List of speakers at SLG meetings

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This is a list of the speakers at SLG (South London Gays) meetings.[1]

South London Gays have been holding meetings almost every month since the group was founded in 1995.


  • September 1995: Terry Sanderson on “Media Watch”, also the title of his latest book.
  • October 1995: Peter Tatchell led a discussion on the theme “Equal Rights are not enough; assimilation versus emancipation”.


  • February 1996: Keith Flett from the Socialist Workers Party on Progress towards Gay Liberation.
  • April 1996: Mark Watson from Stonewall spoke about their immigration campaign.
  • May 1996: Members of the Western Buddhist Order spoke on Buddhism.
  • June 1996: John Randall on “The Formation of Sexuality”.
  • August 1996: SLG member Tony Somerton on “Gay History – Pioneers and Heroes”.
  • September 1996: John Bratherton on “Life as a Male Prostitute”.




  • January 1999: Peter Tatchell on a new approach to straight and queer liberation.
  • February 1999: Two representatives from Streetwise Youth on its role as a support organisation for male prostitutes.
  • March 1999: Two speakers spoke about DELGA (the Lib-Dem lesbian and gay group).
  • May 1999: Alistair Pegg, editor of the Pink Paper, on the role of the gay press.
  • June 1999: Terry Sanderson led a discussion about gay attitudes to religion.
  • July 1999: Dennis Candy from the Western Buddhist Order on Buddhism and Sexuality.
  • September 1999: Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, on gay rights and other issues in Parliament.
  • October 1999: Psychotherapist Abé Duré on 'Sex addiction – the Secret Condition'.
  • November 1999: Liza Dresner on The Food Chain – Feeding the fight against HIV and AIDS.
  • December 1999: Peter Robins reminisced about his long career in BBC current affairs.




  • January 2002: Malcolm Reece from the National Secular Society.
  • February 2002: Michael Brown on an overview of recent gay history.
  • March 2002: Joan Smith of the Independent on 'Sexuality and Human Rights'.
  • April 2002: Graham Parker, author of Gay and Lesbian London.
  • May 2002: Rabbi James Baaden on ‘The Pleasures of Diversity’ - a rabbi’s life in South London.
  • June 2002: Tony Somerton on 'Tangier in its Heyday' - a gay perspective of Tangier between 1920 and 1960.
  • July 2002: Dennis Candy on 'Spirituality and Sexuality'.
  • September 2002: Darren Johnson, Leader of the Green Party group on the Greater London Assembly.
  • October 2002: Terry Sanderson, the Gay Times columnist, showed a video and led a discussion on ‘50 Years of Gay Liberation’.


  • January 2003: Richard Cole from SM Gays on ‘SM - What’s it all about’
  • March 2003: Derek Lennard, chair of the Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association, on Mark Twain and Religion.
  • May 2003: Roger Burg and Ross Burgess on Partnership Registration.
  • June 2003: Clive Roberts, accompanied by a model from Thailand, talked about ‘Making Euroboy Films’ and showed excerpts from several Euroboy DVDs to demonstrate film techniques.
  • July 2003: Tackling Homophobic Crime’ was the title of a talk by PC Andy Hewlett in which he explained a new initiative by the Metropolitan Police
  • September 2003: Ben Summerskill, newly appointed Chief Executive of Stonewall, on 'Stonewall - the Way Forward’.
  • November 2003: Dr Peter Ball from Norm-UK on the sexual health of gay men.
  • December 2003: Rex Batten recalled gay life in London in the 1950’s in his talk called “Coronation Cottaging“.



  • January 2005: Jeremy Marks on the Courage Movement for gay evangelical Christians
  • February 2005: Perry Savill and Neil Cooper on the history and current work of London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard.
  • March 2005: Writer and broadcaster Ray Gosling on men still being put in prison for being gay.
  • April 2005: Author Peter Robins on “Gay Life in Colonial Africa”.
  • May 2005: Andrew Barrow, author of Quentin and Philip, on “Quentin Crisp - the Life and Times”.
  • June 2005: Marcus Gottlieb on the problems faced by gay men who have been to boarding school.
  • July 2005: SLG member Bill Boyd discussed with personal experiences how being gay can change people’s lives.
  • September 2005: Adam Clark on Life Coaching.
  • November 2005: Brett Lock of Outrage! on its major campaigns both past and present.
  • December 2005: speakers from the THT/LADS Project.



