Tag Archives: London

Multi-Fandom Convention For LGBT+ Women To Be Held In London For The First Time

ClexaCon, the largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women & allies, took place in London this past weekend and it was awesome.

Building from the massive success of ClexaCon in the states – which has taken place in Las Vegas for the past two years – the event brought a host of actors, directors, journalists and fans to discuss female representation in the film and TV world.

Focusing on a more curated experience for its European attendees ClexaCon London was committed to raising awareness about the differences in creative spaces and support for LGBTQ women in the UK.

Ashley Arnold, Danielle Jablonski & Holly Winebarger the masterminds behind ClexaCon, are actively working to shift conventional thinking by continuing to advance the conversation about female representation in the film & TV world.

In attendance were Kat Barrell aka Officer Haught, Olivia Hallinan (Sugar Rush), Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis (Camilla, Almost Adults), Jamie Clayton (Sense8), Kat Mandahla Rose (Forever Not Maybe, All About E), producer Hanan Kattan, and novelist-filmmaker Shamim Sarif.

The event also featured panels, meet and greets, and workshops from an elite community of LGBTQ game changers, industry tastemakers, media and influencers.

Queer Women Fandom ClexaCon Is Heading To London

ClexaCon, the largest multi-fandom convention for queer women, is heading to London this fall.

ClexaCon, the largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women & allies, is going across the pond this Fall for the first time ever kicking off ClexaCon London. 

Building from the massive success of ClexaCon, which has taken place in Las Vegas, NV for the past two years, the European edition will bring together in London the best in queer television, movies, books, blogs and more.

The highly anticipated pop-up event will take place at the Novotel London West (Hammersmith International Ctre,1 Shortlands, Hammersmith, London W6 8DR) November 3-4, 2018.

The London chapter, while a smaller, more intimate version of the main event held annually in Las Vegas that hosts 4,000+ LGBTQ women and allies, represents a key geographical expansion for the iconic Con.  

Focusing on a more curated experience for its European attendees, ClexaCon London is committed to raising awareness about the differences in creative spaces and support for LGBTQ women in the UK in comparison to the US to inspire more LGBTQ women to create more content.

LGBTQ+ representation matters now more than ever. While there seems to be an overwhelming move towards diversity with LGBTQ-centric narratives and characters popping up in movies these past few years, still major studios are remaining behind when it comes to fully embracing a culture of inclusion. 

In fact, GLAADS’s annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) recently noted a drop in the representation of LGBTQ people in films in the past year.

By allowing the LGBTQ+ community to tell their stories on the small and big screen, we not only allow viewers to have a more accurate view of society, but as well give LGBTQ+ individuals the chance to see themselves as integrated members of said society and showcase the universality of our lived experiences.

Sure, many Cons claim to be different, innovative and disruptive in some ways, but ClexaCon not only talks the talk but walks the walk, genuinely pushing the envelope forward for female LGBTQ+ representation in front of and behind the camera.

Ashley Arnold, Danielle Jablonski, and Holly Winebarger, the masterminds behind ClexaCon, are actively working to shift conventional thinking by continuing to advance the conversation about female representation in the film & TV world.

The events organisers said in a statement

“We hope attendees leave ClexaCon London feeling empowered. We want them to know this industry, like all industries, is in desperate need of more diverse voices. Their voice matters. Pick up a camera, grab a pen, start writing, start creating because there are other people who care about what you have to say.”

High on the agenda at the UK Con is the urgent need to listen to LGBTQ+ voices to create more diverse content and to put queer female stories front and center.

To that end, ClexaCon London will feature a packed agenda of panels, meet and greets, photographs, and workshops from an elite community of LGBTQ gamechangers, industry tastemakers, media influencers and actors.

Aside from fan panels (including UK Wynonna Earp Fan panel), the event will also offer content creation panels, acting panels as well as academic panels.

Discussing the future of diversity, inclusivity and intersectionality in entertainment the panels will be covering a wide range of timely and trending topics from women’s voices to non-binary & gender conforming people representation, among others.

In addition, the organizers have added a London Tour on Friday, renting a bus and filling it with as many LGBTQ woman as possible.

