Sunday, September 30, 2007

Black History Month

LGBT Black History Month logo
LGBT History Month UK is proud to celebrate Black History Month this October.

To mark the month, we have put together resource pages on our website. These include some information about prominent black LGBT people and black LGBT organisations. This blog will also feature specific posts throughout the month.

You can view these pages by clicking here or on the image above.

Press Release: LGBT History Month celebrates Black History Month UK.

LGBT History Month is very proud to celebrate Black History Month, which takes place every October in the United Kingdom. Black History Month is now one of the cultural landmarks of British life.

It seeks to celebrate the lives and achievements of black people everywhere, to give back to black people the history that has so often been distorted, rewritten or ignored. Like LGBT History Month, it seeks to replace ignorance and prejudice with knowledge and understanding, to speak directly to its own peoples and to the society as a whole. It benefits every one of us.

Paul Patrick, co-chair of LGBT History Month, stated, “ It is impossible for any group to develop a knowledge of who they are without an understanding of their history; it is impossible for a society to understand who its members are and how they may celebrate the diversity that such a wide membership brings without that same understanding. Black History Month seeks to do in October what LGBT History Month seeks to do in February, to make visible and accessible to all the histories, lives and achievements of a section of society, too often ignored or misunderstood.

“It is also a timely reminder to all of us that the Black and LGBT communities are as wide and diverse as any others and to that end we will be looking at the specific contributions made by Black LGBT people.

“We want to see a greater LGBT presence celebrating Black History Month and a greater Black presence celebrating LGBT History Month so why not organise events for both. If it is too late for this year then start thinking about next year now! Visit our website; see for yourself and use our new forum to make your own contribution to this work.”

October is GLBT History Month

While the UK has been celebrating LGBT History Month for the past 3 years in February, the United States celebrate the LGBT lives and achievements in October. Throughout the month, the Equality Forum will make available a different shor video biography of a GLTB Icon.

You will also be able to view these videos from the front page of our own website as of tomorrow, 1st October.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Women's Football World Cup on BBC2

One of our readers sends us the following:
The closing matches of the Women's Football World Cup are taking place this weekend in Shanghai.

The Final, between Germany and Brazil, will be shown live on BBC2 (and online) this Sunday 30th September at 12:45pm.

The playoff for 3rd and 4th places will also be available live online at BBCi at 10:00am Sunday 30th September.

See the BBC Women's Football page for further details and related links here

I'm thrilled that the BBC decided to air the matches. There are not a lot of publicly "out" bisexual or lesbian players on the teams, and given China's poor human rights track record around LGBT issues, it's not surprising that bisexual and lesbian players do not feel safe being open about their identity. Support women's sport and the lesbian and bi sportspeople who are on all the teams - and enjoy some great football!

NOTE: I am having trouble finding an LGBT-positive venue that is screening the matches, even in London. Suggest to your local that they might want to show the match!

lgBT Related Radio and TV Programmes. 29th Sept. – 5th Oct.

We seek them out so you don't have to. This is our weekly non-exhaustive round up of upcoming LGBT programmes on the radio and television. Inclusion of a programme is not a recommendation.

Some of the programmes listed below will remain available for listen again from the BBC's website.

Saturday 29th
BBC Radio4 - 12.30pm: The News Quiz – Chaired by Sandi Toksvig.
BBC Radio3 - 6.30pm: Opera on 3 – Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw

Sunday 30th
BBC Radio4 – 11.15am: Desert Island Discs with George Michael
BBC Radio4 - 3.00pm: Classic Serial 2nd of 2 - Virginia Woolf's The Waves.
BBC Radio4 – 6.15pm: Tom Robinson’s Pick of the Week.
BBC Radio4 – 9.00pm: Radio 4: This is your Life hosted by Stephen Fry and Matt Lucas.


Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th
BBC2 - 9pm onwards: Stephen Fry Weekend

Sunday 30th
Channel4 - 8.00pm: Celebrity Wife Swap

Tuesday 2nd
BBC2 – 9.00pm: Stephen Fry: HIV & Me.
Biography Channel – 7.00pm: George Michael Unplugged.

