriously and “My advice to anyone coming out would clearly understood the impact that he be DO IT! And never let anyone blame you could have on a younger generation and for the disruption that it may cause. I the rights of a whole community. I felt have been going on Pride marches since I a real sense that Dan was aware of the was little, my Mum used to take the whole fact that he is a role model and that responsibility he rose to with compassion and conviction. Proud: A young Dan Gillespie-Sells manages with his mum at a Pride to marry pop cool with a festival, circa1985. raw, unfettered approach to journalistic questioning about his sexuality musing: “I have a boyfriend called Ryan, he is a sweetie.” I asked him to speak about his journey past and present and what it is like to be a cool gay icon, the endangered species that is no longer an oxymoron. “I suppose everyone has a different reason for keeping their sexuality to themselves however I have never been able to think of a good one myself. I never considered not publically coming out. That would have been too much of a compromise


family. I think there is an embarrassing press picture somewhere of me as a child with mum. She was involved in organising the disability access for years. It’s important as an annual celebration for the freedoms that we have earned as well as a chance to raise awareness of the freedoms we are still yet to earn my gay role models as a child were all around me. The people fighting on the front line during the Thatcher years, with section 28 and John Majors ‘back to basics’ and ‘family values’ bullshit. “My uncle was one of the first out gay labour counsellors. The gay celebrities of my childhood seemed ludicrous and overly camp in comparison. They were unreal to me as role models. “ How important do you think it is to have a gay community? “That’s a tricky question. I can’t imagine what it would be like not to have a gay community. It is certainly a great thing to have especially for the vulnerable who need it the most. People are scared of it turning into a ghetto and I understand this worry but our lives are made up of communities and each of us can be a part of many.” And we have won Pride 2012, what do you think of that?! “Well I will be there, I hope! I think everyone knows London as one of the most gay friendly cities on the planet, however the story is very different in other parts of the country. I hope by 2012 we will have spread the love around a bit.” OK let’s just forget the amazing feat that is World Pride 2012, what is your gay highlight or lowlight of the year? “San Francisco! What the fuck happened there?!” So apart from Pride, Protesting and Progressing the gay movement what are you currently working on with The Feeling? “We are recording out third album. It is nice to have a break from touring. There is a couple of other things going. There are a couple of other little things going on to look out for but I can’t give any detail quite yet, sorry!” Do you have a large and loyal LGBT fan base? “I have no idea really. We have a real mix of people coming to our shows. It is hard to tell...but I know I have spotted a few out there in the crowd!”

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 27




Cameron is arguably Britain’s best loved lesbian comedian. Danielle Carter talks to Rhona about her naked duet with Ellen, confesses to her she knows who killed Jenny, muses about how Lindsey Lohan is taking us back to Jane Austin times and considers why when Danielle put out the call for lesbian celebrities to speak to her about their sexuality she was one of the only ones that answered her Sapphic jungle call. Danielle Carter: As pride journalist I have found it hard to find out lesbian celebrities who will talk about their sexuality, why do you think this is? Rhona Cameron: Well, for a start, there are only a handful of lesbian celebrities who have achieved mainstream recognition in this country. I can’t answer for others but in my career there have always been very few women in comparison with their males peers, out of that again there have only ever been a handful of lesbians performing. It takes a lot of balls to go the whole distance and few people are up to that frankly. I would say that nowadays it is easier for younger lesbians trying to launch a career of any kind in comparison with twenty years ago. I think a lot of gay women of my generation have a lot more psychological damage relating to the intolerance of the era we grew up in. That

28 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

is wearing a Wood I thought: ‘She ia or ct Vi w sa I n he “W e yet.’” h, there is hope for m ug la le op pe ing ak m tie and

damage becomes an emotional baggage that many of us have had to drag around whilst trying to succeed in a career of some kind. I also think on a deeper level, many of us homosexuals are homophobic and still feel at times a reluctance to talk about our sexuality and how we really feel. On a superficial lever we live in an increasingly stupid age where there has been a backlash against feminism and a championing of the ‘stupid girl’ wag type person. This has produced a climate for young women not dissimilar to the era Jane Austin wrote about. This is not helpful to the plight of the lesbian, who has always been seen as strong and outspoken. Mainstream prefers to hire lesbians who are ‘Men friendly’ rarely mentioning their sexual orientation or certainly reacting to any homophobia, or ‘sexy skinny little’ Lindsey Lohan types whom heterosexual and gay men often find less sexy.

When I saw Victoria Wood I thought: ‘She is wearing a tie and making people laugh, there is hope for me yet.’”

DC: Was it ever a consideration that you would not publically come out? RC: I’ve always been an extremely open person, much to my own detriment, and always been open about my sexuality, long before there were any others doing the same. DC: How old were you when you came out and what was your experience like? RC: I expressed my romantic desires for girls since the age of 10. It was a negative experience to the point of misery and insanity, and it has cost me years. All part of an era in a small town. DC: Pride’s theme this year is ‘Come Out and Play’ what would your advice be to someone who is coming out? RC: Vote Labour – They made it easier for you. Don’t let the Tories in under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! DC: You are a role model to lesbians. You are the proof that lesbians can have a career and influence. Did you have any role models when you were growing up? RC: Absolutely not. When I was young there was only Jeremy Thorpe and Billie Jean King. I was sixteen when I saw Victoria Wood though and I thought:

We don’t mind what genes you have All shapes, all sizes, all styles – diversity has always been in fashion at the GMC. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t employ doctors. As the regulator of the medical profession, we take on people from all kinds of backgrounds who want to help us protect the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. You’ll enjoy a real career from the start. Whatever your strengths, we’ll build on them with exceptional training and development. And we’ll reward you with a fantastic package that includes a final salary pension scheme, private medical insurance and generous holiday allowance. So whatever your genetic makeup, find out about opportunities at The GMC values diversity and has made a public commitment to processes and procedures that are fair, objective, transparent and free from discrimination. The GMC is a charity registered in England and Wales (1089278) and Scotland (SC037750).

One Wales Countless Opportunities Wales faces many challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. From social reform to economic growth and political engagement, we’ll achieve our goals by harnessing the talent of everyone in the community. We offer a whole range of career opportunities at all levels to suit different people right across Wales, as well as excellent training and development, generous annual entitlement and a modern, flexible working envirnoment. If you join our team you’ll experience a culture based on ability and talent which is reflected in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for 2009.

As one of the UK’s Top 100 employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff we have a social network to welcome and support LGBT staff; the network offers guidance and advice for its members, and seeks to promote LGBT issues and advice on policy development. We also have a partnership relationship with a:gender, the support network for transexual, transgender and intersex staff in the civil service. When vaccancies arise they will be advertised in local job centres and on our web site

‘She’s wearing a tie and making people laugh, there’s hope for me yet.’ * PAGE 30 DC: Do you find that people pigeon hole you as a lesbian comedian or can you get away with just comedian? RC: I’m sure the word lesbian is always synonymous with my name. DC: How would you define what you do? RC: I’m a comedian and author. I feel however I was born to write and direct a screenplay but it’s taken me years to move towards that. DC: Do you find that your fan base is mainly LGBT or do you find it to be more eclectic? RC: I would say it’s more lesbian in and around London but more mixed in Scotland and certainly in the festival. The lesbians have always supported me though and been a loyal audience base and for that I’m eternally grateful. DC: Apart from your appearance at Pride what other projects do you have present and future? RC: I’m on my way up to Scotland to write the screenplay of my first book 1979. Been looking for the right time and right producer and I think I’ve found them. I’m doing the odd show here and there as still not completely milked my current show to death. It’s summer now though, lots of golf is in order. DC: On July 4th you are playing the Udderbelly stage on Southbank. Can you tell me what you are going to be talking about? RC: I’m going to be doing a duet naked with Ellen, then Sandra Bernhard will be joining us to chair a discussion panel about Jenny’s death. Claire Balding will be there, she’ll wear a brightly coloured hat and talk about the horses. DC: On that note, I have to ask as it is almost mandatory. What do you think of the L Word? And most importantly who do you think killed Jenny? RC: The L Word is lesbian Dallas really. It’s poorly written with underdeveloped characters and clunky story lines eg Max and Kit! But still very watchable. Bet and Alice save it I feel. I missed a couple of series – the one with the tennis star with no muscles, but watched the rest. I miss

30 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

it of course but not nearly as much as The Sopranos. I know who killed Jenny but can’t say until my performance at the Udderbelly. DC: I am also writing a feature called 365 days of gay. Do you have a specific event that sticks out in your mind over the last year that has impacted upon the LGBT community? RC: It would be Gordon Brown inviting some of us to Downing Street. A very proud moment. I thought he was a lovely man and when I heard him speak I felt he was genuine in his commitment to gay rights. I felt quite choked up to be on the inside, as I was there on the outside in the Poll Tax riots and the Clause 28 demos twenty years ago, I could see some familiar faces and I thought about all we fought for, I could have cried my eyes out. DC: The team at Pride London have won World Pride in 2012. What do you think this will do for our

“Gordon Brown was a lovely man and when I heard him speak I felt he was genuine in his commitment to gay rights.”

standing as a gay friendly city? RC: Well however unbearable London can feel at times, it is very progressive and tolerant city and leads the world in gay friendliness I would say. DC: Finally, I have to ask because if I didn’t I would be a rubbish hack and all of the women at Pride would kill me. Are you single? RC: I’m not no. I am engaged to my girlfriend Suran. We are very in love. She is quite simply the best partner of all time. I am very, very lucky.

Five things you may not know about Rhona: • In 1992 Rhona won channel 4’s ‘So you think your funny award’ •R  hona hosted four series of BBC two’s Gaytime TV • In 2002 Rhona appeared in the Vagina Monologues •R  hona won a ‘Best TV Reality Moment’ award for her ‘Sometimes’ speech in I’m a Celebrity get me out of here •R  hona played the first ever female narrator in the Rocky Horror Show

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Page 1

NATIONAL TRUST East London NHS Foundation Trust is Proud to be celebrating Pride 09 with you. The Trust has an active agenda to promote Equality, Diversity and Human Rights in all of its work. Our equality networks, training and approach to recruitment ensure that we are at the forefront of delivering innovative mental health services across East London.

From castles and coastlines to historic houses and beautiful gardens, the National Trust offers many opportunities to enjoy over 300 properties. We work with communities to tell the stories of these fantastic places and can host civil partnerships at some of our sites.

For more information about the Trust, employment opportunities and Foundation Trust membership contact

If you would like to get involved with the National Trust or have suggestions or ideas about projects we could get involved in, please let us know!

Launch of the LGBT network, March 2009

“I thought only old people got MS.” “I’m 26. I wouldn’t say that’s old.”

MS is indiscriminate. It can strike at any age. But with the MS Society’s support, I can feel positive about my future. They’ve got a freephone helpline 0808 800 8000 and you can visit to find out more or make a donation. MS Society. Putting the pieces together.

Lucy Martin liv

ing with MS

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a charity registered in England and Wales (207495) and Scotland (SC016433)


27/5/09 16:44:13

Come out and play! Danielle Carter spent much time as the only gay in a middle class Christian village in Kent and finally gained the strength and conviction to lead the live she loves.

I can

not believe that Pride is here again, and this year it is about coming out. But for each and every one of you it will mean something different, hopefully something empowering. One of the reasons that we are all involved in Pride is that we want to create and support a community that celebrates the fact that we are a creative, vibrant, successful people. We all make valiant efforts everyday to live the life that we were born to live and through that and create change. It takes great courage to live the life you want to live every day. So, the Associate Director Tom and I have decided to tell you our stories, warts and all. We wanted to give a raw account of our journeys to illustrate how difficult and different they can be. We want to give any person reading this the knowledge that you do survive and in this country you cannot die from uttering the words: ‘I am gay.’

32 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

People in the straight world never assumed that I was gay. I could slip into the gay world, get my rocks off and return home before sunrise without turning into a hetero pumpkin.” Danielle Carter



The future looks bright Tom Barber, Pride Associate Director of Pride/Documentary Film Maker, took 13 years to come out, here of his journey to loving himself

I’m 26

and it’s taken me 13 long years to come out. I told my family and friends when I was 18 but in fact it all started much earlier than that. I was 13 when I stumbled across the 1 minute preview for Gay TV, suddenly there was 60 seconds of naked men kissing and dodgy beats but I was hooked. Incredibly it was another two years before I even considered the possibility that I might be gay. I assumed that the boys at school were going through the same thing,that we all just pretended to like girls but actually got off on boys. Sounds weird now but at that age it was how I rationalised my feelings. At 15 I started to feel different, I realised that my friends did all like girls and I was the only one keeping a secret. From being new and exciting my sexuality became a human prison. I was terrified about being discovered and my survival instincts kicked in. On the outside I carried on growing up as the straight, sporty guy whilst inside my head I was panicking. Every single second of every day I spent worrying about people finding out. On my last day of school I was very emotional and in floods of tears. I was sad to be leaving my friends but terrified about the future. At school I had a structure and * PAGE 34

Celebrate: It takes great courage to live the life you want to live every day.

It has taken me 13 years to come out, not to come out as gay but to come out as me.”

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 33

for the worst period of my life. Suddenly you’re out, everyone knows you’re gay and you are free to meet guys, go to bars and clubs, have relationships, it all sounds great and exciting and new but when you carry with you five years of mental torture and insecurities the results can be catastrophic. I was partying too much and having way too much sex with the wrong types of people. I thought coming out would mean that I could finally be myself. In reality I was more lost and confused now than ever. I wasn’t old enough to deal with all these emotions in a responsible way. I became very depressed and my self-destructive behaviour got worse. Thankfully I fell in love with this beautiful Argentinean who was this incredibly free- spirited, self- assured, proud gay man. He loved me unconditionally for who I was and for the first time in a long time I started to like myself. My current partner is a Scottish man who’s taught me how to be myself and to speak my mind. He’s taught me to talk about my emotions and not be scared of them. I’ve finally started to address my self-destructive behaviour and I now feel in control of my life. I love him dearly and will always be grateful for his influence on my life. So it’s taken me 13 years to come out. Not to come out as gay but to come out as me. I’m not trying to be the person other people expect me to be, I’m not afraid to stand up and say this is who I am and I’m proud. I’ve let go of the pain and regret at losing some of the best years of my life to dealing with my sexuality and I’m looking forward to the future. My only advice to people who aren’t out or are struggling with their sexuality is that it’s ok! It scared the shit out of me but help is always out there. Talk to people and don’t be afraid to say I’m not happy or I need help. What we are subjected to as a community in coming out is abhorrent but don’t let it affect you for the rest of your life. You’ll see people on the scene that will never deal with these issues and continue to lead self-destructive and unhappy lives. It doesn’t have to be like that, talk to somebody about it and slowly but surely it will get better! Have a great day at Pride and remember it’s Tom: “Happiness is the all very simple just most important thing.” love yourselves and each other! * PAGE 36

and Mum wasn’t supposed to be around all weekend. We were just lying in bed cuddling and then it happened, a moment I will never forget I saw her silhouette creep around the doorway and that was it – cover blown. I jumped up, told her I’d be through in a minute and pulled on a pair of jeans. I found my mum frantically tidying the flat and asked her to come to the kitchen for a coffee and a cigarette. We sat opposite each other both visibly tense. And then I said it, the first time I’d told my Mum who I really was. I said ‘I’m gay’, she cried, told me she loved me and that it made no difference to her whatsoever. I cried some more but security that enabled me to control my there was still the hurdle of my father. secret, I knew everything would change We decided to leave it a few days I would when I left and that terrified me. then go home and speak to him myself. My father is a wonderful man but very The discussion with my father was brief, proud of his traditional country values. he said ‘it was my decision’. I said ‘it’s not For years I’d considered the possibility he my decision this is who I am and surely my may cut me off financially or never speak happiness is the most important thing’. In to me again. I’d always wanted to tell him 18 years I’d never spoken to my father like after University but fate played her hand that but it felt good to finally be myself. and one fateful day my Mum found out. So now I’m out, Mum told the whole I had just started seeing my new world which I love her for. She literally boyfriend. We were staying at our flat announced to everyone we know in Edinburgh ‘This is my son, he’s gay, I love him and don’t you dare have a TE FAMOUS QUOwt Gingrich were shaking hands problem with it!’ And as far as they d Ne on of an Jesse Helms an on the introducti es elv ms le the were concerned life carried on as ab congratulating , they won’t be ress. If it passes ng Co a in l for bil l ay ga normal. I however was heading antig it will then be ille

So now I’m out, Mum told the whole world which I love her for. She literally announced to everyone we know ‘This is my son, he’s gay, I love him and don’t you dare have a problem with it!’”

because to shake hands, rter asshole. Judy Ca prick to touch an

34 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

The British Red Cross is proud to be involved with Pride 09 events nationwide

Photos: Š Layton Thompson

The British Red Cross is a volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We enable vulnerable people at home and overseas to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their own communities.

For volunteering opportunities, visit: We seek to ensure that our organisation and our services are relevant and accessible to all. We value fresh perspectives and insights gained by involving and welcoming people from the widest possible diversity of background, culture and experience.

