BEAR Magazine

Exploring London’s forgotten black gay clubbing history

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Contents

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The gay answer to „no black, Irish or … – Heaven

Waited in the sign for 90 minutes, got to the front as well as asked extremely invasive inquiries regarding our … find out more

Dreadful experience, me and also my close friends queued for 1hour as well as 40 minutes and after I had to leave the … read more

Gay Parties and Occasions in London

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Gay’s The Word: Homages paid to Peter Dorey who opened very first LGBTQ bookshop

Gay’s words co-founders Peter Dorey (left) and Ernest Hole outside the shop in London the day it opened in 1979

Peter Dorey, who was among a little group of gay protestors, opened Gay’s The Word in Bloomsbury in central London in 1979.

The shop served as a „refuge“ for LGBTQ areas throughout a duration of injustice and also discrimination.

Mr Dorey, who was elevated in Harrow, died on Friday adhering to years of poor health, his family validated.

“ Gay’s Words has been a vital part of the LGBTQ neighborhood for years and we obtain visitors from all over the world,“ store manager Jim MacSweeney claimed.

“ We owe Peter Dorey a large amount of thanks for his component in establishing our bookshop.“

Gay’s The Word rapidly developed itself as an important community hub throughout the 1980s, offering details as well as resources to members of London’s LGBTQ area.

“ The store was set up as a safe area room where earnings, if any kind of, returned right into the bookshop,“ Mr MacSweeney claimed.

“ Along with publications, we had a coffee shop at the back with community notification boards and space for various teams to satisfy.“

The teams that met at the shop included a lesbian discussion group, a black team, Irish gay individuals in London as well as, for a period in 1984, a lesbians and also gays support the miners group.

Nestled on Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury, the book shop provided LGBTQ communities a „safe place“ to meet

Mr Dorey and also co-owner Ernest Hole were additionally part of a group called Gay Icebreakers – a gay socialist team that ran a helpline and held normal conversation teams at the store, Mr MacSweeney included.

In 1984, the shop was invaded by HM Personalizeds as well as Import tax who took thousands of pounds worth of stock.

Charges were brought versus the personnel and supervisors for importing „indecent“ product.

The case gathered a great deal of media protection as well as concerns were increased in the House of Commons before the fees were ultimately dropped, Mr MacSweeney said.

“ Both Peter as well as Ernest attended our 40th anniversary events at the British Library in 2022,“ he added.

“ At the end of the evening, when we thanked them from the phase, the audience rose as one to provide an applause to thank them both for what they provided for us all.

“ Peter took fantastic pride in the truth that the shop, despite all its problems for many years, has actually endured as well as flourishes.“

Gay’s The Word opened 40 years back and has actually been an integral part of London’s LGBTQ society considering that.

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As a black gay guy, I will not be marching at Satisfaction this year– here’s why

I remember my very first Satisfaction festival with much fondness, however times have transformed. 20 years later on, London’s Pride is currently a heavily commercialised event

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The very best gay clubs in London

Event in the resources with our guide to London’s best gay as well as lesbian clubs as well as LGBTQ nightlife

London’s LGBTQ scene has long contained lively places providing secure areas to be yourself. Its heartland is still very much located in its typical house of Soho, but you’ll discover brilliant gay bars and also clubs dedicated to offering the neighborhood south of the river as well as in the East End too. There’s a lot of variety in what they use, from very awesome and edgy club nights to events showcasing the most effective in the city’s cabaret entertainers. Caught the Bimini Bon-Boulash insect over lockdown? You’ll love getting to know the remainder of London’s incredible drag stars as well.

Clapham’s Two Makers isn’t London’s hippest LGBTQ place, yet it’s defnitely one of one of the most popular. It’s open 7 days a week and also has a solid cabaret offering on weekdays, but Friday and Saturday are full-on club nights with drag programs and even more pop bangers than Max Martin’s hard disk. You’ll probably have to queue to enter, and also you’ll most likely have a great deal of enjoyable.

