Speak its Name! Quotations by and about gay men and women – National Portrait Gallery
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Speak its Name! Quotations by and about gay men and women

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‘It’s intriguing, and full of fascinating things … a real achievement.’

Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury

A collection of moving, amusing and inspirational quotations by and about prominent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, from Oscar Wilde to Tom Daley, Radclyffe Hall to Sandi Toksvig, illustrated with images from the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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Authors: Christopher Tinker with an introduction by Simon Callow

Number of pages: 336pp

Illustrations: Over 160

Binding: Hardback

Format: 152 x 194mm (landscape)

ISBN: 978 1 85514 725 6

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 “Speak its Name! is a brilliant idea, brilliantly executed.” – Simon Callow

This collection of quotations by and about gay people is a celebration of the advances in LGBT rights over the last half-century and a demonstration of the battle against oppression that led to them. Over 150 people from the worlds of entertainment, sport, fashion, business, science, politics and the arts share their thoughts on coming out, equality, homophobia, love, sex, promiscuity, bullying, labels and marriage. Amusing observations by Noël Coward, Tallulah Bankhead, Quentin Crisp, Boy George and Alan Bennett are interspersed with extracts from revealing interviews with Dusty Springfield, Ian McKellen and George Michael and diary entries by Kenneth Williams, Joe Orton, W.H. Auden and John Maynard Keynes. John Gielgud and Alan Turing’s disturbing accounts of their arrests at a time when homosexual acts were illegal contrast with touching love-letters from Violet Trefusis to Vita Sackville-West, King James I to George Villiers, Marquis of Buckingham, and between Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. Contributions by Oscar Wilde, Lord Montagu, John Wolfenden, Lord Arran, Waheed Alli and David Cameron demonstrate the developments in gay rights in Britain. Also included are the reflections of Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, Liza Minnelli, Eartha Kitt, Madonna, Elisabeth Welch, Grace Jones and other ‘gay icons’.

“Speak its Name! is a delightful book – full of surprises and gorgeous photographs that show off the myriad cast to perfection. An introduction by Simon Callow clearly demonstrates the massive revolution we – as LGBT and gender fluid people – have seen in the last 50 years. … Thank you for putting together such a rich tapestry of our lives to inform and inspire us. We at LGBT History Month salute you.” – Sue Sanders, Professor Emeritus at the Harvey Milk Institute, founder of LGBT History Month and Chair of Schools OUT UK

 “This book allows for many happy hours reading about favourite icons and discovering new ones.” – Sophie Ward, DIVA magazine