Gay clubs are an essential part of the LGBTQI community so I was devastated when I discovered my favourite club, XXL, has been served an eviction notice to close by September 2019.
It’s urgent we save this hugely well-attended club before then. The proposal is to turn it into yet more luxury flats, no doubt left empty by corporate developers for most of the year.
Our gay scene is dying. Just 53 in LGBT+ venues in London were open in 2017 compared to 125 in 2006. But we can stop this: we cannot let this number dwindle to 52.
It’s ripping out the soul of what once was one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, and making it beige, sold off to the highest bidder, with LGBTQI people the biggest casualties of this corporate greed.
Cities like London are our refuges from often small-minded towns who don’t always accept us for who we are.
We must prevent London from being sanitised and queer-washed in this way.
A club closure means far more in the gay community than any other club closure.
Clubs like XXL are our sanctuaries after an often exhausting week of existing in a straight world, life savers for those who are closeted and key places for sexual health promotion and outreach.
There's no other club like XXL in the world - it's huge, a place I can be with my tribe and connect with my community, and one of the few places I can feel completely safe and completely liberated - both from the hetero-normative world, and the sometimes perfect-body obsessed gay scene.
If this essential club closes, Sadiq Khan is failing in his pledge to protect LGBTQI venues and Amy Lame is failing in her role as night tsar; both need now to really step up.
This is foreign money transforming our city and our LGBTQI scene: the developer's backers are from Singapore and Malaysia, where LGBTQI lives are very taboo and even criminalised.
When XXL opened in 2000 there were 6 healthy LGBTQI+ venues. All have been closed down due to development. Southwark has the second highest population of LGBTQI+ people in London - XXL is the only remaining gay club there.
Sadiq Khan is happy to take selfies at London Pride, but has refused to intervene on this matter, saying it’s a legal issue.
He’ll happily stand by while one of the most important LGBTQI venues of the city he leads is bulldozed.
He has time to keep his promise to protect LGBTQI venues, and if he doesn’t, he’s letting down every LGBTQI person in this once great city, failing on his election promise, and rolling over to the corporate developers.
Please sign and share today to save XXL and save London’s LGBTQI scene!