Something of a local legend, the White Swan is the East End’s most renowned gay boozer. The comedian Michael Barrymore notoriously came out on stage right here. Sir Ian McKellen used to drop in after he came out. Extra recently, it’s dealt with a little bit of a rough-and-ready online reputation, but its 4am licence on Fridays and Saturdays isn’t to be sniffed at. As well as month-to-month club night Cybil’s Home, which bills itself as ‚ a queer oasis of joy, approval and party‘, is ending up being an actual cult fave.

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1987. First National Black Gay Males’s Seminar in UK

On 31st October 1987, the UK saw its first ever national seminar of Black gay males. Under the title In This Our Lives, participants considered a range of issues. These included Black Lesbian and Gay background, fears and bias within the Black neighborhood, spirituality, bisexuality as well as a series of health and wellness issues.

Organised by the London Black Lesbian as well as Gay Centre, it was held at Hampden Neighborhood Centre in North London. Black men from cities like Manchester, Leeds, Leicester and also Bristol participated in.

But in spite of the obvious relevance of such a conference it appears that there were few, if any, tangible records of the occasion. The poster seems the only staying evidence that the conference took place. Nor existed a 2nd such seminar.

The good news is, initiatives were made to resolve this on the 20th wedding anniversary of the meeting. On 18th October 2007, In This Our Lives: The Get-together looked for to bring together the original individuals to bring into play and maintain their memories of the event. It was organised collectively by South Bank University and also „the rukus Federation“ a „Black LGBT social archive“.

Participants at the original meeting were asked to rest on a panel where they were asked a collection of inquiries about the 1987 occasion. It’s from their feedbacks (documented in the book, Off the beaten track: Representations of LGBT Lives, edited by Ian Rivers and also Richard Ward) that we can get some understanding right into the meeting dynamics.

As an example, we learn that the occasion was promoted in the Black press. It was a radical relocation for that time, but also for organisers it had to do with showing up in the general community in addition to per various other.

“ Putting adverts in the Black press was an initial. We were established to get advertised.“

But presence as gay men within the Black community was only component of the trouble. Lots of really felt that visibility as Black men within the gay community was likewise a problem. Some spoke about being left out from community organisations as well as, when they were admitted, they experienced a hesitation from those organisations to attend to the discrimination they were experiencing. On the social scene various devices remained in location to omit them or at the very least make them seem like they should not exist.

Disappointingly (yet possibly unsurprisingly), there were young Black men participating in the 2007 ‚Get-together‘ seminar that broached similar experiences.

Yet, the 1987 seminar had to do with more than articulating unfavorable experiences. Panellists in 2007 also described how the first meeting helped them form their sexual, racial as well as political identities.

“ Coming was an actual eye opener for me. It was a real progression as well as it was really ensuring that not just can we really blaze a trail as far as general civil rights were concerned but we could actually take an effort ourselves as Black gay men … that was an actual progression.“

Enthusiasm Fruit is a raw, vital coming of age tale that explores growing up Black and gay in London

Enthusiasm Fruit adheres to the hero’s trip from kid to male. It’s „a story of maturing in a world that appears to evaluate him for both his heritage and also sexuality.“( The Glory)

“ This isn’t a coming out story,“ states Dior Clarke at the start of Interest Fruit. It’s much more.

Clarke’s semi-biographical play is the tale of a young gay British-Jamaican guy growing up on a North London council estate. It’s a tale that certainly isn’t told frequently sufficient in the theatre as well as should have to be seen by a broad audience.

Clarke takes us detailed with hero Romeo’s life. That consists of school years, a terrible family life, gang violence, internalised homophobia and also embarassment, and ultimately the hedonic London gay scene.

It is, in mind, a fairly basic maturing tale, but it touches on essential motifs in a raw, truthful means: the poisonous manliness prevalent within some components of the Black community; the threats of the throw-caution-to-the-wind London gay scene as well as its associated drug use; the significance of household.

The last is possibly the greatest string of the piece, as the events of the narrative all tie back to family members. One especially enthusiastic minute has Romeo defining his mommy as a solid Black female, in spite of the pain as well as hardship she’s withstood. It’s a powerful minute that solidifies the bond in between mom and son and also shows that while nobody’s perfect as well as for some the odds are stacked against them, success is still feasible.

That’s why Interest Fruit feels so immediate: a phone call to activity of love as well as acceptance in an area that is frequently victimized.

