An historical walk through queer london

The LGBTQ+ community has been prosecuted for a great number of years. Taking a look at Britain's queer history it is noticeable how far the community has come in terms of raising their voice and tackling discrimination. We should celebrate our hardships as opposed to let them consume us.

The landmarks depicted in this project have been inextricably attached with negative occurrences which marked LGBTQ+ people's narratives forevermore. However, it is important to remember the people that fought for our rights and were attacked across history, they are the reason we are here today and we should strive to perpetuate their legacy.

We cannot let fear rule our lives.
Love will always be love.

 

Houses of Parliament

Section 28, 1988
Margaret Thatcher introduced Section 28 to the Legislation, which banned any "promotion" of homosexuality in schools in Britain. A plaque was later stuck to the House of Lords by an activist groud called "Sexual Avengers" which read the following: "Queer heritage: Protesting against Section 28 that discriminated against homosexuality, lesbians abseiled into the House of Lords, 2 February 1988."
This clause was repealed on 21 June 2000 in Scotland and only on 18 November 2003 in the rest of the UK.

 

Admiral Duncan Pub

London Bombings, 1999
Admiral Duncan Pub was the last of three bombings called the "London nail bombings" during April 1999. The "self-confessed racist and homophobe" left a gym bag containing a bomb inside the Admiral Duncan Pub on the evening of April 30. Three died, including four months pregnant Andrea Dykes, Nick Moore, and John Light, who were at the pub to celebrate the pregnancy.
The alt-right neo-nazi was given six life sentences, and will serve a minimum of 50 years in prison.

 

Soho

Protests against the LGBTQ+ catholic community, 1999
After the bombing at the Admiral Duncan Pub, many wanted to pay their respects but found it difficult as, according to Artefact Magazine, they "had to relocate three times (...). Protests were made by more conservative churchgoers, who did not agree with the existence of the [LGBTQ+] group" and "became very disruptive, they wrote letters to Rome making all signs of accusations against us. We even had the get the police involved, it was very difficult."

 

Trafalgar Square

Ian Baynham, September 2009
On 25 September 2009, Ian Baynham, a 62-year-old openly gay man, was attacked outside South Africa House, in Trafalgar Square. Joel Alexander, Ruby Thomas and Rachel Burke, who were teenagers at the time, screamed homophobic slurs, stamped on and kicked Mr Baynham until he fell unconscious on the ground. Mr Baynham died 18 days after the attack from brain damage caused by the fall.
Alexander and Thomas were convicted of manslaughter, however, despite being found guilty of affray at an earlier trial, Rachel Burke was cleared of manslaughter.

 

Jubilee Line

Will Mayrick, October 2017
On 21 October 2017, Will Mayrick, a 21-year-old photography student, was on a Jubilee line train on his way to a “fancy dress” event at the O2 when he was attacked by two teenagers. Mayrick was made to apologise for being gay by the two minors who held him in a headlock and threatened to stab him. Additionally, when Mayrick’s 25-year-old friend tried to help him, she was punched and pushed to the ground.
The attackers were handed 12-month referral orders to a youth offender programme, and made to pay £20 for victim surcharge and £150 compensation.

 

UK Supreme Court

“Gay cake” case, 2018
In 2014, Gareth Lee requested a cake from Ashers Bakery Belfast. The intended design featured Sesame Street characters and the message “Support Gay Marriage.” After initially accepting the request, the bakery contacted Mr Lee to say they would not make the cake.
On October 10 2018, after almost four and a half years of legal battle, the UK Supreme Court ruled that “there was no political discrimination as well as no discrimination based on Mr Lee’s sexual orientation.”

 

Beatriz Vasques, 21

Matilde Pronto Flores, 21

Written and produced for Interactive Journalism
at London South Bank University