Much like its US counterpart, ClexaCon London will gather under one roof the stars behind a slew of unique and original queer-centric narratives and LGBTQ-themed programs.

LGBT Group In London Drops Solidarity Banner Over Vauxhall bridge

A London LGBT group has hung a banner reading “Queer Solidarity Smashes Borders” over Vauxhall Bridge on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The protesters of the group released smoke in rainbow colours, and the demonstration attracted many.

The banner hanging was part of a bigger, worldwide movement that took place on the 20th of January 2017, the day when Donald Trump was sworn into office. The movement is called “Bridges Not Walls” and started from the UK as a collective demonstration of solidarity to minority groups, women and others threatened by Trump’s racist, sexist and homophobic agenda, as well as a protest against the rise of right wing politics in many countries.

There have been over 250 banner drops all over the world where citizens, campaigners and activist groups have gathered to hang a banner over a famous bridge, and then take a photo to upload on the program’s Dropbox and raise visibility and solidarity on those issues. There is a video on the official website that shares the slogan: “They say build walls but we say build bridges.” Participants have registered their event on the action map so people in their area can find and join them.

The initiative started by Hastings ice cream man and homeless shelter worker Will Stevens after the result of the US election, in order to phrase the anxiety of the people who have directly been threatened by Trump’s upcoming presidency.

Spokesperson of Bridges not Walls, Nona Hurkmans, said: “On Trump’s inauguration day we’re taking action to show our support for groups under attack – here in the UK, across Europe and in the USA – and to reject the rise of a dangerous and divisive far rights politics. We won’t let the politics of hate peddled by the likes of Donald Trump take hold. What happens next is up to us and by standing together we can show that the rhetoric of fear and hate have no place in our society.”

Chief Executive of Migrants Organise, Zrinka Bralo, said: “We stand in solidarity with colleagues and friends in the US. We have all read reports of an increase in hate attacks. The emergence of neo-Nazis and white supremacists is scary; the attempt to normalize what is going on is even scarier. We have the responsibility to fight against attempts to divide us. Our shared values of justice, respect for dignity, human rights and the truth must shine through these difficult times.”

The movement has spread as far as Ethiopia, Cambodia, Australia, the USA and many European cities. More than 150 of the banner drops have taken place in the UK, including London’s most iconic bridges. A 25m big banner reading “Bridges not Walls” was planned to be dropped from Tower Bridge in London. Other signs include “No silence on UK violence #BlackLivesMatter” at London Bridge, “What happens next is up to us” at Millenium Foot Bridge, a banner against islamophobia at Southwark Bridge, one for the rights of immigrants and refuges on Westminster bridge, and a Women’s rights banner on Waterloo bridge.

Among the LGBT activists at Vauxhall bridge was the comedian Joe Sutherland, who sent a message of solidarity to all LGBT people anxious about their futures worldwide. He said: “As a queer comedian it’s my job to find funny ways to deal with a bad situation. But what we’re facing now isn’t funny, it’s terrifying. The dirty tactics of mainstream media and politicians in UK, Europe and the USA are trying to divide us into smaller and smaller groups and make us fear each other. I’m here as part of my LGBTQ+ community to show that we stand with others who feel threatened: migrants, muslims, women, people of colour and disabled people. If we support each other then we don’t have to be afraid.”

LGBTQI Tour in London Teaching People their History

Last year, during my visit in London, I tripped ever so woefully somewhere in my planning process, ending up on leaving two consecutive Sundays for visiting Gay’s the Word (and the hours it was closed, since I learnt this year that it does open for several hours on Sundays).

I walked in front of the closed bookshop twice and stuck my face on the glass all two times, like a kiddie lusting over Christmas window shopping. This year, I returned on a Sunday as well, but I had the wits to at least make sure I’d find it open.

Visiting the LGBT bookshop I had seen in the 2014 Pride movie and hosted the meetings of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners in 1984-1985, as well as many other London organizations’ meetings, was about more than the two poetry books and one fiction book on GNC I returned home with. It was the feeling of feet stepping of history, even if I was doing it with the little-to-no research my schedule allowed and in an amateurish way.

