To acknowledge & celebrate our amazing LGBTQIA friends and allies this LGBTQ+ History Month, we’ve spotlighted the work and efforts of GIHE Co-Founder Tash Walker, who works tirelessly to support and champion queer communities. Co-Chair of the Switchboard LGBT+ charity, Co-Founder of the groundbreaking The Log Books podcast and general all-round superhero and solid gold friend, Tash was invited on to Lauren Laverne’s Desert Island Disco on BBC 6 Music at the end of 2021 to talk about the work that they do.
Below is the playlist Tash put together for the occasion and their words about why music is so important to the LGBTQ+ community. Fellow GIHE Co-Founders Mari Lane & Kate Crudgington have also added a few tracks from some of their favourite LGBTQI+ artists to the playlist too…
“At the end of 2021, I had the absolute pleasure of being on Lauren Laverne’s Desert Island Disco on BBC 6 Music talking about the work I do sharing Britain’s LGBTQI+ history. I spent several years looking through the log books, which are written records of the calls made to the charity Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline since 1974, from which I produced the podcast called The Log Books. The Log Books foregrounds the marginalised voices and stories not usually featured in the media, or even in LGBTQI+ histories which often focus on activists. Over three seasons, the podcast has featured around 100 voices from across the UK, covering the years from 1974 to 2003.
Throughout this track listing I’ve tried to mirror the years of LGBTQI+ history that we explore with songs of empowerment and strength, from LGTBQI+ people and allies. Music has always been a core strength in the queer community, often the dance floor was the only safe place for many, moments before the clubs were raided, the sense of community from the people I have spoken to stands strong. Switchboard the charity was there to support people from the police raids and custody battles of the 70s and early 80s, to the horrors of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the homophobic legislation of Section 28. Our most recent season moves into the 90s, as the internet began to change how LGBTQI+ people found each other, how more people created queer families, how a nail bomb ripped through the community in 1999, and how changing attitudes and a government focus on human rights led to significant improvements in the lives of many queer people.
Music is so important to me, and I think to so many people throughout the LGBTQI+ communities today. I found my queer family on the dancefloor – music is community, it’s love, it’s pain, it’s power, it’s pride – it’s the foundation of so many memories, the backdrop to so many stories and so much strength that keeps us pushing forward and surviving!
Here is my Desert Island Disco in full, which I would like to dedicate to all the LGBTQI+ people we have loved and lost, but especially to our trans siblings past and present – you make this world more beautiful, every single day.”
Tash’s Desert Island Disco Playlist
Jackie Shane – Comin’ Down
Donna Summer – I feel Love
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
George Michael – Faith
Erasure – A Little Respect
Madonna – Vogue
Ultra Naté – Free
Hercules & Love Affair – Blind
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
SOPHIE – BIPP Autechre MX
Planningtorock – Gay Dreams Do Come True
Mari & Kate’s Playlist Additions
Mari Lane: This LGBTQ+ History Month, I wanted to celebrate some classic queer anthems as well as shine a light on a couple of newer favourite LGBTQIA+ artists. Electro-punk artist Bitch’s cover with Logan Lynn of Gossip’s empowering anthem ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ fits both these categories perfectly, and I couldn’t not include pioneers of queer culture and ultimate faves Le Tigre. If you don’t know Margate queer punk duo pink suits yet, you really need to get their riotous anthems of inclusivity and politically-charged rage into your ears, whilst another duo with a more subtle, but equally powerful, message against homophobia and society’s constraints is Naz & Ella. Ezra Furman, who beautifully came out as a Trans woman last year, is also an essential for this month, and every month of the year.
Kate Crudgington: As many of our regular readers & listeners will know, at GIHE we aim to support and highlight LGBTQIA+ artists all year round via our website, radio show and our live music nights. Being an ally to such a welcoming community makes running this platform a total joy, and it’s wonderful to be able to share just some of that joy with you via our LGBTQIA+ History Month Playlist. So tuck in to my choices below: there’s the delightful electro-pop of Catherine Moan, the exquisite avant garde sounds of BISHI, an alt-pop banger from Halsey, a majestic hip hip fusion from Witch Prophet and a post-punk ode to love from Grandmas House.
Le Tigre – TKO (ML)
Pink Suits – Pink Suits Everyone (ML)
Bitch/Logan Lynn – Standing In The Way Of Control (ML)
Naz & Ella – Internalised (ML)
Ezra Furman – I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend (ML)
Catherine Moan – Fools (Depeche Mode Cover) (KC)
BISHI – Dia Ti Maria (KC)
Halsey – I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God (KC)
Grandmas House – Girl (KC)
Witch Prophet – Makda (KC)
If you need support during LGBT History Month or at anytime, you can always reach out to Switchboard LGBT+ via their website or by calling 0330 330 0630