Could there be more reason to visit London in 2012? How many more international events do you need to get on that plane to visit us? Yes we have the Olympics but we also have World Pride in June and July and the Queens’ Diamond jubilee celebrations. We can promise you parties, thrones, tiaras, jewels and the world’s most famous real life Queen. What more do you want?
To further convince you to make that trip to London next year I will be writing a bi –monthly blog on Pink Choice to whet your appetite. And while I’m at it I will be making it clear that it would just be plain rude of you not to visit Scotland, France while you are here. No point coming all this way without doing Europe properly.
But lets start with London. In Britain all roads still lead to the capital. I arrived in London as a 23 year old lawyer in 1987 from the northern English city of Manchester. Bewildered, awestruck and innocent were my key features back then but London soon felt like home. 27 years later, London, is looking a lot better than me. It has come of age while also reinventing itself with amazing new contemporary projects like the Tate Modern and the London Eye. And all the time London’s public buildings like the British Museum, have been rebooting themselves with world class design.
Possibly the aspect of London that I am most proud of is its diversity. There are more languages in London spoken than in any other city in the world and remarkably everyone rubs along very peacefully. There are different quarters and districts which have been flavoured by different ethnic groups but it is all very integrated and open to all.
London’s gay scene is now huge. London has the biggest gay and lesbian community in Europe with an estimated population of 400,000 with numerous gay bars and clubs. London’s gay village – Soho – is still the epi centre of gay life. A strole down Old Compton street is a legal requirement for any self-respecting gay and lesbian visitor but today the gay community, and its influence has stretched into all corners of the city.
I recently asked some American friends who have settled in London why they have made London their home. They say that unlike any city in the world, with the possible exception of New York, that its people don’t judge and passionately celebrate diversity and eccentricity like no where else. So there you are… come and be as queer as you like and we will love you!
So if you are thinking ‘umm maybe’ then look out for my next blog here on Pink Choice in two month time or my blog or my website for some of the best places gay friendly places to stay in London and Europe.
Simon Forrester -www.furtherafield.com