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The National Festival of LGBT History

The National Festival of LGBT History

Join our jam-packed programme of events and celebrate LGBT History Month

27 February 2016

26 Feburary 2016, LGBT History Festival © People's History Musuem

Time 10:00 - 17:00

Duration 7 hours

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

Join us for the Second National Festival of LGBT History as we celebrate LGBT History Month.  Our jam-packed programme includes talks, discussion, tours, theatre and music.  Highlights include talks from musician and broadcaster Tom Robinson, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and Prof Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History.

In partnership with Schools Out UK.

The National Festival of LGBT HistorySchools Out




Suitable for adults and young people, some activity suitable for families

  • Treat yourself to 15% 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
  • Warm up for the festival with our LGBT History tour on Friday 26 February, 1.15pm – 2.00pm

Full programme

  • 10.20am – 11.00am, Coal Store
    The Role of LGBT History and Campaigns for Human Equality,
    Q&A with human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and Prof Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History
  • 11.00am – 11.30am, Coal Store
    Reclaiming the Link with the Past: The Importance of the ‘Pink Triangle’ for LGBTIQ History and Political Activism, Rainer Schulze, University of Essex
    The ‘Pink Triangle’ was originally the badge for homosexual prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.  It served as a badge of pride for the early gay liberation movement, but has now been widely replaced by the rainbow flag.  Explore why the ‘Pink Triangle’ remains a crucial link to the historical experiences of LGBTIQ communities.
  • 11.00am – 11.30am, Archive
    Queen and Country: same-sex desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945, Dr Emma Vickers, Liverpool John Moores University
    Queen and Country examines the complex intersection between same-sex desire and the British Armed Forces during World War II.  It illuminates how men and women lived, loved and survived within an institution which, at least publicly, was unequivocally hostile towards same-sex activity within its ranks.
  • 11.45am – 12.15pm, Archive
    Sources for LGBT history: an archivist’s perspective, Allie Dillon, Bristol Record Office
    From court records to the papers of modern groups and people, caring for records of LGBT history offers a range of challenges.  Allie Dillon will describe how Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives worked with Bristol’s OutStories group to create a high-profile exhibition and gather new resources for research.
  • 11.45am – 12.15pm, Mini Theatre
    Just A Ball Game?, Lindsay England, Just A Ball Game?
    In celebration of those women’s players who have spoken to the media openly about their sexuality, here at JBG? we have produced a double sided poster of 14 players and a coach who featured in the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, all of whom are OUT, PROUD and KICKING.  We will also have our educational ‘TIME FOR ACTION’ exhibition on display and lots of resources to give away.
  • 12.30pm – 1.00pm, Engine Hall
    Theatre performance: Mister Stokes, Pagelight Productions
    Harry Stokes was found drowned in a Manchester canal in 1859.  When his body was examined, he was found to be biologically female, though he had lived as a man and married twice.  This short piece explores the fascinating history of Mister Stokes and the women he called ‘wife’.  Based on the few records that exist, ‘Mister Stokes’ is an insightful, colourful and moving piece.  In a time when words did not exist to describe him, he managed to live a successful life for many years.  But, like many trans pioneers, he has been mostly forgotten….until now.
  • 1.15pm – 1.45pm, Coal Store
    Gender’s Far More Than Just Female and Male, Dr Lee R J Middlehurst, Life Cycle Media
    Transgender is so misunderstood.  From 2003 to 2013 I uncovered so many lies, half-truths, confusion and hatred about gender variance.  I read; I reviewed; I interviewed; and I designed international surveys, getting 390,227 responses.  With transgender becoming ever more mainstream, we all need the realities of gender.
  • 1.15pm – 1.45pm, Archive
    ‘No Secret Any More’: Lesbian Life Stories, Jane Traies
    Jane Traies is a researcher, writer and storyteller who is collecting the life stories of older lesbians from all over the UK.  Her growing archive already contains the histories of dozens of women between the ages of 60 and 90.  Today she shares some of those extraordinary stories with us.
  • 1.15pm – 1.45pm, Mini Theatre
    Reflections on 40 years of Schools OUT, Sue Sanders, Schools OUT UK