The British Red Cross Society, incorporated by Royal Charter 1908, is a charity registered in England and Wales (220949) and Scotland (SC037738)

Coming Out: No more Denialville Danielle Carter, 27, Editor of Pride Magazine and “As I sit hear knowing what I am about to tell you part of me feels embarrassed, part astonished but all of me feels proud. From sexual awakening during my early teens I always knew that the heterosexual life just didn’t fit for me. However I never thought that I would be in a relationship with a woman, a thought that could not have been further from my mind. So I set up home in Denialville. I married a man; I lived the straight life whilst taking extracurricular lessons in lesbianism. I never wanted to come out, why would I? People in the straight world never assumed that I was gay. I could slip into the gay world, get my rocks off and return home before sunrise without turning into a hetero pumpkin. But being the only gay in the village of a middle class Christian town in Kent my choice of poison to steal my nerves was God’s very own Jesus juice; vino, vino and more vino. It was the only thing that got me through the door of a gay club on my own. However, my prop soon became downfall. If I ever met anyone who I thought I would like to see again, they wouldn’t on the grounds that I was drunken, secretive and insecure. I was stuck in a meaningless world. I went through one night after another getting drunk and behaving as though consequence didn’t exist. Even though I was living this double life it never occurred to me that I was really gay. I slept with women, I enjoyed it but I viewed it as a hobby much like crochet. I would always go home to my man and eventually I would be married with children and the highlight of my day would be making an exotic casserole whilst finding a new trick with fennel. I could never predict how my life was about to unravel. I started going to a counsellor. I had now completely left the scene on the grounds of burnout. My work was suffering, I worked in social work and I was breaking down. My husband left and my job absorbed every part of me, all of a sudden I needed me to be there for me – a concept that did not sit comfortably at all. I started on the advice of a dodgy website watching straight porn and trying to condition myself out of this gay state of mind I had gotten myself into. Then the summer happened, the usual whirl of music festivals and weddings. But there was one wedding that saved me. I never thought I would

36 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

Epiphany: Danielle Carter had her moment of realisation in a church at a friends wedding.

I started watching straight porn to condition myself out of this gay state of mind.” have an epiphany in a church I always hoped that it would be in spearmint rhinos. I sat hung over watching my friend walk down the aisle, realising that I was the loneliest and saddest at the wedding, I broke. I left the wedding drove home and sat on my kitchen floor in a Brigit Jones-esque moment listening to music, getting drunk and realising that I had literally fucked my life up. I told my friends that my emotional collapse was due to work but I couldn’t feasibly keep up the lies. So a week later I told one of my friends. It was the moment I came out to myself. It was that moment that it dawned upon me that I didn’t give a shit about coming out to others but I cared about coming out to myself. I had not lived up to my high expectations. I was about success and being gay was not successful, it was not my life plan. And I wept and wept until every last trace of my dreams had gone. The wedding disappeared, the children disappeared, the conventional

dinner parties disappeared, my life disappeared. Everything that I was working towards fell away and I had no point of reference anymore. So I retreated, I worked through the web of lies and bullshit that I had created around my life to buffer me from the truth and after one occasion of spending two weeks alone locked up in the house I realised I needed to get out. I didn’t want to suffer anymore but learn how to live with myself. So one day I got on a train to London. I would always go to London to disappear, I felt like you didn’t matter there- nobody knows you. People have always struck me like ghosts in London walking through each other never meeting again. I could not have been more wrong. I had no idea but it was Pride weekend, I ended up following the parade into Trafalgar Square. Where I stood watching happy people, happy couples, and it dawned on me that they weren’t lonely or hollow they were alright. I decided that I needed to start living the life I wanted to live. I felt more comfortable correcting people on the assumption that I was straight and I felt that maybe I could start to bring the walls down and may even at some point have a relationship and I have. The one thing that I know from everyone that I have ever met that defines themselves anywhere from slightly left of straight is that even though the symptoms may vary ( you may not feel the need for alcohol, promiscuity or Prozac) those self- harming actions however they manifest themselves come from the same place. They come from a place of loneliness and a very real fear of isolation. It is a process that never ends but the most important thing is to gain strength, conviction and above all Pride. It is the most life changing transition I have ever been through but I am ok with myself even if others aren’t and a lot haven’t been. I would like to thank the friends that have stuck by me and the friends who haven’t. You have had an equal contribution to my many realisations. There are still things that I would like to change about myself; my inability to stick to a diet, my obsession with Haribo and shamefully as a journalist my lack of accuracy when it comes to using apostrophes, but my sexuality is definitely not on that list. Ultimately I am glad to be gay. I never thought that I would get to the point in my life when I could say that. I never thought I would be writing it for Pride. I never thought that I could have a legitimate relationship, that I could get married if I wanted to, or that I could tell a girl publically that she takes my breath away but Pride was built on nevers and I never want it to go away.

Tower Hamlets Council is the highest ranking London borough in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index at 7th place and NHS Tower Hamlets is also in the top 100, ranking 58th. This achievement reflects the commitment of local agencies to work effectively with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff and communities in Tower Hamlets to achieve our shared vision of ‘One Tower Hamlets’: a place where people from different backgrounds work together to tackle inequalities and make the borough a better place.

The Tower Hamlets LGBT Community Forum provides support, a platform to voice concerns, and works with partners to coordinate action on issues relevant to the LGBT communities. To get involved with the Forum or find out more please contact Hafsha Ali by e-mail at, by phone on 0207 364 4762 or visit the website Tower Hamlets Council and NHS Tower Hamlets strongly believe that the people who work for us should fully reflect our diverse community. Our people are our most valuable asset, and we work hard to ensure that our workplaces are truly inclusive where everyone feels welcome and able to be themselves. Take a look at or to find out about the exciting opportunities we have available.



NO PLACE FOR E T A H C I B O H P HOMO Tower Hamlets LGBT Forum

Burn Burn

Paris Hilton is like a fucking Dyson she is on every fucking red carpet.�

38 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |



Pete Burns on...

I normally

hope that the celebrities I meet are not like they are portrayed in the media but when I got the call saying that Pete Burns wanted to speak to me I hoped that he was exactly the same. And he was. I love the fact that he still doesn’t know why Jodie Marsh is famous and that he cannot bear to be nice to people for the sake of being nice to them and that he does not read magazines or knows anything about celebrity.   I thought that it would be an interview straight to the point in and out in thirty minutes feeling like another journo that had done the media junket dance around the obvious but I could not have been more wrong. Six hours later I emerged from Pete’s house, full of Mozzarella and Tomato salad and Marlboro lights. Here are the best bits from my afternoon with Mr Burns. Danielle Carter: So why have you decided to do this interview? Pete Burns: You must have called on a very bad day I have no idea why I decided to do it because I say no to nearly everything I am asked to do and just occasionally one thing slips through the net, and this slipped through the net really. DC: Do you think that you have a big gay following? PB: I am not going to say anything about it because it sounds like I am being followed around lavatories by homosexuals and there is certainly no queue in the lavatory when I go in. As I have said before I don’t categorise anybody as being gay or having a gay community or gay following they are just people just to me, maybe they are not to themselves but they are to me everybody is a lot more than their sexuality you can’t put people in a box like that, they might enjoy being in the box but it is not a box that I acknowledge on any level.  People are obsessed with it, I think it is a British thing but I am really not interested.

DC: Big Brother...? PB: I was as difficult and cantankerous as I could be hoping that people would kick me out but they just loved it” DC: So you wouldn’t do it again? PB: Yeah if the money was right, it was great money I got paid a fortune for it as I said I thought it was five days at a labour camp and it took about three weeks I didn’t want to know anyone who was in there. I just wanted to get in, get the job done, get booted out and disappear. DC: It was the most amazing mix of celebrities though... PB: I didn’t know who any of them were. DC: What do you think of reality TV? PB: From my perspective of that show was that was as real as it got, they did 24 hour streaming. After that I took part in Pete’s PA which was an awful show and Wife Swap both of them weren’t real. I found after Big Brother the other two shows I couldn’t be myself in. It was largely all scripted and manipulated. It wasn’t real at all. I had never ever seen a single episode of Big Brother before I went in it which people will probably find hard to believe. It is very Warholian everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes and now it looks to me that everybody will be famous in fifteen minutes.” DC: Overall, good experience or bad? PB: I can’t say that I enjoy it because I don’t like being interrupted to me it is over and it was a long time ago. I forgot that I had been in everyone’s living room people are obsessed with it. You walk passed a pub and it says ‘gone home to watch big brother’ I seem to be the most remembered for it I was at dinner with my ex-wife yesterday and some guy came over and said ‘Hi Peter’ and I said ‘Hi’ and he sat down to join us. I asked him to leave and he went absolutely fucking ballistic. I understand that I have been in their living rooms and they think that they know me but they don’t know the first fucking thing about me.

TV: “The telly has become a hypnotic devise it keeps people in their place they don’t go out when certain programmes are on. It seems like every night and all damn day Coronation Street or Eastenders is on.” Mags: “I haven’t read a magazine in about five years and I flick through it and I don’t know who anybody is and in one way I think it makes me incredibly dull I had no idea who Colleen Rooney was. I know it is difficult to believe but three years ago I didn’t even know what Beckham did. I had no idea and I am not interested in what he does. I don’t feel like a celebrity it puts me in a funny bracket really. “ Websites: “I have got my own Dead or Alive website. It runs out there for them, it’s not for me they can say what they want. I don’t look at it. I don’t have a computer I am not online. I am not interested about what people say about me. Recently I was mugged in Soho and you know, so what? Apparently there are 17 a night in Soho. My bag was snatched and the Police came they were very helpful. The Police drove me and my husband around all of the gay bars in Soho to see if we could find the culprit and recently it was on the net that my husband and I had a punch up and we were arrested. I wasn’t aware that was said and I didn’t care but my husband was freaked out and said ‘you were mugged’ and he tried to put things on the web to correct it because I am not aware of what people say I don’t care what people say. Unless you agree to do an interview and somebody asks you about it and it is completely false it is just healthier to be uninformed.” Celebs: “I don’t go to celebrity events, I don’t go to showbiz events and I don’t go to premiers I get invited but I don’t see the point of sitting through a film you don’t want to watch just so you can get photographed on a red carpet? I am going to start marketing metre lengths of red carpet, you get out of the taxi-red carpet, McDonalds-red carpet. Paris Hilton is like a fucking Dyson she is on every fucking red carpet. I just don’t get it. I know it is part of the job but you don’t get paid for it.” Music:“I don’t have a copy of any of my records because I made it, if someone asked me for a DVD of a show I was on I wouldn’t have it. For me it is like keeping your bowels movements. I bet you don’t keep a diary of what you do everyday. You should keep a diary because one day it will keep you.” Work: “I will do shows and TV when I am paid for it, it is a job like any other. It’s not a full-time job I clock on and I clock off.  I hear that Big Brother was up for a Bafta, I wasn’t invited because they knew what I was doing.”

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 39




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11 40 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |




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| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 41



Bursting out When coming to terms with being gay, the deciding factor is often that you have someone you can relate to. This someone could be a friend, a couple on the street holding hands with no care in the world, or a support group full of likeminded people. This is exactly what Outburst UK offers. Above: 4Flava. Left: Akil Wingate.

Come Out

and Play might be Pride’s mantra this year, but without knowing that there are others out there like you, many new to the LGBT community would simply be too scared to venture out. The problem gets worse for the BME community, as the number of openly gay and campaigning BME celebrities can almost be counted on one hand. This is one of the reasons Outburst UK was created, to give a platform, voice and supportive environment to the black LGBT community in the UK. Outburst promotes equality and diversity, advances education and eliminates discrimination in relation to Black, Minority and Ethnic Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (BME-LGBT) people. The organisation’s outreach work focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on people in London. Aided by cultural programmes, educational projects, musical performances, film screenings, book readings, cultural days, as well as an annual Pride festival and working with new and emerging artists, the organisation is a fantastic way for people to socialise. Outburst has dedicated its efforts towards nurturing pride and unity within the black LGBT community in the UK, and to provide a happy, safe and supportive environment. They also work with the wider community to develop a sustainable, safe haven for lgbt people and to provide a place for people to meet, gain information, and socialise. With the goal of supporting the LGBT community outside of London, Outburst UK has organised two coach trips to the inaugural Toray Pride in July to show their support. If you want to experience the full Outburst experience, check www. for more details on Outburst UK Pride. * PAGE 44

Club Caribana Club Caribana made its way to the Polysexual Club Scene debuting at the Nightingale Club where it all started in Birmingham in 2003, it transcended to its new home @Substation South in Brixton in 2005, where it made a very big impact as a Sunday night spot; with Substation being sold we then moved to Club Factory in Vauxhall on July 30th 2006 where we carved our name in stone in Vauxhall. 2009 is the year of change and we decided to hop venues same place in Vauxhall but at a different venue called HIDDEN... Caribana is all about having some serious fun and live entertainment. We are a diverse and mixed club night that cater for all genders, sexuality, race whether young or old, gay or str8, white or black. Music is universal and music is a language that everyone knows… So come on down! Location: @CLUB HIDDEN, 100 Tinworth St, Vauxhall London, United Kingdom, SE11 5EQ. Phone: +447931 395 395/396 396. When: Sat: 23:00 - 06:00. Public transport: 5mins walk from Vauxhall tube/rail/bus station

42 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) The Agency is committed to providing equal access to its services to all customers and employees and to provide services in a fair and equal manner that respects their diverse backgrounds. Diversity for the Agency means understanding and valuing the visible and non-visible differences (such as sexual orientation, age, sex, race and disability) of the population that it serves, building customer and employee loyalty and providing services that recognise and meet their needs. We know what our customers want, because our staff are our customers. As an equal opportunities employer and server, we are proud to be part of Pride 09.

LGBT DVLA staff network

The Agency is committed to maintaining the health and well-being of its workforce and has developed a strategy to help improve and maintain their physical and mental health and well-being. Staff have access to occupational health service, a 24hr employee assistance programme, a physiotherapy service and Swansea based staff are lucky enough to have 24 hr access to a purpose built gym. The focus is on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and on sustaining a healthy working environment through a number of ways such as the introduction of a health events calendar to support identified health issues, health fairs and regular health promotion events. Staff are kept informed about health and wellbeing information through Health Matters, our newly developed electronic newsletter.

“Supporting Pride ‘09”

Staff Network Objectives: It is very important that the Agency has an LGBT network, not only because it is a recognised strand of Diversity, but also because employees should feel and know the Ian Clark, Co-Chair LGBT Staff Network Group Agency is prepared to ensure they are treated fairly in the workplace, and equality is recognised.

• Increase membership by 5% during the year

I am very proud to be an employee of DVLA as it has my welfare in mind, and recognises the rights and freedom of individuals, irrespective of their sexual orientation.

• Participate in UK Pride events

• Attend meetings of the Civil Service Rainbow Alliance and promote CSRA amongst DVLA network membership • Arrange annual and quarterly membership meetings • Visit members throughout the Agency network to establish face to face contact and discuss any issues in confidence • Arrange attendance at Stonewall, PCS Proud and relevant diversity training events • Work towards Stonewall Equality Index • Take opportunities to promote DVLA as equal opportunities and best practice employer in appropriate LGBT media (Pink Paper, Pride, and Stonewall publications etc).

Outburst has dedicated its efforts towards nurturing pride and unity within the black LGBT community in the UK, and to provide a happy, safe and supportive environment.” Outburst at a glance: 2007–2008 - Hosted three book readings in association with Rukus! At Gay’s The Word Bookshop where over 40 people attended each event. The events were presented by the celebrated American writer Thomas Glave and Steven G. Fullwood. 2007-2008 – Organised two Outburst UK Black Pride Festivals to date, 2007 and 2008 and presently organising the third, 2009. 2008 – Principal organiser in organising the first BME stage at Pride London in 2008 with over 16,000 attending. February 2009 – Hosted a Film Screening as part of LGBT History Month in partnership with London Southbank University. “She Wasn’t Last Night”, the first featurelength romantic drama of its kind about same gender loving women got its UK premiere and was followed by a Q&A with its director Darcie Jones. Over 200 in attendance. March 2009 – Panellists in “Where we Live” event at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation in Manchester which was the start of our work outside London to get more groups involved nationally. Outburst UK is funded by the Metropolitan Police, Haringey Council, Southward Council, The Bernie Grant Art Centre, and Gaydar to name a few.

Pride London BAME Stage 2009 Performance Schedule Please be aware that these are approximate times Hosts Rikki Beadle-Blair

Top: Carnival float, Pride London. Right: Denise Pearson.

14:00 - Music from Caribana 15:00 - Speaker TBC (Opening) 15:10 - Pride Dancers 15:20 - Performance TBC 16:00 - Denise Pearson from 5 Star (Singer) Pictured above 17:00 - Davis Mac-Illya – Changing Attitude – (Speaker) 17:15 - Chewy (MC/Rapper) 17:30 - Kory McLeod (RnB Singer) 17:45 - Michael Anthony Moonchild & Dancers 18:40 - Michael Ashanti – US RnB Singer 19:00 - Music from Caribana 20:00 - Close

BAME Stage: Caribana Club London, Michael Ashanti and Angie Brown

44 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |




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And re P r in w ce


We don’t see enough images of Asians or Chinese, which are some of the other communities that make up the BAME community. What the BME stage is doing is challenging years and years of this cultural and social exclusion.”