I’m extremely interested in LGBT history, in learning parts of how we got where we are and reflecting on how we can write more of it. Still, even if I don’t have enough time or knowledge to learn about all the important LGBT spots of a place I visit, I’m really keen on making the effort to fit it all and learning new things. And now, more than a month of being back in Greece and already preparing a history month to learn more about the LGBTQI history of our country and honour its protagonists, I read about the first organized Queer Tour of LGBT History taking place in London, run by activists.

But why is such a tour so necessary in London right now? Comparatively to other regions, haven’t things got relatively better? I do realize that such an assumption is simplistic enough, and such comparisons always fail to reflect reality. As an outsider, I found it interesting to learn more about the current situation in London.

The far-right politicians in the UK have adopted a pinkwashing agenda to gain the support of more voters. Their seemingly pro-LGBT stance is supposed to throw shade on their racism and islamophobia, particularly towards refugees. Coburn, who is UKIP’s MEP and most senior gay figure, incorporated this part of his identity in his prejudiced rhetoric to somehow cover the bigoted things he wanted to say:

Many of these people, as we’ve heard, are ISIS. I don’t know about you but I’m a homosexual and I don’t want to be stoned to death.”


One of the biggest factors that led the UK to Brexit, was the systematic sparking of racist and nationalist feelings of the people. With racist attacks on the rise, the situation in the UK right now is not all that ideal. In fact, mainstreaming LGBT issues in order to serve a conservative agenda, has started being formed into a pattern in several regions of the Western world, America, “alternative-right”, and Trump’s supporter and racist, sexist, openly gay vomit-machine Milo Yiannopoulos, forming a strong example. (Just. Don’t get me started on that. At least the original Draco Malfoy’s bleach work was better, and at least he wasn’t a terrible misogynist.)

David Cameron left Downing Street this year after six years, and we need to consider the legacy that his government left behind. Even though equal marriage legislation passed, Cameron’s austerity measures have had a terrible impact on the lives of LGBT people.

As this Independent article demonstrates, the voluntary and community sector of LGBT people are suffering from the cuts of staffing, services and budgets, in a time of great need for such services and safe spaces, especially for intersectional groups that support trans, bisexual, disabled and BME LGBT people. Still, one of the most threatening issues is no other than LGBT homelessness. According to the Albert Kennedy Trust, 24% of homeless youth identify as LGBT and, consequently, mentally-ill, victims of sexual exploitation and violence. Also, according to a 2014 report by Stonewall Housing, access to homelessness services for LGBT people was made even harder because of discrimination, especially towards trans people. Additionally, the Tory education “reform” has allowed schools to decide on whether they’re going to include LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education, according to their either conventional or more progressive “ethos”.

One also cannot overlook the fact that many of the refugees chased and alienated by the former government are LGBT, and comments derived by the homonationalist agenda are offensive in all possible ways. About 98% of LGBT asylum-seekers are deported from the UK, according to a research held by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. Theresa May, former home secretary who oversaw these deportation has managed to stay in history as an “unsung hero” of LGBT rights, as for David Cameron, he outrageously enough won 2016 Ally of the Year award of the PinkNews website.

Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ is the subtitle presented on their original website. They are starting off on February 2017 and their main aim is to demonstrate, through visiting the most important landmarks of London LGBT history, how people came to be where they stand today, despite the constant boycotting coming from places of power, with the most indicative example being that of the recent Cameron government trying to take credit for “solving the Gay problem”. On the Tours official website, they state quite clearly why they think that such an initiative is deemed necessary in our days: people not only need more LGBTQI events hosted by communities they can interact with and fit in, but they also need to gain power through knowledge, forming a concrete idea of the past in order to build a future on their own terms. Furthermore, Queer Tours of London will offer jobs to LGBTQI homeless people, sex workers, LGBTQI people of colour and queer activists facing deportation, as speak-people in tour groups.

The tour crew point out that in a span of five years 25% of LGBT nightclubs have been shut down, HIV education and prevention measures are being suppressed while diagnoses numbers rise, hate crimes happen every day, mental health services are closing down and LGBT migrants are in an even graver danger, while there is obviously no social housing plans, community centers or museums that cater specifically to LGBTQI rights. This is why such an initiative can play a crucial role in the education, empowerment and mobilization of queer Londoners, visitors and allies.

