National Trust breaks with tradition to offer tours of the country’s historic gay hotpots
by Kelly McLaughlin, Mailonline:
The National Trust, often known for its conservative outlook and historical tours of stately homes, is taking on illegal gay venues from the 1920s and ’30s in a new programme that’s far different from its usual tours.
In an unexpected move from the organisation, the trust is launching a tour of historic gay-friendly venues around London to provide a history of LGBTQ culture in the city.
The tour, which visits buildings that housed illicit gay clubs, including The Caravan Club, Shim Sham, Billie’s and 25 Fitzroy Square, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England.
From Thursday until the end of March, the trust is organising walks through Soho and other parts of London for the tour, which is part of a program called Prejudice and Pride, that highlights LGBTQ history at six of the trust’s properties.
The programme opens less than three months after the trust announced they were accepting applications for a LGBTQ residency for artists and collaborators to explore and reflect upon lesbian, gay, bisextual, trans and queer culture and history in England.