Prince Charming

46 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

Andrew Prince is the B.A.M.E Convenor for Pride London, he is also the Director of Outburst UK ( and the editor of, the largest black lesbian and gay resource in Europe. Here he tells Pride about his longstanding work championing the rights of B.A.M.E (Black and Asian, Minority Ethnic) communities throughout the UK. Pride: What connection you have with pride London? Andrew Prince: I have been going to Pride events over the last 10 years and even a volunteer when it used to be on Clapham Common, handing out flyers, goody bags, taking tickets, collecting rubbish and a gate steward. While I also had a wonderful time at Pride events meeting new people and seeing old friends, part of me was also aware of how little there was of black or Asian presence, except when the festival was held in Brockwell Park, south London in the 90s. As a community organiser and director of Outburst UK, I wanted to get involved from the inside and now I am a volunteer for Pride London and the B.A.M.E (Black and Asian, Minority Ethnic) Convenor. My role is to engage different sections of the BAME community and to encourage said community to be part of the committee to help with the planning process, and thus represent their communities in order for them to have a greater visibility on the parade and rally. For a very long time, myself and members from the black gay and lesbian community felt that Pride was not inclusive enough, that we were invisible (even though there have been members from the black community taking part in one form or another), so we thought that being visible was not something that was going to be handed to us (I mean, why should it be?). To effect changes requires one to work from within; hard work and dedication, and so I decided that for the community to have a greater visibility we had to play a bigger part and say what we wanted as opposed to being given what was thought we wanted. My first experience of being a member of the BAME committee was quite daunting when I realised the challenges we faced, but I decided to stick with the committee, and now I look forward to Pride London every year. Now I’m not saying that the ride hasn’t been bumpy, but for the most part it has been good and I am happy that I am a part of the whole planning process, and I do speak for several individuals who feels the same, as we feel that it is better to have some participation, than none at all. In 2008 the BAME committee decided that they wanted a stage and even though there were a few people who were against it, we stuck to our decision and the Urban stage was a huge success. Seeing everyone pull together to make the stage a success was one of my proudest moments being a volunteer of Pride London and I realised that if we set our minds to it our community can work together and put on a first rate show of talents from within our own groups.

TE FAMOUS QOUto a psychiatrist when I

me My mother took t I was a latent use she though ca be was fifteen g latent about it. ere was nothin homosexual.  Th Amanda Bearse

To effect changes requires one to work from within; hard work and dedication, and so I decided that for the community to have a greater visibility we had to play a bigger part and say what we wanted as opposed to being given what was thought we wanted.”

PM: What comments you have regarding the BAME Community and Pride? AP: Politically and culturally, Pride is still seen as a predominantly white event by members of the BAME community. Year after year you still see classical stereotypical images presented in the gay press – the obligatory drag queen or the tanned muscle boy. On the rare occasion you might see a black and white couple; rarely do you see images of black people together within the context of Pride. And the gay press is no different from the straight press when it markets images of Pride. We don’t see enough images of Asians or Chinese, which are some of the other communities that make up the BAME community. What the BME stage is doing is challenging years and years of this cultural and social exclusion. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, “we are the change we seek in the world”. I would like to say that ‘we are’ the change we seek within our own communities and across communities and organisations, such as Pride London. PM: Any issues that are related to BAME LGBT People that stand out? AP: Culturally, people need something that they can relate to, and getting more people from the B.A.M.E community to take an active part in the Pride London festival fortnight is one of the biggest challenges we still face because many still sees it as alien to them. This might be down to cultural differences and issues of trust from both perspectives. These are some of the things we still might need to explore further. The danger with the whole “concept” of B.A.M.E is that we are a homogenous group and what works for one community might not work for another community within the umbrella of B.A.M.E. There are some sections of the community that we have to work harder to attract and there are others who are just not interested. We can only engage with the people who want

48 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

to engage with us and as much as I would like to see a greater participation from individuals and organisations alike, I am also realistic that we probably will never be able to engage with everyone, it’s just a fact of life. Most people tend to forget that people from the LGBT community are humans and that we are just one big happy family. This is what we would like, but this is far from the truth. Why should we be any different from any other sections of the community, whether gay or straight. PM: What are the hopes and aspirations of the BAME LGBT Community towards a successful Pride event? AP: Personally, I think that having the BAME stage has been a wonderful start. However, it needs to appear to and beyond the community as not something separate within Pride but an integral part of Pride. From going to other Pride events around the world, including New York and Atlanta, their Pride events already appear s to be inclusive. I would also like to see more of a range of images of the diversity that Pride can represent and is trying to, and this I personally applaud. This does not only apply to the BAME community, rarely do you see two elderly gay men or women together, rarely do you see images of people at Pride who are disabled, rarely do you see images of Transgendered people. In addition I would like to see young people play a bigger part in the festival and to ask young people themselves as to what they would like to see or want. For those of you who have never been to Pride London, this is your opportunity to come out and see what the festival is all about. Maybe this will be your first Pride; maybe you have been going for a number of years but have never taken an active part. This is your chance to do so; there are many ways you can get involved for next year. Send me an email to and let’s make Pride London the best it can be for future years.

Come Out & Play Pride Map 2009

Euston Square

Great Portland Street Baker Street

d e Roa

Regents Park


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The Parade starts at 1pm on baker street (next to Selfridges) and will travel down oxford street, turning right onto regent street then down Pall Mall, ending at Trafalgar Square at approximately 3pm.

Join the parade

Green Parck

Hey if you’ve been standing or dancing in the same spot on route watching the parade partying on by. COME AND JOIN US, let’s make this a parade to remember. When the end of the parade passes you join at the back, (only when instructed by the official stewards) keep the line going and dance your way down to Trafalgar square for what will be a rally to remember. bridge


So much to do, So many choices. 50 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |


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| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 51


Pride London

Main Stage – Trafalgar Square

Jimmy Somerville

This year’s Trafalgar Square main stage is where the 90’s meets the naughties. This summer stage is going to be packed with a cacophony of acts that will be bringing back the decade that brought us the glow sticks and whistles. We rewind you with a mix of happy house, rap and iconic performers to charge you with energy and celebration. Ride the melodic wave of summer beats with Pride London’s most eclectic stage to date.   Open From 15:00 - 20:45 Heather Small Avenue Q Bad Lay Dee Urban Cookie Collective Qboy, Kele Le Roc Living Joy- Feat Luzahnn Scooch Now Then Now Then Band Mark The D.E Experience A1 The Dolly Rockers Discotheque Priscilla Queen of the Desert Suzerain Elouise Pete Burns Lonnie Gordon Kelley Pepper Nikki Belle Mc ENV Tina Cousins PaleDay Pink Singers Jimmy Somerville

Living Joy, Luzahnn

Nikki Belle Tin Cousins


The Dolly Rockers

KU Bar Pop Stage – Leicester Sq

Urban Stage – Carlisle Street

Women’s Stage – Dean Street

Open From ? - ? Hosted by Boogaloo Stu and Sandra The very Miss Dusty O Vivienne Westwood muse Lady Lloyd, The Trannyshack Girls Boogaloo Stu (Pop Justice) and a selection of Shinky Shonky regulars Tasty Tim, DJP, Sandra D, Plus a selection of the newest up and coming DJ’s including Tuomo Fox and DMS

Open From 14:00 - 20:00 14:00 Music from Caribana 15:00 Speaker 15:10 Pride Dancers 16:00 Denise Pearson (5 Star) 17:00 Davis Mac-lllya 17:15 Chewy (MC/Rapper) 17;30 Kory Mcleod (RnB Singer) 17:45 Michael Anthony Moonchild & Dancers 18:40 Michael Ashanti (US RnB singer) 19;00 Music from Caribana 20:00 Close

Open From 15:00 -19:40 15:00 The Berettas - pop punk 15:20 Anna Sinfeild - solo acoustic artist 15:40 Kal Lavelle - solo acoustic 16:00 DJ 16:20 MC Angel - solo MC 16:40 Kenelis - rock band 17:00 DJ Lady Destiny 17:20 Ruth Cullen - solo artist 17:40 Jess Gardham - solo acoustic 18:00 Laura Steel - electro band 18:20 Nicolette Street - solo acoustic 18:40 Neon Choir - indie band 19:00 DJ 19:20 Kimberley Anne - funk band 19:40 DJ Sandra D

Dance Stage – SOHO Sq Open From ? - ? A range of well known DJ’s (check for more info)

52 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 | Crisp Service and outstanding cooking making for enjoyable meals at these award winning modern Indian restaurants where an accomplished use of herbs and spices produce a variety on interesting flavours. The atmosphere is vibrant and welcoming with both the visiting crowd and London locals enjoying the wonderful cuisine. Recommended by prominent food critics including the BBC good eating guide. Theatreland Branch 44 Frith Street, Soho W1D 4SB Tel: 020 7437 8261 Fax: 020 7437 3789

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Pride London

Clear your diary London: Pride 2008 and it’s revellers.

It’s official! London has won World Pride 2012! Yippie!

Led by

Pride London with support from Visit London and the Mayor of London, Pride London beat tough competition to be awarded the InterPride World Pride parade in 2012. World Pride will be held in the capital during the summer of 2012, just ahead of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Organsied by InterPride, World Pride promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues on an internation level through parages, festivals and other cultural activites. London’s WorldPride in 2012 is expected to attract over one million visitors. The two week festivities will most likely take place from 23 June to 8 July 2012 so put it in the diary, with the main parade held on 7 July.

Visit London Deputy Chief Executive, Sally Chatterjee: “This is a tremendous win for the capital. London Pride is an annual highlight of the cultural festival calendar and hosting WorldPride in 2012 is a proud triumph for our city. There really will be no other place on earth to be in 2012 than right here in London.”

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson: “I’m absolutely thrilled that London has won the right to host WorldPride in 2012. London has one of the largest and most diverse LGBT communities on the planet and it is a fantastic opportunity to inspire cities across the globe. In an Olympic year, the eyes of the world will already be on London and the city will give an enormous welcome to LGBT people, their friends and families, for what we want to be the most colourful and exciting WorldPride festival yet.”

Chair of Pride London, Paul Birrell: TE FAMOUS QUO the word lesbian... even n’t say Some women ca is full of one. th ou m r when thei Kate Clinton

54 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

“We are delighted that London was successful in its bid for WorldPride. This is a great achievement for London and coming in 2012, it will be a glorious year for our city. Pride London has grown over the years to be one of the UK’s largest cultural events and this is a tremendous achievement for the LGBT community.”

A lot of people hAve

good intentions. the difference here is that we make sure they count. Here at the Charity Commission, it’s our job to make sure charities really deliver on the promises they make. So we understand that there’s big difference between saying the right thing and actually doing it. It means that when we talk about our commitment to diversity, our welcoming culture and our variety of roles, you can be sure that they are a lot more than words. These are not just good intentions, they are our everyday reality. to find out more about exactly what’s on offer, visit our new recruitment website:

Making good intentions count

We welcome applications from all sections of the community, regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or age.

603342 Add - Pride Mag June 09:125x 183mm




Page 1

Bexley School Workforce More to offer

With the bright lights of central London and the ‘Garden of England’ both only a stone’s throw away, Bexley’s able to offer all the benefits of capital, countryside, coast and continent on it’s doorstep. Bexley’s really strong on the education front. We are passionate about providing environments where our pupils can be inspired to learn, whatever their age.

worker, teacher, school leader or head teacher. What are the schools really like? How long have you got? We’ve literally every kind of school you can imagine in Bexley. Rural, urban, large, small, primary, secondary, special needs,selective, academies – whatever you want from a school, you’ll find it in our borough.

Bexley as a whole is rightly proud to be in a prestige group of local authorities Bexley Education Supply Team (BEST) which have seen significant and sustained We are now recruiting Primary, improvement for seven years running. Secondary, and Special Educational Needs Teachers for our new supply Professional Development for the service: BEST, working in partnership with Whole School Workforce Supreme Education Plc, the online We believe that on-going professional development for those working in schools Teacher Recruitment Consultancy. is central to further improving the quality of education we provide to our pupils. Schools will encourage you to attend local and national courses to increase your own skills and, of course, their worth to pupils. Bexley signposts opportunities for gaining further professional qualifications, whether as a support Listening to you, working for you

Teachers will be able to accept day-today, short term and long term assignments in the borough online or over the telephone 24/7 through our automated staffing technology. For further details of to pre-register email: or call 07983 854366

To apply for current School Support Staff and Teaching vacancies within Bexley schools please visit our website:

School Workforce Development Team, Children’s & Young People’s Services, London Borough of Bexley, Hill View, Hill View Drive, Welling, Kent, DA16 3RY, Tel 020 8836 8278, email



Pride’s got talent Darren Scott turns the spotlight on some of our young, hottest, up-and coming creative talents.

Luisa Gottardo, Sports Agent>

I have

^Ryan Jagger, Singer


Ryan Jagger, I’m 21 years old and I’m a gay pop singer. I’ve been writing and recording my own pop records since late 2008 with a chart producer who’s worked magic with Geri Halliwell and the Sugababes. I began with an R’n’B vibe following my Michael Jackson influence, which evolved in to an old-skool dance sound. That felt quite natural because it’s what I listen to and dance to when I’m partying in clubs. I don’t have a label behind me, which means I can create exactly what I want in sounds and vision – I have no limitations. Being known as a gay artist is massively important to me and I don’t hide behind any mask. I write most of my lyrics about boys who have had an impact on me, somehow, so it would be hypercritical to sing “her” or “she” every other line. I love my gay following and I’m really proud to be an openly gay pop singer – there aren’t many artists out there who can say that. I have a debut single on iTunes right now with more releases happening over summer – during which time I’ll be playing live at lots of Pride events. Log on to to hear, see and interact with me.

56 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

recently started my dream job, and I never dreamed that I would be doing this at the age of 21! I am training to be a Sports Agent, with my title being ‘Football Consultant’. I got into this field of work through a BBC TV show, called Superagents – The Apprentice of the world of Sports Agent. The company that offered me a job off the back of the show, Power Goldberg, are a top, leading Sports Management company based in Central London. A large majority of the professionals within the company are men, which is not uncommon in the sporting industry. As a young gay woman, I feel that there is not enough representation in this field from both women, and from gay people. The way I see it, is if I am good at my job, why should my sex, or sexuality make a difference to the completion of the task in hand? It shouldn’t, and doesn’t, and luckily, I have been given that opportunity by various people, including the company I now work for, to showcase my talents on an international scale, and work with highly influential people. There are of course perks to the job – travelling around the world, attending events, and having my bedroom walls covered in signed football shirts! It’s not all glitz and glamour though, there is a lot of hard graft, long hours, and frustration when things do not pull through. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

<Nick Carvell, Writer and Author

I could

write a sob story here. Popular culture continually bombards us with sob stories about gay men and women. I like to call it ‘Brokeback Mountain Syndrome,’ the idea that, in the media, us gays have only three possible storylines: either lead a tragic life of heartbreak and die alone, lead a hedonistic lifestyle and get AIDs or grow out of it eventually. I want my life to be different. Being an only child and aspiring writer you’d think I’d love to talk about myself. Truth be told, I find talking about ‘me’ a little uncomfortable. Being gay we are often not encouraged to talk about ourselves, our lives. Forty years after homosexuality was decriminalised, despite gays becoming more visible to the public eye, there is still a taboo surrounding being homosexual; the idea that it is still a bit seedy, sinful or worst of all, a choice. I grew up in a loving family who were amazingly supportive when I came out. Of course they struggled, every parent does. But this struggle shows me that, no matter how liberal minded your parents are, society hasn’t yet normalised the idea of being gay. The need to ‘come out’ is unfortunate proof of that. As a writer, the importance of being out and of speaking out in my writing as well as in everyday life is key to changing this.

London Pride:London Pride



Page 1

nowt so queer as folk ÂŁ23.99 out now - 4 DVD

Titles and prices subject to availability while stocks last at participating stores/online. Prices may vary online. Š 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

Jamie Tabberer, Journalist

My name

is Jamie Tabberer. I recently turned 23 and am an openly gay journalist. As a gay man, I feel – generally – that I’m very fortunate: being gay has never been a big problem for me. I came out while still at school at the age of 15, and was met with, for the most part, respect. I’ve been comfortable and confident with my sexuality ever since. Although, on the downside, my relationship with my father began to break down at around the same time, and we’re now estranged: I haven’t seen him for three years. It’s a shame, but I don’t believe my sexuality is the cause of it; rather, I believe it’s his ignorance – which means it’s more his problem than mine. One day, I’m convinced all the individuals who value heterosexuality over everything else will open their minds and step in to the 21st century. But even if they don’t, it won’t keep me, or any of the gay or bisexual people that I know, from living our lives. Having self-financed my way through Exeter University, I graduated last year with an English degree. I then moved to London with barely 50p in my pocket. I’m now writing for an organisation called Square Peg Media: we publish gay titles including Out in the City and G3 and in November we’ll also be hosting a Diversity Careers Show for LGBT graduates. I’m proud of who I am, and of what I am, and I believe that through my involvement with Square Peg, I’m encouraging others to feels the same – and this has to be a good thing.