  • January 2007: Jason Pollock, Chief Executive of Pride London on organising this major event.
  • February 2007: Rev Don Mader from the Pauluskerk, Rotterdam, on the contribution of the Uranians to homosexual liberation (part of the SLG/SLAGO contribution to LGBT History Month.)
  • March 2007: Rev Colin Coward of the Changing Attitude Trust re-visited to give an update on the struggle for LGBT acceptance in the Anglican Communion.
  • April 2007: Dax Ashworth from Southwark LGBT Network on gay people are getting actively involved in their local communities.
  • May 2007: SLG member Tony Somerton on “A History of Gay Groups”.
  • June 2007: Ian Stewart and Jeff Doorn on the gay publishers, Paradise Press.
  • July 2007: Bill Boyd followed on from his previous talks to discuss with personal experiences how being gay can change people’s lives.
  • September, 2007: Professor Jeffrey Weeks of London Southbank University spoke on gay progress over the last 50 years and introduced his new book The World We Have Won.
  • November 2007: Terry Sanderson on the current state of gay rights, both in the UK and internationally.
  • December 2007: Paul Burston read extracts from his latest novel, Lovers and Losers.


  • January 2008: Ted Brown on Gay and Religious Activisms.
  • February 2008: Emmanuel Cooper provided a perspective on gay and queer art of the last 100 years.
  • April 2008: Rev Jean White on the history and aims of the Metropolitan Community Church.
  • May 2008: Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council on how local councils can support their gay population.
  • June 2008: Simon Casson from Duckie on The Club Scene Today.
  • July 2008: Michael Brown (of North London) talked about the Pioneers of Gay Campaigning.
  • September 2008: Eren Bessim the new police LGBT and Hate Crime Coordinator on how to make Lambeth a safer place for gay people.
  • November 2008: Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill on the achievements of the five years since he last visited.


  • January 2009: David Hoyle (Divine David) on his life as a performance artist.
  • February 2009: Stephen Bourne compared his success as an historian of black Britain with his work documenting gays and lesbians in the media.
  • March 2009: Workers from the Albert Kennedy Trust on their role supporting young people who are homeless or living in a threatening environment.
  • April 2009: Gay poet, writer and new SLG member Ivor Treby shared reminiscences of sailors and the sea.
  • May 2009: Chuka Umunna, the Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Streatham on ”Forward with Labour?”.
  • June 2009: Paul Burston read extracts from his novel The Gay Divorcee.
  • July 2009: Historian Jeffrey Weeks traced the nature of change over the last 50 years and John Matherson represented Rex Batten (who could not attend through illness) to read extracts from Rex's book Rid England of this Plague.
  • September 2009: Writer and broadcaster Ray Gosling made a return visit to provide an update on recent court cases of men being prosecuted for being gay.
  • December 2009: Chris Nicholson, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Streatham, outlined how the Liberal Democrats would change Britain.


  • January 2010: MEP Michael Cashman on the current situation on LGBT rights in the European Union and on the work of the European Parliament to enhance legal protection.
  • February 2010: Author Jim Herrick on the influence of Humanism in the development of LGBT assertiveness and in fostering wider social change.
  • March 2010: Rahoul Bhansali the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Streatham, on the aims and plans of a future Conservative government.
  • May 2010: Keith Silvester from Pink Therapy on its work in promoting good mental health in the gay community.
  • June 2010: Professor Richard Dyer of King's College London on "Gays in Film Noir", a light-hearted look at lesbians and gay men in Hollywood crime films.
  • July 2010: Michael May from Survivors UK on the help and support provided for men who have been sexually violated.
  • September 2010: Tony Walton on his new book Out of the Shadows on the history of the pioneering London gay groups and organisations, 1967–2000.
  • November 2010 Dr Stephen Farrier of the University of London Central School of Speech and Drama on the evolution of Queer Theatre and its reflection of contemporary gay life.
  • December 2010: Dr Matt Cook, senior lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, on homosexual life and culture in the London of the 1890s.


