New rainbow plaques will stop ‘hidden LGBTQ+ histories’ being ‘lost forever’

  • london
  • June 29, 2023
  • Comments Off on New rainbow plaques will stop ‘hidden LGBTQ+ histories’ being ‘lost forever’

A trail of rainbow plaques will be installed across London to celebrate key people, places and moments in LGBTQI history.

Five of the displays will appear across the city in the coming months.

They mark the latest of London’s plaques to identify hidden and lost LGBTQI heritage.

There are currently only two similar ones in the English capital – one for Oscar Wilde at Clapham Junction Station and one for My Beautiful Laundrette on Wilcox Road, Vauxhall.

Campaigners say the new project will stop ‘hidden histories’ from being ‘lost forever’.

The new plaques will be installed in the coming months.

Where will the new plaques be located?

  • Beautiful Thing at the Greenwich Tavern – a celebration of the landmark 1996 coming out and coming-of-age film that was set in Thamesmead and Greenwich.
  • The plaque will be unveiled on Sunday 23 July along with a special screening of the film at Greenwich Picturehouse.

    Black Lesbian and Gay Centre, Peckham – the first centre established in Europe to provide advice and support to the community.
  • Jackie Forster, Westminster – honouring the life of the hugely influential journalist and activist who helped to found social group and long-running publication Sappho.
  • London Lighthouse, Ladbroke Grove – a pioneering centre and hospice for people with HIV and AIDS offering a respite for people marginalised or abandoned following their diagnosis.
  • Section 28, Haringey Civic Centre – the site for a number of protests after the council launched the first of its kind Lesbian and Gay Unit to highlight and support the rights of LGBTQI communities.

This project came after the London LGBT Forums’ Network and Studio Voltaire received funding from the Mayor’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm and Wandsworth Oasis.

Sadiq Khan announced the new plaques at his annual Pride reception at City Hall last night, ahead of London’s Pride celebrations this Saturday.

‘London is a beacon of inclusion and diversity around the world,’ he said.

‘But we still have work to do to ensure that our public spaces fully reflect the many different communities that make up our great city.

‘As we look ahead to our capital’s Pride celebrations this weekend, I’m delighted to announce that five new rainbow plaques will be installed across our capital in honour of significant people, places and moments in LGBTQI history.

‘These plaques are a symbol of the enormous contribution that our LGBTQI communities make to all our lives and I hope to see many more installed in the future as we build a fairer, more equal city for everyone.’

David Robson of the London LGBT Forums’ Network added: ‘Rainbow Plaques commemorate incredible unsung people, moments and cultures alongside precious organisations and places.

‘I’ve particularly loved the many suggestions from and conversations with communities in boroughs all over London, exploring our rich and diverse histories. Our communities have led this project, and long may that continue.

‘There are so many hidden LGBTQIA histories at risk of being lost forever. This project goes someway in reminding people that we have always been here, in good times and bad.

‘With these five new plaques, we will soon have seven permanent tributes across London. We don’t want to stop there. I am excited to begin conversations of where we go in 2024 and beyond.’

The announcement comes ahead of London’s Pride event on Saturday which will see the city’s streets painted with all colours of the rainbow.

More than one million people hit the streets for last year’s 50th anniversary, and large numbers are expected for the 2023 parade with more than 30,000 participants from across 600 organisations.

A handy map has been created to help you work out the best places to stand during the event.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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