<Rael Stone, Creative & Design


My name is Rael, and I’m a London based creative. I’m studying fashion at Kingston, but also keeping busy setting up my own London based label, working on my s/s 2010 launching collection and working with some amazing people on some interesting projects. Right now I’m working on a t-shirt print collaboration with amazing illustrator and mate Archie Fitzgerald that I’m so excited about. Another massive passion of mine is to help other young creative’s launch their own careers. The idea is to create a social network type of website called YOUTH CLUB, which will put the user in direct contact with the industry, building contacts, collaborations, and establishing foundations for their futures. Being male in fashion you’re automatically perceived to be gay, I’m interested in people for themselves not their gender, I’ve never really “come out” because I’ve always been like that. The gay cliché frustrates me especially when I meet someone and they say “ you remind me so much of Gok Wan” and its like no, I don’t look anything like him, don’t talk like him and I’m not aiming to be him! I love the gay community, but at the same time would never want to be included as a “gay”. Being bi and the work I do has never been an issue to me and I would always hope my work is for EVERYBODY and INCLUSIVE. Visit me at

Phillipe Giovanni Chiarella, student, President London Met LGBT and NUS LGBT Committee Elect

I should

start by saying I HATE writing about myself, so I’ll give this a bash and hope you find it interesting! I am a politics student in London who has been involved in campaigning in the LGBT community since I started University. I founded my LGBT society, am now a rep on NUS LGBT Committee and work for THT. I absolutely love it, trying to make the UK and World better for LGBT people whether it be with legislation, policy or health! While I do all of this work to help people, and to try and affect policy changes towards the LGBT community, I think that there is only so far that policy and legislation can go. What we need to recognise as a community is that we need changes in attitude and to do this we have to engage with people outside of our community, and stop being the sometimes inward looking community that we are. Coming out, unlike many, was a simple process with me. I first came out to the person I trust and respect the most in my life, my Mum. We both cried a little, but that was because my mum thought I didn’t trust her. I am not out to all of my family and me being gay is never an issue, although the occasional joke is thrown my way from the builders in the family!

58 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

<Sliimy, French popstar


people are really narrow minded. Because when you’re gay you’re not supposed to like yourself in fact. You must be another person. I always felt like this when I was younger, I was just wondering if I was ready for the music, because some people are really, really mean about being gay in this industry. But I think it’s really important to be yourself, you know. That’s why I don’t want to hide this, because it’s really, really important to address it. I think in our society a lot of people really accept that and lots of people were really, really violent, even in 2009. I think that people must respect that, it’s really important. You know that right now I received some emails that were really, really violent because I’m gay? And I don’t understand why some people are like this right now. I don’t know. It’s stupid. People are narrow minded and not aware. But there’s always going to be some stupid people. I can’t change everybody. This is life, you know. I just want to be myself and have fun and all that stuff, and do music.

presents a


for chicks & chaps

irly goes g Saturday 4 July 2009 9pm – 4am

02 Academy Brixton

211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9

Tickets: £15 08444 77 2000

Gay favourite Priscilla Queen of the Desert has made its way from the Outback down under to London’s west end. Pride Editorial King Danielle Carter goes head to head with the Queens of the desert; Jason Donovan, Tony Sheldon and Oliver Thornton and gets them to share with her their tips on hair removal, how people have reacted to them doing drag and what really goes on behind those queeny scenes.

Pride goes one-on-one with


Danielle Carter: Priscilla is an iconic film what attracted you to the part? Jason Donovan: I auditioned like everyone else but had worked with the director in Oz two years ago, Hugo Weaving did a wonderful performance in the film and I thought I could interpret the character well.

DC: Have you gelled as an ensemble? Any queeny tantrums yet? JD: We’ve had an intense rehearsal period so it’s been a bonding experience since day one. The queeny tantrums are really played out on stage.

I strip down to my undies in the first scene. I have forgotten to put them on before.” Jason Donovan

60 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

do for your role? JD: We’ll I had been in Rocky Horror of course so I was used to the heels and I just sunk myself into the text really. I didn’t go to a drag show as such. DC: I have to ask – hair removal, any tips? JD: Shave NOT wax. DC: Can you give Pride an exclusive backstage anecdote or secret? JD: I strip down to my undies in the first scene. I have forgotten to put them on in a hurry to get on stage.

DC: How have you found people have reacted to you after deciding to play a drag act? JD: Everyone has said that I give the character a sense of reality. It’s difficult to play as you can’t camp it up to much as you have to bare in mind his journey and relationship with his son.

DC: Make-up, high heels and heavy costumes. How do you prepare for such gruelling roles? JD: I used to surf and I have also been riding to and from rehearsals.

DC: Does it come easily to you? JD: I have no problems with drag at all, however, eight shows a week is exhausting.

DC: So after Priscilla what are your plans? JD: Relaxation, time with my family and maybe a new album in 2010, Priscilla for a year will be enough I think!

DC: What research did you have to

DC: Which is your favourite costume? JD: My full ‘Never been to me’ dress.


L-R: Jason Donovan (Tick), Tony Sheldon (Bernadette), Oliver Thornton (Adam)


One-on-one with Oliver

All images ©Tristram Kenton

Danielle Carter: What attracted you to the part? Oliver Thornton: I think any iconic film becomes an exciting project when a producer translates it to a stage production. This was no different, such an amazing script and well thought out characters made me realise it would be a joy to be a part of. DC: How have people reacted to you doing drag for the show: OT: I think people really see it as a role rather than a choice I have made personally. I am pleased as being an actor I would like to play many more characters from all walks of life. It is easy when you are playing such a strong character to put it in a box for all future roles but people know I am not Felicia and am happy to leave the heels behind at the end of the night. DC: Any hair removal tips? OT: Get a good waxist!

One-on-one with Tony Danielle Carter: What attracted you to be part of this must see stage show? Tony Sheldon: The challenge of playing a transsexual as opposed to a drag queen. And I sensed the potential of the show from the first workshop three years ago. DC: Any tantrums? TS: Only from me. I love and adore every one of the cast but they can get very noisy backstage. One night during a quiet scene there was so much chat in the wings that I turned around and screamed: ‘Shut the fuck up!’ Not very lady-like. DC: What do people think of you playing a transsexual? TS: Nobody has commented at all. I have been an actor for 45 years so I’ve played all kinds of roles. DC: So does it come easily? TS: Nothing comes easily if you want to do it well. But I guess you could say I am at ease with my feminine side. DC: Any backstage secrets? TS: Would you believe none of our male cast members have ever set foot in a gym? No

Cast: Go West, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical.

didn’t think so! DC: Between you all how many costumes do you have? TS: I think it’s about 300 but it could be more. DC: Do you feel a responsibility towards the LGBT community? TS: I was allowed to have a voice in the creation of the script from the first workshop and I was vigilant about anything that might provoke scorn or hatred towards the LGBT community. To have a transsexual and two gay men as the leads in a multimillion dollar musical is an enormous responsibility.

DC: Any backstage secrets that you would like to share? OT: Rubbing oil into my muscles before I go on stage makes them look bigger, it’s all an illusion! DC: How many costumes do you have? OT: I alone have twenty costume changes and thirteen of them are under sixteen seconds long. DC: You play Felicia made famous by Guy Pierce in Neighbours, if you had to live next door to one of the characters in Priscilla who would it be and why? OT: Definitely Mitzi the others are way too quick tounged.

DC: Les Miserables is renowned for having hard core groupies, has Priscilla got any yet? TS: I don’t know about London but one woman in Australia has seen the show100 times, so far!

DC: If you had to carry a turd around from anyone (excluding ABBA) who would it be and why? OT: Probably a turd from Nicole Kidman, she is beautiful, talented, a screen legend.

DC: Can you pick a film that hasn’t been adapted into a stage show yet, that if it was you would like to be in? TS: I would like the title role in Myra Breckenridge or maybe Deep Throat.

DC: Who would be your dream civil partnership? OT: I think it would be baby Stu and the dog from Family Guy. A match made in heaven.

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 61


Going Global

Nick Carvell takes a look at attitudes, rights and regulations affecting LGBT communities around the world. United States As a society that bore the Summer of Love in San Francisco and the Stonewall riots in New York in the late 1960s, the USA is often pointed to as the crucible for the modern gay rights movement. Therefore, it is hard to believe that homosexual acts between consenting adults has only been legal nationwide in the US since 2003 following the landmark court case Lawrence vs. Texas. However, since then charitable LGBT organisations have been making strides in turning around the US’s strictly conservative views on gay issues. Owing to the country’s political make-up, national legislation on LGBT issues is scarce and it is up to the individual states to decide which rights to grant its gay citizens. Currently 20 out of 50 states have laws explicitly banning discrimination based on sexual/gender orientation and same-sex marriage or civil unions are legal in 15 states. President Obama has expressed his support of gay rights, especially in respect of civil unions, opposition to the recent Proposition 8 in California and desire to allow gays to openly serve in the military, hopefully we will see an increase in anti-discrimination legislation in the US over the coming four years.

Technically, homosexuality in Mexico was decriminalised in 1867 with the adoption of the French Penal Code during the French occupation of the country in the late 1800s. Despite being one of the first countries in the world to do this (around 100 years before us here in the UK) unfortunately this did not make Mexico a liberal haven for gays and social discrimination could still occur through the use of other laws. However, in recent years great strides have been made for LGBT rights. In 2001 the Mexican Constitution was amended to protect members of the LGBT community from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Two years later a nationwide anti-discrimination law protecting sexual minorities was also passed.

62 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

While homosexuality was decriminalised in Canada in 1969 (two years after us here in England), our transatlantic cousins now grant most rights to their LGBT citizens that its straight ones traditionally enjoy. One of the most socially liberal countries on Earth in regards to gay rights, Canada has been years ahead of other, more well-established, countries around the world in granting nation-wide equality laws. The approval of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in 1982 granted protection to people from the LGBT community from anti-gay discrimination in many areas of everyday life, although not explicitly worded as such. A mere 10 years later, Canada became the first country in the world to allow gays to serve openly in their military and in 2005 same-sex marriage, granting equal marriage rights to gay couples as to their straight counterparts, was legalised nationally. As of this year each province or territory in Canada includes a clause banning discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation” and in the Northwest Territories, a clause including “gender identity” has also been added. However, even in this most liberal of countries there is still room for improvement as samesex adoption laws only functional in eight provinces and one territory, out of 13.


In 2006, civil unions were legalised in Mexico City, the Mexican capital, for both same-sex and differentsex couples, offering almost the same legal rights as marriage, but only within its city limits. The following year the state of Coahuila enacted a similar piece of legislation allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. However, in contrast to Mexico City’s law, civil unions performed in Coahuila are recognised throughout Mexico. While these are positive steps, these are only one province and one city in the entire country and domestic partnerships between foreign same-sex couples are not recognised. Moreover, in this, a passionately Catholic country, it is a telling sign as to Mexico’s social acceptance of gay relationships that both these pieces of legislation explicitly rule out adoption rights for gay couples.

Technically, homosexuality in Mexico was decriminalised in 1867 with the adoption of the French Penal Code during the French occupation of the country in the late 1800s. “Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding 10 years.” This sentence, found in Article 76 of the Offences Against the Person Act, sums up the severity with which the current Jamaican government views homosexual acts between men. Jamaica is well-known around the world for its hatred of gays, often most visible in dance hall music from the country’s artists, such as Beenie Man. As such no positive legislation for gay men, women or transgender people exists in the country and the heavy, physical punishment is intended to discourage such behaviour. Interestingly, legislation against lesbian relationships does not exist in Jamaica and the overtly male-dominated government is hypocritically more open-minded to the idea of two women being together romantically. Female-female civil ceremonies have taken place in the country before, but there is no legal recognition of these. As of 2009 only one gay rights organsation exists on the island, the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, AllSexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), which was established in 1998. However, it operates underground since their openly gay founder, Brian Williamson, was stabbed to death in his home in 2004.






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Still seen as largely taboo until the last century, homosexuality has technically been legal in France since 1791. With such a long history of liberalism in regards to sexual minorities, it makes logical sense that France is now one of the most progressive countries in the world on LGBT issues. The age of consent was equalised to 15 for gay and straight couples alike in 1982. All forms of antigay discrimination in employment or service, public or private, has been banned since 1985 and gays of both sexes are allowed to serve openly in the military. Transgendered people can legally change their sex and can marry with full heterosexual rights following gender reassignment. The current battles gay rights charities are fighting in France are generally with regards to family law, much the same as in the USA. Since 1999 gay couple have been able to register their partnerships as Civil Solidarity Pacts (PACS), which grant most of the same rights and privileges as heterosexual marriage. However, full marriage rights for same-sex couples as supported by 62% of French according to a 2006 poll. Moreover, while single gay persons can adopt children, no legislation exists currently for gay couples.

The Middle East, dominated by an overwhelmingly Islamic culture, is well-known for its intolerance of sexual minorities. Punishment for engaging in homosexual acts range from one years’ imprisonment (Lebanon), to flogging, deportation or execution (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen). While homosexuality is legal in Palestine, Bahrain and, most recently, Iraq, Israel is seen as the most tolerant country in the Middle East on the issue. Since the legalisation of homosexuality there in 1988, significant gay rights legislation has been passed that puts many of the country’s Eastern European neighbours to shame. Although Israel doesn’t perform civil unions or marriages for gay couples itself, it is the only country in all the Middle East and Asia to recognise domestic partnerships for foreign couples. Following Supreme Court cases in 2005 and 2007, one male-male and one female-female couple have adopted children, but there is no official legislation cementing a national law for this. Gays have been allowed to serve openly in the Israeli armed forces since 1993 and every year a number of cities around the country host Gay Pride celebrations.

With such a turbulent political past, it is hardly surprising that Russia has had a historically volatile relationship with gay rights. Homosexuality was, in fact, first decriminalised in 1917 after the Communist Revolution, in a period of political liberalism surrounding sexuality and feminism. However, with Stalin’s rise to power, sexual relations between two men was re-criminalised in 1933. Sixty years later this was reversed by Boris Yeltsin’s government and homosexuality again legalised, but largely due to outside pressure from the Council of Europe. Unfortunately, this rare glimmer of pro-gay legislation is today in jeopardy as in a recent countrywide survey almost 44% of respondents supported outlawing homosexual relations. When it comes to gay rights, news on LGBT issue from Russia is often dominated by violent anti-gay protests. When Pride parades were attempted by a small group of activists in Moscow in 2006 and 2007, not only did the City’s mayor openly criticise the participants, but the police force failed to protect those taking part from protesters’ verbal and physical threats. Although gay marriage and anti-gay discrimination legislation is blatantly opposed by Russia’s government, it is interesting to note that it is one of the few countries on Earth to allow gay men to donate blood.

South Africa At the southernmost tip of a continent dominated by overwhelmingly conservative social attitudes towards sexual minorities, South Africa’s government is a bastion of liberalism for the LGBT community. Following the dismantling of Apartheid in the early 90s, homosexuality was legalised by the new government in 1994. A mere two years later in 1996 South Africa became the first country in the world to include a clause prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in their national constitution. In 2006, same-sex civil marriage was legalised by the South African parliament, as well as civil unions for unmarried opposite-sex and same-sex couples, but civil servants and clergy can still refuse to solemnize same-sex unions. Gays can serve openly in the military and same-sex adoption has been legal since 2002. However, despite the liberalism shown by lawmakers, there is still homophobia is the more rural areas of the country and some human rights organisations have criticised the government for not enacting specific hate crime legislation to protect its gay citizens from violence. Nonetheless, with a thriving gay scene in metropolitan areas and Gay Pride celebrations held in many major urban centres around the country, South Africa has a far more accepting attitude to gays and lesbians than many other countries on Earth, let alone on the African continent.

64 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

Japan Unlike many other countries around the world, the only instance in Japanese history when homosexuality was banned outright was during a brief seven-year period in the 1870s. Historically same-sex relations were not seen as a sin in society and were, in fact, actively encouraged among monks. Considering this, it is perhaps shocking that Japan has only very recently begun to grant explicit legal rights to its LGBT citizens. As of this year there are no gay marriages or civil partnerships performed in the country by the Japanese government and there is no recognition of foreign gay couples’ unions. Moreover, although there is no law condemning homosexuality or same-sex relations, there is also no law to prevent discrimination towards a citizen on the basis of sexual orientation or gender expression. The same goes for the armed forces; there is no law explicitly banning a member of the LGBT community from enlisting, but in 1992 an army representative declared there were no gays in the military and suggested that openly gay or lesbian recruits could be punished for their sexuality. However, with gay scenes beginning to thrive in major metropolitan areas, political stances to homosexuality are changing. A transgender woman and lesbian attained political positions in the early 2000s and, while there is not yet talk of legalising same-sex unions, as of this year the government has proposed to enable Japanese nationals to marry samesex partners who are citizens from countries where gay marriage or domestic partnerships are legally approved.

