LGBT+: How Lanah P topped the pops the hard way

Singer said she suffered expulsion and ridicule on the way to the top

Friday, 12th February 2021 — By Tom Foot

Lanah P

Lanah P messing about at a summer fair in Primrose Hill

LANAH P is described as one of the “first out loud and proud non-binary gender persons of colour” to appear on British TV – she appeared alongside top bands on Top of the Pops and on the comedy series The Comic Strip Presents.

But talking to the New Journal, she said that behind the performances she had to deal with “expulsion, rejection and ridicule from all sides” for not conforming to gender stereotypes.

Born in Grimsby, her career began doing impersonations and singing in working men’s clubs and “rasta venues” across the north of England, coming to London in the early 1980s, living in various squats before settling in Primrose Hill.

“It is much better now but there is still a lot more to do,” she said. “ We are in the metropolis in London, but there are many countries around the world that are still in the dark. I know it is annoying platitude, but nobody is free until we are all free.”

Lanah P, whose hit Pistol In My Pocket was a top 40 smash in the 1980s said one difficulty of facing discrimination and abuse is that “you are always on the move” as the housing authorities would “favour the culprits rather than the victims”.

But she said that due to greater visibility, “queens today are allowed to wear their crowns with pride,” adding: “The likes of us, all those people who had a queer essence about them, have always been the educators. “It is only when you are confused and perplexed that you are sometimes obliged to think a bit deeper.”

Lanah’s latest track Human Race can be found on Spotify or iTunes and proceeds from the song are being donated to The Trussell Trust, which runs food banks, and Primrose Hill Community Centre foodbank.

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