see me: a walk through

london’s gay (un)seen

by lee campbell

See Me: A Walk Through London’s Gay (Un)Seen (2020) was made during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in London in July 2020. This film includes sections of a walk that I made through Soho, London. As I walk, I listen on headphones to the compilation music tapes that I made when I first came to this area as a teenager in the 1990s. As I walk down the streets that were so important in shaping my life as a young gay man living in London, I revisit the gay bars and pubs that have been my safe spaces for the last twenty years and more, spaces that are now closed. In this “new normal,” what spaces are available for queer people to perform their visibility? What is the future of those spaces that I discovered on my walk that are currently closed? Will the queer people that once inhabited these spaces become invisible/unseen as their safe spaces have disappeared?

Dr. Lee Campbell is an artist, queer punk performance poet, experimental filmmaker, curator, lecturer at University of the Arts London and founder of Homo Humour, a film project that explores gay male storytelling and humour. His recent moving image work revolves around his personal autobiographical perspective and explores male homosexual identity and desire through humour. His recent films have been selected for many international film festivals including QueerBee LGBT Film Festival in London, SPLICE Film Festival, New York, MicroMania Film Festival 2021, and Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival 2021.