Pride in London Guide 2016

prideinlondon

Your complete guide to Pride in London 2016, produced by Pride Life magazine.

THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR GUIDE TO PRIDE IN LONDON 2016

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Give the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

#onerainbow

Dear Pride in London,

©2016 Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Skittles and affiliated designs are trademarks of Wm. Wrigley Jr. or affiliates.


starkers while we do it. Have a great day, Pride. From Skittles.

So this is kinda awkward, but we’re just gonna go ahead and address the rainbow-coloured elephant

weekend, we’re giving up our rainbow. But don’t worry, we’ll still be there

not going to be the ones to steal your rainbow thunder, no siree. That’s why this

But this Pride, only one rainbow deserves to be the centre of attention - yours. And we’re

to celebrate every colourful minute with you, we’ll just be completely

in the room. You have the rainbow... we have the rainbow… and usually that’s just hunky-dory.


Proud to be

the queens’

grocer.


welcome

Welcome to

Pride in London

Welcome to one of the largest

LGBT+ festivals in the world

and London’s biggest one-day

event. And welcome to one

of the most exciting, vibrant, loving, accepting

and diverse communities on the planet.

Every year, all over the world, great steps

forward are made in the name of LGBT+ equality.

For decades pride festivals and parades have

been the LGBT+ community’s voice on the

national stage. It is our chance to make people

stand up and take notice.

The Pride in London festival today exists

because of the struggles and tireless work of

many people before us. We can celebrate today

because of them.

It is testament to the struggles of those

people before us that today’s campaigners,

businesses, public sector workers, political

parties, community groups and families all

come together with openness and pride to

recognise their diversity.

In 2016 we will embark on the largest LGBT+

celebration London and the United Kingdom

has ever seen. This festival has grown into one

of the most engaging, exciting and rousing

events around.

The two-week festival runs with community

events all over the city, from shows and cabaret,

to history, sport and more.

And the highlight, our annual parade through

the heart of the West End, gives us a chance to

be visible and speak loudly to the rest of the city

about what we have achieved, how far we have

come and what is still needed.

For this festival, for this day, we can truly celebrate.

We celebrate the diversity of our community,

our achievements, our friendships and our

ability to overcome adversity.

Pride in London is a celebration, and we’re so

excited for you to join us.

In London we have become a beacon for

hope and tolerance, and we are lucky to be able

to celebrate openly when many people cannot.

And this is what the 2016 campaign

#NoFilter is all about. It perfectly encapsulates

all that we stand for, and everything Pride in

London seeks to be.

#Nofilter encourages the whole LGBT+

community alongside straight allies to celebrate

the true spirit of Pride.

Too many people feel forced to hide who

they are. #NoFilter encourages people to live

their lives true to themselves, standing proud. It

is set to be the highest profile campaign in

Pride in London’s history.

Standing together, supporting each other to

be fully ourselves, to live freely and openly, we

can build a world with #NoFilter.

Our shared courage creates freedom. It’s

time to show the world how Londoners live

with #NoFilter and give others the strength to

do the same.

Welcome to Pride in London and have an

incredible festival!

Michael Salter-Church MBE

Chair of Pride in London

005


CONTENTS

CONTENTS

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005 WELCOME!

To Pride in London

007 MESSAGES OF

SUPPORT

From David Cameron and

Jeremy Corbyn

011 ABOUT PRIDE

IN LONDON

Who are Pride in London?

013 PRIDE BY NUMBERS

Facts and fi gures

014 #NOFILTER

This year’s campaign

016 TEAM PRIDE

Pride volunteers

018 WEEKEND

PROGRAMME

What to expect

021 ACCESS ALL AREAS

We’re here to help

022 PRIDE’S GOT TALENT

Simply the best

025 THE COMMUNITY

ADVISORY BOARD

The people helping to

create a great Pride

026 WE’VE COME A LONG,

LONG WAY TOGETHER

LGBT+ rights over the years

031 TAKING PRIDE

A veteran’s fi rst Pride

032 LGBT+ AROUND

THE WORLD

Global LGBT+ rights

035 NORTHERN IRELAND

Check your rights at

the border

037 REASONS TO BE

CHEERFUL

Things to be thankful for

043 BAR DIRECTORY

Where to drink

044 SOHO STORIES

A love letter to Soho

048 THE SOUNDTRACK TO

OUR PRIDES

The songs that defi ned

our Prides

052 SING OUT!

The London Gay Men’s Chorus

All the content of the print magazine

specially designed for the iPad including:

• Scrolling vertical features with

iFrame text for reading

• Fully animated interactive cover

• Pull out extra content tabs

• Video and audio content

• Featured image galleries + pan and

zoom content

A fresh new digital alternative

055 SUPPORTERS

Thanking the wonderful

supporters of Pride in London

059 BLACK PRIDE

Picnic and party in the park

062 OPENING DOORS

Working for older members

of the LGBT+ community

066 FIGHTING THE

GOOD FIGHT

Talking with Tatchell

073 FEELING THE PRIDE

Dan Gillespie Sells

077 TIME OF HIS LIFE

Ronan Keating

080 CYNDI FINDS HER ROOTS

Cyndi Lauper

on all things LGBT+

093 NEUTRAL TONE

Gender neutrality

096 TRANSCENDENCE

Four trans people to

look out for

099 A YOUNG MAN’S

OWN STORY

Edmund White

102 HOOKED ON BOOKS

LGBT+ writers’ best books

110 REMAKING LOS ANGELES

LGBT+ Life in sunny LA

114 SHARKMEAT

Swimming with the sharks

down Mexico way

116 THE HILLS ARE ALIVE

Discovering The Sound of

Music in Salzburg

119 LAUSANNE LIFE

Life on Lake Geneva

127 BUILDING NETWORKS

LGBT+ business contacts

131 ARE WE DOING

BUSINESS?

LGBT+ businesses today

141 BECOMING A PARENT

Practical advice

160 A NATION OF PRIDE

Prides all around the UK

NOW AVAILABLE

FOR YOUR IPAD

006


STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

PROUD OF

PRIDE IN LONDON

Prime Minister, David Cameron:

“I am so pleased to support and celebrate Pride in London again this year.

“Our capital city is viewed the world over as a place where you can be

who you want to be. People from all backgrounds – whatever race, gender,

religion and sexuality – can live, work and socialise together. That’s why this

year’s Pride in London theme, #nofilter, is so appropriate. It celebrates the

spirit of Pride by asking everyone to do something very simple: live your

life as you.

“I’m so proud that the UK is rated as one of the best places in Europe for

LGBT+ equality. There is, of course, more that can be done by us all to

make sure people can live the way they want to live and realise the dreams

they have.

“That’s why I introduced the Same-Sex Couples Act, so people in this

country could celebrate their love for one another, regardless of their sexual

orientation. And what a fantastic change that has been for our country.

“It’s why we continue to insist on zero-tolerance approach to

homophobic bullying everywhere.

“It’s why we need to do more in other often-overlooked areas, such as

the care for elderly members of the LGBT+ community.

“We also need to remember that, in many parts of the world, it remains

extremely dangerous to be gay, bisexual, transgender or lesbian. That’s why

I’m determined to see change and positive reforms, not just in the UK, but

around the world, including in the Commonwealth.

“Sadly, many LGBT+ people feel the need to filter their behaviour, to selfcensor

or to hide who they are. Not today. Not any day. Pride in London says

to Londoners, Britain and the world: be yourself. Respect and celebrate

diversity. And together, continue to fight for freedom and tolerance.”

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party:

“I want to send my best wishes to all of those that are taking part in Pride

in London this year. I’m sorry I am not able to join you, I have been to

many Pride events over the years and it’s always a very enjoyable and

inspiring day.

“It’s fantastic that people from all over the UK take time to recognise

and celebrate our LGBT+ community and the contribution it makes to our

society. Its importance is evident every year when the capital city comes to

a standstill to host the march.

Pride in London demonstrates how far we have come and the progression

we have made in equal rights and celebrating each other’s differences.

“I am so proud to lead a party that has never stopped fighting for equal rights.

And even prouder to be a part of a country that speaks up against prejudice and

has a desire to create a more fair and just society. Yet despite progress on LGBT+

equality at home and the encouragement to hold events like this, in too many

places it is still a crime to be LGBT+. Events like this are our opportunity to take

action against homophobia, hate crimes and discrimination. I want the UK to be

seen as a beacon of hope on LGBT+ equality, speaking out against injustice and

prejudice at home and in other parts of the world.

“I am proud to support this year’s #nofilter campaign to inspire more

people to come out as who they truly are. No person in our society should

have to live in fear or hide away, I have always campaigned and will always

campaign to ensure that every member of our society can proudly live life

with #nofilter. Diversity is at the heart of this country and something that

helps unite us and make us stronger.

“I hope Pride in London 2016 is a major success and that it continues to

be for many, many years to come.”

007


SPONSORED FEATURE

WE’RE REALLY EXCITED TO BE BACK AS HEADLINE SPONSOR

OF PRIDE IN LONDON FOR THE THIRD YEAR RUNNING

For over 300 years Barclays has been

working to build a better tomorrow

for everyone.

Today we believe that everybody

should be encouraged to live life with #nofilter

365 days a year – as it’s only when everyone is

included that anything is possible.

That’s why, this year, we’re not just celebrating

#nofilter on parade day. We’ve hosted a series of

thought leadership events to bring to life what

living with #nofilter means for our customers

clients and colleagues; during our events we’ve

heard from some of the brightest minds in

business, banking and the LGBT+ community.

At Barclays we encourage our

colleagues to bring their whole

selves to work every day and to

support and encourage each other

“#nofilter means being true to

myself and to others to allow me

to succeed in life”

Sionce Ross – Branch Manager

“To be the best version of you every

day takes a life with #nofilter”

Gareth Thomas

To watch our #nofilter event films

follow @barclaysuk on Twitter

or like BarclaysUk on Facebook

008


Together with #nofilter

At Barclays, we encourage our

colleagues to bring their whole selves

to work every day and to encourage

each other to live life with #nofilter.

To find out more about Barclays

support for the LGBT community

visit barclays.com/citizenship

Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct

Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 122702). Registered office: 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. May 2016. MCT358.


Bursting

with Pride

supporting the community

and our LGBT+ colleagues.

#PrideAtTesco

at at 0300 330 0630 at

10am-10pm every day


SPONSORED FEATURE

About Pride

in London

For far too many people in the LGBT+ community, equality,

fair treatment, safety and justice is out of reach

Whether here in London, across

the UK, or around the world,

we constantly hear stories of

harassment, bullying,

persecution and unthinkable acts of violence.

And at the same time, we are living in a United

Kingdom which has never been more tolerant,

open and accepting. Incredible progress has been

made in recent years, and we must come together

to celebrate, and celebrate all the wonderful

individuals who make up our community.

Campaigning against injustice and celebrating our

community. This is our mission. This is what Pride in

London is all about. And this is what everyone on

the Pride in London Board is here to do.

Pride is our platform, a platform for every part

of London’s LGBT+ community to raise

awareness of LGBT+ issues and campaign for the

freedoms that will allow them to live their lives

on a genuinely equal footing.

And we give everyone in the LGBT+

community an incredible, exhilarating day to be

free, to feel loved, and to be celebrated.

Pride in London is run entirely by volunteers.

The board all come from different walks of life,

from all across our community. In 2012 the London

LGBT+ Community Pride was established,

ushering in a new era for Pride in London.

Since then it has gone from strength to

strength. Together we work all year round to

deliver one of the most exciting and varied Pride

festivals in the world.

Our success is also down to the core

connection to the community. The Community

Advisory Board, which scrutinises the decisions

of the board and provides guidance on inclusivity

and transparency, is made up of key campaigners

from across the city.

The board at Pride in London all feel that we

are incredibly privileged to be looking after such

a pivotal, crucial and important event for our

community and our city.

Importantly, Pride in London simply could not

succeed without the support and tireless efforts of

thousands of volunteers and supporters.

Creating one of the largest free-entry events

in the UK is far from easy, but it is made possible

by the generous backing of so many

organisations. We could not do it without them.

Their support is also a fantastic symbol of

progress, where employers are standing side by

side with their employees, celebrating the

diversity of their workforce.

We all hope you have a wonderful Pride.

A lot of love, stress, tears and struggles go into

making this event what it is, and we hope you

enjoy every moment of it.

011


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2015

WAS RECORD-BREAKING

WITH NEARLY

1,000,000

PEOPLE TAKING PART

IN PRIDE IN LONDON DAY

IT’S THE UK’S

BIGGEST

LGBT+

EVENT AND THE 2ND BIGGEST

DAY OUT IN LONDON

86%*

OF THE THOSE WHO ATTENDED

PRIDE IN LONDON LAST YEAR

AGREED THAT IT REPRESENTED THE

WHOLE LGBT+ COMMUNITY WELL

* SOURCE; RESEARCH FOR PRIDE IN

LONDON CONDUCTED BY QUADRANGLE

RESEARCH GROUP, 2015

IN TOTAL,

300

ACTS WILL APPEAR ON OUR STAGES

IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE,

DEAN STREET AND GOLDEN SQUARE

OUR CORE TEAM SPEND

THE EQUIVALENT OF

12

WORKING WEEKS EACH,

UNPAID, TO MAKE

PRIDE HAPPEN

PRIDE

BY

NUMBERS

10 BIG FACTS ABOUT

PRIDE IN LONDON

WE RELY ON AT LEAST

4,221

VOLUNTEERS, OVER 1,000

OF WHOM SERVE THE LGBT+

COMMUNITY OVER PRIDE IN

LONDON WEEKEND.

WE HAVE OVER

100,000

SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORTERS,

SPREADING OUR MESSAGE OF

DIVERSITY, INCLUSIVITY AND

EQUALITY TO HUNDREDS OF

MILLIONS WORLDWIDE

THE COST OF PUTTING ON PRIDE IN LONDON LAST YEAR WAS OVER

£600K

- £176,000 FOR THE PARADE

- £186,000 FOR TRAFALGAR SQUARE

- £117,000 FOR SOHO

THE MONEY WE RAISE PAYS FOR

4,339

BARRIERS...

AND 171 TOILETS, MOST OF

WHICH ARE GENDER-NEUTRAL

AROUND

35,000

PEOPLE WILL TAKE PART IN THE

PARADE THIS YEAR

- ca. 60 FLOATS

- ca. 220 WALKING GROUPS

- 30 OF WHICH ARE NEW TO

PRIDE IN LONDON THIS YEAR

- £24,000 FOR PICNIC IN THE PARK WITH UK BLACK PRIDE

FEATURE

013


Our campaign this year is #nofilter. It’s a simple but powerful

message: everyone has a right to live their life as themselves,

nothing more, nothing less.

Here in the UK we are lucky in many ways – England,

Wales and Scotland have marriage equality, London has a strong and

thriving LGBT+ community and our rights are protected under law.

However, we should remember that there are many still fighting for their

rights to just be themselves. We can look around the world, around the

Commonwealth, to see examples where LGBT+ people are unprotected, or

worse, persecuted, by the law. We should also look closer to home –

Northern Ireland still does not have marriage equality. There are still

numerous hate-crime attacks on people from the LGBT+ commumity.

Many people still don’t feel comfortable being out at work, in sport, in

public and to their families.

This campaign challenges that. We say it’s time to live with #nofilter.

You have every right to be proud of the person that you truly are and share

that person with the world. Moreover, we need to help others to do the

same by example. We also need to unite as a community in the face of

attacks on our rights and on our people.

Our community is a varied patchwork quilt of people, genders,

sexualities, thoughts, passions, talents and ideas. What should unite us is

the fundamental right to live without fear, without self-censorship.

Live life with #nofilter.

THE ADVERTISING

The advertising this year is our biggest campaign to date. Very soon

you’ll be seeing it appear all over London, on the Underground and at

Westfield shopping centres. You’ll also be able to really get a feel for the

campaign through our social media channels and hear personal #nofilter

moments from across the LGBT+ community. So, what are you waiting

for? Get online and see the campaign for yourself now!

014


IAIN WALTERS – ADVERTISING LEAD,

PRIDE IN LONDON

#nofilter is probably better known to you if

you’re an avid instagram user. It’s used by people

trying to show their photos are authentic. Well,

we want to use it for something bigger; the

opportunity to live your life as you and help

others who can’t do the same. There are many

people who would say they already do, but we all

self-censor. I still look over my shoulder before I

reach out and hold the hand of the person I love.

Have you ever referred to “your partner” or

“other half” or “they”? And that is as nothing

compared to the problems our community still

faces. Many around the world have no protection

from the law, and sadly

many are still

persecuted by it.

Events in North

Carolina have bought

into focus the

prejudice faced by the

trans community – we

all know it’s not just

about bathrooms, it’s

an attack on

fundamental rights.

Hate crimes still

happen here in the

UK and we don’t have

marriage equality

across the UK; our

friends in Northern

Ireland are still denied

the right to marry who

they love.

So, the idea of

#nofilter is to say, it

doesn’t need to be that way. The message is

simple, powerful and impactful; remove the selfcensorship

and self-doubt. Stop being who

someone else tells you to be, and be proud of who

you already are. Most importantly, it’s time to

speak up for those who can’t yet live with

#nofilter.

Pride in London 2016 is set to be our

largest campaign ever. We’ve scaled up the

“Stop being who

someone else

tells you to be,

and be proud

of who you

already are”

campaign significantly versus previous years

so we can truly get all the voices of our

community in our campaign.

We’ve been given some amazingly generous

help this year from some key production

partners who have all given their time

completely for free.

First of all, the team at WCRS; we’ve been

incredibly lucky to have the help of one of the

world’s top advertising agencies. They’ve helped us

make something truly memorable. Secondly, our

partners from Exterion media who have yet again

gifted us space on their Billboards – we can’t

overstate what this brings as it offers us the chance

to bring scale to our ideas. They’ve also granted us

access to some unique

technology that will

really bring things to

life at Westfield; go

online to see for

yourself what this is!

We’re also grateful for

the help of both

InterMedia UK, an

organisation

representing the

Media industry of the

UK, and through

them, the amazingly

generous help of Sky

who provided facilities

for our shoot

completely for free.

These partnerships

are making Pride

advertising possible

and we’re

overwhelmed by the

time, facilities, advice and passion people have given.

On a personal note, I’m incredibly privileged to

have the guidance, help and passion of Pride’s

Director of Marketing, Alison Camps. She’s pushed to

deliver something epic, and I think when it comes to

life over June, people will really see what that means.

Can’t wait to see you all at Pride in London

2016 – bring yourself, your friends and help

everyone to live life with #nofilter

CAMPAIGN

THE

MANIFESTO

From now on, “no filter” will stand for

something more.

It’s no longer just a hashtag...

it’s a philosophy.

It’s time to stop being who someone

else thinks we should be.

Stop living by someone else’s code.

Stop trying to fit someone else’s mould.

It’s time to be confident, passionate,

creative, honest, true and free.

It’s time to say no to the self-doubt...

No to self-censorship...

No to self-sacrifice...

It’s time to be the person you are in private,

out in public.

The world needs us.

For we are the game-changers and the

boundary-pushers.

We challenge... Subvert...

Pave the way...

Smash the norm...

Liberate...

Because if we don’t have game changers,

how can we have progress?

Pride has “nofilter”.

015


Team

Pride

Volunteering for Pride in London, DEFINITELY the

most fun you can have with your clothes on!

Having read this far in your Pride

Guide, you will know by now that

Pride in London is almost

exclusively put on by volunteers

– around 75 people who commit endless amounts

of their spare time year round to plan, fund,

advertise and deliver one of the biggest events

London has to offer – and another 700 gorgeous

humans (and a couple of animals) without whose

help the parade simply could not happen. If

you’re looking around you today, everyone you

see in a Pride in London t shirt, as a steward,

manager, and fundraiser – all of these people are

doing this because Pride matters to them and

they want to help ensure it continues to happen.

Being a volunteer is the ultimate #nofilter

statement – we get people from all parts of the

LGBT+ community, their straight friends and

family, work colleagues and neighbours, and

from all parts of the world, coming together to

create the best possible event London can offer.

So we asked them why? Here’s what they said:

“It will be almost one year

since I’ve been out and

proud and what better way

to celebrate than

volunteering at Pride!”

Will Digby

“I signed up for Pride

because it is family – the

LGBT+ community is one

great big family and what

better way to celebrate it

than coming to a great city,

having fun and making

new friendships that will

last a lifetime!”

Joanna Wing

“I have been volunteering

since 2008 as a steward,

and now I’m a Senior. I am

from Zambia where gay

people are jailed for 15

years; I volunteer for my

Zambian people because

they can’t, doing it for

those who cannot just

to show that gay

is also African”

Sanex-manex Longwe

016


“I fell in love with London’s

atmosphere when I first

went to the celebration and

wanted to be involved”

Jordan Cooper

“To give something back to

both London and the people

who have enabled me to be

out and proud”

George Reeves

“For the 13 years I have

been in London I have

stewarded every year – it

has become a tradition for

me. I’ve met some great

people and always have an

awesome time on the day”

Leith Lovell

“I thought it was the best

way to give something back

to the community that has

given me so much joy and

support over the years. I

also wanted to make our

Pride the best in the world

and to welcome everyone to

the friendliest, most

inclusive and fabulous

Pride there is. It’s now the

highlight of my year”

Ritchie Parrott

“This is my first time – I’ve

been a volunteer at loads of

events since London 2012,

and I wanted to do this as

my stepson is gay”

Laura Lincoln

FEATURE

“Being part of the LGBT+

community is a special,

precious thing that I’ll

forever be grateful for. I

want to help other people

celebrate all the reasons

there are to be proud of who

you are. This is my 11​th​

year of being out and they

definitely haven’t all been

easy ones… but we have

each other and what better

way to celebrate than being

all in one place at Pride!”

Stephanie Gilmour

“I’ve never been to Pride

before, but this year

I decided I would

volunteer – to help out

and have fun!”

Kimberley Henwood

2017

will be no

different – as

always we want

to make Pride

bigger, brighter and more inclusive and we

welcome everyone. All of our volunteers receive

training and newbies are fully supported by more

experienced volunteers. You get to make new

friends, come with existing ones (you can

volunteer as a group), and have a great time on

the day and make a difference to your city and to

the lives of LGBT+ people around the world who

see our campaigns and coverage.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be one of

our brilliant Team Pride volunteers, sign up on

the website ​www.prideinlondon.org/volunteer​and

let’s make 2017 the best Pride in London yet!

017


weekend

018

programme

The Parade

The annual Pride in London Parade will start at 1pm on Saturday 25 June

from Portland Place, before heading south down Regent Street.

In a record-breaking year, the 2016 Parade has over 290 groups taking part,

celebrating the whole of the LGBT+ community, and with over 55 floats, it

promises to be brighter and louder than ever!

The Parade will set off from Portland Place, crossing Oxford Circus and

heading south down Regent Street. It will continue to Piccadilly Circus and

then head down to Pall Mall, towards Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, where

it will end.

Each group has registered, and paid to be in the parade, so if you want to

take part, you’ll only be able to join in at the very end once the last group

passes you.

Trafalgar Square Main Stage

12:00 - 14:00

Michael Twaits

Vanity Von Glow

Taken

Musical Theatre performances from Kinky Bots, Heels of Glory, Rachel

Weston and Lee Ormsby

Pride’s Got Talent Finalists - Sofia B, Henry Newbury, Roman Road, July

Jones and DopeBoyLDN

14:00 - 16:00

Heather Peace

La Voix

Mzz Kimberley

Hot Heels

Pink Singers

Dan Koek feat Deux Ailes Acrobats

Pride’s Got Talent Finalists - Stitch, Eleni C, Natalie Gray and Office Girls

16:00 - 18:00

Sean Miley Moore

Christina Novelli

London Gay Big Band

Pride’s Got Talent Winner 2015 - Charley Monroe with Sinitta

Pride’s Got Talent Runner Up - Lascel Wood

Pride’s Got Talent Winner 2016 - Jack Feureisen

18:00 - 20:00

Beyoncé Experience

Velma Celli

96OneDream

Gay Men’s Dance Company feat Jack Feureisen

Michael Twaits with La Voix and semi-finalists from Drag Idol

And many more to come!

All acts and times are subject to change

Soho

Soho Square will be the home of our Community Village, with 30 stalls

showcasing some of the LGBT+ community’s amazing groups, charities and

businesses.

Soho is also home to the Women’s Stage at the south end of Dean Street,

and the Cabaret Stage on Wardour Street where you can be entertained by

some of the finest performers and acts that our community has to offer.

The Family Area is located in Golden Square, where Out with the Family

and Telegraph will be on hand to provide a more relaxed and family-friendly

environment to spend part, or all of your day.


PROGRAMME

SMIRNOFF PRIDE AT NIGHT

L-Wired Events and Tom Knight bring you the official Pride in London After

Party at the Electric in Brixton with the help of Smirnoff. What better way to

end the Pride Saturday than by joining in unity all under one roof? After all,

Pride is about love, acceptance and togetherness, so join us and celebrate your

weekend in style and with #nofilter.

On the decks we have some of the UK’s best LGBT+ DJs, including Seamus

Haji, Rich B, Tasty Tim, Adam Turner, Smokin Jo, Mark-Ashley Dupé, Lady

Lola, Yvette Lindquist, Lady Lloyd, Tayylor Made, Sipz C, bICA, cATHAL.

Two packed rooms, full stage production with dancers, PAs, stunning visual

effects and décor.

PRIDE IN THE PARK

Join us in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens on Sunday 26 June for a picnic and live

music with UK Black Pride and Pride in London.

Pride in the Park is a community-style event with all kinds of entertainment.

There’ll be a cake baking competition, sports events, the parade awards, dog

shows, music, performances and food and drink – all in a relaxed atmosphere

that everyone is welcome to be a part of. It’s the perfect way to relax with

friends and finish off the weekend of celebration.

Portland Place

START

FINISH

ROUTE MAP

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FEATURE

ACCESS FOR ALL

GETTING TO PRIDE

Our dedicated Access pages on the website have

all the latest information and links, with details of

the road closures and parking suspensions on

Pride day. Check tfl.gov.uk and our website for the

latest updates.

ACCESS SHUTTLE BUS

Two accessible shuttle buses will run between the

northwest corner of Trafalgar Square, the safe

space assembly area in Bakers Mews (just behind

Selfridges) and Westminster University on Baker

Street. We hope to run these every 30 minutes.

The bus will be clearly identifiable with Pride

signs in the windows and our Access volunteers

(with bright orange T-shirts) on-board. The first

bus is at 8.45am and the last bus leaves Trafalgar

Square at midday.

ACCESS ASSEMBLY AREA

This year, the Access Assembly Point is on Bakers

Mews, which runs between Fitzhardinge Street

and Robert Adam Street, just off Baker Street.

Pride’s volunteer Access Managers, Access

Stewards and British Sign Language (BSL)

interpreters will be there from 10.30am to answer

any questions about the rest of your day. There

will also be an accessible toilet in this area.

PARADE SAFE SPACE

Join us in the Safe Space! You need to aim to arrive

no later than 12.30pm, as the parade starts

promptly at 1pm, and organisers need time to

move the Safe Space from the assembly area into

the parade.

You are welcome to bring anything with you, but

our volunteers cannot help you carry any banners,

and we do not allow whistles etc. in the Safe Space

as service animals are present. Our volunteers

control the Safe Space and are there to answer any

questions you may have. Once the parade has

started, unless in a medical emergency, it is not

normally possible to leave the parade. However, we

do have a shuttle directly behind that can be used

for rest, or as somewhere quiet. The shuttle

continues with the Safe Space to Trafalgar Square

– again with our volunteers on board.

When the parade leaves at 1pm, the Safe Space

follows the same route – except the Safe Space

and shuttle will leave the parade at Trafalgar

Square – just a few minutes before the rest of the

parade ends on Whitehall.

TRAFALGAR SQUARE

A viewing platform will be right in the heart of the

square on the North Terrace, staffed by a dedicated

Access Manager and volunteer stewards, with

support from our Security provider.

Due to the structure limitations, it will not

be possible to provide cover from adverse

weather conditions, so please bring an

umbrella (and, if needed, an umbrella clamp)

that can be used to shelter from rain or excess

heat! We will have a service animal rest area, a

wheelchair charging point and an accessible

toilet next to the Safe Space.

On the main stage, we will have a BSL interpreter.

Our screens will have both an interpreter, and a

live text-to-screen service!

For more accessibility information, including

access at the Vauxhall fete on Sunday 26 June:

visit prideinlondon.org,

or email access@prideinlondon.org

021


Pride’s Got

is back and this year, it’s hotter than ever!

After the success of last year, the competition has gone from

strength to strength. Pride in London received hundreds of

applications to take part in this year’s talent search.

With celebrity patron Sinitta, as

well as a host of other

industry judges, the show

offers artists the chance to

perform on stage at the UK’s capital Pride event,

as well as other events associated with Pride.

Last year some of the contestants got the chance

to perform at the Kylie Minogue concert at BST

Hyde Park.

With the events being broadcast on London

Live, this is their chance to get themselves heard

and chase those dreams – but with a celebratory

and deep rooted purpose. After all, Pride is our

time to take over the city, and this is theirs to

showcase their talent to over 1.5 million people.

A chance that doesn’t come along every day!

Ian Massa-Harris-McFeely, Pride in London’s

Stages Producer and creator of Pride’s Got Talent

said: “Each year the competition gets hotter and

hotter and the sheer diversity of the talent pool

gets wider as performers from every part of

London’s beautiful LGBT+ community show us

their true colours.

“Huge thanks are due to Freedom, Muse, KuBar,

the Two Brewers, Bloc Bar, the Royal Vauxhall

Tavern and the Charing Cross Theatre for

hosting this competition. Now we hope the

LGBT+ community will show its support in return

and get behind these venues and our performers.”

Godmother of Pride’s Got Talent Sinitta said:

“I’ve been a huge supporter of Pride’s Got Talent

since the beginning. It’s a fantastic way to get

new talent in front of London’s very discerning

audiences. The performers coming forward this

year are more exciting and original than ever and

the talent levels are through the roof! Come on

down to one of our events and get to see stars in

the making!”

Our Finalists

Tv Tv

Dope Boy LDN

Lord Hicks

Sofia B

Alex James Ellison

Lascel Wood

Lady Glamour Nouveaux

Roman Road

Holly Dunn Something

Jack Feureisen

Paul Bork

STICH

Henry Newbury

July Jones

Eleni C

BenT

Office Girls UK

Heart & Soul

Natalie Gray

Aletia Upstairs

Dr Woof

From drag queens, pop singers, R&B and hip

hop singers. Cabaret artists, classical singers and

boybands. So one thing’s for sure, the

competition this year is fiercer than ever. A

guaranteed good night out, all with a great cause

behind it. Supporting up and coming talent as

well as Pride in London and the work they do.

022


FEATURE

“Each year the

competition

gets hotter and

hotter and the

sheer diversity

of the talent

pool gets wider”

023


FEATURE

About the

Community

Advisory

Board

The Community Advisory Board

(CAB) advises the directors of Pride

in London and scrutinises their

decisions. It provides guidance on

inclusion, governance and other

operational issues

It is a supportive and advisory body of

individuals who share a wide variety of

opinions throughout the LGBT+

community and we try to encapsulate

those different views by coming together and

arriving at a collective decision to assist the

directors with the execution of Pride in London

in the most congenial way possible.

The CAB has a massive list of objectives

which it tries to apply to all its decisions and

these can be listed into subsequent groups,

amongst those they include, diversity and

inclusion at Pride, engaging different groups (e.g.

trans, BME, activists) as volunteers, participants

and audiences, future themes and the purpose of

Pride in London. It also advises on event plans,

parade design and management, festival events

and acts, diversity and inclusion training and

financial governance.

The CAB has been heavily involved in Pride’s

Got Talent, ensuring and highlighting the most

diverse and inclusive line up of acts as well as a

number of CAB members being judges to get a

cross section of community advisory board

involved. As Chair, I’ve attended nearly all the

judging days along with Semi-Finals and Finals to

highlight the fantastic event and hard work of

Ian Massa-Harris McFeely and his team.

Engaging different groups to come to Pride in

London is crucial, as well as ensuring a safe and

secure environment for all to participate, is

paramount to the success of Pride in London. In

light of potential threats and antics all those

involved in Pride in London will be for the first

time this year signing a statement of inclusion, to

behave in a sensible manner with no xenophobic

language of any kind, religious, racial, gender or

anything else. This initiative was drawn up by the

CAB, particularly its Vice Chair Edward Lord

OBE to ensure that Pride in London has a level

of security and scrutiny that the protest can be in

a celebratory manner at the same time

highlighting causes and campaigns which people

rightly are vigorously exigent about.

The CAB also provides the opportunity for

community engagement with three open

meetings per year to hear from the public and to

scrutinise the work of the Pride in London board.

The open meetings held at City Hall give all

people from across the community the

opportunity to exercise their views. Following

each year, the CAB board after each Pride sits

around the table and discusses all the issues

brought to them by the community. This is called

a snagging meeting and every issue is raised and

then fed back to the Board. Furthermore, this

year as Chair I will want to ensure an official

report goes back to the Pride Board rather than

just minutes of a meeting, because I believe we

have a duty to not just have a meeting, but a

considered report from across all elements of the

Pride Festival, from the day itself, to Pride’s Got

Talent, UK Black Pride & Picnic on Sunday in

Vauxhall to all elements of the theme, sponsorship

and purpose including location of Pride.

