How do we create a campaign to protect LGBTQ spaces? What does it mean for the LGBTQ community when they are under threat? And what more can we do, not to just save our queer spaces, but to create more of them? I went along to the inaugural Rage for Good event to find out.
Historic queer spaces have slowly been eroded from our cities, whether through austerity and the continued closure of community projects or the aggressive sale and pursuit of property in the name of development. Between 2006 and 2017 London lost 58% of its LGBTQ venues. With the loss of such vital landmarks, we risk to lose so much of the history and stories that make up queer London.
I was invited along to photography the inaugural Rage for Good event, designed to highlight the threat to queer spaces across the country. Gabe Barry of Brooklyn Brewery (above) gave an exceptional and vibrant talk about why they are a proud partner of the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative.
Next up we heard from two community activists who have fought to save various places. Sapphire McIntosh is a comedian and writer who uses comedy as a vessel to teach people about tough or challenging social issues. Ben Walters is a writer and researcher engaged in campaigning around London's threatened LGBTQ+ spaces.
This was one of the gigs I said yes to, straight away - and it was one of the most informative, interesting events I've attended in a long time, and I hope this is a movement that will grow from strength to strength. It was run by Bleecker in partnership with The Brooklyn Brewery and Improper - they've opened up a conversation about positive activism. I hope to be their fourth partner as their movement goes from strength to strength.