Monday, September 26, 2011

Gay New Cross

Things have moved on a bit since the 1970s, when the appearance of Gay Liberation Front activists to do a talk at Goldsmiths Gay Society ended in clashes with security guards and police (see details here). Homophobia still exists, but at least nobody much bats an eyelid when today's Goldsmiths LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Queer) Society put an event like next week's 'AWKWARD TURTLE: Queer Performance and Freshers Clubnight'. It's on Thursday 29th September in Goldsmiths Student Union and includes music from The Makeshifts and Holly Hayes.

At the more old school end of gay New Cross I notice that 309 New Cross Road has a new graffiti art frontage. The gay sauna there (also known as Steamworks) has generally been invisible to passers by apart from a litte rainbow flag in the door, but nobody can miss it now.
11 years ago, in June 2000, Dutch-born Jaap Bornkamp was stabbed to death in New Cross Road after leaving the sauna at 309 in what the police believed to have been an unprovoked homophobic attack. Nobody has ever been convicted of this murder. It would be nice to think that such attacks were a thing of the past, and I'm not aware of anything like this happening in New Cross since. But earlier this year, two young South Londoners were convicted of killing Ian Baynham from Beckenham in an anti-gay attack in Trafalgar Square.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

walking towards deptford from new x station, on the left was a club whose name I cant remember - it was painted black, and has since changed name and use (again cant remember to what) - I'm pretty sure that this was a long running gay club of some kind, or have I got that completely wrong? Anyone know the many missing details?

Transpontine said...

I guess the place you're thinking of is 443 New Cross Road, which as reported here recently has become a theatre. I found a reference online from 2001 for a gay club called Marlowe's based there. Don't know anymore about it, but can surmise it was named after the most famous (perhaps) gay man associated with the area. Playwright Chritopher Marlowe was killed in Deptford in 1593. One of his opponents claimed that he had once said 'All they that love not Tobacco and Boys are fools'

Anonymous said...

yes, marlowe's, that was it - was there for a fair few years iirc. i was always very curious what kind of a club it was (did it have a dancefloor/soundsystem for example?). Hopefully someone can tell us...

Very funny quote ;) thanks Transpontine