Finally, the CAB provides significant input

into the theme for each year. Last year it was on

Heroes but not just superheroes but local heroes

from across our community and this year the

theme is #nofilter. It is a fabulous idea to allow

all of us to live our lives with #nofilter, be

ourselves, be free and liberated. It is also

recognised that many in our LGBT+ community

can unfortunately not live their lives as they

would wish due to communities, families and

society not accepting them for who they are. We

need to challenge that as well and, where people

can’t live with #nofilter, need to highlight their

lives and change people’s minds through the

campaign to be more open, accepting and loving

of all people’s lives and to live without judgment

or persecution. The #nofilter campaign has been

taken from an Instagram tag and will go

worldwide during the Pride in London event.

The CAB currently comprises representatives

from the following sectors: Arts and Literature;

Bisexual People; Black and Minority Ethnic

People; Campaigning and Political Groups

(vacant); Disabled People; Faith and Belief

Groups; Health; Local Groups; Older People;

Performers; Professional Groups; Sports; Trans

People; Young People - and Other Groups who

don’t fit into these categories. The GLA and

TUC also provide an observer each.

The CAB is chaired by Adrian Hyyrylainen-

Trett who has a non-voting role in the

proceedings and therefore his effort is to try and

arrive at a collective view of the Community

Advisory Board even on controversial issues.

The CAB is currently looking for a

Campaigning and Political Groups

representative. Nominations can be made by

emailing a brief statement to the CAB secretary

(mark.delacour@lgbtconsortium.org.uk),

together with an endorsement from the Chair or

other senior official of a community group or

organisation that focuses on the area you would

like to represent. This statement should explain

the role you play in this community group or

organisation and why you think you would make

a good representative. The CAB will

subsequently vote on all applications received.

We continue to work closely with the Pride in

London board and hope this insight has given the

public a better idea of what the CAB does and

how it interacts with the LGBT+ community.

Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett,

Chair of the Community Advisory Board

025


026


FEATURE

WE’VE COME

A LONG, LONG

WAY TOGETHER

MATT NEWBURY TAKES A PERSONAL LOOK at the rights the

LGBT+ community has won over the past 50 years

I’m certainly glad to have grown up a gay

man in the age that I have and to have

been there for the numerous battles we

have won on the road towards complete

equality. The historic gay marriage victory in 2013

was just the latest giant step in an on-going

struggle for equality under the law and complete

acceptance by society as a whole.

Although not every gay person

would ever want to get married or

even agree with the institution, at

least they now have the right to.

It’s amazing when you consider

that just over 50 years ago being

gay was still illegal, with as many as

1,000 men locked up in Britain’s

prisons every year. It was a public

backlash against the imprisonment

of Lord Montagu in 1954 that was

to kick-start the first in a series of

law changes that would lead us to

where we are today.

The popular 28-year-old

socialite was the youngest peer in

the House of Lords when he was

convicted along with two other men of

“consensual homosexual offences”. The case

stirred up an unexpected wave of sympathy from

both the press and public, who viewed the way

the bisexual lord was treated as nothing short of

a witch hunt. The trial shed light on an era of

paranoia for homosexuals, with undercover

officers posing as gay men in public places and

soliciting for sex as agent provocateurs.

The public outcry after Lord Montagu was

sentenced to 12 months in jail led to a

government committee being set up to debate

prostitution and homosexual offences. The

Wolfenden Report proposed that it should not

be a function of the law to regulate private

behaviour that didn’t harm others, however

unpleasant they found it. However, it was to take

another decade before consensual male

homosexuality was finally decriminalised for

anyone over 21 (the age of majority in the UK at

the time). Remarkably, homosexuality wasn’t

decriminalised in Scotland until 1981 and in

Northern Ireland until the following year.

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the birth of

the gay liberation movement and a structured

fight for LGBT+ rights. It also urged lesbians and

gay men to publicly come and reveal their

sexuality to their family, friends and peers as a

form of activism. Often employing

controversial tactics based on

revolutionary politics, they

successfully disrupted the Festival

of Light (a church-based morality

campaign organised by Mary

Whitehouse in 1971), turning up in

drag, spontaneously kissing each

other, unveiling banners and even

managing to turn off the lights! Gay

pride emerged from these roots and

early demonstrations and marches

have since morphed into parades

and UK-wide festivals.

In 1988 a hugely offensive piece

of legislation called Section 28 was

introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s

Conservative government, which

was designed to prevent the so-called promotion

of homosexuality in schools. Stonewall was set

up in 1989 up by a group of people who were

active in the early struggle against Section 28 and

has grown into a professional lobbying group

that has subsequently won support within all of

the major political parties. Over the past two

027


decades they have helped lift the ban on gay men

and lesbians serving in the military (1999), helped

equalise the age of consent (2000), secured

legislation that allows gay couples to adopt

(2002) and helped win the repeal of Section 28

(2003). More recently the group has helped

secure civil partnership s (2004) along with all

the rights and responsibilities of a civil marriage

and the Equality Act (2007) which prohibits

discrimination of goods and services on the

grounds of sexual orientation. And, of course, in

2013 we were finally given the right to marry the

people we love.

Even though Stonewall has pretty much

achieved their main goal of winning equality for gay

people under the law, they have stayed very relevant

by challenging social attitudes in both schools and

the workplace and in the representation of gay

people in the media. Their Education for All

programme has challenged homophobia in schools,

colleges and universities, while the Diversity

Champions programme ensures that gay people are

able to choose good employers who have adopted

the very best practices.

An earlier version of this article appeared in a

previous edition of Pride Life magazine

TALKING ABOUT MY

GAY GENERATION

DAVID POOLMAN (AGE 73)

When gay sex was illegal I was at university and then in common with

many gay men I moved to London, as the provinces were regarded as too

conservative. There I went to two drinking clubs, the A and B and the

Festival for discreet meetings. The most interesting aspect of those days

was that although there were bars and clubs, the commercial scene kept

well away from anything political.

In some ways it was hard to meet other gay men, but there were codes

that have since gone. For example, most men seemed to smoke and could

safely offer cigarettes or lights as a starter. Also you could listen out for

code words like “musical” and “camp” and of course all of the Polari terms. I

was in Bath with a gentlemen’s outfitter when gay sex became legal in 1967.

We celebrated in a sort of way…

In 1969 on the occasion of the death of Judy Garland there were riots led

by drag queens in New York. This led to the formation of the Gay

Liberation Front (GLF). In the following year a GLF was set up in London

following police action against men asking for lights from other men on

Highbury Fields. I attended meetings of the GLF held in the London

School of Economics and went on to help set up the Gay Activists Alliance,

where we organised demonstrations against places like WH Smiths in

Sloane Square when they refused to stock Gay News.

One of the strongest aspects of the new movement was that the GLF

itself fell apart but lots of local groups were set up under the aegis of the

Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) in which I was a Field Officer. I

was then living in London and there were regular meetings there of the

Haringey-Islington Group which had many members, speakers, picnics and

so on in the Hemingford Arms in Islington and then the Fallen Angel.

I don’t necessarily think young people understand the trouble that had

to be experienced getting rights. It’s not that long really since the world was

very different, but in a way I’m glad they can accept the new world as the

norm. On the other hand, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

028


FEATURE

SUE HOLDER (AGE 56)

Unfortunately, there is a need for legal protection for many discriminated

groups, not least of all gay people. Until 2003 employers were able to

discriminate against gay people by not hiring them or not promoting

them, just because of their sexual orientation. Gay people didn’t have

much protection from bullying from their colleagues, and sometimes

weren’t offered the same benefits as straight colleagues or were unfairly

affected by rules at work. Stonewall fought hard for the Employment

Equality Regulations, which came into force in 2008 and made all these

kinds of discrimination illegal.

It’s incredible to think that just 13 years ago it wasn’t actually illegal to

be bullied in the workplace. In my own experience the first job I ever had

without the sack for being gay was when I was 38 in 1998! However, six

years later I changed my job and yes, it all started again. It just became

the norm to endure bullying; it’s so nice now to go to work and be treated

exactly the same as everyone else!

I’m proud of the resilience of gay people to get as far as we have, to

achieve recognition and the right to be who we are. I think attitudes

among the majority of people don’t changed enough to now make a

difference. The law is a necessary backup and has helped to instil change.

There are always going to be areas in society where homophobia is still

very real, like professional football. In years past I experienced pushing,

kicking, spitting and a lot of name-calling without any provocation.

These days I can still experience name calling from time to time, but it

doesn’t even warrant a response!

The word “gay” still has negative connotations and is used as a

derogatory term. Certain newspapers spread hatred and exaggerations,

but I think intelligent and knowledgeable people are actually forming

their own opinions these days. Gay people are more comfortable in being

who they are and coming out so more people know gay people.

I don’t think that young people really think about what has been

achieved over the years – but that’s just because they are too busy being

young. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I really started to look back on

my own journey and other people’s journeys before me. I certainly didn’t

appreciate the likes of Quentin Crisp and all the campaigning that Peter

Tatchell has done in the past, and still does. It is only then when you start

reflecting on things, for instance it was illegal to be gay up until 1967, that

you realise what an amazing journey we have been on. Illegal? That’s like

saying to a Welsh person, “Well, you aren’t allowed to be Welsh anymore.”

It’s just absurd!

BRADLEY REED (AGE 29)

As a younger gay person, I like to think I’m quite politically aware in terms

of gay rights and issues. I understand how far the world, certainly the

western world, has come since Stonewall in 1969 and also how far it still has

to travel in many countries where people just like me live in fear for their

lives just because of whom they love. That’s an outrage.

I am not militant and never have been but I do have strong opinions

about how we as a community should behave, in so much as I know there

are many of the older members of our community who feel we should not

be worrying about marriage as that’s what straights do. And that we should

all still be speaking Polari and hanging about in public rest rooms. If that’s

what floats your boat then go ahead, but I feel that those who want to be

married and have a more stable home life with a long-term partner should.

I am not saying that I’ve been a stranger to the odd late night visit to the

local sauna, mind you, but we need to have balance.

I think a large majority of younger gay people don’t have a clue about

some of the battles of the past 50 years and that’s partly because I don’t

think we talk about them enough. We need to do more to encourage

employers and the media to promote LGBT+ History month and as a

community we should never forget how difficult things have been and still

are for a majority of people.

There have been many changes in my lifetime, in terms of both legal

protection and acceptance in general. I still remember first coming out as

bisexual because I felt too scared to come out altogether and bisexuality

was seen as a safe option, because at least you could say you still liked girls a

little bit. I even had girlfriends in order to stop the rumours which started

to spread about me as I began to come to terms with who I was. I think the

fact that I can go into a shop or a restaurant with my partner and not be

afraid to look at them or touch them in case someone saw is an amazing

achievement. I certainly wouldn’t have felt able to do that when I was 16.

I still think there are battles to be won. I think there is a massive issue

around religions preaching that being gay is wrong. The western world has

reached a crossroads in regards to religion and it is starting to move away

from discrimination but unfortunately other areas of the world seem to be

firing up the rhetoric. It still angers me that in some parts of the world they

feel it is appropriate to beat their wives and believe gay people deserve to

be beheaded, and the rest of the world to some extent jus t watches on in

some sense powerless. It is up to us to show the world that we are just as

important and have a valuable role to play in the world as people. Not just

to be forever defined by whom we have sex with.

029


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FEATURE

WEDNESDAY 23 JUNE 1971

– MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT GAY PRIDE

I’m at a meeting of the Gay Liberation Front

(GLF) at All Saints Church Hall in London’s

Notting Hill listening to an imposing man from

the counter-psychiatry group describe “aversion

therapy” to several hundred outraged gay

people.

“In this so-called ‘treatment’,” he says, “gay

victims are restrained and stimulated with

erotic photos while electric shocks are

administered to their genitals.” He responds to

our anger by asking for volunteers to march

down Harley Street and paint black crosses on

the doors of the guilty psychiatrists.

Two days later, when I see the tiny group in

Cavendish Square and their banner, NO TO

AVERSION THERAPY, they look so few and

so vulnerable that I’m ashamed to admit I don’t

dare join them! I will myself to do it but fail.

Nor can I walk away but instead pathetically

follow them along a parallel street listening to

them chanting: “Give us a G!/ Give us an A!/

Give us a Y!/ What does that spell?/ Gay!/ What

is gay?/ Good!/ What else is gay?/ Angry!”

I silently mouth the replies but still can’t join,

which means something else the man from the

counter-psychiatry group said is true too:

“Self-oppression is the ultimate subjugation as

the gay person internalises straight people’s

definitions of what is good and bad.” Chastened

but thoughtful, I stumble home alone.

Next morning I realise yesterday was a

watershed for me all the same because

acknowledging my self-oppression is a

necessary step towards overcoming it.

SATURDAY 28 AUGUST 1971

– GAY PRIDE ACHIEVED

The GLF Youth Group has organised a protest

march against the male age of consent (21) and

this time I’ve eliminated any chance of copping

out by wearing my jumpsuit embroidered with

“Alan” and “Gay Love” on the breast pocket and

a rainbow (precursor to the flag?) on the

epaulettes, plus all my gay badges and a peaked

cap also embroidered with “Gay Love” and my

name. So I already feel “Out and Proud” as I set

off for Marble Arch tube where I find more

happy gay people than I’ve seen in my entire life

– and also discover that just “being in the

majority” is a liberating experience in itself.

Now we’re ambling down Oxford Street

past crowds of Saturday shoppers, “protected”

by the police. It’s true that yesterday I thought

people might throw stones but today I observe

that most onlookers simply aren’t interested; a

few look scared but many are cheering us on

– so, by the time we reach Bond Street I’m so

elated I go up to a gorgeous long-haired,

bearded angel and say, “You’re lovely! Can I

kiss you?” “Yes, if you want to,” he says. So I

do! Then I do it again with another! And again,

for the rest of the day – till I’ve kissed more

THE LATE ALAN WAKEMAN

(IN GREEN) MARCHING

WITH PRIDE VETERANS AT

PRIDE IN LONDON

IN 2012

TAKING

PRIDE

TODAY PRIDE EVENTS ALL OVER THE COUNTY ARE ATTENDED

BY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, GAY OR STRAIGHT.

BUT IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THAT. IN THIS ARTICLE WHICH

FIRST APPEARED IN AN EARLIER ISSUE OF PRIDE LIFE, GAY

LIBERATION FRONT VETERAN, THE LATE ALAN WAKEMAN,

REMEMBERS FIRST MARCHING FOR GAY RIGHTS IN 1971

divine men than I knew existed! I spot two

elderly women huffing and puffing at a bus

stop, clearly outraged, but today we’re the

majority and they’re the

psychologically disturbed!

Every now and again I

step out to watch our

parade go by and am struck

what a cross-section of

humanity we are – from

ordinary to amazing – with

a dozen drag queens

sashaying at the front. I

calculate we’re about 900 altogether.

At one point I spot a young policeman

wistfully shaking his head when he hears us

“At Marble Arch tube

I find more happy gay

people than I’ve seen in

my entire life”

chanting, “Two, four, six, eight, is that copper

really straight?” When he catches me looking

we exchange a secret smile.

Now we’re heading

down the Haymarket to

Trafalgar Square where

the Youth Group stages a

Kiss-In under Nelson’s

Column and, just for

today, the police pretend

not to notice.

Next day every national

newspaper has front page

photos of our dozen drag queens but not one of our

888 ordinary gay women and men. Thus stereotypes

are maintained and our struggle continues.

031


LGBT+

AROUND THE WORLD

AS WE CELEBRATE OUR STRONG AND VIBRANT LGBT+ COMMUNITY

AT PRIDE IN LONDON, WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER

THAT NOT ALL LGBT+ PEOPLE ENJOY THE

RIGHTS THAT WE’VE FOUGHT SO LONG AND

HARD TO WIN. IN 41% OF THE WORLD

IT’S STILL ILLEGAL TO BE LGBT+.

AND IN SOME COUNTRIES LGBT+

PEOPLE FACE DEATH FOR THE

CRIME OF JUST BEING WHO

THEY ARE AND LOVING WHO

THEY CHOOSE

CANADA

GREENLAND

196

COUNTRIES IN

THE WORLD

81

MEXICO

42

BRITISH

COUNTRIES

WHERE IT’S

ILLEGAL TO

BE BRITISH

COMMONWEALTH

COUNTRIES

WHERE’S IT’S

ILLEGAL TO BE LGBT+10

EQUADOR

COLOMBIA

ARGENTINA

BRAZIL

URUGUAY

COUNTRIES WHERE LGBT+

PEOPLE MAY FACE

THE DEATH PENALTY

032


LOVE AND MARRIAGE

KEY

COUNTRIES WHERE

HOMOSEXUALITY IS ILLEGAL

COUNTRIES WHERE BEING GAY

CAN BE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH

ICELAND

COUNTRIES THAT

ALLOW GAY MARRIAGE

COUNTRIES WITH

CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS

UNITED KINGDOM AND

CONTINENTAL EUROPE

NORTHERN

IRELAND

REPUBLIC

OF

IRELAND

SCOTLAND

ENGLAND

&

WALES

DENMARK

NETHERLANDS

NORWAY

GERMANY

BELGIUM

LUXEMBOURG

FRANCE SWITZERLAND

SWEDEN

CZECH

REPUBLIC

AUSTRIA

CROATIA

FINLAND

SLOVAKIA

HUNGARY

ANDORRA

PORTUGAL

SPAIN

CORSICA

ITALY

GREECE

IRAQ

IRAN

MAURITANIA

NIGERIA

SUDAN

SAUDI

ARABIA

YEMEN

SOMALIA

QATAR

UNITED

ARAB

EMIRATES

AUSTRALIA

SOUTH

AFRICA

NEW ZEALAND

033


PRIDE

HAS

Robert Dyas

Ryman

Proud to be part of Pride in London 2016

For high impact fascia, large scale representation of our brand


Northern

FEATURE

Ireland

Check your rights

at the border

AS UP TO ONE MILLION MEMBERS OF THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY DESCEND ON LONDON TO

CELEBRATE PRIDE IN LONDON, IT IS WORTH REFLECTING THAT THOSE VISITING FROM

NORTHERN IRELAND WILL ENJOY RIGHTS TODAY THEY WON’T WHEN THEY RETURN HOME

Picture: CREATIVE COMMONS ROBERT PAUL YOUNG

2015

was a

landmark

year for

England,

Wales and Scotland with the introduction of

equal marriage to widespread support – a

triumphant conclusion to a decades long battle.

Whilst there remains much more to be done –

improving educational awareness of LGBT+

relationships in schools, ready access to mental

and physical health services, strategies to

prevent and reduce hate crimes and improve

prosecutions – this was nonetheless an

important development.

In Northern Ireland, however, the government

has refused to embrace this important moment

and chose instead to fight the march towards

equal marriage. Today, crossing the border into

Northern Ireland will see married members

within our community reclassified as civil partners

and stripped of the recognition and rights they are

rightly entitled to enjoy.

Last year, there was a ray of hope. The

Northern Irish Assembly supported equal

marriage with a majority of its members

supporting the proposal. However, the

Democratic Unionist Party used a little known

power derived from the power sharing agreement

(called a petition of concern) which allows for a

minority of assembly members to mandate that a

proposal receive cross community support –

effectively blocking the move. The DUP have

pledged to block any future attempts to introduce

equal marriage, a commitment echoed in their

recent political manifesto.

The visibility of our community, proudly

coming out of the closet

and publically demanding

the rights and freedoms we

are entitled to has forged a

new consensus in society

and led to greater

acceptance and inclusion

within society.

However, many in our

community still feel the

need to filter their

behaviour, to self-censor or

to hide who they are. This

is why #nofilter is the theme for this year’s

PRIDE IN LONDON. We believe today it is

imperative that we all stand proud and show

our true authentic selves – celebrating our

authenticity and living our life with #nofilter.

“In Northern Ireland,

however, the

government… chose

instead to fight the

march towards

equal marriage”

In Northern Ireland, the state self-censors

when it refuses to afford

our community with the

same rights and

privilegdes afforded to

everyone else. As a

community, we can be

proud of the pace of

change we have fuelled

and we can reaffirm our

commitment to remove

borders to equality –

demanding that our

rights and privileges

remain intact as we cross the border into

Northern Ireland.

David Geary

Head of Public Affairs

THE NORTHERN IRISH

ASSEMBLY AT STORMONT

035


LONDON’S MOST FABULOUS FUGITIVES ARE ON THE RUN...

...ON THE RUN?

NOT IN THESE HEELS,

DARLING

EXECUTIVE

FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH BBC FILMS A DJ FILMS/SAUNDERS & FRENCH PRODUCTION

JENNIFER SAUNDERS JOANNA LUMLEY “ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS THE MOVIE’” JULIA SAWALHA JANE HORROCKS JUNE WHITFIELD

CHRIS COLFER KATE MOSS LULU EMMA BUNTON ROBERT WEBB BARRY HUMPHRIES CASTING

HAIR & MAKE UP

ALEX BY JOHNSON CHRISTINE DESIGNER CANT

COSTUME

MUSIC

REBECCA DESIGNER HALE SARAH SUPERVISOR BRIDGE PRODUCTION

DIRECTOR OF

CO

HARRY DESIGNER BANKS CHRIS PHOTOGRAPHY GOODGER MARK PRODUCER HUBBARD

MAUREEN PRODUCERS VINCENT JENNIFER SAUNDERS DAWN FRENCH CHRISTINE LANGAN NICHOLA MARTIN STEVE MILNE CHRISTIAN EISENBEISS

PRODUCED

DAMIAN BY JONES JON PLOWMAN WRITTEN JENNIFER BY SAUNDERS DIRECTED MANDIE BY FLETCHER

AbsolutelyFabulousTheMovie

© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

@AbFabMovie

IN CINEMAS JULY 1


FEATURE

REASONS

TO BE

CHEERFUL

PICTURE: FREEIMAGES.COM/KATE NORTHERN

AS WE PREPARE TO CELEBRATE 44 YEARS

OF PRIDE IN LONDON, MATT NEWBURY

HAS PULLED TOGETHER AN INCREDIBLY

DIVERSE LIST OF PEOPLE AND THINGS WE

SHOULD BE PROUD OF IN 2016

037


Colombia

Colombia has just become the latest country to

legalise same-sex marriage, making it the fourth

in South America to do so after Argentina,

Brazil and Uruguay (in Mexico you can get

married in the capital and certain other states).

It’s been quite an amazing 12 months or so for

marriage rights, with Ireland and the entire

USA legalising same-sex weddings last year, and

Greenland and the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South

Dakota doing so in 2016. Look out for both

Jersey and Finland joining the ever expanding

list by this time next year. Even if you don’t ever

want to get married yourself, you should all be

able to – so this makes us incredibly proud.

The LGBT+ Press

While we aren’t ones to blow our own trumpets

(some of us are getting a bit too old for that,

anyway…) we’re still here and the fact that you

are holding a printed LGBT+ magazine in your

hands is pretty amazing. The gay press has been

there over the last four decades in one form or

another, tracking the changes, documenting the

struggles and letting us know where all the very

best parties are. At a time when all print media

is struggling, that’s pretty impressive.

Our Sense of Humour

We do seem to have a natural gift for witty

remarks and humorous observations and

finishing sentences with a punch line. We are

also quite partial to slipping in a double

entendre at every given opportunity —

somewhere in the world there are actual gay

bars called The Stroke Inn, The Swallow, The

Filling Station and The White Swallow. It’s also

why there is such a long history of LGBT+

comic actors, writers and TV personalities.

However with great power comes great

responsibility. We are also quite prone to bitchy

remarks and cutting sarcasm for comic effect,

which should obviously be kept to a minimum,

for maximum impact!

Trans Acceptance

Transgender issues have really come to the fore

over the last couple of years, with the multi-award

winning Transparent on TV, The Danish Girl in

the cinema, and Lavern Cox (Orange Is the New

Black) becoming the first openly transgender

person to appear on the cover of Time Magazine

and to have a wax work figure of herself in LA’s

Madame Tussauds. Meanwhile Caitlyn Jenner has

appeared everywhere from her own reality show

to the cover of Vanity Fair, via the toilets of the

Trump Tower (where she videoed herself going for

a pee, in reaction to statements made in the

American Presidential circus).

James Franco

While several high profile Hollywood actors

remain steadfastly in the celluloid closet, James

Franco seems to be wildly throwing himself `at

every gay part going. As well as films about gay

activists like Milk and I am Michael, he’s also

starred in Interior.Leather Bar (about the

infamous lost 40 minutes from the film

Cruising). If that wasn’t open-minded enough,

his latest film is King Cobra, a true murder

story that rocked the gay porn industry. He says

that gay characters are just more interesting to

play, explaining that “I’m gay in my work and

straight in my life.” It’s a great attitude and the

polar opposite to some other Hollywood stars.

Our Ability to Party

We do seem to have an inbuilt desire to party

and I’d like to think we are pretty good at it. It’s

why we get invited out so much by our straight

mates – they know that we’ll be the life and soul

of the party. Having the freedom to party more

than our heterosexual friends (who are often

lumbered with needy children to look after),

certainly makes them jealous, so why shouldn’t

we be proud of this? That said, we’re certainly

not proud of some of the states we have

stumbled into work in the next day.

Olly Alexander

Not only are Years & Years still enjoying

incredible success, spending most of this year on

a world tour, lead singer Olly Alexander remains

a great spokesperson for LGBT+ issues. As a gay

songwriter, he has stated that he’d like to see far

more use of the qualified male pronoun by gay

singers in their music, while he’s also supported

Stonewall’s anti-bullying campaign “No

Bystanders.” He’s also described Germaine

Greer’s comments about trans women as

“horrifying” as well as using interviews to

support safer sex and testing. He’s also been very

open about his own mental health issues and his

struggles with depression and anxiety. He also

produces some damn good music too!

Dating apps

Of course there are numerous criticisms that can

be aimed at dating apps and some of the people

who use them (don’t get me started...), but they

do provide a lifeline to isolated places. Indeed in

countries where LGBT+ people are persecuted,

like Russia, Egypt and Iran they have become a

vital source of communication. Grindr CEO Joel

Simikhai says he is proud the global app helps

people socialise online in places where it might

not be safe to do in public.

Sir Ian McKellen

As both an actor and activist, Sir Ian McKellen

is a remarkable figure. Over his extraordinary

career he’s won just about every theatrical

award going, while he also co-founded

Stonewall in response to Section 28 and was

certainly influential in its repeal. When not

playing the likes of Gandalf or Magneto or

treading the boards, he’s visited school

assemblies as part of Stonewall’s Education for

All campaign, marched on numerous Pride

parades and is a patron of Oxford Pride and The

Albert Kennedy Trust.

Drag Queens

We have a long and affectionate relationship

with drag queens, who have kept us entertained

with their big hair, outrageous costumes, catty

banter and questionable singing since time

immemorial. Some have become the stuff of

legend like Mrs Shufflewick, Adrella, Dockyard

Doris and, of course, HIH Regina Fong, while

others even broke into the mainstream and onto

our tellies, like Danny La Rue and Lily Savage.

Although the gay scene has been decimated in

recent years, you can still catch hardworking

COLOMBIA

Caitlyn Jenner

JAMES FRANCO

© Aphrodite-In-NYC

038


FEATURE

olly alexander

PAWEŁ MARYNOWSKI

/ WIKIMEDIA COMM

“We do seem to have an

inbuilt desire to party

and I’d like to think we

are pretty good at it”

039


traditional drag acts like Sandra, Dave Lynn,

Dusty O, and Titti La Camp keeping us bent

double on a regular basis. And then there’s the

next generation of cutting-edge performers like

Jonny Woo, John Sizzle and Scottee.

British Politicians

We’ve certainly come a long way since Chris

Smith became the first British MP to come out

of the closet in 1984, beginning a monumental

turning of the tide in British politics. Today, 35

Labour, Tory and SNP MPs have come out,

giving Westminster the highest proportion of

LGBT+ politicians in any national parliament in

the world. That’s definitely something to be

proud of.

Bruce Springsteen

“The Boss” became the first in a line of artists

and companies boycotting North Carolina over

anti LGBT+ laws that have removed antidiscrimination

protections. Incredibly, that

even requires people to use public toilets that

correspond to the gender they were assigned at

birth. Following the lead of the Born in the

USA singer, other acts to have cancelled

appearances include Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam,

Boston, Cirque de Soleil, Nick Jonas and Demi

Lovatio, while Paypal scrapped plans to build a

global operations centre in Charlotte, Deutsche

Bank have cancelled an expansion there, and

several film companies are refusing to film in

the state.

Obama

The outgoing 44th president of the United

States has achieved a staggering amount for

LGBT+ rights during his presidency, including

nationwide marriage equality and the end of

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military. He also

signed in LGBT+ hate crime prevention

legislation and is a supporter of same-sex

couples being able to adopt children. While he

faced a staggering amount of opposition along

the way, he has managed to achieve the

impossible in a country where not everyone (we

are thinking the Bible belt and North Carolina

here) is quite as forward thinking as he is. We

salute you. Obama Out.

Ellen

When President Obama appeared on

The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this year, he

managed to turn around the host’s praise for his

LGBT+ policies, by talking about her own

influence on the US public. “Changing hearts

and minds, I don’t think anyone has been as

influential as you on that,” said the President.

“Your courage—and you’re just really likable.

You being willing to claim who you were, that

suddenly empowers other people and then

suddenly it’s your brother, it’s your uncle, it’s

your best friend, it’s your co-workers and then

attitudes shift. And the laws followed, but it

started with folks like you. I’m so proud of you.”

High Divers

In a really lovely story, Canadian diver Jamie

Bissett came out as gay at the end of last year

and then also announced he’d been dating

another high ranking diver, Tanner Wilfong,

for more than two years. Bissett seems set to

compete at the Rio Games, although due to a

back injury, it seems likely that Wilfong will

sadly only be supporting his boyfriend from

the stands. He has said he is aiming for the

2020 Olympics instead. Another diver who

won’t be at Rio is Australia’s Matthew

Mitcham who retired in January, although our

eyes will again be on GB’s Tom Daley (for the

right reasons, obviously…)

Older Gay People

We should never forget the tireless and brave

campaigning that has led to enjoying not only

some of the best equality laws in the world, but

has also led to a complete shift in public

opinion. And that’s something to be incredibly

proud of. If you are a younger person, have a

chat with them and never take the freedom you

enjoy for granted.

Musical Theatre

With gay people woven into the very fabric of

musical theatre, it remains one of the most

creative, fun and fabulous entertainment

genres out there. It’s a great time for

outrageous musical entertainment at the

moment. Both Priscilla Queen of the Desert

and The Rocky Horror Show are still both

touring the country, causing the most unlikely

of people to camp it with their theatrical

attire, while Kinky Boots is doing something

similar in the West End. We are really hoping

that Fun Home, the hit lesbian-themed

Broadway musical about sexual awakening set

in a funeral home will transfer to London soon,

while musical versions of both Brokeback

Mountain and Pride are both in the pipeline.

Gay’s The Word

The only specifically LGBT+ bookshop in the UK

opened its doors back in 1979, taking its name

from a musical by Ivor Novello. As well as selling

books, the shop has also served as a community

and information resource. Various community

groups have used the premises to meet including

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, featured

in the film Pride. Over the years the store has

battled raids, court cases and the threat of

Amazon and online sales. Today the shop in

Bloomsbury still sells everything “from the

profound to the frivolous and from the liberating

to the indulgent”. Pop in and buy something and

show your support for this wonderful little

business, we should all be proud of.

LGBT+ Charities

We are really proud to continue to support the

some amazing gay charities and the work they

do, whether that be providing sexual health

advice or supporting venerable young people.

Stonewall continues to work towards equality

for all, whether that be in the workplace or the

school yard, while GMFA now provides advice

and support for all health issues that

disproportionately affect gay men. Broken

Rainbow is on hand with support for victims of

same-sex domestic violence, while The Albert

Kennedy Trust supports young LGTB+

homeless people in crisis. These charities and

many others rely on the support of the gay

community, so let’s keep supporting them and

the amazing work they do.

BRITISH POLITICIANS

“These events are

something we should all

be proud of, as these

gatherings have

changed social attitudes

and helped us fight for

and win many of the

rights we enjoy today”

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

040


FEATURE

BRITISH TV DRAMA

CUCUMBER (CHANNEL 4)

GAY’S THE WORD

PHOTOGRAPH BY

Vera Janev

Ellen DeGeneres

© Glenn Francis,

www.PacificProDigital.com

Barack Obama

Gay Animals

You have probably read the phrase

“homosexuality exists in every single species on

the planet, but homosexuality is found in only

one: humans.” Same-sex attraction amongst

animals is a great way of demonstrating that

homosexuality is natural, and some species are

particularly helpful. Gay sex makes up 94% of

sexual activities amongst giraffes, while up to

three quarters of relationships amongst vampire

bats are between females. The sea is also a hot bed

of same-sex shenanigans. More than 80% of New

Zealand sea lions males mate with other males,

while three quarters of bottlenose dolphins hang

out in same-sex pairs and often mate for life.

Our Diverse Community

Recently there was an uproar about a t-shirt

sold by an online brand that said “No Fats, No

Fems” referencing a phrase frequently seen on

gay dating apps. Following a social media

backlash, the makers took to Twitter to claim it

was “satire” but were soon shot down by socially

aware people who are proud of the fact that our

community is made up of people of different

shapes, sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds and

personalities. As you wander around Pride

London, look around and take in the complete

mix of people around you, celebrating their

sexuality as well as their differences.

British TV Drama

Not only are we seeing more and more LGBT+

characters on soap operas these days (and even

permanent ones who don’t do a runner or die

in tragic circumstance), there have also been

some brilliant, if not controversial characters

popping up in British drama as well. We’re

thinking Tom Hollander’s deliciously villainous

turn as Corky in The Night Manager and Ben

Whishaw, Jim Broadbent et al in the equally

stunning London Spy. With all this spy and

espionage stuff doing so well, we’ll be having a

gay James Bond next.

Gay Pride

Over the past four decades, Pride parades

and events have sprung up across the globe,

a rainbow cocktail of political awareness,

celebration and eye-opening fashion choices.

