Queer tours have been a common practice in such cities as Barcelona, Berlin, Delhi and San Francisco for a while, and now London has joined the tendency. Originally, they are supposed to support queer activism, culture and performance. The London group, who actually organized an interactive walking tour, says it aims to serve three purposes: tell the LBTQI (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer, intersex) history, build the queer future and generate mental and financial support.

An Impressive Preview

The event is on early research stage and developing at the moment, but it’s planned to be held in February 2017. On November 26th there was a preview for activists from Russia and its former satellite states.

The idea to start queer tours came from a drunken conversation in a currently closed gay bar called The Joiners’ Arms, which is one of the main tour destinations. During the preview guide Dan Glass also took the visitors through the legendary queer dives, electro-shock clinics and cottaging toilets. One of the most remarkable places was the Black Cap, a pub and a drag venue. It was closed in 2015, but it still hosts for former visitors. Nikki Sinclaire, the first Britain’s transgender and a politician, picketed outside the pub. She used to hang out there in 1983, when she was only 15. “We’re very fortunate in this country to have won employment rights and marriage rights: but our next fight is for our history,” she said.

Queer Tours. London Queer Tours. London

Looking to The Future

The crew states the future tours will start from Mother Clap’s molly house, where cross-dressers used to make love in the 18th century. They will head to the Admiral Duncan pub, where in 1999 a neo-Nazi planted a bomb that killed three people and injured about 70. The organizers are also going to honor those who sacrificed themselves for liberation. Some of the tours will remember the Lesbian Avengers, who ate fire, marched with no permission and raged the BBC studio. Others will reminisce the Gay Liberation Front, who was kissing in ecclesiastical garb and chasing by the police.

Queer Tours. London

Queer Tours. London

Queer Tours. London

According to the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group research, about 98 percent of queer asylum-seekers are deported from the country. Also, queer service funding has been cut by a third. Though politics like Theresa May and James Cameron are recognized as heroes defending gay rights, their personal efforts are not enough for solving a problem that have been leaving a bitter taste in a mouth for years.

2017 is quiet important for queer history, as it’s going to be the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, when the British government permitted homosexual acts in private for those who reached the age of 21. So, for the Queer Tour crew it’s a special reason to fight for their rights. Dan Glass assumes, according to the cuts in services, the rise in queer youth homelessness and the rise in HIV, queers are still not free.

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