LGBTQ+ History Month
18 February 2021
We could not let the month go past without acknowledging LGBTQ+ History Month and so we asked our members to present some images that represent love, equality and unity and that sparked a chord and the need to share.
"An out-take shot on a recent commercial shoot for a dairy product.
The 2 boys who starred in the campaign were so obviously in love, it was wonderful to see this new marriage of souls starting out. Their playful and open natures eres infectious - they were a pleasure to work with." © Kate Abbey
'This is inside The Proud Trust in Manchester. I was commissioned to document the place before it was demolished last year in preparation for a new build. Originally built in the 1980s and the UK’s very first dedicated gay and lesbian centre, it's a single storey flat roofed ugly building with high security and few windows to make it’s occupants feel more secure and safe. It’s replacement will be very different - more windows, no shame, more outward looking and welcoming to the public, whatever their sexual or gender orientation.
I found the place, and it’s occupants one of the most welcoming, supportive, emotional and positive environments I’ve ever worked in'. © Sally Ann Norman
'My first ever Pride event was in Newcastle upon Tyne when I was 17 and every year I could attend after, I did.
This photo was taken in 2017, I had just turned 18 and I was walking around the Town Moors with my brother and a few friends. I wasn't even out to family, just friends and the comfort I found in having my brother there and knowing he was supportive was immense.
I was building confidence with my photography and I spent the day asking anyone I thought looked incredible if I could photograph them. This photo features three Drag Queens; Jaqueline Hyde, Ginger Nut and Tina Bortin. They were as lovely as can be and were a few of the attendees who made the atmosphere so welcoming.
What moves me about this photo is more so personal, my second Pride festival. I remember the entire day, watching acts, talking to new people, going on fair rides and later clubbing. It reminds me so much of sun-burnt teenage summers, nights of absolute chaos with friends, exploring the gay scene of my town (the Pink Triangle), getting hit on by middle-aged women and so much.I'm so thankful I got to experience it first hand and learn about myself and my community through it'. © Megan Bendall
'Grace, a doctor, from the series You Brought Your Own Light won the BJP Portrait of Britain 2019. For three years I have been capturing the portraits of the trans and non binary community. The project started as a personal project but became a fascination with how humans transform and grow, the people who risk all to begin again. They may loose a home, family, a social standing, a job. They walk out on their beliefs and values. There is often a breakdown. They rise. Many speak of the work they put into transition, I am drawn to these people, the alchemists who speak of a journey. My book, with Olivia Fisher explores how society needs to become more fluid in defining gender. In Olivia's words, ‘Trans.’ Did I disarm you with that word? You still smile, nodding at the right moments, but I can feel your growing distance. I’ve been here before and would not ask you to travel with me. We each have our journeys and experiences that neither could fully appreciate; isn’t empathy enough to connect us?' © Allie Crewe
'I shot Kesse Ane Assande Elvis Presley, or simply coined as "Britney Spears" by her friends, along with Mohamed, aka “Baba” for a new personal series entitled "The Queens of Babi". The series was created after meeting and talking with the members of Abidjan (Côte d'ivoire)'s drag community, and discussing how to highlight their talent and creative passions. For a duration of two years, until 2018, members of the drag community in Abidjan would meet discreetly in an undisclosed bar to attend drag themed events, where they would parade and show off their finest creations to each other and members of a jury.
The group has now disbanded due to adversities, but their desires to create and self-express remains, despite the tribulations that come with being part of an LGBTQ African community. I chose to highlight the only two winners of these competitions'. © Ngadi Smart
'This image is one from my series 'Coming Out Party'.
What does it mean to be a "Friend of Dorothy"?
In the first half of the 20th century, homosexuality was still a criminal offence in Ireland, the UK, the United States, and many other countries worldwide. Asking someone if they were "Friends of Dorothy" was a coded way to discover their sexual orientation when such things weren't openly discussed yet.
The hot red velvet shoes are sparkling on top of a funky carpet. You can understand there is a party going on in this place, but no one is recognisable.
This picture's idea was to keep the real underground vibe when people were living in the shadows but building the foundation for one of the most fundamental human rights nowadays'. © Mattia Pelizzari
'Posing proud in a window overlooking a busy street, Raven delights a woman and child with her sequinned ensemble whilst another onlooker chooses to face the other way. This photo I snapped at Brighton Pride reminds me of the importance of staying true to ourselves, making the constant choice to be honest and authentic in a world that doesn't always look kindly upon those outside the mainstream.
DJ, drag queen and mother of the house of Mandella, Raven Mandella an inspirational member of the community who isn't afraid of dirty looks and raised eyebrows. Raven always stands for what's right no matter the hardship; in the rain or snow, alone or in a crowd; barefoot or in eight inch heels'. © Ira Giorgetti
'In July 2019 a few photographer friends and I went to Berlin to document the Christopher Street Day Parade. My friends and I arrived at Kurfürstendamm early in the morning to watch the final preparations taking place. We were talking to each other when these ladies jumped in front of us and announced “they are from Birmingham! Listen to that accent!” We started talking to them and discovered that they were from the north of England (I can’t recall where exactly) and attended Christopher Street Day every year.
What I remember most about the whole day was the unbridled joy and love being celebrated, the sunshine (it was around 32 degrees Celsius) and how uncommercialised the whole affair was - no vendors peddling tacky souvenirs, no bars charging inflated admission prices. Just what felt like millions of people celebrating their right to love who they want to love. It was a perfect day'. © Michelle Walker
Lesbos Summer in the 1980s
'The end of the beach at Skala Eressos in Lesbos, Greece was a regular destination for women in the 1980s. It was a revelation to me when I went there. Fantastic freedom, a wonderful celebration of lesbian life. We had so much fun'. © Eleanor Bentall