Why not check out the first Classical Pride concert performed by a professional major orchestra in Europe at the Barbican. Featuring City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, top international soloists and the LGBTQ+ Community Choir, this is presented by DJ and broadcaster Nick Grimshaw and will celebrate the amazing contribution the LGBTQ+ community makes to the world of classical music.
Our next choice is a queer celebration entitled ‘Fluid Nature’ at Shoreditch Arts Club. This is a unique collaboration between co-hosts Shoreditch Arts Club and the fabulous gender neutral perfumery brand Urania’s Children & The Heavenly Garden, promised to be a very vibrant and joyous affair. There will be two incredible artists showcasing moving images that encompass fluidity and desire. There will also be live performances including a rendition of ‘Metamorphosis’ by Philip Glass and also a DJ to get you moving until the late hours. Party goers are encouraged to express their unique style, embracing the spirit of this celebratory event. You can find out more about the event here – members only or enquire on their website.
Another event held at Barbican is a performance from Hamed Sinno, the Lebanese-American indie rock musician, debuting their material for the Shubbak festival this year. ‘Poems of Consumption’ is a song cycle that looks at the resonances between unrequited love, mental illness, consumerism and environmental collapse, but without purporting to have another, alternative or moral high ground. The compositions combine romanticism from strings with hyper-industrial electronica, made using sounds of consumerism including bubble wrap and ripping plastic).
Explore a free tour at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Join volunteer guides and explore sexual and gender identities through various LGBTQ+ objects in the V&A collections. Here you will find out the hidden experiences of diverse sexual and gender identities across culture, place and time. Some of the objects were created by various queer artists within the creative industries. Runs on the last Saturday of each month, apart from December. See link for full details.
Another interesting event for the art fans includes a digital artwork collection by Jake Elwes exploring Artificial Intelligence at Gazelli Art House, revealing data properties and the potential for alternative queer futures. More information can be found here.
The Barbican is bringing to the stage the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning musical with music, book and lyrics by Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop, featured on Broadway. Usher is a Black, gay, young writer who doesn’t like his day job so he writes a musical about identity, desires and instincts he both loves and hates, all brought to the stage by an ensemble. The show uses honesty and humour to explore subjects relating to race and sexuality.
If you’re a theatre-goer why not check out a stage adaptation of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ starring Lucas Hedges and Mike Faist which is running at Soho Place until 12th August. Also running for a few weeks (12 weeks only) is the Tony Award-winning ‘A Strange Loop’ musical about the black queer writer Usher at the Barbican – check it here.
You have to visit Gay’s the Word in Bloomsbury, the UK’s oldest LGBTQ book shop. The shop sells excellent books and also promotes human rights which has been at the heart of the LGBTQ+ movement since opening in 1979. You will also find some great autobiographies from queer creatives and musicians. The place was established as a space for members of the community to support each other, campaign and meet up. ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ had their first meetings at Gay’s The Word before then outgrowing the space. The bookshop and group featured in the film ‘Pride’. A blue plaque can be found above the store that commemorates the co-founder of the group and gay rights activist Mark Ashton. Here’s a link to the shop website.
Looking for a quick read on your commute? This is a really interesting read featuring KIMMY BEATBOX discussing ‘the power of doing what you love’ as well as living authentically. Kimmy hosts the Creative Coalition Festival and is an unbreakable force in beatboxing. Kimmy highlights their love for busking, the freedom surrounding identifying as non-binary and how you should take those opportunities to get out of your comfort zone.
Podcast lover? We’ve selected an essential add to your playlist – the podcast by the non-profit organisation ‘Come Play With Me’ called ‘Connected Sounds’ which focuses on conversations with queers within the music industry. Guests for season two include Crawlers and Shamir. The podcast is presented by Alex Gibbon, Drag artist, radio presenter and journalist and explores queer identity across various topics.
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