  • January 2011: Darren Johnson, Green Party member of the Greater London Assembly on the impact of the Greens in working for a greener and fairer city.
  • February, 2011: Students from the Central School of Speech and Drama on the experiences and differences of growing up gay in the 1950s and 60s compared with today (as part of their Oral Gay History project),
  • March 2011: SLAGO quiz, with questions provided by the London Monday Group.
  • April 2011: David Bridle, Managing Director of Boyz, on the past 20 years of the magazine (launched June 1991) and about the changing gay publishing market in the UK.
  • May 2011: Rev Bob Callaghan vicar of St John’s Waterloo on the Inclusive Church group within the Anglican Church.
  • June 2011: Peter Scott-Presland performed his show “40 Years a Queen”.
  • July 2011: Mark McLellan, the new Lewisham Police LGBT Liaison Officer on “Hate Crime in Lewisham”.
  • September 2011: Derek Lennard from the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association on the life and influence of 19th century American freethinker, Robert Ingersoll.
  • November 2011: Joan Smith of The Independent on how human rights apply to women and gay men.
  • December 2011: Ivor C Treby reminisced about his life and read a new selection of his published writings.


  • January 2012: Members of SM Gays on their group.
  • February 2012: Bill Thornycroft on his personal experiences of the South London Gay Liberation Front.
  • March 2012: SLAGO Quiz
  • April 2012: Tony Walton on the latest book he has edited, called Up the Kasbah, which gives the memories and adventures of gay expats to Tangier, Tunisia and Algeria, 1890 to 1980.
  • May 2012: Psychiatrist and criminologist Professor Donald West read from his newly published autobiography Gay Life, Straight Work.
  • June 2012: James Taylor from Stonewall on their research into the needs of older gay people.
  • July 2012: Jeremy Marks on the Courage movement for gay evangelical Christians which has changed its ministry from ‘cure’ to acceptance.
  • September 2012: Stephen McKenna gave a talk and photographic presentation on the life and work of three of the most influential British photographers: Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson and Brian Duffy.
  • November 2012: Sir Stephen Wall, a former diplomat, on the Foreign Office from the 60s, when gay men and women were excluded, to today where the FCO is a Stonewall top 100 employer.
  • December 2012: Petra Davis of the Albert Kennedy Trust on their role in helping young LGBT people who are made homeless or living in a hostile environment.


  • January 2013: Vinyl Closet (Ted Brown, Brett Lock and Chris Houston) provided an evening of music and chat, exploring the LGBT influence on popular music from the blues to glam rock.
  • February 2013: Stephen McKenna on Lately Gay, his community website for older bi and gay men, who have come out in their middle or later years. He also recounted his own personal journey and his efforts to offer a voice to those who, at a time of great challenge in their lives, may feel neglected by the gay mainstream.
  • March 2013: SLAGO Quiz
  • May 2013: Author and journalist Neil McKenna on his latest book Fanny and Stella, the Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England, the true story of Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park, two young Victorian cross-dressers arrested in drag in 1870' whose trial captured the attention of the world.
  • June 2013: Dr Matt Cook, senior lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London on shifts and ruptures in London's gay life since the war.
  • July 2013: Members of The Quest organisation on their work promoting greater self awareness and understanding among gay men and introducing their book, Love Me As I Am: Gay Men Reflect On Their Lives.
  • September 2013: A team from University College London talked about their research exploring the social and cultural significance of cinema-going in the 1960s.
  • November 2013: Agadir to my HeartTony Walton talked about his latest book, describing the adventures and antics of gay travellers to south Morocco from the late 1960s (at least four SLG members had contributed to it).
  • December 2013: John Carter with a personal look at the important and insightful book The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing up Gay in a Straight Man's World by US psychotherapist Alan Downs.


