What's On

Your guide to What's On?

You are here:
What's On
OUTing the Past

OUTing the Past

The National Festival of LGBT History

26 February 2017

26 Feburary 2017, OUTing the Past The National Festival of LGBT History © People's History Musuem

Time 11:00 - 17:00

Duration 6 hours

Cost In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation.  Suggested donation £5

Schools OutOn the opening weekend of our Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights exhibition, join us to celebrate LGBT History Month!  Our jam-packed programme includes talks, discussions, tours, theatre and music.  In partnership with Schools Out.

Part of our Never Going Underground season, a year long programme of exhibitions, events and learning programmes exploring the past, present andHeritage Lottery FundedNever Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights future of LGBT+ activism.

Suitable for all ages, the programme will include talks for adults and young people and Family Friendly events

  • Treat yourself to 10% off in The Left Bank cafe bar and 10% off in the museum shop when you attend an event at the People’s History Museum
  • Love PHM?  Join the Radicals and support the museum


Stuart Milk
12.00pm – 1.00pm, Coal Store
Stuart Milk is an international human rights activist, LGBT rights speaker, government relations consultant, and youth advocate.  He is the co-founder and Board President of the all volunteer Harvey Milk Foundation.  As the nephew of Harvey Milk, the iconic civil rights leader, Stuart has taken his uncle’s message of authenticity, example of courage and the power of collaboration onto the global stage supporting local, regional and national human rights struggles and emerging LGBT communities on five continents.

The Jan Bridget Collection at Lancashire Archives, Jan Bridget
1.00pm – 1.30pm, Archive
Jan Bridget’s extensive library and archives (covering 25 years of activism: Lesbian Information Service and Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale) are available at Lancashire Archives, Preston.  Jan will show you how to access the collections and introduce their contents.

Trade unions championing LGBT equality, Peter Purton
1.00pm – 1.30pm, Coal Store
Peter Purton is a former Equal Rights Policy Officer at the TUC, where he led on work around LGBT and disability issues.  Peter will discuss the largely untold story of trade unions’ role in the fight for LGBT equality and expects to publish a book on the subject this year.

Protest photographs from the Hall Carpenter Archives, Gillian Murphy, LSE
2.00pm – 2.30pm, Archive
The Hall-Carpenter Archives consist of around 2,000 boxes of material relating to LGBT activism in the UK.   Join archivist Gillian Murphy to uncover photographs from early gay demonstrations in the 1970s, organised by the Gay Liberation Front.

Blurring the Lines: Trans representation and gender expression in rock music, Kate Hutchinson, Wipe Out Transphobia
2.00pm – 2.30pm, Coal Store
Rock music has long been a voice for minority groups.  Join Kate Hutchinson for a whirlwind journey through the history of trans and gender variant representation in music, exploring how it has helped in changing attitudes and bringing awareness.  From lyrics in songs from Lou Reed and the Kinks to blurring gender stereotypes in image, through to trans pioneers such as Jayne County from the punk era to Laura Jane Grace today.

But what can they do in bed anyway? Lesbian sexuality and the law, Jenny White, Warp & Weft
2.30pm – 3.00pm, Archive
Female same sex acts have never been outlawed in the UK (at least in civilian society).  It’s sometimes suggested that this was because Queen Victoria didn’t believe such a thing existed.  But how true is this theory?  Join Jenny White to explore historical beliefs about female biology and sexual desire, and examine how lesbian lives were policed in laws designed to tie women to a husband, children and the home.

Three decades of HIV/AIDS design, Andrew Dineley, Soft Octopus
2.30pm – 3.00pm, Coal Store
Andrew Dineley is the Creative Director of Soft Octopus Design Studio and has worked with the health, education and charity sectors for three decades, designing many acclaimed public health campaigns, including Liverpool’s first HIV/AIDS materials in the 1980s, when he was employed by the NHS.  He now writes about design and runs his own creative studio in Liverpool.  He was also responsible for the design of Now+then - a display and archive materials chronicling three decades of HIV in Merseyside.