    Schools OUT has worked for over 40 years to make LGBT people in all their diversity visible and safe.  As the instigator of the UK LGBT History Month and The Classroom, Sue has stories to tell on how Schools OUT UK, a unique voluntary charity, has been in the thick of it!
  • 1.30pm – 3.00pm, off-site (meet at PHM Info Desk)
    We were born in the 80s: A history of the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre, on Sidney Street, Manchester, Emily Crompton
    This walking tour will tell the story of how Manchester became the first place to build an entirely publicly funded, purpose designed centre for the gay community, just as Thatcher’s government were enacting Section 28.  Please note it will end at the LGBT Centre on Sidney Street, just off Oxford Road.  All attendees will receive a free zine!
  • 2.00pm – 2.45pm, Coal StoreTom Robinson
    Tom Robinson
    Tom Robinson’s LGBT anthem Glad To Be Gay was originally written for a Pride march and became a Top 20 hit in 1978.  He’s co-written songs with Elton John, had hits with 2-4-6-8 Motorway and War Baby, made LGBT radio documentaries (on bisexuality, the Stonewall Riots, and queer music pioneers), won two Sony Academy Awards and currently hosts three shows a week on BBC 6 Music.
  • 3.00pm – 3.30pm, Coal Store
    A short history of Gay Liberation in the UK, Stuart Feather
    Giant cucumbers, fake nuns, dead light-bulbs; weapons of the first lesbian and gay sexual revolution whose demonstrations were colourful, camp, bitingly sarcastic – wrong-footing authority at every turn.  Maoists, Marxists, radical feminists and radical queens struggled to define the idea of gay liberation.  Agitators with positive anarchy, they transformed British society for homosexual and heterosexual alike.
  • 3.00pm – 3.30pm, Archive
    Forty years of making and recording history, Ross Burgess, the UK LGBT Archive; the Campaign for Homosexual Equality
    Ross Burgess has taken part in the struggle for LGBT Equality since 1971.  He’s now helping to preserve the history of that struggle, as commissioning editor for Amiable Warriors, the story of CHE, and as a volunteer with the LGBT Archive, recording LGBT life throughout Britain from Julius Caesar to Tom Daley.
  • 3.00pm – 3.30pm, Mini theatre
    House Music: Creating A Secular Christianity For The Gay Diaspora, Liam Maloney, University of York
    Early house music was predominantly gay, and was full of religion.  Gospel singers, church organs, and club names all referenced religion.  But why was this the case?  And where did it go?  Come and hear the history of house music, listen to examples, and consider it’s past and future.
  • 3.45pm – 4.15pm, Coal Store
    Pots and Politics: The Making of the Clause 28 Tea Set, Claudia Clare
    Claudia Clare will discuss the Clause 28 Tea Set, 1988, commemorating that year of protest.  The tea set depicts some of the most audacious actions, including lesbians abseiling into the House of Lords –which she witnessed – the invasion of the Six O’Clock News, and the Mother’s Day occupation of the Ideal Home Exhibition.
  • 3.45pm – 4.15pm, Archive
    Michael Dillon: Trans Pioneer, Cheryl Morgan, OutStories Bristol
    The media is obsessed with trans women, but trans men have exciting stories too.  The first person ever to undergo full female-to-male gender surgery was an Irishman, Michael Dillon.  His dramatic life included World War II, medical experimentation, romantic involvement with a pioneering trans woman, newspaper outing, and becoming a Buddhist monk.
  • 3.45pm – 4.15pm, Mini Theatre
    The Herstory of Drag, Jack Chadwick, LGBTQ Officer, York University Students’ Union
    Marching to liberation in six inch stilettos, for decades drag queens have taken pride of place at the political vanguard of the LGBT movement, as the most visible and self-conscious transgressors of straightness. This session will paint the counter-cultural history of a practice on the intersection of art and identity.
  • 4.30pm – 5.15pm, Engine HallHappily Ever After
    Theatre performance: Happily Ever After, Action Transport Theatre
    Once upon a time, there lived a naughty prince who was always getting into trouble.  His mother decided that he needed to grow up and find a Queen.  Princesses came from all over the land, but none impressed the Prince… Until one princess arrived accompanied by her brother.
    Created by Action Transport Theatre (ATT) and The Proud Trust, Happily Ever After is inspired by Dutch children’s book King and King by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland.  The show uses ATT’s trademark highly visual, wordless storytelling and comedy clowning to tell this funny and delightful twist on a traditional fairytale.
    Family Friendly event, suitable for age 5 to adults
  • 5.20pm – 5.50pm, Engine Hall
    Music performance: Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus
  • 5.50pm – 6.00pm, Engine Hall
    Official close of the festival

Booking Requirements: No booking required, all events are first come, first served and have limited capacity

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