LGBT History Month 2006: Haringey

Wednesday 22 February saw the Pinkies’ second contribution to LGBT history month this year. Unusually, we were given the opportunity to sing in a library, which felt naughty but good. Wood Green library in Haringey was the venue, and we were made to feel very welcome. We didn’t exactly jump out from behind the shelves, surprising readers with Cole Porter and Kirsty McColl, Instead, we were in an upstairs room, which provided an intimate atmosphere. Around twelve of us sang, to an appreciative audience of about twenty.

As well as Cole Porter’s Begin the Beguine, which we managed well as a last minute added item, we gave them Kirsty’s They Don’t Know, arranged by Andy Mitchinson, one of our basses, and a medley of Madness songs, also arranged by him. It was nice to see some hand-holding in the audience to Diana Ross’s When You Tell Me That You Love Me (arranged by Michael Derrick, our accompanist) and we got the usual reaction to the Abba Medley (another of Andy’s contributions) which we hit them with as an encore. Yes, they loved it, especially Jonathon’s hip thrusts which we’re about to lose to Sweden. Lucky old Stockholm!

In fact, we went down so well (ahem) that we’ve been booked by Haringey for LGBT history month next year! The evening ended with drinks and snacks and a peruse of a really good selection of gay-themed books and DVDs held by the library. Many thanks to all who made this a success, to Michael for rehearsing, conducting and accompanying us, and of course to Haringey for inviting us.

by Philip G

LGBT History Month 2006: Southwark

They say that small is beautiful. This certainly holds true for the Pinkies’ second outing to support LGBT history month in Southwark in February 2006.

Although a multitude of other commitments stopped a large number of Pinkies attending (and probably because it was a Friday night), the five die-hard singers, including only one boy – me, how did you guess?- had a whale of a time. With my dreams of being in Steps briefly ressurrected, albeit with four girls instead of the usual three, we rehearsed an impromptu version of Tragedy, replete with choreography. Needless to say, we decided to bin the prospective number. No matter how gay Steps actually were, it was deemed somewhat inappropriate to sing Tragedy as an uplifting LGBT history belter.

So on we went with trepidation, a most portable keyboard, and a distinct lack of basses. The good thing about being the only boy, and having a voice akin to the Titanic’s final horn blast, was that there was no mistaking who was singing! A festival of solos! Our rendition of Sheer Madness was sheerly fabulous, and They Don’t Know obviously became They Don’t Know Just How Very Fierce We Are.

Applause, nods from the tasty totty, and the music falling off the stand during a crucial modulation were moments of note. And then we went down the pub and gossipped til closing.

Aah, how very… Pinkies!
Roll on next year!

by Jonathon

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LGBT History Month

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

*Source: State-Sponsored Homophobia published in 2010 by ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)

Timeline datestamp: 04 February 2005