The Other Consenting Adults: or, What were lesbians doing in 1967? Jane Traies, University of Sussex
3.00pm – 3.30pm, Archive
In 2017 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Act of Parliament which partially decriminalised homosexuality between men.  Lesbians (never having been illegal) were not officially part of that story – but their rather different struggles and triumphs also deserve to be remembered.  This presentation uncovers lesbian life in the 1960s.

Out and Proud in Trade Unions, Michelle Clarkson, UNISON North West LGBT Group
3.00pm – 3.30pm, Coal Store
Trade unions have been at the forefront of campaigns to change equality law, contractual rights and workplace practices on LGBT equality – a role that is not always acknowledged, with the media quick to portray unions as concerned with narrow self-interest.  Following the Brexit vote and other political upheavals, many feel as though we are in uncharted waters, with prejudice and hate crime on the increase.  This presentation will consider the lessons we can learn from the past to guide us through the next months and years.

Pride Comes Before A Ball! Forgotten LGBT Heroes of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, Andrew Lumsden
3.30pm – 4.00pm, Coal Store
‘For tactical reasons, when the police were still crawling all over us and jailing thousands of us each year, LGBT campaigners in Britain had to move forward secretly behind a shield of S for ‘straight’ famous figures, ranging from Bishops to Aristocrats.  We can now praise openly the lesbians, bis, trans and gays who, with far more courage than is now demanded of most of us in this country, brought about the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.’


LGBT History Tour
11.00am – 12.00pm, main galleries
Discover how the history of gender and sexuality has been affected by society, politics and activism over the past 200 years.

Taster tours of Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights
1.00pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm
Join our Community Curators for introductory tours of our groundbreaking new exhibition.

LGBT Banners Tour
1.30pm – 2.30pm, main galleries
Did you know that the People’s History Museum has the largest collection of banners in the world?  And that we are the world’s expert in conserving them?  As part of our Never Going Underground season, in 2017 we have a special banner hang featuring banners used by organisations fighting for LGBT+ rights.


“The oldest New Woman and her incorrigible Welsh friend” Frances Power Cobbe and Mary Charlotte Lloyd in conversation
4.00pm – 5.00pm, Coal Store
‘Ours is the old, old story of every uprising race or class or order.  The work of elevation must be wrought by ourselves or not at all.”

A lively conversation in costume with Frances Power Cobbe (b 1822), an Irish feminist, journalist and political activist, and Mary Lloyd (b 1819), a Welsh artist.  They met in Rome, Italy and were partners for 35 years.  Throughout the second half of the 19th century they spent much time in London campaigning for votes for women and animal rights.  Miss Cobbe was also instrumental in changing the law on ‘wife torture’ (women experiencing domestic violence).  They then retired to Wales and ended their years in Llanelltyd, mid Wales, where they are buried together in a local churchyard.

The conversation explores their relationship and some of the conversations they had between themselves and their friends about their lives and passions.  It also features a special guest appearance from John Gibson, a Welsh born sculptor with whom Miss Lloyd studied.

**Please note the two performances below are at Burnley Central Library, Lancashire, BB11 2BD**

The Burnley Buggers’ Ball & Burnley’s Lesbian Liberator
Sat 25 February, 12.00pm – 1.15pm & 2.00pm – 3.15pm, Burnley Central Library
In the 1970s, Burnley was the UK’s battleground for gay and lesbian rights.  Who knew?!  To mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act (1967), LGBT History Month has commissioned two brilliant new dramas from Inkbrew Production to rediscover this amazing forgotten history.

The Burnley Buggers’ Ball, by Stephen M Hornby, tells the story of a transformative political meeting held at Burnley Central Library.  Burnley’s Lesbian Liberator by Abi Hynes dramatises the political activism of a bus driver sacked for nothing more than wearing a badge.  Both plays are vividly staged in the sites where the original events happened.

Suitable for adults and young people aged 12 and over

No booking required.  Each performance is open to members of the public for free on a first come, first served basis until venue capacity is reached

Travel Information:
- Bus X43 from Chorlton Street, Manchester to Burnley Bus Station (Gate 7)
- Train from Manchester Victoria to Burnley Manchester Road

Booking Requirements: No booking required