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LGBTQ activists to gather to commemorate 50th anniversary of Britain’s first gay rights protest

Former members of the Gay Liberation Front will be in attendance at Friday's socially-distanced event in London.

By Will Stroude

LGBTQ activists are set to gather in London on Friday (4 December) in the spot Britain’s first gay rights demonstration took place 50 years ago.

Former members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) will be among those in attendance from 6pm at the socially-distanced event at London’s Highbury Fields, where the group held a demonstration against police brutality on 27 November 1970.

“This is a commemoration of sexual freedom, in celebration of those who were there, and the next generation of young activists responding to the intersectional challenges faced by queer people today”, a statement from organisers reads.

(Image: LGBTQ+ Archives, Bishopsgate Institute)

“LGBT+ hate crimes and injustice are on the rise all over the world, and we won’t stand for it. In these cold, wintery, dark times, let’s be stunning for each other! Wear your best frock, biggest faux-fur, most outrageous headgear, a bin-bag sellotaped together… any excuse for a costume drama!

“Due to COVID the nature of the event is subject to change but you can bet on it that we’ll be fuelling the fire of our rage and love, with some playful theatrics and jaw-dropping speakers. Officer, we cannot reveal all.”

Amid ongoing coronavirus restrictions, Friday’s gathering is set to be sociall-distanced, with organisers planning to mark out 2-metre segments so people can stand in isolation or with members of their household or support bubble.

You can read more about the Gay Liberation Front’s work – and meet some of its earliest members – in our in-depth feature here.