#WeAreEverywhere Exhibition Featuring The Independent’s Historic LGBTQ+ Photo Archive

  • The partnership between The Independent, Outernet and Pride in London pays tribute to London’s changemakers 
  • Launches to the public at 12pm Wednesday 12 June


Resurfaced imagery from The Independent’s extensive archive of LGBTQ+ changemakers will be exhibited at Outernet London in partnership with Pride in London. The photographs will go on display from 12.00pm Wednesday 12 June.

The free exhibition on Outernet’s screens draws attention to Pride in London’s 2024 theme: #WeAreEverywhere. Its aim is to shine a light on the presence of London’s LGBTQ+ community, and the impact of living without apology.

The importance and power of existing authentically has been interwoven with London’s story.  And this exclusive exhibition showcases individuals and groups who have laid the foundations for London’s LGBTQ+ community today through being themselves — and hopes to inspire people to keep fighting.

The Independent’s archive features powerful imagery of LGBTQ+ changemakers in the capital, dating back to the 80s. It is the first time The Independent has had a physical exhibition of its LGBTQ+ photo collection. Many of the images have not been seen or shared since their original publishing. There are also previously unpublished images from Independent photographers that viewers can look forward to experiencing throughout June. 

Key periods in LGBTQ+ activism are documented, such as the fight against Clause 28, the campaign to lower the age of consent and the gay pride demonstrations of the 1990s. 

Photographs include:

Afro-Caribbean gay club in Soho, London, December 1994. This image was commissioned for an article exploring the black LGBT+ community and the “changing face of London clubland” in 1994. Photo by Kalpesh Lathigra.

Drag artist Ruby Venezuela performing in Soho, 7 August 1995. Ruby Venezuela began their career in Plymouth and found success in cabaret and on the drag circuit. Venezuela is best known for hosting shows at Madame Jo Jo’s in Soho during the 1980s and 1990s. Ruby also supported AIDSMemoryUK and worked to raise funds for AIDS hospices and homelessness. Photo by David Sandison.

Members of The Lesbian Avengers at their Holborn HQ, 2 July 1995. The Lesbian Avengers were a lesbian protest group that staged a series of high-profile, highly visible protests. Photo by Tiddy Maitland-Titterton.

Protesters call for the age of consent for gay men to be lowered to 16, in line with heterosexuals, 22 February 1994. This demonstration was organised by OutRage!, a gay rights group formed in 1990 in response to increasing violence against the gay community, as well as rampant persecution of innocent gay men by the police force. Photo by Philip Meech.

Last year, Pride in London joined forces with Outernet for the first time, showcasing a 360-degree immersive exhibition titled London is Pride, which was soundtracked by DJ sets from ABSOLUTE., Jaguar, and Raven Mandella, and displayed a range of photography, graphics, flyers and posters from across the queer dance music history of the UK. This Pride Month, it will be filling Outernet with exhibitions, iconic artwork and LGBTQ+ content.

Meanwhile, The Independent has partnered with Pride in London since 2022, and the exhibition announcement follows the unveiling of its Pride List 2024. Additionally, earlier this year The Independent collaborated with Outernet on an acclaimed project for International Women’s Day to raise much needed funds for Refuge.

Outernet London is the most visited cultural attraction in the UK and home to the most advanced screens in the world.

Tim Noblett, Director of Marketing Pride in London, says: “We Are Everywhere, Pride in London’s 2024 campaign is a celebration of London’s LGBTQ+ community and their power to make change simply by living authentically and unapologetically. A reminder of the important role queer Londoners play in this great city, at this critical time with the community is used for political gain by both major parties. Working with The Independent and Outernet we have the chance to tell the stories of those LGBTQ+ Londoners that have stood before us and helped changed London and our lives.”

Amy Smirk, Distribution and Library Executive at The Independent comments: “We’re delighted to be bringing some of The Independent’s LGBTQ+ archive to public exhibition for the first time to highlight the ordinary individuals (and some well known faces) that inspire others through authenticity and extraordinary action.

These photographs underscore the vast and rich history of the community, chronicling the ongoing fight for acceptance and visibility. We’re enormously proud of our library, and feel honoured to have documented such critically important moments. The exhibition seeks to pay tribute to how far we’ve come, and dares us to dream of how much more can be achieved if we keep up the fight for equality.”

Geordie Greig, Editor-in-Chief at The Independent, says: “This is a great initiative by The Independent to shine a light on  LGBTQ+ changemakers over the past 40 years. This follows The Independent’s Pride List 2024, which honours those who make impact in society today. We’re pleased to be working with Pride in London and Outernet, and look forward to showcasing these stand-out images. The Independent is proud to be showcasing those who initiate change and demonstrate courage.”

Scott Neal, Creative Director of Culture and Lifestyle at Outernet London, says: “Outernet sits at the heart of London’s Soho which has huge cultural and historical significance for the LGBTQ+ community and we are continually proud to celebrate the community with an inclusive space for everyone 365 days a year. 

It’s a privilege to be able to partner with The Independent and Pride in London as part of this campaign, showcasing how change has been achieved through ordinary people pulling together to do extraordinary things often in the face of great adversity. What a message We Are Everywhere delivers and what a way to do it on the screens at Outernet.”

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