OutRage! invite you to join us in commemorating
(the Sunday before official Remembrance Sunday).
QUEER REMEMBRANCE DAY is organised by OutRage! in conjunction with other lesbian and gay groups.
Ceremony of Remembrance will commemorate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
who died fighting Nazism and who perished in the concentration camps.
This year's keynote speaker will be gay World War II army veteran and former prisoner of war Dudley Cave.
The Pink Singers will be performing again, in accordance with tradition.
Please bring pink wreaths or bouquets to lay at the Cenotaph, with any message of remembrance attached.
We want to cover the Cenotaph with pink flowers, as a public statement of lesbian and gay visibility and commemoration.
A similar commemoration last year was denounced by the British Legion as "distasteful", "offensive", and "bound to offend many former soldiers".
The Ceremony of Remembrance will conclude with a minute's silence and the laying of a pink triangle wreath at the Cenotaph.
The pink triangle was the symbol the Nazis forced homosexuals to wear in the concentration camps. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, 100,000 gay men were arrested in antigay purges during the Third Reich. Many were put into concentration camps and died.
In his keynote address, Dudley Cave will recall how being gay was no bar to military service during the second world war, and how openly gay soldiers were mostly accepted by their comrades:
"People were put in the army regardless of whether they were gay or not. There were none of the witch-hunts we have nowadays", said Cave.
"The significant contribution of gay servicemen and women during the Second World War has never been adequately acknowledged by the British Legion or by the official Remembrance Sunday ceremony", said QUEER REMEMBRANCE DAY organiser, Huw Williams of OutRage!. "Over 250,000 gay people served in the British armed forces from 1939-45. The current ban on homosexuals in the military disparages their service and sacrifice.
"We hope QUEER REMEMBRANCE DAY will raise awareness about the contribution of lesbian and gay service personnel to the defeat of Nazism, and about the hidden queer holocaust that has been largely ignored by historians."
The ceremony will also highlight the continuing mistreatment by the German government of the gay victims of Nazism:
"The German government still refuses to accept persecution on
the grounds of homosexuality as a basis for compensation payments to gay
While the work of the SS concentration camp guards is counted towards
their pension entitlement, the years spent in the camps by gay prisoners is
deducted from their pensions.
"No Nazi doctors were ever prosecuted at the Nuremberg (Nürnberg) Trials
for abusing gay concentration camp inmates in gruesome medical experiments
that included castration and hormone implants
"No Nazi doctors were ever prosecuted at the Nuremberg (Nürnberg) Trials for abusing gay concentration camp inmates in gruesome medical experiments that included castration and hormone implants", said Williams.
We are delighted to acknowledge the support of the florists
David Armstrong Designs,
152, Gray's Inn Road, WC1X 8AX,
Tel. 020-184.108.40.206; Fax 020-220.127.116.11
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