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Every child

Danielle Carter fights her way through the legal minefield of gay and lesbian fostering and adoption to expose some truths about the traces of stagnant legislated homophobia that still permeates potential parents’ experiences of the system.


somebody who has worked in social services and child protection I must confess to having insider knowledge of how the system works in practice. I have worked with many a social worker who has personally believed that outcomes for children are greatly affected by same-sex parenting and have therefore avoided the route of pursuing gay adoption as best they could. The problem that we have is that if we don’t actively picket, support and encourage gay and lesbian couples to adopt it will never become the ‘norm.’ It is however immensely difficult to keep an eye on such a closed system; Working under a cosh of absolute confidence it is virtually impossible for us on the outside to hold homophobic professionals to account. There are currently country 4000 children in need of adoption in the UK. These are children that have been removed from their parents due to being at ‘risk of significant harm.’ But we all have recently watched the trial of social workers by press with cases such as Baby P which just puts people off involving themselves in a system that appears clearly out of control. But if you decide that caring for a child within the system is how you want to start or indeed complete your family, as a gay or lesbian what are your rights?

The Adoption and Children Act came into force in 2002 informing our rights when it comes to starting a family. In England and Wales gay and lesbian couples are allowed to adopt jointly. In Northern Ireland the Adoption Order 1987 prohibits this only allowing single or married couples to adopt but gays and lesbians can foster. In Scotland regulations prohibit unrelated, unmarried adults of the same sex in a household from being foster carers, which therefore excludes gay and lesbian couples, creating any kind of caring environment for a child in the care system. The British Association of Fostering and Adoption (BAAF) have provided me with the practice notes that are to be used when assessing potential lesbian and gay foster or adoptive parents. After the legal listings detailing where gay and lesbian couples are not allowed to adopt or foster it states:“ This note should be read in the context that there are many gay and lesbian parents – single and in couples – successfully raising birth children and adopted children[...] Many fostering agencies have skilled gay and lesbian carers who are providing both ‘mainstream’ placements and placements for children and young people with a variety of special needs.” Without wanting to belittle what the BAAF do (trying to navigate one of the biggest white elephants in public care) it has to be said that their practice guidelines read in a tone that is patronising throughout. These although available to the general public are not made for us to read resulting in their Mary Whitehouse tone educating social workers on how to deal with the legal situation that arises when homosexuals want to care for children. Most interestingly the BAAF * PAGE 68

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 67

Adoption in Haringey What is adoption? Adoption is a way of giving a child a new and permanent family because they cannot be brought up by their own parents. If you adopt a child, all the rights and responsibilities for that child are permanently and legally given to you.

Who can apply? We welcome applicants of any nationality, race, religion, atheist or agnostic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Do I have to be a certain age to adopt? No. We are flexible about age although by law you must be over 21 to apply to adopt. We do not have an upper age limit, but applicants should have the potential to care for a child throughout his or her childhood and offer support for some time beyond.

Do I have to own my own home? No. It doesn’t matter whether you own or rent your home, but you will need to have a spare room for your adopted child.

Do I have to reside in the UK? You must be domiciled in the UK. Domicile is not the same as nationality, but refers to the applicant’s long-term home.

I am not married could I still adopt? Yes. It is possible for a single person or an unmarried couple - heterosexual, gay or lesbian – to apply to adopt. Our main requirement is that you are able to meet

the needs of individual children. Some children will benefit from being adopted by a couple, with or without children of their own. Others may gain more from one-to-one attention of a single person.

Does it matter if I am on a low income? No, although you will have to show that your income can meet the needs of your adopted child. Once the child has been placed with you for adoption you will be eligible for Child Benefit. Children who are likely to be more expensive to look after, such as brothers and sisters or children with disabilities, may be eligible for an adoption allowance.

What will I need to do once I’ve applied? You need to attend an adoption preparation group and participate in an assessment. This will give you an opportunity to think through all the implications of going ahead with adoption.

What support do I get through the process? One of our adoption social workers will be allocated to you when we receive your formal application to adopt. This Social Worker will undertake your assessment and continue to support you through the adoption process.

How long does it take? The whole assessment process, from receiving your application to presenting the final report to the Adoption Panel, takes about eight months.

I am interested, what do I do now? For more information on adoption visit:, phone 020 8489 4657 or email: fostering., giving us your contact details. The duty social worker will be available to discuss your interest and answer any questions about the adoption process. We will also send you an information pack. If you still wish to proceed and we agree that you meet our initial criteria, we will arrange for a social worker to visit you at home. Your assessment as a potential adoptive parent will start once you have completed and returned an application form, which you will receive after attending one of our preparation groups.

What kind of help can I expect? We are aware of the challenges facing adoptive parents and the need for support for you and your child/children as they grow up. Our Adoption Support Service will help you access relevant support. Haringey Adoption Service is committed to placing children and assessing adopters as quickly as possible but we need to be sure that you and your prospective child are properly prepared. Thorough preparation is an essential part of the process. We want to help to make adoption a successful and happy experience for everyone.

If you would like more information, please contact: Haringey Adoption Service 40 Cumberland Road Wood Green London N22 7SG Telephone 020 8489 4657 Email

states that: “To date there are no UK-based comparative studies on the outcomes for children fostered or adopted by lesbians and gay men. Agencies therefore have no access to a robust UK research base to develop policy and practice in lesbian and gay carers and adopters.” This would indicate that a priority it is not. They have made strict separate legislation for us without the research to justify the crowbar separation. However, the US has championed a smattering of adoption and fostering research. In 2001 a research team Stacey and Biblarz reviewed twenty years worth of gay and lesbian parenting research and found that it was flawed because some commentators have selectively referenced research findings to support preconceived conclusions. So can you be legally discriminated against on the grounds of your sexuality when it comes to fostering and adoption? The short answer to a convoluted question is Yes. If you decide to go through a private voluntary agency they can restrict recruitment on the grounds of ‘strict eligibility criteria’ eg their religious beliefs, but don’t worry the BAAF state that if necessary they will refer you to another agency. (Said with sarcasm) That is the queer loop hole and as we have recently realised on account of the details splashed around the press of MPs shopping lists, the law is full of them. Statutory agencies have to adhere to the National Minimum Standards for Local Authority Adoption Services in both England and Wales where they have to sign up to an endorsed equal opportunities statement acknowledging that they are not to discriminate unlawfully against you and your partner. In 2001 a man took Portugal to the

The Facts • Lesbian and Gay men have felt they have to prove themselves to be as good as their straight counterparts. • It is against the law to be discriminated against on the grounds of sexuality but legally it is a bumpy road. • The Adoption and Fostering Authorities’ response to my questioning was unsatisfactory, standard and lukewarm.

70 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

and lukewarm: “Great efforts are being made in this area but there is still work to be done.” I was surprised that they didn’t take the opportunity to speak directly to the LGBT population and allay some of our concerns and fears, and detail how they are making it better for us and what their plans for the future are. Instead all I received were stock responses that left me unenlightened as to how the equilibrium of rights is to be addressed for us. Addressing the common concern that a child being raised by same-sex Tom: “Happiness is the couples is more likely to be most important thing.” homosexual has been largely poo- pooed by the BAAF with the caveat of: “It is nonetheless to be expected that children who grow up in an environment where homosexuality is regarded as acceptable and understandable will be more open to the possibility of same-sex relationships for themselves and others.” European Court of Human Rights on Ultimately the BAAF veto’s the idea that the grounds that they had breached his same-sex parents should be discriminated personal rights in denying him parental against on grounds of sexual orientation responsibility of a child on the grounds and that all couples should be assessed of his homosexuality. The ECHR upheld equally. However as you can see legally it this decision setting the precedent is a bumpy road that left a very bitter after that discrimination on the basis of taste. Scattered through the legislation and sexual orientation is a breach of human guidelines on how to deal with adoption rights. However, are you ready for the and fostering were constant sign posts that European loop hole? This judgement operated as ‘get out of jail free’ cards just does not count if evidence indicates in case they have got it wrong and gay and that the homosexuality of a parent does lesbian people are actually detrimental to in fact adversely affect the child. a child’s holistic health. There has been Gay men have for years had a bad rap no definitive research that states gay and in the press which in 1999 was enforced lesbian parenting places children at risk but by the National Gay Men’s Sex Survey. it is certainly still not seen as normal or This survey is referenced as evidence that in many cases acceptable. As an adoption promiscuity is a characteristic of gay can indeed proceed or stall on the basis of relationships. The study reported that over a social workers recommendation there is a 70 percent of respondents had slept with danger that an individual’s subjectivity and more than one male partner in the previous prejudice can impact upon the outcome, year. The BAAF have now decided that a situation that I have seen firsthand. the findings should not be appropriated There is a massive inequality in our to the wider UK population of gay men equality, I have spoken to countless gay but it does indicate that lesbian and gay and lesbian parents who feel that they adopters have been coming from a position have been side-lined, not taken seriously of stereotype and deficit for many years. or viewed with suspicion at the decision This would support the findings to try and provide a home for a child in of researcher Hicks who found in need and unfortunately my experiences 2000 that: “Many lesbians and gay working in this area bore that out. men have reported feeling expected There are however many groups that to have to prove themselves to be will support gays and lesbians through the ‘as good as’ heterosexual carers.” fostering and adoption process but it is When I asked BAAF whether they up to us as a community to stay vigilant thought that gay and lesbian carers were and expose the discrimination that we treated equally or given enough support may be subjected to within the system. in the system their response was standard

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not like he was going to a panto but his nuptials in a demure navy blue suit. Elton and David still added pizzazz to the event by being the first celebrity couple to take advantage of the civil partnership laws and getting hitched on the first day that they came into effect, 21st December 2005. The after party was rumoured to be attended by over 700 celebrities after the rather unexpected sedate and sober exchanging of vows at the Guildhall in Windsor. Now I know many LGBTs out there who supported the inclusion of civil partnerships into our constitution who behind their backs were keeping their fingers crossed that they would stall for just a few more years so that they weren’t forced down the aisle by an excitable partner who thought that the this was the most exciting thing to happen to the gay community since matching tattoos. But we have all calmed now, gathered our thoughts realised that we will now never be able to afford to get a mortgage on our own and are reconsidering the endless benefits of saying I do. So here is our lowdown of what you need to know about civil partnerships and if you decide to take the matrimonial plunge how to make it a good one.

we campaigned and we got them but of course with diverse sexuality comes diverse tastes, from the surprisingly understated Elton and David nuptials to the Ellen and Portia fairytale. We have a look at the ins and outs of a civil partnership celebration and how to make it one to remember for all the right reasons. Ellen and Portia had a ceremony with just close family and friends but that did not mean that it wasn’t in true LA style the definition of opulence. The lesbian royalty pushed the boat out with a completely vegan banquet, the cherry on the cake? Well, actually, the wedding cake. A velvet vegan triumph by bakery to the stars Sweet Lady Jane. Portia and Ellen’s wedding outfits were designed by Zac Posen who has now been propelled to the forefront of celebrity wedding couture. Portia was angelic in a layered pastel pink gown whilst Ellen stuck to her trademark trouser suit dismissing the notion on daytime American TV that she would wear a dress. Elton and David may have heeded the advice that money truly doesn’t by taste; instead of finding Elton flouncing out of the back of a transit van with a wig and period threads he turned up looking, well,

The civil partnership bill was passed on the 18th November 2004, although it took more than a year to implement the act in the form that we now know it, couples could begin to register their partnerships from the 5th December 2005. In the same year, inheritance tax was overhauled treating civil partners as ‘married’ for the purpose of the family taxation. Civil Partnership (although we can’t in theory call it marriage) is to all intense purposes a marriage. You have all of the rights that straight couples have, but are known as civil partners. You are still free to define each other as you wish behind closed doors; hubby, wifey, ball and chain, but on the paperwork of life you are civil partners. Just a few of the rights that you can share with your new civil partner are: Joint treatment for income-related benefits, joint state pension benefits, ability to gain parental responsibility for each other’s children, recognition for immigration purposes and, thankfully, in some cases, an exemption from testifying against each other in court. The thing that you can’t do is religion. Your civil partnership cannot have a holy element. You can do it whilst sky-diving, swimming with sharks or

For better and for w rse I do!

“Civil Partnerships are a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” Danielle Carter, 2009, drunk in Soho.

“Don’t get matching ‘hers and hers’ figurines on top of the cake, it looks like twins marrying!”

72 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |


Pride’s top imaginary celebrity civil partnerships Here at Pride we pride ourselves on generally being a sensible bunch, but when I asked the ‘Pride Posse’ who they thought would make a brilliant civil partnered pair I saw my peers in a different light. Some of them clearly need help. French and Saunders Blair and Bush (Although have arguably already been in bed together) Jessica Rabbit and Ariel from the Little Mermaid Sarah Palin and Shane from the L Word Jennifer and Angelina Ant and Dec Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo (Where does one begin?) Philip Schofield and Gordon the Gopher (Beyond worrying) Will Young and Jeremy Clarkson Graham Norton and Father Ted (Feck!) Dita Von Tease and Betty Boo Katie Price and Victoria Beckham Peter Andre and Ken

dressed as the Cheeky Girls, but there must not be a dog collar in sight. You can, after your nuptials, get yourself blessed, as if you weren’t blessed enough marrying the love of your life. Also, of course, if you can find a gay-loving spiritual leader that wants to help you celebrate your union, you are legally free to do so. So legal stuff aside, there are now lots of bespoke wedding planners that will sort out your perfect day, but here are my personal top five hard and fast cardinal rules to making sure your ceremony goes off with a bang. Firstly: If you are having a lesbian day of love and you both want to wear a dress - measure the aisle. Last summer I went to the civil partnership ceremony of two buxom blondes who had fulfilled their childhood dreams of wearing dresses that made Princess Di’s look understated. However, due to their lack of planning, they had not foreseen that the aisle, not big enough to accommodate both of them, caused them to end their ceremony bumping down the red carpet like a pair of weebles. When they had finished their ‘I do’s’ they couldn’t walk back up the aisle together and one had to follow after the other looking like they had experienced their first wedded contretant


on the happiest day of their lives. Secondly: Pets. Oh god, why do we do it? I know we love our pooches and pussies, but is there really any need to have them as ring bearers? One male friend of mine insisted on having his terrier at his ceremony. He stood in the registry office holding this terrified dog who decided to have a queeny tantrum and scratch him to bits. Every wedding photo he has now looks like a police shot. Thirdly: Be careful when inviting everyone in your diary. Seating plans can be a nightmare. Be clear as to whether when Sandra and Susan; and Bob and Bruce split up they are now best friends or worst enemies. Your seating plans are always bound to start or end a tryst but be aware of the community family tree as you don’t want to end up with handbags at dawn before you have even toasted the creator of the swan ice sculpture. Fourth: Don’t get matching ‘his and his’ or ‘hers and hers’ figurines on top of the cake, it looks like twins marrying and often scares small children. And finally: Don’t invite the Daily Mail. Adhere to all of these things and I guarantee that you will have a Civil Partnership to be proud of.

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| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 73





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Policing provides a variety of roles from front line uniformed positions, including Special Constables, to administrative vacancies, all of which contribute to providing a high level of Policing across the county.

The group was set up by gay and lesbian firefighters who are ‘out’ in the workplace and felt they , Ensuring LGBT members The trade union movement represents ALL working people, were in a position to help others have a voice within the regardless of their sex, race, religious belief, sexuality within the UK fire service. FBU, and making sure we or disability are not left out in equality Within the group’s ten-year issues at Brigade, Regional existence, we have achieved The group was set up by gay and Our andAims: National level. official recognition with the in lesbian firefighters who are ‘out’ theas workplace felt they were inthe a FBU, well asand representing DEnsuring LGBT members have a voice , Providing support to LGBT position to help others within the UK within the FBU, and making sure we are FBU in forums which were once in ALL regions of fire service. Within the group’s ten-year notmembers left out in equality issues at Brigade, untouched. existence, we have achieved official the FBU. Regional and National level. FBU, as well as Werecognition also havewith antheextensive representing the FBU inand forums which , Identifying D Providing support toand LGBT dealing members in ALL network to support advise were once untouched. We also have regions of the with anyFBU. issues/problems (LGBT) lesbian, gay, bisexual an extensive network to support and faced by our members. andadvise transsexual members (LGBT) lesbian, gay, bisexual D Identifying and dealing with any and transsexual members (firefighters, (firefighters, officers and control issues/problems faced by our members. , Providing members with officers and control staff) who mayor feel staff) who may feel isolated the opportunity toopportunity talk/ isolated or harassed. D Providing members with the harassed. meet with other members. to talk/meet with other members. The group is run on a strictly confidential Thebasis group is run on a strictly and accepts the rules, constitution , Distribute information confidential basis accepts the D Distribute information concerning LGBT and democracy of theand Fire Brigades to members. LGBT issues to Union. concerning rules, constitution and democracy issues members. of the Fire Brigades Union.


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Indigo Girls are the closest thing you will get to lesbian royalty, Danielle Carter speaks to Emily Sailers on her experience of being out and proud, her advice to those still closeted and her why she thinks that having a gay community is so important. Danielle Carter: Emily, I have found it hard to get people to speak to me about their sexuality, why do you think that is? Emily Sailers: “I’m not sure really. We are so out of the realm of people who won’t talk about their sexuality that it’s hard to relate to. But, obviously, there must still be people out there who fear for the sake of their career and are thus, not willing to be open about their sexuality. The other reason may be that sexuality is a private issue to some people.

The liberation of accepting yourself and naming it and embracing it cannot even be described. You will find support and kinship. If people cause you pain about it remember that the problem lies within them and their own fears and ignorance, not yours.”

