ART News

15th June 2022 | Guest Writer: Margherita Nussio
For this year's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, our guest writer Margherita Nussio addresses the history behind the very first marches and today's celebrations and introduces art events and happenings in London centring queer culture.
June is here, the most colourful month of the year, the month to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and to take some time to realise how much society has changed and what still needs to be done for everyone to feel safe, loved and appreciated.

If you are in London this June and you don’t know what to do during Pride Month, this is the right article for you: a short guide to London's main creative/ artsy events with a Queer touch!

Gay and lesbian parents march alongside a "Parents of Gays" group, an early incarnation of the group FLAG, 1973. Brettman / GETTY IMAGES.

First of all, I would like to take a step back and spend some time reiterating what Pride Month is and explaining a little bit of its history: context is always important people!

If you read my other articles on Art News, it will not surprise you to hear that, as Women’s Day and Black History Month, the first Pride was organised in the US. Homosexuality in the 1960s was still illegal in the majority of the 50 States of the US and dressing up as a member of the opposite sex was considered a crime. In New York City there were a couple of bars where gay people were feeling more comfortable in being their true selves and where, notoriously, the police were closing an eye. One of the main gay bars was the Stonewall Inn, in the Village. On the 27th of June 1969 the police entered and raided the bar, making several arrests, the crowd responded, confronting them. The following day the bar reopened and several people gathered in front of it showing solidarity with those who were arrested the night before. The riots in front of the bar lasted for several days and, the following year, on the 28th of June 1970 the first parade was organised in New York, setting off from Stonewall, and hundreds of people gathered together to show support and solidarity. The same year similar events were organised in other major US cities, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. [1]

People march into New York's Central Park during the nation's first gay pride parade on June 28, 1970. The event was held on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots when members of the gay community clashed with police who had raided the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. Mike Lien/The New York Times/Redux

The first president of the United States to officially recognise Pride Month was Clinton in 1999, followed by Obama (every year starting from 2009 until 2016) and Joe Biden in 2021. Trump, instead, declined to recognise Pride Month by making an official statement, but through a tweet. [2]

The first Pride march outside of the States was organised in London in 1972, where people marched through Oxford Street demanding equality and acceptance. Madrid followed in 1978, and Berlin the following year in 1979. As of today, 16 countries in Europe acknowledge same-sex marriage and an additional 13 do “civil unions”. There is still a lot that needs to be done but, I believe, we are slowly getting there.

How can we celebrate Pride Month, the LGBTQIA+ community and its history through art?

A participant with a crown and union flag in the annual Pride in London parade. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters.

QUEER BRITAIN- Granary Square, King's Cross, London

Queer Britain is the first museum in the UK that celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, its achievements, and its complicated history. The space is free entry, open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12-18. The space opened in May 2022 and hosts its first exhibition that gives an overview of the mission and idea behind the museum and charity.

For more info and tickets click here.
Creative Pride - Carnaby Street

Feeling creative? Would you like to express your creativity and donate some money to charity? In Carnaby Street in Central London, you can do both at the same time: you can participate in several workshops and 10 % of the sales will be donated to Opening Doors, one of the main UK charities that helps and supports the LGBT+ community organising events, activities and offers support and information.

14th June, 12 - 2 pm - Bee Illustrates portrait drawing
19th June, 6 - 8.30 pm - Fredde & Lenka queer mugs workshop
4th July, 4 - 8 pm - Ear' for change queer jewellery workshop
5th July, 12 - 6 pm - Cressida Djambov temporary tattoo party

More info and tickets here.

EAST Art Fair – Pride Edition at Old Spitalfields Market

Do you want to buy art that celebrates Pride? You can do that on the 18th of June at Old Spitalfields Market where a group of contemporary artists has created a one-off print to celebrate Pride Month. The prints are limited edition and can be purchased just on the day of the event.

For more info click here.

GETTY IMAGES/Stockphotos

Pride Month: A Queer Tour of Sir John Soane's Museum

Sir John Sloane’s Museum is probably one of the least-known museums in London but it has a fascinating history: it was the house of the famous architect and it has been donated to the city and filled with his art collection. Interested to know more? The museum has organised a special tour on the 22nd of June at 6.30 pm to help you explore the collection and some objects that have some LGBTQIA+ connections.

Info and bookings here.

Desire, love, identity – an LGBTQ+ tour of the British Museum

A 70 minutes tour across different objects in the museum with a LGBTQIA+ connection, a history of the objects mixed with the history of the people that made them, trying to give a good understanding of how homosexuality was perceived throughout history.

Friday 24 June
17.45 — 18.55/ 18.15 — 19.25/ 18.45 — 19.55

Saturday 02 July
14.30 — 15.40

Sunday 10 July
14.30 — 15.40

Friday 22 July
18.15 — 19.25

Saturday 30 July
14.30 — 15.40

Click here for info and bookings.

Science Museum Lates/ Pride Lates

The Science Museum has organised a few events and talks to celebrate Pride Month, such as a viewing of the documentary “GEORGE MICHAEL FREEDOM UNCUT”, or a tour of the queer objects in the Museum’s collection or a Pride Pub Quiz where you can test your knowledge!
In addition, they added a special night to the calendar, Wednesday the 29th of June where you can dance, participate in hands-on workshops and explore the museum.

For info and bookings click here.

[1] Article by Sarah Pruitt, June 13th 2019 (updated June 1st 2020). Larry C. Morris/The New York Times

[2] Article by Dylan Stafford, updated June 30th 2017. CNN.

About the Writer
Margherita Nussio was born and raised in Udine, a small town in the northeast of Italy, where the proximity of Austria and Slovenia creates an interesting middle-European mix.

She studied Art History at La Sapienza University of Rome and life brought her to London, to undertake a Master's degree at SOAS, University of London, in Contemporary Art of Asia and Africa. She is curious, passionate and always wandering around, trying to discover new things about London and the world.


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