Wednesday 3rd
Five Life – 9.00pm: Gender Swap with Rebecca Loos & Darren Day.
Performance – 7.00pm: Queen: Live in Rio.

Thursday 4th
Sky Arts – 8.00pm: Truman Capote.

Sunday 30th
BBC2 – 9.45am-12.00 & 12.45 pm: Women’s World Cup Football including the Final!

Sunday 30th
Sky Movies Drama - 4pm & 12.10am: Brokeback Mountain.
Sky Movies Classics - 6.45pm: Rebecca.
Sky Movies Modern Greats - 9.50pm: Midnight Express.

Monday 1st
Sky Movies Classics - 12.55pm: All About Eve.
TCM - 9.15am: The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Friday 5th
Film 4 – 10.50pm: If.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stonewall Comes to the Drill Hall

Stonewall posterOn a hot summer night in 1969 an incident took place in downtown Manhattan that would change the face of modern sexuality forever.

Darkly humorous, frequently poignant, and set to a soundtrack of swinging sixties girl groups, Stonewall is the story of sexual intrigue, innocent romance and just plain old-fashioned bad behaviour that sparked the most glamorous night of civil disobedience in history.

As we mentioned a few weeks back, this play, written and directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair, was nominated in the Best Ensemble category of Edinburgh Fringe Festival's The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence.

The play is now coming to the Drill Hall in London for a short run on 3-7,10-14,17-21 October.

Rikki Beadle-Blair has also created FIT, which is showing at the Drill Hall, as part of its education programme, on 1 and 2 November, with daytime performances for schools. More information here.

Drill Hall
3-21 October
Wed-Sat 7.30pm
Sun 4pm & 7.30pm
tickets: £15, £10 under 25s and concessions

Our previous post on the play

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Vagina Monologues in Lancashire

We are a bunch of multi talented people at LGBT History Month and we get involved a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Paul Patrick, Co-chair of History Month, for example, is directing the British mainland amateur premier of the award winning Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.

The show is produced by The Aphra Behn Society and has performances by E.Maureen Jackson, Amanda Pierce, Sheila Godfrey, Hazel Mrozek and Emma Mills.

It will take place at the New Millenium Theatre in Rossendale, Lancashire between Thursday 18th and Sunday 21st October (7:30pm). A gala night with smart dress and free glasses of "bubbly" is planned for
Saturday 20th (£10).

All monies from this production will be donated to the Lancashire Rape Crisis Centre and Local Victim Support for projects on women's safety.

The Vagina Monologue
New Millenium Theatre
18th to 21st October
£6 - £5 Concessions

New Millenium Theatre
Burnley Road

Tickets Available from:
Anne Riding
23 Greendale Ave
01706 228720
& Mace Express: Next door to the theatre

Find out more about the play:
The Vagina Monologues

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LGBT Books on Google

Google, the much used search engine also offer a book search facility. Publishers can make available online sections of books or even complete books for Google users to search. There is also a Library Project which makes available and searchable the catalogues of major libraries.

There are of course LGBT books available on the search; mostly academic works.

Click on the links below to see what is on offer:
Social Science / Gay Studies
Social Science / Lesbian Studies
Books about transgenderism
Books about transsexuality
Books about bisexuality

Google Book Search

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And Then He Was a She

Holly Woodlawn painted by Sadie Lee.

Holly came from Miami, FLA
Hitchhiked her way across the USA
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs, and then he was a she
She said, "Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side."
Lou Reed

The Drill Hall is proud to present the London premiere of a groundbreaking exhibition of ten paintings of Warhol Drag Queen Holly Woodlawn by award-winning British artist Sadie Lee.

Holly Woodlawn is one of the last surviving members of Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’ inner circle, the star of cult films Trash and Women in Revolt. Born Harold Ajzenberg in Puerto Rico, 1946, she took the name ‘Holly’ from the gamine heroine of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. On meeting her, Capote declared Holly to be “the face of the 70’s”.