DC: So do you think that you have you been pigeonholed? ES: There is no doubt that we have been pigeonholed largely as ‘lesbian folk artists’ but we’ve been around so long that I don’t think people really care anymore. And the more important thing is that we embrace and thank the queer community who supported us from the very beginning. That which makes us different has kept us going all these years. DC: Would you say that your sexuality has directly affected your career then? ES: I think being on the ‘outside’ of mainstream culture has informed our activism. We know what it’s like to fight for our rights and celebrate diversity. We have always felt completely free creatively which has propelled our career. When you are free in one realm, you are free in another.

DC: So have you always been out? ES: We were always out to our families, friends and communities, There was a short period of time in around 1990 when I thought that being open about our sexuality in the national press would pigeonhole us in one way or another but I quickly got over that. It was very clear to me that it was much more important to be part of the movement and support other queer people than it was to worry about my career.

DC: Has your experience of your sexuality been positive or negative? ES: 100% positive. I am fortunate to have a very open-minded loving family, both parents and sisters. I am sure they knew anyway. No negative reactions from friends. I was extremely fortunate but I don’t forget what it is like for many people who come out and are made to suffer for it, either by their church or their family or friends.

DC: How old were you when you came out? ES: 21, I think, I can’t remember exactly.

DC: At Pride London this year our theme is ‘Come Out and Play,’ What would your advice be to someone coming out? ES: If you are afraid it is going to

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 75

Having community is essential to being fully human. Being gay, I need a gay community. I need a circle of friends who understands our journey and how it is different from others’ journeys.” be okay. The liberation of accepting yourself and naming it and embracing it cannot even be described. You will find support and kinship. If people cause you pain about it remember that the problem lies within them and their own fears and ignorance, not yours. And, if you are excited about coming out? Congratulations, it’s awesome to be queer! DC: Are you going to Pride this year? Is it important to you? ES: I attend Pride whenever I can, wherever I am, Pride is always a blast. Pride is important because not only is it a celebration of ourselves and the beauty of diversity but it is also a political statement. In fact I wish more Pride celebrations placed emphasis on the political side of things. This is a human rights movement. DC: London has won World Pride in 2012. What do you think about that?! ES: It can’t do anything but help your standing as a gay friendly country. We all know there is still prejudice against gays. But coming together in Pride is one way to keep the movement alive. If we can’t be there in person we will be there in spirit. DC: In the last year do you have anything that sticks out in your mind that has impacted upon the LGBT community? ES: In the US there is no doubt that recent legislation in several states to legitimize gay marriage is having a huge impact on the LGBT community. Marriage, of course isn’t the only issue. But it is an important one and legalizing gay marriage in states brings us one step closer to being protected by federal

76 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

law. That is the ultimate goal, equal protection for everyone under the law. DC: Who were your role models when growing up? ES: The Canadian singer / songwriter Ferron and all the womyn involved in ‘womyn’s music’ also Elton John. They were musical role models. The womyn because they created their own opportunities for expression and sexual identity. Elton John because he is a genius and I bought every single one of his records and relished them. Two other personal heroes are Martin Luther King, Jr and President Jimmy Carter for their commitment to human rights and justice. DC: Is your fan base mainly LGBT? ES: We definitely have a large and loyal LGBT fan base. They have always been there for us and we thank them. DC: How important do you think it is to have a ‘gay community’? ES: Having community is essential to being fully human. Being gay, I need a gay community. I need a circle of friends who understands our journey and how it is different from others’ journeys. There are many different kinds of communities, each one being important. But as

minorities, I think gays understand the critical importance of being known and loved and celebrated by our own. DC: What projects are you currently working on? ES: A cd project with a gospel choir from an Atlanta women’s prison. We recorded a gospel concert live, will be releasing the cd to raise money for the children’s program at the prison. The program helps kids whose moms are in prison. It has been a tremendous experience. You can catch Emily touring with the Indigo Girls in October with their new album Poseiden and the Bitter Bug for more info visit

British Tour Dates

18/10 Bristol 19/10 Manchester 22/10 Glasgow 23/10 Gateshead 25/10 London 26/10 Brighton 27/10 Birmingham 29/10 Dublin

PRIDE NOT PREJUDICE We’re proud of the inclusive culture we’ve created. We’re pleased to say that we have maintained our top 20 position in the Stonewall index. And we’re happy to shout, loud and proud, that everyone is welcome. Bar none. Find out more about our careers, visit We are committed to promoting the benefits of a diverse workforce

TE FAMOUS QUO Labels are for clothing.  filing. Labels are for for people. t no Labels are ilova Martina Navrat

78 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |





With Pride weekend upon us, getting your glad rags together has never been so important. With a little help from Primark, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got some hot styles to get the party started!

All clothes and accessories by Primark. Photography: Jay Dubois Styling: Mooks Hanifiah Special thanks to our models; Crystal, Sharlyn, Rob and James

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 79

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82 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |


Many miles to go

Above: FIT Cast. Below: Gok Wan and Richard Wilson with cast members.

We won’t stop until every single lesbian and gay person can love without regret, live without fear and fulfil every bit of their potential.”

Twenty years after Stonewall’s foundation, the situation for LGBT people UK-wide has improved in leaps and bounds. But as Stonewall warns, we cannot rest on our laurels just yet.


years. 240 months. 7,305 days. Civil Partnerships. Equality in accessing goods and services. Lesbians and gay men being entitled to serve in the armed forces. The introduction – and celebrated repeal – of the poisonous Section 28. In two decades Stonewall’s supporters have been instrumental in transforming the world we live in, challenging inequality and making the UK a fair and equal country for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. Whether in employment or education, the transformation means that the political and social landscape is filled with fresh opportunities and challenges. In education one of the greatest challenges is to address homophobic bullying in schools. Young gay people must have the opportunity to develop and learn without being victimised because of their sexuality. Stonewall is championing a touring play, FIT to achieve just this and we’re fundraising to make FIT into a DVD to send to every school in the country. FIT challenges prejudices, specifically by focusing on the consequences of using ‘gay’ as a


slang term for anything useless – making homophobia in schools seem cool in a way that racism isn’t. In our recent survey The Teachers’ Report, nine in ten secondary school teachers told us that pupils, regardless of their sexual orientation, currently experience homophobic bullying in their schools. It is little surprise that teachers are desperate for resources like FIT to give them more confidence in tackling the culture of homophobia that has been allowed to fester in schools. Alarmingly, nine in ten teachers also reported that they’ve never received any training on how to tackle homophobic bullying. FIT is the sort of resource that would never have been allowed into schools before Section 28’s repeal in 2003. It’s refreshing to be able to make progress on undoing the nasty hangover-effect this has had on Britain’s education system. Homophobic hate crime continues to make the streets of thousands of towns and villages inaccessible to gay people at night. Discrimination at work continues to blight too many lives. The homophobic bullying still endemic in schools leads to underachievement of lesbian and gay pupils. Same-sex couples still phone our info line, incredulous that they’ve been turned away from a double room in a hotel. Faith leaders still condone homophobia – despite many religious followers telling us they don’t share that animosity. Lesbians are still refused smear tests by NHS staff. Young people still lack positive Out role models. Stonewall’s birthday message is clear: while the law has changed, society needs to catch up. We won’t let the momentum slow. And it easily could – these changes do not happen inadvertently. They require robust and continuing intervention in the form of high quality lobbying, campaigning and support. To help make our touring play FIT into a DVD for every school in the country, log on to For more information on Stonewall, and lesbian, gay and bisexual issues please call our free Infoline on 08000 50 20 20.

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 83




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Pride London

Access Provision at Pride London Pride London aims to be a fully accessible event. Many

space by ensuring that it is kept separate from crowds

stage (including Deaf people on the viewing platform)

of the accessibility requirements for putting on an event

and other Parade-goers. This enables Parade-goers to

are able to see the interpreter easily. BSL interpreters

in a public space are easily overlooked by the general

participate who may otherwise be excluded by concerns

will also be available at the viewing platform to provide

public – and indeed should not stand out as being

about jostling or being overwhelmed by numbers. By

information and facilitate conversations between Deaf

‘special’ arrangements rather than being an integral

placing the safe space at the very front of the Parade

Parade-goers and others.

part of the production – but these make a critical

immediately behind the Rainbow Flag, Pride also ensures

difference in removing barriers to participation.

that the pace of the Parade is regulated by the progress

sub-titles for people with hearing impairments who do

of the Parade-goers in the safe space. This enables

not use BSL – on the large screen as well, but this is

Parade-goers to participate who would otherwise be

dependent on further funding. Updates will be posted

excluded by concerns about not being able to keep up.

on the website etc.

Access Stewards Pride London recruits both disabled and non-disabled access stewards specifically to assist with enabling

The Parade safe space has a meeting point to ensure

Pride is hoping to provide Palantype – projected

Pride London also provides a ramped viewing

accessibility. Although access stewards receive the

safe transit onto the Parade route; this will be clearly

platform on the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square (the

same core training as other stewards (along with

signed and will also be marked by the presence of the

geography of the Square dictates its position here).

additional specialist training), they are not assigned

Regard banner. There will be two British Sign Language

The platform is next to a lift down to an accessible

to general stewarding duties. Access stewards are

(BSL) interpreters present to assist those within the safe

toilet and additional accessible Portaloo provision. The

currently being recruited via the Pride website and by

space and to provide an easily-identifiable point where

viewing platform is reserved for people with access

Regard (

interpretation is available for general information on

needs who wish to use it, along with their partners,

the Parade. The presence of interpreters also facilitates

PAs, families and friends. The viewing platform enables

communication between Deaf Parade-goers and others,

people to participate in the Trafalgar Square events

thus combating exclusion.

who may otherwise be excluded by concerns over

Pre-Parade Pride London endeavours to provide dedicated Blue Badge parking bays near to Trafalgar Square, as

The accessible buses also join the Parade, being

Westminster Council does not recognise the Blue

located midway and at the end of the Parade. These are

spectators. The platform is stewarded by Pride

Badge and those few spaces that do exist are time-

there for people who are unable to walk the distance and

London access stewards, who are also available to

limited and therefore inappropriate. Parking provision

prefer this option to wheelchair provision (below), as well

escort disabled Parade-goers through the crowds to

enables Blue Badge users to park close to the end of

to assist those who have embarked on the Parade but

the toilets, stalls etc.

the March and to the main event in Trafalgar Square.

who feel unable to complete it for whatever reason. This

Parking bays will normally be at Waterloo Place,

ensures that Parade-goers who have been overcome

but this is currently subject to confirmation. Access

by fatigue, have a puncture etc are not simply asked to

stewards will be available at the parking spaces to

leave the Parade, possibly some distance from any pre-

to be able to have a drink and relieve themselves.

assist with unloading wheelchairs etc.

arranged parking and available help.

Further information about the location etc will be

Pride London then arranges accessible buses

In addition to having access stewards available

jostling, or who may be unable to see over standing

Power will be provided to the viewing platform to allow wheelchair recharging to take place as needed. An area will also be provided for assistance dogs

posted on the website etc shortly.

to take Blue Badge users from a pick-up point at the

to push wheelchairs on request – most manual

National Gallery on Trafalgar Square to the Parade’s

wheelchair users are unable to self-propel the

Other Stages

starting point on Baker Street. In 2009 Pride is also

whole distance – Pride provides additional manual

Pride London provides BSL interpreters at all live-act

hoping to reinstate our previous practice of routing

wheelchairs for people who need to borrow these,

stages – although does not do so where such stages

accessible buses via the main stations, in order that

along with access stewards to push them. This

are wholly or mainly recorded music stages. Similarly,

wheelchair users and other Parade-goers with mobility

enables people to participate who may not have their

a front-of-stage safe space is provided at all such live-

needs can make their way safely and easily to the

own chairs, or who cannot transport them, or who

act stages, again, excluding those which are wholly or

starting point. Access stewards will travel on the buses

need to use chairs for safety reasons (eg some people

mainly recorded music stages. (With the lower staging

and will be available to assist as necessary.

with visual impairments prefer to use a wheelchair on

used on these stages, there is not the same problem

the Parade).

of line-of-sight that is present in Trafalgar Square.)

A bus timetable and route and details of the parking provision will be published shortly and posted on the

All access stewards will be briefed on the location of

These safe spaces and interpreters are present at

Pride website, as well as being emailed directly to

the nearest accessible toilets to the Parade route, and will

the Leicester Square, Dean Street and Carlisle Street

those who have registered on the access database.

be carrying Radar keys to unlock these as necessary.

stages. All such safe spaces have suitable flooring.

Full details of the access provision as a whole are also available on the website and will be provided to the

Trafalgar Square

media, included in the Pride magazine etc.

Performances and


Access stewards will be available, and will have information about the nearest accessible toilets etc.

speeches on the main stage will be interpreted

On the Parade, Pride London provides an accessible

by specialist BSL

safe space at the front of the Parade. This area is open

interpreters. Interpretation

to everyone with access needs who wishes to use it,

is filmed and projected on

along with their partners, family and friends (although

to a large screen next to

non-disabled Parade-goers may be asked to leave

the main stage, ensuring

by stewards if they are acting inappropriately). Pride

that BSL users who are

London’s access stewards ensure the integrity of the

further back from the

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 85

Karma Chameleon Boy George has always been taboo and for many of us who are now hot stepping around the big 30 he was our first glimpse of a life less ordinary. He was the boy that we all thought looked a bit like a girl and blew the roof off preconceived ideas of gender and sexuality. Danielle Carter asks him about his sexuality, experiences and how he is doing... Danielle Carter: I have found it harder than I thought I would to find celebrities who will talk about their sexuality, why do you think this is? Boy George: I suppose for some people it’s still a big personal issue but I find being open cuts out so much of the small talk and allows you to breathe more easily. I can only speak for myself but I find that my sexuality is not such an issue in my everyday life because it runs ahead of me screaming and waving a huge glittering placard. Some celebrities don’t want it to overshadow their art but my sexuality informs my art so there would be no point in refusing to talk about it. I love being queer, I don’t think it makes me special or worse, it’s just what I am and I’ve never been one of those people who wishes they had been born straight.. To quote Quentin Crisp ‘God made, he, she, me’.     DC: Was it ever a consideration that you would not publically come out?  BG: When I was dating my drummer in Culture Club there was a panic about it becoming public and that was a huge strain on me because it made me feel hypocritical and also made me think Jon was ashamed of me. I guess it’s difficult in a relationship if one of you is a born attention seeker and the other is supposedly straight and more private. It usually ends in tears and that’s exactly what happened. I think nowadays I’m more protective of my partners and I would rather keep my relationships private but I no longer have to hide what I am. I think as I’ve gotten older I see a need to keep certain things private and a bit sacred but that’s very different from being ashamed of your own sexuality.  DC: Do you find that people pigeon hole you as a gay artist or do you find that people really don’t care anymore?  BG: My audience is so mixed and always has been and I don’t think many of them think too much about whether I’m a gay artist or not. They obviously know I’m gay and I have found that some audiences get uncomfortable if I make too much of a point of it but I no longer edit myself on stage. I remember feeling a bit of hostility once when I performed a track of mine called ‘she was never he’ and it’s happened with the song ‘unfinished business’ but it’s gives the performance an edge. I remember once saying ‘oh the gall’ when I finished ‘unfinished business’ because it has

86 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

the line ‘you walk like Jack and you love like Mary and your more than a bit of a queen’ which one or two mums might find challenging but as long as no-one actually dies it’s all good! DC: What influence do you think your sexuality has had on your career? BG: Even when I kept it quite during the early 80s I think my sexuality was sending huge messages and waves of energy throughout the universe. If you were a young kid in Idaho or somewhere in suburban Great Britain who was coming to terms with your own sexuality then my arrival on TV and in magazines was pretty nuclear. As the saying goes ‘every dog knows their own’ so I don’t ever underestimate how important my sexuality was despite being slightly repressed it still had a massive effect. In a way the repression spoke volumes because what young gay person isn’t holding part of themselves back? My sexuality has shaped my entire life as well as my entire career.   DC: When did you come out? BG: I was about 15 when I first told my mother I was gay but I was called gay from about six years old.  DC: Our theme this year is ‘Come Out and Play’ what would your advice be to someone who is coming out? BG: I was very lucky because I always had support from my family. When my dad told my brothers they just said ‘we know turn the TV back on’ and that was it really. To be honest it was a relief that everyone in my family knew, in a way they are the most important people to come out to.    DC: Why do you think Pride is important? Do You attend Pride?  BG: Obviously a life in the closet is no life at all but you should never put yourself in danger, make sure you choose the right person to confide in. Ultimately, anyone who can’t deal with it is not worth having in your life. It’s a cliche I know but ‘life is not a Rehearsal’.



