Book Review: Loud & Proud by Tea Uglow

May 5, 2020

Loud & Proud

 by Tea Uglow

This collection of inspirational speeches changed the conversation around what it means to be LGBTQ+, and demanded our equality in life and laws. The earliest is from 1867,  the last from 2019 and they span the world, all ages, politics, sexuality, class and gender identity spectrums.  They all share a profound belief in equality and challenging prejudices and bias.

From equal marriage to gender definitions, bullying to parenthood, this pioneering collection of talks, declarations and lectures are from people whose voices have too often been marginalized. Uglow brings together over 40 empowering and influential speeches that chart the history of the LGBTQ+ movement up to the present day. Each speech is presented with a picture of the person, some commentary and background information about where and when it was given. The book is quality in the hand,  hardback, crisp stiff paper, engaging colouring and illustrations from clean and sharp illustrator  Jack Holland, it’s a lovely object in itself and as you flick through it, your heart swells. You can’t help but be inspired by these words, the call to action for all of us to continue to respond to these exceptional speeches.

The words lift you, echo through time, the truth they hold shred cant and cut cliche and rhetoric to gaily coloured ribbons which stream down the long avenues of Hope that these speeches have carved out in our battles for equality, struggles to be heard and pronouncements of our arrival. You’ll recognise parts of these speeches, some of them are very famous, seen on T-Shirts and facebook picture quotes the world over, but in context, rubbing up against the other words in these speeches, lifting each other letter by letter into the sunlit uplands of a better word, they roar! Each letter has a spark, each work an ember, each sentence a fire, together they rage of change.  It’s difficult to underestimate the power of these speeches, and the people who make them, who recognised in darkness and times of despair that Hope will Never be Silent. Harvey Milk is one in a long line of people who understood that nothing can destroy hope and to express it, in ways which can inspire other folk is the ultimate triumph.

I’ve taken to reading one of these speeches out every day in Lockdown, lordy have I got a fire under my ass afterwards! A few have moved me to tears, to feel those words in my mouth, to understand a little more about the people and times that birthed them, this book gives not just a historical record of rhetoric but the reasons why these speeches came about, sometimes urgent, others relentless whispers of change.

Loud and Proud connects the dots of activists and the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people from the last 100 years, in an unbroken line. A clarion call to those of us who may be complacent, that our rights are safe, a reminder that until everyone is equal, no one is.

Assembled by trans activist Tea Uglow, with a foreword by Peter Tatchell this anthology reminds us of the power of words when used to fire the imagination, reassure communities under pressure and drive us foreword to create a better world for ourselves and LGBTQ+ folk who come after us.

These words dream! Recommended.

Out today, Hardback    £18.99

For more info or to buy the book see here