27.06.20 – GLF Veterans March to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the London Gay Liberation Front

Saturday 27 June, 1pm BBC, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

LGBT+ veterans in their 70s and 80s will march to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the London Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and to reclaim Pride with political demands.

Time – 1pm: Assemble outside BBC, Portland Place London W1A 1AA. We will march down to Trafalgar Square where there will be speeches by the founders of Pride. 

MAP: https://bit.ly/2N5zSmj

Please RSVP to say if you can attend at gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com – veteran or otherwise – and if you have any accessibility needs. 

Press requests – please email gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com ASAP.

Facebook event page click here / Instagram – GayliberationfrontUK

See the veteran’s demands and quotes below.

This year’s Pride in London parade on 27 June has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But veterans from GLF, 1970-74, will march anyway on the same day along the same route that the official Pride parade was due to follow. The march is coordinated by Peter Tatchell who was an activist in GLF.

GLF was formed in 1970 and is credited with being the beginning of the modern LGBT+ protest movement in the UK.

The GLF veterans Pride march will take place on Saturday 27 June, starting at 1pm outside the BBC in Portland Place W1A 1AA. 

The veterans and supporters will wear face masks and ensure social distancing. They will follow the planned official Pride route down Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket to Trafalgar Square, where there will be speeches from GLF veterans.

Putting politics back into Pride, the five demands of the GLF Pride march are:

1. End UK detention & deportation of LGBT+ asylum seekers

2. Let people define their own gender, not doctors or the state

3. Mandatory LGBT+ education in every school

4. Religion! Hands off women’s & LGBT+ bodies

5. Solidarity with Black Lives Matter & LGBT+ people of colour worldwide

Some of the other GLF veterans who will join the march commented:

Ted Brown, aged 70, said:

“GLF stemmed out of Stonewall 1969, which was a riot that took place after centuries of oppression against LGBT+ people. We proved that the authorities will not listen unless we fight back, make a noise and cause a disturbance, as Black Lives Matter is doing now.” 

Nettie Pollard, 70, said:

“50 years ago, the Gay Liberation Front said come out, change ourselves and revolutionize the world. Joining with other oppressed groups is the only way to work toward real change. Rights can so easily be taken away again. Liberation must mean freedom, including sexual freedom, for everyone. At Pride 2020, GLF still believes in revolution.”

Andrew Lumsden, 78, said:

“We insist on gathering in plain sight every year because for 2,000 years we were told to be invisible. This is the 50th calendar year in which we’ve walked the walk in London. We who were there in 1971 and 1972 walk now on behalf of our contemporaries who are too unwell, locked-down or far away, to join us. Many have already gone to LGBT+ heaven. And we walk in honour of the young who are fighting in every country around the world. We think of LGBTs in Hong Kong, Poland, Chechnya, Brazil and Indonesia, who seek the dignities that ought not be denied to anyone.”

Stuart Feather, 80, said:

“Gay Liberation was the cosmic big bang beneath heterosexual and gay society with its call to come out – be visible – break the taboo. From revolutionary chaos emerged two driving issues: misogyny and feminism. And two questions: what does it mean to be lesbian or gay, and how do we liberate ourselves? Based on the English revolution and the Quaker idea that ‘my word is my bond’, LGBT+ liberation will be the work of generations before there is general acceptance that without harm to others, my sexuality, my chosen gender, is my bond with society and no-one’s business but mine own.”

John Lloyd, 67, said:

“From the outset, GLF had an internationalist perspective. In 1973, Peter and myself represented GLF at the World Youth Festival in communist East Berlin, which was attended by over 100,000 young people from all over the world. We spoke out for gay liberation and staged LGBT+ protests. Despite being attacked by members of our own British delegation, our interventions for the first time put LGBT+ rights on the agenda of the left, social democratic, liberal and trade union movements in the UK and other countries.”

Peter Tatchell, 68, said:

“GLF did not seek equal rights within a flawed, unjust status quo. It campaigned for the transformation of society to end straight supremacism and stood in solidarity with all other oppressed people. A similar agenda of radical social change is needed now, as the UK faces the threats of Covid-19, economic meltdown, institutional racism, climate destruction and the demonisation of trans people. We support Black Lives Matter and the just demands of black communities and black LGBT+ people, like we did in the early 1970s.”

The march expresses its solidarity with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex (LGBTQI) people in the UK and worldwide. Oppression for none. Liberation for all.

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