Is It Time to Get Over the Rainbow?

Monday, May 13, 2024 Mon, 13 May 2024 19:30 - 22:30 BST

From Gay Liberation to LGBTQ+ Conformity — Is It Time to Get Over the Rainbow?

Monday 13th May, 7.30pm 

Free Speech Union in partnership with LGB Alliance 

Lola's Bar, Lower Ground Floor, The Hippodrome, Main Entrance, London WC2H 7JH

Only a few years ago, it seemed that the fight for gay rights was won — legal equality achieved and prejudice rapidly dying out. But the pursuance by activist organisations of a 'queer’ agenda which brooks ‘no debate’ threatens to destabilise the gains of past decades. 

Many of the highest profile free speech cases in recent years have centred on challenging the imposition of LGBTQ+ ideology in workplaces, institutions and civic life. Amongst those leading the pushback and defending free speech for all have been lesbian women and gay men who first earned their activist spurs fighting for equal rights. But the new LGBTQ+ conformity also entraps individuals of a conservative or religious disposition who disagree with gay marriage and do not accept homosexuality — a number of whom have been driven from employment and public life for the expression of their views — and they too have had to make afresh the case afresh for freedom of belief and freedom of speech. 

In his new book, Gay Shame: The Rise of Gender Ideology and the New HomophobiaGareth Robertssets out to understand what has gone wrong. As he puts it, 

‘I didn’t anticipate the gay rights movement to transmogrify into a cross between the Church of Scientology, Heathers and Act 4 of The Crucible’. 

This view is echoed by Kate Harris, co-founder of LGB Alliance, when she says, 

‘It is a mystery to me how what started out as a brilliant and progressive programme went so badly wrong. Stonewall has created an environment where you either toe their line or you are a transphobic bigot’. 

Comedian, writer and presenter Andrew Doyle likens gender ideologues to religious fundamentalists who ‘share the deeply conservative view that gender nonconformity is a problem that requires intervention.’ 

To celebrate the publication of GAY SHAME, we will bring together Gareth RobertsKate Harris and Andrew Doyle to discuss what happened to the funny, grown-up culture and truth-telling of gay culture and to understand how and why the older gay rights activism, which gifted such progress to homosexual people, was hijacked. 

There will, of course, be plenty of time for audience Q and A. 

So do join the FSU and LGB Alliance for this special event, to prove that the era of ‘no debate’ is well and truly over. Gareth’s book will be on sale on the night and he will be signing copies after the panel discussion. A welcome drink is included in the ticket price and there will be a social after the formal part of the evening. 

If you can’t make it to London, FSU members and LGB Alliance core supporters can join online, free of charge, using links provided in FSU and LGBA emails.

In-person tickets (welcome drink included)

£10 for FSU members and LGB Alliance core supporters 

£15 for members of the public 

Get tickets

Pre-order Gay Shame: The Rise of Gender Ideology and the New Homophobia by Gareth Roberts at check-out, for collection and signing on the night, for only £12.

About our speakers 

Gareth Roberts is a writer and journalist. He has a weekly column in the Spectator and writes regular pieces for UnHerd and Spiked. His television writing credits include Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctor Who, and many others. 

Kate Harris is a lifelong feminist and lesbian activist. In her professional life, she worked as vice president global relationship management in Corporate Services for American Express but she also worked at Brighton Women’s Aid and is a former volunteer fundraiser for Stonewall. When Stonewall added the ‘T’ to ‘LGB’, having promised to lesbian supporters that they would not, Kate challenged Stonewall’s management to debate the issues. Their now notorious response was – ‘no debate’. She was co-founder, in 2019, of LGB Alliance, a charity that supports lesbian, gay and bisexual people by building community, providing high quality information, being a source of inspiration for people who feel marginalised and seeking to influence Government and decision makers to prioritise the needs and rights of same-sex attracted people. 

Andrew Doyle is a broadcaster, writer and comedian. He is the author of Free Speech and Why It Matters and The New Puritans: How the Religion of Social Justice Captured the Western World. He is the creator of the satirical character Titania McGrath, whose show ‘Mxnifesto’ ran at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at the Duchess Theatre in London’s West End. Andrew has written two books under Titania's name: Woke: A Guide to Social Justice and My First Little Book of Intersectional Activism. He was formerly a panellist on the BBC's Moral Maze and currently presents ‘Free Speech Nation’ and ‘Headliners’ on GB News. 


The Hippodrome invites you to enjoy a meal before or after the event at one of its restaurants. Show your confirmation email to staff to receive a 20% discount at Chop Chop or the Heliot Steakhouse. Both are rated 'exceptional' on Opentable, with Heliot considered one of London's very best steakhouses and Chop Chop by Four Seasons already hailed as one of the West End's best Chinese restaurants only a year after launch. Please book here for Chop Chop or here for Heliot then show your confirmation email when you arrive at the restaurant. (Offer eligible only on Monday 13th May 2024.)