SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Celebrating 50 years of Gay pride in Britain / A special SOAS event celebrating African, Asian and Middle Eastern contributions to Queer London

Various Speakers

Date: 7 June 2022Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 7 June 2022Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Seminar

Exploring key sites of importance from protest spaces, parties and meeting spaces and their spiritual, psychological, emotional value to Queer London.

Speaker Biographies

Mazharul Islam

The Rainbow Tree - Mazharul Islam (Maz) is a LGBTQIA+ activist from Bangladesh who left his country on the 29th April 2016, after the murder of two friends and LGBTQIA+ activists by religious  extremists in Dhaka. Alongside his activist friends, he was also one of the pioneer committee members of Bangladesh’s first ever online LGBTQIA+ group: ‘Boys of Bangladesh’ which is considered to be one of the the first online platforms for the Bangladeshi LGBTQIA+ community. He was proud to be one of the winners of the ‘Attitude Pride Awards’for organising and leading a protest in London in front of the Bangladeshi High Commissioner, seeking justice for his two SOGIESC activist friends who were brutally murdered back in Bangladesh.  Maz is currently doing his online MA in Global Culture at King’s College and he is a founding member and chair of the online group The Rainbow Tree ; A virtual home for Queers which is founded in March 2022.

Marwan Kaabour

Takweer - Marwan Kaabour is a Beirut-born, London-based graphic designer, visual artist, and founder of Takweer, a bilingual online platform and archive exploring queer narratives in Arab history and popular culture. He was formerly senior designer at Barnbrook, where he designed the much-celebrated Rihanna book, as well as a wide portfolio of projects ranging from exhibition design, book design, marketing campaigns, branding, and art direction, he has worked with some of the world’s most exciting cultural institutions and publishers including Phaidon, Art Basel, V&A Museum, Thames & Hudson, Serpentine Galleries, Hayward Gallery, Somerset House, and South London Gallery. In 2020, Marwan established his independent design practice.

Qiuyan Chen

Queer China UK - Qiuyan Chen (she/her) has 8 years of experience in activism, community building and empowerment. She established Queer China UK after realising the intersectional invisibility of the Chinese LGBTQ+ community.

Jamie Chi (she/they) is an independent filmmaker and photographer. They are the director of a documentary & photography project called Safe Distance.  Jamie is also the co-founder of Queer China UK.


Ted Brown

Gay Liberation Front - Ted Brown, Black LGBTQ activist and Member  of the Gay Liberation Front since 1970 see Ted Brown: the man who held a mass kiss-in and made history. Born Theodore York Walker Brown, 1950, in New York of Jamaican parents involved in the NAACP, this erstwhile legal caseworker, journalist and yoga teacher found this background to be life affirmingly inspirational. Arriving in England Ted ‘came out’ to his supportive family in 1965, found further inspiration when hearing of the Stonewall uprising in New York, June 1969. 

In 1970 Ted first met and joined the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) after viewing Hollywood’s first ever ‘gay’ movie ‘The Boys In The Band’. GLF were demonstrating against the film. Motivated by heroes like Huey Newton and Bayard Rustin to expand queer rights demand to calls for justice for all, Ted became active in GLF. Took the only photographs of the very first march through London by queer people (GLF’s Youth Group age of consent equality demands, August 1971). Lived in a GLF commune for three years. Worked for GALOP, wrote for Gay Times magazine, co-founded Black Lesbians & Gays Against Media Homophobia, (BLAGAMH) which successfully fought media attacks on black gay footballer Justin Fashanu and against Buju Banton’s viciously homophobic song ‘Boom Bye Bye’. As Ted Walker-Brown, quoted in books ‘Blowing The Lid’ and ‘No Bath But Plenty of Bubbles’.

Dan Glass

The event will be chaired by SOAS Community Fellow - Dan Glass an ‘Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) healthcare and human rights activist, performer, presenter and writer. Dan has been recognised as 'Activist of the Year' with the 'Sexual Freedom Awards' and was announced a 'BBC Greater Londoner' for founding 'Queer Tours of London - A Mince Through Time. His book United Queerdom: From the Legends of the Gay Liberation Front to the Queers of Tomorrow was recognised as Observer book of the week June. Dan recently founded self-defence empowerment programme Bender Defenders and Queer Night Pride to confront rising hate crime.

Contact Dan at:


This event is open to the public, however registration is required. Online registration

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