‘Drag nuns on the 55 bus’: Special tours to uncover Hackney’s LGBT+ history

A flyer for the Queer Tours of Hackney. Image: QTL

Tour guides will this month take people on a journey through Hackney’s “rich and diverse” LGBTQI+ history as part of the council’s ongoing Pride 365 festival.

Queer Tours of London (QTL) will conduct two interactive walks of the borough which will “shed light on the lives, spaces, identities, repression and resistance that form the backdrop of LGBTQI+ life today”.

The first tour is tomorrow and the second on 30 June, with both starting at 4pm outside Stoke Newington Town Hall.

A teaser for the events hints at the stories of “drag nuns on the 55 bus, the grave of a Drag King and a gay cabaret during the Blitz”.

The tours have been organised as part of Hackney Council’s Pride 365 festival – a year-long celebration to increase LGBTQI+ visibility and immortalise the community’s often unrecorded history in the borough.

QTL guide Dan de la Motte, who will lead the tours alongside colleague Nell James Grace, said: “When people think of LGBT and Queer history in our capital they may think of Soho, and rightly so, yet it is this borough that has such a rich and diverse story to tell.

“A history that is witty, poignant, powerful and personal. I can’t wait to bring it back to life for Queer Tours of London.”

Dan Glass, who co-founded QTL, said: “We are based in Hackney, the history of queer life here is extremely rich.

“The tours for Hackney Pride 365 will cover history from arts, activism, sass, cabaret, resistance, oppression and much more from the people who were there at the time and have changed the course of Hackney history.”

QTL suggests a donation of £10 per ticket for the fully accessible, two-hour tours. People can book now on Outsavvy.

For more information about QTL, please visit queertoursoflondon.com

To find out more about Pride 365, please take a look at the council’s LGBT page

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