And these events are something we should

all be proud of, as these gatherings have

changed social attitudes and helped us fight

for and win many of the rights we enjoy

today. But most importantly we should feel

proud of the people in countries around the

world with substantially less tolerant

attitudes, who literally risk their lives to

hold Pride parades. Don’t forget to raise a

toast to them at some point during this

year’s Pride in London.

041


PRIDE IN LONDON

PRIDE PARTNERS

17

4

11

21

7

6

14

20

19

13

16

1

5

15 2

10

18

9

3

12

8

SOHO

1 Admiral Duncan

54 Old Compton Street,

London, W1D 4UB

www.admiral-duncan.co.uk

8 Halfway to Heaven

7 Duncannon Street,

London, WC2N 4JF

www.halfway2heaven.net

15 She Soho

23a Old Compton Street,

London, W1D 5LB

www.she-soho.com

SOUTH LONDON

22 RVT

372 Kennington Lane,

London, SE11 5HY

www.vauxhalltavern.com

2 Bar Soho

23-25 Old Compton Street,

London, W1D 5JL

www.barsoho.co.uk

9 Ku Bar Lisle Street

30 Lisle Street,

London, WC2H 7BA

www.ku-bar.co.uk

16 The Duke of Wellington

77 Wardour Street,

London, W1D 6QA

www.the1440.co.uk

23 Two Brewers

114 Clapham High Street,

London, SW4 7UJ

www.the2brewers.com

3 Chipotle

92-93 St. Martins Lane,

London, WC2N 4AP

www.chipotle.co.uk

10 Ku Soho

25 Frith Street,

London, WC1D 5LB

www.ku-bar.co.uk

17 The Kings Arms

23 Poland Street,

London, W1F 8QJ

www.kingsarms-soho.co.uk

22

4 Chipotle

181-185 Wardour Street,

London, W1F 8ZA

www.chipotle.co.uk

11 Lucky Voice

52 Poland Street,

London, W1F 7NQ

www.luckyvoice.com/bars/london-soho

18 The Light Lounge

1 Newport Place,

London WC2H 7JR

www.thelightloungelondon.com

5 Comptons

51 – 53 Old Compton Street,

London, W1D 6HN

www.faucetinn.com/comptons

12 Retro Bar

2 George Court,

London, WC2N 6HH

www.retrobarlondon.co.uk

19 The Yard Bar

57 Rupert Street,

London, W1D 7PL

www.yardbar.co.uk

23

MAPS: GOOGLE

6 Freedom Bar

66 Wardour Street,

London, W1F 0TA

www.freedombarsoho.com

7 G-A-Y Old Compton Street

30 Old Compton Street,

London, W1D 4UR

www.g-a-y.co.uk

13 Rupert Street Bar

50 Rupert Street,

London, W1D 6DR

www.rupert-street.com

14 Shadow Lounge

5-7 Brewer Street,

London W1F 0RF

www.theshadowlounge.co.uk

20 Village

81 Wardour Street,

London, W1D 6QD

www.village-soho.co.uk

21 Circa Soho

62 Frith St, Soho

London W1D 3JN

www.circasoho.com

Our Pride Partners are an

amazing collection of venues

that financially support Pride

in London and the LGBT+

community all year round.

Why not pay them a visit!

043


ALGERIAN COFFEE SHOP

THE OLD COLONY CLUB ON DEAN STREET

2IS COFFEE BAR

Soho

stories

FOR MOST LGBT+ PEOPLE IT’S LONDON’S GAY VILLAGE. BUT FOR SOHO

CHRONICLER CLAYTON LITTLEWOOD, IT’S MUCH MORE THAN THAT..

Piccadilly. My stop.

I get off the train, step on the

escalator, up the stairs, until I’m above

ground, on the Dilly Boy “meat rack”

of old, on the outskirts of Soho.

I walk down Brewer Street, past the Vintage

Magazine shop, the NCP car park, my mood

lifting as I draw near, following in the footsteps

of my heroes: Oscar Wilde, Quentin Crisp, Marc

Almond and Sebastian Horsley.

I first came here in the 80s, drawn by the

Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret world of seedy films

and sex dwarves. I’d stand outside Madam JoJo’s,

gazing up at Marc’s flat, or linger outside the

Trident Studios on St Anne’s Court (home to

Bolan, Bowie and Freddie), hoping to catch a

glimpse of him.

Then at night, I’d climb a rickety staircase on

Wardour Street to the Pink Panther, mixing with

the rent and the goths, East End criminals and

West End toffs, drag kings and scene queens,

“dancing, laughing, living, loving”. Ah, that was

my Soho, so long ago.

From the dying embers of the sex industry (on

Walkers Court), I cross to the film world of

Wardour Street, turning into the gay world of

Old Compton Street. On my right is Café

España. On my left, St Quentin’s old haunt, the

Black Cat (where he was beaten up by “the

roughs”). The street’s awash tonight, with

tourists and hen nights, Hari Krishnas and

socialites, a melting pot of London life, thrown

together on one street. Like a modern-day

Hogarth painting.

I walk past the 2is (the birthplace of British

rock and roll), a pack of bears outside Compton’s

(the new Coleherne clones), bowing my head in

remembrance as I pass the Admiral Duncan,

breathing in the rich aroma from the 129-yearold

Algerian Coffee Shop, until I’m standing on

the Dean Street crossroads.

It was these magical few yards that Daniel

Farson captured when chronicling Francis

Bacon’s “gilded gutter life”, that 50s Love Is The

Devil drunken period when he’d stagger from

Gaston’s bohemian French House pub, to

Muriel’s “concentration of camp” at the

members-only Colony club, recovering over

breakfast at number 50, Café Torino, where a

ten-foot marionette once perched above the

door, and where “dark Italians and pale young

artists and poets” would search half-heartedly for

jobs. I have a connection to this building. This is

where my partner and I once lived, in the damp

rat-infested basement, just feet away from

Elizabethan plague pits (and where I too would

chronicle life on this street).

I walk up Dean Street, waving at Maggie, one

of the madams from the “walk up”, heading for

Meard Street, the little cobbled Georgian

thoroughfare where the famous Soho clubs, the

Mandrake and the Gargoyle, once stood, where

Tallulah Bankhead danced, where Fred Astaire

was entranced, where Farson took Josh Avery in

the book Dog Days of Soho.

Meard Street is the prettiest street in the

village. Whenever I’m in Soho I make a point of

coming here. I stand outside number seven, the

house with the sign that reads, “This is not a

044


SOHO STREET SIGNS

MEARD STREET

PICCADILLY CIRCUS

FEATURE

“The street’s awash

tonight, a melting

pot of London life,

like a modern-day

Hogarth painting”

PICCADILLY CIRCUS

UNDERGROUND

SOHO DANDY,

SEBASTIAN HORSLEY

VINTAGE MAGAZINE SHOP

VINTAGE MAGAZINE SHOP

NOT A BROTHEL

brothel. There are no prostitutes at this address”,

and I remember.

For it was here that Sebastian Horsley, the

Soho dandy, lived. I would ring his bell, the

shutters would open and he’d lean out, in a black

silk negligee with a marabou feather–lined neck,

his face coated in a fine white powder, his eyes

caked in last night’s mascara, and he’d purr,

“Hello, Romeo, Juliet here. Welcome to Horsley

Towers.” And when he died his coffin was

wrapped in blood-red tissue paper, draped in

jewels and it was placed in a Victorian style horse

drawn hearse. And the hearse went all round the

streets of Soho. It was as if Sebastian was saying a

last goodbye to the village that he loved.

Now I’m back on Dean Street, looking toward

the Golden Lion (a one-time gay serial killer

haunt). This was where I used to spot Pam, the

local homeless “celebrity”. Wherever I was in

Soho, Pam would be there too. If I was walking

past the Coach and Horses, Pam would step out

of a doorway. If I was having a coffee outside

Maison Bertaux, her radar would home in on me.

Pam has been gone now for four years but I

still remember her dressed in her usual attire:

camouflage trousers, donkey jacket, “barn owl”

NHS glasses, sporting a number-one haircut.

“Gotta gold one for me?” she mumbles. I hand

her a coin. She squints at it. She doesn’t seem

impressed. “It’s all I’ve got, Pam.” Then she

wraps her arms around me, snuffling into my

jacket. “Thank you... Luv you!” And off she

trundles, like something from Beatrix Potter.

Pam, the Fag Lady. The hardest worker on Old

Compton Street.

I turn right into Old Compton Street. Across

the road is Costa. And look, there’s the woman

with the striking eye makeup and the “bum

length” multi-coloured plaits. And over there,

that’s Michele, the aging tranny, shuffling past, in

a moth-eaten fur. Like an ancient Romanov in

exile. This street may be predominately youthoriented,

but the old return, often unnoticed, to

remember, to reflect. They see a different Soho.

The ghosts.

A minute later I’m sitting with a coffee on the

corner of Frith Street, within sight of Kettners.

It is said that Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas

entertained their rent boys there. And a couple

of decades before them, two other doomed

lovers, Rimbaud and Verlaine, socialised in a

public house on this street.

And this is what I love about Soho - sitting

with my coffee, by the window, writing in my

notebook, watching the mayhem outside. I

imagine the artists, the writers and the

eccentrics that have flocked here over the

centuries, attracted by the cosmopolitan feel, the

lure of sex, and the hint of danger that lies

within.

You can’t transport this vibe. It’s in the

brickwork. It’s in their footsteps. The high street

chains may be moving in, but old Soho is still

here if you care to look. There’s nowhere like it

in the world.

And one day it will rise again. It always does.

Clayton Littlewood is the author of Dirty White

Boy and Goodbye to Soho

045


Is your workforce efficient, effective,

and competitive?

Do you draw from a truly broad talent

pool to recruit the very best?

Is your firm as diverse as your clients?

Are you an Inclusive Employer?

Will you work to deliver best practice across the 6 Principles?

1. Leadership and vision – true change must be driven from

the top. The leaders of this industry need to share their vision.

2. Recruitment – more than avoiding unconscious bias are you

recruiting from a wider pool? Outreach work in schools, career

changers from teachers to soldiers.

3. Staff development – are we making the most of our staff’s

skills? Do we give them the opportunity to thrive?

4. Staff retention – what are we doing to keep staff? If we

cannot give them work life balance – they are moving out to

sectors that can.

5. Staff engagement – the only permanent culture changes

are those that are fully embedded within the firm, how can

we involve all staff in finding solutions?

6. Continuous improvement – commitment to monitoring what

is working and what is not, sharing best practice, and working

together to drive through change.

Sign up to the 6 Principles, display the logo and agree to

self-assess every two years – together we shall drive up

the standards of our profession across the UK.

Join RICS on the journey to become an Inclusive Employer today.

For more info contact us at: qualitymark@rics.org


SPONSORED FEATURE

DAVID MANN

Making diversity

everyone’s

business

DAVID MANN OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTION

OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS TAKES A LOOK

AT DIVERSITY IN THE PROPERTY INDUSTRY

According to the Royal Institution of

Chartered Surveyors, 50 per cent of

its global membership is over 50 and

only 14 per cent is female.

It is not surprising the property industry –

particularly in the UK – is referred to as “male, stale

and pale”. I hate that expression, especially as a

47-year-old, white, male, middle-class, Chartered

Building Surveyor. I also just happen to be gay.

The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender

(LGBT+) community

has traditionally kept a

very low profile in the

construction and real

estate sectors or

avoided it completely

as a career choice. I

believe this was

because there is a

perception, real or

implied, that there is

institutional

homophobia. We have

all heard banter in the

office and on site, whether meant in jest or as a

form of bullying, but it has resulted in the

majority of LGBT+ people remaining

closeted in the workplace for fear of abuse or

career limitation.

Surely, feeling safe to be yourself is one of the

most basic human rights. We spend an average of

10.3 years of our lives at work and employers need

“The facts show that

inclusive and diverse

organisations are more

successful and diverse

boards deliver stronger

corporate oversight”

to work hard at creating an environment where

everyone regardless of age, race, religion, gender

or sexuality is encouraged and given equal

opportunities. In fact, managers who demonstrate

strong commitment to diversity encourage high

levels of engagement between employer and

employee. This boosts productivity.

The facts also show that inclusive and diverse

organisations are more successful. Diverse boards

deliver stronger corporate oversight. They are also

27 per cent more

profitable and have 39

per cent higher levels

of customer

satisfaction.

Four years ago,

myself and Saleem

Fazal, a construction

litigation lawyer at

Taylor Wessing, started

Freehold, a networking

and support group for

LGBT+ real estate

professionals. We were

motivated by the almost complete lack of positive

gay role models in property and no forum for us to

meet and talk about our personal experiences.

By creating Freehold, we effectively “outed”

ourselves to an entire industry which I have to

admit was pretty scary at the time as we had no

idea what sort of reaction we would get from our

clients, colleagues, employers, professional

institutions or the press. I did not want to

become “the only gay in the industry”.

Well, thankfully we were embraced and have

been overwhelmed by the support we have

received. Our membership has just topped 800

and we are represented in almost every major

employer. In fact LGBT+ colleagues meeting at

Freehold events have been the catalyst for many

organisations starting their own LGBT+

employee networks. We have had events

supported by most of the large surveying

practices, law firms, The Crown Estate, British

Land, LendLease, as well as RICS and RIBA.

A significant evolution for LGBT+ equality in

the built environment is the RICS Inclusive

Employer Quality Mark launched last year. This

lays out some clear benchmarks for increasing

diversity in the sector, but it starts with

leadership and vision.

RICS – as one of our leadership bodies – is

playing its part both through the Quality Mark and

its vocal support of Freehold. The Inclusive

Employer Quality Mark is a major initiative by

RICS to encourage companies in the land,

property and construction sector to be more

inclusive and diverse. It asks employers to pledge

their commitment to adopting and continually

improving against six principles including

leadership and vision, recruitment, staff

development, staff retention, staff engagement and

continuous improvement. This is genuine progress.

A modern profession needs to reflect the

communities that it serves. Many of our clients

recognise this and now look for organisations

that exhibit best practice in recruitment,

training and development of staff regardless of

age, race, religion, gender or sexuality, often

requesting specific statistics as part of services

procurement procedures.

We pride ourselves on being a “people

industry”; let’s just make sure that includes

everybody. The welcome must be for all or it

means nothing.

David Mann is a Chartered Building Surveyor and

Partner at independent property and construction

consultancy, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor. He is also

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Freehold, LGBT+

property network and support forum.

047


THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR PRIDES

MATT NEWBURY HAS PUT TOGETHER A PRIDE

MIX TAPE (WITH LOVE) THAT TAKES IN SOME OF

THE SONGS AND ARTISTS WHO HAVE PROVIDED

A SOUNDTRACK TO PRIDE EVENTS IN LONDON

OVER THE PAST 44 YEARS

048


1972

Star Man

David Bowie

The very first official gay pride march in Britain

was organised by the Gay Liberation Front

(including a 20-year-old Peter Tatchell), with the

theme of being “out and proud”. With most gay

people still being in the closet and often ashamed

of their sexuality, only 700 people took part in the

march from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park, which

was accompanied by a heavy and aggressive police

presence. After the parade there was an

unplanned gay picnic in the park where people

shared food, drink, dope and music, man. A

sexually ambivalent David Bowie was huge at the

time following a ground-breaking performance of

Star Man on Top of the Pops (in a multicoloured

jumpsuit and with his arm curled suggestively

around Mick Ronson’s shoulder) which had

outraged middle England but resonated with his

fellow trailblazers in Hyde Park.

1976

Glad to Be Gay

Tom Robinson Band

This classic anthem by the Tom Robinson Band

was written specifically for the London gay pride

parade in 1976 and has been considered Britain’s

unofficial gay anthem ever since. The original

version criticises the police for raiding gay bars,

the hypocrisy of the Gay News obscenity trial

and the often violent consequences of

homophobia. Over the years, updated versions

have tackled everything from the AIDS crisis to

further attacks on the tabloid press. On its

release Radio 1 refused to play it (although John

Peel did), while the song topped the Capital

Radio Hitline Chart for six consecutive weeks.

Cinema was also tackling gay rights with Derek

Jarman’s feature debut Sebastiane drawing

parallels with the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian

with gay persecution in the 1970s.

1979

I Am What I Am

Village People

In 1980, Inside Story screened a documentary

called Coming Out, which was recorded at

London Gay Pride week the year before. “This

event is billed as the climax of Gay Pride week,”

explains the narrator, “but in effect it’s the climax

of ten years in which homosexuals have acquired a

new pride and a new name. Today they are called

gays and they are coming out on the streets of

London.” Nearly 1,500 policemen were on duty,

while the march itself was made up of around

3,000 gay men and women (two for every

policeman). Drag queens, clones and other

outrageously dressed people (some on roller

skates) marched alongside more everyday

characters. It’s a fascinating snapshot from a time

when social discrimination and police harassment

were rife and equality under the law was a distant

dream. But the marchers are organised,

determined and there’s a real carnival atmosphere,

with many breaking out into dance to I Am What

I Am by the Village People. Years later, of course,

Gloria Gaynor recorded another song with the

same title from the musical La Cage Aux Folles

which became a gay anthem.

TOM ROBINSON BAND

DAID BOWIE

music

BRONSKI BEAT SUPPORTED THE MINERS.

PRIDE IN LONDON, 1985. PHOTO COLIN

CLEWES www.gayinthe80s.com

1984

Why

Bronski Beat

At the 1984 Lesbian and Gay Pride March in

London, Mark Ashton and his friend Michael

Jackson (no, not that one...) collected donations

for the striking miners. The pair saw an affinity

between two polar but equally bullied groups,

which led to them setting up Lesbians and Gays

Support the Miners, a remarkable fundraising

drive told in the film Pride. In December of that

year, a benefit concert called Pits and Perverts was

held at the Electric Ballroom in Camden,

headlined by Bronski Beat. The name of the

concert was allegedly taken from a tabloid

headline from the Sun newspaper which read

“Perverts Support the Pits.” It was due to be one

of the last Bronski Beat performances before

Jimmy Somerville left to form The Communards.

At the main Pride event, freesheet Capital Gay

reported that just 2,000 people joined the march,

bringing into question the event’s future. But

things were about to change...

1985

Walk like a Man

Divine

Lesbian and Gay Pride in 1985 was the biggest yet,

with an estimated 10,000 people in attendance. A

rally assembled in Hyde Park and then marched to

Jubilee Gardens, with Lesbians and Gays Support

the Miners joined by miners and their families

from South Wales, repaying their support. Indeed,

at the Labour Party Conference held in

Bournemouth later that year, they would also help

push through gay rights policies in the face of

049


opposition from the party’s National Executive.

However, for many the most memorable moment

of that year’s Pride was the outrageous sight of

drag superstar Divine sailing up the Thames on

the roof of the club Heaven’s party boat The

Elizabethan and singing Walk Like a Man and

Native Love (Step by Step).

1988

A Little Respect

Erasure

Pride this year was all about Section 28, a law

introduced by the Thatcher government banning

local authorities from promoting homosexuality

in a positive light. This included the “promotion”

of homosexuality in schools as a “normal family

relationship”. Along with the HIV/AIDS

paranoia, gay people were being stigmatised more

than nearly ever before, with a staggering 75 per

cent of the population saying that homosexual

activity was “always or mostly wrong”. The

offensive legislation did help rally the gay

community, with around 40,000 people attending

Pride in 1988, while actor Sir Ian McKellen came

out as gay to campaign against the law, helping

form Stonewall the following year. As a

soundtrack to the cause, there couldn’t have been

a better anthem than A Little Respect and the line

“what religion or reason could drive a man to

forsake his lover?”

1992

The Crying Game

Boy George

The first ever EuroPride was held in London in

1992 at the height of the AIDS epidemic and

when Clause 28 was still very much angering the

gay community. The concept of the pan-European

festival was to choose a different country each

year for LGBT+ people to congregate and show

their collective power. The first London event

attracted crowds of around 100,000, a mix of

newly politicised protesters and hedonistic

revellers. Meanwhile, both mainstream and

arthouse cinema were tackling LGBT+ issues

including Peter’s Friends which saw Stephen Fry in

the title role, revealing to his university friends he

is HIV-positive, and Orlando featuring Quentin

Crisp as Elizabeth I. However it was Neal Jordan’s

Oscar-winning The Crying Game about race,

gender and sexuality against the backdrop of the

Irish troubles that caused the most controversy,

confusing an awful lot of heterosexual men with

its “meaty” plot twist.

1995

Sisters

Kylie Minogue and Elton John

The 1995 Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival saw

members of the Lesbian & Gay Police Association

and gay members of the Fire Brigades Union

joining the march for the first time. Meanwhile,

the post parade party was held in East London’s

Victoria Park, when the expected 120,000 visitors

turned out to be closer to 200,000 revellers.

Performing at the event were the likes of Lily

Savage, Dead or Alive, Dannii Minogue, Chaka

Khan and Sandy Toksvig. When the Danish

comedian came out the year before, Save the

Children dropped her as compere of their 75th

anniversary celebrations. However, following a

direct action protest by the Lesbian Avengers, the

charity apologised. At the Stonewall Equality

Show (raising money for their campaign to lift the

ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the forces),

Marc Almond, Julian Clary, Eddie Izzard, the Ab

Fab cast and a newly out Michael Barrymore

performed, and Kylie and Elton teamed up to sing

a cover of Sisters.

1999

Queer As Folk Theme

Murray Gold

The last year of the 20 th century was to be one of

sorrow and defiance for the gay community in

London. On 30 April at 6.37pm a bomb exploded

in the Admiral Duncan pub on Old Compton

Street, killing three people and injuring at least 70.

It was the third bomb to be planted by Neo-Nazi

David Copeland, who was attempting to stir up

racial and homophobic tension. At a rally in Soho

Square, Angela Mason from Stonewall declared,

“Nobody, but nobody, is going to bomb us back

into the closet.” 1999 also saw the birth of Mardi

Gras, a commercial event held in Finsbury Park

for the next three years. Meanwhile gay issues

were set to be literally rubbed in people’s faces,

when Queer As Folk exploded onto our screens.

2002

Karma Chameleon

Cast of Taboo

For the 30 th anniversary of Gay and Lesbian Pride,

the Pride Parade (with the theme Gays Through

The Ages) was followed by the very last Mardi

Gras, this time in Hackney Marshes. Acts

included Suede, Westlife, Atomic Kitten, Lulu, H

and Claire, and Five Star. Both classic FM and

Radio 1 had stages, while dance tents were

provided by Manchester’s Paradise Factory,

Liverpool’s Garlands and Trade. Although 27,000

people attended the event, organisers claimed it

lost nearly £450,000. Meanwhile the Duckie crew

organised another of their Gay Shame events (a

festival of homosexual misery that ran in various

club venues from 1996 – 2014) in protest of the

commercialisation of gay Pride and the lack of

political and community spirit. Boy George also

took people back to the underground and

alternative club scene of the 1980’s with his

brilliant musical Taboo.

BOY GEORGE

ERASURE

CREATIVE COMMONS

NANCY J PRICE

QUEER AS FOLK

050


music

JERRY SPRINGER:

THE OPERA

CONCHITA WURST

AVENUE Q

2004

I Just Wanna Dance

Jerry Springer: The Opera

In 2004 former Mardi Gras director Jason Pollack

founded the Pride London charity with a mandate

from London Mayor Ken Livingstone to produce

a free festival. The march was dedicated to

murdered Jamaican gay rights campaigner Brian

Williamson. A contingent of the Gay Police

Association also marched in their uniforms in the

parade for the first time. The parade was followed

by a rally in Trafalgar Square, with speakers

including Lord Waheed Alli (the first openly gay

peer), Peter Tatchell and the London Mayor.

Meanwhile dating app FaceParty organised The

Big Gay Out in Finsbury Park, a commercial

festival that was to run for two years. However the

huge news in 2004 was the Labour Government

passing the Civil Partnership Act, giving same-sex

couples the same rights and responsibilities as

married heterosexual couples. Meanwhile, Jerry

Springer: The Opera gave fundamental Christians

something else to protest about for once.

2006

If You Were Gay

Cast of Avenue Q

In 2006 London hosted a triumphant EuroPride

Event, which saw a two week arts festival

culminating with an amazing parade down Oxford

Street and Regent Street – the first time this had

been allowed in the event’s history. The rally in

SCISSOR SISTERS

Trafalgar Square was attended by London’s mayor

Ken Livingstone and guest speaker Ian McKellen.

Entertainment stages were built in both Soho

Square and Leicester Square, while another

highlight of the festivities was EuroPride: The

Show at the Royal Albert Hall starring the likes of

Elton John, Stephen Fry, Graham Norton, Sandi

Toksvig, Sir Ian McKellen (as Widow Twanky this

time), Boy George and the cast (both humans and

puppets!) of the hit musical Avenue Q. Couples

who had recently celebrated a civil partnership

were invited on stage to thunderous applause. It

was also another huge year for gay rights with the

Equality Act introduced and the age of consent

equalised.

2012

Let’s Have a Kiki

Scissor Sisters

World Pride takes place every five years and just

ahead of the Olympics and Paralympic Games it

was the turn of London to host the prestigious

international event. However nine days before the

event was due to take place it was revealed that

the organisers had failed to secure the sponsorship

to pay contractors and in an embarrassing move

all of the entertainment and stages were cancelled,

the parade became a Pride Walk without floats or

vehicles and the rally in Trafalgar Square became

more of a scaled back social gathering. At a time

when we should have been campaigning for full

equality including marriage rights, the event

“Nobody, but

nobody, is

going to bomb

us back into

the closet”

became a bit of a damp squib. Thank goodness for

Scissor Sisters bringing some campness and colour

to the summer with the release of their fourth

album Magic Hour and the brilliant singles Only

The Horses and Let’s Have a Kiki. Sadly they

announced an indefinite hiatus later that year.

2014

Rise like a Phoenix

Conchita Wurst

In a year that same-sex marriage became legal in

England, Scotland and Wales, the Queen also

praised the London Lesbian and Gay

Switchboard on their 40 th anniversary, the first

time she had ever publically supported the gay

community. Pride in London was again organised

by London LGBT+ Community Pride, a

community interest company formed after the

World Pride fiasco in 2012. Chair of Pride in

London, Michael Salter, said: “Our theme for

2014 is ‘Freedom to... Freedom to…be ourselves,

love who we want, change society, live without

fear, be an Olympic medal winner…Whatever the

Freedom is that you cherish, this is the chance to

celebrate it.’ 20,000 people took part in the

parade, while more than 300,000 crammed into

Trafalgar Square, clearly demonstrating the event

was well and truly back on track. Sir Ian

McKellen introduced Eurovision winner

Conchita Wurst who sang Rise Like a Phoenix to

the masses, something which could have been

referring to Pride in London itself.

051


Sing

out!

THE LONDON GAY MEN’S CHORUS IS THE LARGEST GAY

CHOIR IN EUROPE AND THIS YEAR IS CELEBRATING ITS

SILVER JUBILEE. ANDY LEVEY LOOKS BACK ON 25 YEARS

OF MUSIC, PERFORMANCE AND BROTHERHOOD

The London Gay Men’s Chorus

(LGMC) started life in 1991 when

nine friends came together to sing a

few Christmas carols at Angel tube

station to raise money for the Terrence Higgins

Trust. London was in the midst of the AIDS

crisis and the men, who belonged to a social

group called London Friend, sang together to

find a place of support, friendship and

brotherhood, and to raise awareness of HIV/

AIDS. They pulled such a crowd that the station

had to be closed.

In the nearly 25 years since, the Chorus has

grown to over 200 members – making it the

largest male voice choir in the UK, and the

largest gay choir in Europe. Today, the LGMC

regularly plays to sell-out crowds at the

Southbank Centre, Cadogan Hall and The

Roundhouse, and has collaborated with the likes

of Mark Ronson, Elton John, Lesley Garrett,

Dolly Parton, and Russell Watson. They’ve

appeared on Children in Need, Comic Relief,

The One Show, The Graham Norton Show and

Top of the Pops, and sang with such force

outside the Houses of Parliament during the

vote on equal marriage that they could be heard

from within the chamber.

While much in the Chorus has changed in our

25 years, four fundamental things remain the

same: it still strives for the highest standard in

music and performance; it’s still a place of

052


LGMC HEROES

support, friendship and brotherhood; it still works

to support charities and challenge homophobia;

and it still stops people in their tracks!

The LGMC is made up of singers from all corners

of the globe, with ages ranging from early 20s all the

way up to the oldest member, Martin, who recently

celebrated his 85th birthday. And people join for a

variety of reasons, be it those that have recently

moved to London and want to meet new people, to

those seeking something different from the regular

“scene”. Regardless of the reason, new members

quickly find themselves immersed into a “band of

brothers” with regular social gatherings to

supplement the hard work of rehearsal and

performance. It’s this

friendship and brotherhood

that keeps people in the

Chorus for many years – with

two original members still

performing 25 years after that

first performance at Angel

tube station.

What’s possibly less

known about the LGMC is

its outreach work. 2011 saw

the launch of its Youth,

Education and Outreach

programme which aims to

combat homophobia in

schools through music via

musical workshops and

“New members quickly

find themselves

immersed into a ‘band

of brothers’ with regular

social gatherings to

supplement the hard

work of rehearsal and

performance”

assembly performances with members of the

Chorus. The LGMC also regularly performs at

events to help raise funds for other charities

– most recently for Positive East, the Robert

Grace Trust, Wotever World and the Ben Cohen

Stand-Up Foundation – and also builds links with

faith communities through performances at the

West London Synagogue and Saint Paul’s

Cathedral.

There’s no doubt that the LGMC has built a

solid reputation for putting on a great show.

With a mixture of contemporary and classic

songs combined with (sometimes complex)

choreography, it continues to wow and entertain

audiences with every show it puts on. And now,

in its Silver Jubilee year, it has set itself 25 goals

for 25 years – from performing at an international

Pride festival (see below) to raising £25,000 to

help fund additional outreach work.

For more information about the London Gay Men’s

Chorus and future performances, and to support

its work, visit www.lgmc.org.uk. And if you’ve

never seen them live, check out some of their

performances on YouTube at www.youtube.com/

LdnGMC to see what you’ve been missing!

LGMC POSITIVE EAST

© ANDREW PENNINGTON

SINGING FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY

FEATURE

Unforgettable

performances

In addition to performing two big shows a year

to raise funds for the Chorus and its outreach

work, the LGMC also finds time to fit in other

shows along the way. Here we list just a few

examples of these performances:

Prague Pride In 2015, over 100 members of

the Chorus travelled to Prague to take part in

the city’s 5th annual Pride. This included a

performance at the national theatre with the

Doodles (the Czech gay men’s chorus), and

being the biggest group to take part in the

Pride parade.

Sandi and Debbie Toksvig renewing their vows

Just after the Equal Marriage Act came into force,

the LGMC performed at the Southbank Centre

where Sandi Toksvig and her partner Debbie

renewed their vows. The LGMC had collaborated

with Sandi previously and were thrilled to be able

to take part in their special day.

Through the Barricades For The Love Show in

2015, the LGMC performed a version of

Through the Barricades which it dedicated to

all of the LGBT+ people who are still facing

oppression around the world. Accompanied by

a video montage showing photos of the

violence directed at LGBT+ people, by the end

of this song there was barely a dry eye on

stage, let alone in the audience.

The Royal Free Hospital Just two months ago,

the LGMC performed in the atrium of the Royal

Free Hospital to entertain visitors and staff,

before splitting into smaller groups to sing on

the wards for the long-term patients.

Houses of Parliament In 2013, the LGMC joined

other supporters of the Equal Marriage Act to

sing outside the Houses of Parliament on the

day the vote took place. Lord Alli Waheed

commented (after the thankfully successful

vote) that the LGMC could be heard singing

from within the chamber while the debates

took place before the vote!

10 Downing Street In 2012 our incredibly

talented Ensemble performed at 10 Downing

Street in the presence of the Prime Minister for

an event against homophobia in sport.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Back in 2008 the

Ensemble also performed 6 nights at the Roxy

Art House as part of the Edinburgh Fringe

Festival. Donning their ruby boots, they

presented There’s No Place Like Homo! –

inspired by themes from The Wizard of Oz.

053


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054


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055


CARNABY

Fun of the

Festival

PRIDE IN LONDON FESTIVAL 2016

FRIDAY 10 – SUNDAY 26 JUNE

Our Festival showcases some of the most inspiring talents and

celebrates the diversity of events and activities for and by the

LGBT+ community.

This year, you’ll find everything from theatre performances,

exhibitions and concerts to informal meetups, outdoor fun and inclusive

club nights. Most of these events are submitted by the LGBT+ community

of London and curated by our Festival Team to ensure you get to experience

the very best in LGBT+ activities throughout the Pride fortnight. Amongst

them you’ll find drag shows, exhibitions of LGBT+ artists, historic, spooky

or saucy tours through the heart of London, spoken word, gala screenings

and conferences.

This year we’ve been beavering away on some very special

partnerships and events and our 2016 Headline Events include:

• An unique partnership with the National History Museum Lates

programme. Over 4,000 visitors to the museum after dark will find out all

about attraction in this sexual attraction themed exhibition which

highlights courtship and propagation in the natural world. Encounter

animals that switch genders, to romantic insects that leave courtship gifts

and marvel at other flamboyant creatures that live for the attention. Most

parts of this highly stimulating exhibition are free as it should be, but

there are ticketed aspects of the event that are on sale now. So come see

how the rest of the natural world does “Netflix and chill”.

• We’re hosting the first ever Pride in London 2016 Spectacular over at

London Wonderground at Southbank Centre. Headed up by La Voix

and the Gay Big Band and supported by a troupe of cabaret performers,

singers, theatre makers and more, it’ll be an spangling, glitter-covered

evening of frivolity and spectacle.