You need to live it now and be proud of you are. Yeah, I try to attend pride if I’m in the country and I have had many great Pride experiences in my life, right from the very first Pride I sheepishly attended in the late seventies. I joined the march from Lewisham and I was so terrified someone might spot me but it was also very exciting.     DC: The team at Pride London have won World Pride in 2012. What do you think this will do for our standing as a gay friendly country? Will you be coming?  BG: I think it’s wonderful news and I’ll certainly come if I’m invited to perform in some capacity. There are still so many countries where homophobia is rife and accepted and one is reminded of the terrible attack on Peter Tatchell in Moscow so it’s hugely important to let the world know that the UK is gay friendly.   DC: As a role model you are the proof that LGBT can have a career and influence. Did you have any role models when you were growing up? Who were they and why? BG: My role models weren’t always gay but certainly exotic, David Bowie in the 70s and of course the likes of John Waters and Divine. There were lots of people that had a huge influence on me as a kid coming to terms with being queer, Philip Sallon was probably the first openly gay man I encountered and he influenced my greatly.  DC: What projects are you currently working on? BG: At the moment I’m writing lots of new songs and I am looking forward to making my next album and then touring heavily next year. I am also opening a pop-up shop in Newburgh Street behind Carnaby Street for my B-Rude clothing line in the next couple of weeks which I’m really excited about.     DC: You have been through a difficult time, how are you?  BG: I can actually say that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, I’ve fallen madly in love with nature and my heart is full of gratitude for the lovely people I have in my life. I really want to just focus on what it is that I actually do and be the best artist I can be and most importantly to enjoy doing it.

I find that my sexuality is not such an issue in my everyday life because it runs ahead of me screaming and waving a huge glittering placard”

Boy George will be supporting the transgender community on the Trannyshack Float.

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 87

T-FEST ‘09’ You are invited

T-FEST ‘09’ is in its second year and we want this year’s event to be bigger and better than ever. Thurrock Festival is a celebration of music, community and diversity. The T-Fest 09 will take place on the 25th and 26th of July at Grays Beach, Grays, Essex.

Performances over the weekend include: Signature (Britain’s Got Talent finalists 2008) Same Difference, Alisha Bennet and Daniel Evans (X Factor Finalists) The Grease Show One Mic: Freestyle Challenge Kadija Kamara Nadine Caesar A Soul Session Time: 10am-10pm Punch and Judy Show nday until 9pm) and (Su Fun Fair it’s FREE TO ALL. A World Food Court And much more…………….. If you are an act, singer, dancer or just want to get involved, give us a call.

For more information, please visit the website You can contact the Thurrock Festival team on 01375 652472 or email

Artwork by Lawrence Edwards

Brighton & Hove City of Opportunity. We live in a vibrant and diverse city. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is an integral part of this energy with Brighton Pride the largest LGBT festival in Europe. It’s our role as a council to confront discrimination and homophobia in all its forms. A key part of achieving this is ensuring we attract and retain a workforce that truly represents the community we serve. We’ve put in place a number of initiatives to help this happen including an LGBT Workers Forum, targeted recruitment campaigns, a diversity mentoring programme and achieving StoneWall Diversity Champion membership.

There are many stereotypes that we as LGBT people have to suffer from screaming queens to diesel dykes. But there is one that largely the whole world would embrace and that is our love of animals, a fact that you just can’t ignore LGBTs love their furry friend’s paws and all. Danielle Carter dips into the strange world of animals and those who love them.


Pimp myPet


Dana Fairbanks the tennis player from the L Word carried a photo of her cat in her purse and when Mr Piddles took his last breaths she took to her bed for days and was only enticed out by best friend Alice with the promise of an open mahogany coffin and a wake with wine and speeches. It was at this very sad event that Dana made the prompt announcement of her engagement to control freak/ stalker lover Tonya. I have looked but do not believe that you could find an occasion which was more lesbian.

Paul O Grady launched his tea time career with his side kick stooge Olga, who he named his TV company after (Olga TV, as you do) his second sidekick is Buster who has been the catalyst for the entire population of our unemployed and OAPs to give in to their urges that should remain well and truly buried and make tea cosies, tea shirts and encourage their children to make pictures out of glitter and pasta. Probably to be found in an incinerator somewhere around Channel 4 studios.

I have to say I was not aware of this. I had heard of the man in America who had married his horse but decided that it was not an avenue I wanted to explore any further for our high brow editorial content. But did you know that you can now marry your pets? It is not just snowball and Santa’s little helper from The Simpsons that have tied the knot. No you can now get your pooch and your pussy walking down the aisle (presumably enticed by catnip and pedigree chum) into a life of wedded bliss and very strange looking off spring. If you have some rampant rabbits that are actually at it like rabbits you can now stop them from living in sin and get them married or presumably CP’d.

Britney: Shopping for a puppy before famed pet store, photographer crash

There has not been such a famous tea time pooch since Bonnie. The original regenerating Blue Peter Mutt who presumably died from starvation whilst attached to some sticky back plastic in a forgotten camera run or Bouncer from Neighbours who at some point lived with every resident on Ramsey Street and had his very own dream sequence where he dreamt that his dog friends had thrown him a party for his birthday. Not since Trainspotting has there been a more imaginative dream sequence. And who can forget Wellard the dog that Robbie (actor Dean Gaffney who has proven that success with women clearly is down to personality not looks) in Eastenders would have died for? Until he left with the new love of his life a real life human being.

| PRIDE LONDON 2009 | 89

Pet boutiques, now I have two cats. They are micro chipped but they don’t have collars for absolute fear that if I had to pick a collar for them the obsessive in me would then start caring about whether it was elasticated or buckled and whether the bell suited their personalities. The last time I went down that road a relationship nearly ended due to my fussiness over sofa cushions. But if you have taken a trot around Harrods recently you will see that pet coiffuring is alive and well thanks to the Paris Hilton’s of this world the handbag pet has become fashionable and every accessory you could ever imagine is available. You can even buy specially made houses for your animals which can decorate to your pets taste. You can buy them hoodies with their names on it and even football strips. In fact anything that you can buy for yourself you can buy for your significant other. Trouble makers: Those damn hoodies! Below: Why not marry your pooch

No longer do we need to wander around the local park hoping that the dog will misbehave and nuzzle the local hottie so that we can strike up a conversation. No, we can now cyber pimp our pooches. There is a website called which sets out to match you and your pet with your perfect couple. So you no longer suffer lonely nights in bed with just the two of you. A ménage for two can become a ménage for four. It is either a lovely idea or a really worrying one. I can’t work it out.

Worryingly whilst researching this piece I came across a website the website which exclaims: ‘So you’ve found your partner for life, only thing is – he’s an animal. Not just that he leaves hair in the bath and has abominable table manners, but that really he’s an animal, i.e. with feathers, scales or whatnot. But forget his facial hair. So what if he has an overabundance of legs, or must hibernate each winter? All that matters is that you adore him. So go on, if you really love him and you’re in this for life, isn’t it time you married your pet?’ I don’t need to add anymore this stuff just writes itself. My only thought is that we fought hard for our rights to civil partnership. Make that your first port of call.

In 2006 Oslo put on the first gay animal exhibition exploring the fact that in over 1500 species homosexuality has been observed, putting another string to the bow of the argument nature not nurture. The exhibition included photo’s of one male giraffe mounting another and two aroused male right whales rubbing against each other. Male birds have even been witnessed rearing an egg donated by a female. It was also reported that in some colonies as many as one in 10 penguin couples are of the same sex. It was also mooted that some species are exclusively bisexual such as the bonobo chimpanzee.

90 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

20/06/2009 Festival begins…. Contributions from all these events will help support Pride London in combatting homophobia, transphobia, promote health and well-being, celebrate identity and fight for our human rights the world over.

OPENING NIGHT Saturday 20th June The Bad Film Club with Pride London presents… CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC The Bad Film Club take to the stage to give a special live DVD-style commentary over the critically reviled musical extravaganza Can’t Stop The Music – the notorious camp classic from 1980 telling the story of the creation of the Village People, is a rags to riches musical extravaganza of 70’s disco and style. Prince Charles Cinema, 0870 811 2559, 8.30pm, £6/£4.50

ART Tuesday 2nd July – Sunday October 2009 GAY ICONS The first portrait exhibition to celebrate the contribution of gay people and gay icons to history and culture 60 photographs selected by Waheed Alli, Alan Hollinghurst, Elton John, Jackie Kay, Billie Jean King, Ian McKellen, Chris Smith, Ben Summerskill, Sandi Toksvig and Sarah Waters An important photography exhibition, Gay Icons, at the National Portrait Gallery (2 July–18 October 2009) will celebrate the contribution of gay people – and the significance of the gay icon – to history and culture. Porter Gallery, National Portrait Gallery St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE. Open daily 10am-6pm, Open until 9pm, Thursday and Friday, £5/£4.50/£4, free for Gallery Supporters,

Tuesday 2nd July – Sunday 19th July MADONNA NUDES In 1979 an unknown 20 year old Madonna Ciccone posed nude for just $30 for a New York photographer. These photos famously appeared in Playboy. 30 years on the original photographs are on sale in the UK exclusively from Impure Art.

92 | PRIDE LONDON 2009 |

3-GAZE: Art exhibition with London Pride 09 at the EdVI public house gallery.

These iconic images are showing in London for the first time ever to coincide with her UK tour. Prices from £1600 plus exclusive memorabilia, postcards and signed books. Additional events are planned for the exhibition run so please keep posted by visiting our websites. 19 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9LL, Monday – Saturday 12pm – 7pm, Sunday 12 - 6pm,,

Thursday 25th June – 31st July COMING OUT TO PLAY 4-GAZE are four gay artists that have tackled this year’s Pride theme of come out to play. Andy Younger presents ‘Getting Ready’. Oil portraits and nudes. A selection of stunning oil paintings and pastels, focusing on the theme of getting ready, dressing up and preparing for a night of play. Boris Jean presents ‘That face in the crowd’. Mixed media portraits. Warwick Stanley presents ‘Cruisin’ around’. Watercolour landscape coloured prints. Tess Sherrin is a self-proclaimed kiwi artist whose work explores the dimensions of lesbian sexuality. All works are for sale. Prints – signed and numbered – from just £95.00 each. All sales include 10% charitable donation towards Pride London! EdVI 25 Bromfield Street, Islington, London, N1 0PZ. PREVIEW: Thursday 25th June 2009 – 5.30 – 8.30pm. Open daily 12.00noon – 11.00pm, FREE Donations welcome. Tel: 020 7704 0745

MUSIC Sunday 5th July 2009 LONDON GAY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The LGSO finishes off its 2008/9 season in style with a fantastic concert at a great new venue and showing off their many talented performers. Including a recital of Piano Concert No 2 by Rachmaninov. Programme: Glinka - Overture to Russlan & Ludmilla, Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2, soloist Peter Austin, Rachmaninov Symphony No. 3 St John’s, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA, Tickets are available from the venue box office in person or by phone 0207 222 1061, 7pm/£15/10 (concession) or quote “Pride 09” to receive a Pride discount price of £12.50

Saturday 27th June OUTBURST UK Outburst UK will be a part of the Pride London Festival Fortnight this year. It will be the first Black/Asian/Minority/Ethnic Pride event that will be included within Pride London. The third annual Outburst UK Pride festival takes place on Saturday 27th June 2009 and is for everyone regardless of race, age, gender or orientation. Featuring Denise Pearson from 5 Star fame, Angie Brown, Akil Wingate, Miss B.L.U, Canada’s drag legend Jackie Baker, US RnB recording artiste Michael Ashanti, 4Flava, Gift, MC Chewy, Kory McLeod, Sykes, Nia-Nubian and more. Plus film screenings,


community and food stalls and fireworks displays. Tereza Joanne Floating Palace and Grounds, King George V Dock, Woolwich Manor Way, London, E16 2QY, 12pm - 12am £30 VIP tickets include access to the hospitality lounge. £8 ticket gives you access to the festival and film screenings. Call 07981 899 225 for your nearest ticket outlet or visit for further news and information

LITERATURE Monday 22nd June PRIDE WORDS Come for an evening where the power of the novel will be explored. We welcome author Stella Duffy (Stonewall Writer of the Year 2008, The Room of Lost Things), comedienne VG Lee (As You Step Outside), Adam Mars Jones (Pilcrow), multi-faceted Karen Macleod (In Search of the Missing Eyelash), LAMBDA Award Finalist Drew Gummerson (Me and Mickie James). Hilarious, insightful, intimate, queer, these authors will and read from their latest works. Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB, 6.30pm, £5, Visit www. using promotional code: LGP22,

Tuesday 23rd June WHO’S THE DADDY? Chroma: The UK’s only Queer Literary Journal brings you an evening of confessional sentimental and wholesomely kinky stories, including poetry and live music about real fathers play daddies, daughters sons and lovers. Featuring Cherry Smyth, Berta Freistadt, Marie Tueje, Bermuda Gold Award and Golden Inkwell winner for poetry and drama Andra Simons and editor Shaun Levin.

‘Dick’s Bar’, in the cosy basement of 23, Romilly Street. This Special Event with Pride London Festival Fortnight features: Oliver Spleen reading from Depravakazi, Melania Jack– Lesbian Lyrical folk pop artist, Mark Walton– Poet and Winner of London Slam Championship 2008 and Dickon Edwards DJing. Artwork from John Lee Bird, Ex Central Tempest– Kate Calvert – Lesbian rap poet extraordinaire and faunalicious harpist and poet Nick Field also star.


spotlight. Unlike the theatre you will have will be plenty of time to ask your burning questions The Drill Hall, 16 Chenies Street, London WC1E 7EX, 7.30pm, £5, Book online or on 020 7307 5060,

WALKS Tuesday 30th June + Wednesday 1st July

PRIDE ILLUSTRATED Illustrators and cartoonists David Shenton, Sina Shamsavari, Rachael House, Howard Hardiman and Jeremy Dennis discuss the wonder of graphic literature and queer culture. Comic fan and expert; journalist, curator and broadcaster Paul Gravett chairs the discussion.

GAY SOHO WALKING TOURS Gay Soho Walking Tours will be hosting two special London Pride walks with all the money raised going towards the London Pride organization. The two-hour long Gay Soho Walking Tour is a perfect introduction to the world famous gay zone. Find out when gays first started taking over the area, why Westminster Council tried to ban gay flags in Soho, where Oscar Wilde use to drink and discover the best place for an English pint. The tour – which stops at five gay bars, The Edge, The Yard, Ku Bar, 79CXR and The Box – is a fun way to discover the history of gay Soho and meet new friends.

Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB, 6.30pm, £5, Visit www. using promotional code: LGP1,

Meet outisde Ku Bar, 6.30pm. £12 including complimentary shots along the way. For more information and booking visit www.

Wednesday 1st July

Wednesday 1st July Saturday 4th July, Dick’s Bar, 23 Romilly Street W1, 7pm, On the Door Donations,

Wednesday 1st July

PRIDE SPOTLIGHTS A comic and tragic stroll along the boards with queer, here and proud artists, actors, directors and writers. Shelley Silas, Phil Wilmott, Serge Nicholson, Laura Bridgeman and Snehal Desai. Take the floor and present live readings. Special guests to be announced. The strengths and weaknesses of the stage and it’s relationship to The LGBT community will be put in the

WALKING OUT Holborn Business Improvement District with Pride London visits Holborn sites associated with lesbian and gay history. Meet 1.00pm by the orange Ranger kiosk outside Holborn tube station. The walk lasts 45 minutes. Holborn, 1pm, free, using promotional code: LGP23 – Who’s the Daddy Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB, 6.30pm, £5, Visit www. using promotional code: LGP23,

Monday 29th June QUEER BOOK CLUB BOUTIQUE Created by the notorious poet and raconteur Salena Godden and her partnerin-crime Rachel Rayner. Centred around

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THEATRE Wednesday 17th June at The Pinter Studio, Queen Mary University, Mile End Road, E1. Thursday 18th June , at The Soho Theatre Studio, Dean Street, W1. There Is No Word For It: The (Trans) Mangina Monologues, exploring the female to male transgender experience. Drawing inspiration from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, uncovering taboos around female sexuality, There Is No Word For It, takes a contemporary slice of the trans male experience examining lifestyles, language, sexuality and sets it centre stage. Showing a cast of ordinary and extraordinary trans men, using real stories and transcripts, this piece of live theatre aims to be bold, humorous, energetic and inspiring. £10. 7.30pm, Email for tickets, Quote Pride to receive tickets for £8. Limited availability. The Pinter Studio, Queen Mary University, Mile End Road, E1. The Soho Theatre Studio, Dean Street, W1.

