Corbyn and Crystal team up for UK Pride Month event

  • Post last modified:May 16, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced a ‘Poetry For The Many’ event to commemorate Pride Month. Corbyn will be joined by RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Crystal at The Common Press bookshop in London on Sunday 2 June 2024.

Corbyn and Crystal: joining forces

The event is part of Jeremy Corbyn and former Unite The Union general secretary Len McCluskey’s Poetry For The Many project and follows the release of their anthology. The Morning Star described the pair’s anthology as a:

volume is one that all poetry readers and writers can learn something from, especially from the left, which is part of its openly educative purpose, because many of the poems have been written by poets from a broad left perspective themselves, which Corbyn and McCluskey then respond to or interpret from their own committed broad left experience and vision as readers and activists.

Meanwhile, Crystal participated in the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and won a defamation lawsuit against far-right grifter Laurence Fox in January 2024.

As BBC News reported:

Laurence Fox has been ordered to pay £90,000 in damages each to two people he referred to as “paedophiles”.

The actor-turned-politician lost a High Court libel case with former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and drag artist Crystal.

The remarks on X, formerly Twitter, came in an exchange about Sainsbury’s marking Black History Month.

Mrs Justice Collins Rice said the comments were “gross, groundless and indefensible”… [saying] in her written ruling: “By calling Mr Blake and Mr Seymour paedophiles, Mr Fox subjected them to a wholly undeserved public ordeal.

“It was a gross, groundless and indefensible libel, with distressing and harmful real-world consequences for them.

“They are entitled by law to an award of money, to compensate them for those damaging effects, and to ensure that they can put this matter behind them, vindicated and confident that no-one can sensibly doubt their blamelessness of that disgusting slur and that they were seriously wronged by it.”

On that basis, there’s all the more reason to support Corbyn and Crystal’s Poetry For The Many night.

Poetry for the many during Pride

The event, organised by Peace & Justice Project and hosted by the Common Press in Shoreditch, will feature readings from Corbyn and former Unite the Union general secretary McCluskey’s own Poetry For The Many anthology as well as an open invite for contributions from LGBTQ+ poets in attendance.

The reading part of the event will be followed by a Q&A chaired by Crystal. The event will close after a book signing session in the bookshop. Tickets are on sale now via OutSavvy here.

Announcing the event, Peace and Justice Project founder Jeremy Corbyn said:

We are so thrilled to be marking Pride Month with a very special Poetry For The Many event with Crystal.

Pride is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the many years of struggle endured by LGBTQ+ people in Britain and around the world, as well as to stand in solidarity with them as they simply try to live their lives despite the toxic and divisive atmosphere created by many in the media.

Poetry is for everyone, and I’m really looking forward to celebrating the work of LGBTQ+ poets in June.

Crystal said:

Pride Month is an opportunity for queer people to take up a bit of extra space and remind the world of our existence – what better way to do that than through the arts, whether a book of poetry or a drag show.

Featured image via the Peace and Justice Project and the Canary

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