Julius Reuben on Chalk Farm Road, 2014
© Damien Frost / Museum of London
Night Flowers creates a picture of London as an inclusive, liberal city where individual expression and eccentricity are welcomed if not celebrated. Having spent a lot of time photographing London’s queer community, what are your thoughts on this?
One of the things that I always used to like about London, and still do, is that you can wear anything, you can walk down the streets in your pyjamas and people probably won’t bat an eyelid. But then you might be on the street taking someone’s photo and a person will walk past and just be so offended by how they are looking. Or they will shout ‘hey are you a girl or a boy?!’
There have been quite a few situations where I thought things were going to get a bit messy, and you hear of cases where people get beaten up. Or you hear stories in the club of people having a rough Uber ride with the driver questioning them in an uncomfortable way. It’s that kind of thing, when people don’t understand you, or you do not fit neatly into that box… they get agitated and take that out on others. So on the one hand London is really diverse and it does support individual expression and eccentricity, but the city is not as accepting and open as I used to think it was. I hear too many stories of people being attacked or abused or threatened.