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Sexual Avengers give London a queer history makeover

Sexual Avengers give London a queer history makeover

Sexual Avengers put up plaque outside the Admiral Duncan in Soho.

Guerilla history enthusiasts have turned London’s public spaces into a living memorial to queer history.

The Sexual Avengers put up English Heritage style blue placards in places of key gay historic events in the early hours of this morning.

This is the first action taken by the group, established this year, for their campaign #Yesterqueer.

The Sexual Avengers told Gay Star News today’s action has gone well. But they added that ‘there are so many queer spaces that [Sexual Avengers] haven’t yet been able to target’.

Their aim is to highlight places in London of historical importance to the queer community. And their ultimate goal is to create ‘a permanent home in London for radical queer history’.

‘London is unique as a “gay-friendly” city with no permanent LGBTQIA+ museum or cultural space: comparable cities such as Berlin, San Francisco or New York have such a space,’ said Sexual Avenger, Dan Glass.

Where did the Sexual Avengers strike?

They have targeted sites such as the Admiral Duncan, which suffered a homophobic attack by a neo-Nazi in April 1999. The First Out Café, opened by a lesbian collective in 1987, got a blue plaque.

They included Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, which currently hosts the pride event for people of colour. And they also put a plaque on the Gender Identity Clinic, which has been helping to provide care for the trans community since 1959.

Sexual Avengers put plaque up at the House of Lords to commemorate 1988 protest
Sexual Avengers put plaque up at the House of Lords to commemorate 1988 protest Julia Sassone

The group also wants to raise awareness for the number of queer safe spaces that have been closed. They included many of these places as targets for their blue plaques.

‘One-third of London’s queer spaces have closed in the past three years, and queer homelessness is rocketing up,’ Sexual Avenger, Tabitha Quirke said.

The Sexual Avengers’ Facebook page explains they are using the 50th anniversary of decriminalisation in the UK of homosexuality to ‘avenge centuries of oppression’ of the queer community.

They say the four lesbian activists in February 1988 that protested Section 28 legislation in the House of Lords inspired their actions today.

The group will be at the Scoop amphitheatre next to City Hall and Tower Bridge over lunchtime today. Activists will be sharing photos and stories with passers-by.