Thursday 19th March – Friday 3rd Finishes 3rd July F***ING MEN London’s Longest Running Off-West End Show Due to overwhelming popular demand Phil Willmott revives one of London’s biggest fringe success of recent years, a freewheeling comedy of sexual manners from the co-author of New York’s longest running hit I Love You Your Perfect Now Change. Premiered last year this must see production sold out for most of its run and early booking is recommended again for this portrait of 10 men searching for love, sex and intimacy in America. Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington,

London N1 1QN. Tues – Fri 10 pm, Tues- Thurs All tickets £10 or £8, Fri £20/15/12.50

Pride London with the Kings Heads Theatre SPECIAL OFFER. Early Bird Pride discount tickets are available until June 8th. Prices are £16 premium reserved /£12 General Unreserved /£10.50. Concession, After June 8th Price are: £17 premium reserved /12.75 General Unreserved /£11 Concession, 0844 412 2953,

Tuesday 26 May – Sunday 5th July, NAKED BOYS SINGING. Celebrating the glories of the naked male body through a series of catchy, pithy cabaret numbers, both funny and poignant. Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN. Tuesday – Sat at 8pm /Sat at 10pm /Sun at 4.30pm. Ticket prices: £20 premium reserved, £15 General Unreserved £12.50 Concession. Pride London with the Kings Heads Theatre SPECIAL OFFER. Early Bird Pride discount tickets are available until June 8th. Prices are £16 premium reserved /£12 General Unreserved /£10.50. Concession, After June 8th Price are: £17 premium reserved /12.75 General Unreserved /£11 Concession. 0844 412 2953

Thursday 25th + Friday 26th + Saturday 27th June BARBRA AND LIZA LIVE International sensations and award winning performers Steven Brinberg and Rick Skye star in a hilarious evening of musical performances. Pride London Festival Fortnight brings you an Exclusive Discount and Early Booking for this brilliant cabaret. Ricke Skye and Steven Bringberg perform as Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli at the Leicester Square Theatre for three nights: 25th, 26th, 27th June 2009. Book tickets on any of the three shows and receive a generous discount on VIP and stalls tickets normally £35 and £25, now only £30 and £20 with Pride London. Leicester Sq Theatre, 6 Leicester Square Place, WC2H 7BX. 7.15pm. Tickets available from www., BOX OFFICE 0844 847 2475. Remember to quote PRIDE when buying your tickets

Thursday 25th June

Rosie Wilby: 28 June at Old Nun’s Head.

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Pushing hard on boundaries of gender which has left the UK’s queer scene has been raving about this notorious drag king troupe! The Schmooze Brothers are hitting the stage for one night only with last year’s sell out Gender Pretenders – a raunchy mix of your drag favourites! Be prepared for pure parody – poking fun at male stereotypes and celebrities, spiced up with a hint of tongue-in-cheek Jew-ish self-irony, the The Schmooze Brothers & their legendary host Dusty Limits will take you to a new dimension of drag cabaret – provocative and entertaining! The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London SE11 5HY, 8pm, £8/£6

Tuesday 30 June SISTER ACT Pride London in association with the London Gay Theatre Club, would like to offer you the opportunity to see Sister Act on Tuesday 30th June 2009. As part of an exclusive allocation you can purchase top price tickets, normally £60 per person plus booking fees, at the very special discounted rate of £39 and NO booking fee until June 1st £49 thereafter! Join our mailing list and facebook for all the latest news. Based on the smash-hit movie, Sister Act features a brand new score by eight time Oscar winner Alan Menken. Palladium Theatre Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TF. 7.30pm, £39/£49 with Pride Visit www. using promotional code: LGPSA

Wednesday 1st July Priscilla Queen of the Desert Jason Donovan, Tony Sheldon and Oliver Thornton will lead the cast in the West End production of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert. Based on the Oscar® award-winning film, Priscilla tells the story of Tick (Jason Donovan), Bernadette (Tony Sheldon) and Adam (Oliver Thornton) a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio that agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback. Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 8AY. 7.30pm, Top Price ticket (best seat) for this production at a discounted rate of £49 per person no booking fees (usually £59.25 plus booking fee) with Pride London. Use Partner Promo Code LGPPQ on



4 Poofs and a Piano: Perform at Udderbelly, Southbank Centre.

Thursday 2nd July LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Pride London in association with the London Gay Theatre Club would like to offer you the opportunity to see La Cage Aux Folles on Thursday 2nd July 2009. As part of an exclusive allocation you can purchase Top Price tickets, normally £60 per person plus booking fees, at the very special discounted rate of £39 and NO booking fee until June, 1st £49 thereafter! The idyllic existence of Georges and the dazzling drag artiste Albin star of the La Cage aux Folles club is threatened when Georges son announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing politician who wants to close down the local colourful nightlife With a visit from the prospective in-laws imminent they all decide to take drastic action to hide their lifestyle… but can they keep it up? Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5DE. 7.30pm, £39/£49 with Pride, using promotional code: LGPLC

FILM Born from a suggestion made by Peccadillo’s Simon Savory over how few queer film events were hosted in the city, the distributor discussed the potential for a

celebration of LGBT cinema with the ICA team. Curzon Cinemas, distributor Verve Pictures, Pride London and queer feminist film festival Club Des Femmes soon joined in to collaborate on the beginning of what we hope will become a yearly celebration in the very best of queer film.

Sunday 28th June WORLD TEN TIMES OVER Dir. Wolf Rilla, UK, 1963, 93mins Starring: Sylvia Syms, Edward Judd, June Ritchie At a time when female emancipation and sexual freedom was heavily regulated. Syms delivers a powerhouse performance as a nightclub hostess who is disgusted with her job and unable to set herself free. 2.30pm, £9/12, Box Office: 0871 7033 988, Curzon Soho 99 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 5DY,

Monday 29th June BEFORE STONEWALL Dir. Greta Schiller, USA, 1984, 87mins Featuring: Rita Mae Brown, Allen Ginsberg, Lisa Ben, Evelyn Hooker WITH INTRODUCTION FROM KEN LIVINGSTONE On June 27, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York.

In a spontaneous show of support and frustration the city’s gay community rioted for three nights in the streets, an event that is considered the birth of the modern Gay Rights Movement. Revealing and often humorous, this award-winning documentary exposes the fascinating and unforgettable decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America, from 1920’s Harlem through to World War II; and the witch hunt trials of the McCarthy era. Essential viewing for all of those who have celebrated their sexuality, or have been persecuted because of it. 9pm, £9/12, Box Office: 0871 7033 988, Curzon Soho 99 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 5DY,

Tuesday 1st July THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK Dir.Rob Epstein, USA, 1984, 90mins Featuring: Harvey Milk, Harvey Fierstein, Dan White Commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Harvey Milk’s assassination, The Times of Harvey Milk is one of the landmark documentaries of our time. In 1978 Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco City Council, becoming California’s first openly gay person to be elected to public office. One year later he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by fellow

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Councillor Dan White. The Times of Harvey Milk recreates the story of Milks’ grass-roots, political organizing and election through his shocking murder and its repercussions. The film’s numerous awards include a Sundance Special Jury Prize and an Academy Award for Best Documentary. 9pm, £9/12, Box Office: 0871 7033 988, Curzon Soho 99 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 5DY,

Thursday 2nd July GREEK PETE Dir. Andrew Haigh, UK, 2009, 79mins Featuring: Peter Pittaros, Lewis Wallis PREVIEW SCREENING, FOLLOWED BY DIRECTOR Q&A A highlight of this year’s LLGFF Greek Pete follows film follows a group of London rent boys for six months creating a raw docu-drama that reveals the ugly side of capitalism as well as scenes of real tenderness.

examining our attitudes about sexuality and sex roles as they evolved through the 20th Century. 6.30pm, £9/12, Box Office: 0871 7033 988, Curzon Soho 99 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 5DY,

Friday 3rd July + 8.30pm + School Disco till late Saturday 4th July 2pm LOST AND DELIRIOUS Dir. Léa Pool, Canada, 2001, 103mins Starring: Mischa Barton, Piper Perabo, Jessica Paré FIRST EVER CINEMA SCREENING IN THE UK! Fifteen years after her ground-breaking depiction of lesbian sapphic love receives an injection of post-Queer energy. The frisson of boarding school antics and a starlet cast (Mischa Barton, Piper Perabo) however, distract Pool from an unflinching portrayal of first love. ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH.

8.30pm + Director Q&A, £6/8, ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647, ICA Cinema 1,

ICA Cinema 1 Friday 3rd July +8.30pm + School Disco till late £6/8, ICA Cinema 2 Saturday 4th July 2pm £6/8, Box Office: 020 7930 3647,

Friday 3rd July

Friday 3rd July

THE CELLULOID CLOSET Dir. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, USA, 1995, 102mins Featuring: Harvey Fierstein, Tom Hanks and Shirley MacLaine. A epic story: suprising, hilarious and disturbing The Celluloid Closet lets us see Hollywood images in a whole new light, exploding sexual myths and

HUSTLER WHITE Dir. Rick Castro and Bruce LaBruce, USA, 1996, 79mins. Starring: Tony Ward, Bruce La Bruce, Alex Austin Inspired by Billy Wilder`s classic Sunset Blvd. Bruce LaBruce’s cult sensation serves up a fresh dose of the seedy and the needy including a born again country singer, a razor blade masochist, a mortician dominatrix and an amputee fetishist. Hustler White is an old-fashioned love story wrapped up in titillation, depravity and the most mind-bending of back room shenanigans. 10.45pm, ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647,

Saturday 4th July + Monday 6th July

Paul Sinha: Udderbelly, Southbank Centre.

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SUMMERSTORM Dir.Marco Kreuzpaintner, Germany, 2005, 98mins. Starring: Robert Stadlober, Kostja Ullmann, Jürgen Tonkel, Roman Storm A rare example of a coming out tale with brains and brawn. Director Kreuzpaintner’s semi autobiographical Bavarian summer camp romantic drama collected a sleuth of awards on its release and achieved critical success with both gay and straight

audiences. Who knew that rowing could be so sexy? Sat 4th July, ICA Cinema 1, 4.30pm, Monday 6th July, ICA Cinema 2, 9pm, ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647,

Sunday 5th July TROPICAL MALADY Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2004, 120mins. Starring: Banlop Lomnoi and Sakda Kaewbuadee. Tropical Malady’ explores the passionate relationship between two men with unusual consequences. The first half charts the modest attraction between two men in the sunny, relaxing countryside and the second half charts the confusion and terror of an unknown menace lurking deep within the jungle shadows. 2.30pm, ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647,

Sunday 5th July THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE (Club Des Femmes) Dir. Robert Aldrich, UK, 1968, 138mins Starring: Beryl Reid, Susannah Yorke, Coral Browne, Patricia Medina FEATURING A TRIBUTE TO THE INFAMOUS GATEWAYS CLUB A failure at the box office due to its controversial X-rated sex scene, this film became an era-defining cult classic. As a special Pride extra the screening also features a tribute to the infamous Gateways Club. 3pm, £9/12, Box Office: 0871 7033 988, Curzon Soho 99 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 5DY,

Sunday 5th July Born In ‘68 Dir. Jacques Martineau, Olivier Ducastel, France, 2008, 170mins Starring: Laetitia Casta, Theo Frilet, Yannick Renier, Edouard Collin, Sabrina Seyvecou PREVIEW SCREENING It’s 1968 and three idealistic hippies decide to set up a commune in the French countryside. Twenty years on, they have raised their children into a new world order that sees the collapse of communism and the spread of Aids. A beautifully shot, multi-generational saga that boldly looks at politics, society and love from generation to generation.


6pm, £9/12, Box Office: 0871 7033 988, Curzon Soho 99 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 5DY,

from the UK circuit hosted by Rosie Wilby (Funny Women Finalist 2006). Featuring Tom Rosenthal, Andrew Watts, Gerry Howell and Marie Vagen.

Monday 6th July

£5, 8pm, Old Nun’s Head, 15 Nunhead Green, Peckham, SE15 3QQ,

DREAM BOY Dir. James Bolton, USA, 2009, 90mins Starring: Max Roeg, Stephan Bender, Diana Scarwid, Thomas Jane Ryan WITH INTRODUCTION FROM JIM MACSWEENEY, PROPRIETOR OF THE UK’S FIRST EVER GAY BOOK SHOP, ‘GAYS THE WORD’ A page to screen adaptation of the hugely popular and award-winning novel. Dream Boy is a sensitive depiction of a love affair between two high-school boys in the rural South. Featuring music from Richard Buckner, Rickie Lee Jones and The Sweet Hereafter and starring Max Roeg in his feature debut. 6.30pm, £5, ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647,

Monday 6th July All Over Me Dir. Alex Sichel, USA, 1997, 90mins Starring: Leisha Hailey, Alison Folland, Tara Subkoff, Shawn Hatosy, Cole Hauser All Over Me teases apart internalised homophobia. Made within a couple of years of Larry Clark’s Kids and Maria Maggenti’s The Incredible True Story of Two Girls in Love, it easily matches them with its downbeat clarity and refreshing visual style. 7pm, ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647,

COMEDY FRIDAY 26th June TINA C Nine-time Grammy award-winning country singer Tina C ran for President in 2008. She just lost out but this didn’t stop her becoming an icon for our age. This is her only London gig of 2009 so expect high hilarity, high hair and finely honed political comedy in a stadium show to remember. Tina C is the creation of the Olivier Awardwinning character comedian, Christopher Green. 9pm, £15, udderbelly,

Sunday 28th June ROSIE WILBY A relaxed evening of top stand ups


Zoe Lyons: E4 Udderbelly.

Monday 29th June ROSIE WILBY: THE SCIENCE OF SEX Preview of Rosie’s brand new solo show where the Funny Women finalist investigates the science of attraction, sexual chemistry and sexual identity with spoof experiments and handmade props, what makes us gay or straight? What turns us on? What are pheromones? £5; 8pm, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AG; Box office 020 8692 0231; detail.php?ID=275

Tuesday 30th + Wednesday 1st July 4 POOFS AND A PIANO Hot off the heels of their smash hit UK tour, stars of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross; 4 Poofs and a Piano are back with their unique brand of camp comedy song and dance. The Poofs have been delighting audiences up and down the country, and now invite you to join them as they take Southbank Centre by storm. 9pm, £15/£13, udderbelly,

Wednesday 1st July

Udderbelly Friday 3rd July + Saturday 4th July STAND UP WITH PRIDE Zoe Lyons, Craig Hill, Susan Calman, Jonathan Mayer Blow your whistles and horns with E4 Udderbelly and a joyous night of comedy from some of the UK’s best gay and lesbian comedians. Pride London patron Zoe Lyons joins the outrageous Craig Hill, Susan Calman and Jonathan Mayor for a roller coaster of campery, laughs and community spirit celebrating the Pride Weekend.

ROSIE WILBY Rosie Wilby hosts this gay-friendly night of stand up comedy from established acts Tom Price headlines

1045pm, £15/£13,, www.

£3, 830pm, The Cambria, Camberwell, SE5 9AR. Tel: 0207 7373676.

Saturday 4th July

Friday 3rd July PAUL SINHA Smart, articulate and thought-provoking stand-up from one of comedy’s brightest and most distinctive voices. Each performance is a tour de force, combining intelligent and provocative humour with an arsenal of rapid fire gags. Paul Sinha a qualified GP and full-time stand-up, and is a regular guest on shows such as The Now Show, Loose Ends and Fighting Talk. 9pm, £15/£12.50,,

RHONA CAMERON After her 2008 sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and her national tour, award winning comedian and critically acclaimed author Rhona Cameron is bringing her show back to London for one final night. Expect an evening of hilarious storytelling, classic sharp wit and extremely funny observational humour as Rhona takes the audience through the ridiculous situations of her darkly comical life and her struggle with the absurdities of modern times. 9pm. £15/£12.50,,

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Student soho or Student nono Calum Kean, 20, discovers what you can do if you are LGBT, under 25, borderline broke and trapped in the big city.

So you

are under 25, strapped for cash and want to party like a play boy / girl? But what do you do when you want to party without having to sell you body to the oldie in the corner?

Your choices? Going into Soho or staying Homo Whether it’s a local bar or a central bar I think you can have as much fun at both. Staying local can be cheaper, both travel wise and drink wise. Getting a cab down the road is going to be a hell of a lot cheaper than getting it from the dodgy minicabs outside G-A-Y Late. However the most important thing to know is the booze, if you suffer from low confidence and the only way you can approach the beau of your dreams is with a lead in your pencil then fear not I have taken to the streets and researched the best places to get your mother’s ruin on the cheap. Soho is the centre of all things Queer, you have the top bars and the top clubs, which can work to your advantage, many bars off cheap drinks from Sunday through to Thursday but be warned, a bargain at £1.50 they usually around £1.50 but be warned they will turn your tongue blue. Look out for special student nights, Ku Bar does a great Student night on Mondays, where you get cheap drinks,

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great DJs and free shots throughout the night... who can argue with that? But as a general rule if you stick to the weeknights you will always get the better deals. G-A-Y have a constantly changing drinks list that offers drinks for pennies so keep your eyes peeled and order from the list. If going out during the week isn’t your thing and you want to go out clubbing on the weekend look out for clubs that do themed nights. Admittedly the themes aren’t always great and everywhere you turn you will be bumping into mutton (Madonna look- a-likes) or the American Indian from the YMCA (Why does nobody dress as any of the others?) But if you can brave it and you turn up at the door with your outfit you will generally give you free entry most of the time. My advice? Remember to bring a change of clothes in case you find you are the only one in there with glitter and a Mohawk. Wherever you want to go, the best tip I can give you is to look around. Look out for drinks lists and special deals, whether it be a town or rural location, they need you to come in for a drink so milk those deals for all they are worth because the bars are most certainly milking you. That said, I had better end this with some sort of Government Advice slogan.... Always Drink Responsibly..... Unless you’ve got no lectures the next day!

Credit crunch tips Top Student deal bars in Soho: Ku Bar, G-A-Y Bar, Barcode, Village. Top Student Deal Bars local: West 5(Ealing), Black Cap (Camden), Two Brewers (Clapham) The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (Vauxhall).

Look out for drinks lists and special deals, whether it be a town or rural location, they need you to come in for a drink so milk those deals.”

Pride London  

Pride London guide - proof

Pride London  

Pride London guide - proof