As we read on this Vice article, landmark points of the future tours will include Mother Clap’s molly-house, a gathering point for 18th century cross-dressers, the Admiral Duncan pub where, in 1999, three queer people were killed by a neo-Nazi bomb that has been turned into a chandelier. Queer heroes and heroines who gave their lives in their battle for rights and liberation will also be remembered in the tour. They will pay a tribute to the Lesbian Avengers, the Gay Liberation Front and its Radical Drag Queens.

We may not all understand Foucault and the different applications and interpretations of his philosophy, but knowledge is undoubtedly power, especially if it helps us understand and recreate our identity in our own terms, especially when Power with capital P and all its systematic forms of oppression try to token themselves clear and appropriate it for us. Such initiatives are extremely important for raising awareness, empowering LGBTQI people and bringing the community together.

Power To The Party: Afropunk Heads To London This Weekend

London ladies, are you looking for something awesome to do this weekend? Your search is over, because this Saturday Afropunk brings its party to London for its inaugural edition.

Staged at the historic Alexandra Palace – with line up that includes the sensational Grace Jones, Laura Mvula and The Noisettes – the event invites attendees to become apart of the Afropunk family.

Now in its 13th and largest year, Afropunk has transformed from a small, music and activism movement, to a global community with annual festivals in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Paris, and now London.

On paper, you may be fooled to think it is simply a one-day music festival – but one look at the hashtag on Instagram reveals something very special.

Afropunk has been defining culture in the music world; a triumph of multiculturalism and diversity for people of all races, genders, colours, creeds and tastes.

It is a place where lines of booths dubbed ‘Activism Row’, bring out music lovers and believers in change in equal measures.

Giant banners promoting an inclusive experience hang next to every stage proclaiming “no homophobia, no sexism, no ageism”, and a long list of other prejudices that is not tolerated.

So make sure you head down over this weekend, and take a look at the most beautiful, wild and wonderful street style the UK has to offer.

Polarised: New Documentary Takes A Honest Look At Mental Health Issues In LGBTQ Community

Polarised is a new short, powerful and much needed documentary about LGBTQ+ young people living in London and suffering from mental illness.

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 19.40.05

In this ground-breaking documentary, Charlie Smoke, Amy Gunn and their contemporaries explore what it means to be LGBTQ+ and mentally ill at a time when vital services and support are being slashed by austerity economics.

The LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately affected by mental illness.

A study recently showed that LGBTQ+ people are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide at any given point in their lifetimes.

LGBTQ+ people are 3 times more likely to experience anxiety disorders than heterosexuals, and up to 6 times more likely to suffer from depression.

Charlie Smoke, Executive Producer said:

As the Project has progressed, it’s become evident that this isn’t a documentary that will just personally touch our lives. It’s become a vehicle with which to channel the voices of many – those whose voices have been battered down, ignored and lost.

It became evident when we managed to raise over £2,200 in just under two months through our first round of crowd funding. We want to explore what it means to be LGBTQ+ and mentally ill in 2015 and to make ourselves visible. This short film is the start.”

The short film (running time approx. 24 minutes) can be viewed on KitschMix.TV

The project has also announced ‘The Polarised Glitter Ball’, an evening of drag, burlesque, comedy and queer performance on the 21st November at The Good Ship in Kilburn to raise vital funds for the production of the feature documentary. Tickets can be bought here

2015 Sees Surge In Homophobic Attacks In London

According to data from the Metropolitan police, homophobic crimes have surged by nearly a third in London in the past year.

The data comes from the force’s latest annual crime figures – which allow types of reports to be broken down by borough and by crime type.

Overall, homophobic crime has risen, year on year, 29.3% in the capital. However this may be a result of more reports of crimes, however it does signify a worrying trend.

Racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks all also saw a rise – though the number of homophobic incidents recorded was nearly double those of Islamophobic crimes, and three times the number of anti-Semitic crimes.

The Met states:

A Homophobic Offence is any offence which is perceived to be homophobic by the victim or any other person, that is intended to impact upon those known or perceived to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual.”

