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Peter Tatchell says calls for help from LGBTQ people and organisations has increased over the last 11 years

Peter Tatchell reflects on 11 years of activism with the Peter Tatchell Foundation, a beneficiary of the Attitude Magazine Foundation.

By Emily Maskell

Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Provided

If 2021’s stinging Netflix documentary Hating Peter Tatchell (co-produced by Elton John and David Furnish) taught us anything, it’s that veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is one of a kind. 

To put it bluntly, few public figures, if any, can match his passion, tenacity, and commitment, or, indeed, his gall. When interrupting the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter sermon in Canterbury Cathedral in 1998, and attempting citizen’s arrests of the late homophobe Robert Mugabe, then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, he was assisted by his OutRage! colleagues.

But it was Tatchell’s face that was beamed around the world and became forever synonymous with such acts of defiance. As a consequence, there have been multiple attempts on his life.

When I first interviewed him about the Peter Tatchell Foundation (PTF) shortly after its inception in 2011, I was shocked to discover just how much of his work was of the one-man-band variety. More than 10 years later, I’m genuinely relieved to learn he now has two colleagues to share the burden with.

“I’m the director in charge of the PTF,” he explains. “Pliny Soocoormanee is Executive Officer; Simon Harris does our campaigns, communication and fundraising. Our work is split between advising and aiding LGBT+ individuals, organisations, and other campaigners, and we also do lobbying, petitions and vigils, as well as education work through talks in schools, universities, businesses, and government bodies. Plus, we do research, such as our report: The Economic Cost of Homophobia.”

In essence, he’s as busy as ever, basically. He describes the PTF’s mission as working “to promote LGBT+ rights in the UK and worldwide. We also ally with wider human rights, democracy and social justice movements, especially supporting the rights of women, Black communities, and people struggling against dictatorship.”

Recently, they’ve supported campaigns for trans rights, a ban on conversion practices, and the decriminalisation of LGBTs in the Commonwealth. “In addition, we advise victims of discrimination and hate crime and we support LGBT refugees who have fled persecution and are seeking asylum in the UK,” states Tatchell.

Looking back on 11 years, the Australia-born, London-based 70-year-old says, “Our profile has increased and so has the volume of requests for our help and support — both from individual LGBTs and from organisations asking us to assist their campaigns.”

What sort of future does he foresee for the Foundation in another 10 years? “I hope we’ll be bigger and better than ever,” he says, “with more funding, staff and capacity to do even more to support heroic LGBTs overseas who are battling homophobic and tyrannical regimes.”

To donate to the Peter Tatchell Foundation, visit

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.