Queen’s death sees LGBTQ+ clubs close as ‘mark of respect’

The death of the Queen saw LGBTQ+ clubs across the UK close as a mark of respect. 

The Queen passed away on Thursday (8 September), sending the nation into a period of national mourning that will last 10 days.

Tributes to the late monarch flooded in shortly after the news of her death broke, with LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall sending its “deepest condolences” to the Royal Family.

Flags were flown at half mast, billboards dropped advertising and began displaying images of the Queen, and retailers Selfridges and Liberty announced they could close their doors on Friday.

Many LGBTQ+ venues across the UK also shuttered temporarily, to the confusion of many.

Owner of G-A-Y and Heaven in London, Jeremy Jospeh, took to Twitter to announce the closure of his popular venues “as a mark of respect” following the Queen’s death.

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Birmingham’s Nightingale Club was also closed for the evening, director Lawrence Barton announced on Twitter.

Many were displeased to discover their favourite safe spaces had closed – though some noted that G-A-Y’s Porn Idol night, which takes place on Thursdays, was perhaps not quite fitting with the sombre mood felt across the nation.

The Queen died aged 96, and was the longest-serving and longest-lived monarch in British history. Her death comes 17 months after her husband, Prince Philip, passed away. 

In a statement issued shortly after the news broke, the new monarch King Charles III said: “The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.”

During the period of national mourning, preparations for the Queen’s funeral, which is expected to take place on 19 September, will be made and it is expected that many establishments will also close on this day.

Throughout her 70-year reign the Queen didn’t openly speak about LGBTQ+ rights, but she was responsible for giving royal assent to laws that advanced LGBTQ+ life in the UK. 

A major piece of legislation given royal assent by the late monarch was the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 which decriminalised gay sex in private between men aged 21 and over in England and Wales. 

PinkNews has reached out to G-A-Y, Heaven and the Nightingale Club for comment.