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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Summer 2019 > TO PRIDE with love

TO PRIDE with love

Photography Francisco Gomez de Villaboa

Photography assistants Elena Molina, Luxxxer, Pedro Fernandez, Morgana Andrade and Martina Cerri

Make up/grooming Kristopher Smith, Shamirah Sairally

To elebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, which kick-started the Pride movement around the world, Attitude is proud to present a special series profiling over 50 beautiful and radiant LGBTQ people, and our allies, from the worlds of music, books, cabaret and beyond. All star on 25 special covers to commemorate our own 25th birthday.

We asked them to share a kiss — a simple, effective display of love — for the magazine covers (see them all on p.8-9) because we are also celebrating love in all its forms: between partners, parents and their children, friends, colleagues, and in some cases complete strangers. After all, this is Pride, a show of solidarity between everyone in our broad and bold LGBTQ community

STEPHEN CLISSOLD & ANDREW LUMSDEN

Solicitor’s agent Stephen Clissold, 69, and partner Andrew Lumsden, 77, an artist, take a trip down memory lane, to the beginning of their 13-year romance and the LGBTQ movement

What do you love most about each other, and what are you particularly proud of the other for?

S: Like me, Andrew adores books, and I am proud that he [cofounded] Gay News. I used to buy it from a news stand outside Victoria Station before I even knew who Andrew was. We met in 2006, but we don’t live together, which is probably the success of us — I am impossible and so is he [laughs].

A: His voice. I’ve always fallen in love by sight, but this is the first time I fell in love by voice. The gay men’s reading group was meeting in my house, and I got a phone call, from Stephen, who’d I never met, saying, “I’m at Stockwell Tube, I’m completely lost, can you help?“ I told him I’d pick him up.

What does Pride mean to you?

S: When I started going on the marches in the late Seventies it was much more politicised. That part of it has gone, sadly. It’s OK for us [at the moment], but the pendulum could swing the other way and there are plenty of countries where we’re still being persecuted, publicly or otherwise.

A: In this country, [London] Pride came in 1972 and it was the under-21s in the Gay Liberation Front who organised it. Those young men were [technically] criminals. So, the UK’s first Pride was organised in the summer of 1972 by criminals. S: For criminals.

Andrew, were you one of the organisers of GLF?

A: I wasn’t, but I was on the first of our marches in London. I was 28. The thing that most amuses me is that there was no need for barriers. It was just a startled crowd not quite knowing [what was going on] – for most people in 1972, gay meant jolly, so this was the jolly liberation going by. But the cops knew and they turned up. One of them gave us a huge win — my first LGBTQ Met Police officer!

Do you think the younger generation of LGBTQ people are missing something because they haven’t necessarily had to fight for their rights?

A: They’re missing an education. Nobody is taught what our past is, what our international status is.

S: The other funny thing is how the words have changed, they’re coming full circle, like queer.

A: It’s wonderful. At one of the first meetings at Gay Liberation Front, an elderly gay guy said: “Until we can all be happy to call ourselves queer, we won’t even be beginning to win.“ Well, nobody wanted to be called queer for a good 35 to 40 years after that. The predictive power of just one person.

DANIEL LISMORE & LADY BUNNY

Drag legend Lady Bunny, 56, was twitching at the thought of getting her hands on artist and friend Daniel Lismore, 34

What is your mission statement?

LB: To make people laugh, dance, clap their hands and cheer. One day, I’ll achieve at least one of these.

D: Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

What do you love most about each other, and what are you particularly proud of the other for?

LB: His sweet personality, incredible looks, and sense of humour. He also forgave me for attending his swanky Miami Beach book launch and knocking over a couple of the mannequins.

D: There were 200 people there and she just said, “There’s my cue to leave,“ [laughs]. She also busted my jaw on this shoot — I can’t open my mouth! Seriously, Bunny’s pushed boundaries in the community.

What does Pride mean to you?

D: I think of those who founded it, the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people who have been fighting for us to be able to exist. The people who party on floats, waving banners to do with companies and logos, don’t make me proud. That makes me angry.

LB: Coming together and realising that, often, we like one another.

Love is…

LB: I’m not one for slogans and the popular #lovewins is one of the most meaningless slogans there is. In the US, our House of Representatives just passed an LGBTQ equality bill. I posted [about] that on social media, and it got a few shares and likes. But the article I posted right afterward about a Florida man having oral sex with an alligator was far more popular. I wonder if many gay people are aware that there’s still a struggle.

Where do you see LGBTQ rights in 50 years?

LB: I’d like to see the fight for gay rights progress to where I’m in a wheelchair at a nursing home blowing orderlies for extra enemas.

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About Attitude

Pride in Love! Celebrating 50 years since Stonewall with over 50 LGBTQ people across 25 covers for 25 years of Attitude. Starring: Jake Bass, Jodie Harsh, Drag SOS, Gok Wan, Ranj Singh, Jonny Woo, and more.