• This year we we’ve hooked up with three hostpots in the West End

– Carnaby, Seven Dials and Berwick Street, Soho – to get you

discounts across a range of shopping and food & drinks outlets.

Simply pick up your wristband from one of the official outlets and

start a fortnight of saving.

• And we just had to throw a party. Pride Party with Zebrano will see 32

acts from across burlesque, comedy, drag, circus, dance and pop all

performing ina one night extravaganza.

056


FEATURE

Heels of Glory:

The Drag Action Musical

PRIDE RIDE

Jonny Woo and

Le Gateau Chocolat

ROSIE WILBY

QUEER’SAY

BEAUTIFUL THING

Also coming up in

Pride Festival 2016

• Beautiful Thing special screenings

of the modern classic to celebrate

its 20th anniversary

• Queer’Say Spoken word night with Radio 4’s

Rosie Wilby

• Without Borders The LGBT+ Conference,

comes to London for the first time

• Heels of Glory: A Drag Action Musical Starring

Topsie Redfern and Matthew Floyd Jones at

Chelsea Theatre.

PrideRide Get your bike out and ride across

the city with the community

• Pink for Pink Historic tours and matchmaking

for gay and bisexual women

• We R Exhibition featuring works from artists

and collaborators across the community

• A post Pride chill out With the London Gay

Symphony Orchestra

• V&A LGBT+ tours Finding all those objects

and artefacts that are part of our history

• This Much The Edinburgh fringe smash hit

play transfers to the Soho Theatre

• A celebration of the Art of Drag Cabaret At the

Pheasantry, Chelsea, with the likes of Jonny Woo,

Le Gateau Chocolat, Silver Summers, Velma Celli,

Vinegar Strokes and Vanity von Glow.

Plus there’s loads more to get your teeth into

across London throughout the Festival.

For full listings on all Pride Festival events visit

prideinlond.org/plan your pride/pride festival or

download our Pride in London app from the

Apple store or Google Play.

057


Names

on a

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Celebrate your Pride

Put your name on a

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and support the RAF Museum!

www.namesonaplane.org

Donations from £30

Terms and conditions apply

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FEATURE

Black Pride

Transforming

our Community

UK Black Pride is a non-profit

organisation that promotes unity

and co-operation among all people

of African, Asian, Caribbean,

Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, as

well as their friends and families, who identify as

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender.

The organisation is committed to producing

an annual celebration of “Black Pride”, as well as

organising a variety of activities throughout the

year in and around the UK which also promote

and advocate for the spiritual, emotional, and

intellectual health and well-being of all related

communities.

The theme for the 11th annual event will be

Transforming Our Community. This theme aims

to give visibility to the epidemic levels of

violence, discrimination and poverty that

continue to haunt and take the lives of

transgender people at alarming rates in this

country and around the globe.

The event will be hosted by comedian Gina

Yashere and headlined by X Factor star Sean

Miley Moore. It will be held on Sunday 25 June in

London’s Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens from

between 1pm and 10pm.

The event is free and will include some

performances by big LGBT artists and LGBT

supporting artists.

Last year’s events saw thousands of attendees

and had X-Factor star, Misha B, headline the festival.

This year promises to be bigger and better!

059


PRIDE IN LONDON 2016

SATURDAY 25 JUNE


Opening

Doors in

London

OLDER LGBT+ PEOPLE MAY FEEL ISOLATED FROM THE WIDER

COMMUNITY. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY

MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS

OF OPENING DOORS LONDON

062


FEATURE

OPENING DOORS LONDON

SOCIAL EVENT

WHY I’M

A MEMBER OF ODL

“My name is David Mitchell. At 83 years of

age I’m old enough to have lived through,

and survived, the post-war period of intense

homophobic persecution, by the authorities

and society in general, which caused a great

deal of distress to a lot of inoffensive people.

The survivors of this time have lived to see

enormous improvements in the position of

LGBT+ people – but they still carry the scars,

and remain vulnerable and sensitive to the

prejudice and ill-treatment that still exists.

Being an Ambassador for Opening Doors

London means, for me, an opportunity to

support older LGBT+ people in their efforts

to find respect and understanding as

ordinary members of society – and also to

take part in the battle, not yet won, alas,

against the continued existence of

homophobia in the wider community.”

Opening Doors London (ODL) aims

to specifically meet the needs of the

older LGBT community and is

aimed at people who identify as

LGBT+ and are over the age of 50. We have

members from across London and beyond.

The aims of Opening Doors London are to

develop services for the older LGBT+

community that combat isolation through the

provision of:

• Regular social activities

• A befriending service

• Campaigning

We do this because older LGBT+ people are:

• Three times more likely than their heterosexual

counterparts to be single and live alone

• Less likely to have children and far more likely

to be estranged from their families

• Significantly more likely to experience

damaging mental health problems

Would you like to join or support?

Are you over 50 years old and a member of the

LGBT+ community? If so please get in touch

to join Opening Doors London for free as a

member. As a member you’ll be able to attend

film clubs, coffee mornings, walking groups,

visits to museums and galleries and day trips.

You’ll meet people like yourself and those

from all along the LGBT+ spectrum and have

the chance to pop along to activities that

interest you.

Or would you like to support Opening Doors

London as a volunteer or by donating? Have a

look on our website for more information on

how you can get involved.

With your support ODL can continue their

vital work in supporting older members of our

community.

BRIAN’S STORY

Brian became extremely withdrawn from the world when his partner of 45 years died. He spent six

years at home alone, only leaving his house between 9 and 9.30am to go food shopping – this

became a daily routine and for those years his only social contact was with the sales assistant at

the local supermarket. Brian was being treated for severe depression by a hospital psychologist,

who saw an advert for the Opening Doors London Befriending Scheme and made a referral.

When the Befriending Coordinator first visited Brian he was withdrawn and did not feel that he

could be helped. After regularly visiting him over a few months in order to get to know him, Brian

was introduced to his volunteer Befriender. The Befriender is actually older than Brian; he is

retired and has therefore been able to dedicate a lot of time to getting to know him. They have

formed a really lovely friendship, and meet up at least three times a week. They regularly take

trips to concerts, social events and other activities.

Over time, the Befriender has helped Brian become more and more socially included. They both

attend Opening Doors London social groups and friendships with other members have blossomed.

Brian continually thanks the Befriending Coordinator for the effect the Befriender has had on his

life – “Look how happy I am now, I never stop smiling!” he says. In the two weeks leading up to

Christmas last year he informed staff that he had 10 social events to attend!

The Befriender is now helping Brian to visit various animal rescue centres in search of a small

dog to keep him company at home. The transformation observable in Brian - physically, mentally

and emotionally - is incredible and access to ODL services through the Befriending scheme has

been life changing.

MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS

OF OPENING DOORS LONDON

For more information on Opening Doors London

see the website openingdoorslondon.org.uk or

call 020 7239 0400.

063


Page 16 Irish Daily Mail, Saturday, August 1, 2015

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lisbon, from top: the

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066


FEATURE

Fighting

the

good

fight

AFTER 50 YEARS OF POLITICAL ACTIVISM, VETERAN HUMAN RIGHTS

CAMPAIGNER TELLS CARY GEE THAT THERE’S STILL MUCH MORE WORK TO DO

There is barely room in Peter

Tatchell’s south London council flat

to swing a proverbial cat, let alone a

placard featuring a dragged-up,

lipsticked President Putin. Every surface is

littered with souvenirs culled from a lifetime’s

campaign to achieve LGBT equality.

As my photographer wades through a waisthigh

archive of banners, newspapers cuttings and

theatrical props in search of space to erect his

tripod, I look for somewhere to sit. Peter tells

me there is a sofa in the corner. I can only take

his word for it, and instead settle in one of two

straight backed chairs in front of the desk from

where Tatchell runs his human rights foundation.

A slightly weary Tatchell, fresh from celebrating

his 64th birthday, occupies the other one, and

tells me how, after nearly 50 years of

campaigning, and over 300 arrests later, there is

still work to be done.

“I first realised I was gay at the age of 17, in my

home town of Melbourne,” he says. “Almost

immediately I attempted to campaign for LGBT

rights but there was no organisation I could join,

and all of my gay friends were too scared. All I

could do was write to newspapers, challenging

homophobic stories. At the time homosexuality

was totally illegal, punishable by several years in

067


prison. Initially I was too frightened to sign my

name, or give my address, afraid of a knock at the

door, which luckily never came. I moved into an

apartment with my then partner. My parents

didn’t know I was gay.”

Didn’t his putative campaigning make him

rather a difficult person to live with?

“We each had our own separate interests. In

his free time he worked as a set-designer, and I

used mine to campaign for LGBT and other

human rights. I campaigned against the death

penalty [something Tatchell remains implacably

opposed to up to this day] and against Australia’s

involvement in Vietnam.”

Was there even an LGBT community for

Tatchell to join in 1960’s Melbourne? “There

were no helplines, or advice services at all. A

couple of seedy bars but no clubs, or anything

like that. The scene was entirely underground.”

So what finally convinced Tatchell to pack his

bags and travel to London?

“I objected to the Vietnam war and refused to

register for National Service. I arrived in London

soon after the formation of the Gay Liberation

Front. For me that was a huge personal

liberation”

On his second day in London Tatchell saw an

advert for a weekly GLF meeting, stuck to a

lisbon, from top: the

castle of sao jorge;

famous pastries at

belem; tinned

“The fact that these laws remained

on the statute book for so long, under the

heading ‘unnatural offences’ is indicative

of the deep homophobia of the

British political establishment”

lamp post on Oxford Circus, and “for the first

time I was able to organise with other people.

We met in Notting Hill, a very eclectic bunch,

from counter-culturalists to people involved in

mainstream politics. I’d found something

personal. Up to that point I’d campaigned mostly

for other people’s rights. Gay rights were an addon,

not a replacement, to the campaigning I was

already involved with.”

In fact there were few human rights violations

Tatchell did not draw attention to; the Troubles

in Northern Ireland, General Franco, and fascist

Greek colonels were all subjected to his now

legendary, terrier-like tenacity.

It’s now widely accepted that homosexuality

was legalised, at least up to a point, under then

Labour Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, in 1967.

But Tatchell is having none of it.

“Homosexuality was not made legal in 1967.

The bill passed was a very partial, limited

decriminalisation. All other anti-gay laws

remained in place and were not repealed until

2003. In fact, in the four years after 1967,

convictions for consenting adults involved in

homosexual behaviour rocketed by 400%! They

gave us an inch and said, ‘Don’t take any more.’

Remaining laws were enforced with ever-greater

zeal as a way of reminding the LGBT community

that partial decriminalisation was not a green

light to acceptance.

“In 2003, under another Labour government,

the law forbidding buggery, which had been

introduced by Henry VIII, was finally abolished,

along with the crime of gross indecency, which

sent Oscar Wilde to prison in 1885.

‘The fact that these laws remained on the

statute book for so long, under the heading

‘unnatural offences’ is indicative of the deep

homophobia of the British political

establishment.”

Is this seam of homophobia as deep now as

before?

‘Nowhere near as much as then, but there are

still residues, as we’ve seen with the passage of

same-sex marriage legislation, which does not

represent true equality. It has segregated samesex

couples under a separate legislative

framework. It’s a legal apartheid. One marriage

law for straight couples (the 1949 Marriage Act)

and a separate, 2013 Marriage Act for same-sex

couples. Separate is not equal.”

But given that same-sex marriage does now

exist, something that was unthinkable even to

my generation growing up gay, does the existence

of a differently worded act that most people will

never bother to read, make any difference?

“Symbolically yes,” says Tatchell. “How would

you feel if there were different laws for black,

Jewish or Muslim people?”

Tatchell is a founder member of the Equal

Love campaign, which exists to make civil

partnership legislation available to all, gay or

straight. But now that we can all choose to get

married, wouldn’t it be simpler to abolish civil

partnerships altogether, something that the

present government is rumoured to be

considering before the end of this parliament?

“No. But we do need equality. When it comes

to the inheritance of pensions, when one partner

in a same-sex partnership or civil marriage dies

they have far fewer inheritance rights than their

equivalent opposite-sex partners. Many same-sex

068


partners lose out financially on the death of a

partner or spouse.”

Even before I ask Tatchell whether he believes

that the same-sex marriage bill was the Holy

Grail’ sought by LGBT campaigners, I think I

know what his answer will be.

“No. I never thought that. The media and

some activists made it the big issue. To me it was

the last major legal discrimination, but there are

still massive issues around the very high levels of

homophobic hate crime, bullying in schools, the

lack of sex and relationship education inclusive

of LGBT kids, the appalling mistreatment of

LGBT refugees fleeing persecution. There are

loads of issues in addition to same-sex marriage.”

Can you legislate against homophobia?

“No, but you can send a signal. The right

legislation is a way for society to say, ‘We

believe equality is important for LGBT people,

we do not accept discrimination based on

sexual orientation.’”

Given that Tatchell would have preferred the

government to have repealed the law, passed as

recently as 1971, that states marriage must be

between people of the opposite sex, rather than

introduced new legislation specifically aimed at

same-sex couples, how much does he believe in

the government’s stated desire for equality.

Perhaps the government is simply more

interested in turning gays into Conservatives?

“I think there’s probably a bit of both. I think

David Cameron saw same-sex marriage as a

useful way to de-toxify the Tory brand and

project a supposedly liberal caring image, while

at the same time imposing swingeing austerity

which has had a very negative impact on millions

of people.”

Despite his left-wing politics the Daily Mail

hailed Tatchell as a hero after his failed attempt

to arrest Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

I wonder if this deeply thoughtful campaigner,

who carefully considers every utterance before

speaking, secretly dons a pair of superhero

underpants before taking on African dictators,

Russian neo-Nazis, or the occasional ayatollah.

“‘No. I’m just one of tens of thousands of

activists in Britain. I do my bit, as do many

others. I tend to focus on issues that other

people aren’t engaging with. Often more

difficult, controversial issues, often in response

to victims or other human rights campaigners. I

can’t do everything. I have to have a focus.”

Of all Peter Tatchell’s campaigns, perhaps

none has received as much attention as Outrage!

In 1998 Tatchell disrupted Archbishop George

Carey’s Easter sermon to denounce the bishop’s

opposition to LGBT equality.

Tatchell was prosecuted under a little known

ecclesiastical act, introduced in 1860, to prevent

public brawling. The judge fined Tatchell the

nominal sum of £18.60, a wry allusion to the

statute under which he was prosecuted. How

much progress does Tatchell believe the church

has made since then, in embracing its LGBT

congregation?

“Among grassroots Christians, there has been a

huge shift. An opinion poll found that 55% of

people of faith in Britain supported equal civil

marriage. We don’t see the same harsh anti-LGBT

language from church leaders that we used to. But

clearly we have a long way to go. The second most

senior Church of England clergyman, John

Sentamu, openly endorses discrimination against

LGBT clergy. Given the decline in Christianity it

matters much less than it used to, but 26

unelected bishops still sit in the House of Lords

and pass laws that affect the LGBT community.

Britain is the only country apart from Iran where

clergy sit in the legislature!”

As for the Catholic church, long a bastion of

men who fancy they look good in a frock,

Tatchell expresses disappointment that a “few

encouraging statements” from Pope Francis have

yet to be backed up by any positive action.

“There is a serious problem of homophobia

in all faith communities. This is particularly

pronounced in the Muslim community. In other

faiths, Christianity and Judaism, there are

prominent clerical figures prepared to speak

out against homophobia. As far as I know, there

are no imams who have done this. Anti-LGBT

views are very deeply entrenched within the

Muslim community. It’s perfectly possible for

Muslims to say, ‘I don’t personally agree with

homosexuality but I also don’t agree with

LGBT people being discriminated against.’ It’s

not ideal but it’s one way to resolve conflict.

Outrage! has repeatedly challenged the Muslim

Council of Great Britain, but it has opposed

every single anti-gay piece of legislation.”

This is clearly a very current campaign, with

no resolution in sight. Throughout almost five

decades of campaigning is there a period Peter

Tatchell has enjoyed more than others, a decade

during which he feels he has made a greater

difference? As ever, Tatchell takes a long pause

before answering the question.

“It’s really hard to say. A lot of my campaigns

have been to challenge and change attitudes and

values. It’s hard to quantify exactly what

contributions I, and the groups I’ve worked with,

have made.”

Is there a campaign, a moment even, that he is

most proud of?

“The campaign to end police harassment of

the LGBT community. Working with Outrage!

we invaded and occupied police stations,

interrupted press conferences of then Met Police

Commissioner Paul Condon and photographed

undercover police officers and publicised what

they were doing. That campaign resulted very

directly in a big change of policing policy. Not

because the police wanted to change, but

because we embarrassed them. We began the

campaign in 1990, and by 1993 we had cut by two

thirds the number of gay and bisexual consenting

adults convicted of same-sex activities – the

biggest and fastest fall ever recorded. We saved

literally thousands of men from prison, and the

knock-on effects like losing their jobs and the

break-up of their marriages.”

Tatchell was present on London’s first Pride

march, back in 1972, and has been a mainstay of

gay pride, not just in London, but around the

world ever since. While many Prides are now a

celebration of victories already won, others, such

as Moscow Pride, remain fraught affairs,

overshadowed by an ever-present threat of

intimidation, harassment and violence, and not

just from the public. In 2007 while visiting

Moscow to protest against a ban on gay Pride

Tatchell was attacked by neo-Nazis and punched

almost unconscious. Is it worth it? Doesn’t he

ever allow himself to just not bother? After all,

FEATURE

lisbon, from top: the

castle of sao jorge;

famous pastries at

belem; tinned

“I tend to focus on

issues that other people

aren’t engaging with.

Often more difficult,

controversial issues,

often in response to

victims or other human

rights campaigners”

his legend was assured long ago.”

“No, never. I went to Moscow, under the

protection of a British passport, at the request of

Russian LGBT activists who wanted support and

solidarity. I felt it was my duty to give it.”

Given the opportunity, what would Tatchell

say to Putin?

“I would ask him what motivates his

homophobia. Why focus on LGBT people given

the immense problems Russia faces? We are not

responsible. The courage of the LGBT

community in Russia, goes far, far beyond

anything I’ve ever done.”

I’m not so sure. Peter Tatchell is the

personification of the modern LGBT rights

movement, a light that never goes out. Indeed

many of the rights we have won would probably

never have been granted were it not for Tatchell’s

indefatigable determination to stand up to

tyrants, both at home and abroad.

As we celebrate Pride we should take a

moment to reflect on the unique contribution

made by this remarkable individual, and to heed

Tatchell’s own warning that “history teaches us

to never take what freedoms we have for granted.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

069


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A DIFFERENCE.

DON’T MAKE FRIENDS

THAT LAST A LIFETIME.

DON’T FIND OUT WHAT

YOU’RE CAPABLE OF.

DON’T BECOME

A BETTER YOU.

SEARCH


SPONSORED FEATURE

MEMBERS OF THE ARMY

MARCHING AT PRIDE

Army Values

ONE OF STONEWALL’S TOP LGBT+ EMPLOYERS, THE ARMY IS DEDICATED

TO ENSURING THAT ITS LGBT+ PERSONNEL FULFILL THEIR POTENTIAL IN A

SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGING ENVIRONMENT

In January 2015 the head of the Army,

General Sir Nicholas Parker, spoke about

the need to secure the widest possible

talent for the Army of the future by

ensuring that the Army has a career structure in

which everyone can fulfil their potential and a

culture where everyone can thrive, regardless of

ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

The Army has come a long way since 2000

when the ban on homosexual personnel serving

was lifted and in 2016 the Army achieved its

highest ever position in the Stonewall Top 100

employers of LGBT+ Personnel.

The progress from total exclusion to

celebrated inclusion has been attributed to the

leadership provided by the Army’s LGBT+

Champion, Lieutenant General James Everard,

and the role of the Army’s LGBT+ forum.

General Everard is a visible and vocal ally to the

Army’s LGBT+ personnel and as one of the

Army’s most senior officers he ensures that they

are supported and encouraged to thrive

throughout the organisation. The LGBT+ forum

is proactive in holding the Army to account for

its policies and practices and, by championing

inclusive leadership, improving the lived

experience for all.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL JAMES EVERARD

KCB CBE – ARMY LGBT+ CHAMPION

IN MAY 2016 GENERAL JAMES WAS

AWARDED THE CORPORATE STRAIGHT

ALLY AWARD AT THE BRITISH LGBT+

AWARDS. THIS WAS RIGHTFUL

RECOGNITION OF A VERY SUCCESSFUL

FIVE YEARS AS ARMY LGBT+ CHAMPION.

“When I joined the Army in 1983 lesbian and gay

officers and soldiers lived in the shadows.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK in

1967, yet it remained an offence in the Armed

Forces. Why? There was certainly a fear of the

unknown. And no-one in authority was prepared

to put their head above the parapet for the tricky

causes of sexual orientation and inclusiveness.

The organisation simply failed to challenge the

view that homosexuality would reduce

operational effectiveness and recruiting. And so

these individuals lived in fear of exposure and

humiliation, a recipe for unhappiness and an easy

target for the bully. Not a good place to be.

And then, thanks to the courage of a small

band of determined men and women, and the

excellent work of Stonewall, the ban was lifted in

2000. And we discovered that….all those fears

were unfounded and the siren voices rapidly

evaporated. I do not remember an earthquake as

the policy changed, but simply a sigh of

collective relief that the dark ages were behind

and that the inclusiveness journey could now

start for the Army. This journey continues today

as we (and I would flag up the role played by the

LGBT+ Forum, but also recognise the part

played by chain of command) have worked to

promote an environment in which our LGBT+

community feel supported and valued – and

achieve all that they set out to achieve in

uniform. And after a hesitant start as we put our

policies in place and changed attitudes I think

we have done well. Coming out must always be a

matter of personal choice, but more men and

women now have the confidence to do so. What

would I say to someone considering coming out?

Look at those who have gone before you. They

are living their lives with a joy and freedom that

they find empowering and it is good to see.

As Patron of the LGBT+ Forum life is simple.

I am in their corner. I will fight for our cause. I

will demonstrate support with my time and my

energy. I will act as a straight ally and provide

leadership as and when it is needed. I do fear

that when we discuss leadership we too often

071


SPONSORED FEATURE

leap to talking about the exceptional warriormonk

or extra-ordinary soldier-scholar.

Interesting, even informative, but not that

helpful because we all need to be leaders in the

Army today. And the work that we are now doing

on developing a Leadership Code based on

transactional and transformational leadership

will help to ensure that we are all coached to live

by the Army values and standards. This will be a

step forward.

I am proud that the Army has done so well in

the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, with an

upward trajectory that we will work hard to

sustain. But I am prouder to see the list of

LGBT+ role models growing. Long may it

continue as a metric for success.

MAJOR ROB RIDLEY

MAJOR ROB

RIDLEY

MAJOR ROB RIDLEY JOINED THE

TERRITORIAL ARMY WHILST READING

CIVIL AND COASTAL ENGINEERING.

AFTER TWO YEARS AS A RAILWAY SITE

ENGINEER HE JOINED THE REGULAR

ARMY, COMMISSIONING IN TO THE

ROYAL ENGINEERS IN 2002, TWO YEARS

AFTER THE RESTRICTIONS ON LESBIAN,

GAY AND BISEXUAL MILITARY SERVICE

WERE LIFTED.

Rob’s career as an engineering officer has been

typically diverse. Initially delivering engineering

on combat operations, he led artisan teams in

Bosnia & Herzegovina, Germany, Canada,

Cyprus and Jordan. Qualifying as a Bomb

Disposal Officer, he has been responsible for

coordinating Bomb Disposal teams in the UK,

Kenya and Afghanistan. Deploying to Iraq, he

was responsible for management of an

engineering team, over one hundred strong, who

successfully conducting projects in support of

local governance and sustainability of the

Southern Iraqi marsh lands. Whilst reading a

second engineering degree, he was seconded to

the Australian construction industry, first to a

major jetty construction project, then a railway

tunnel design team, after which he qualified as a

Chartered Civil Engineer. He now provides

military engineering consultancy across the

Ministry of Defence.

Rob’s experience of coming out in a very close

knit organisation has been refreshingly positive.

Realising that his soldiers suspected and were

unconcerned, Rob started coming out whilst

serving in Germany. ‘”Started” as continually

moving upwards, military personnel effectively

come out every few years. “It gets easier every

time. The response has been overwhelmingly

relaxed and, especially amongst younger

personnel, curious.” Rob has even been told that

being a gay officer has made his fellow officers

slightly ‘cooler’! He strongly believes that

inclusive teams enable personnel to live

authentically, not dedicating effort to hiding

aspects of their identity, which maximises their

performance. “On military operations inclusive

leadership is not simply the right thing to do; it

can be a matter of life or death.”

Rob has recently been appointed as Chair of the

Army’s LGBT+ Forum, an active employee

network for LGBT+ soldiers and diversity allies.

Led by soldiers and officers from across the Regular

and Reserve Army, the Forum advises Army policy

staff and commanders on the lived experience of

LGBT+ soldiers, supporting the development of

inclusive policy and provides advice, support and

mentoring for LGBT+ personnel. Rob’s personal

aim for the Forum is to see it run out of work, as it

will signal that the LGBT+ personnel are fully

understood and accepted. “There’s still work to do,

no employer can claim their diversity and inclusion

journey is complete, but the Army understands

where it stands and is in many cases, naturally,

leading the way.”

Proud of the revolution in attitudes towards

diversity in the Army, especially in the sixteen

years that gay service has been allowed, he

believes “It used to be that soldiers would stay in

the closet on joining for fear it would harm their

careers. Encouragingly for our future,

particularly amongst junior personnel, being

open about sexuality and gender identity is seen

more and more as a question of authentic

leadership and integrity.”

Rob’s advice to LGBT+ personnel: “If in

doubt, come out, you are a better soldier when

you are comfortable being yourself.”

CAPTAIN HANNAH WINTERBOURNE

HANNAH WAS SPONSORED BY THE

ARMY TO ATTEND NEWCASTLE

UNIVERSITY WHERE SHE READ

ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING BEFORE

COMMISSIONING FROM THE ROYAL

MILITARY ACADEMY SANDHURST INTO

THE ROYAL ELECTRICAL AND

MECHANICAL ENGINEERS (REME) IN

2010. IN 2013 HANNAH CAME OUT TO

HER CHAIN OF COMMAND AS A

TRANSGENDER WOMAN AND BEGAN

THE TRANSITION PROCESS FROM MALE

TO FEMALE.

In the first five years of her career Hannah has

experienced a diverse range of jobs and roles,

enjoying postings both in Germany and England.

As a REME Officer she has been responsible for

groups of soldiers providing maintenance and

repair for the Army’s equipment including, in her

current post, the Army’s Challenger 2 Tank fleet.

She has deployed overseas to Afghanistan, Kenya

and Canada providing equipment support in

austere and demanding environments.

Hannah’s experience of coming out in the

Army and conducting her transition has been

overwhelmingly positive. She cites the success of

her transition on two key aspects: “From a work

context my transition has been easy. Firstly, the

Army has had a policy for dealing with

transgender soldiers since 1999. It is a simple,

clear policy that explains the support to the

individual, those around them and the

organisation they work for. Secondly the Army is

a people-based organisation. It cares about its

people because its people are what makes it one

of the best armies in the world. From my

superior’s point of view, if it was important to me

then it was important to them.”

Her transition in work surprised many soldiers

but after a couple of weeks of interest and

adjusting to the new pronouns (Ma’am, she, her

etc.) it became old news and life resumed as

normal. “As an officer I have responsibilities to

my soldiers and as long as I continue to meet

those responsibilities I will maintain their

respect. The fact that I am Trans isn’t a factor.

First and foremost I am a soldier”.

In addition to her normal job, Hannah plays

an active role as the Transgender Representative

for the Army LGBT+ Forum. In this role she

provides personal advice and support to serving

transgender personnel and potential recruits,

conducts training for Army units and advises on

transgender policies, making sure they are fit for

purpose. Outside of the Army she is an

Ambassador for LGBT+ Sport Cymru and she

conducts Role Model interactions with

Mermaids, a charity that supports gender variant

children, teens and their families.

“Mermaids is a charity that it very close to my

heart, a fantastic organisation that provides lifesaving

support to extremely vulnerable people,

They do this on a voluntary basis and I have

witnessed first-hand the positive impact they

have had on people’s lives.”

For more information on Mermaids go to:

www.mermaidsuk.org.uk

More information on the Army’s LGBT+ forum is

available at www.armyLGBT.org.uk

Information on full time and part time roles in the

Army is available at www.army.mod.uk

Captain Hannah

Winterbourne

072


FEATURE

FEELING

THE PRIDE

LEAD SINGER OF THE FEELING AND STONEWALL’S ENTERTAINER OF

THE DECADE, DAN GILLESPIE SELLS TALKS TO CARY GEE ABOUT

BEING RAISED UP WITHIN THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY, DRESSING UP

AS A GOLDEN GIRL, AND WHAT PRIDE MEANS TO HIM

073


No one notices Dan Gillespie Sells

as he padlocks his bicycle to a

lamppost outside the French

House in Soho. Not a flicker of

recognition disturbs the features of the many

gay men passing Soho’s friendliest pub as he

arrives for our lunchtime meeting in the cosy

bar upstairs.

The anonymity with which he orders a coffee

is in stark contrast to the fervour he generates on

stage as frontman of multi-million selling rock

band The Feeling, or the adulation he received as

he stepped up to collect the gong for Entertainer

of the Year at the Stonewall Awards a week

earlier. It’s the second time he’s won it. You could

forgive him for feeling a little big headed, but

Dan is not one to confuse introspection with

self-absorption.

“I’ve no idea what I’ve done to deserve it. I

think the Stonewall Awards are more about

drawing attention to the LGBT+ community,

rather than about the individual. After ten years

Stonewall decided to make this their last ever

award ceremony. I think that’s the right

decision although I’ll miss going every year. I

actually won Entertainer of the Decade which

is absurd, but lovely!”

Did he know in advance that he had won, or

did he have to practise sincerity in the mirror

before leaving the house, just in case the award

went to someone else?

“I’ve never had the nerve to ask. When I was

nominated (and won) in 2007 I was totally

unprepared. Exactly the same thing happened

this time. The only inkling I had was when one

of the organisers showed me to a particular seat

at the front. Even then I was sure I wouldn’t

win but he told me to ‘think of something to say

just in case’.”

In the event, Dan dedicated the award to his

mother (disability and LGBT+ rights campaigner

Katherine Gillespie Sells) whom he feels really

should have won it.

“My mum initially lost custody of me and my

brother when she came out as a lesbian. Through

our childhood in the 90s, with the back-to-basics

policies of a Conservative government and Clause

28, it was the LGBT+ community that helped us

through. My two mothers raised us within the gay

community. Just as it takes a village to raise a child,

it took a gay village to raise me!”

“I think Pride can mean

different things to

different people depending

on their own stories”

074

Although now separated from his biological

mother, mum “number two” remains very

much a part of Dan’s life. “That’ll never

change,” he promises.

Dan himself has never felt the need to come

out as such. “It was always apparent. There are

different phases, the phase of knowing that

you’re a bit flamboyant - I never fitted very well

into the norm of a football-playing school kid.

My mother just kind of forced me out at some

point! And mum number two would say, ‘Go on.

Just tell us!’”

Despite his non-conformist upbringing Dan

gives short shrift to any suggestion that nurture

overrode nature in determining his sexuality. “My

brothers were brought up exactly the same way

and they’re straight. I think all the evidence

DAN GILLESPIE

SELLS (LEFT)

WITH HIS

BROTHER AND

TWO MUMS

points to sexuality being pre-determined.”

I put it to Dan that if you were to ask a

member of the public to name a gay pop star

they would probably, depending on their age,

name Elton John, Boy George or Sam Smith

before Dan Gillespie Sells. Why does he

think this is?

“Initially, I thought it was because I was in a

rock band, and no one wanted to talk about it,

and because I’m not particularly flamboyant. I

don’t really know. Back in the day no one ever

asked about it. I tried to mention it!”

When writing about a love interest does he

use a male or a female pronoun?

“I try not to use either. Not because I’m

scared of it but I prefer the idea that love is

universal, rather than gender-specific.”

Is this something he has discussed with his

(heterosexual male) bandmates? “That’s part of

it. On a solo album I would definitely sing about

‘him’. But even with a band I could never sing

about a girl in a romantic way. It simply

wouldn’t sound real.”

Their most recent album, simply called The

Feeling, was released in the spring, and promoted

through a series of sold-out gigs at London’s

cavernous O2 arena, where The Feeling were

special guests of rock legends ELO.

“The new album sounds very different to

previous records,” says Dan. “We sound ‘rockier’

than we ever have before. We recorded it

differently, less editing. Just five good friends,

really prepared, well-rehearsed. It represents

how we are live, and it sounds great.”

One misconception that Dan is keen to

correct is that The Feeling is an irredeemably

middle class combo.

“We come from a myriad of different


FEATURE

“I prefer the idea that

love is universal, rather

than gender-specific”

backgrounds. My dad was a mechanic but when

you are gay you get taken out of a standardised

bracket. You’ve already subverted the norms.

My mother would never refer to herself as

middle class.”

Katherine Sells Gillespie was awarded an

MBE for services to the LGBT+ community, and

the disabled and ran the first LGBT+ disability

group. How much of an inspiration was she?

“Oh, huge. She was on the frontline in the 80s

and 90s. That’s why I’m a patron of the Albert

Kennedy Trust. What they do is really on the

frontline. Trying to make a difference.”

Would Dan describe The Feeling as a

monarchy or a democracy?