Together with dramaturg Stephanie Martin, Clarke has a terrific way with bathos. Unfortunate and also severe moments await the air and after that are damaged by humour, so the narrative never pauses for long. As well as there is a lot of humour, both from the frequently dry script to Clarke’s sexy distribution. He’s an appealing writer as well as carries out Romeo as a likeable hero despite his problems.

Hayden Mampasi and Jessikah Wilson sign up with the cast with some characterful impacts, revealing terrific range. The play is often at its ideal during these scenes that break up the talk, with director Melina Namdar guaranteeing fantastic use of the theatre room among the audience.

A couple of minutes feel somewhat preachy, from an academic piece on HIV throughout that hits the nail a little too bluntly on the head. Nevertheless, they don’t diminish the whole. Enthusiasm Fruit is, at its core, a raw and also enthusiastic piece with terrific potential.

The Black Lesbian as well as Gay Centre

The Hall-Carpenter data use a wealth of main resource product about usually failed to remember or little-known teams. One such team is the Black Lesbian as well as Gay Centre in south London. Throughout the very early 1980s, black lesbian as well as gay teams in Britain started to arise, such as the Gay Black Group.

They dealt with homophobia, bigotry as well as, for ladies, sexism.

The Greater London Council (GLC), led by Ken Livingstone, had progressive gay and lesbian plans and was keen to award grants to tasks which supported minority groups. In 1982 the Gay Black Group approached the GLC to demand funding for a centre which would provide suggestions and also coaching, a helpline, a collection and other sources.

The Black Lesbian and also Gay Centre obtained GLC funding in 1985 and was open to all lesbians as well as gay men. Nonetheless, the GLC was eliminated in 1986 so funding for the Centre relied on contributions and subscription. The Centre continued to be active right into the 1990s. Blackout, a black lesbian and also gay magazine, published its first problem in 1986 offering an online forum for the lots of black gay as well as lesbian groups that had arised in London.

The Hall-Carpenter archive at LSE is available to scientists. Learn more about this as well as LSE Collection’s other one-of-a-kind collections.

Gay Bars Closed: The Lost LGBT Scene Project

We have actually developed this archive to keep in mind and also pay tribute to the gay bars and also LGBT spaces that have actually shut. There’s no refuting that the scene went through a heydey back in the 80s and 90s but as modern technology and also other factors have actually gradually become vital in linking the LGBT neighborhood, given that the 00’s, several bars have dropped by the wayside.

At once the LGBT bar was one of our only secure spaces. It was where many of us could feel comfortable, be ourselves and also with people who understood our journey. They were and also still continue to be an extremely integral part of our area.

We’re seeking your contributions to make this a necessary archive of the LGBT scene in the UK. If you have memories, pictures and even tales of a few of the venues detailed please click it and also add your material in the remark section.

We will certainly then include these to the primary article.

Although this list currently only has London gay bars closed detailed at the moment, we’re eager to broaden to consist of the remainder of the UK. Please use the comment area listed below to draw our attention to closed bars in your area.

Biograph: A cinema were gay guys went, but really did not spend much time enjoying movies. Check out a story regarding a young man’s very first sexual experience at Biograph.

Chariots Shoreditch– It was London’s largest sauna yet was knocked down in 2022 to give way for a brand-new advancement.

Chariots Waterloo– Was enclosed 2022 to give way for a new development in the area.

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The Black Cap, One of London’s Oldest Gay Bars, Could Get a Secondly Act

Given that the 1960s, queer Londoners have frequented Camden Town’s The Black Cap for beverages, drag evenings, cabaret, and also firm.

In 2022, nevertheless, the club needed to close its doors over a preparation disagreement. The Black Cap’s future looked unpredictable, up until the Camden New Journal released a recent report concerning the club’s new possession. Thanks to years of objections and also routine vigils from London’s queer community, the Black Cap is en route to resurrection.

A company known as Kicking Steed Three has actually taken control of ownership of the Cap, as well as a few various other historical bars in Belsize and also Dartmouth.

