As I’m sure you are aware, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality for men in England and Wales.
For more than eighty years this Victorian piece of legislation forced gay men to live their lives closeted and in the shadows. Meeting potential partners or even just meeting with friends socially was fraught with danger, as vigilante queer bashers or the risk of prosecution and imprisonment by the police posed a constant threat.
In 1967, thanks to the Wolfenden Report and campaigning by the Homosexual Law Reform Society, the law was finally repealed and the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Pride movement were established. Finally gay men emerged from the shadows and began the long journey to acceptance and full equality for the LGBT+ community.
To celebrate this landmark anniversary, we are looking for a few good men to take part in our Summer Of Love exhibition.
Curated by well known photographer Chris Jepson MA ARPS, working alongside researcher and co-curator Kate Wildblood, the exhibition will feature some of the brave men who lived through those early dark years, whose only chance of social contact with other gay men was at underground clubs where the risk of discovery and imprisonment were ever present. A celebration of their lives, battles and victories, Summer Of Love will connect us to the reality of life before decriminalisation and reflect upon the rewards we all now enjoy because of their fight for LGBT+ equality.
It will not take a lot of your time. Chris will meet you at a location convenient to you or a venue that hold particular memories to take portraits, chat and possibly take a video.
If you would like to participate, or would like more details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Of Love will form part of the Brighton Pride Arts & Film Festival and will be on display in the Jubilee Library, Brighton during August 2017.