“We’re a democracy in the way we function,

but as the songwriter something happens. I don’t

know what I’m going to write about until I’ve

written it. Sometimes I write about things and

then they happen. Sometimes I think I’m

making things happen because I’m writing about

them. It’s my imagination mixed with real life

and it can be terrifying.”

The band met at the famous Brit school, but

can’t recall any particularly starry classmates.

“We were there too early. But Amy Winehouse

did attend my secondary school!”

In 2006 one of Gillespie Sell’s songs was

played on UK radio every five minutes, making

The Feeling the most played band in the country.

Surely this must have been enough to make even

this modest performer slightly conceited?

“Luckily, I was in America touring small bars

and clubs, starting over, I think that was

probably quite healthy.”

Does he ever allow himself to act like a

celebrity? ‘No. But one thing that people never

admit is that we live in a world where people

get ignored, all the time .You walk into a shop

or a bar, and you’re ignored. It’s awful. The one

nice thing about doing a bit of telly is that

you’re not ignored. There’s something

comforting about that.”

One thing that definitely didn’t go ignored was

a recent social media posting of a picture of Dan

and his boyfriend posing butt-naked on a beach.

Whose idea was that? Dan laughs, blushes, and

blames his boyfriend.

Are there days when he just can’t be bothered

to be a pop star?

“I’ve never been very good at doing nothing.

Although if I’m really hungover, when I’ve

really damaged myself I might have a duvet day.

For my birthday this year (his 37th) I had a party

at home and everyone dressed as the Golden

Girls, in grey wigs and clip-on earrings! We got

absolutely smashed on cheesecake. The next

day I couldn’t do anything.”

In case you’re wondering Dan dressed as

Dorothy, in competition with Sophie Ellis-

Bextor, who is married to bandmate Richard

Jones, and recently gave birth to her fourth child.

In fact, the paternity leave taken by two of the

band is partly the reason for The Feeling’s

lengthy hiatus.

Is having kids something that Dan would ever

consider? “Maybe. I wouldn’t rule it out.”

And marriage? “I’m very happy for people who

want to get married. I didn’t really believe in

marriage when I was younger, but marriage has

changed, it’s become something much more

representative of love than it used to be. Equal

marriage has improved marriage. It hasn’t

improved us.”

Does he feel that being an out gay pop star is

a political act in itself? “Not so much for me,

because I’ve never been in. What is political is

someone who lives a gay life but refuses to talk

about it when asked. I would rather that person

stayed in the closet, where they can do less

harm. People like that bring shame to being gay.

It’s damaging. Imagine how a gay kid in school

feels when his gay teacher refuses to talk about

it. That kid will see shame right there in front

of him.”

When Dan finds the time he plans to take

part in Stonewall’s school outreach programme.

“I’m just afraid no one will know who I am!”

Not that Dan feels a particular responsibility

as a gay celebrity. “I feel an obligation as a human

being to be honest about who I am. To be true to

myself.”

As well as writing a solo album Dan has kept

busy working on a raft of collaborations with

other musicians. Yet there is one artist he would

like to work with all others.

“Dolly Parton. She has a pure, recognisable,

amazing voice. The ultimate pop voice. She’s also

an astonishing writer and I think I’d learn a lot.”

But first, there’s the small matter of finishing a

musical. “I received a commission from the

Crucible theatre (in Sheffield). I was with Russell

Tovey at an anti-pope rally, and Russell

introduced me to a writer. Tom McCree. A really

funny guy. I told him I’d always wanted to write a

musical and so we began working together.

Michael Ball, an adorable man, came to listen to

what we were doing, and has been really helpful.

He knows the business inside out.”

Is there a part for Michael? “There’s always a

part for Michael, though I’m not sure he’ll say yes!”

What about Tovey? “I’m not sure Russell is a

singy dancey kind of guy. But he’s been on

Broadway so who knows?”

Scheduled for later this year, the musical is

called Everyone’s Talking about Jamie and is

inspired by a BBC documentary about a

16-year-old boy who wants to wear a dress to his

school prom.

“It’s more about gender identity than

sexuality. I love doing it, especially after writing

the new Feeling album. There’s only so many

things worth writing about: loneliness,

heartache, anger and joy. It’s exhausting always

trying to come at them from a different angle.

But for three days a week I now get to write as a

middle-aged woman talking about her son. The

musical has made writing for The Feeling a

whole lot easier. Whenever you empathise with

someone else, a character, you learn something

new about yourself.”

But first there is Pride to look forward to. The

Feeling played Manchester Pride a couple of

years ago. “It was wonderful, I’d be glad to do it

again,” he says.

“My first Pride was back in the 80s when I was a

small child. My two mothers would take my older

brother and me every year, along with our uncle

who was of the earliest out gay councillors. For me

Pride was a family event that gave us a real sense of

community. Even at an early age I knew our family

was different by the standards of ‘normal’ society

but Pride gave us a sense of belonging.”

I suggest that Pride has changed beyond

recognition since Dan’s first family days out.

“Yes, Pride has changed. Maybe because our

experiences as LGBT+ individuals are so varied

these days. I think Pride can mean different

things to different people depending on their

own stories. I believe Pride’s survival depends on

us coming to terms with this fact. It’s complex.

Understanding and respecting the diversity

within our community is a good start.”

Doesn’t someone as socially aware as Dan miss

the politically pugnacious Pride of yesteryear?

“The politics has really taken a back seat in

recent years and that’s understandable. Our fight

against the establishment is nothing like the

mammoth task we faced in the 80s. However

there is still a war against bigotry to be won here

and around the world.

“Maybe that’s what we need to remember in

order to come together, in order to be heard, in

order to celebrate. When LGBT+ friends of

mine complain that Pride doesn’t represent them

I say, “Why don’t you go then, and represent

yourself? Every flavour is welcome. That’s the

point of Pride!”

075


At Starbucks we truly believe Pride has #NoFilter;

Aside from having extraordinary coffee, we have built a business

out of human connections, community evolvement and the

celebration of cultures. Long may we continue…

© 2016 Starbucks Coffee Company. All rights reserved.


INTERVIEW

TIME

OF

HIS

LIFE

BOYZONE’S RONAN KEATING

TALKS TO SIMON GAGE ABOUT

WEDDED BLISS, GAY MARRIAGE

AND THE SADNESS OF LOSING

STEPHEN GATELY

077


Sitting with Ronan Keating in the coffee

shop he co-owns in a smart part of

London by the river, it would be easy to

think he had it all sorted.

His hot new Australian wife Storm, who he is

clearly besotted with, is sitting just over there

going through his papers (it’s through her that he

got into this whole coffee lark and even has a

roastery – that’s a real word, apparently – up the

road); his teenage son Jack is learning the ropes

of the coffee shop business by doing work

experience waiting tables, just over there; and

everyone who comes through has something to

say to him, in a friendly rather than a “fan” way, as

he taps away on his laptop.

But if there’s one thing missing in Ronan’s new

life – and the fact that his latest album is called

The Time of My Life should give some sort of

clue as to how he’s feeling - it’s his old best mate

Steo, Stephen Gately, who died in 2009 and

never seems to be far from Ronan’s mind, even in

these happy times.

In fact, the only moment of sadness in the

whole afternoon is when I ask Ronan if there was

anyone he’d like to say sorry to and the only thing

he can think of is that he didn’t put Boyzone

back together in time to be able to go out on the

road with Stephen and would love to be able to

apologise to him for that.

After all, the members of Boyzone were so

close and so supportive of Stephen, never mind

that they’re from Catholic Ireland and his

coming out was a story of international

importance back in the day, that they flew back

from Mallorca with his body and even slept in

sleeping bags next to his coffin the day before

his funeral.

“We all have a time when we feel we’re at our

best,” says Ronan, subtly checking that his son

is running around enough. “And that’s where I

am now.”

And is that all Storm-related?, I ask seeing as

the pair can’t stop throwing glances over at each

other. “A lot of it is Storm-related, absolutely,” he

laughs. “We met each other six years ago and it’s

been a real discovery of who I am as a person…

She’s the love of my life and I’m very lucky to

have found her.”

“We all have a time

when we feel we’re at

our best and that’s

where I am now”

For a working class Irish lad, he’s very openly

effusive when talking about the woman he met

when she was producing The X Factor in Australia

and he was one of the judges: “She’s my sounding

board, she’s my best friend,” he says. “She’s my

shoulder to cry on, she’s my heart and soul.”

He describes his wedding to Storm, which he

says he thinks Stephen was smiling down on as the

weather was, out of nowhere, glorious, as the

happiest day of his life… and openly admits he

cried like a baby through it. “It was unbelievable,”

he beams. “The hottest day of the year in Scotland

and the amount of love and dolphins jumping in

the bay and tears of joy were just incredible.

People are still talking about it today.”

But then marriage means a lot to Ronan. As we

wait for another of those coffees to be brought

over he starts talking about the state of marriage

equality in Australia, where he spends time for TV

commitments and so Storm can see her family.

“I read an article that broke my heart about a

gay man in Australia,” he starts. “His husband

died while they were on honeymoon and by

Australian law he was not the legal spouse and

couldn’t make funeral arrangements. That’s so

wrong and it broke my heart to hear it.”

But as if the new album – his tenth after 17

years as a solo singer outside of Boyzone - and

tour and coffee shop and family wasn’t enough,

Ronan is still pushing himself in new directions

artistically. There’s the West End musical Once

that he starred in last year, an experience he now

describes as “really scary”.

“One I didn’t think the West End was for me,”

he says. “Two, I didn’t think I was good enough.

And three, I didn’t think I could play a guitar

that well and then doing 145 shows, it’s an awful

lot. But I jumped in with two feet, I played guitar

every day for three months, two hours a day, I

bettered myself as a guitar player, a singer and an

actor and all the casting agents came to see the

show so I got another acting role out of it.”

That role was a World War II movie with John

Hannah and Amanda Seagrove that wrapped

078


INTERVIEW

before Christmas last year. ‘It’s very different for

a director or a producer to put me in something

like that because most people don’t see past what

they see on TV. Ronan the singer. And it’s a real

different thing. And I’ve been trying for 15 years

to do it.” He then tells me how he missed out on

a role in Moulin Rouge to Ewan McGregor. Not

that that ever came to anything…

At the age of 39, Ronan may be the grand old

man of pop these days, the only person to have 30

consecutive number one singles with somewhere

in the region of 55 million sales to his name, but he

still seems very much on a learning curve. So, after

the TV judging and the West End musical and the

movie, is there anything he’s saying no to?

“I’ve said no to a lot of reality shows,” he goes.

So, not tempted to go into the jungle and eat

testicles?

“I don’t mind doing any of that,” he laughs.

“I’m quite outdoorsy, but I’m not interested in

doing it on camera.”

Time of My Life is out now. The tour starts in August

and hits the UK in Belfast on 6 September.

ronankeating.com for details

079


Cyndi Finds

Her Roots

080


A ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATION

ABOUT MUSIC, TOURING,

ADVOCACY AND ALL THINGS

LGBT+ WITH THE INDELIBLE

CYNDI LAUPER

With the release of her new

country album Detour and

the start of her headlining

summer tour just weeks away,

Cyndi Lauper is about to be very busy. Combine

that with motherhood, her nonstop advocacy

work, and a bustling Pride season, and we

thought it was the perfect time to check in with

the iconic performer — a chance to get a glimpse

of the calm before her upcoming storm of

projects. And who better to do the talking for us

interview

than original Queer Eye alum Carson Kressley, a

long time friend of Cyndi’s, board member for

her True Colors Fund, and frequent host of her

True Colors benefit performances. Here’s our

fly-on-the-wall recap of their conversation.

Cyndi?

Hello, Carson? It’s Cyndi! Darling, how are you?

Hi. I’m good.

Where are you?

I’m sitting by a pool at a Hampton Inn in

Perry, Georgia. I’m at a horse show.

Wow.

I know. Very glamorous.

A horse show? Oh, my gosh. Do you watch the

horses at those shows?

Of course I do. I live for that. Yes, you have

to come. I know you’ve only seen them

when they were in the stables. You have to

see them when they’re all dolled up when

they have their hair and makeup done and

they’re ready to roll.

The horses wear hair and makeup? Wow, okay.

Everything, yes. I’ll show you pictures when

I see you next.

Great [laughs].

So, are you ready for this? Let’s talk about

your new country album, Detour, which is

out now. I’ve been satisfying my country

fancy by listening to your cover of

Heartaches by the Number. I love Ray Price.

And Walkin’ After Midnight. Where did the

idea for the album come from?

Well, it was a bucket list thing, you know? I’ve

always wanted to make a record with the

legendary Seymour Stein and now I have! He’s

such a great song guy, so knowledgeable; he’s like

sitting with a breathing music library. He

suggested it, and the time period that he

suggested — late 40s, 50s, 60s — was the right

time period, you know? It worked. So I thought,

let’s do it

The sound of the album is so true to classic,

old-school country. Was prepping to record

it tough?

Believe it or not, there was not a ton of

preparation. What took many months was

listening to literally a thousand great country

classics to find the songs that I thought I could

relate to and also do well. I also wanted all the

songs to tell a story. It was great fun.

I bet!

Then the next step was putting together a great

band of musicians that can play the hell out of this

kind of music, so my producer Tony Brown put

together an amazing band for me, the best of the

Nashville session guys. I sent the musicians the

songs I wanted to do and that was really it. I

arranged it all live, in the studio with the musicians.

We’d get there in the morning and I’d work on the

arrangement with them then we’d rehearse it for a

while until I found the spirit of the song — and

then we just recorded it. We played it all live and we

just picked the best take to put on the CD.

081


What else is on that bucket list?

I’d like to do more musical theatre — I’m

working on a new show, and actually just wrote

a song for Spongebob Square Pants: the

Musical. And I’d love to work with Dolly Parton

— would love to write a song with Dolly. My

other dream would be to write with Joni

Mitchell. That would be amazing.

You like to work, don’t you?

Well, I have to if pay the bills. You know what I

mean? [Laughs] I never take for granted that

anybody’s gonna love everything you do. But

people come and they just want to be entertained

— so you gotta entertain them.

I know this a little from being on the road

with you, but if girls just want to have fun

— how does Cyndi Lauper have fun?

I like going out to eat and seeing live music but my

perfect night is staying in with my husband,

David, ordering in and watching old movies. No

one makes me laugh harder than him and no one

knows me better. I’m a very lucky woman. My son

is also recording right now so it’s great when he

comes home at night and plays me his new songs.

That’s pretty fun too. But really, I’m a

homebody—kind of always have been. I work so

much, home is where I want to be when I’m off.

Digging in your closet I bet. Nobody has

better style or has gone through more looks

than you — what inspires you? How do you

decide what direction you’re going to take

on next?

Everything in life inspires me. I love to paint —

that’s why I love colours so much. I love a rich and

colourful palette. As you can tell from my clothes.

My hair. My shoes — you know, the shoes alone....

[Interrupting] I know! The sex is in the heel!

You love shoes — right? Who’s your

favourite shoe designer? Christian

Louboutin?

Well, Christian Louboutin makes some pretty

painful shoes.

What?

He should wear them himself for eight hours.

[Laughs] He’d fix them. Make them wider — a

little bit wider, little wider, little wider [laughs]!

Manolo?

I actually like Manolo but they kinda hurt. And

Alexander McQueen — but I haven’t found one

of his shoes that don’t hurt either, you know?

[laughs]

Sometimes beauty is pain.

After a while, I don’t believe it [laughs].

One of the things I love about you — your

career, your look, everything — is that

you’re always evolving. You’re edgy, but you

also have class, you know. A classic heart

and soul. Do you think that’s accurate?

Well you know I grew up with all those

Italian movie stars in my neighbourhood.

They all loved all the actresses, and

everybody on the block had their own

actress that they emulated and looked like.

My mother kinda looked like Susan Hayward

and she dressed like that. My aunt kinda

looked a little like Polly Bergen and dressed

like that. Everybody had like their own, like,

movie star look.

Right. And that was in Queens?

Oh yeah [laughs]. Ozone Park. Listen, people

gotta dress up no matter where you live. Come on.

I agree, I agree.

The beauty parlour was always hopping, alright.

The beauty parlour was hopping.

So, another detour here...

[Laughs]

082


interview

the kid’ll stay. He or she won’t run away out of fear

of rejection or whatever. You know?

When you’re that young, and you feel like

nobody cares, you can get into a lot of trouble.

And that doesn’t make a strong society. You want

to win in this freaking world? You gotta step up

and you gotta embrace the kids and help the kids.

An inclusive society is a strong society. You want

to win, you gotta stick together. That’s what’s

gonna make the country better.

I know its working. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the

kids who were homeless when we started

doing the True Colors tours years ago who

are now successful members of their

communities. That must make you feel

incredible. It’s a great message you’re

putting out there.

I love banging people over the head with this stuff

[laughs]. You get em in and once the doors are

shut, “You’re mine.”

Picture: Chapman Baehler

You’ve been a tireless supporter of LGBT+

rights and causes for so many years. What

keeps you going?

It’s simple. I am friend and family of the LGBT+

community and where I come from you stand up

for the people you care about. When their civil

rights are being trampled on, I have no option but

to speak up and take action in whatever way I can.

I will always have their back, just as they have

always had mine.

For somebody who wants to make a change

in their own community, how would you

recommend they get started?

Find an issue that matters the most to you and do

just one thing to move that issue forward. For

example, if you care about youth homelessness,

volunteer at your local youth shelter or drop-in

centre. Doing just one thing can make a huge

difference. I can tell from personal experience,

you will end up wanting to do even more.

It’s a big election year — what changes would

you most like to see in the country next?

If we want to have an inclusive society, each person has

to include themselves. And, one of the most

important ways that can happen is by voting. So,

please make sure you are registered and vote! As for

my efforts and the future of our country, youth

homelessness continues to be what I and the True

Colors Fund are focused on. We have 1.6 million

youth who are homeless each year in America and up

to 40% of them identify as LGBT+, while only 7% of

the general youth population is LGBT+. That is

simply unacceptable. We can end youth homelessness

in America, we just need to make sure we put the best

“I am friend and family

of the LGBT+ community

and where I come from

you stand up for the

people you care about”

solutions in place and get the government, private,

and public funding to make that possible.

It’s important to understand that these kids are

kids. And you know, you can’t make kids into what

you want ‘em to be. Trust me. I mean, I’ve got an

eighteen-year-old. They are who they are and we can

fight ‘em tooth and nail but they’re gonna be who

they’re gonna be so you gotta help them succeed as

who they are. Nobody asks to be gay. Nobody asks to

be trans and in the wrong body. For me, a kid is a kid.

And we need all the kids. We don’t know who they’re

gonna be. We don’t know who’s gonna fix the Earth

or whose gonna find a cure for cancer or...

That’s why you’ve set up your website, right?

Yes. It’s ourtruecolors.org. That’s another of the

things that we’re starting up where people can

find outreach centres that will help out LGBT+

youth and not turn them away. You can go online

and learn about the kids and what their needs are.

What we’ve found out with parents is they

sometimes need time. And the kids understand

that. If a parent says to the kid, “Listen, you’re my

kid. I love you but you gotta give me a minute to

wrap my head around this whole gay thing,” then

[Laughs] Right. Last question—I have to

ask you about touring. You’ve gone on the

road with Cher and Tina Turner—any

favourite memories?

I was pregnant with my son when I was out with

Tina, so mostly I really tried to take care of myself

and the baby — so I would do the show and go

right back to my hotel or onto the bus and rest.

Cher is a friend and a hero of mine. We’ve done

quite a few tours together and it’s always fun. She is

a very generous and kind person, so her tours are

always fun. The team on the road with her is really

smart and nice — when you are on the road with

them it feels like you are joining them on family

holiday. We went bowling and Cher closed the

movie theatre so we all went to see movies. There

were just a lot of good times, having fun and trying

to make sure the audience has a blast too

What should fans expect from this tour—

are you going to be switching thing up or

trying new things out on the road?

I will be hitting the road in May! Of course I will

do all my hits and fan favs and some songs from

the new cd, and I have a few surprises too! Boy

George is also going to do some of the shows with

me and Rosie O’Donnell is doing some with us so

it’s going to be a riot.

For more on Cyndi’s album and a list of upcoming

tour dates in the UK, go to CyndiLauper.com. To

help with Cyndi’s fight about LGBT+ youth

homelessness, log on to TrueColorsFund.org

083


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089


community. In early 2015, Doctor Dixon

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DOCTOR

MARJORIE

DIXON

DOCTOR MARJORIE DIXON IS THE CEO

AND MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF ANOVA

FERTILITY & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH.

WE CAUGHT UP WITH HER TO TALK

ABOUT HER WORK

On a personal level, what attracted you to

work in the field of Fertility & Reproductive

health, and what is your background and

experience in this area?

My first recollection of wanting to be a

reproductive specialist was around the 10th

anniversary of Louise Brown’s (the world’s first

IVF baby) birth in 1988. It was during a library

period in high school and a Time article caught

my eye about the future of medicine being in

the field of “Reproductive Biology”. It piqued

my curiosity and seemed almost perfectly suited

for me, as I had both a love of biology and

planned a future in the field of medicine! My

father was also a high school biology teacher

and used to bring me to his lab as a child; he

never worried that I would be overwhelmed by

any of his dissection specimens. Rather, he was

very matter-of-fact about things: patiently

explaining the reproductive habits of mice and

rats. I can remember being intrigued to see

where their litters grew (in bicornuate

uteruses)! It must have been very formative, in

retrospect…

Why did you found Anova Fertility &

Reproductive Health?

I founded Anova Fertility & Reproductive

Health with the goal to advocate and provide a

centre that is patient-oriented, and innovative

while offering individualised, compassionate

and evidence-based medical care for all

patients. This is critical regardless of a patient’s

marital status, sexual orientation, or ethnic/

religious background.

You have gone through fertility treatments

yourself. What sort of unique perspective

does this give you?

I have gone through fertility treatment myself,

IVF to be specific. This has given me the

unique perspective as a fertility care provider. I

have a full understanding of what my patients

are experiencing and manage each case with

empathy and with an individualised approach.

What services does Anova offer which are of

particular relevance to gay couples, either

male or female, wanting to start a family?

Anova Fertility believes in educating our

patients about their fertility options. That said,

there are many third-party reproduction

options available to the LGBTQ community.

Frank and Norm’s story

FRANK AND NORM ARE THE PROUD FATHERS OF TWO CHILDREN BORN THROUGH

A SURROGATE. FRANK RECALLs THEIR JOURNEY TO PARENTHOOD

So our story... where to begin?

I’ve always known I would be a father. It’s just one of those things that you just know… being

gay kinda put a wrench into that plan but I was sure that somehow, I’d make it happen.

I was introduced to the world of fertility about 7 years ago when I agreed to be a known

donor for a lovely lesbian girl named Andrea. We met through mutual friends and although I

wasn’t ready to be a parent yet, I thought it was important to help someone else in need. Maybe

I thought of it as adding to the future karmic bank or perhaps this was my way of learning the

ropes I would soon navigate on my own.

Andrea and her partner Emily had a beautiful baby girl in 2010 named Tobin. Throughout the

process, Norm and I grew to be close friends with Emily and Andrea. We are now known as

Uncle Frank and Uncle Norm and can’t imagine not being a part of Tobin’s life.

At around that time (2010) Norm and I started our own journey to parenthood. We found a

local fertility clinic in London, Ontario (a city approximately one hour away from Toronto) but

it didn’t work out. As you well know, the rules are much different for same-sex couples and this

clinic didn’t bother to learn the process properly so we ran into many instances that added

months and months to the timeline.

It was then that I realised we needed help from someone who does know all the ins and out of

same-sex fertility laws and surrogacy. Andrea, Emily and Doctor Dixon share many mutual

friends. So the girls took it upon themselves to organise a breakfast with several lesbian couples

and their kids. This event was later coined as the “lesbian breakfast”. I remember how

wonderful it was to meet so many moms who themselves had many hurdles and hoops to jump

through to get the families they always knew they’d have. I remember being surrounded by so

many beautiful kids who instantly felt comfortable around me. Norm and I had a wonderful

one-on-one conversation with Doctor Dixon and immediately I know she’d be the one to help

us on our journey.

090


Third-party reproduction (we refer to it as

“collaborative family planning”) refers to the

use of donor eggs (oocytes), donor sperm and/

or gestational carrier services. These options

make pregnancy possible for individuals and

couples who might otherwise not have options

for having a child by traditional means.

What makes you different from other

agencies offering similar services?

Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health consists

of highly trained, reproductive endocrinology

and infertility specialists and support staff. Our

objective is to provide comfort and support to

our patients, whose goal it is to grow their

family. This is done while combining the most

up-to-date, innovative technology in order to

achieve the best results possible. In addition,

we maintain a welcoming and comfortable

environment for people of all backgrounds.

What makes us different is the fact that we

work closely with the LGBTQ community right

here in Toronto. I participate in educational

sessions about family-building options for the

“Pappas and Daddies to be” and “Dykes

Planning Tykes” parenting classes right here in

Toronto. We see first-hand the struggles and

obstacles that same-sex couples face when

trying to build their families. We note that the

desire to have a child is natural for many adults,

regardless of their orientation. Our team of

doctors, nurses and lab technicians take PRIDE

in helping lesbian, gay and transgendered

couples become parents. To have these

relationships within the community and

insights have helped us to provide a specialised

program for those needing third-party (eggs,

sperm or a uterus from a person other than the

intended parents) assisted reproduction.

Why not adoption?

Adoption vs fertility treatment is a common

and a great question. This is also a question that

I cannot answer for you, as everyone’s fertility

needs and resources are different. I would

recommend however, that you do your research,

visit a fertility specialist, consult an experienced

fertility counsellor, review your finances and

have a discussion with your partner if you have

one. This is a very personal decision and it is

imperative that you make the right decision for

YOU.

Again on a personal level, what has given

you your greatest pleasure in your line of

work?

Being able to provide the world with class

quality medical care that helps others grow

their families, particularly all groups that are

often not heard or forgotten. We at Anova

Fertility & Reproductive Health pride ourselves

on a tailored approach to fertility care/ familybuilding

and nothing beats holding the babies

in my arms and whispering into their ears, “Do

you know how much you were loved even

before you came to be? Or do you know how

special you are to all of us?” We have Anova

Fertility’s babies all around the world: from

Japan, to Qatar, the UK, Canada and the USA!

What plans for the future do you have for

Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health?

At Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health, we

understand that the journey to grow your family

can be daunting in all aspects: emotionally,

financially and legally. This is why Anova

“The goal for Anova

Fertility & Reproductive

Health is to advocate and

provide a centre that is

patient-oriented, and

innovative, while offering

individualised,

compassionate and

evidence-based medical

care for all patients”

Fertility’s objective is to assist and guide you

through your fertility journey, showing you that

it is also an exciting and beautiful time in your

life. Our goal is to ensure that your experience

and health care is the best possible. Our team of

highly qualified Reproductive Endocrinology

and Infertility Specialist, lawyers, counsellors

and staff, along with our innovative facility will

ensure you receive the world-class service you

deserve.

Go to: www.anovafertility.com

SPONSORED FEATURE

After our first appointment with Doctor Dixon, my to-do list was

clear! The contacts (lawyer, social worker, etc.) I got through the clinic

were all exceptional and very professional. We went with a known

donor, a friend of ours who embraced our cause and now relishes being

an auntie to our kids. All the instructions and scheduling for the

“harvest” and the insemination were all clear and that process went very

well. Within a few short months we had frozen embryos waiting for the

next big step - a surrogate.

This was probably the most challenging part of our journey… finding

the right surrogate. I signed up with a surrogacy agency and was able to

review profiles to see if they matched our requirements. We wanted

someone local to help best support the process and attend

appointments together. We wanted someone relatively stable in their

lives who had plenty of support from family and friends. We also wanted

someone we could connect with. As a bonus, it would be great if our

kids knew both our donor and our surrogate to help complete the

wonderful story of their creation.

After several months of searching, we finally met Angela. She wasn’t

even part of the profiles I reviewed. She was a curious potential

surrogate who was on the agency’s Facebook group looking for more

info. Our connection was pretty instant. We chatted for a few days and

then she invited us to her home for supper. We met her family of four

kids and fell in love with all of them. I remember going home from this

dinner in the car with Norm thinking how this could be the one. Even

though my excitement was overflowing, Norm (always being the voice

of reason) reminded me of the past year’s struggles and how we needed

to keep in check in case this didn’t work out.

Once Angela gave into our unwavering charm, we jumped into my

already waiting To Do list, drafted a contract and set up to introduce

Angela to Doctor Dixon. Everything went smoothly after that. The

clinic was fabulous with Angela. They listened to her fears and always

made themselves available to

Angela’s questions and

concerns. There were many

appointments where either

Norm or I had to drive Angela

to Toronto so a lot more

bonding happened on the

road… and many of these trips

were in the winter so you

can imagine how much fun

they were!

We were all giddy and high

with excitement throughout

all the preparation. Even the

injections were bearable and

Angela hardly every

complained. After our first failed transfer, I remember Angela being the

one who was most upset. The reality of the process hit her the hardest

but we all got through it and were ready for another transfer the

following month.

I remember Angela peeing on sticks almost every day after the

transfer! And sure enough, we had a positive! Because it was the dead of

winter and she lives about an hour away from us, she had taken a video

of several pee sticks so that we could watch the positives appear

together. It was incredible… I watched that video dozens of times to

make sure it was real. The pregnancy went very smoothly. All the while

we got to know Angela and her family a whole lot better.

Luca’s birth was relatively uncomplicated and life was never the same

after that. Soon after Luca was born, Angela let us know that she

wouldn’t have it any other way than to help us complete our family with

a second surrogacy journey. Two years later, Nico was born.

FRANK AND NORM

WITH THEIR CHILDREN

NICO AND LUCA

091


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YOUR LIFE

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THEN GO TO PRIDELIFEOPINIONS.COM AND FIND OUT MORE.


FEATURE

NEUTRAL

TONES

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE “GENDER-NEUTRAL”?

CRAIG STORRIE FINDS OUT

In more recent years awareness of gender

neutrality has slowly been on the rise. In

the media the term is mostly used in

reference to raising children in an

environment that doesn’t lean towards one

gender or the other so that the child isn’t

influenced by society’s labels towards how they

refer to themselves and their outlook on life.

For example, a child in a gender-neutral

environment will be exposed to toys or clothes

that neither leans towards a female or a male

designation, such as dolls for girls and cars for

boys. They will also be able to play with or wear

whatever they want when they are old enough to

choose what interests them, regardless if a child

born a boy wants to wear a dress or a child born a

girl wants to play with action figures. It’s a very

healthy way of bringing up a child by showing

that labels aren’t important, it’s that child’s

happiness that matters the most.

More and more over the last few years many

young adults and adults that were brought up

with the usual conventions of things for boys and

things for girls are now identifying themselves as

gender-neutral as they do not feel that they

identify with or fit into any of the labels or

categories that are currently out there.

093


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They don’t see themselves as feminine or

masculine, just as a person who wants to live

their lives the way that they choose to. A large

majority of people who identify as gender-neutral

associate themselves and feel more comfortable

within the LGBT+ community as there is more

acceptance from people who can relate to

feelings of rejection and confusion. Many people

who are LGBT+ also grow up not knowing where

they fitted in society in general.

To further understand the viewpoints and

outlook of a person who is gender-neutral I

interviewed someone who was physically born a

man but has always referred to themselves as

gender-neutral. Gabe is 21 years old from Kansas

City, Missouri, and has never really identified as

having a gender.

“Sure, I said I was a guy/ man/ dude, but for

me, I was really only saying that I have a penis,

not that my personality is in any way tied to

those pronouns,” he says. “I never understood

why people limit themselves and try to push

themselves into categories instead of just living

in a way they want to live. I’ve always blurred the

lines because I didn’t really believe in them. The

more I learn about the world, the more I see that

our language often hinders us from seeing the

way things truly are, and I think that gender is a

language problem. I think that it’s fine to

somehow indicate to a person that you are XX or

XY, but problems come when people try to treat

those like categories for personalities/ identities

to fall into.”

The most common question I have seen asked

when people are interested in learning about

gender neutrality is the subject of sexuality. Such as

how does someone who doesn’t identify as having a

gender describe themselves in regards to sexuality?

When I put the question to Gabe he

explained that “I believe that humans are

naturally pansexual. Without the society we are

cultured in, I think people would love who they

want and have sex with who they want without

worrying about fitting into a category or label.

“I’m not saying people don’t have preferences,

though. I can only see myself with another male

for some reason, but who knows? I could fall in

love with a best friend some day and it wouldn’t

matter what genitals they have. I wish that there

were no terms for attraction or sexuality and we

had to ask people to describe themselves.

Instead of all of the words people are constantly

trying to assign, I wish we could all just say who

we are and what we like.”

FEATURE

It’s an insightful and powerful answer that

should resonate with everyone as anyone should

be able to love whomsoever they choose

regardless of their own sexuality or gender.

Although when it comes down to it, does

being gender-neutral make life harder for the

people that identify that way or does being free

of the social conventions and labels of day to day

life make things that much easier?

For Gabe it is definitely the latter: “Being

gender-neutral makes life easier. It’s so nice to

never worry about fitting into a category. I don’t

police myself on my identity because I don’t see

anything as out of bounds. Shopping for clothing

is a blast because I’m not afraid to shop in a

whole store instead of half of it and I can mix and

match items that make me feel cute without

worrying if I look ‘manly’ or ‘feminine’ enough. I

guess that some people might give me weird

looks or judge me for wearing whatever I want,

but usually people are intimidated if anything. I

really just don’t ever worry about my gender

because I don’t think anyone needs to. That

makes life a little easier and I’ve never had it

affect my daily life. I see the world eventually

being genderless and I’m excited to live in a time

when we are starting to head in that direction.”

