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July marks the latter half of this summer’s celebration of Pride across the globe and sees London’s very own Pride parade taking place this weekend, the 7th of July. So as part of the celebrations, we wanted our area of the month to reflect London’s LGBTQ+ history and where better than Soho! One of the most foremost cultural hubs of Londinium that acts as a melting pot of fashion, theatre and all round hedonism, Soho is the only area to be this July. Whether it’s gay bars, tapas, the square or the theatre, Soho can fulfil every desire and a night there can result in more than Six Stories for your Insta.

 

Soho Square is and will always be the premier green space to share a few tinnies in the interim between failing to shop on Oxford Street and watching a one-woman show at Soho. But Soho Square was originally laid out by Henry the fucking 8th so you can imagine the one woman shows back then would have been a lot different, with varying degrees of head! Soho is home to other infamous spots other than the square, including the notorious Old Compton Street which has been the main focal point for London's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in central London for bare time; it features several gay bars, restaurants and cafés. But it's not all been fine and dandy in Soho; in 1999, the Admiral Duncan pub was the site of a nail bomb attack which killed three people and injured over a dozen. David Copeland, A neo-nazi, was subsequently found guilty of the bombing (intended specifically to injure members of the gay community). The Admiral Duncan re-opened with a flamboyant pink and purple exterior with a large rainbow flag flying outside as a symbol of gay pride. The flag has remained there ever since, in defiance of Westminster City Council's planning permission laws. This kind of defiance runs deep through the veins of Soho; its a place of rebellion an escapism:

 

So remember Us, alone walking through the crepuscule of Soho, discussing the role of theatre  

And try to forgive my role in the past three week's production which, judging from the reviews was less than three stars.

I think the role I’d taken was doomed like the Salesman, not least because you’re no longer buying it.

If these scenes don’t teach me anything, at least it will serve as an anatomy of my suicide,

 

 

 

 

The kind of defiance will be key this month as July also marks the first official state visit of President Trump, someone who obviously does not gel with the kind of morals that Soho has become so well known for. Because on top of the Pride Parade the streets of central London will also be hosting a bold and diverse carnival of resistance to send a clear message to Donald Trump. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate the strong resistance here to the heinous policies of Trump’s administration. Not only that; it's a platform to build a loud, intersectional anti-racism and pro-migrant rights movement in the UK that will not shy away from naming fascists for what they are, and will not whitewash the politics of hate, racism and misogyny.

So again, stay tuned for stories of Pride, theatre and sex as we try to reflect all aspects of Soho, that will forever answer the question So? Ho!

 

 
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Ronan Smith
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