In October 2006, Sadie Lee spent every day for a week in Holly’s Los Angeles apartment, making studies of Holly as the basis for a series of oil paintings. The paintings, made on Lee’s return to her London studio, show Holly in all her incarnations, with and without make-up, wig and frock. This is the first time that Holly has allowed herself to be presented publicly out of drag. These are not just pictures of a man dressing as a woman; Holly is both male and female and neither.

She is, above all, a Superstar.

1st Oct to 11 Nov
Mon-Sat noon-8pm
Sun 11am-6pm

Free admission

The Drill Hall in association with queerupnorth and Salford Museum and Art Gallery
More details


Sadie Lee literally painting Holly Woodlawn during a sitting session

Afternoon Tea with Holly and Sadie

Grab a chance to meet one of the legends of queer culture: the Warhol Superstar and Stonewall Rioter - Miss Holly Woodlawn.

Holly came from Miami, FLA, as we all know. She's making an even longer journey - from her home in Los Angeles all the way to London for the launch of The Drill Hall's exhibition of portraits by Sadie Lee.

Celebrate with an afternoon of conversation and screenings - think This Is Your Life in full drag.

Sun 30 Sep
Drill Hall 1

£15 concessions

More details

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lesbian and Gay Switchboard Receives Royal Award

On 30th April 2002 and to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, Her Majesty The Queen announced the creation of a new, annual Award: The Queen's Golden Jubilee Award, now known as The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

The Award recognises the vital role played by the hundreds of thousands of ‘unsung heroes’ of the voluntary and community world and emphasises the importance of continuing recognition of their work.

The number of Awards made each year is determined by the number and quality of the nominations received. Awards are made to groups operating in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man rather than to individuals.

This year, the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard became the second LGBT organisation ever to be honoured with the Award. The list of winners was announced by the Queen in June this year but the Award itself will be handed out shortly.

Founded in 1974, the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard aims to provide 24 hour access to high quality information support and referral for the empowerment of all lesbian and gay men and anyone who needs to consider lesbian and gay issues.

The helpline number is 020 7837 7324 and the recruitment hotline for volunteers is 020 7837 7606.

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Is Honesty the Best Policy?

Come out to your colleagues and a class full of teenagers, or hide an important part of yourself and feel guilty. It’s a tough decision and it isn’t helped by some schools failing to tackle homophobic insults.

Read Madeleine Brettingham's article in the Times Education Supplement in full here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

LGBT Related Radio and TV Programmes. 22nd Sept. - 28th Sept.

We seek them out so you don't have to. This is our weekly non-exhaustive round up of upcoming LGBT programmes on the radio and television. Inclusion of a programme is not a recommendation.

Some of the programmes listed below will remain available for listen again from the BBC's website.

Saturday 22nd
BBC Radio2 - 8.00pm: Elton John - The Red Piano Concert.
Sunday 23rd
BBC Radio4 - 3.00pm: Classic Serial - Virginia Woolf's The Waves. 1st of 2.
BBC Radio3 - 8.00pm: Drama on 3 - Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.
Thursday 27th
BBC Radio4 - 9.00: In Our Time - The Ideas of Socrates.
Friday 28th
BBC Radio4 - 2.15pm: Afternoon Play - A Coup, based on a short story by Bruce Chatwin.
BBC Radio4 - 6.30pm: The News Quiz hosted by Sandi Toksvig.



Saturday 22nd
National Geographic -6.00pm: History's Conspiracies - The Secret Life of J Edgar Hoover.
BBC2 - 9.30pm: Nureyev: From Russia with Love.
ITV - 9.40pm: Elton John: Me, Myself & I.

Sunday 23rd
BBC1- 10.00am: The Big Question debates "Same-sex Partnerships"

Monday 24th
BBC1 - 10.35: Movie Connections - Cast & Crew discuss the making of "Billy Elliott".