New proprietors of Black Cap promise to aid get renowned LGBT bar open bear-magazine.com bear-magazine.com Black Cap’s resuming is an auspicious indication for gay bars in the US and UK alike. When the pandemic hit in 2014, gay bars across the world faced a straight danger to their futures as a result of forced closure and an unclear reopening timeline. Both the Save Our Rooms job as well as the documentary The Lesbian Bar Job have actually accentuated the rapid disappearance of queer-designated historic areas as well as bars following gentrification and COVID closures. It’s by no indicates a brand-new problem– the wonderful 2006 documentary „Village Gay Prevent“ regrets the fate of neighborhood gay bars doomed to shut– but the pandemic has actually absolutely sped up things up and also refocused the community’s focus on bars as safe areas, in addition to archaeological sites of queer history. The Black Cap’s reopening as a „pub, club, and cabaret“ is a confident indication that historical residential or commercial properties can be collectively defended and restored. The pub’s new owners informed the Journal that the bar is needed „now more than ever before.“

Alex Eco-friendly, from the Black Cap Structure that’s been campaigning to save bench for many years, likewise shone some light on bench’s closure in 2022. „It came at a time of lots of closures,“ he told the Journal. „The Cap was someplace individuals would certainly gather not simply to unwind, to be able to be themselves without fear, yet to note events– birth, marital relationships, wakes. It has been legendary and vital for years. There are extremely couple of areas where you can stroll up, location your hands on the walls and also claim: this contains our background.“

Faber to publish account of Black gay Britain by Jason Okundaye

There were 5 competing pre-empts for Jason Okundaye’s Revolutionary Acts: Stories of Love, Brotherhood, and Resilience from Black Gay Britain. Magazine is arranged for Spring 2024.

The book is ‚a bold and also urgent account of an overlooked element of British history, a love letter to queer Black sexuality, a motivating story of advocacy and also a contact us to arms for brand-new types of historical and also political involvement‘.

Concentrating On South London— Brixton specifically– as well as a group of guys who have actually lived and also loved there from the 1970s to the existing day, Okundaye narrates the extraordinary history of a community whose fearlessness, ingenuity and also camaraderie contain vital lessons for his very own generation as well as generations ahead. Checking out the structure of Black gay social scenes, the feedback to the AIDS crisis and homophobia in the media, the transatlantic Black queer community as well as beyond, Revolutionary Acts works as a living paper of Black British gay men’s experiences: their wishes, dreams, frustrations as well as durability. It is as mad as it is enthusiastic and joyous.

Author and also reporter Jason Okundaye has contributed to publications including Dazed, GQ, the Guardian and also the London Evaluation of Books. He has contributed an essay on contemporary Black gay social life to the anthology Black Joy ( Penguin Random House). Together with lobbyist Marc Thompson, Okundaye founded the digital archive ‚ Black and also Gay, Back Then‘ on Instagram, receiving considerable press protection from ITV Information, BBC Radio, The Face, i-D and also Another person, amongst others. A member of the Black Writers‘ Guild, Okundaye stays in South London. @jasebyjason

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Among London’s earliest gay bars might quickly resume after sitting shuttered for six lengthy years

Cabaret vocalist Shane packaging doing at the Black Cap, Camden Community in November 1969 (Watford/Mirrorpix/Getty)

A cherished London gay bar that welcomed the queer neighborhood for greater than five years might soon resume thanks to an identified group of advocates.

The Black Cap on Camden High Street was a sanctuary for LGBT Londoners from the 1960s onwards, eventually becoming one the city’s premier stages for cabaret and also drag acts.

Tragically the historical pub was forced to enclose 2022 because of planning issues, and also it appeared like one of London’s oldest gay bars was lost for life.

The directors, Andy Merricks and Steve Billot, are clear that the bar should be revitalized as an LGBT location.

“ We are involving directly with Camden Council, as well as eagerly anticipate even more positive discussions as we work closely with authorities as well as the regional neighborhood.“

Lasting campaigners Alex Clark as well as Ben Walters have prepared a company strategy as well as developed The Black Cap Area Company to possibly buy the website from them.

They ‚d formerly been trying to strike a deal with the structure’s former owner, yet are now eager to open settlements with Kicking Steed Three so they can bring back the pub to its former splendor.