  • January 2014: Sex Addiction: Fact or Fantasy? Our speaker described what it is like to be a sex addict and how a twelve-step self-help programme is helping him to recover.
  • February 2014: John Dixon read a selection from over 60 of Ivor Treby's poems, which remained unpublished when he died. The evening included reminiscences from friends and recordings of Ivor reading his own work.
  • March 2014: SLAGO Quiz.
  • April 2014: Michael Salter, Chair of LGBT+Pride in London talked about organising this major event, its role and purpose (both past and present), and likely future developments.
  • May 2014: Members of Lambeth Volunteer Centre explained the opportunities and benefits of Community Volunteering.
  • June 2014: Brian Robinson, programmer, BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival talked about the history of LGBT cinema at the BFI, how the festival works and shared some of his personal highlights of over a quarter of a century working for the BFI.
  • July 2014: A speaker from Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG) on the support they provide and the issues which arise.
  • September 2014: Journalist Patrick Strudwick on his investigation of conversion therapists who claim to "cure" people of being gay.
  • December 2014: Stephen McKenna from the Gay Photographers Network talked about the challenges of preserving his family's photographic archive and the surprises uncovered by researching family history.



  • January 2016: Punch and Times theatre critic Jeremy Kingston talked about his lifetime involvement with the theatre.
  • February 2016: Writer and social historian Stephen Bourne spoke about some of the gay men who helped Britain win the Second World War
  • March 2016: Members of the African LGBTI organisation Out and Proud Diamond Group outlined the enormous problems faced by LGBT people in Africa, particularly Uganda and Nigeria (and also difficulties encountered in the UK).
  • April 2016: SLAGO Quiz.
  • May 2016: SLG member Tony Walton talked about his new writing project, Gay Life in the 1920s.
  • June 2016: SLG member Ross Burgess described progress on the LGBT Archive, the online encyclopaedia of British LGBT life throughout the ages.
  • July 2016: Professor Rainer Schulze from Essex University spoke about the Nazi persecution of gay men.
  • September 2016: Author and campaigner Terry Sanderson presented his new book, Adventures of a Happy Homosexual, recounting his experiences of gay life in Britain over the past 40 years.
  • November 2016: Professor Jeffrey Weeks talked about gay life, past and present, with reference to the publication of a revised and updated version of his classic book Coming Out.
  • December 2016: Broadcaster and photographer, Stephen McKenna made a return visit to SLG with a talk in which he profiled his first steps in film making and his short form historic documentary strand, A Quiet Corner.


  • March 2017: SLAGO Quiz.
  • April 2017: Members from London Leathermen talked about the aims, activities and events of the gay leather communities in the UK and abroad.
  • May 2017: Author and campaigner Andrew Lumsden introduced his forthcoming book "Henry Labouchere and the Sodomites".
  • June 2017 Talking therapies: Psychotherapist Andrew Goode described how greater self awareness and insight can free us of problems and anxieties.
  • July 2017 Chris Park from the Merton LGBT Forum traced UK law on same sex behaviour (mostly male-male) from 1533 to the present day.
  • September 2017: Speakers from Paradise Press gave readings from their recently published anthology, A Boxful of Ideas.
  • November 2017: John Carter reviewed the life and work of gay French writer, Jean Genet.