Tuesday 25th
BBC3 - 9.00pm: Lucy: Teen Transexual in Thailand.
More 4 - 9.00pm: True Stories: Murder Most Foul - Antony Sher returns to South Africa to investigate the murder of two gay men.
Sky Arts - 10.35: The Secret Files of Gilbert & George.

Wednesday 26th
UK TV Food - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life - Alan Bennett.

Thursday 27th
Biography - 6.00pm: Katharine Hepburn.
BBC3 - 10.30pm: Danny: Escape from my female body.


Saturday 22nd
Sky Modern Greats - 10.00pm: The Doors.
Sky Arts - 11.00pm: Romeo and Juliet - Ballet with Nureyev & Fonteyn.

Tuesday 25th
Channel 4 - 1.30am: Withnall & I.

Wednesday 26th
Channel 4 - 1.30pm: The Children's Hour.
Sky Drama - Midnight: Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Friday 28th
Sky Indie - 12.40am: All About My Mother.

Saturday 29th
BBC2 - 1.10am: The Triple Echo.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Olivier Centenary at the National Theatre

The new statue still wrappedThe National Theatre is staging a series of events, to mark the centenary of the birth of Laurence Olivier (he was born on 22 May 1907). Olivier is celebrated as one of the best British actors and he helped to found the National Theatre and was its directed for several years.

The events include the unveiling of a statue of Olivier as Hamlet created by the sculptor Angela Conner and funded by private subscription (picture). The statue is located in a corner of the theatre's forecourt.

Olivier: A Celebratory Performance
Sunday 23 September, 6pm
In the Olivier Theatre, the National presents a special performance to celebrate the greatest actor of the twentieth century. Telling the story of Olivier’s working life through film and stage extracts, letters, reminiscence and readings, the participants will include (subject to availability) Eileen Atkins, Richard Attenborough, David Bradley, Claire Bloom, Anna Carteret, Gawn Grainger, James Hayes, Derek Jacobi, Charles Kay, Robert Lindsay, Clive Merrison, Edward Petherbridge, Ronald Pickup, Joan Plowright, Corin Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Sheila Reid and Billie Whitelaw.

Olivier Films on the Fly Tower
19 – 23 September, 8.30pm
A selection of Olivier’s most iconic and popular films will be projected onto the NT Fly Tower:
Wed 19 Rebecca, 1940
Thu 20 The Prince and the Showgirl, 1957
Fri 21 Henry V, 1944
Sat 22 Wuthering Heights, 1939
Sun 23 Hamlet, 1948
All showings are free

Unveiling of the new Olivier Statue
Sunday 23 September
Today marks the installation outside the National of a new statue of Olivier as Hamlet, created by the sculptor Angela Conner and funded by private subscription.

Celebrating Laurence Olivier
2 August - 30 September
The BFI Southbank continue their two part film season celebrating Olivier’s staggering achievements over six decades.
Visit for details.

See also:
* Olivier on Wikipedia
* The Official Web Site of Sir Laurence Olivier

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bugger the High Seas!

Avast, me hearties!

Arrr! Today of all days be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. If we hear any complain’ from ye scallywags, ye’ll be walkin’ the plank!

Here's a coupla nice pieces of booty for ye, lubbers: We, Gentlemen o' fortune be among the most romanticised and fabled characters in history and the Seven Seas. By the Powers! From that drasted Bluebeard to darn Captain Hook, we've been in scores of movies, books, urchin's tales, and we e'en gallivant in a world-famous amusement park ride. Arrr!

In Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean, historian B. R. Burg investigates the social and sexual world of these sea rovers, a tightly bound brotherhood of men engaged in almost constant warfare. What, he asks, did these men, often on the high seas for years at a time, do for sexual fulfillment? Buccaneer sexuality differed widely from that of other all- male institutions such as prisons, for it existed not within a regimented structure of rule, regulations, and oppressive supervision, but instead operated in a society in which widespread toleration of homosexuality was the norm and conditions encouraged its practice.

In his new introduction, Burg discusses the initial response to the book when it was published in 1983 and how our perspectives on all-male societies have since changed.

