Aurora at PrideFest
On 28 August 2016,
Aurora took part in Croydon PrideFest, the first Pride event for many years in Croydon, and was then one of the groups featured in the "Croydon LGBT groups" stall in Surrey Street.
Aurora also took part in the Pride events in 2017 and 2018.
Aurora launches hate crime leaflet
20 April 2016
On 20 April 2016,
Aurora launched its new LGBT hate Crime leaflet, at the "Tackling Hate Crime in Croydon" event in Croydon Town Hall.
The picture shows David Palmer, Chair of Aurora, and Ilona Kytomaa of Croydon Council, with the new Aurora display.
The display, like the leaflet prominently features our new "Stop the hate" logo, shown below
Warning to local Grindr users
18 December 2015
Croydon police have received reports of gay or bi men in Croydon fixing a hookup over Grindr.
In each case they met in the victim’s home. The stories vary but they involve burglary and serious violence.
If you have any information phone 101 to speak to the police or 020 7704 2040 to speak to Galop.
Galop has been ‘policing the police’ and doing third-party reporting for gay/bi men for decades see www.galop.org.uk.
And please pass on the warning to other guys in Croydon.
For more information see the police press release.
Aurora in the park and the town centre
Saturday 20 June 2015, Aurora took part in a fun day in the Beaulieu Heights
park, South Norwood, organised by the Metropolitan Police.
the article in the Croydon Guardian.
On the same day, Aurora was included with other local LGBT organisations
in a stall in Croydon town centre for the Croydon Heritage Festival. The
displays remained on show in the Whitgift Centre for the following week.
Croydon's event for the International Day Against Homophobia and
Transphobia in 2015 took place in Bernard Wetherill house on 16 May. It included
a tribute to our local LGBT police liaison officers, celebrating their work in
preventing and combatting LGBT hate crime.
LGBT Hate Crime figures soar
LGBT hate crime figures have fallen dramatically over
recent years as the criteria for flagging a hate crime have changed. But the
summary of LGBT hate crime incidents, over the previous six months, presented
in Aurora’s November meeting indicated that the numbers were back to the
level of five years ago, in spite of the changed flagging policy. It is not
clear whether this is a serious trend, or whether the figures are now as
meaningless as the Borough Commander said, in February 2014, that they were.
Trans Day of Remembrance 2014
Croydon’s Trans Remembrance event was held in the
Central Library, this year, on Saturday 22 November, where the table with
lilies and brief details had been displayed all week.
We met in the
Clocktower Café from 1pm.
At 2pm, the vigil for those murdered for being transgender was held on the
first floor of the Central Library.
The names of those murdered in the past twelve months were read out, and
those present filed past to light candles and lay them on the table, each
candle in memory of one, named individual. The names were read by Geoffrey
Thompson (St Stephens Thornton
Heath) and Art Lester (Croydon Unitarians).
This was followed by a minute’s silence.
ceremony in the Library we went outside and laid flowers at a memorial which
had been constructed for the occasion.
And finally there was a social time and buffet in Croydon Museum, with
projected images compiled for this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance.
Two months before, spring bulbs had been planted as a living memorial to the
victims. This year they were planted at St Stephens. And some local churches
displayed white lilies in commemoration of the event on Sunday 23rd.
Details of this and other Trans Remembrance events in
the UK are at www.TDoR.org.uk.
For the International Day Against Homophobia and
Transphobia, Aurora, together with other LGBT groups and local churches, took
part in the "One Love" event in Croydon town centre. For more about the event,
see the IDAHO 2014 page
on the LGBT Croydon website.
LGBT History Month 2014
Aurora again took part in the LGBT History Month events
in February 2014
Aurora is ten years old this May. Throughout the month
we visited meetings of the other LGBT organisations in Croydon and gave
everyone an Aurora pen, a piece of birthday cake (or fruit), the Aurora leaflet
and an update on recent projects. We involved far more people by going out and
visiting other groups than by asking them to come and celebrate with us, and
people reacted very well to being given something rather than just being told
about worthy causes and activities.