Westminster and Vauxhall, two of London’s main LGBT areas have been revealed as having the most homophobic hate crimes reported.

homophobic attack london 01

Both locations are known to home the majority of London’s LGBTI spaces. Crimes in Westminster have soared 23% while in Lambeth, which homes Vauxhall’s gay scene, anti-gay crimes have risen 25%.

When Hackney, which homes another important LGBTI centre (Shoreditch) is included in the number of crimes reported up to July 2015 rises to 406 – over 1 crime per day.

Of course these figures do not reflect the true scale of the problem – as many crimes against LGBTI’s go unreported. Research from University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies reveals that 88 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people had experienced some form of hate incident and that over 35,000 of these crimes go unreported across the UK.

Shockingly some boroughs have seen increases of up to 217% (Bromley) and 185% in Croydon. Almost every borough has seen an increase of anti-gay crimes.

Historians Map Out the UK’s Hidden, Undocumented Sites of LGBT History

From the street worked by a medieval transgender prostitute, to a pond used by gay men to bathe nude, a map showing sites of historical significance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in England was release this week.

The “Pride of Place” project features more than 200 buildings of LGBT heritage across England, many of which were previously hidden or undocumented, according to Historic England, the public body that preserves historic buildings.

Rosie Sherrington, social inclusion and diversity adviser at Historic England, said.

You can see that the LGBT community is not just a modern phenomenon, it has been around throughout history, but now people are accepting it.”

The map categorises the sites under headings such as activism and pubs and clubs, with locations ranging from Bletchley Park, home to the work of Nazi-code breaker Alan Turing, to pub drag shows that are still operating today.

It is really good to look at ordinary and smaller places that are not landmarks but have incredible and interesting stories behind them.”

The project, organised by Historic England and led by historians at Leeds Beckett University, will feature exhibitions and presentations in an attempt to encourage people to campaign for the protection of other buildings.

The launch of the map comes just days after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to allow same-sex marriage, and a month after Irish voters backed same-sex marriage in a referendum.

The UK’s Capital Gets Ready for London Pride 2015

Thousands of people are expected to turn out in the UK’s capital today, for one of the world’s largest LGBT festivals.

This year the London Pride march has taken on the theme of ‘heroes’ and will celebrate those who have made the biggest difference to the LGBT community.

The parade begins at Baker Street at 1pm and moves through Oxford Street, which is closed for the event, before finishing at Whitehall at 4.30pm.

More than 250 group will be taking part in the parade with prizes for the best costumes and best campaign group.

As well as the parade there is also three musical venues taking place from 1pm.

Entertainers include Blue, Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro and Rebecca Ferguson, who will appear on the main stage in Trafalgar Square from 1pm – 8pm.

There will also be a Women’s Stage in Dean Street and a Cabaret Stage in Wardour Street.

The annual parade marks the end of a week of Pride events and celebrations.

The route:

  • The Parade assembles on Baker Street at 1pm
  • It turns left into Oxford Street, past Selfridges, Bond Street Underground Station
  • At Oxford Circus it turns right into Regent Street and continues down to Piccadilly Circus
  • Then down Lower Regent Street and into Waterloo Place, then left into Pall Mall, heading right into Cockspur Street and across the south-western end of Trafalgar Square
  • It turns into Whitehall, before ending at Whitehall Place at about 4.30pm

The parade starts at 1pm and ends at 4.30pm

The Parade:

  • More than 15,000 spectators are expected to join the party
  • The theme of this year’s parade is Pride Heroes
  • It features more than 250 community groups, dancers and performers
  • Individuals cannot join the Parade unless they are in a registered group
  • There is a suggested donation of £3 for Trafalgar Square participants

London LGBT Film Festival To Showcase 5 Gay Films Worldwide For Free In 70 Countries

London LGBT film festival has announced that five short films from BFI Flare, will be available to audiences around the world for the first time through BFI Player, as part of British Council initiative.

Queer filmmakers have delivered some of cinema’s most striking, vital, challenging, provocative and beautiful films, and BFI Flare has been key in bringing these to UK audiences over the last 29 years. We’re thrilled this partnership will open up the festival to audiences around the world, giving millions of people the opportunity to enjoy great new LGBT films.

Tricia Tuttle, Deputy Director of Festivals at the British Film Institute

On at London’s Southbank, the LGBT Film Festival started yesterday and runs until 29th March.

