On 11th June I was enjoying the most wonderful, inspirational evening watching my friend the fantastic Mr. Ed Fox performing in ‘His Story’ by the London Gay Men’s Chorus.
A celebration of its Silver Jubilee, the show commemorated the choir’s last 25 years – with moments from its history in parts whimsically, hilariously and emotionally recollected. These vignettes appeared against the larger backdrop of world history over the last quarter century, just as this ensemble represents a community within a community, an integral piece of the jigsaw of our society.
The spirit was celebratory – there was a sense that, in 25 years we have come so far, moving away from repression and discrimination and are now at a point where we are finally able to openly celebrate the contribution that the gay community makes to the wider world. The exhilaration of members of the chorus who had been through those life changing times was palpable. The music was goddam good, as was the mind boggling logistical curation: by way of a curious magical formulae, all moved as one to seamlessly take their new places in arrangement after each song, over many multiples of permutations. And don't get even me started on the jazz hands!
Imagine my surprise and horror, then, to wake up to the news of the Orlando shooting. 49 dead, 53 injured in an attack on a gay nightclub. Words can’t do justice to the horror.
I support Owen Jones in his disgust at fellow reviewers on Sky Papers not acknowledging that this was a homophobic attack . To not speak this truth is collective amnesia, tantamount to insanity.
Although I work just around the corner from Old Compton street, I was very sad that I was unable to go and join arms with everyone in solidarity on Monday evening.
Meanwhile, London did us proud as throngs of people of all sexual persuasion, literally came out in support and shared grief.
I did, however, take the opportunity today to wander around the spontaneous memorials that have been placed in St Anne’s Churchyard on Wardour St and the remnants of Monday’s vigil on Old Compton St to engage in a moment of quiet reflection for those who have tragically lost their lives for doing nothing. Nothing but being themselves, enjoying themselves and each other. Dancing. Joyfully.
It is to these haunting images that I defer to words more powerful than my own, especially in a week that, for global news and media has been one of the darkest. “All for love and love for all”.
My thoughts and condolences are with all of the victims and their families, friends and loved ones.
Here is a 5 minute sample of an hour long live interview I did, talking about the value of PR.
I wrote this article on 5 Things Women Must Learn To Be Successful
I wrote for TVB Europe, celebrating ten inspirational women in the broadcast industry