“I don’t police

myself on my

identity because I

don’t see anything

as out of bounds”

095


Transcendence

BIG STRIDES HAVE BEEN MADE FOR LGBT+ RIGHTS, EQUALITY AND

AWARENESS IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, SAYS AMY BOTTERILL. BUT THE

MAIN THING THAT’S BEEN HAPPENING SINCE MARRIAGE EQUALITY, IS THAT

TRANSGENDER AWARENESS IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE PREVALENT

While there have obviously been

transgender celebrities and icons, the

real beginning of this recent wave of

awareness was Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity

Fair cover in June of last year. Whatever you might feel

about her, she put transgender people and their rights at

the forefront of the discussion.

But, we’re not here just to talk about Caitlyn. We’re here

to talk about the up and coming transgender men and

women to watch in 2016/17.

FACEBOOK EGOSHOOTER87

Aydian Dowling

Aydian is perhaps someone you might have missed,

but he almost made history last year. He took part in

a competition to be on the cover of Men’s Health in

the US, and, if he had made it, he would have been

the very first trans man to be on the cover in the US.

Even though he didn’t win, Aydian came an

impressive second! He also has a Youtube channel

BeefHeads Fitness and a clothing line, Point 5cc.

Laura Kate Dale

Unless you’re into your video games, you

probably haven’t heard of Laura. She is one

of the up and coming names in games

journalism and critique, and has earned a

name for herself by being very outspoken,

intelligent and presenting well thought out

arguments. Laura also isn’t afraid to call out

game developers and other critics on their

nonsense.

She is a champion for better characters

in general, but also the inclusion of trans

characters in games. If you’re looking for a

unique voice in gaming with an interesting

perspective, check out LauraK. You can

find her at LauraKBuzz pretty much

everywhere.

If I could credit every worthy transgender person who is

either fighting for trans rights with activism, showing their

support, or just giving hope to young people struggling

with their gender identity, I would. But I would be here all

day and I could probably fill up an entire magazine with

that list. These people are but a small sample out there of

the transgender people to watch in the coming years, but

they certainly have opportunities to become strong voices

for trans people, as well LGBT+ and their allies in their

respective fields.

Ben Melzer

This young trans model did actually make history,

and it’s actually in a similar vein to Aydian

Dowling: he became the very first transgender

model in Germany to be on the cover of Men’s

Health, making him the first trans man to be on

the cover of a European issue. Ben is also a trans

activist, has a blog and can also be found on social

media. Ben is certainly a man to watch in the next

couple of years. He’s off to a good start and could

certainly go on to do even more.

INSTAGRAM ALIONSFEAR

LAURAKBUZZ

096


FEATURE

CREATIVE COMMONS PAX AHIMSHA GETHEN

Laverne Cox

She is probably one of the more well-known

names on this list, but the stunning Laverne is

still overlooked a lot. Many know her from the

amazing Orange is the New Black, but she has

shown herself to be a smart, well-spoken woman

who hasn’t been afraid to speak out and support

critical issues for trans people. You can find her

on social media, and enjoy her talent as an actress

on Orange is the New Black, which has a new

season soon.

097


CMS lawyers and clients lead

on equality and inclusion

Justice has #NoFilter

Amy Stanning, Director of Shared Services, Barclays photographed by

Thomas Knights for the InterLaw Diversity Forum’s Purple Reign project.


FEATURE

A Young

Man’s

Own

Story

EDMUND WHITE IS ONE OF

OUR MOST INFLUENTIAL AND

CELEBRATED LGBT+ WRITERS.

ON THE PUBLICATION OF

HIS EAGERLY AWAITED NEW

NOVEL, ULI LENART TALKS TO

HIM ABOUT MALE MODELS,

GETTING OLDER, WRITING AND

THE HISTORY OF GAY PRIDE

099


Edmund White’s latest novel, Our

Young Man, is set in the decadent

bubble of the 1980s New York fashion

world, which the stunning French

model, Guy; is taking by storm. Soon becoming

the darling of Fire Island, Guy is an object of

desire for men wherever he goes; men such as the

rich but twisted Baron, or the film producer

Fred, just out of the closet at 60 years of age, but

desperate to look younger.

As the years pass youth is not something that

seems to evade Guy; like a modern Dorian Gray,

he is still modelling at 35, enjoying lavish gifts and

attention from men who believe he is far

younger. In this eloquent, witty and insightful

novel Edmund White explores the capacity that

physical beauty, that currency of gay culture, has

to enslave and obsess us.

Uli Lenart: The new novel is called Our Young

Man, can you tell us a little about the choice of title?

Edmund White: Well, in the very first lines of

the novel I talk about how, when Proust died,

Colette said, “How can he be dead? He was

always our young man.” And since Guy almost

never gets older he is everybody’s young man.

UL: So there is this play with the enduring

youthfulness in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of

Dorian Gray that’s referenced throughout the

novel.

EW: Well, I actually know quite a few models

who never get older. Like Brad Gooch, the

writer. He’s 65 but he looks probably no more

than 45.

UL: Where did the inspiration for this novel

come from?

EW: I worked for [French] Vogue for 10 years so

I’ve always been interested in fashion in a mild,

non-participating way and I’ve also known a lot

of models. I think physical beauty is sort of a

theme of mine. It was very influenced by a novel

by Alphonse Daudet called Sapho. I follow the

storyline fairly closely but I modernise it,

homosexualise it and Americanise it.

UL: So you transplant this relatively obscure

19th-century French novel into New York’s gay

scene of the 1980s and Fire Island. Why did you

want to set the novel then and there?

EW: Well, 1980 was the year when models

became supermodels largely thanks to the

photographer Bruce Weber, and Fire Island was

just the place where beautiful people went.

UL: Can you tell us a little about Guy, the central

character?

EW: In a way it follows the trajectory of several

lives I’ve known but unlike Dorian Gray I don’t

think he is evil at all. He may hurt people but not

intentionally.

UL: In a sense there is a negotiated exchange

around access to beauty. I’m thinking of Guy

being encouraged to be a “clever whore” to ensure

he isn’t left with nothing at the end of the day.

EW: In [Guy’s agent] Pierre-Georges’ stage

managing of it all from behind the scenes that

happens but I think Guy just stumbles into a lot

of the good things that happen to him.

UL: I’m curious about this sort of pressure to

belong. You get that quite strongly in

contemporary LGBT+ culture, this pressure to

be desired, to have the right property in the right

location, decorated in the right style, just so

people will esteem and desire you.

EW: Well, I always say that being gay is twice as

hard as being straight because you have to be as

successful as a man and as beautiful as a woman.

UL: In the book I also picked up on this thread

of a kind of gay vampirism, this notion of

feasting on the youth of younger lovers and of

them, in a way, feasting on the wealth of older

men to remain financially solvent.

EW: With the older men he’s got a European

respect for the masochistic Baron. But that’s his

downfall because he says “Ça va, Monsieur le

Baron?” after they’ve had a hot scene; he is

solicitous towards the Baron and it makes that

Baron dissolve all interest in him.

UL: The illusion of the fantasy scenario they are

in evaporates at that point. And Guy even refers

to his own body as “merchandise” at one point.

EW: Yes, right, exactly. I tried to think my way

into the mindset of a model who probably would

think that. It’s like something we all have, bodies,

and yet your body has become a commodity. And

Guy talks about his shelf-life. I tried to sink a

probe into this whole complex of beauty, youth,

money, that I think is such a big part of society in

general but certainly of gay life.

UL: And I wonder about the effect of some of

the media and the ideal representations of

beauty and happiness and whether or not we are

on some level creating an image for ourselves of

aspiration that we can’t in actuality live up to.

EW: The golden calf. I used to say that about

Fire Island. It is a race that everyone is running

but nobody can win. Because there is always

someone younger, better looking who is even

richer, or more prestigious, or from a famous

family. I mean, there is always somebody round

100


FEATURE

“I worked for French

Vogue for 10 years so I’ve

always been interested in

fashion in a mild,

non-participating way”

Picture: FreeImages.com / dario lucarini / Ruslan Lensky

the corner who will outshine you if your whole

life is based on commodification.

UL: Right. So surely the point is to try and have

as much fun with this precious time we have here

and enjoy it as opposed to be threatened by it all.

EW: Well, from my point of view that’s one of

the advantages of getting older, is that you are no

longer in the race at all. So you just admire the

young winners [laughs], you don’t compete with

them. Well, you know the whole thing of

somebody’s sweetness or honesty or even

passion, all those things are discounted in favour

of this image which is really finally photographic

UL: Well maybe this is where the role of the

novelist in society is at its most pertinent.

Certainly from my experience of reading Our

Young Man it reframes everything in more

honest terms.

EW: With a novel, at least the main characters,

you know what they are thinking. I find that so

interesting, because people all have different

reactions and insights and so on.

UL: If we agree that the novelist fictionalises

their reality to create art how does this affect the

way in which the writer experiences their lives?

EW: I always think that fiction is a cross

between a newspaper article and a fairy tale. I

think that a good writer maintains a good

balance between those two extremes. I

started writing this novel when I was in the

hospital with a heart attack, and it was sort of

a low point in my life so I didn’t write about

too much ugliness or misery. In other words, I

moved towards the fairy tale end of the

spectrum and it is an almost entirely

imagined novel.

UL: I wanted to ask a little bit about the

aesthetic style of your novel. Do you feel like

you’ve settled in to a favoured form or do you

feel like your style needs to change with each

book to suit the subject matter?

EW: Well, I read my reviews. Unlike most

writers who claim that they don’t, and I learn

from them. There was a very good review in The

Gay and Lesbian Review which said that I do

this thing that very few American writers do,

which he compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald, which

is this kind of rapid narration where you move

though months and years in every paragraph and

then you stop for a second for a scene and that’s

something I’m glad that he wrote about, because

I was sort of aiming for that, but groping toward

it, and now he’s made it much more conscious.

UL: I wanted to ask about your memories of

attending Gay Pride marches in New York and

elsewhere in the States around that period. What

were those like and how would you explain their

significance?

EW: I started marching in 1970 because I was

actually involved in Stonewall in ’69 so all

through the 70s I think that those are fairly

heroic events because there was an

incomprehending or hostile [reception] or

religious groups looking on and hooting and

so on. When you would walk down these

canyon-like streets, like 5th Avenue, and

people would be up at the windows looking

down, and you worried, you know? You felt

very vulnerable. But on the other hand there

was a wonderful comradery too. I remember

walking with all the leather boys once and

[the poet] Thom Gunn was there and he put

his arm around me and we were also sort of

drunk and it was great fun.

UL: Can I ask if you have a favourite new

LGBT+ writer, or if there is a book with LGBT+

themes that you’ve read recently that you’ve

really loved?

EW: I like Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. And

I like Neel Mukherjee very much. And I think

Damon Galgut is one of the greatest writers

alive. I like Garth Greenwell.

UL: Can I ask what you are working on now;

what we are likely to see in the future?

EW: It’s a book about a life of reading. It’s called

This Unpunished Vice which is something

[French writer] Valery Larbaud called reading,

which I think is sort of funny. So I’m about halfway

done.

UL: Edmund, I just wanted to say it has been

incredible talking to you. It has been an absolute

joy, thank you so much.

EW: Oh, thank you, Uli, it has been so nice to

talk to you.

Our Young Man is published by Bloomsbury

and is out now

A longer version of this interview can be found at

www.pridelife.com/ouryoungman

101


HOOKED

ON

BOOKS

LGBT+ WRITERS

ON

WRITERS

THEY LOVE

TO CELEBRATE PRIDE IN LONDON 2016 ULI LENART ASKED SOME

OF OUR FAVOURITE LGBT+ WRITERS TO SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS

ABOUT THEIR MOST LOVED QUEER BOOKS. SOME ARE LESSER

KNOWN CLASSICS, OTHERS MORE CONTEMPORARY BOOKS ON

LGBT+ THEMES. ALL ARE GEMS WORTH DISCOVERING. ENJOY!

102


AUTHOR AND DIRECTOR NEIL BARTLETT ON

ORLANDO BY VIRGINIA WOOLF

Virginia Woolf’s Orlando -started in 1927,

published in 1928 – is a disconcerting delight.

Fuelled by Virginia Woolf’s infatuation with her

new lover, Vita Sackville West, it tracks a single

figure through several centuries and both genders

as he/she/they ransack history (not to mention

every wardrobe in sight) in a wayward search for

pleasure, sex and identity. Delirious, magical, impossible,

breathless - this is a book I love. It makes

me remember just how queer being queer can be.

It makes both my head and heart truly spin.

AUTHOR SARAH WATERS ON SUMMER WILL

SHOW BY SYLVIA TOWNSEND WARNER

Sylvia Townsend Warner was a terrific writer,

and Summer Will Show is one of the most engaging

of her novels, and also the queerest. It tells

the story of Sophia Willoughby, a disillusioned

Victorian wife who travels to Paris to confront

her husband’s charismatic mistress, Minna -

only to fall under Minna’s spell herself. A lush

celebration of erotic and political awakenings,

the novel reflects Townsend Warner’s long and

devoted relationship with fellow Communist

(and handsome butch), Valentine Ackland.

FEATURE

AUTHOR CLAYTON LITTLEWOOD ON A SINGLE

MAN BY CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD

A Single Man is a day in the life of 58 year

old George, a man who has recently lost his

partner, Jim, in a car crash, and is struggling

with the loss. While George steps through

everyday life, the ghost of his lover, flits in

and out, a constant reminder that he is alone.

I was in my 40s when I first read it. Ten years

later, recently widowed myself, I now find a

resonance in every brilliantly placed word.

Published by

Penguin Books

AUTHOR KERRY HUDSON ON CAROL

BY PATRICIA HIGHSMITH

I read Carol by Patricia Highsmith long before

Cate Blanchett luminously set the silver screen

alight in the title role. I was twenty one and newly

in love with a woman. My father bought a copy

of ‘The Price of Salt (the book’s original title)’ for

me along with Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle

but it was Highsmith’s novel that resonated most

with me. Unsurprising, since at the time I was

working as a Christmas Elf in Harrods. Carol

not only gave me an epic lesbian love story at

a time I needed one but

also gave me the courage

to fully own my personal

love story.

Published by

New York Review Classics

AUTHOR GARTH GREENWELL ON WE THINK

THE WORLD OF YOU BY J. R. ACKERLEY

Ackerley’s sentences are so beautiful, and his

quips so funny, that it’s easy to miss the hard

work this perfect book is doing. Frank, a thoroughly

unlikable narrator—he more or less hates

other people, especially women and the poor—is

tormented by his married, incarcerated lover’s

indifference, and takes refuge in the ideal love of

the man’s dog. What follows is a kind of moral

education, or at least a moral cornering, forcing

Frank up against what one suspects he most

fears: “the darkness of my

own mind.”

Published by

Vintage

PLAYWRIGHT, DIRECTOR AND PERFORMER

RIKKI BEADLE-BLAIR ON BLACKBIRD

BY LARRY DUPLECHAN

I fell in love with Blackbird on reading its very first

line. ‘I dreamed I was dancing the waltz with Sal

Mineo.’ The voice of the central character, Johnny

Ray Rousseau, a quick-witted black guy teenager

was so clear to me, I could I have been speaking

to myself. Blackbird is a phenomenally quick read

about a black teenager with multi-cultural friends

and influences. A boy who loved music to the

point of obsession. A boy who had crushes and

romantic ambitions.

A boy like me. Rereading

the book I was still

utterly swept away and

besotted. I’ve never

known anyone to read it

who wasn’t.

Published by

Bloomsbury

AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST JUNO DAWSON ON

TWO BOYS KISSING BY DAVID LEVITHAN

You could happily read any novel by David

Levithan (Boy Meets Boy and Every Day are

utterly wonderful) but I’d start with Two Boys

Kissing. With lyrical, lilting prose to die for,

Two Boys Kissing sees a Greek chorus of dead

AIDS victims observe the behaviour of a

diverse group of modern teens with sadness,

joy, regret and, most keenly, longing. Lifeaffirming

and beautiful.

Published by

New York Review Classics

AUTHOR, JOURNALIST AND SALON HOST

DAMIAN BARR ON THE COLOR PURPLE

BY ALICE WALKER

Celie’s beautiful bond with her sister Nettie is

forged by the fists of their father. Defiant Nettie

is sent away leaving brave, but broken, Celie

a domestic slave. When glamorous nightclub

singer Shug Avery arrives unexpectedly Celie

falls in love with her glamour and her body. The

least likely, and most tender, love affair blooms

between the confident older woman and the

seemingly defeated teenage girl. See Spielberg’s

film, sway to the musical

but don’t miss this brutal

beautiful queer classic.

Published by

Arsenal Pulp Press

LITERARY AGENT LAURA MACDOUGALL ON

WHAT GOES AROUND BY EMILY CHAPPELL

This book is a delight: London seen from the

road, but not as you know it. Chappell lifts

the lid on the city’s loveliest secluded squares,

idiosyncrasies of traffic flow and - of course - the

cafes that offer the cheapest cuppa to a weary

cyclist. The history of the cycle courier comes

alive as we are guided by Chappell’s friendly and

intelligent voice, and London seems somehow

smaller and yet still more vast as we discover the

city anew from the perspective of two wheels.

Published by

Egmont

Published by

Weidenfeld & Nicholson

Published by

Guardian Faber Publishing

103


SPONSORED FEATURE

JUST BETWEEN US

JUST BETWEEN US AND OUR SISTER SITE DON’T PASS IT ON HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING A

POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEXUAL HEALTH ACROSS THE UK SINCE 2012, RECEIVING AND

PROCESSING OVER 140,000 STI TEST KIT REQUESTS EACH YEAR

Our aim is to minimize the spread of

STIs, including HIV, by encouraging

people to test regularly and to

reinforce the importance of safe sex.

Sexually transmitted infections are more

common than people think and infections don’t

always have symptoms. At Just Between Us, we

pride ourselves in offering a discreet, easy to

access service with guaranteed privacy and

accurate laboratory tests to put minds at ease.

With regular testing, individuals can stay in

control of their sexual health and protect

themselves and their partner(s).

OUR TESTS

Just Between Us offers a number of different

testing kits, from the more commonly occurring

bacterial infections such as chlamydia,

gonorrhoea and Mycoplasm Genitalium (MG),

to more complex infections such as HIV and

hepatitis.

Our tests are suitable for any gender and can

be ordered individually or alongside others,

dependent upon an individual’s needs. We offer

the following testing kits:

• Chlamydia

• Chlamydia and gonorrhoea

• HIV

• Hepatitis B & C

• Syphilis

• ST4 - HIV, hepatitis B & C, syphilis

• ST6 - chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, hepatitis B

& C, Syphilis

• ST10 - chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes

simplex I, herpes simplex II, trichomoniasis,

Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium,

Ureaplasm urealyticum and chancroid

Our service is user-friendly, quick and, most

importantly, it is completely confidential.

The process allows you to order, provide a

sample(s) and receive your results without any

embarrassing conversations or appointments,

completely at your convenience and available 24

hours a day.

HOW IT WORKS

The test kits can be ordered at www.jbu-clinic.

co.uk and delivered in discreet packaging,

unmarked, and anonymous if required; a sample

can be provided and returned back to the Just

Between Us laboratory for testing – all within

48 hours.

The type of sample required differs depending

on the test. To be tested for bacterial infections,

such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, men must

provide a urine sample, while women can choose

between a urine sample and a vaginal swab.

Blood borne viruses, such as HIV, require a small

blood sample that is almost entirely painless.

Just Between Us benefits from being part of

“We pride ourselves in

offering a discreet, easy

to access service with

guaranteed privacy

and accurate

laboratory tests”

the Source BioScience group, an international

provider of state of the art Laboratory Services

and Products. Our laboratories across the UK,

Europe and the USA are at the forefront of

diagnostic testing. Samples are tested (the day

they are received) in our Nottingham laboratory,

using the most up-to-date scientific platforms

and working to the highest quality standards

possible. Our laboratory and team of scientists

maintain all the accreditation required by an

NHS testing facility and our tests are as accurate

in both sensitivity and specificity as any clinicbased

test.

RESULTS

Results are delivered by either email or text. In

the event of a positive result for an uncomplicated

bacterial infection, we offer an online pharmacy

solution to provide the necessary antibiotics,

delivered to your door the next day. We also offer

counselling and advice depending on what you

have been tested for. The whole process is

completely anonymous, ensuring the privacy and

integrity of your information.

At Just Between Us we’ve partnered with

the Terrence Higgins Trust so that if we test a

sample and it returns a positive result for a blood

borne virus, you will be contacted directly

regarding advice, confirmatory testing, and the

availability of other services local to you. We

don’t expect anyone to have to deal with such

difficult news without access to first class help

and information, and the Terrence Higgins Trust

is the UK’s leading HIV charity.

Go to: www.jbu-clinic.co.uk

105


SPONSORED FEATURE

RUSSELL

WHEATCROFT

RUSSELL WHEATCROFT OF JUST

BETWEEN US DISCUSSES SOME OF

THE SERVICES ON OFFER TO ENSURE

YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH

How long has Just Between Us been

established?

Just Between Us and our sister site Don’t Pass it

On have been providing STI tests to individuals

across the UK since 2012, receiving and processing

over 140,000 kit requests each year.

What services do you offer?

We pride ourselves in offering a discreet, easy to

access service with guaranteed privacy and

accurate laboratory tests to put minds at ease. The

process allows you to order, provide sample(s) and

receive your results with no embarrassing

conversations or appointments, completely at

your convenience to allow you to carry on with

your day as normal, whilst dealing with this

important health issue.

Just Between Us offers a number of different

testing kits, from the more commonly occurring

bacterial infections such as Chlamydia,

Gonorrhoea and Mycoplasm Genitalium, to more

complex infections such as HIV and hepatitis.

Our tests can be ordered individually or

alongside a number of other tests dependent

upon an individuals need. And tests are suitable

for any gender.

• Chlamydia

• Chlamydia and gonorrhoea

• HIV

• Hepatitis B & C

• Syphilis

• ST4 - HIV, hepatitis B & C, syphilis

• ST6 - chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, hepatitis B

& C, syphilis

• ST10 - chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes

simplex I, herpes simplex II, trichomoniasis,

Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium,

Ureaplasm urealyticum and chancroid

Why do you think it is so important to be

checked regularly for STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections are more common

than people think and infections don’t always

have symptoms, which means you might not even

know if you’ve caught something. For example,

around a quarter of people with HIV in the UK

do not know they have it. In extreme cases, STIs

can lead to infertility (chlamydia and gonorrhoea),

irreversible organ damage and they can also be

fatal (HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis).

Most STIs however can be cured with

antibiotics and at Just Between Us we can

prescribe antibiotics for a number of infections,

to enable individuals to get the treatment they

need in the privacy of their own home.

Antibiotics are sent out by Next Day courier

after answering just a few questions online with

a prescribing pharmacist. Some infections, such

as HIV, have no cure but treatment can be

given to stop it getting worse. At Just Between

Us we’ve partnered with the Terrence Higgins

Trust so that if we test a sample and it returns a

positive result for a blood borne virus,

individuals are contacted directly regarding

confirmatory testing, advice and the availability

of other services.

It is important that we prioritize sexual

health in the UK, and minimize the spread of

HIV and STIs, by encouraging people to test

regularly and reinforcing the importance of safe

sex. By testing for STIs, individuals can stay in

control of their sexual health and protect

themselves and their partner(s).

Why a testing kit? Why not just turn up at

your local GUM clinic?

Sometimes visiting a sexual health clinic may not

be convenient, sometimes it may be just too

embarrassing; sitting in a room full of people, or at

your family GP. Just Between Us offers a

“The whole process is

completely anonymous,

ensuring the privacy

and integrity of

your information”

convenient, discreet service that is easy to access

at any time, providing the same service as an NHS

or private clinic but with no people and no

embarrassing situations.

The test kits can be ordered at www.jbu-clinic.

co.uk and delivered in discreet packaging,

unmarked, and anonymous if required; a sample

can be provided and returned back to the Just

Between Us laboratory for testing – all within 48

hours. Results are sent by email or text and should

you receive a positive result, we also provide an

online pharmacy solution to provide the necessary

antibiotics or a counselling service for advice,

depending on what you have been tested for. The

whole process is completely anonymous, ensuring

the privacy and integrity of your information.

How does one set about arranging for a test,

and how long should someone expect to

have to wait before the kit arrives?

At Just Between Us we’ve simplified the process

into 3 steps:

• Order a test online to receive a discreet testing

kit the next day

• Return the sample to us free of charge by

following the instructions

• Receive notification to log on and collect results

Simply choose from the range of tests we offer

and pay by either Credit/Bank card or PayPal. At

this stage in the process we don’t ask for any

other personal information. Individuals can

order one or multiple kits and they can be for

own use or given to friends or partners.

All of our kits are sent out by First Class Royal

Mail on the day the order is received. Each kit is

sent in discreet packaging, unmarked, and can be

anonymous if required. The kits contain clear,

easy to follow instructions, a sample collection

container and simple request form for completion

by the individual taking the test. The request

form asks a few questions, such as name, date of

birth and email address so that we can provide the

individual with log on details to receive results. It

also asks a few simple questions about their sexual

history but these are not mandatory.

106


SPONSORED FEATURE

How is the test taken?

This depends entirely on the test that is

requested. Bacterial infections such as

chlamydia and gonorrhoea can be tested on

urine samples for males and/or a vaginal swab

for females - an individual gets to choose when

placing their order. Blood borne viruses on the

other hand such as HIV, hepatitis B and

hepatitis C require a small blood sample to be

placed on a piece of filter paper, known as a Dry

Blood Spot card by pricking, usually one or two

fingers, with a tiny lancet and dotting the blood

onto the card. This is almost entirely painless

and is easier than any other test on the market

which require “whole blood” samples. Syphilis

tests require a bit more blood from a finger

prick, but are still easy to do at home.

Samples are returned by the individual taking

the test by simply sealing them in the prepaid

box provided and popping them into any UK

post box.

How long will someone have to wait before

their test result?

Results are usually available within two days of the

sample being received in our laboratory.

Notification of results are sent to the individual by

email and using the username and password

provided they can log in and access their results at

a convenient time.

How accurate are the test results?

Just Between Us benefits from being part of

the Source BioScience group, an international

provider of state of the art Laboratory Services

and Products. Our laboratories across the UK,

Europe and the USA are at the forefront of

diagnostic testing and it is in our Nottingham

laboratory where your sample is tested the day

it is received, using the most up to date

scientific platforms to the highest quality

standards possible. Our laboratory and team of

scientists maintain all the accreditation

required by an NHS testing facility and our

tests are as accurate in both sensitivity and

specificity as any clinic based test.

We use Nucleic Acid Amplification

Technology, as required for the National

Chlamydia Screening Programme, and our HIV

test is a 4th Generation test meaning it tests for

p24 antigen as well as antibodies. It is therefore

better suited for detecting a recent infection and

is the test recommended in UK guidelines.

Should the test come back positive, what

counselling or advice do you offer?

Most STIs can be cured with antibiotics and at

Just Between Us we can prescribe the

antibiotics for a number of infections, to enable

individuals to get the treatment they need in the

privacy of their own home.

For peace of mind at Just Between Us

we’ve partnered with the Terrence Higgins

Trust so that if we test a sample and it returns a

positive result for a blood borne virus,

individuals will be contacted directly regarding

advice, confirmatory testing, and the availability

of other services locally. We don’t expect

anyone to have to deal with that sort of news

without access to first class help and

information and the Terrence Higgins Trust is

the UK’s leading HIV charity.

Source

BioScience

Source BioScience has been a trusted

provider of laboratory services and

products to the healthcare and clinical,

life and applied sciences and

pharmaceutical industries since 1999.

Operating ten state of the art facilities in five

countries and with customers in over 90

countries worldwide, Source BioScience offers

an extensive portfolio of laboratory services and

products. This includes:

Clinical diagnostics; providing specialist

cancer diagnosis and second opinion services for

over 100 NHS Trusts across the UK.

DNA sequencing; including providing

ancestral profiling to individuals wanting to

investigate the history of their very own DNA

via www.mydna.global.

Drug discovery and development research, as

well as controlled environment storage and

testing services for a diverse range of markets

including 50 pharmaceutical companies, leading

universities and research institutes worldwide.

Of critical importance is our ability to deliver

the services we offer to the highest possible

quality standards in all ten of our laboratories.

Holding the necessary accreditations and

licences required, including the Medicines and

Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

(MHRA), the Human Tissue Authority (HTA)

and the Care Quality Commission, (CQC)

giving our customers confidence in our ability to

deliver the services we offer.

Our Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

testing services Just Between Us TM and Don’t

Pass It On TM offer a discreet and confidential

online option for STI testing. The company has

been offering this online and outreach

diagnostic testing service since 2012 and during

this period has been successful in securing

contracts with many Local Authorities and

NHS Trusts, processing in excess of 140,000

STI kit requests per annum and providing

access to STI tests in a discreet and secure

manner both on-line and in the community.

We have a well-established and robust

infrastructure to support all services that are

offered inclusive of transportation of samples

and kits and processing and reporting of clinical,

diagnostic and research samples. Source

BioScience also provides 1.6 million cervical

cancer clinic and laboratory test kits per annum

to NHS in support of the NHS Cervical

Screening Programme.

DOCTOR

NICK ASH

DOCTOR NICK ASH IS THE CEO OF THE

SOURCE BIOSCIENCE GROUP

When was the Source BioScience group

established and where are your

headquarters?

The Company was established 1999. Our

international headquarters are in Nottingham,

UK and we operate from ten sites in five countries

across Europe and the USA.

How long have you been with Source

BioScience and what is your role in the

company?

I am the CEO of Source BioScience and have been

107


with the company just shy of eleven years. I joined

Source BioScience in the summer of 2005 at the

invitation of the Board of Directors. At that time,

the company had invested heavily in emerging

healthcare markets in the Middle East and the

United Arab Emirates. As a result of this

investment, and the consequent focus of the senior

management team on the new initiatives, the core

UK business was beginning to struggle. Part of the

challenge was managing a small business with

healthcare activities in two geographies where the

business and political environments, and the

healthcare and welfare provision and cultures, were

poles apart. My role was to assess the two parts of

the business and make recommendations about

what was best for the long term future of the

company, its employees and its shareholders.

What was very apparent was the depth of

experience, knowledge and expertise throughout

the team at our Nottingham facility in the UK.

We divested the activities in the Middle East and

effectively stuck to our diagnostic knitting in the

UK. We had a great relationship with the UK

National Health Service, our largest customer,

and were the leading provider of outsourced

diagnostic cancer testing to the UK NHS. As

you will appreciate, this is a highly regulated

activity and the credibility we established as a

trusted provider to the NHS was hard won, and

a reflection on the quality of the team we had.

We have continued with the same ethos and

commitment over the past eleven years and have

grown the company from a team of 35 in the UK

in 2005 to over 220 people in the UK, Ireland,

Germany and the USA today.

What services does Source BioScience offer?

Source BioScience provides a broad range of

outsourced diagnostic and analytical laboratory

testing services. Our services and products have

applications in healthcare, life sciences research

and biopharma. Our customers include private

individuals, healthcare providers, leading

academic and research institutions and global

pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Each year our laboratories receive, process and

deliver results on over one million samples from our

customers, who expect the highest levels of quality

and performance for these important services.

What particular services on offer are of

particular interest to LGBT+ individuals?

We provide a number of services which might be

of interest to all individuals who are health

conscious and those that are ancestry-curious.

We offer a portfolio of personal health and

wellbeing services aimed at enabling rapid and

easy access to screening and testing for sexually

active individuals. These include diagnostic tests

for a number of infectious diseases. Using our

Don’t Pass It On website, individuals can

order a free chlamydia screening test funded (in

the UK) by their Local Authority if they are

between 16-24 years of age. In addition, our Just

Between Us service provides a broad range of

sexually transmitted infection testing. All of

these self-sampling tests can be ordered online,

samples taken at home and posted back to one of

our laboratories. Results are then accessed

securely online.

In parallel with increasing access to, and

utilisation of, fertility services we offer the latest

in non-invasive pre-natal testing (“NIPT”)

providing parents the opportunity to screen for

Down’s Syndrome, and other trisomy conditions,

without the risk associated with invasive

procedures such as amniocentesis.

For people interested in researching their

ancestry and discovering more about their DNA

story, we offer a DNA-based genealogy service at

www.myDNA.global. Detailed insight into an

individual’s ancestry, where your ancient ancestors

came from, and their journey across the globe can

be accessed from a simple saliva sample.

What do you consider to have been Source

BioScience’s biggest achievement?

Without doubt, accelerating the application of

gene-based testing and genomics into

SPONSORED FEATURE

diagnostic laboratory services; initially in

cancer diagnostics and more recently for

infectious disease diagnostics.

During 2007 and 2008, Source BioScience

was the first company in the UK to take

delivery of a pioneering DNA-sequencing

technology. This new technology enabled

identification and investigation of the smallest

of differences in DNA and genetic material

between samples. The applications for cancer

diagnostics were extraordinary. By identifying

changes in the DNA of a cancer, clinicians were

immediately able to make much more informed

decisions about treatment; in particular, being

able to identify particular changes in the DNA

of a cancer which would render certain

therapies completely ineffective. Possessing

this knowledge enables clinicians to prescribe

another treatment that may have an increased

chance of being effective.

Our team of research and laboratory scientists

continued to work on wider applications for

genetic testing in diagnostics and during 2013 we

launched our infectious disease testing services

including Just Between Us. These services

enable individuals to access the quality of fullyaccredited

laboratory diagnostic testing coupled

with the convenience of being able to self-sample

at home. As a result of the versatility of the

technology platforms we use, and the expertise

of our laboratory staff, we can test for a

significant number of infectious diseases using a

combination of simple and convenient selftaken

samples including saliva, urine and dried

blood spot.

On a personal level, what gives you the

greatest satisfaction being CEO of Source

BioScience?

Having the honour of working every day with a

team of incredibly talented, committed and

passionate individuals. The team has grown

from 35 in 2005 to over 220 today across our ten

sites in the UK, Ireland, Germany and USA.

The diversity of experience, background and

perspective across the team, coupled with the

inclusivity of the culture and attitude

throughout the company internationally is a

genuine pleasure to experience and a real

strength of the business.

109


A

REMA KING

LOS

ANGELES

MARK O’CONNELL CHECKS OUT DRAG QUEENS AND MOVIE STARS,

BURGERS AND BOOKS IN THE CITY OF THE ANGELS

110


TRAVEL

CLOCKWISE FROM

FAR LEFT: THE

BEVERLY HILLS

HOTEL; ABBOT

KINNEY BOULEVARD,

VENICE BEACH;

CAPITOL RECORDS HQ;

SUNSET PLAZA

Los Angeles is a city of pockets. Not

quite the impenetrable concrete

freeway its bad press suggests, L.A. is

also a city of many cities,

neighbourhoods and enclaves. A perfect end-goal

for a car drive from San Francisco along the

breath-taking Route 101 or maybe a detour from

Las Vegas (often less expensive to fly into), the

year-round glare of Los Angeles has so much

more on its vacation call-sheet than foul star

tours and mansion gate selfies.

Los Angeles is an industry town. Its only

constant is its state of flux.

You will see the costumiers,

the sign paint suppliers, the

movie lighting stores, the

studio car parks and “audience

recording” signposts. But

Hollywood itself is a smaller,

less significant neighbourhood

than one imagines. The actual

Hollywood Boulevard where

the Oscars unfurl (in a less

than golden shopping mall),

where Marilyn Monroe’s Walk

of Fame star flanks a burger

joint and stroppy fake-alikes

will pose for ten dollar photos,

is worth a cameo in your

vacation, but not top billing.

Locals looking for a special

twist to their nights tend to opt for crafting their

own burger at the Roosevelt Hotel’s 25 Degrees

eatery (7000 Hollywood Boulevard,

25degreesrestaurant.com) or a Ginger Rogers

cocktail at the Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset

Boulevard, chateaumarmont.com) before

heading down to the more significant heritage

and opulence of movie palaces the Grauman’s

Egyptian Theatre (6706 Hollywood Boulevard,

americancinematheque.com) and Chinese

“The roller blades

and pecs

of Venice Beach

are a Day-Glo

cliché so wander

too around

Venice’s hipster

enclaves”

Theatre (6925 Hollywood Boulevard,

tclchinesetheatres.com). Scan the schedules

for their affordable Q&A screenings (The

Egyptian once allowed this fan to totally

flummox Al Pacino with his limey accent), or

just take in a new blockbuster in a part of town

that invented the word.

Try a studio tour, but book an early guided slot at

Paramount (5450 Melrose Avenue,

paramountstudiotour.com). You’ll get a better sense

of the working Hollywood rather than stunt shows

for the tourists. Afterwards take a stroll into nearby

Larchmont and its boutique

coffee houses, pop-up clothing

vendors and florists. A

subsequent lunch under the

canopy at Café Gratitude (639

N Larchmont Boulevard,

cafegratitude.com) boasts a

superb vegan menu, divine

banana bread and many

A-listers as regulars.

And of course there is West

Hollywood. Far less the

unwelcoming gym bunny

sorority house you would

believe, West Hollywood – or

WeHo as L.A. likes to

abbreviate – is one of the

mainstay queer hubs of Los

Angeles. It is a vibrant scene

with a greater sense of history and community

than expected. Grab an early Kichi Salmon and

Mojito in the sultry interior of the quietly

fabulous Saint Felix restaurant (8945 Santa

Monica Boulevard.). Not far away is the WeHo

institution that is The Abbey (692 N Robertson

Boulevard, theabbeyweho.com) but pre-empt the

later evening crowds queueing for its cavernous

Cabana-style cathedral of cocktails, eye-level Go-

Go Speedos and buoyant chat. Likewise,

111


Hamburger Mary’s (8288 Santa Monica Boulevard,

hamburgermarys.com) and its weekend drag

brunch is a favourite with familiar faces from

RuPaul’s Drag Race often on floorshow duty and a

few doors down on the corner of Santa Monica

Boulevard and Larrabee is the more mixed

clientele of Revolver (8851 Santa Monica

Boulevard, revolverweho.com). A video bar haven

that once led the pack in the early 1980s, Revolver

currently boasts Australian Drag Race runner-up

Courtney Act and her weekly Monday karaoke

residency; and Flashback Saturdays mixes retro

video walls with bar-top dancers and the

occasional appearance by the likes of Debbie

Gibson (you can only imagine our upset of missing

her night by one week).

Los Angeles is obviously a city of many party

towns too. However, West Hollywood is not all

Peach Bellinis and chino shorts. The very special

and very hidden Mystery Pier Books (8826

Sunset Boulevard, mysterypierbooks.com)

houses one of the rarest collections of first

editions in the world – as well as the richest

reminders of yesteryear cover art. Dickens’s firstruns

signed by Charles himself perch alongside

equally rare and often personally dedicated titles

by Ian Fleming, Harper Lee, Beatrix Potter and

Shakespeare. And when you leave empty-handed

because the cover prices are rightfully ridiculous

there is always Book Soup (8818 Sunset

Boulevard) and its richly stocked art,

photography, LGBT and film sections. Likewise,

the West Hollywood Design District is a

walkable high-end melange of art galleries, indie

fashions and people watching.

Despite Los Angeles having plentiful cabs and

having an underground system of sorts (it’s not

quite a network – the Beverly Hills locals forever

boycott any extension plans), you must get away

from the TV billboards and that almost

measurable vibe of people trying to make it. Take

a rental drive down the 405 to Santa Monica or

Malibu. Of course, the roller blades and pecs of

Venice Beach are a Day-Glo cliché so wander too

around Venice’s hipster enclaves, juice bars,

ballsy street art and the canary yellows and deep

pinks of Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Grab a drink

at the famous dive-bar Roosterfish (1302 Abbot

Kinney Boulevard.) before wandering Venice’s

canals for some truly lush and envy-making

modernistic homes. On your drive back take a

detour to Sherman Oaks and peruse the Van

Eaton Animation Art Gallery (13613 Ventura

Boulevard, vegalleries.com) which stocks original

animation cells and drawings from decades of

TV and film animation (this Peanuts fan nabbed

an original, affordable sketch for the lounge).

Check out the nearby Floyds 99 Barbershop

(13601 Ventura Boulevard) and its lush street

mural to the early Bratpack movie, The

Outsiders. And go cruise Beverly Hills. The

peace of the 1930s Spanish-influenced

architecture and the biggest blades of the

greenest grass on every lawn is a calming contrast

to Sunset Strip and WeHo.

With a vast cast list of hotels to choose from,

Los Angeles is less which hotel to stay at but what

part of town is wiser? The marble colossus that is

Downtown’s The Standard (550 South Flower,

standardhotels.com) is perfect for the California

Science Centre and the stupidly cheap $2 ticket

fee to get up close and personal to the Space

Shuttle Endeavour (californiasciencecentre.org).

But its sister hotel in West Hollywood (8300

Sunset Boulevard) is a better sited 1950s Miamiinfluenced

treat with the requisite LA tropes of a

rooftop pool and Cactus Lounge bar. Likewise,

the funkier, boutique charms of The

Chamberlain (1000 Westmount Drive,

chamberlainwesthollywood.com) and its 1920s

Gatsby veneer and French-skewed bistro is a

WeHo flagbearer.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: PARAMOUNT

STUDIOS, MELROSE AVENUE;

VENICE BEACH STREET ART;

SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOR;

SUNSET BOULEVARD; VENICE BEACH

STREET ART; THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN

“West Hollywood

is a vibrant scene with

a greater sense

of history and community

than expected”

112


TRAVEL

Way to go

HOW TO GET THERE

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta offer

flights to LAX International Airport.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:

SANTA MONICA HARBOR;

PARAMOUNT STUDIOS;

LGBT+ NIGHTLIFE

ON SANTA MONICA

BOULEVARD; HOLLYWOOD

NIGHTLIFE; GELLATO BAR &

ESPRESSO CAFE, TUJUNGA

DRIVE; 25 DEGREES

BURGER BAR; NEON

SWIMMER ON ROUTE 66

Southwest Airlines offer budget domestic flights

from neighbouring city hubs.

FlyAway (lawa.org/flyaway) shuttle bus service

links LAX to the other airports such as Van

Nuys, Santa Monica and Hollywood.

WHERE TO STAY

The Standard

8300 Sunset Boulevard

standardhotels.com

The Chamberlain

1000 Westmount Drive

chamberlainwesthollywood.com

WHERE TO EAT

Saint Felix

8945 Santa Monica Boulevard

saintfelix.net/saintfelixweho

The Hollywood Roosevelt

7000 Hollywood Boulevard

thehollywoodroosevelt.com

Café Gratitude

639 N Larchmont Boulevard.

cafegratitude.com

WHERE TO PARTY

Revolver

8851 Santa Monica Boulevard

revolverweho.com

The Abbey

692 N Robertson Boulevard

theabbeyweho.com

Redline

131 E 6th Street

redlinedtla.com

GAY INFO

lalgbtcenter.org

Out & About Gay Tours outandabout-tours.com

113


WHALE OFF

SAN JOSE DEL CABO

Shark meet

SIMON GAGE GOES SWIMMING WITH THE WHALES AND TRIES

A LITTLE LUXURY IN LOS CABOS DOWN MEXICO WAY

“As soon as you see the shark, jump

in!” says a man with a worrying

scar all the way up the back of his

arm. We’re in the middle of a very

choppy Sea of Cortes, over on the west side of

Mexico, standing on a tiny boat that is bobbing

recklessly about like a cork on… a very choppy

sea. We’re in wet suits with goggles and snorkels

and flippers and there is a huge shadow

approaching the boat. “Jump!” says the man with

the scar. And we do.

Quite how I’ve been persuaded to come and

jump in a frothy, almost black sea with whale

sharks, four metres long and counting, is

anyone’s guess but however it’s happened, within

SAN JOSE DEL CABO

seconds I’m in, coughing, not able to breathe

through my snorkel and with this huge Loch

Ness monster passing by. And it’s so big it takes

ages to pass, just far enough away that I could

touch it if I wanted. But I don’t want. I really

don’t want.

Those people who think that if you want to

get a bit of sun you might as well stick to Europe,

or maybe the Canaries if it’s winter, are not

counting on totally exhilarating experiences like

this. Over in Baja California, the arm of land that

continues down from regular California, just

over the strip of water from where Puerto

Vallarta is, you can juggle kicking back at some

very fancy-pantsy hotels with swimming around

with the biggest fish in the world, a planktoneating

shark whose mouth is so huge we’ve been

warned not to go anywhere near the front of it. I

personally don’t need to be warned twice.

Or after a breakfast of huevos rancheros on

the terrace of the spanking new Cape Hotel from

New York group Thompson (not to be confused

with the UK budget travel operation) looking

out over the sea and across to the famous Arco,

or Lands End, a rock formation like a gateway,

how about a morning of zooming around on a

boat so fast it has saddles rather than seats

looking for whales? And you don’t have to look

that far. They turn up alright, flapping their big

old storeys-high tails and fins in the air just there.

They’ll even jump right out but it’s always

somehow too quick for a camera.

And then it’s back to The Cape, where the

rooms are so delicious with their free-standing

baths and pick-a-shower-head showers that it’s

really hard to leave them, even if it’s just to sit on

the swinging sofa on the balcony. But there’s an

infinity pool down there with a bar in it and

another salt-water lap pool and a beach where you

can surf and a state-of-the-art spa carved out of

the very rocks themselves and a restaurant that

has somehow fused Mexican with Japanese. Why

not? Even the huge, open lobby with furniture

masquerading as artworks is something of a draw.

The Cape may be the newest of the swish

hotels, but there’s really no shortage to choose

between at Los Cabos, a resort that’s been

popular with Los Angelinos for years… well, it is

just two hours away. There’s the Rosewood, the

most romantic of the hotels with its massive

suites down little lanes with their own beaches

where Bill Gates likes to go, and the One & Only,

114


“How about a

morning of zooming

around on a boat so

fast it has saddles

rather than seats

looking for whales?”

a mini-town you need a golf buggy to get around

with some pretty fine dining, not that eating well

is anything of a rarity around these parts:

whether it’s Mexican or international cuisine

you’re after, this lot know what they’re doing.

The idea of Los Cabos was cooked up by the

son of a Mexican President way back when, who

had Hollywood contacts and would fly the likes

of Frank Sinatra down here to enjoy the almost

guaranteed sunshine. Now, it’s a two-centre kind

of place with the more touristy bars and clubs in

Cabo San Lucas down one end and San José del

Cabo at the other. San José del Cabo a tiny

Mexican town, with brightly painted buildings,

lots of art galleries and plenty of hanging out in

squares. Most of the big fancy hotels are between

those two points with plenty more coming.

But maybe the loveliest of all the hotels

around here is El Ganzo, which started out as an

artists’ retreat taking on paying customers just to

make ends meet. Now it’s a surprisingly cool spot

that seems more Shoreditch or Brooklyn than

Mexico. Artists who stay are encouraged to leave

mementos of their work meaning you might get

a suite with a Pentel sketch of a dog on the wall

while musicians get to use the recording studio

stashed in a storm cellar you get to through a

trap-door in the salon. They’re also encouraged

to perform on the roof.

And what about that roof? An infinity pool

that runs around the perimeter of the building

with views out over the marina to the sea and a

huge glass Jacuzzi that easily takes ten people

and looks like a human aquarium when it’s

populated. There’s also a beach club just over

there, which they’ll run you to in a boat.

Yes, it’s a long way to come but with a little

stop-off in Mexico City, which you simply have

to experience at least once, this might just turn

out to be the holiday of a lifetime.

WAY TO GO

Getting there

Simon flew first class with AeroMéxico

(aeromexico.com) – which comes with flat bed,

complimentary chauffeur airport transfer and

concierge service at the airport – on a

Dreamliner to Mexico City. There are with six

departures from London Heathrow per week.

Accommodation

El Ganzo

start at 300 US Dollars per night

Blvd. Tiburón s/n

La Playita

23403 San José del Cabo

elganzo.com

TRAVEL

The Cape

start at $380 US dollars per night

Carretera Transpeninsular Km 5 Misiones

Misiones del Cabo

23455 Cabo San Lucas

thompsonhotels.com./hotels/The-Cape-Los-Cabos

The Cape Deluxe Guest ROOM

The Cape LOBBY LOUNGE

El Ganzo rooftop sunset

El Ganzo rooftop sunset marina

115


THE HILLS ARE ALIVE

NIGEL ROBINSON GOES OFF IN SEARCH OF THE SOUND OF MUSIC IN SALZBURG

Let’s start at the very beginning, shall

we? Nestled in the foothills of the

Alps, Salzburg is Austria’s fourth

largest city, and its carefully preserved

Baroque splendour, especially in the old town,

has earned it Unesco world heritage status. Its

tiny winding streets, packed with quirky crafts

shops, and charming bars, are dominated to the

west and the east by the imposing craggy

grandeur of the Mönchsberg and the

Kapuzinerberg hills, which provide stunning

views over the city.

But if there’s one thing that Salzburg is famous

for, then it’s music. And, yes, it’s not just the

Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg, but the

surrounding snow-capped Alpine hills and

mountains, which really are alive with the sound

of music.

Mozart was born here in 1756 and worked in

Salzburg until 1781 when he moved to Vienna.

WHERE TO EAT

STIEGL BRAUWELT

The largest private beer brewery in Austria

offers you beer tastings, a beer exhibition as

well as serving classic Austrian fare in its

restaurant.

Bräuhausstrasse 9,stiegl.at/en/brauwelt

RESTAURANT OBAUER

Award-winning restaurant,

with an excellent wine cellar and handy for

The Sound of Music Trail.

Markt 46, Werfen, obauer.com

The family lived in a third-floor apartment on

the bustling Getreidegasse shopping street in the

Alt Stadt, or old town, which has now been

turned into a museum celebrating his work and

life (Getreidegasse 8, mozarteum.at/en/

museums/mozarts-birthplace.html ). When the

apartment grew too small for the family they

moved across the Salzach river to the new town

and Makartplatz 8. Bombed during the war, the

house was faithfully reconstructed and opened

to the public as the second museum dedicated to

Mozart. (mozarteum.at/en/museums/mozartsresidence.html

)

There’s no escaping the city’s most famous

son. And while Mozart might rightly draw in the

classical music aficionados there’s no doubt a

majority of foreign tourists come here for just

one reason: The Sound of Music.

It’s not hard to see why. One of the most

successful movie musicals of all time, much of it

was shot here, taking advantage of the city’s

picturesque and historical locations and its

dazzling Alpine scenery. The film is, among other

things, nothing less than a love letter to Salzburg,

as well as a handy source of income for the

innumerable Sound of Music coach tours,

offering visitors the opportunity to visit some of

the locations where the actual movie was shot.

Don’t expect to see many Austrians on the

tours though. Upon its first release in 1965 the

movie more or less flopped in Europe, closing

after just fourteen days, and even today

Salzburgers remain a little bemused by UK and

US tourists’ fascination with the story of Fräulein

Maria and the singing von Trapp children.

So rather than take the normal tourist trail,

let’s take a song-by song journey through the

home of The Sound of Music.

“The Sound of

Music is, among

other things,

nothing less than

a love letter to

Salzburg”

WHERE TO STAY

HOTEL AM MIRABELLPLATZ

Historic and charming residence in the bustling

city centre and just a few minutes’ walk from

the Mirabell palace and gardens.

Paris-Lodron-Strasse, austrotel.at/hotelmirabellplatz

HOTEL SCHLOSS LEOPOLDSKRON

Luxury hotel set in the grounds of what was

used as the von Trapp’s family villa in the movie.

Leopoldskronstraße 56-58, schlossleopoldskron.com/en

116


TRAVEL

HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA?

The real Maria von Trapp, played in the movie by

Julie Andrews, was a novice at the eighth-century

Benedictine Nonnberg Covent, the oldest

convent north of the Alps. Visitors, however,

aren’t allowed into the abbey itself, but just the

church and the Gothic St John’s Tower with its

distinctive copper-coloured roof. In 1927 Maria

was married to the Baron von Trapp here, but, as

we’ll see, the church was considered too small

and unimpressive for the wedding in the movie.

Nonnberggasse 2

HIGH ON A HILL WAS A LONELY GOATHERD

In the film, the von Trapp children performed

their marionette show in the Leopoldskron

Palace. But if you want to see the real thing you

have to head off to the famous Salzburg

Marionette Theatre. More than just a puppet

show, the Theatre offers epic and impressive live

productions, including ones based on Mozart’s

The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni, Wagner’s

Ring of the Nibelungs, and, of course, The Sound

of Music. You can even buy your own Maria

marionette from the souvenir shop.

Schwarzstraße 24, marionetten.at

DO-RE-MI

The Baroque gardens of the Mirabell Palace

provided one of the main locations for Maria and

the children’s performance of Do-Re-Mi.

Geometrically designed flowerbeds surround the

Pegasus statue and fountain around which the Von

Trapps danced, and there’s also the chance to run

through the hedge tunnel, as well as visit the

orangery and the rose garden. Glimpsed briefly in

the movie is the Zwergerlgarten, a garden

featuring a set of grotesque statues of dwarfs.

The Mirabell Palace is now the office of the

Mayor of Salzburg but many of its rooms are

open to the public, including the marble hall, a

former banqueting hall of Salzburg‘s ruling

Prince Archbishops, and where Mozart is said to

have played. The hall is now used for special

events including weddings, for straight couples

at least. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Austria

although with the majority of the public in

favour it seems only a matter of time before the

marble hall will see its first gay wedding.

Mirabellplatz, visit-salzburg.net/sights/

mirabellgarden

BOATING ON THE LAKE

Just outside the old the old town, the 18th-century

rococo Leopoldskron Palace provided the location

for many of the outside scenes at the Trapps’ family

villa, including the famous boating scene. The

Venetian Room on the palace’s first floor with its

magnificent handcrafted golden wall panels and

mirrors served as the model for the ballroom scene

in the film. Unfortunately the palace isn’t open to

the general public, but you can stay in the grounds

in the hotel adjacent to the palace.

Leopoldskronstraße 56-58, schloss-leopoldskron.com/en

WEDDING BELLS

A short drive out of the city takes you to the

Salzkammergut, Salzburg’s very own Lake District

of over 70 crystal clear lakes, set amongst stunning

Alpine scenery. The Mondsee is one of the largest

of these lakes and is a popular spot for water

sports enthusiasts in the summer. In the movie

Maria and the children cycled here by its shore

singing Do-Re-Mi. Nearby is the picture-perfect

market town of Mondsee. It was here in the

town’s basilica Saint Michael that the wedding

scenes were filmed for the movie.

Kirchengasse 1, Mondsee am Mondsee

mondsee.salzkammergut.at/en

EDELWEISS

The Felsenreitschule, or Summer Riding School,

is where Baron von Trapp sang Edelweiss at the

Salzburg Festival before escaping from the Nazis.

It’s still held here every summer in the Festival

Halls surrounding the former School (this year 23

July to 31 August) and features opera and drama

performances and classical music concerts. The

Felsenreitschule is now a theatre with a

retractable roof used for open air performances

in the summer.

Hofstallgasse, salzburgerfestspiele.at

I AM 16 GOING ON 17

The gazebo where telegram boy Rolfe wooed Liesl

originally stood in the grounds of the Leopoldskron

palace, but has now been relocated to the

Hellbrunn Palace and Gardens. This Baroque villa

with its gardens, open to the public in the summer,

is particularly famous for its trick fountains. Sit at

the stone dining table in the Roman Theatre, and

don’t be surprised if you get soaked by one of the

hidden fountains, which were installed by a former

owner (whose own chair unsurprisingly remains

dry). The Gardens also house some charming

grottoes with similar surprising water features as

well as a mechanical theatre whose moving figures

are operated entirely by water.

Fürstenweg 3, hellbrunn.at/en

THE SOUND OF MUSIC TRAIL

Starting in the tiny and charming town of

Werfen, about 40 km outside of Salzburg, the

newly opened Sound of Music trail is a onehour

hiking path, with interactive stations

along the way, telling the story of the von Trapp

family. The trail ends in the Gschwandantanger

area and in particular the field where Julie

Andrews took the children for a picnic and

which was used as yet another location for Do-

Re-Mi. There’s even the chance to pose with

“Maria” and the children, or simply take in the

breath-taking Alpine views and the imposing

Hohenwerfen Castle in the background.

salzburgerland.com/en/sound-of-music/thesound-of-music-trail

Tourist info

http://www.salzburg.info/en

117





TRAVEL

LAUSANNE

LIFE

NIGEL ROBINSON DISCOVERS THE

LAID-BACK AND THE FUNKY ON

THE SHORES OF LAKE GENEVA

In Lausanne they say that the locals have

the best legs in the whole of Switzerland.

You’ll understand why after you’ve

spent a day hiking up its narrow streets.

From a lowest elevation of 378 metres down on

the shores of breathtaking Lake Geneva to its

highest at 2646 in the charming old town, the

city is built on several levels and hills. That

makes an afternoon’s ramble on the tourist trail

not only worth it but a much better workout

than a couple of hours on the treadmill down

the gym. Quite appropriate, in fact, for a city

which calls itself the Olympic Capital by virtue

of it being the headquarters of the International

Olympics Committee.

Lausanne is in the French-speaking part of

Switzerland and there’s a much more relaxed and

easy attitude to life here compared to the

frenetic likes of German-speaking Zurich. It’s

also home to a large student population who lend

the place a chic and funky vibe, and its charm

and location have made it a prime location for

international music festivals throughout the year.

At the top of Lausanne stands the cité and old

town, a medieval maze of steep and winding

cobbled streets, in which it’s easy and

recommended to get lost. It’s worth it for the

quirky and charmingly tumbledown shops and bars

you’ll stumble upon just when you’re not looking.

This area is dominated by the Gothic

grandeur of Notre Dame, the oldest cathedral

in Switzerland (Place de la Cathédrale). It has

some unique features worth taking a look at,

including a rose window made up of 105 panels

telling the history of the medieval world, and

an impressive organ with 7,000 pipes and

weighing 20 tonnes. It’s frequently the venue

for classical concerts and is also the last

remaining cathedral in Europe to employ a

night-watchman: every hour on the hour from

10pm to 2am he calls out the time from his

tower. Handy for when you’re stumbling out

from one of the nearby bars and not sure

whether the last train’s gone or not.

From the cathedral’s high vantage point you

119


WHERE TO EAT

BRASSERIE DE MONTBENON

Buzzy brasserie in elegant surroundings and

with a great view of the Lake. Especially

popular in the summer when the terrace is

open. Great wine list (splash out on the local

Calamin grand cru white) and possibly the

best-looking waiting staff in the whole of

Lausanne.

Allée Ernest-Ansermet 3,

brasseriedemontbenon.ch

CAFÉ DE GRANCY

A Lausanne institution, drawing in a varied but

mainly twenty/ thirtysomething crowd.

Especially popular for brunch, where you can

relive 60s Brit TV and try the “Emma Peel”, the

“John Steed”, the “Danny Wilde” or the “Brett

Sinclair” dishes.

Avenue du Rond-Point 1, cafedegrancy.ch

CAFÉ DU GRÜTLI

There’s been a restaurant in this 13th-century

building in the shadow of the cathedral since

1849 and it attracts a loyal crowd who come

here for the Swiss specialities especially its

game dishes in the autumn.

Rue de la Mercerie 4, cafedugruetli.ch

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:

LAUSANNE’S OLYMPIC

PARK; SHOE SHOP IN THE

TRENDY FLON QUARTER;

MAD NIGHTCLUB; THE

FLON QUARTER; LE

BARBARE CHOCOLATE

SHOP: OLYMPIC FLAM E

AT THE OLYMPIC PARK

WAY TO GO

Swiss Air flies regularly from most UK airports

to Geneva. From Geneva it’s just a 45-minute

train ride to Lausanne station in the centre of

the city.

LAUSANNE TRANSPORT CARD

A must-have, the Lausanne Transport Card is

available from your hotel and gives you free

travel across all of the area’s transport systems,

plus discounts to museums and galleries.

Tourist info: Lausanne-tourisme/ch/en

can look down over the tiled rooftops of the old

town and out to Lake Geneva – or Lake Léman

as it’s properly known, because why should

snooty Geneva get all the credit? – and beyond

that to France and the spa town of Évian-les-

Bains (yes, where the water comes from).

A steep descent down the 13th-century

Escaliers du Marché (or Market Stairs),

stopping at Le Barbare (Escaliers du Marché

27) for the best hot chocolate in town, brings

you to Place du Palud, the bustling heart of

Lausanne where during the summer months

students and locals hang out around the coffee

shops and the central fountain, with its statue

representing justice. Close by is the 17thcentry

town hall, where in 1992 David Bowie

married Iman in a ceremony so discreet that it

was only picked up by a German newspaper 15

days later. (Bowie liked the area so much that

he owned a château just outside Lausanne up

until 2000.)

Every Wednesday and Saturday morning the

country market sets up shop in the Place de la

Palud, and sprawls out into the neighbouring

pedestrian streets. Very much a locals’ market,

the stalls are packed high mainly with regional

produce, but also bric-à-brac, clothes and

second-hand goods. This is the place to stock

up on fine Swiss delicacies; cheese-lovers in

particular will think they’ve died and gone to

foodie heaven. If you still can’t find what you

want, then pay a visit to La Ferme Vaudoise

(Place de la Palud 5, lafermevaudoise.ch) and

its staggering choice of regional cuisine.

Heading downhill from the old town takes

you to the Flon quarter, the trendiest part of

Lausanne (flon.ch/en). The city’s former

warehouse quarter, it’s reasonably busy during

the day, packed full of bars, art galleries and

exhibitions and hipster shops (including a

surprising number of good urban shoe shops

with excruciatingly corny names such as

Pumpes Funebres and Pomp It Up).

Flon really comes into its own at night when

bars, restaurants and clubs stay open to the

early hours and are always packed. It’s here

you’ll find the MAD club, an institution in

Lausanne since, well, no one can quite

remember when. Spread over five floors and

four dance spaces, it’s very LGBT+-friendly

every night of the week, but on Sundays hosts

dedicated gay party Gameboy. Look out for

the huge condom on the side of the building

and the AIDS awareness graffiti on its walls.

A half-hour’s stroll – or five minutes on the

reliable Métro 2 underground – takes you to

Ouchy, a former fishing village on the shores of

120


TRAVEL

WHERE TO STAY

CHÂTEAU D’OUCHY

With parts of it dating from the 12th century,

this four-star hotel is nestled on the shores of

Lake Geneva with great views of the harbour

and the Alps.

Place du Port, chateuaudouchy.ch

Lake Geneva. Seemingly the whole of

Lausanne comes here on Sundays to chill out

and relax or just go jogging with their dogs. It’s

the perfect place for people-watching at one of

the many waterside cafés, and on a bright

sunny day offers a stunning view over the

water to France and the Savoy Alps.

Lausanne is the home of the International

Olympic Committee, and five minutes outside

the Ouchy-Olympique Métro station, the

Olympic Museum sits in its own picturesque

terraced Olympic Park (olympic.org/museum)

and celebrates the history of the Games,

including this summer in Rio, with state-ofthe-art

and interactive audiovisual technology.

Even if you’re not into the Olympics, a visit is

worth it for the famous all-you-can-eat Sunday

brunches in the TOM café on the top floor.

Close by to the Olympic Museum is the

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP

LEFT: PLACE DE LA

PALUD; LAVAUX

VINEYARDS; CENTRAL

LAUSANNE; OUCHY

Musée de l’Elysée (18, avenue de l’Elysée, elysee.

ch/en), a museum situated in an 18th-centruy

mansion house and dedicated to photography.

Ouchy is the perfect place for a tour of the

Lake on a paddle steamer, or even to take a day

trip to France. A forty-minute boat trip will

take you to the Lavaux vineyard terraces, a

Unesco World Heritage Site, and producer of

some of Europe’s finest wines. Prince even

wrote a song about it. The wines of

Switzerland aren’t widely known mainly

because they’re one secret the Swiss want to

keep to themselves. And all that training

climbing the hills of Lausanne will come in

handy here – a three-hours’ hike will take you

past some of the finest vineyards in the world

with plenty of opportunity to sample the local

vintages.

“David Bowie liked

the area so much

that he owned a

château just

outside Lausanne

up until 2000”

LGBT+ LAUSANNE

The LGBT+ scene here might not be as much

in-your-face as other European cities, mainly

because Lausanne doesn’t really care who

you’re holding hands with or taking home

tonight, but it’s still probably the biggest Swiss

scene outside of Zurich. In fact, people

regularly make the journey from Geneva at

weekends to experience Lausanne’s homo

hotspots.

GAMEBOY AT MAD

Manic madness at one of Switzerland’s biggest

and most famous clubs. Definitely not for the

faint-hearted.

Every Sunday. Route de Genève 23,

gameboy-gayparty.ch

GT’s

Welcoming LGBT+ lounge bar, with a

downstairs clubbing and exhibition space, and

regular ladies’ (and friends’) nights.

Avenue de Tivoli 5

PIN UP BAR

New lesbian bar in the city centre which is

proving a great success.

Rue Marterey 31, pinupbar.tumblr.com

LE SAXO

Karaoke bar in the trendy Flon district.

Rue de la Grotte 3, lesaxo.com

PINK BEACH

Largest sauna club in Switzerland with themed

nights and something for everyone.

Avenue Tivoli 7-9, pinkbeach.ch

Gay info: 360.ch/gaymap/city/lausanne

121


OUTBOUND AT PRIDE IN

LONDON LAST YEAR

Riding

with Pride

MARTYN LOUKES, CHAIR OF OUTBOUND,

TRANSPORT FOR LONDON’S LGBT+ NETWORK,

TELLS US ABOUT TFL’S PLANS FOR THIS YEAR’S

PRIDE IN LONDON CELEBRATIONS

You might have seen our rainbow bus

and taxi in the parade last year, but

did you know that TfL are now

sponsors of Pride in London?

Every year since London LGBT+ Community

Pride (LLCP) took over the running of Pride in

London, TfL has proudly helped the team train

their volunteers on our premises. This takes

place over a number of work day evenings and

weekends at our offices in Southwark.

This year we’ve decided to go much further

and bring Pride to the Tube stations during the

event. On Saturday 25 June we’ll hand over some

of our central London busking slots to acts who

took part in this year’s Pride’s Got Talent. If

you’re really lucky you could then also see these

acts performing on the main stage, or maybe

someone famous at one of the busking slots.

At the same time Pride in London volunteers

will be collecting money to help support the

event at six Tube stations: Regent Street, Great

Portland Street, Oxford Circus, Tottenham

Court Road, Piccadilly Circus and Charing

Cross. Bring along some change and donate on

the day but remember Tube stations along the

route will be very busy, so get there early.

We’ll also be giving away our new 2016

Oyster wallets featuring our famous Ride with

Pride vehicles along the parade route. If you

can’t get to us or we run out we’ll give more

away to people that take a photo and tweet us a

picture of the bus, taxi or rainbow crossing

using the hashtag #RidewithPride. The best

photos will also win a limited edition art print

of our 2016 Pride poster on sale at The London

Transport Museum.

Finally, if you have missed it in previous

years you’ll be able to walk, skip, hop or

whatever on our rainbow crossing which will

be installed on Covent Garden Piazza, right

outside the Museum. It will be down for the

entire weekend and so there will be plenty of

time to get your selfie.

