QUEER SPACE MAKERS
A coalition of London’s LGBTQI+ community groups are holding a ‘George Michael – This is My Culture‘ free party to remember the Queer Icon’s life, talent and courage in celebrating sexual freedom. 2018 also marks 20 years since the release of his song, ‘Outside’ which was George’s response to being ensnared by a ‘pretty’ policeman in an LA toilet, arrested for indecency and subsequently cruelly publicly outed.
The event is back by popular demand after last year hundreds gathered on the Heath. This year the party is being held on the date of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to provide an alternative celebration of love for the LGBTQI+ community. Guests are being asked to wear their wedding frocks.
“As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry don their crowns and bow down to the Queen, join us for this very special occasion where we celebrate ‘OUR CULTURE’ where public displays of affection are everyone’s duties and we show the world that QUEERS ARE FABULOUS, and we are never going underground.” Dan Glass, Queer Tours of London, A Mince Through Time
The event will also help raise awareness of the work of ‘The Outside Project’, which supports and campaigns for the homeless LGBTQI+ people. Any profit from the event will also go to the charities services (*2).
“George Michael was dragged through the press for cottaging when I was 13 years old; this was my introduction to homophobia and shaming. His defiant response – Outside – became the anthem for my queer youth. ‘This is My Culture’ is a beautiful way to celebrate the life, activist and sexual freedom and power that I feel he gave our community.” Carla Ecola. Outside Project Director.
2018 is also the 30th anniversary of ‘Section 28’ when Margaret Thatcher tried to ban the public promotion of homosexuality with ‘Clause 28’. While this nasty law was abolished in 2000 we aim to also highlight the issues that the LGBTQI+ community still faces, and engage people to be more active in the fight for LGBTQI+ rights, health, wellbeing and safety.
“No longer with us but with presence stronger than ever, we gather at the world famous cruising area on Hampstead Heath, to ‘Go Outside’ in honour of George Michael. His every statement and action after his nasty public outing in 1997, said screw the judgement of others. We dance and sing and roll together and shout out, in the immortal words of George, “This Is My Culture!” Nell Andrew, organiser, Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time guide and cruising guru
“George Michael was a Great British Gay Icon. Hugely talented and never afraid to knock out a tune, and much else too, in defence of his and other people’s sexual freedom for the LGBTQ+ community.” Alex Green ‘Loud and Queerly’ entertainer and director of campaign to save the Black Cap, Black Cap Campaign
“Throughout history our bodies and same sex desire have been sanctioned by the moral compass of the law. We may have lost a legend last Christmas but ‘F**k off this is my culture’ is George Michael’s liberating mantra; advocating sexual freedom mapped in the landscape of cruising grounds and public toilets. It’s here where his memory lives on in our celebration of his life and work and unapologetically taking our love outside from the closets and into the trees. Damien Arness-Dalton, Queerseum
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