  • January 2018: Dan Wye and members of The LOUMGAIR Collective discussed the development of their theatre production exploring issues of self-worth, mental health difficulties faced by the LGBTQ community and the growing recognition of 'toxic masculinity'.
  • February 2018: Lord Alfred Douglas: “Alfred Bruce Douglas, you are charged that between 1891 and 1900 you did wilfully cause the physical, artistic and psychological murder of Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, author and gay liberation pioneer; and further, that you did conspire to contrive the death of his first and greatest lover, Robert Baldwin Ross, critic and gay liberation pioneer, between 1905 and 1918.” For the prosecution: Peter Scott-Presland; for the defence: Andrew Lumsden, QC. We were the jury.
  • March 2018: SLAGO Quiz
  • April 2018: Maaike Palmier-Claus from the Alzheimer's Society described the symptoms of dementia and talks about the support available for those affected and their family and friends.
  • May 2018: Stuart Feather described his personal experience of the Gay Liberation Front in London 1970–74.
  • June 2018: Looking Up... staying curious! Chris Barlow presented Outings in Art Plus.
  • July 2018: Suleika: Fragments of a Transgender Life: Rainer Schulze, Professor of History at the University of Essex, attempted to reconstruct the forgotten life of Suleika Aldini, a transgender cabaret artist in West Germany in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, made all the more poignant by the fact that Suleika was a Roma child survivor of the Holocaust.
  • September 2018: John Carter asked how much is the challenging gay playwright Joe Orton already fading from cultural consciousness and what his legacy will be.
  • November 2018: ;David Stuart, Curator of the ;Dean Street Wellbeing programme, defined ChemSex and its effects, explained the major risks it poses to gay communities and focused on ways of reducing the damage it causes.
  • December 2018: Tony Porter gave a personal account of Growing Up Gay – from the 1970s onwards.


  • January 2019: Nick de Jongh, Guardian arts writer and Evening Standardchief theatre critic, talked about his involvement with the theatre and the writing of his plays and books.
  • February 2019 : Peter Scott-Presland charted the story of the great battles around the issues of sex education from Victorian times to 1970.
  • March 2019: SLAGO Quiz
  • April 2019: A researcher from Kings College London talked about a new project looking into the experiences and preferences of LGBT+ people with serious illness when in communication with health and social care professionals.
  • May 2019: Tash Fardousi shared her experiences of living as a gay/bi woman in Bangladesh and talked about the hostility and prejudice faced by its LGBT community.
  • June 2019: Peter Scott-Presland gave part two of his talk on sex education which took up the story from 1970 and focused on the battle for LGBT groups to get positive images into schools.
  • July 2019 : Chris Park from the Sutton LGBTQ+ Forum looked at the origins, influence and usage of Polari slang, particularly among gay men up to the 1960s.
  • September 2019: Matthew Todd, journalist and former editor of Attitude magazine, talked about his recent book Pride: the story of the LGBT+ Equality Movement which documents the milestones in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and draws on the personal testimonies of key figures in the struggle.
  • November 2019: Members of the African LGBTI organisation Out and Proud Diamond Group updated us on the discrimination and persecution faced by LGBT people in Africa.
  • December 2019: Amnesty International activist Hugh Sandeman outlined the origin and development of this worldwide human rights organisation and described several of its current campaigns, particularly in North Africa.


  • January 2020: LG member Tony Walton reprised his book Out of the Shadows on the history of the pioneering London gay groups and organisations, 1967–2000.
  • February 2020: Peter Scott-Presland told the story of the highlights and lowlights of Consenting Adults in Public (which he founded) which was one of the leading Lesbian and Gay Theatre Companies in England from 1979 to 1988.
  • March 2020: Conal McStravick spoke on the cultural legacy of Stuart Marshall (1949–1993), drawing on his television work and his role in developing new kinds of LGBT+ Cultural activism, particularly in the context of the global AIDS pandemic.
  • April 2020 to September 2021: Meetings cancelled due to Coronavirus.


