LGBT+ History Month – Capturing our stories

This February, the Pink Singers is celebrating LGBT+ History Month with a series of talks, bringing to the surface the fascinating and diverse experiences of people within the choir, as well as those of the people we have had the pleasure to partner with.

In our final talk on 28 February 2021, Chris, the Pink Singers archive manager, sat down with Annie, Hsien and Pippa to reflect on the stories we have heard over the month and what we might learn from them.

  • What is “history” and what does it mean to “queer” history?
  • What are the barriers to our stories being collected and archived?
  • How is the story of the Pink Singers constructed and who gets to tell it? 
  • Where are the gaps and what can we do to fill them?

With the 40th anniversary of our choir just around the corner, we take a deep dive into how LGBT+ community groups like ours can preserve and (re)present our histories for ourselves and to others.

As part of our charitable aims promoting equality and diversity, the session was recorded and edited and can now be found on our Pink Singers YouTube channel.

Other talks in the series:

Week 1: Pink History With Sue Sanders

Week 2: Strike a Pose: The Northern Ballroom Scene with Oskar

Week 3: It’s a Sin!

LGBT+ History Month – It’s a Sin!

This February, the Pink Singers celebrated LGBT+ History Month 2021 with a series of talks, bringing to the surface the fascinating and diverse experiences of people within the choir, as well as those of the people we have had the pleasure to partner with.

Our third session on 21 February 2021 was themed loosely around the show “It’s A Sin”. Our host Will was joined by Pink Singers from the 80s Rosa and Howard, and Jules, Bruce and Sally-Anne who lived through this tumultuous time.

  • What was it like to leave home and come to London then?
  • What was the scene like and how did people find their chosen family?
  • How did HIV and AIDS affect individuals and communities?

We heard experiences of diagnosis and treatment, of community reaction and resistance, and of recent progress in the management of HIV/AIDS including U=U and PreP.

As part of our charitable aims promoting equality and diversity, the session was recorded and edited and can now be found on our Pink Singers YouTube channel.

Other talks in the series:

Week 1: Pink History With Sue Sanders

Week 2: Strike a Pose: The Northern Ballroom Scene with Oskar

Week 4: LGBT+ History Month – Capturing our Stories

Remembering Greenham Women – #IWD2021

In celebration of International Women’s Day we are remembering the women of Greenham Common.

During LGBT+ History Month we were scouring our archives and came across a recording by a former Pinkie about the great work of the Greenham women. We thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

It all started in 1981 with a march to RAF Greenham Common by a group of men and woman to protest against the decision to deploy US Cruise Missiles on British soil at the airbase and people stayed. It soon became “women only” with some women staying for many years. The base was surrounded by a nine-mile fence and the groups of women camped outside the various gates into and out of the base which were re-named after the colours of the rainbow (eg “blue gate” “orange gate” etc).

“I wrote this song to celebrate and recognise the triumph of the Greenham women who stayed for years. Despite of the intimidation, the bad press, the bullying and sometimes even suffering violence against them, they didn’t give up and they didn’t go home till the missiles were removed. These were brave women who came from all walks of life but a large majority of them were feminists and lesbians. It’s part of our woman’s history…. we must not forget.!!”
Rosa MacCormack (former pinkie)

The Greenham Newsletter, Winter ’87-’88.

Some, but by no means all of the woman there were lesbians and homophobia was very common in the popular press in the 1980’s. There was a strong feminist aspect to the camp which was influenced by the Suffragettes. Conditions at the camp were very basic. Woman created  a safe space where they could get involved in non-violent direct action. The women were however subject to abuse by some of the local residents and  evictions by bailiffs.  Many were arrested and several served prison sentences.

One of the most famous episodes was when 30,000 woman held hands around the base and another when a group danced on the silos! 

It was an important protest and the Cruise missiles were eventually removed. The Common has now been restored to the public and the efforts of the many women who protested and camped in the 1980s were an important factor in that. The women have been compared to “Extinction Rebellion” and many were profoundly affected by the Peace Camp. 

