An alternative ‘Qweens’ Speech’ has been filmed starring some of Britain’s leading LGBTQ+ creatives, musicians, designers and activists – including non-binary Grammy-winner Sam Smith, trans activist and model Munroe Bergdorf and British fashion designer Gareth Pugh.
Inspired by Cecil Beaton’s portraits of Princess Margaret, the stars of the film reflect on the key milestones made in 2019 for LGBTQ+ rights, and the changes still to be made in 2020 to support further inclusivity.
The film, made by creative agency ACNE, provides a platform for numerous voices within the LGBTQ+ community to reflect on the year and celebrates the fact that no one ‘Qween’ could ever speak for such a diverse group.
Gareth Pugh, who has dressed Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, champions equal marriage: “We’ve continued to shatter the shackles surrounding same sex love and this year, Northern Ireland finally passed equal marriage.”
Wearing Milo Maria coat and a Colter blouse, Sam Smith adds: “Celebrating all queer bodies, whatever form they take. Redefining the rules so there is space for those whose identity cannot be defined by the confines of he or she.”
In the film, which also features Crystal Rasmussen, Rina Sawayama, Kate Moross, Kai-Isaiah Jamal and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Munroe Bergdorf says: “Britain. What a year it’s been. And what a decade! We’ve come so far. Fought so fiercely and reshaped the world to include us in it. Breaking down stale traditions and crafting a tomorrow that is fairer and safer for all.”
The speech also acknowledges that singer Sam Smith came out publicly as non-binary in 2019, bringing the conversation of gender into the mainstream which saw the dictionary update the definition of the word ‘they’ to include its non-binary pronoun status.
The film was directed by duo Zhang + Knight, who commented: “When ACNE came to us with this idea for a project we both knew instantly that we had to do it. As gay directors we rarely get to see queer pieces of work as meaningful and carefully considered as ‘Qweens’ Speech’. It was such a pleasure to bring this script to life.
“We were extremely inspired by Cecil Beaton’s portraits of Princess Margaret, they have this decadent dusty pastel romanticism to them and we wanted to create a regal environment world which felt luxurious but also held onto the rebellious spirit of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Executive Creative Director, Adam Springfeldt, from ACNE said: “Diversity should be celebrated in all forms but the fact remains that there is still more to do to support LGBTQ+ rights in our homes, our communities and society as a whole. Collaborating with this talented group of artists has created a film which we hope will inspire more people to share this message at a time of hope, love and goodwill.”
The film was shot on location at a former water and ginger beer factory dating back to 1895 in Peckham. The building is owned by Fabrix and is currently midway through the extensive refurbishment process and once complete, The Bottle Factory will be Peckham’s new creative destination.