On Wednesday 25 March, fiveFilms4freedom will become a 24-hour campaign asking people everywhere to watch a film together over the course of one single day. fiveFilms4freedom is the world’s first digital, global, LGBT film festival and will be promoted through the British Council’s network in more than 70 countries and regions including across the Americas, China, India, Israel, Kosovo, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and the Middle East.

fiveFilms4freedom is a ground-breaking LGBT film festival supporting freedom and equality all over the world and showcasing some of our finest short film makers. By bringing together the British Council and films from BFI Flare we are promoting LGBT cinema in countries that make up fifty percent of the world’s population.

On 25 March we are asking the world to watch a movie together and show that love is a basic human right.”

Alan Gemmell, Director of fiveFilms4freedom, British Council

This will be a chance for audiences, wherever they are, to enjoy a taster of LGBT cinema; to find out a little bit more about emerging LGBT filmmakers from around the world; and most importantly, to show support for freedom and equality everywhere. fiveFilms4freedom is produced in partnership with Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity.

fiveFilms4freedom not only showcases some phenomenal talent, but also brings together the international LGBT community. In 77 countries around the world it is still illegal to be gay, and in five it is punishable by death, so the opportunity to showcase LGBT stories and filmmakers in more than 80 countries worldwide is fantastic.”

James Taylor, Head of Campaigns, Stonewall said

The five films represent a cross section of contemporary LGBT short film. The films are made by lesbians, gay men and transgender filmmakers, and range from sweet short stories about first love to documenting activism. They are polished, rough, funny, sad and inspiring and each has a different voice.



The films are:

An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag): Director Søren Green’s new short film is a sensitive exploration of nascent sexuality. Mathias and Frederik are two friends who spend an afternoon together; Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell Frederik that he is in love with him.

Chance: Jake Graf’s self-funded short film premieres at BFI Flare. It focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness as a chance encounter between Trevor and a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own past, forces both men to start to live again.

Code Academy: Canadian writer and director Nisha Ganatra is best known as producer-director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. In Code Academy, when searching for love in all the virtual places, Frankie, Libby and Sheridan are their own worst enemy.

Morning Is Broken: Director and writer Simon Anderson’s 2014 film is a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama set in the lush English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality at the end of his older brother’s wedding.

True Wheel: Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for queer, transgender and women’s communities in Detroit.

Watch the five films online

Vandalism At University College London Proves How Necessary LGBT History Month Is

Most people recognise that the the monstrosities of World War 2 should never be repeated. We all know what happened during the Second World War thanks to many history classes on it: the Nazis, as led by Adolf Hitler, tried to achieve world domination and oppressed and murdered millions of people (mostly Jewish people) along the way.

But some of those thrown into concentration camps (prisons where people were forced into hard labour and where some were gassed to death) were put there not because they were Jewish but because they were LGBT. And horrifically, LGBT people who survived the concentration camps were rescued by the allies only to be thrown into prison as homosexuality was still criminalized in many ally countries including England. That’s why it was so unfortunate earlier this month, when some students from the University College London, vandalised an LGBTQ flag with a Swastika.

The banner had been put up as part of national LGBT History Month celebrations that are currently taking place at many colleges in the UK. The banner had only been up for three hours when students drew the deeply offensive graffiti on it.

The UCL Student Union writes in a statement:

“We are sorry to report that within 3 hours of our LGBT+ History Month vinyl banners being put up on the front of the UCL Quad, one of them has been graffitied with an image of a swastika in permanent marker.

The swastika as a symbol is indelibly tainted by its use by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust, an atrocity resulting in the murder of many millions of people, among them tens of thousands of LGBT+ people. Its use as graffiti constitutes a hate crime.

We refuse to be intimidated. We will be continuing to promote LGBT+ History Month widely across campus and celebrating the presence of LGBTQ+ students, staff and visitors at UCL. The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and will be dealt with seriously.”

While it is good news that UCL is doing it’s bit to stamp this behaviour out – and bring the perpetrators to justice – this incident is just one of many similar occurrences around the UK. UCL student journalist Siobhan Fenton notes on The Telegraph that at Liverpool University one student suffered homophobic abuse only to be told by campus security that “it’s all part of the fun” and that students at Bristol University put up posters warnings their peers that trans* students may rape them.

