Remembrance Day at Halfway II Heaven: Sunday 10 November

Halfway II Heaven is not only a much loved cabaret venue, over the past few years it’s become a safe and welcoming place for military and ex-military LGBTQ+ people. Central to this is their annual Remembrance Day celebration at CK Sunday with Crystal D’Canter and Kelly Mild. This year’s event is on Sunday 10 November and will feature special guest Delighted Tobehere. Dave Cross spoke to CK about this important day.

Crystal D’Canter

How did the idea for a Remembrance Day event at Halfway come about?

We never sat down and said let’s do this event, it occurred naturally. Given that Halfway II Heaven is so close to Whitehall and the Cenotaph it was a drinking spot for all branches of MOD and ES – and when you get two drag queens with massive poppies floating around outside you can imagine how it became the go to place after the services of remembrance.

Why is it important to have a place where LGBT+ servicemen and women can come and feel at home?

Over the years Halfway has become a destination for these amazing people to naturally be themselves – it’s rare to have a weekend without someone popping in on leave or just to see a friendly face. We’ve always appreciated the sacrifices made for us by the MOD and when we knew there was a dedicated branch for LGBTQ+, we wanted to ensure that they knew they were most welcome at Halfway. In a crazy world, Halfway is a solid ‘local’ it’s a place where they can just be themselves with no hang ups or judging.

How has the event changed over the past few years?

The sheer enormity of the day. The numbers of the MOD who come year after year has grown beyond belief. They come down in groups, bring families, not just LGBTQI+. They love that we spend the time to speak with them, take a few pics and have a banter with them… it’s gone from just a show where we could acknowledge those who fought for us to a celebration of the people who are here and their memories, whilst keeping true to the meaning of the day… there’s usually a rowdy singalong by all concerned.

What does Remembrance Day mean to you personally?

I have always held a real love for the MOD and their dedication and commitment to do what it takes to uphold the right for freedom and getting to know more of the MOD has just deepened my love and respect. I cannot comprehend what these guys and gals have been through, what they’ve seen and experienced… though I have some experience of the fallout and how it’s affected lives. My love grows more and more for them. I’m lucky, so lucky to consider many of the LGBTQ+ MOD as friends now and that means so very much to me.

Kelly Mild 

What can we expect on the Remembrance Sunday at Halfway II Heaven? 

Halfway packed to the rafters with the most gorgeous human beings choosing to spend such an important day with us. We chat, we sing and we have fun, all whilst remembering what the day is really about. Last year we were having a little fun on stage with a veteran and his family sent us pictures they took in the post to sign and send back to surprise him on Christmas Day. I’m sure he LOVED that!

What is it about Halfway that means LGBT+ service and ex-service people can feel at home? 

We found each other. The relationship between CK, Halfway and the MOD happened I’d say by accident. A few of the lads stumbled across our Sundays back in the early days and a bond formed. Our good friend Matthew said that he doesn’t know what they (MOD) would do without us at Halfway and similarly we the same with them. Here’s a little family grown from what is basically a chance meeting. He also told us we are the real ‘Forces’ Sweethearts’ and we take that with pride and honour.

What does Remembrance Day mean to you personally?

Every day when I wake up it’s important to remember that everything I do is because of those who came before and fought for what is right. I am grateful for this every day. As you read this, spare a thought for all those people who are still willing to risk their tomorrows for our today. Lest we forget.

Entry is free.

Halfway II Heaven, 7 Duncannon Street, Charing Cross, WC2.

To Top