“How can I be proud of my LGBT+ identity at Pride in London if I can’t even get to the bar to celebrate?”
Queer Tours of London are hosting a Mince Through Time tour through Soho, to show the realities of the LGBT+ disabled community.
On the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England Wales, the group are standing up for the rights of the queer disabled community, stating that none of us are free until we are all free.
There are no fully accessible LGBT+ venues in the whole of Central London, and Queer Tours of London want to know how to meet, flirt and mince with others when not even one queer venue is fully accessible to the disabled community.
With over half of the capital’s LGBT+ venues closing in the past decade, there is no better time to highlight issues with queer clubs.
The group will take to the streets in protest, meeting in Soho Square in ‘true queer provocative’ style in hopes of access for all.
I’m black, gay, disabled, but most of all I’m a human being with the same desires as those who are able bodied.
The group has been running queer culture tours of London since February, but this is the first to stand up for queer disabled community. Queer Tours of London want know if LGBT+ venues are doing everything they can to be completely accessible for disabled customers.
One of the main demands is ‘equality of profit’ with tour guide Josh Hepple stating: “We’ll chain ourselves to the steps by September if you don’t make an explicit statement of your intentions.”
In a testimonial, Kevin Wilson added: “Have you ever been somewhere that you wanted to visit but told that you can’t because of accessibility, health and safety, or ‘sorry if you come in you can’t get to the toilet’ or the classic ‘it’s too busy’?
“Well, I for one often get almost all of these answers when trying to access gay bars and clubs on the London LGBT+ scene. On occasions I’m with friends, they are allowed to get in and I’m now posing an issue. For those that have disabled facilities, the toilets are often used as store rooms or too small. I just can’t win.
“This gives disabled LGBT+ people the impression as to not go out. Seemingly the venues are not aware of intersectionality. I’m black, gay, disabled, but most of all I’m a human being with the same desires as those who are able bodied. I just have to do things in an orderly fashion.”
The tour meets in Soho Square at 2pm on Saturday, with a presentation of demands in the evening.
Words Lee Dalgetty