Route 5: National Film Theatre to London Bridge
27 Jul 2009
Paulo & Paul
National Film Theatre
We actually walked a route along the Southbank keeping the Thames to our left and getting lost in the crowds. It seemed to thin out as we approached London Bridge and I got some nice shots of the boys.
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Paul said, "I've experienced many levels of homophobic abuse over the years, from name calling to physical attacks. In fact it was after I'd been attacked outside my house for the third time that I decided to take up kickboxing and learn self defence. For this reason, I've always been cautious about holding hands in public, or showing affection to my partner Paulo. I don't want to be attacked, and I don't want any harm to come to him. And it's not just the physical attacks. A bit of verbal abuse can really ruin your day."
"One afternoon we were at our local park when a young kid on a bike came up and shouted 'battyboys' at us. Part of me wanted to thump him to teach him a lesson. The other part was worried that his father might show up. So I agreed to take part in a Day In Hand with mixed feelings. I believe very strongly that we should show affection in public."
Straight people do it all the time, and if we're to achieve true equality in society as well as in law, we should behave no differently. Still I was concerned about the reaction we might get."
"As it turned out, I needn't have worried. Maybe it was because we were walking from Waterloo to London Bridge, along a route largely populated by nice middle class families. That said, Paulo and I had bottles thrown at us on the Southbank a year ago, so anything is possible. But we encountered no hostility whatsoever. A few people looked twice, and I thought I heard a few muttered comments, but nothing that came close to ruining the day. I found it very empowering and a very positive experience all round. Afterwards we took the tube home. Did we still hold hands? No we didn't. But I feel we took a step in the right direction."
Noone stared, noone cared. HURRAH!
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START of relay
ROUTE 1: Marble Arch to Oxford Circus
ROUTE 2: Oxford Circus to Tottenham Court Road
ROUTE 3: Tottenham Court Road to Charing Cross
ROUTE 4: Charing Cross to National Film Theatre
ROUTE 5: National Film Theatre to London Bridge - YOU ARE HERE
ROUTE 6: London Bridge to Canada Water
ROUTE 7: Canada Water to Deptford Park
ROUTE 8: Deptford Park to New Cross
ROUTE 9: New Cross to Deptford Bridge
ROUTE 10: Deptford Bridge to Greenwich Park
ROUTE 11: Greenwich Park to Meridian Line
END of relay