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'Queer Heritage' Blue Plaques Placed Around London to Honor LGBTQ History

Steven Klein/Interview

Widespread tagging from a local activist group called "The Sexual Avengers." 

Walking around London, you've likely noticed circular blue plaques next to doorways, in front of alleyways or on corner stones of buildings. These plaques are there to educate passersby of England's rich history--its mostly white, heterosexual, male history that is.

London's blue plaques, however, won't educate you on the four lesbians who abseiled into the House of Lords to protest "Section 28," a law making it illegal for local authorities to "intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality." But after a local activist group called "The Sexual Avengers" tagged queer history locations around London last night, you could--just before security guards eventually took them down.

The group, which includes members young and old, wanted to bring attention to the lack of publicly funded spaces for queer people. London has no public LGBTQI+ center of its own, no queer museum and no blue plaques to commemorate the radical, forceful ways queer people challenged authority to garner the rights we have today.

OUT asked Tamsin Vibert, a member of the group, why this action was necessary in London: "We did it to queer up the streets, to mark our gay history and to protest that we do not have a queer museum or LGBTI+ center in this city," they said.

Some plaques the Sexual Avengers created were for the gay pub the "Admiral Duncan," which was the location where three people died after a bombing from neo-Nazis in the '90s, and another at the only location where there is an official Pride event for people of color.

The Sexual Avengers meets weekly in London at the LimeWharf. For more information, check out their official Facebook page.

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