B. R. Burg is professor of history at Arizona State University, Tempe.

In Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Piracy, Sexuality, and Masculine Identity, Hans Turley delves deep into the archives to examine the homoerotic and other culturally transgressive aspects of the pirate's world and our prurient fascination with it. Turley fastens his eye on historical documents, trial records, and the confessions of pirates, as well as literary works such as Robinson Crusoe, to track the birth and development of the pirate image and to show its implications for changing notions of self, masculinity, and sexuality in the modern era.

Turley's wide-ranging analysis provides a new kind of history of both piracy and desire, articulating the meaning of the pirate's contradictory image to literary, cultural, and historical studies.

Hans Turley is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut.

Well! Shiver me timbers if a few wenches didn't also catch the wind and sailed starboard. Anne Bonny and Mary Read were possibly two such lasses. Steer yerself o'er towards Lesbian Pirates: Anne Bonny and Mary Read, a harang on the matter by that sprog, Rictor Norton. Arr!

Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition
B. R. Burg,
New York University Press, 1995 (second edition)
ISBN 0814712355
215 pages

Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash
Hans Turley
New York University Press, 1999
ISBN 081478223X
184 pages

See Also:
* Extracts of Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash
* Bonny and Read, the Lesbian Pirates
* Talk Like a Pirate Day
* Talk Like a Pirate Day UK

PS: X marks the spot!

Carol Hubbard dies aged 62

The pionneering West Yorkshire feminist and lesbian, Carol Hubbard died at her home in Todmorden, on Monday, September 10.

Read the full obituary from the Todmorden News here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Billy Jean

The fight against discrimination goes on for the reluctant revolutionary, tennis champion, Billie Jean King.
The woman who changed perceptions about her sexuality and her sport talks frankly about a ‘lifetime endeavour’ for acceptance.

Read the full article from the Times here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

LGBT on TV: 16th Sept. - 21st Sept.

We are trying a new service on this blog. We have decided to put together and bring you a weekly round up of the upcoming LGBT programmes on television.


Sunday 16th Sept

Sky Movies Comedy -11.00pm - The Birdcage
Sky Movies Classic - 12.45am - A Taste of Honey

Monday 17th Sept
TCM - 7.00pm - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Sky Movies Indie - 10.55pm - Performance

Wednesday 19th Sept
Sky Movies Indie - 7pm - TransAmerica

Thursday 20th Sept
Sky Movies Greats - 2.20pm - La Cage Aux Folles

Friday 21st Sept
Sky Movies Comedy - 9.40pm - Kinky Boots


Thursday 20th September

BBC4 - 10.00pm - Antony Sher stars in a television adaption of the National Theatre's Primo about Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor and writer.


Wednesday 19th September

E4 - 9.00pm - Lucas & Walliams Perfect Night In - Matt Lucas and David Walliams choose their favourite bits of TV.

Friday 21st September
BBC 2 - 10.00pm - QI returns with a new series.

Something very silly!

Monday to Friday

Five Life - 6.00pm -Gay, Straight or Taken - a woman has to decide which of three men are ........ you guessed it!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What's Gay on the Radio: 15th Sep. - 21st Sep.

We are trying a new service on this blog. We have decided to put together and bring you a weekly round up of the upcoming LGBT programmes on the radio. Some of the programmes listed below will remain available for listen again from the BBC's website.

Sat 15th Sept

Radio 2 - 7.30pm - 20th Century Boy: The Marc Bolan Story.
Radio 3 - 6.30pm - Opera on 3: Candide by Leonard Bernstein
Radio 4 - 10.30am - King Size Papas & Mighty Tight Women – Julian Clary examines the double entendre in 20s & 30s Jazz music.
Radio 4 - 8.00pm - The Archive Hour – The rivalry between Ivor Novello and Noel Coward examined.

Sun 16th Sept

Radio 4 - 4.00pm - Peter Ackroyd talks to Maria Frostrup about his book “Thames Sacred River”

Mon 17th Sept

Radio 4 - 9.45am & 12.30am - Book of the Week: Rudolf Nureyev: the Life.
Radio 4 - 11.00am - The Sex Lives of Us: Moving out. What happens when a wife discovers her partner is gay.

