Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell has campaigned for LGBT+ freedom for over half a century. He came out and began campaigning in late 1969, inspired by the post-Stonewall gay liberation protests in New York. A pioneer of the London Gay Liberation Front from 1971, his early activism challenged police harassment and gay conversion therapy. He staged the first LGBT+ protest in a communist country, East Germany, in 1973. He was the defeated Labour candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election – one of the most dirty, violent and homophobic elections in Britain in the twentieth century. Later, in 1990, he co-founded the LGBT+ direct action group OutRage! He has outed homophobic bishops, exposed the Nazi war criminal SS Dr Carl Vaernet, and ambushed anti-gay Prime Ministers and sports stars, including John Major and Mike Tyson. He spearheaded the fight for same-sex marriage from 1992 onwards and his sexually-explicit 1994 HIV prevention book, Safer Sexy, helped save lives and end the censorship of sexual imagery. His human rights activism resulted in him being beaten badly by President Mugabe’s bodyguards in Brussels in 2001 and by Russian neo-Nazis in Moscow in 2007. He is currently Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.