Members had worked
at a CAGS "Lick and Stick" evening to update the Aurora leaflet with sticky
labels and to create the Aurora pens with Aurora’s own inserts. Several
non-members joined in. So the exercise was remarkably successful in reminding
LGBT people of what we do in their name.
Many, more prestigious LGBT organisations disappear within five years.
Aurora has remained active largely because our local police are concerned to
keep us there. They have maintained some very dedicated LGBT liaison officers
and continued to send a police representative to almost every meeting over ten
years. Aurora raises community concerns, disseminates information and works to
reduce our common problems.
exhibited with half a dozen local churches and half a dozen local LGBT groups
in the event for IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia and
Transphobia, in North End in the morning of Saturday 18th May.
For more details, and more photos, see the IDAHO 2013 page on
Funding for Galop
We’ve made great use of Galop’s green booklets on
the rights and wrongs of PSE use, so much so that Galop had been unable to
replace them. However we managed to find Galop a couple of funding sources
which were used to fund a new set of shorter, more concise booklets, and some
of the work on Operation Nutmeg.
Gay man? Have the police asked you for DNA samples? See
the advice on
Operation Nutmeg from the Galop website, and ACPO’s new guidance. Aurora is waiting for
comment from Croydon Division. For more information see Pink
Croydon marks Trans Day of Remembrance
On 17th November, the Saturday before the International
Trans Day of Remembrance, Croydon Trans Group joined with Aurora at 8pm to for
a remembrance ceremony and social gathering at St Stephen’s Church Norbury
and Thornton Heath. For details see www.TDoR.org.uk under "2012 - Croydon".
David Kay steps down as Croydon's Liaison Officer
Aurora members were sad to hear that PCSO David Kay had
stepped down from his role as Croydon's LGBT Police Liaison Officer. David took
over this role in early 2007, and was a very active and dedicated Liaison
Officer. With the Met's new emphasis on "total policing" it is likely that we
will not have a dedicated LGBT Liaison Officer in future, although there is
clearly a continuing need for Liaison Officers in some form. David had shown a
great deal of enthusiasm and commitment in his work. We shall miss him
IDAHO and PSEs
For IDAHO we spent an afternoon engaging users of a
local PSE and distributing leaflets.
The background to the Aurora website in April/May 2012
showed daffodils in a lawn. They were planted at the front of the Unitarian
Church, on the Flyover, to brighten up the centre of Croydon as part of the
celebration on the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (20th October
2011). The Transgender Day of Remembrance is celebrated each annually in memory
of the people who had been murdered in the previous year for being
In December 2011 a local press article published a
story that the popular Shooshh nightclub had ejected a gay couple for kissing.
Our LGBT liaison officer, PSCO David Kay went to the club and met one of the
couple, who insisted that he had been treated absolutely fairly, and that he,
not Shoosh had been out of order.
LGBT History Month
groups once again celebrated LGBT History Month in February 2011. The events
included a special LGBT police question time with
the Borough Commander in the Council Chamber, Croydon Town Hall (organised by
Crocus and supported by Aurora). Aurora was also amongst the groups featured in
a month-long display in Croydon Library
for more details and photos.
Aurora holds its Annual General Meeting
16 November 2010
Aurora held its 2010 AGM at Croydon Town Hall as part
of the normal November Main Meeting. Community Members were elected unopposed
as Community Representative, , Deputy Community Reprsentative, Treasurer and
Webmaster. There had been no nomination for Administrator, but the Treasurer
agreed to continue to act in this capacity.
Black History Month
Aurora members were involved
in the events celebrating Black LGBT History, as part of Black History Month,
During 2010, Aurora's Cruising Working Party has been consulting
discreetly on issues affecting a local cruising ground. Contact us if you have any information or
Spotlight PSE Group
In early 2010 Aurora found that some hate crime
problems Croydon was having with its cruising grounds were also occurring
across London, as they were across the country. As a result, it worked with
Galop, to form an independent London-wide forum to include professionals and
LGBT consultation groups to share strategies to reduce hate crime.