In the words of Rosa’s song:

Greenham woman don’t you go home, Greenham woman you’ve been there too long, Greenham woman in the danger zone, Greenham woman stands alone.. oh no.

They tried so hard to get their voices heard, tried so hard but no one hears a word.

The bombs, the guns, the soldiers and war games, and the politicians do this in our names.

Greenham woman don’t you go home….

Soldiers burst into their tents at night, A helicopter searches with a light.

Women climb the fence to get around and the soldiers come and knock them to the ground.

Greenham woman don’t you go home…. 

Children are the future of our world, they need a safe and loving home, they need a planet they can call their own so their mothers will not leave them without hope.

Greenham woman don’t you go home…. 

Standing on the frontline for peace, standing firm and standing fearlessly, soldiers try to scare them all away.. but while the bombs are there, the woman stay.

Greenham woman don’t you go home…. 

People demonstrating for world peace, come and join us stand defiantly, to stop the arms race stop the bloody war, to stand and shout we ain’t gonna take no more.

Greenham woman don’t you go home…. 

Strike a Pose: The Northern Ballroom Scene with Oskar

This February, the Pink Singers celebrated LGBT+ History Month 2021 with a series of talks, bringing to the surface the fascinating and diverse experiences of people within the choir, as well as those of the people we have had the pleasure to partner with.

On Sunday 14 February 2021 we had a conversation with Oskar, a Pinkie alumnus, about finding a chosen family. Oskar left London for Manchester a few years ago to explore new opportunities there, and talked about discovering a new home in the Northern Ballroom community. The Ballroom scene started last century in New York City and brought the Black and Latinx queer community together. Many of us will have first heard about Ballroom from Madonna’s 80s song “Vogue” which incorporated dance moves from that subculture but has had more mainstream exposure with the TV show “Pose” which tells the story of members of the Ballroom “Houses” around that time.

Fast forward to 2021, and the Ballroom scene can now be found internationally. One of the places where it has really blossomed is in the North, with Houses in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. As a member of the House of Noir, Oskar gives us a rare peek behind the scenes and explore the significance of Ballroom to the QTIPOC community there.

As part of our charitable aims promoting equality and diversity, the session was recorded and edited and can now be found on our Pink Singers YouTube channel.

Other talks in the series:

Week 1: Pink History With Sue Sanders

Week 3: It’s a Sin!

Week 4: LGBT+ History Month – Capturing our Stories

Photo Credits:

The House of Suarez Atlantis Ball – Fotocad Photography

Pink History with Sue Sanders

This February, the Pink Singers celebrated LGBT+ History Month with a series of talks, bringing to the surface the fascinating and diverse experiences of people within the choir, as well as those of the people we have had the pleasure to partner with.


The first of these talks took place on Sunday 7 February where we were joined by Sue Sanders, the founder of LGBT+ History Month UK, Professor at Emeritus Harvey Milk Institute and Chair of Schools OUT UK. A self-described “dyke from about 18 onwards” she talked about her experiences growing up, why she set up LGBT+ History Month, how it has grown and why it is even more important today. The talk also covered the role models profiled for this years theme ‘Mind, Body & Spirit’

The Pink Singers has had a long history with LGBT+ History Month, having performed at its launch event in 2005 and every year (bar 2020 obvs!) since, so Sue is a very familiar face for the choir. Sue also held a Q&A session with members of the choir following the talk. It was such an honour to have such a legend join us for LGBT+ History Month.

As part of our charitable aims promoting equality and diversity, the session was recorded and edited and can now be found on our Pink Singers YouTube channel.

You can support LGBT+ History Month by buying merchandise from their online store, including some excellent pin badges.

Other talks in the series:

Week 2: Strike a Pose: The Northern Ballroom Scene with Oskar

Week 3: It’s a Sin!

Week 4: LGBT+ History Month – Capturing our Stories