Will Young and Tom Daley to feature in art exhibition on gay rights advances

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Images of singer Will Young and Olympic diver Tom Daley have gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery in an exhibition on the advances in gay rights.

The show, Speak its Name!, is part of a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967.

Will Young
Will Young in 2011 (Mark Allan/AP)

Portraits of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen and journalist Isabella Blow, as well as actors Ben Whishaw and Saffron Burrows and MP Angela Eagle are on display, accompanied by quotations from the sitters about their experiences of revealing their sexuality.

Will Young by Alan Olley, 2003, on display at the National Portrait Gallery (Alan Olley/PA Wire)
Will Young by Alan Olley, 2003, on display at the National Portrait Gallery (Alan Olley/PA Wire)

The show is the first in a year-long series of events at the gallery, entitled I Am Me, which explore sexuality, gender, art and identity.

Actor Simon Callow has penned the introduction to a book accompanying the exhibition.

Tom Daley By Bettina von Zwehl, 2010 , on display at the National Portrait Gallery (Bettina von Zwehl/PA)
Tom Daley By Bettina von Zwehl, 2010 , on display at the National Portrait Gallery (Bettina von Zwehl/PA)

Portraits have been taken out of the gallery archive for the show, to be accompanied by previously published quotations.

Gallery director Dr Nicholas Cullinan said: "We are proud to be marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in this country with a ... series of displays and events which survey the ongoing and ever-more relevant discussion over identity, tolerance and equality from a panoramic and international perspective."

Ben Whishaw as Hamlet by Derry Moore, 2004, on display at the National Portrait Gallery (Derry Moore/PA)
Ben Whishaw as Hamlet by Derry Moore, 2004, on display at the National Portrait Gallery (Derry Moore/PA)

Curator Christopher Tinker said: "Speak its Name! highlights the enormous advances in gay rights over recent decades and assesses the continuing fight for equality for all."

The season continues in February with a display on the 1980s London art and club scene of Leigh Bowery, Derek Jarman, Ossie Clark and Gilbert & George.