In memoriam: Alan Wakeman 1936 – 2015

One of the pioneers of the LGBT human rights movement

London, UK – 11 August 2015


Peter Tatchell, Director the Peter Tatchell Foundation, writes:

Alan Wakeman was one of the pioneers of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in 1970, which kick-started the modern movement for LGBT rights in the UK. It was at GLF that we first met and became life-long friends. He remained a supporter of LGBT equality causes for over 40 years and was a veteran of countless LGBT campaigns and protests.

In 2010, to coincide with Pride London and the 40th anniversary of GLF, he published an online copy  of the historic but out-of-print 1971 GLF Manifesto, which bought its still relevant, inspiring ideas to a new, younger generation.

In June this year, Fantastic Books published his autobiography, Fragments of Joy and Sorrow  – Memoirs of a Reluctant Revolutionary.

The joy and sorrow of the book’s title refers in part to the great love of Alan’s life, Peter Granger, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1986.

In a long and varied career, he served in RAF Signals in Sri Lanka, became an architect, and then a trail-blazer in the teaching of English as a foreign language; authoring the best-selling series, English Fast.

He also wrote novels, poetry and plays, was a founding member of the Gay Sweatshop theatre group in 1974 and formed a band, Everyone Involved, which had a debut album of gay-themed songs called Either/Or.

A long-standing Soho resident and community activist, he was a champion of local people, causes and amenities.

Alan was one of Soho’s much loved bohemian characters, with his greying hippy-style long hair and unreconstructed 1960s counter-culture idealism. He was a passionate advocate of Green issues and veganism, long before they became fashionable – and was New Age when it really was new.

Alan was a warm-hearted and incredibly creative man who will be much missed by all those who knew him. I am very honoured and lucky to have been his friend.

Alan Wakeman’s website: