This month in your episode of KET Talks, Vincent Reillon from Forbidden Colours discusses the situation for LGBTIQ+ people in the UK as he is joined by activist Dan Glass. They first discuss the last book of Dan, Queer Footprints, before moving on to the raise of hate crime and hate speech against LGBTIQ+ people in the UK over the last years.
Queer Footprints: celebrating the places of LGBTIQ+ history
Queer Footprints is a kind of tourist guide of London bringing the reader to more than 150 landmarks of queer history in the capital of England. Each chapter offers a route throughout one of district of the city – Charing Cross, Piccadilly, White Chapel… – pointing out the key places of queer socialization and queer revolution in the area since the 1960s. The book presents a large array of key historical figures of the LGBTIQ+ movement in London as well as pointing out the events and places that played a key role in queer liberation in the UK.
The idea of the book started when he realized in 2016 that a lot of queer spaces were closing in the capital and that something needed to be done. With the help of his networks, Dan started to map out queer landmarks and gave birth to the first Queer Tours of London. Over the years, he collected more than 2 000 landmarks and events that would be worth mentioning. Yet only 5% of them made it to the book.
For Dan, reclaiming our stolen queer history – or herstory, as he wrote the book from a feminist perspective – is essential to carry on the legacy of the LGBTIQ+ people who came before us. He hopes that this project will inspire LGBTIQ+ people to do the same in their city, as a means of empowerment for their own communities.
Hate crimes and hate speech on the raise in the UK
Over the summer, there have been violent attacks reported against LGBTIQ+ people in London. A gay couple was stabbed outside a gay bar. Others were attacked while on their way back from Black Pride march. For Dan, this rise in hate has been noticeable against all minorities since the vote on Brexit. While these attacks were multiplying, he decided to launch the Queer Night Pride protests. These events are demonstrations reclaiming the public spaces where these attacks have been perpetuated as safe spaces for all LGBTIQ+ people.
Dan shares with us the purpose of Queer Night Pride: “Night Pride is a protest, not a demand for equality. Not a demand for better policing. Not a demand for mere tolerance and acceptance. We are revolting, and we will have true liberation! We will hold hands, share affection, kiss our friends and lovers wherever we want. We won’t be confined to the safety of our homes, clubs and community spaces. We will express our gender identity in any way we damn please. We will not hide the many ways in which we express our sexuality/ies. We are unapologetic and unashamed. We are authentic and real. We are many and we will no longer be attacked. Fight back!”
Despite these attacks, Dan remains hopeful. The preparation of his book has taught him that our communities have all the resources to keep on fighting and that our full liberation is coming. He puts his faith on radical intimacy.
Visit Forbidden Colours website: https://www.forbidden-colours.com/
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