“GALA in Montreal in the summer of 2004 was a big event for me. It was the first time that I was heading overseas with the Pink Singers and also the first time I had ever been to a choir festival, let alone a gay one. Even more importantly, it was the first time that Simon and I were going away on holiday together since we had started dating, so there was quite a bit of excitement to the whole trip.
Due to really bad co-ordination on our parts, however, Simon and I ended up flying to Canada separately. He went there directly, while I made a detour via New York in the company of Stephan from the basses. Stephan and I checked into a tiny little hotel room just north of Washington Square with a view of a brick wall and no natural light. But at least it was cheap! Most of our time there was spent shopping and eating, with the odd foray into Chelsea of course. Another friend of mine was in New York at the same time and, on the recommendation of a native he had picked up, we went to a very down-to-earth Venezuelan restaurant in the East Village. It pays to get to know the locals – I now visit religiously whenever I am in Manhattan. Continue reading “Tales of the Pinkie – Hsien”
The Pink Singers logo is actually the latest in a long list of designs we have used over the years. The logo you see here has itself undergone at least three major revisions. It was created by Dragan Lonchar, and we adopted it in October 2002. One of our basses, Dragan had this to say about how he was inspired:
The design has “a deeper meaning – Yin-Yang, duality of life, polarities in nature, notes and shapes creating a ‘P’ and ‘S’. We are a ‘choir of a kind’ uniting the ‘impossible’ – fags and dykes, with occasional female members who sing tenor and male members who sing alto, all being butch and camp at the same time – we all fit like a hand in a glove. Therefore the Yin-Yang inspiration – this symbol represents two sides of everything that belong together, just like the Pinkies. Only the Yin-Yang dots turned to musical notes because we use ’em!
“I joined the Pink Singers in 1988, walking into the rehearsal ‘dungeon’ that was the basement of the London Lesbian & Gay Centre, in Farringdon. I was young and a bit nervous at first, but soon found a place in the tenor section and started to sing my heart out for the next seven years.
The first big event for me was a Christmas concert in Stratford. Why? Well it was my first concert and someone had suggested I sing a solo – Getting to be a Habit With Me from 42nd Street. I can still remember the words. I can’t remember who suggested I do it, so I can’t ‘thank’ them for the experience.
In Miami, disaster was averted when our accompanist, Brian, lost one of the pieces of music and had to run back to the dressing room. Philip Rescorla (our resident continuity announcer) was only vaguely aware of the problem and carried on making jokes. As he returned to his position next to me, I whispered, “Just in time” as Brian scampered back with the lost music. Continue reading “Tales of the Pinkie – Richard Seymour”
LGBT History Month takes place every February. Established in 2005 in the UK, it provides an opportunity for everyone to learn about the history of LGBT people — and for LGBT people to celebrate and promote our visible presence. Being ‘pink’ is still hard for many people today…
People sent to the European death camps in the 1930s and 40s had a symbol on their prison clothes showing why they were there; a pink triangle signified ‘gay’. It was adopted as a symbol of gay pride in the 1970s. In Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and parts of Nigeria and Somalia, male-to-male relationships can still end in execution by the state. In Iran, the death sentence applies to female-to-female relationships too.*
In England, men having consensual sex with men in private faced prison until 1967. Prison remained a threat until 1994 if one partner was under 21 and until 2000 if one was under 18. The age of consent is now 16 for all. Same-sex relationships are still illegal in 76 countries. Imprisonment is used in a majority of these countries, many with sentences of 10 or more years. Only male-to-male relationships are banned in some of these countries.*
Back in 2005, we performed in Lewisham to launch a photographic exhibition charting Pride events as part of LGBT History Month. It was a special evening as recent British LGBT history had not really been taken seriously until that time; before it had been only Radclyffe Hall, Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward!
We’ve been participating in LGBT History Month ever since. We are proud to be pink!
For more information, go to www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk
*Source: State-Sponsored Homophobia published in 2010 by ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)
Timeline datestamp: 04 February 2005