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HIV worker gets naked for gay charities on the Fourth Plinth

Jessica Geen July 28, 2009
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A sexual health worker has used his hour on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth to support the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow.

The Fourth Plinth is a concept by sculptor Antony Gormley. Until October 14th, members of the public can apply to present an image of themselves in a space usually reserved for statues of kings and generals.

Eric Page, who has worked for THT for eight years, donned a variety of outfits including a Las Vegas showgirl headress and a sparkly gown to take his place at 10am this morning.

He ended his stint on the plinth entirely naked, to the bemusement of a number of tourists.

Speaking to before taking his position, Eric said: I’m doing it for fun, and want to enjoy myself, so I’ll be having a few costume changes to highlight the fun that gay people can have and also how we all have an insight in performing gender.

“I’ll be feeding the pigeons dressed in full Las Vegas showgirl drag, then spoofing the Angel of the North too. I’ll stop for a moment to become the People’s Plinthess and then donning another outfit or two, I’ll be ending up naked as a wink towards Gormley, who models his own work on his own naked form, and also to be as vulnerable as possible in a public space.

“I suppose my point is that we, as LGBT folk, come in all shapes and sizes and we perform gender and understand how powerful it can be to transgress but underneath it all we are all the same, human.

“I could be arty farty about it, but it’s more about being able to enjoy myself and just put myself up on a pedestal.

“The serious side will be to highlight two charities that I think do very important work, the THT and Broken Rainbow, so I’ll be donning t-shirts and placards about 10.40am to promote these two worthy causes. I’d like to use some of my time up on the plinth to ensure that people see this serious side to LGBT life. I will saying hello to my mum too.”

Eric has been thanked by THT and Broken Rainbow for supporting their work.

Sue Peters from THT said: “It’s fantastic that Eric is helping us to get the message out to men to take control and make testing for HIV a regular part of their lives in such a unique and visible way.”

Chief executive of Broken Rainbow Rita Hirani said: “When we got Eric’s offer we were amazed at the generosity and it shows that we are breaking down the shame and silence surrounding domestic violence in the LGBT communities.”

Below: Eric as the People’s Plinthess (Photo: E A Gray)

HIV worker gets naked for gay charities on the Fourth Plinth

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