Tues 18th Sept

Radio 4 - 9.45am & 12.30am - Book of the Week: Rudolf Nureyev: the Life.
Radio 4 - 9.00pm - The Sex Lives of Us: Am I Normal – What is a normal sex life?

Wed 19th Sept

Radio 4 - 9.45am & 12.30am - Book of the Week: Rudolf Nureyev: the Life.

Thurs 20th Sept

Radio 4 - 9.00am - The Sex Lives of Us: Fortysomething to teens – sex: what we think about it, what we do!
Radio 4 - 9.45am & 12.30am - Book of the Week: Rudolf Nureyev: the Life.
Radio 4 - 11.00am - The Sex Lives of Us: Gay Times – Tom Robinson explores the portrayal of homosexuality in the media. – Part 2.

Fri 21st Sept

Radio 2 - 7.00-10.00pm - West Side Story Night.
Radio 4 - 9.45am & 12.30am - Book of the Week: Rudolf Nureyev: the Life.

LGBT HM Patron to Star in Othello

Cyril Nri is to play Othello with The Birmingham Stage Company, the resident company of The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham.

The play, directed by John Harrison, will then moved to London for a very short run.

The Old Rep Theatre
18th September - 13th October, 2.30 and 7.30pm
Box Office 0121 202 5000, 0121 303 2323 or 0121 616 1519
Tickets: £16.50/£9.50 children, £12.50 OAP's, students, unwaged

Bloomsbury Theatre
16th -19th October, 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Box Office 020 7388 8822
Tickets: £15, Concessions £10, Schools £9.50

Friday, September 14, 2007

Gay Referee at Rugby World Cup 07

The world of sports is notoriously unwelcoming to LGBT people. However if a sport had to be singled out as being perhaps more friendly than other, Rugby Football would probably become a strong contender.

Of course there are no openly gay professional players but clubs like the London King's Cross Steelers (The oldest gay rugby club, founded in 1995) have been largely accepted and the Rugby Football Union has been very supportive of the team. The RFU joined the Steelers and the Metropolitan Police last year to launch a poster campaign against homophobia.

Another step towards acceptance and visibility was taken earlier this week, when Nigel Owens entered the stadium in Lyon, France where he was going to make his debut as a World Cup referee for the Argentina v Georgia match.

The sixth Rugby World Cup started on 7 September and will last until 20 October. 20 nations will contest 48 matches over 44 days. Forty-two matches will be spread between ten French cities, with six matches held in the UK. Out of 12 referees, Owens is the only Welshman. He was appointed as an international referee in 2005.

In May 2007, he came out to the public in an interview with Wales on Sunday. He had previously come out to his family and boss via text-message. Although reactions have been generally positive, it was a difficult decision to make. He had even contemplated suicide.

"It's such a big taboo to be gay in my line of work, I had to think very hard about it because I didn't want to jeopardise my career. Coming out was very difficult and I tried to live with who I really was for years. I knew I was 'different' from my late teens, but I was just living a lie."
But he believes things may have been easier had he been a player perhaps because referees tend to be the focus of fans' resentment anyway.

In the meantime, three top players of the French XV team, Frédéric Michalak, Yannick Nyanga and Thierry Dusautoir have accepted to appear on posters for the French AIDS fighting charity Aides.

Michalak has appeared several times in the highly homoerotic pictures of the Dieux Du Stade calendars which have done so much for the popularity of Rugby with gay men in France (six amateur rugby clubs have been founded since 2004) and many other countries.

The Aides campaign consists of four posters and a video showing the players together or separately with slogans asking what would happen to them if they were HIV positive and playing on double-entendres between Rugby and social situations. Details and visuals of the campaign can be viewed here (French website).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Footballer Comes Out on Homophobic Bullying

Extracts from Graeme Le Saux's autobiography published by The Times reveals that taunts over the player's sexuality, which began as a dressing-room joke, nearly drove Le Saux out of the game.