Amongst those whose occupations have begun at the Black Cap include Lily Savage star Paul O’Grady, drag act Joint and Brace, and also several RuPaul’s Drag Race stars: Bianca Del Rio,Adore Delano, BenDeLaCreme, Raja Gemini as well as Trixie Mattel.

If all goes to strategy, a new generation of queer performers will soon be adhering to in their footsteps on the renowned Black Cap stage.

Gay Clubs, Events as well as Events in London

London has a large clubbing scene that serves any type of preference as well as design of songs you can think about. To keep this web page convenient for travellers, we have actually restricted it to the most prominent gay clubs and celebrations. If you need an even more total listing of all the thousands of gay events, get a duplicate of London’s weekly gay publication QX.

Besides of the routine clubs and also celebrations listed here there are likewise many regular monthly or irregular celebrations, to name a few: Lady Ol// Matin e London// Orange// Pink Handwear Cover// R as well as She// Trough// Urban Globe// WE Party London

A new project from GMFA, a gay males’s wellness charity, has launched today around London. The campaign concentrates on the queer black and also minority ethnic neighborhood (BAME), that sadly obtain forgotten in most public health campaigns.

The new posters feature gay black pairs holding hands, snuggling on the sofa, and taking place a day. The project is called „Me. Him. Us.“ and has the motto „I evaluate for HIV since it cares for both of us.“

You may see the posters around high roads in South London, Brixton, Streatham, Kennington as well as Waterloo.

Ian Howley, Chief Executive of Health And Wellness Equal Rights and also Civil Liberty Organisation (HERO), claimed of the campaign: „Over the last couple of years, HERO has been working closely with the BAME LGBT community. Among the issues that kept coming up was the lack of depiction, specifically in information media health and wellness promotion projects.

“ What individuals see is entirely established by BAME gay and bisexual men for BAME gay and also bisexual guys. From the principle to the versions, to the style, all components of this project originated from a grassroots level.“

Marc Thompson, the co-editor of BlackoutUK, who helped with the campaigns stated: The absence of presence of males from black, Asian and also various other ethnic minority neighborhoods in sex-related health promo has been well recorded as having an impact on BAME males’s sexual wellness as well as risk-taking, which inevitably plays a role in the out of proportion prices of HIV infection in this populace.

“ This is why the Me. Him.

United States. Campaign is so essential. It was developed by BAME gay and also bisexual men for BAME gay and bisexual males. This campaign speaks with us.“

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Among London’s the majority of famous and favorite gay bars can return after being folded for high-end apartments

The closure of among London’s longest-running LGBT locations, the Black Cap in Camden, sparkled fierceness from activists and also residents alike. (Wikimedia Commons)

Once concealed between a pharmacy and a supermarket, the Black Cap was a keystone of queer night life in North London.

That is, until owners shuttered its wood doors in 2022 turning into one of a number of casualties of a wave of queer venue closures in the English funding.

Yet hope is on the horizon for the ancient bar, which once housed drag nights on the day-to-day, as a campaigner and also Environment-friendly Event member has actually stated there is a home window of possibility to save the pub.

“ The proprietor kept attempting to sell it off for luxury apartments however he has actually pretty much approved defeat currently and is selling off the structure,“ claimed Polanski, one of the Environment-friendly Event’s top 3 London Setting up prospects, in a news release.

“ If we can elevate the cash we may ultimately be able to put in a bid to keep the Black Cap as the incredible area for every person it always was– gay, straight, just a lovely, varied mix of individuals where everybody was welcome.“

Polanski, a gay Jewish man, was as soon as a routine at the Black Cap considering that transferring to the area around a years back.

Owners Faucett Inn flip-flopped on flogging the area for many years, but Camden Council officials shut it ultimately in 2022 The Independent reported.

It came after proprietors tried and also failed to gain consent from the council to redevelop the location above the place three times considering that talks started in 2011 to transform it into luxury flats.

Owners pulled as well as pulled with officials, but the sell was granted an asset of neighborhood worth by the council. Giving the location an included layer of protection from being marketed as well as redeveloped.

Nonetheless, it brought an end to the historical cabaret space, where patrons were once served while homosexuality itself was criminalised.

Polanski, the Green Event’s Cities of London and Westminster general political election candidate, stress and anxiety that the need for queer risk-free rooms in London is required as hate crimes rockets.