Given that an estimated 11% of all UK university students identify as LGBTQ, there are over 100,000 students whose lives are being affected by these pockets of ignorance. How universities plan on tackling this serious issue is yet to be seen.

#SS15 News | Cara Delevingne Leads Models at the Topshop Spring-Summer Show

Topshop based its new collection at London fashion week on classic British sub-cultures – mods, rockers, and Northern Soul revellers. It was a collection that spoke of party nights and carefree days.

In keeping with the youthful feel of the brand, the show’s front row was lined with young female starlets from singer Ellie Goulding to Pixie Geldof, Daisy Lowe, Laura Bailey, Laura Carmichael and Alexa Chung.

“I believe that enabling Topshop’s fans to view key looks from the collection before our industry insiders is a real revolution – and one that we are proud to pioneer.”

Sir Philip Green



Taste and See – New Exhibit by Cornelius Browne

Cornelius BrowneDid you know that the average person has about 10,000 taste buds and they’re replaced every 2 weeks or so?

Cornelius Browne – a once successful art director and illustrator, and now teaching specialist training for young adults with Emotional Behaviour Disorder – is exhibiting his latest work at The Mind Café in London. Since 1987, Cornelius has used his skills to explore different ways of using art to meditate on scriptures. He also runs workshops that teach these skills.

His new exhibition explores the incredible human ability to taste and features original oils of different tasty visuals. It was inspired by a workshop he facilitated in May on the neuro-anatomy of taste. The works produced in one of the workshops took hime back to my early days as an artist which involved rendering reflections in wine glasses. A few of the works on show
reflect this early passion of mine.

KitschMix: What inspired you to create these?

Cornelius Browne: I run regular workshops on neuro anatomy with the aim of helping my clients to manage their emotions. Art is one of the tools we use in the process.

Recently I did a session on the anatomy of taste. The outcome of the art workshops led me to engage in a full-blown collection of my own.

KM: Visually the collection is extremely realistic. How did you cope with the challenges of creating such realistic looking pieces?

CB: This was not a challenge at all. In fact it was fun. In recent years my art style has been abstract and semi-abstract. Realism was what I reveled in when I was in art school. So it’s rather refreshing and a bit nostalgic.

KM: So how long ago was at school?

We are talking about 1976 – 1979

KM: Could you tell us more about how your creative flair developed?

CB: I started painting seriously from childhood. In a sense I am self taught. I attended the University of Benin Art School in Nigeria. Then worked in advertising as an Art Director until 1986. I did some stint in local government as senior designer for Newham Council and lastly as Graphic design manager for Barnet Council.

I also did some post graduate studies at the London University of the Arts.

KM: What medium have you used to create these pieces?

CB: The medium is mainly oils, but one of the pieces is acrylic.

KM: I must say the images are delightful, why the title ‘Taste and See’?

CB: ‘Taste and See’ is a scripture from the Bible. Precisely Psalms 34: 8

KM: So is the Bible your inspiration then?

CB: It is a lot deeper than that. I am a co-founder of a Christian Cognitive approach to managing the Mind (The G.Y.M.)

The Art is one of the tools we use in meditation.

KM: Tell us more about the G.Y.M.

CB: The G.Y.M. stands for Guard Your Mind. My wife, a consultant psychiatrist and I came up with the idea about 8 years ago. It  uses contemporary developments in neuro-science with a faith based approach to facilitate optimum emotional well being and performance.

KM: So how long is the exhibition for?

CB: It starts with a private view on Thursday 3rd July at 6.00 pm. (which all your followers are welcome to) and ends on 31st July 2014.


#polarised: An Inspiring Documentary on LGBTQ Mental Health in London

Polarised is an upcoming powerful and much needed documentary about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer young people living in London and suffering from mental illness.

In this ground-breaking documentary, Charlie Smoke and his contemporaries explore what it means to be LGBTQ+ and mentally ill at a time when vital services and support are being slashed by austerity economics.

Polarised is important because LGBTQ+ mental health needs to be visible.”

