Glad to be gay through the decades

As part of LGBT history month, every Thursday this February we’ll be posting a video from our archive.
To start us off, here’s a slightly shaky video from the 5th European Lesbian and Gay Festival of Song, ‘Singing The Blues Away’, organised in London in May 1989 by the Pink Singers. Fourteen choirs joined in the festivities at the Hackney Empire. Here they perform Tom Robinson’s Glad To Be Gay, with lyrics criticising the politics and media.
[youtube width=”700″ height=”394″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ucha6FAMwzI[/youtube]
London was chosen as host city that year to show solidarity with the British LGBT community following the passing of Section 28 which banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by local authorities. At the closing concert at Sadler’s Wells, Michael Cashman announced the launch of a new lobbying group – Stonewall.
By contrast, here’s us singing the same song at our 30th anniversary concert in January 2013 – with up-to-date lyrics written by the choir.
[youtube width=”700″ height=”394″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCdGbt5nepE[/youtube]

Singing the Changes

As part of our 30th anniversary in 2013 we created an exhibition telling London’s LGBT history through the choir’s voices.
The whole exhibition including lots of oral histories recorded in video, can be browsed online and, until February 25th, in person at the Barbican music library.


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