Revolting Gays

A new website celebrating the history of the South London Gay Community Centre and the Brixton gay squatting community of the 1970s.


A great looking website that is well worth exploring, congratulations to all involved. (Website Editor)

Source > Revolting Gays

This website is designed to act as both a ‘book’ and an archive tracing the history of the South London Gay Liberation Front, the South London Gay Community Centre and the gay squatted households in and around Railton Road during the 1970s and early 1980s. Ian Townson, one of the original gay squatters, has spent many years recording, collecting and writing up material for this history. His personal recollections and interpretation of those of many others prompted him to reflect on the political and social struggles of the time and their relevance to contemporary LGBT+ liberation politics. All expressed through the use of many photographs and other materials which have now been deposited at the Bishopsgate Institute as a valuable resource for future research.

L-R: Ian Townson, Colin Lievens, Joe Lawn

As well as this history Ian also conducts the Queer Walking Tour of Brixton to bring that gay past to life through the ghostly presence of a once radical Brixton. The demolished buildings, or those used differently as gentrification continues apace, demonstrate how subdued that onetime militancy has become in an era of bewildering rapid social and political changes with the forces of conservatism and the far right gaining the upper hand.

Joe Lawn and Colin Lievens are from a younger generation of queers who met Ian through his shared materials and activism. Their involvement in building the website was prompted by the desire to make this fascinating period in LGBT+ history accessible to a much wider audience.

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