Tuesday 13th October marked 50 years since the founding of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in the UK, a pivotal moment for gay rights in British history and arguably the founding moment of the modern movement.
In recognition of this significant anniversary for the LGBTQ+ community, Clear Channel, partnered again with internationally renowned French artist Martin Firrell to offer free digital billboard space nationally for three new artworks. The series is based on an original placard carried by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, a former prominent member of the GLF, which expressed LGBT+ rebellion against “straight supremacism”.
After it was founded at the London School of Economics 1970, the GLF organised the first openly public demonstration by LGBT+ people in the UK and the first Gay Pride March in 1972. The ‘Still Revolting’ artwork series uses a clever play on the epithet that homophobes often uttered: “Homosexuals are revolting!” This reflected the attitude that homosexuality was regarded as disgusting. It was reclaimed by LGBT+ activists in the GLF to signify that they were revolting against prejudice and inequality – and they still are in 2020.
Martin Firrell said, “Continuing my partnership with Clear Channel has enabled me to create these large-scale works of public art about LGBT+ history. When you acknowledge the history of any minority group publicly, you affirm its value. The GLF put LGBT+ rights on the public agenda and transformed LGBT+ consciousness, from shame to pride and defiance. Fifty years later this work reiterates the significance of that moment in our history.”
“As a campaigner for LGBT+ rights for over 50 years, I know the importance of continuing to revolt against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia,” commented Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Foundation,
“The Gay Liberation Front marked the beginning of the modern LGBT+ rights movement in the UK and its key civil rights demands continue to be the agenda of today’s LGBT+ movement. GLF sparked a struggle that has uplifted the lives of millions of LGBT+ people.”
Clear Channel’s Head of Europe, Justin Cochrane, said, “We are proud to support this intelligent re-imagining of the original work as part of our ongoing commitment to support the LGBTQ+ community. By using Out of Home as a public art gallery, we hope these artworks will serve as a catalyst to keep diversity and inclusion high on the national agenda.”
The artworks were displayed across Clear Channel’s premium large format digital Storm sites in London, Manchester and Leeds on the 13th, and were seen by thousands of people creating a public space and raising visual awareness for important societal issues.