Charlie Smoke (23) London

The film will include interviews with members of the LGBTQ community and it’s allies, social commentators as well as candid footage and animation.

Filming will begin in late July, wrapping at the beginning of September. The documentary will be released in autumn 2014.

A crowd-funding campaign is currently underway to raise the £5,000 needed to make the film. This began on April 25th, and will finish on June 24th at 11.59pm. This can be found at indiegogocom/projects/polarised.

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UK Black Pride Announces Junes ‘Local and Global: Love Without Borders’ Pride Event

We can’t wait – UK Black Pride (Europe’s largest not-for-profit event for African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean-heritage lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people) will host a FREE entry, carnival-themed music festival and picnic on Sun 29 June in London.

UKBP, is famed for putting on Award-winning events, and this year plans to be fantastic. With a carnival-themed picnic in the park, UKBP will fuse its distinct blend of live music and politics, to deliver an entertaining, family-friendly, community festival of pride.

There will be a jazz and women’s stage, comedians, sports activities, education and welfare stalls, alongside world food and drink, there’s something for everyone at our multicultural pride event.

As well as the music festival in London Vauxhall’s Pleasure Gardens, UKBP has organised two other events as part of a summer of love. The Black LGBT community cultural arts festival will take place in central London on 16 August and the Black LGBT film festival will take place in central Manchester on 25 October.

UKBP has a strong identity as a grassroots movement. At their core they believe the most effective way to secure the fight for LGBT equality and inclusion, while opposing all forms of bigotry, is to put people and politics before profit. The theme for UK Black Pride 2014 is Local and Global: Love Without Borders. This is a signal of resistance against those trying to curb LGBT rights and equality from Brunei to India, from Nigeria to Jamaica, and in the USA Join us!

“We’re very excited to share UK Black Pride’s message of love without borders to our community of Black LGBT members whose families hail from all corners of the world. We will inject this international flavour into the heart of the LGBT community during the Pride in London week of celebrations. With our own brand of entertainment and education to promote love without borders we’ll make sure this year’s Big Pride Picnic in the Park is one the entire community can feel part of. UK Black Pride’s summer of love will include something for everyone so come out and join us!”

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, UK Black Pride’s founder and Executive Director.

Queer Fashion | East End London Scene

If London were a quilt, its East End would be that offbeat patch stitched into its far side, made up of bright colours and multiple patterns. Strangely enough, this clash of differences works together harmoniously.  Both an array of immigrants and creative types call it home, and the area is constantly pulsating with their energy. The very best thing about East London, though, is how the locals’ style is both exciting and laid back. Does it sound like a contradiction? Perhaps, but let us explain. Clothing has been an intricate part of the East End’s economy since the rag trade began there in the 17th century. It’s certainly a part of London that knows its style. But unlike other parts of the city, the unspoken rules of fashion are much more relaxed, which makes it easier for East Enders to be inventive with their wardrobes.

So, if you walk through one of the East End’s many street markets, you’ll find everything from students with brightly coloured tights (and hair) to middle-aged artists in fur coats and combat boots. The ladies of the East End tend to follow this mantra: more is more (is more). More mixing prints, more septum-style nose rings, more metal embellishments, more butch boot buckles, more bright lip colours. Other cities might bemoan this style philosophy, but the East End embraces contrasts and creativity.

If you’d like to shop like an East Ender, markets are a must. At Brick Lane Market, you’ll find a real smorgasbord of assortments, but that’s pretty representative of the East End itself. Some shops are filled with unique pieces and secondhand stock, and others are prime locations for bargains if you’re up for a haggle.

The East End is also chock-full of independent designers. Take Illustrated People, for instance. Their collections are bold and distinctive, from the nineties-inspired art prints to a pattern they’ve named “shark polka.” Stop by Kate Sheridan’s shop for its offbeat accessories that just ooze cool or the East End Thrift Store off Mile End for some really satisfying vintage steals. If you’d rather take a note from the locals and put together your own outfit from scratch, go visit the Hand-weavers Studio for an array of resources, from yarns to dyes, fleeces to fibres. It’s probably pretty obvious by now: here at KitschMix, we love the East End. Fashion is all about freedom of expression, and there’s no better place to embrace your differences than the most engaging district in one of the world’s greatest cities.