“ It’s actually horrible to have to claim this, yet dislike criminal offense is plainly rising,“ he said.

“ After I was on [LBC’s Julia Hartley-Brew Program] there was a gush of homophobic and also anti-Semitic misuse levelled at me.

“ I think that really shows there is still a need for safe rooms where people can assemble and not be afraid of attacks.

“ Whether we can obtain it re-opened as a drag cabaret space, an LGBT community area or a health centre, the LGBT area still really needs it.“

Brixton riots mural stimulates outrage for ‚designing‘ black gay project team

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The piece by Jacob V Joyce – a non-binary interdisciplinary artist – was created in April to mark the 40th wedding anniversary of the troubles. The riots were stimulated by continuous stress between the mainly-white Metropolitan Cops and also primarily black youths.

Entitled „Brixton Uprising“, the artwork has frustrated some locals that assert that while there were issues in the community, „properly celebrating“ the occasion which left scores injured as well as brought about widespread robbery in the area, is wrong.

Originally the mural – which includes white policeman encountering black activists – consisted of an indicator for a team called the „Black Gay Liberation Front 1970″.

News of this rapidly outraged some participants of the regional gay neighborhood because such an organisation never existed.

During the 1970s there was a Gay Freedom Front and a South London Gay Neighborhood Centre in Railton Road – where the mural lies at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning Centre in Lambeth.

Yet areas especially devoted to black people never existed, according to a gay man that has actually lived in the location for decades.

Someone later on added a sign to the mural which stated: „Please stop re-writing gay and lesbian background @ 198.“

The citizen, that did not want to be called for fear of reprisals, told bear-magazine.com „There were a lot of legit concerns in the location at the time yet a great deal of people utilized it as a possibility to loot.

“ I and a lot of individuals living here are really unpleasant with this mural. It is significantly dividing people along the lines of skin colour.

“ Yet there is a silent bulk that fear that they’ll be branded a racist or fascist if they speak up. It’s very harmful.

“ They also developed the Black Gay Liberation Front. It never existed – they appear to have taken the Gay Freedom Front as well as included black on to it.

Sharing images of the semi-finished mural in April, a crowdfunding page stated: „The occasions of the 10th, 11th and also 12th of April 1981 have unbelievable significance for black individuals in Britain, as young people took to the roads to express their frustrations with bigotry, inequality and cops harassment.

“ The events that unravelled revealed the deep as well as self-evident, continuing results of systemic racism.

“ Our hope is that this mural will certainly function as a chance for neighborhood action and also representation, in addition to being something that young people can see and pick up from.“

Lucy Davies, from the 198 Contemporary Arts and Discovering Centre, told bear-magazine.com „I can confirm that the musicians, Jacob V Joyce as well as Monique Jackson, were initially notified by a participant of the Gay Freedom Front that there was a black section to the motion.

“ They were later on told that although black people were involved in the Gay Freedom Front there was no official black section therefore the photo was removed for historical accuracy.“

She added: „The mural, which contains lots of historical references, has actually had extremely favorable feedbacks from the neighborhood area and wider public who value the mural’s highlighting of the individuals as well as organisations on Railton Road who were linked to the anti-racist struggles of that period.“

Friday, 26th November 2022 See today’s front and back pages, download and install the paper, call back concerns as well as make use of the historical Daily Express newspaper archive.

‚ Gay Times‘: The Brixton Squatters

There was this team of black males loafing and also I keep in mind increasing to them as well as stating ‚excuse me, might you inform me where the Gay Centre is in Brixton‘. This black male stated ’sure, I’m just going house. I can take you up there‘. [… I] waited there and regarding a min or 2 afterwards this vision in purple and red as well as diamonds walked past. He blinked his eyes at me as well as swished around the corner and up the stairs. […] It was Alistair. He took me to 159 Railton Roadway as well as it was liberation because I checked out in any way these people who resembled me […] we were mosting likely to alter the globe tomorrow– over night as well as there as going to be gay freedom in a year’s time. Marvellous. (David‘, 1983)1

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<strong>Exploring</strong> <b>London</b>’s <strong>forgotten black</strong> gay <em>clubbing</em> history
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