Why pioneering queer drag documentary Paris Is Burning continues to inspire LGBTQI+ youth 30 years on

It’s 1987, the streets of New York City are pitch-black and still, but inside the packed venue of Paris Dupree’s annual ball, the world couldn’t be more different. Multicoloured lights illuminate a room crammed with dancing figures as synth-heavy 80s music pulsates. The dancers are clad in feathers, sequins, and outrageous make-up. Here, gender is subverted and rewritten.

How Gay News paved the way for LGBTQI+ journalism in the UK

“It’s hard to imagine the diverse, thriving LGBTQI+ landscape we live in today without publications like Gay News.”

These words were spoken by DIVA editor Carrie Lyell about the British LGBTQI+ newspaper which ran between 1972 and 1983. Filled with wit, satire, and biting critiques of heteronormativity, the paper constantly pushed boundaries in a time when gay love faced huge barriers. 

With the 50th anniversary of the iconic publication fast approaching in June, XCityPlus spoke to pioneering LGBTQI+ journalists about the legacy of Gay News and what it means to them.