Drawing Radclyffe

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"Am I queer looking or not?" she would wonder

We celebrated Pride in London 2018 with a nude life drawing event inspired by a landmark in Queer literature.

90 years ago, Radclyffe Hall published The Well of Loneliness, a story of the life of ‘invert’ Stephen Gordon. The ensuing obscenity trial was a landmark for increasing the visibility of Queer women in British culture. With this as our starting point, we invited Queer model, performer and muse Lager Darling to respond to quotes from the book in a contemporary celebration of identity.

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"Staring at her own reflection in the glass, Stephen would feel just a little uneasy: 'Am I queer looking or not?' she would wonder."

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"Yes, it was trying to get her under, this world with its mighty self-satisfaction, with its smug rules of conduct, all made to be broken by those who strutted and preened themselves on what they considered to be normal. And the vilest of them could point a finger of scorn at her, and be loudly applauded. 'God damn them to hell!' she muttered."

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"And now someone seemed to be always near Stephen, someone for whom these things were accomplished – the purchase of three new suits, the brown shoes, the six carefully chosen, expensive neckties. The night with its large summer stars and its silence, was pregnant with a new and mysterious purpose, so that lying at the mercy of that age-old purpose, Stephen would feel little shivers of pleasure creeping out of the night and into her body. She would get up and stand by the open window, thinking always of Angela Crossby."

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"And although their Sam Brown belts remained swordless, their hats and their caps without regimental badges, a battalion was formed in those terrible years that would never again be completely disbanded. War and death had given them a right to life, and life tasted sweet, very sweet to their palates. Later on would come bitterness, disillusion, but never again would such women submit to being driven back to their holes and corners. They had found themselves, thus the whirligig of war brings in its abrupt revenges."