Thirty years ago, Bermondsey became well-known for a very dirty by-election campaign in 1983 which focused on the sexuality of Peter Tatchell, the then Labour candidate. He was up against Simon Hughes who has since held the seat for the Liberal Democrat Party. (The two give their views in hindsight on that by-election here: Bermondsey By-election) Today such fierce public vilification of Peter Tatchell would not occur in the UK. (Indeed Peter was awarded a Blue Plaque by Southwark Council in 2010.) However, lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and people with a transgender or trans-sexual identity still face discrimination and hostility that thirty years of legal reform has failed to remove.

Safety in Numbers

In Southwark, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Network (LGBT Network) work to build and support the community of LGBT people and to provide a safe and secure network for local LGB or T individuals. It’s not always easy being different in Southwark and people with alternative identities and sexualities often find themselves at the raw end of community and sometimes family prejudice. With a community reflecting the world’s diversity of attitudes, customs and beliefs around sexuality, Southwark is a place where LGBT people need each other and the support of the Network more than ever.

QueerSay – 4 July

At the Canada Water Culture Space tomorrow night (Friday 4 July) at 7.30pm , Rosie Wilby & Apples and Snakes present Queer’Say, a brand new series of queer spoken word events recorded live for Resonance 104.4FM‘s award-winning LGBT show Out in South LondonFind out more and book tickets at Canada Water Culture Space Tickets £10 Concessions £8

LGBT Network – 24 July

The Network meets each month and the next one is at the Flying Dutchman in Camberwell on Thursday 24 July at 19:00. Details on Facebook at Freedom to Sing

Are you ready for an evening of song and activism?

London Alternative Choir and friends are ready to present an evening of music and talk, with performances that range from the satirical to the serious, in the context of their mission to promote respect for those who live their sex or love life differently. It’s aenjoy, sing along, dance and meet like-minded people!

If you are a lesbian, gay man or identify as bisexual, transgender or trans-sexual, then you can join the network for £1 at Southwark LGBT Network