LGBT History Month 2010
Aurora members, and our local LGBT Liaison Officers, took part
in events to celebrate LGBT History Month in Febrary 2010. See www.lgbt-croydon.org.uk/lgbthm.
Trans Day of Remembrance 2009
21 November 2009
The London event for the 2009
Trans Day of Remembrance took place on the 21st of November in Gower Street.
Aurora AGM – new officers elected
10 November 2009
Aurora held its 2009 AGM on the 10th of November at
Croydon Town Hall. Three candidates were all elected unopposed to fill the five
vacancies for officers. More volunteers would be welcome.
London Pride 2009
For the first time, Aurora was represented at London Pride 2009.
17 May 20090
For IDAHO 2009, we
celebrated 26 transgendered people who had been murdered during the previous
Inquiry into the murder of Kellie Telesford
16 April 2009
April 16th 2009 a meeting
took place in Croydon police station to review concerns about the investigation
into the murder of Kellie Telesford.
In the event two representatives of the Serious Crime Unit attended, and
Lesley Burton, who heads the Crown Prosecution Service. Several civilians
attended, and all those who requested a place were able to attend (even one for
whom no place had been reserved because we'd forgotten to include his name).
25 November 2008
A new law to prevent forced
marriages comes into force today, 25th November 2008. It also protects those
who have already fallen victim.
Anyone trying to force someone into marriage risks up to two years in
There is a new Forced Marriage Protection Order. A victim, a friend or the
police can apply for one. It will forbid families from actions such as taking
people abroad for marriage, seizing passports or intimidating victims.
Lesbian and gay people have been deeply affected by forced marriage or the
fear of it. But until today it has only been a policing matter where other
offences or other policing issues involved.
But most victims will be afraid to use the legislation, and the government
has taken very positive steps to support them. (See the page on Forced Marriage.)
BBC news article
Internet Dating Attack in Streatham
25 November 2008
The Pink Paper published a report of a conviction for
an attack that nearly left the victim dead in a burning house. More
Transgender Day of Remembrance
23 November 2008
23rd November 2008
Dragon Hall, Stukeley Street, Covent Garden
An opportunity to remember, mourn and celebrate trans lives lost to violence or
The Transgender day of Remembrance is an opportunity for trans people, their
friends, families and allies to come together in a safe space to reflect on
those trans people who have lost their lives through violence or suicide
because they are trans. It is a time to remember, mourn and celebrate them and
to tell their stories so they are not forgotten. More
New LGBT liaison officers
13 November 2008
Croydon Division has committed to have 20 trained LGBT
liaison officers, evidence of the commitment to LGBT people in Croydon. By
November 2008 18 of them had completed their training.
Mark Gore moves on
31 October 2008
Our Borough Commander is moving on after over three
years. He looks back over what has been achieved in Croydon over this time, and
outlines hand-over arrangements. More
Proposal to close Aurora
9 September 2008
A motion was put to
close Aurora permanently. Some Aurora members wanted this. The result was defeated on September 9th.
Kellie Telesford - accused not guilty
14 August 2008
The 18-year-old Shanniel Hyatt, accused of strangling
transsexual Kellie Telesford, was found not guilty
today, August 14th.
More about Kellie Telesford...
Call for nominations
In November 2008 Aurora elects new officers. Aurora may
well not continue if there are not enough people to fill the posts.
Please consider volunteering.
Shanniel Hyatt, who was 17 at the time, was accused of
getting angry in Kellie's Thornton Heath flat, when he discovered that she was
transsexual, of strangling her and stealing items including her Oyster card,
which he used to get the bus home.
Hyatt denies the accusation and claims that Kellie was alive when he left
Jay Evans, a GHB addict, has launched a campaign and a
new website, www.knowGBL.org.uk, to criminalise sale of GBL, which is now
easily available over the Internet and widely used on gay clubs. It is often
believed to be a 'safe' drug alternative. Ingesting it produce GHBs. The
website contains a petition to Downing Street. Article from Pink News c June
4th 2008. [Note the website seems since to have
17 May 2008
On May 17th 2008, IDAHO,
the International Day Against HOmophobia, Aurora spoke to people at the Bird in
Hand about LGBT crimes against them.
Aurora's 5th birthday
6 May 2008
On May 6th 2008, we look back on over a dozen achievements.
In February 2008 the 20-year-old Sonny Lockwood was
sentenced to ten years in prison for an arson attack in January 2006 on the
home of a gay couple, in the estate where he had made so many other people's
YouTube kiss video - School Bullying
A 15-year-old suspected of forcing two schoolboys to
kiss while filming them has been arrested and bailed by police. Footage of two
St Joseph's College students kissing appeared on YouTube. It showed the boys
being forced to kiss each other on their knees. It is understood the pupils
were accosted on their way home from the college in Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood.
The suspect was arrested on February 1 on suspicion of attempted robbery, false
imprisonment and outraging public decency.
Murder of Kellie Telesford
In November 2007 we heard that Kellie Telesford had
been murdered in Thornton Heath.
More about Kellie Telesford...
New LGBT Liaison Officer
It's official! Our new LGBT Liaison Officer is David Kay. David is to be our first full-time LGBT liaison
officer, and as he is a Police Community Liaison Officer he will not be called
away on other duties as our last officer was.
The Independent LGBT Advisory Group to the Met has
published a review of the investigations of
some gay murders from recent years.
IDAHO May 17th 2007
17 May 2007
At 7pm in our usual meeting in the Town Hall we had a
short ceremony for IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia.
It was nothing like the previous year's event. It was short and sweet. But
In January 2007, the London
Paper reported that a health warning has been issued after fake condoms
hit high street shelves. Experts said packets of "Durexx Gossamer" - fake
copies with an extra "x" - seized by trading standards officers could spell
disaster for lovers. The fakes are copies of a variety of condoms made by the
well-known brand Durex.
More lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people to get involved.
Aurora is tiny - we need you.
We're making a big effort to get more people involved.
- Perhaps you want only to join the mailing list.
- You can join just to raise just one issue.
- We specially need more women and more black and ethnic minority
- You can join in by e-group, you don't have to attend meetings.
To do any of these, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone 07733 286954).
Aurora at Brighton Pride
Aurora shared a stall at Brighton
Pride with CAGS and other local LGBT
Good news for Asylum Seekers
Aurora is helping lesbian and gay asylum seekers keep
within the law.
It's hard for lesbians and gay men who've escaped persecution by the
authorities in their own country to tell the authorities here the real reason
they were persecuted.
Our authorities tend to distrust claims based on sexuality: anyone can say
they are gay.
Sexuality is seen very different in other cultures. But very western ideas
are used to decide that an applicant is not gay. They have included the number
of children the applicant has and whether the applicant knows who Barbra
The Home Office's research on danger zones around the world is out-of-date
compared with other government departments. So people often get sent back to
torture, rape and murder, because official records of atrocities don't exist
So genuine lesbian and gay asylum seekers often decide to 'disappear'.
information for those affected.
0207 620 6010
Tue Wed Thur - office hours
Aurora has just managed to get multilingual posters telling asylum seekers
the helpline number of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. This provides
advice and the specialist legal support to which they are entitled and which is
necessary to make a valid application. it is also the gateway to other services
that are properly provided for them.
This will help more people to make valid applications and it will save time
wasted when the grounds of asylum are changed late in the process. But we
intend that fewer genuine asylum seekers will 'disappear', to work illegally,
become vulnerable to criminal exploitation and blackmail and be denied access
to essential services, including the police and justice system.
At the March Aurora meeting the Police told us of an
incident that began in a cruising ground in Croydon. It ended with one man
threatening the other with a knife in an attempt to steal his car. The incident
was significant in that it occurred after they had
had sex together.
There have been similar events in other cruising grounds where someone robs
or assaults a cruiser after having had sex. This
gives them the advantage of gaining the confidence of the victim. The moral
does not need stating.
Holocaust memorial day
Aurora members participated in Croydon's
Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in 2006.