This placard was used to promote Garlands nightclub in the spring of 1997. In the 1990s, the Eberle Street venue was still a mostly gay nightclub and the placard shows one of the club’s drag performers, Lady Seanne.
By 1997, the Conservative Party had been in government for 18 years. In this time, they enacted Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which banned local authorities and schools from promoting homosexuality or promoting it as an acceptable family relationship. Many saw Section 28 as a homophobic piece of legislation and fought to have it repealed. During the general election of 1997, many within the LGBT community supported the Labour Party, seeing them as a force to repeal Section 28.
The ‘Gay Not Grey’ slogan on the placard here, refers to the Conservative Prime Minister John Major who was characterised by much of the British media as being the ‘grey man’. Feeling against Section 28 ran so high that many entertainers, performers and gay venues actively campaigned alongside the LGBT community against the Conservative government. In 1997 the Labour Party won a landslide victory, and in 2003 finally repealed Section 28 in England and Wales.
The placard was gifted by Garlands in 2015.