You can tweet to OUTbound at @TfLLGBT

122


SPONSORED FEATURE

“We’ll also be giving away

our new 2016 Oyster wallets

featuring our famous Ride

with Pride vehicles along

the parade route”

RIDING WITH PRIDE WITH

TFL’S LGBT+ NETWORK

123


Transforming the face

of London real estate

020 3296 3000

cushmanwakefield.co.uk


SPONSORED FEATURE

Cushman

LONDON FRUIT

AND WOOL EXCHANGE

& Wakefield

ONE STOP FOR real estate

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD IS A LEADING GLOBAL REAL ESTATE SERVICES FIRM

THAT HELPS CLIENTS TRANSFORM THE WAY PEOPLE WORK, SHOP, AND LIVE.

The firm’s 43,000 employees in more

than 60 countries provide deep local

and global insights that create

significant value for occupiers and

investors around the world. We are among the

largest commercial real estate services firms with

revenue of $5 billion across core services of

agency leasing, asset services, capital markets,

facility services (C&W Services), global occupier

services, investment & asset management (DTZ

Investors), project & development services,

tenant representation, and valuation & advisory.

No. 1 in London

Our multi-disciplinary London Markets team

offers a one-stop shop for strategic business

advice and comprehensive solutions across all of

London’s real estate. We are highly ambitious for

ourselves and our clients and are proud to be

No.1 for London occupiers, for acquisitions and

disposals across London and instrumental in

some of the largest deals in the City and in the

West End. From White City to Canary Wharf,

SILVERTOWN

we work on the most innovative developments,

landmark investment transactions, the busiest

shopping streets, most vibrant office schemes

and most significant occupier transactions.

Our Beliefs

Our clients can expect a strong bias for action, a

rigorous focus on results, value created through

insight, and the right people powered by the right

platform — on every assignment, every time. Our

capabilities truly reflect client needs, and client

success reflects the strategic execution of this

business model, our progressive world view, and

the value gained from our people worldwide.

Supporting Clients

Cushman & Wakefield’s expertise spans the

spectrum of commercial real estate services.

Clients benefit from the shared knowledge,

collaboration and best practices derived from a

firm powered by creative thinking, the

innovative use of technology, and the energy of

true real estate leaders. We streamline the real

estate process by marshalling

and integrating a range of

diverse services from our

in-house resources, which

eliminates the need for

different providers for

different services, and creates

efficiencies in clients’ internal

real estate organisations. Our

industry specific experts

ensure that our clients’ unique

requirements drive all real

estate activities — from the

very beginning of every

assignment.

With roots dating back more

than 200 years and a century-old recognised

brand, today’s Cushman & Wakefield is an

organisation founded on commitment to clients,

focused on maximising the value of real estate

for occupiers and investors, and built to lead the

industry with business and service delivery

models that evolve with client needs. Since our

“Expect a strong bias for

action, a rigorous focus

on results, value created

through insight, and the

right people powered by

the right platform”

founding, strategic acquisitions, talent

procurements, and organic growth have

expanded both our service platform and

capabilities to all major markets on six

continents. This coverage, continually

strengthened by the expertise of our people,

gives us a unique understanding of the dynamics

that drive local markets, the impact of the global

economy, and the importance of smart real estate

decisions to client growth.

Please get in touch at cushmanwakefield.co.uk/

London, visit cushmanwakefield.com

or follow @CushWake

125


SPONSORED FEATURE

LORNA

LANDELLs

LORNA LANDELLs,

DIRECTOR – OCCUPIER MANAGEMENT,

GLOBAL OCCUPIER SERVICES EMEA,

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD

When was Cushman & Wakefield founded

and where are you based in the UK?

Cushman & Wakefield has a long history in the

UK. Healey & Baker, Cushman & Wakefield’s

European operation, was founded in London, in

1820. Cushman & Wakefield merged with DTZ in

2015. DTZ’s founding predecessor firm, Chesshire

Gibson, was established in Birmingham in 1784.

Today, Cushman & Wakefield has offices in

Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham,

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London,

Manchester and Newcastle.

What services does Cushman & Wakefield

offer, particularly LGBT+ individuals?

We believe that diverse backgrounds, cultures

and expertise inspire innovation. We are still at

an early stage of our journey to total inclusion

and diversity. It is not through lack of intent but

the property profession as a whole has some

catching up to do. However, we are energetic and

determined to reach a point where diversity

doesn’t need to be on the agenda anymore: it will

be a given. We are currently in the process of

setting up an LGBT+ network and working with

our peers to benefit from their experiences.

In terms of services specific to LGBT+? The

services we offer our employees are the same for all.

What distinguishes Cushman & Wakefield

from other similar real estate companies?

It would have to be the culture. Real estate is a

people business at its core. We want to attract

and retain the best people in the business.

Following our merger last year, there is a

feeling that Cushman & Wakefield is a doer,

focused on growth and looking to prove

something. Importantly, we don’t feel like we’re

entitled to any business – we have to earn

business from our clients.

You’re a Director at Cushman & Wakefield.

How long have you worked at the firm and

what is your title and what are your main

responsibilities?

I have worked at the firm for over seven years. I

am a sector head for Occupier Management,

leading a team of around 15 people to ensure our

occupier clients’ property requirements are fully

met. Additionally I am part of the Curzon Group

which champions diversity and inclusion within

the business with joint responsibility for LGBT+

focused activities and initiatives.

Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ recently

merged. What benefits will this bring?

The merger has tremendously accelerated our

collective goal of increased scale and client

service worldwide, something we could not

have accomplished alone. This increased scope

allows us to deliver a broader spectrum of

commercial real estate solutions. We have a

leading position in all the foundation cities

around the world and can provide services in

every major global market.

The merger has brought together two very

similar cultures – two people-focused firms that

are a very good fit and we are going from

strength to strength. The diversity, experience

and strength of talent at the new Cushman &

Wakefield are key differentiators.

FLAGSHIP

PROJECTS/DEALS

Silvertown

Cushman & Wakefield has been appointed on

the 5,000,000 sq ft Silvertown commercial

development – a new piece of city in London’s

Royal Docks, a place which celebrates the

history and heritage of the past and welcomes

the vision of the future.

Ashurst – The London Fruit & Wool Exchange

Cushman & Wakefield advised Ashurst on the

largest legal sector deal in London in over 10

years. Ashurst has pre-let the entire London

Fruit & Wool Exchange, this deal alone

accounted for 31% of all legal take-up in 2015

in the City of London.

Facebook – One Rathbone Place

Cushman & Wakefield advised Facebook on

the largest London core West End transaction

in 2015. Facebook has pre-let the entirety of

One Rathbone Place to accommodate their

future headcount growth.

On a personal level, what gives you

the greatest satisfaction working at

Cushman & Wakefield?

It is hard to find a job which challenges you

intellectually every day or to find colleagues you

can genuinely banter with yet work hard

alongside – my job offers me both.

126

“We believe that

diverse backgrounds,

cultures and expertise

inspire innovation”

ONE RATHBONE PLACE


JAKE PHOTO

ETIENNE GILFILLAN

FEATURE

BUILDING

NETWORKS

JAKE PICTURES: ETIENNE GILFILLAN

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?

STEVE BUSTIN LOOKS AT THE LGBT+

NETWORKING SCENE

127


Anyone in business is always after one

thing: more business. Those who

own their own business are

particularly keen to meet as many

people as possible, spreading their nets wide in

order to catch a regular supply of potential

customers. This has led to the rise of hundreds of

business networking events and organisation

from Chambers of Commerce to business

associations and breakfast clubs.

What has also emerged, however, is a

growing number of gay and lesbian business

networks, bringing together LGBT+

professionals for business – and increasingly,

social – reasons. What underpins them all is the

desire to create connections.

Simon Gage is one of the organisers of Jake,

a gay professional network originally set up by

entrepreneur and businessman Ivan Massow 12

years ago.

“Jake came about at a time before online

networking,” says Gage. “It was quite hard to

contact other gay business leaders, CEOs etc.,

and when there was still legal discrimination

against gay people in the workplace that meant

some people didn’t feel comfortable being out.

Jake was designed to be a way for gay people

towards the top of their industries to give each

other support.

“These days you’ve got LinkedIn and LGBT+

networks in many companies so that role has

diminished and Jake has evolved into a social

event as much as a networking event. It used to

be people in suits having conversations,

swapping cards and moving on, like speed dating

for business people. Now it’s an opportunity to

meet people of like mind but from different

fields. Business is no longer the primary purpose

but business definitely does happen!”

Village Drinks is possibly the best known of

the networks that brings together gay

professionals. Often seeing more than 200

people at their monthly events, founder Neil

Spring has seen Village Drinks serve both a

business and social need. Spring started Village

Drinks when he moved to London, as part of a

desire to network with and build contacts in the

PR industry, where he was working.

“I didn’t know anyone in London at the time,”

explains Neil. “It occurred to me that it would be

good to have an environment that isn’t a typical Soho

gay bar but to be surrounded by likeminded people

from similar industries, making social connections at

the same time as building business connections.

“20 or 30 people came to the first event then

someone suggested inviting gay bankers, lawyers

and other professions and we realised there was a

clear need here for guys to be able to meet to

make contacts and friendships.

Village Drinks now differentiates between

business and social events and even political

events, allowing people to come together around

passions or interests, says Spring.

“The value of a network like ours (and we have

a membership list of 15,000) is that we bring

people together in a forum they wouldn’t

otherwise have, so they can find ways of working

together plus have a social overlap.

“We have a lot of self-employed people

coming who are looking for business connections

but the people who come do tend to be more

social in their outlook as they have to be

prepared to walk into a room where they may

not know anyone, although we have hosts to

ensure no one is left on their own.”

It’s interesting to note that this move from

pure business networking to a mix of business

and social networking is a common feature in

most of the LGBT+ networking groups, with

many of them changing from groups for

“business” to groups for “gay professionals”. So

Village Drinks

“Business is no

longer the

primary purpose

but business

definitely does

happen!”

128


Where to meet

other LGBT+

professionals:

Gay Women’s Network: gwn.org.uk

Radius: radius-business.com

Jake: jaketm.com

Village Drinks: villagedrinks.co.uk

Vocal Social (Brighton): vocsoc.polari.org

Manchester LGBT+ Professional Networking:

tinyurl.com/h9v57xg

are they really just groups for husband-hunting

and “fruits in suits”? Simon Gage from Jake

thinks not.

“Yes, we’re aimed at gay professionals rather

than gay business people but – without being

snooty – the people who come to Jake events

tend to be at a certain level. We have had a Jake

wedding and people certainly do make friends as

well as contacts there but it’s not a high end

knocking shop! It’s also not as ‘suity’ as it used to

be. We don’t have a dress code and encourage

people to come as they are; they go to work in

jeans and trainers, so why change into a suit to

come to a social?”

Another organisation that has moved from its

original positioning as running LGBT+ business

networking events is Radius. Rather than

moving the focus to social events for gay

professionals, however, Radius has extended its

audience to encompass “diversity and inclusion”

rather than just LGBT+ people, as joint founder

Patrick Voss explains:

“Radius is now a network that focuses on

selling the business value of diversity and

inclusion. We did start with an LGBT+ focus and

we still have a core of LGBT+ individuals and

businesses but we now have people attending

from a wide range of backgrounds, so we help

our members engage with those with whom they

might not typically be able to engage.

“The change in our focus and membership

happened because when we were talking to

organisations, LGBT+ is only one aspect they want

to focus on, so bringing together a wider range of

people and individuals seemed like a stronger idea.

It’s giving attendees exposure to different people

and organisations – and perspectives.

FEATURE

“We help our

members engage

with those with

whom they might

not typically be

able to engage”

“I’m also not sure people consider themselves

part of an LGBT+ community in quite such a

black and white way as they once did, socially or

in business. They simply want to make

connections with as wide a range of people as

possible. From being an LGBT+ network we’re

now a network for lots of different people. It’s

about a broader inclusivity.”

SIMON GAGE OF JAKE

Neil Spring

of Village Drinks

Is it worth

“networking”

on Grindr?

Jake Photo Etienne Gilfillan

The popular pick-up app allows users to select

“networking” as one of their reasons for

hanging out on the famous yellow grid. Are

they really hoping to pick up business

contracts? Some people have.

Lee V works for a major national retailer.

He’s used Grindr to do business deals more

than once.

“I was involved in the opening of a store in

Birmingham last year and we needed someone

to do maintenance work. I was on Grindr and

there was a guy who said on his profile that he

was a handyman. He was cute, but it genuinely

said he was a handyman, although I had to

check it wasn’t a euphemism!

“I chatted to him and we met for coffee,

exchanged business cards and I now use him

for ad hoc work when we need it. It’s a great

way to find someone with the skills you need

who you know is close by. I even know people

who have recruited the majority of their staff on

Grindr, looking for local people!”

129


Freedom to

be you at work

At Circle Housing we’re really proud to have such

a diverse range of colleagues who have the freedom

to be you at work. We believe that our people and

partners make us a stronger business, that’s more

innovative and better understands its 300,000

customers.

Together we act with a business head and social heart

to deliver more much needed affordable housing

and to help our customers become more financially

resilient and independent.

To find out more about Circle Housing, or to

hear from our colleagues about what freedom

to be you at work means to them, please visit

our website.

www.circle.org.uk


FEATURE

Jean-FranÇois Dor

Are we doing

business?

STEVE BUSTIN WONDERS WHETHER THERE’S ANY LONGER A NEED

FOR GAY-OWNED BUSINESSES SERVING THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY

Picture: MARK WEEKS

Anyone who was around on the gay

scene ten or more years ago will

remember the plethora of gay

businesses that served the LGBT+

community. Gay travel agents. Gay estate agents.

Gay restaurants. Gay hairdressers. These were

gay-owned, gay-run businesses for gay customers.

Yet not much more than a decade later, they’ve

pretty much all gone. What changed? Were these

businesses not good enough to survive, or have

“non-gay” businesses finally got their act

together and started serving everyone,

irrespective of sexual orientation? Are there any

gay businesses left?

One organisation that ought to know is the

Gay Business Association (GBA). Chairman

131


RAY’S PINK VANS

“These days not

many businesses

that serve gay

customers are

purely gay, and in

fact many… are not

even gay-owned.”

132

Jean-François Dor says a gay business is more

about ownership than who they serve these days.

“A gay business is one that is gay-owned or

gay-operated, or at least that’s what defines the

businesses that join the Gay Business

Association,” he says. “These days not many

businesses that serve gay customers are purely

gay, and in fact many, such as most of the gay

pubs in central London, are not even gay-owned.

For example, The Village is a gay space, flies the

rainbow flag and the managers are gay, but the

owners are not, with the venue just one of about

220 pubs they own in London.

“We do have a lot of businesses that just want

to join the GBA because they want to promote

their wares to the LGBT+ market and reach the

pink pound, but for genuinely gay-owned

businesses they want to show they belong to the

LGBT+ community.”

So should that community be seeking out gay

businesses and supporting them? Jean- François

says no.

“I don’t think LGBT+ people should be seeking

out gay businesses specially. Business is business

and if I want to buy stationery, for example, I’ll

find the cheapest supplier and the best quality, not

go to a supplier just because they’re gay.”

Steve Coote, owner of gay business directory

GaytoZ.com, agrees.

“In the UK, a business being LGBT+-owned or

not isn’t an issue any more. It comes down to value

for money and how good your service is – the

things that are important to everyone. There isn’t

much of an LGBT+ market any more in the UK,

even on the gay scene, which is why London and

other places have lost many of their gay venues.

“I think it’s becoming an anachronism to say

you’re a gay venue. Young people are looking for

something slightly different now and don’t see the

need for a gay venue, let alone a gay travel agent or

anything like that. We all now just go straight to

Easyjet or use a high street travel agent.”

One of the reasons some consumers do still

seek out specifically gay-owned or operated

businesses seems to be an expectation of the ease

of communication with someone with whom they

have something in common. This is particularly

true for providers of home services such as

plumbers and builders, as Steve Coote explains.

“A good way to narrow down who you want to

buy from is to find someone you’re going to have

something in common with and get on with. If

you’re going to have a plumber or builder in your

house you want to be fairly relaxed about it and

about your home space, from photos by the bed

to the sling in the lounge! I think this is even more

important for many lesbians who are wary about

lairy (straight) builders coming into their house.”

Builder Ray Bulloch of R&G LGBT+ Builders

in East London is all too aware of concerns such

as these and has built a very successful business

by offering a service that addresses them.

“Builders come into people’s houses but a lot

of people aren’t comfortable with the way

builders can be, and deep down it’s got to be

about honesty and trust. I’ve spoken to other

builders and they see gay people as having loads

of money so they set out to overcharge them.

They walk into a gay person’s house, look at what

they’ve got and put the price up – I’ve heard

straight builders talking openly about stitching

up their gay customers.

“I’ve been an openly gay builder for 15 years.

When I came out, I turned the vans pink, had the

rainbow flag painted on it and went the whole

hog, my business literally took off. I couldn’t cope

with all the business I got when it happened.

“I now only work for the LGBT+ community.

I don’t say that officially but straight people have

plenty of building companies – gay people don’t.


I still get inundated with calls from people

who’ve been ripped off by builders, whereas the

way I get on with my clients is more like a

friendship. It’s the trust element – I must have

the keys to 25 different people’s houses. A lot of

my clients say they prefer to keep their money

within the community, too.”

Josh Rafter is Managing Director of property

agents Outlet, who, as the name suggests, have

always been focused on the gay market.

“We still position ourselves within the LGBT+

community but now our customer base is 50/50

gay/straight,” says Rafter. “We open our doors to

everyone – we always have done – but we certainly

don’t shy away from our roots. We were set up so

LGBT+ people could find safe flat shares and

housing where they could be themselves.

“Members of the LGBT+ community are

some of the highest critics on service – we’re a

very demanding community. We’re still here as a

business because we had to ensure our service

was up at that level. Non-LGBT+ people find our

service shockingly good – they’re not used to it,

and we’re so different to other estate agents.

“Attitudes to gay businesses are changing,

though. The younger generation, especially in the

London bubble where everything seems equal and

wonderful, will buy from anywhere and are good

at finding bargains. There’s also indifference about

gay businesses within our community, but if you

have the choice between two or three companies

offering the same service at the same price, why

wouldn’t you go to the LGBT+ one?”

IS IT LEGAL TO CALL

YOURSELF

A “GAY BUSINESS”?

With all the anti-discrimination laws around

these days, could calling yourself a gay

business land you in trouble with the law? We

asked a top lawyer.

“While it’s not illegal to refer to your business

as a ‘gay business’ under The Equality Act

2010, it could be seen to have some negative

repercussions as it could be construed as

discriminating against potential heterosexual

employees or customers. The term ‘a gayowned

business’ conveys a more welcoming

ethos and reinforces the existence of the

LGBT+ community at the helm of thriving

industries and in positions of leadership.

“Under the Act, taking positive discriminatory

action is legal ‘…if people with a protected

characteristic are at a disadvantage, have

particular needs or are under-represented in an

activity or type of work’. It’s therefore important

to acknowledge the fine line that exists between

positive action and positive discrimination.”

Alexander Pappin, Jamieson Alexander Legal,

jamiesonalexander.co.uk

FEATURE

“A lot of my

clients say they

prefer to keep their

money within the

community”

RAY’S VAN AT PRIDE

133


SPONSORED FEATURE

MR CHRISTOPHER INGLEFIELD

OF THE LONDON BRIDGE

PLASTIC SURGERY

Changing Lives

MR CHRISTOPHER INGLEFIELD OF THE LONDON BRIDGE PLASTIC SURGERY

IS ONE OF THE UK’S AUTHORITIES ON GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY.

HE TALKS ABOUT SOME OF THE TREATMENTS AVAILABLE AT HIS PRACTICE

When was London Bridge Plastic Surgery

(LBPS) established, and how many staff do

you have?

LBPS was established in 1998. We have 12 staff

that cover our reception team, admin team,

nurses and consultants.

What drew you to this area of medicine in

the first place?

I loved the challenges in plastic surgery and the

opportunity to help a wide range of patients.

What services, both surgical and nonsurgical,

does London Bridge Plastic

Surgery offer?

LBPS offers cosmetic surgery, non-surgical

THE LONDON BRIDGE

PLASTIC SURGERY

treatments including body treatments for

cellulite and fat reduction, Skin Health, LASER

treatments as well as Skin Cancer management

What are the benefits of plastic surgery?

Surely it’s all just about vanity?

Plastic surgery is about

restoring form and

function whether this is

lost due to injury, disease

or ageing. The main goal

is about improving

quality of life not about

vanity which is a very

judgmental view.

Is it necessary for

people to be referred

by their GP before embarking on plastic

surgery treatment?

No, it is not necessary to be referred by their GP

but we recommend that they do inform their GP

of any treatment or procedure that is planned.

You also offer male to female gender

reassignment. What does this involve and do

you find that this is a process which is

becoming more and more common place?

I am one of the leading authorities in MTF

Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS) and we are

in a unique position being able to offer help at

whatever stage of transition. We work with

patients who have had a constant desire to live as

a female for at least two years and have had

undergone psychiatric assessment for at least

two years. The patient must be able to

“Plastic surgery is

about restoring form

and function whether

this is lost due to

injury, disease or age”

demonstrate their ability to live as a female for at

least one year and it is very important that they

have good support from family, friends and

partners. GCS in Male to Female involves

conversion of penile and scrotal tissues into

female genitals that look as natural as possible.

This will give a normal

functioning vagina that

allows for sexual

intercourse and

cosmetically normal,

female external

genitalia. Because GCS

is irreversible it is

essential to ensure that

this surgery is right for

the patient and is in

their best interest.

With the increased media attention on

transgenders and films such as The Danish Girl,

it has certainly bought this surgery more into the

public eye and made people aware of what is now

possible across all stages their transition. We are

seeing more and more people from all age groups

and life styles looking at becoming who they

truly want to be.

On a personal level what is it about your

work which gives you the greatest pleasure?

The greatest pleasure comes from helping our

patients achieve their goals and seeing how this

changes their lives in such a positive way.

Go to: www.lbps.co.uk

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HOMES TO TAKE PRIDE IN

Elephant Park is at the heart of one of the largest regeneration areas

in Zone 1 London, Elephant & Castle, making it exceptionally close to

everything Central London has to offer.

Adjacent to the new park and overlooking a new vibrant shopping street,

the West Grove neighbourhood comprises one, two and three bedroom

apartments, each with its own private outside space.

Prices from £540,000

Stamp duty contribution*

To discover more about our new homes, visit our stall on

Trafalgar Square during the parade.

Contact our sales team:

020 3581 3549

welcomehome@lendlease.com

All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Furniture and landscaping are also shown for illustrative purposes only. Detail design of facades and landscaping subject to planning agreement, it is anticipated that there will be changes in landscape design. Individual

features such as windows, brick and other materials’ colours may vary, as may heating and electrical layouts. These particulars should not be relied upon as accurately describing any of the specific matters described by any order under the Consumer Protection from Unfair

Trading Regulations 2008 and the Business Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. This information including images and dimensions is not intended to form part of or constitute a contract or warranty. *On selected plots only and for a limited time only. May 2016.


SPONSORED FEATURE

LENDLEASE

PROUD TO LEAD THE WAY

LENDLEASE STANDS UP FOR LGBT RIGHTS IN CONSTRUCTION

We believe in bringing people

together to foster an

environment where everyone

is included and treated with

respect. We want to change attitudes and make

business understand the benefits of an inclusive

workforce. Nobody should have to hide who

they are.

Having LGBT-supportive workplace policies

clearly benefits LGBT employees directly. It

reduces stress and anxiety for LGBT employees

who don’t feel they have to hide their identities.

This means that a LGBT-friendly workplace

leads to improved health, increased job

satisfaction and better relationships with

colleagues. And, more importantly, it is the right

thing to do.

Polling by YouGov shows that in the last five

years 2.4 million people of working age have

witnessed verbal homophobic bullying at work

– and more than a quarter of lesbian, gay and

bisexual people do not feel able to be open to

colleagues about their sexual orientation. And

let’s be frank, the construction industry has lot

of catching up to do in this area; a survey carried

out last year showed that 85% of LGBT workers

had faced offensive remarks.

We’ve taken direct steps to address this

problem head-on and to encourage an inclusive

workforce.

Lendlease has an ongoing relationship with

Stonewall, we run a Lendlease Allies Programme,

which gives non-LGBT individuals the

opportunity to explore what it means to be a role

model and the space to identify how they are

going to create an inclusive environment for

everyone. Last year we issued 3,000 multicoloured

laces to our building sites across the UK

to encourage workers to lace their boots with

rainbow colours. This is part of a wider Stonewall

campaign which encourages everyone to stand in

solidarity and support for inclusion.

“A LGBT-friendly

workplace leads to

improved health,

increased job

satisfaction and better

relationships with

colleagues”

In Stonewall’s top 100 list of gay-friendly

workplaces, the Workplace Equality Index, the

construction and property industries are as yet

unrepresented. Lendlease wants to change that,

and we’re aiming to be the first in the sector to

enter the top 100 in Britain. In Australia, where our

global HQ is located, Lendlease is ranked ninth in

the Australian Workplace Equality Index, and is the

only construction company in the index.

This year’s National Student Pride focused on

mental health, which remains a disproportionally

prevalent issue for both LGBT people and the

construction sector. With this in mind, we

recently became the first company in the

construction industry to publicly commit to

tackling mental health by signing the Time to

Change pledge, England’s biggest programme to

challenge mental health stigma and

discrimination. To date, we have trained over 200

Mental Health First Aiders in the UK, all new

starters will receive Mental Health First Aid Lite

training as part of Lendlease’s induction process.

We would urge the rest of the property and

construction industries to take steps to create

a working environment where everyone is free

to be themselves, where everyone is included

and where everyone is treated with the respect

they deserve.

Lendlease is currently working with

Southwark Council to deliver a £2 billion

regeneration project, on 28 acres of land, across

three sites in the centre of Elephant & Castle.

Between now and 2025, it will also deliver shops,

restaurants, community facilities and a brand

new park that will help restore nature in the

heart of the city.

137


Introducing

Highwood Gardens

THIS SPRING MARKS THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST COLLECTION OF HOMES AT

HIGHWOOD GARDENS, THE LATEST CHAPTER OF ELEPHANT PARK WHICH IS AT

THE HEART OF LENDLEASE’S ELEPHANT & CASTLE REGENERATION PROJECT.

COVERING OVER 22 ACRES, ELEPHANT PARK WILL FEATURE A MAJOR NEW PARK

OF ALMOST TWO ACRES, FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY TO ENJOY.

Delivered by sustainable property

and infrastructure group,

Lendlease, Highwood Gardens

comprises three buildings set

around attractive courtyard gardens designed by

leading landscape architects, Gillespies. The

latest homes to launch are part of The

Highwood, an elegant building enjoying some of

the best views of the city’s skyline, comprising a

total of 222 suites, one, two and three bedroom

apartments and penthouses.

Combining the best of inner-city and outdoor

living, each home at The Highwood includes a

private terrace or balcony, with many

overlooking landscaped gardens. The modern

interiors feature open-plan living areas with

kitchen, bathroom and floor finishes available in

three contemporary options.

Residents of The Highwood will also enjoy

convenient access to the West Grove Club, a

residents’ clubhouse offering flexible spaces for

working, socialising, exercise and relaxation. The

West Grove Club includes 24-hour concierge, a

fully-equipped gymnasium, communal spaces,

and residents’ rooms suitable for all resident club

evenings or individual bookings.

Elephant Park is set to be an attractive new

green neighbourhood in zone one, comprising

a vibrant hub of new homes, leisure, and

entertainment and shopping facilities, with

the luxury and convenience of a central

London location.

Almost half (45%) of Elephant Park will be

dedicated to new pedestrian friendly streets, parks

and open spaces. As part of this, a wide selection of

mature trees are being preserved in addition to

significant new planting. Buildings will include

their own green roofs, living walls and residents will

also be able to enjoy their own communal grow

gardens centred within each courtyard.

Located in zone one, Elephant & Castle was

once known as the “Piccadilly of South London”.

Highwood Gardens at Elephant Park has been

inspired by the historical grandeur of the area,

particularly during the late Victorian period.

Employing rich materials which speak to the

heritage of the site, the new neighbourhood has

been designed by RIBA Stirling Prize winner,

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, to seamlessly

knit into the area’s existing fabric.

The Highwood has been designed to echo the

rhythm of the Fibonacci sequence: a cumulative

mathematical sequence often found in natural

settings, such as the branching of trees, whereby

138


each new section created is the sum of the two

previous. In the case of The Highwood, each

additional visual level of the façade is the size of

the two levels preceding it. The fine detailing and

accentuations are designed to build momentum

from the ground floor and give a sense of

acceleration as the eye moves up the building.

Rob Heasman, Lendlease’s Project Director

for Elephant & Castle, said: “The launch of

Highwood Gardens presents a fantastic

opportunity to be part of the already thriving

community at Elephant Park. At Highwood

Gardens we are creating a place where the

community will thrive: where residents will not

only benefit from high-quality, energy efficient

new homes, but also from a vibrant selection of

shops, cafes, gardens and amenities right on their

doorstep. We are committed to creating a new

green heart in one of central London’s best

connected destinations and we are delighted to

be launching the next chapter of this extensive

regeneration project.”

The current phase in development, West

Grove at Elephant Park, comprises two

courtyard neighbourhoods bordering Walworth

Road High Street and is made up of almost 600

homes, each individual in lifestyle and identity.

Residents will also have access to a selection of

grow gardens as well as the West Grove Club.

Working together with Southwark Council,

Lendlease is set to deliver a total of nearly 3,000

homes as part of the wider regeneration of

Elephant & Castle across 28 acres. Almost 2,500

of these homes will be delivered at Elephant Park

and construction of 953 of these homes is already

underway. Elephant Park will also introduce a

vibrant central shopping street, and will include a

variety of 50 new shops, restaurants, cafés and

bars to the zone one location.

The first development within the Elephant &

Castle regeneration project, Trafalgar Place, which

is now fully occupied, achieved the “Mayor’s

Award for Planning Excellence” at the 2016

London Planning Awards with Boris Johnson, and

was also celebrated as London’s “Best New Place

to Live” at the London Planning Awards.

Work is also nearing completion at One The

Elephant, a landmark 37-storey building

consisting of 284 new homes with first residents

due to move in this summer.

Each stage of the Elephant Park regeneration

has been carefully created to form flourishing

green spaces, which set out to enhance and

conserve the natural surroundings, making it

unlike any other area in London’s central zones.

Lendlease is committed to providing a vibrant

living environment for new and existing

residents, complemented by new shops, offices,

leisure and community facilities and vast

amounts of open space, to create a thriving new

community, and a place for people to live, work

and enjoy.

The new apartments at The Highwood are

available from £540,000. For more information

about The Highwood, please contact Lendlease on

0203 675 9955 or visit www.elephantpark.co.uk.

SPONSORED FEATURE

“Elephant Park is set to

be an attractive new

green neighbourhood in

zone one, comprising a

vibrant hub of new

homes, leisure, and

entertainment and

shopping facilities”

139


FEATURE

PictureS: i STOCKPHOTO.com

Becoming

a parent

IN THIS ONE-OFF ARTICLE, THE UK’S FERTILITY

REGULATOR THE HUMAN FERTILISATION AND

EMBRYOLOGY AUTHORITY (HFEA) TAKES YOU

THROUGH SOME ROUTES TO PARENTHOOD,

GIVING YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN

YOU WANT TO BE EXPECTING

At the HFEA we’ve been regulating

the fertility sector for 25 years. It’s

our job to inspect clinics and ensure

they provide the best possible care,

and publish guidance to make sure all children

born through assisted reproduction get the best

possible start.

Lesbian couples

There are many different routes to parenthood

for same-sex couples, including using a sperm

donor or a surrogate. If you’re thinking of

starting a family there’s a lot to get your head

around, and that’s where we can help. As well as

regulating clinics, it’s also our job to help you be

as informed about your choices as you want to

be. Our website has lots of information about

treatments, clinics, success rates and more. Here

are a few pointers to get you started.

Fertility clinics

Lesbian couples have, for a long time, made

private arrangements, whether that’s through

co-parenting or finding a sperm donor

141


Can LGBT People Foster

Children?

1 in 3 LGBT people believe their sexuality would be

an obstacle

The bottom line is this… If you can provide a caring

and supportive home for a child or young person,

then you might make an excellent foster carer and

maybe even change someone’s life.

Search “LGBT fostering” for more info or visit us

at: www.greaterlondonfostering.org


“An increasing

number are having

treatment in fertility

clinics. Lesbian

couples now make up

20% of patients using

donor sperm or eggs”

featured an unregulated donor who claimed his

“magic potion” (his words) had helped create

more than 800 children over the last 15 years. He

is, he said, “going for the world record”. What he

didn’t mention is the risks that women using this

route to parenthood run.

Whilst this option can be good for some people

– often popular because you can have on-going

contact with the donor during the child’s life –

this donor conception route is unregulated so it

can be very risky. You will not have the same safety

and legal protections: you can’t be sure that the

donor has undergone rigorous screening and

quality checks and there is no limit on the number

of families the donor can create or on how much

compensation he can receive.

If you decide to meet a man who you do not

know, think about your personal safety. Many

donors are genuine in their intentions, but some

may not be, and rather than offering artificial

insemination will prefer sexual intercourse,

known as “natural” insemination.

Male gay couples

Male gay couples will need a surrogate. While we

don’t regulate surrogacy, we know it’s on the rise,

FEATURE

increasing from 46 cycles in 2000, to 192 in 2013.

Whichever man is the sperm provider will go

through the standard medical screening process

for donors. The surrogate will always be the leg