In our first collaboration with the No Stunts magazine, The Larry Weekly podcast is happy to present a special LGBTQ+ episode to celebrate the month of Pride in North America and in the UK. We are glad to announce that we will have two special guests, Vars (@RegionSkies) and Chelle (@BlissfulChelle), who will speak of their own experience within the LGBTQ+ community throughout the years. We will discuss with them what was once Section 28 in the UK, what it was like to be an active member of the community in the 70’s and 80’s, have a brief introduction to the history of the Stonewall riots and announce the beginning of our collaboration with your fantastic magazine.
If today we can get ready and excited in a lot of places in the world to celebrate the month of Pride, it’s, in part, because of the courage of a few queer folks that decided they would not take the injustice anymore. What happened on that morning of June 28, 1969 in NYC would forever change queer history and be known today as the Stonewall riots. If that historical event wasn’t the starting point of the gay rights movement per say, it was without a doubt what led to many queer rights organizations still active today and why I wanted to do a brief introduction about this important moment on our podcast.
If this uprising brought hope after successfully influencing the laws surrounding homosexuality in the US, a similar wind of change had just happened a couple of years before in 1967, when homosexuality was decriminalized in the UK. However, the rise of HIV and AIDS at the beginning of the 80’s, combined to the first recorded victims being gay men, only further stigmatized the community that was now associated with the disease. The progress for the community’s rights and freedoms achieved by the Stonewall riots was now being threatened.
Not even 20 years after the Stonewall riots, Section 28 (or Clause 28) was adopted in England, Scotland, and Wales. Section 28 was a legislative designation for a series of laws that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities. It caused many organizations such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender student support groups to close, limit their activities or self-censor. Section 28 remained in effect from the late 1980s until 2000 in Scotland and 2003 in England and Wales. We will have the honor of discussing this important topic with one of our guests that experienced living under these laws as a UK resident, member of the community and activist.
We will also hear our two guests’ testimonies on their own coming out and how they came into our fandom. Making this special episode was really important to all of us, not only because we believe that our favorite boys are being closeted and that we need to keep fighting and be vocal not only for them, but for all the people whose voices are being silenced, but because we believe that freedom is not to be taken lightly. We are facing uncertain times right now in places in the world where we thought our rights and freedoms would never be threatened and are reminded that staying silent is not an option.
We dedicate our June 2nd episode of The Larry Weekly to all our brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings of hearts that fought for our rights and freedoms that we have today and promise to always have the same courage to stand for what is right. Love is love.