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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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London’s LGBTQ+ Community Rises Against Homophobic Violence: We Will Not Live in Fear

In a powerful display of unity and defiance, London’s LGBTQ+ community came together to stand against the growing wave of homophobic violence that has recently plagued the city. The event, which took place on August 26, was captured in a music promo-style video titled “We Will Not Live In Fear,” emphasizing the message that they refuse to be cowed by fear and intimidation.

The video, which has gained support from a multitude of organizations and celebrities, including Holly Johnson, Jimmy Somerville, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, LGBT+ History Month, Naz And Matt Foundation, DIVA Magazine, Two Brewers London, and Arch, serves as a rallying cry for LGBTQ+ rights and safety worldwide.

Holly Johnson, a world-famous recording artist, lent his voice to the cause, expressing his wish that such demonstrations were unnecessary. He highlighted the shocking rise in hate crimes, not only in London but in many places around the world. Johnson urged everyone to speak out against hate, emphasizing that these crimes can happen anywhere.

Singer Jimmy Somerville echoed the sentiment, proclaiming, “Never live in fear!” His words underscored the collective determination to overcome the threat of violence that LGBTQ+ individuals face daily.

The demonstration was organized as a response to a string of brutal homophobic attacks that occurred within just six days in London, including an incident outside the beloved LGBTQIA venue, The Two Brewers. At the time of writing, the attackers remained at large.

Marchers

Organized by groups like Queer Night Pride and ActUP, the march took place in the very neighbourhoods where these violent attacks had transpired. Among the participants and speakers were prominent LGBTQIA and human rights activist Peter Tatchell, politician Zach Polanski, and UK Pride pioneers Julian Hows and Peter Scott-Presland.

Julian Hows, who took part in his first march in 1972 at the age of 16, reflected on the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights: “They say we have freedom. We don’t have freedom. We have to ****ing take it!”

Ejel Khan, founder of the Muslim LGBT network and a survivor of several vicious homophobic attacks shared his powerful testimony: “I tell you, I’ve been attacked, and I live to tell the tale!” Khan’s resilience exemplified the indomitable spirit of those who refuse to be silenced.

JulianHows

A spokesperson for Queer Night Pride emphasized that their movement is a protest, not a mere request for equality or better policing. They refuse to settle for mere tolerance and acceptance. Their message is clear: they demand true liberation. They will hold hands, show affection, and express their gender identity and sexuality freely. Unapologetic and unashamed, they are determined to put an end to homophobic violence.

The video “We Will Not Live In Fear” serves as a powerful reminder that the fight against hate knows no boundaries. Regardless of where you are in the world, the LGBTQ+ community’s struggle for acceptance, safety, and equality affects us all. It’s a call to action, urging everyone to stand together against homophobia and make the world a safer place for everyone, everywhere.

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