  • November 2021: A Retired District Judge described some of the extraordinary people and situations he encountered during 42 years of legal practice as a barrister and judge


  • February 2022: Jeffrey Weeks, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at London Southbank University and author of many books on LGBTQ+ history and queer life, read excerpts from his recently published memoir, Between Worlds: A Queer Boy from the Valleys.
  • March 2022: Author and campaigner Andrew Lumsden describes how one member of the wealthy Labouchere banking family did E. M. Forster a very good turn while another, Henry Labouchere MP, did him great harm by authoring the Labouchere Amendment in 1885 criminalising any sexual move by one man towards another.
  • April 2022:SLG member David reminisces about his brush with the law in1986 regarding an "incident" near Kennington tube.
  • May 2022: QUIZ: Special guest appearance of Quizmeister Extraordinaire Peter Scott-Presland who, way back in the mists of time, set The Capital Quiz.
  • June 2022: Daniel, a long-time SLG member, gave an autobiographical talk covering his upbringing, many years in the closet, and later life as an out gay man.
  • July 2022: Discussion on a paper written by Peter Tatchell entitled "The Future is Bisexual. Get over it!"
  • September 2022: Gay History: Stephen Bourne, writer, film and social historian, talked about his gay history books - Brief Encounters (1996), Fighting Proud (2017) and Playing Gay in the Golden Age of Television (2019).
  • November 2022: Through Science Toward Justice: Rainer Schulze (Emeritus Professor at the University of Essex) spoke about the life of the German-Jewish physician and sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868 - 1935), his battles for LGBTQ+ rights during the German Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic and his legacy after 1945.
  • December 2022: Black and White Men Together: SLG member David Warner presented a personal look at the relationships between gay and bisexual men of different races since the 1970s in Britain and the USA.


  • January 2023: First Brick Housing: Clare Truscott described this community-led project with the aim of providing homes where LGBTQ+ people can live safely, joyfully and free from social oppression.
  • February 2023: Rainbow Plaque Project: David Robson and Laura Harford from Studio Voltaire talked about a new scheme to mark places round the country which are significant to LGBT+ history.
  • March 2023: Tales from the Colony Room: Artist and writer Darren Coffield presented his new book comprising the definitive history of London's most notorious drinking den, the Colony Room Club in Soho and its role in the post-war scene for 60 years.
  • April 2023: A Gay Century, Volumes 1 & 2: Peter Scott-Presland presented his recently published collection of playlets featuring "17 Unreliable Vignettes of Gay Life, 1900-2001, plus A Bit on the Side." All gay life is here – famous, infamous, known and unknown.
  • May 2023: Brixton Gay Community in the 1970s: Ian Townson from Queer Wandsworth provided a comprehensive picture of a radical era in gay liberation, illustrated with a slide show of about 60 photographs from the time.
  • June 2023: Queer Premises: Ben Campkin, Professor of Urbanism and Urban History at The Bartlett School of Architecture and Co-Director, UCL Urban Laboratory spoke from his new book about the creation, sustenance and closure of LGBTQ venues in London, from the 1980s to today.
  • July 2023: Married Women who desire Women: Ellen Durban from University College London described her research into the life experiences and treatment of women who realise their sexual desire for women before, during or after their marriage to men.
  • September 2023: Appalling People: Joseph, a Retired District Judge, made a return visit to describe some of the most horrible people he has ever come across during 42 years of legal practice.
  • November 2023: Remembering Mrs Shufflewick: Artist and writer Darren Coffield looked at the life and career of comedian and female impersonator Rex Jameson, best known for his stage persona - Mrs Shufflewick.


  • January 2024:My Journey to Acceptance: Woosh Raza, a director of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, described his personal journey as a first generation British Pakistani towards accepting and affirming both his heritage and his identity as a gay man.
  • February 2024: LGBTQ Social Health: Researchers from Brunel University introduced their new project examining the changing life experiences of older LGBTQ people regarding their social wellbeing and their relationships with others.
  • May 2024: Lost Places: Jeff Doorn, Peter Scott-Presland and other members of the Gay Authors’ Workshop will be reading from their new anthology, recalling places which hold special significance in our lives, places which often have disappeared, remaining only in our memories.
  • June 2024: Courage to Be: Organised Gay Youth in England: Dr Clifford Williams talks about growing up as a gay teenager in the London Borough of Sutton, and the research he recently conducted into the early gay youth groups, including the London Gay Teenage Group, which he first attended in 1978.

See also


  1. "Past speakers" page on the SLG website. archived by WebCite® at 4 October 2016.