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Queer activists stick lesbian plaque to the House of Lords

Nick Duffy February 22, 2017
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A group of LGBT protesters who call themselves the “Sexual Avengers” planted a plaque on the House of Lords today to commemorate a lesbian protest.

The group of activist planted blue plaques on a string of London landmarks with LGBT history, in a bid to “turn  the city’s public spaces into a living museum of radical queer history”

Among the most daring stunts was placing a plaque on the House of Lords outside Parliament, to commemorate a famous protest.

Lesbian activists famously abseiled into the Lords in 1988 to protest the Tory-backed Section 28, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.

It reads: “Queer heritage: Protesting against Section 28 that discriminated against homosexuality, lesbians abseiled into the House of Lords, 2 February 1988.”

33-year-old activist Ariana Jordão attached the plaque to the House of Lords.

She said: “We did this to celebrate collective acts of queer resistance.

“The House of Lords represents the powerful who ignore the interests of the few, so this is about visibility, creating something that’s impossible to ignore – a rupture in the impenetrable powerhouse. It felt awesome standing on the shoulders of giants, and of my friends.”

Other targets were the Admiral Duncan pub, which was the scene of a nail bomb attack carried out by a neo-Nazi, David Copeland, in 1999.

They also marked Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the current site of the UK’s “only pride event organised by and run for people of colour”, UK Black Pride.

Activist Hope Thomas said: “For us, the personal is political. I’ve grown up queer in a straight world that tells me I’m allowed to be gay, but not ‘too gay’.

“As a community we don’t get to celebrate our personal history much – straight people can’t identify the place they ‘come out’, they didn’t lose their virginity ‘in the closet’ and they probably can’t name one of the multiple places on public transport where I’ve lowered my voice or degendered my partner when telling a friend about a relationship.

“There should be no shame attached to these sites. We have to uncover our history to celebrate and learn from it.”

Related topics: Gay, house of lords, lesbian, LGBT, parliament, Sex, Sexuality

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