Tonight I was in the front row, cheering a fantastic musical evening in Finsbury Library.
We had Schubert lieder, Benjamin Britten songs and show tunes from William Sauerland with Erik Dippenaar. Then an unforgettable performance from the Pink Singers, who delivered two medleys – Bond songs and Tamla Motown – with unique style.
The event was the gala finish to LGBT History Month here in Islington, which is, as one of the speakers reminded us, the queerest borough in London.
Islington is home to London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard and Stonewall Housing (the latter based just down the corridor from Islington Lib Dems at Leroy House), and elected the first out gay MP, Chris Smith.
The first gay rights demo, triggered by the arrest of Young Liberal Louis Eakes, took place on Highbury Fields in 1970 (I attended the 30th anniversary event in 2000). More recently, Lib-Dem-led Islington Council has fought and won the argument that all citizens are entitled to be served equally by the council registrars; and has been recognised by Stonewall as a top employer. Our schools are helping fight homophobic bullying.
Some people are still on the offensive against LGBT History Month. They are wrong. To spend 4 short weeks a year celebrating gay and lesbian lives enriches our culture, celebrates freedom and diversity, and is good for everyone.