Ahead of London Pride on Saturday, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced at his annual Pride reception at City Hall on Wednesday that five new rainbow-coloured plaques are set to be installed in different locations around the city.
The plaques commemorate significant people, places and moments in London’s LGBTQ+ history and are part of a national scheme to identify lost or hidden stories and amplify them. The aim is to celebrate and educate the public on the contributions to the LGBTQ+ community in London that have been previously overlooked. The scheme is led by Studio Voltaire, which is a leading non-profit art organisation, and London LGBTQ+ Forums’ Network who are keen to highlight LGBTQ+ visibility in London’s public streets and public spaces.
The rainbow plaques will be placed in Greenwich, Peckham, Westminster, Ladbroke Grove, and Haringey and will be installed in the coming months. The plaques will commemorate:
- Beautiful Thing at the Greenwich Tavern – Beautiful Thing is a British romantic comedy film following a coming out story released in 1996 and was set in Thamesmead and Greenwich. The plaque is set to be unveiled on July 23 and will include a screening of the film at Greenwich Picturehouse
- Black Lesbian and Gay Centre in Peckham – the centre opened in 1985 was the first of its kind in Europe to provide advice and counselling to the community through a telephone helpline, a library, a social space, and other resources.
- Jackie Forster in Westminster – Jackie Forster was a journalist and activist who’s work was hugely influential for the LGBTQ+ community. She was one of the founders of Sappho, a social group and one of the UK’s longest-running lesbian publications.
- London Lighthouse in Ladbroke Grove – The London Lighthouse was a centre and hospice for people with HIV and AIDS which opened in 1986. It was a place of sanctuary and support for those who had been marginalised due to their conditions, and was visited by Princess Diana in 1996.
- Section 28 in Haringay Civic Centre – Section 28 was a series of laws prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality and Haringey Civic Centre was the site of numerous protests which protested against the implementation of these laws.
Sadiq Khan at his annual Pride reception said “London is a beacon of inclusion and diversity around the world, but we still have work to do to ensure that our public spaces fully reflect the many different communities that make up our great city”.