Read the full extract here.

See also:
Footballer names Premier League homophobes - Pink News.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A new life for gay people in Britain began on that day

When I grew up, to be homosexual seemed a life sentence to shame. A brave report 50 years ago paved the way for change.

Julian Mitchell, author of the screenplays for Wilde and several episodes of Inspector Morse as well as the play Another Country, which was later made into a film, recently wrote Consenting Adults for BBC Four's Hidden Lives season. The 80 min drama tells the story of the Wolfenden Committee and evocate the relationship of the Chairman of the Committee with his homosexual son.

This was when Mitchell was a learning about his own sexuality. He draws a picture of the situation for gay men at the time in this article for the Guardian published on the eve of the anniversary of the publication of the report.

The comments left by readers at the end of the article are an interesting read too.

You can read the full article here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two Gay Heroes of 9/11

Even six years after the event, the terrorist attacks on the New York City and Washington are still having repercussions in many countries around the world. Even today, the American Congress is holding a hearing on the developments of one of the two wars which are consequences of those attacks and they are one of those world events where most people remember clearly where they were and what they were doing at the time.

Many lives from all sections of the community (people of all ages, nationalities, creeds, age, gender and sexual orientations) have been touched or irrevocably changed as a result of that day of September 2001. Hundreds of thousands of people have died during those 6 years and, unfortunately, more will yet die.

Two of those lives, crushed on the day itself, signify particularly for the LGBT community, although no doubt many other members of this community have been impacted.

Mark Bingham, 31, was the director of a PR company. He was on flight 93 which crashed in the countryside outside Pittsburgh. Mark is believed to have been part of the group of passengers who foiled the high-jackers' plans and made the plane crash where it did and miss its target. Mark Bingham was also a keen rugbyman and an international competition predominantly for gay and bisexual men and women, the Bingham Cup, has been held to commemorate his name since 2002.

A book and several films have been released about the events on flight 93 and Bingham has received several posthumous awards for his courage.

Father Judge's body being rescued from the wreckage by his firemen colleagues - Picture by Shannon StapletonFather Judge's body being rescued. This now iconic picture by Shannon Stapleton has become known as The American Pieta.

Father Mychal Judge, 68, was a Catholic priest, the chaplain of the Fire Department of New York. On September, 11th, he followed his colleagues to the site of the World Trade Center to provide spiritual support to the wounded and dying. Father Mychal was killed when the buildings collapsed. He became the first officially recorded victim of the attacks. His life had been dedicated to helping the marginalised and he was a long-term member of Dignity, a Catholic LGBT activist organisation. This in defiance of the Catholic Church's hierarchy; the subject of Father Judge's sexual orientation remains controversial.

In 2006 a film, The Saint of 9/11, directed by Glenn Holsten and narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, was released, celebrating Father Judge's life. The film includes testimonies of work colleagues and people who met him at different stages of his life.

About Mark Bingham:
* Mark Bingham on Wikipedia
* Tribute website to Mark Bingham
* The Bingham Cup

About Father Mychal Judge:
* Father Mychal Judge on Wikipedia
* The Saint of 9/11

Monday, September 10, 2007

40 Years Out

40 years out website header
Early, this year, Channel 4 broadcast a mini season of programmes marking the 40th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. This included the much talked about and rather controversial for its bleak oulook, Clapham Junction. (see our post here)

The legacy of this season is a microsite entitled 40 Years On and gathering details of the programmes and more general information.

The channel also screened a special debate programme. Hosted by journalist and commentator David Aaronovitch and bringing together a diverse panel, the programme looked at how it feels to be gay in modern Britain, how far attitudes have evolved since 1967, and how gay and bisexual men and women view themselves today. Channel 4 also held a non-televised debate, hosted by Rhona Cameron.

Clips of the televised debate can be viewed from the 40 Years On microsite.

40 Years On (

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Towards Further Recognition of the Deportation of Homosexuals in France

A chart containing various badges for identifying prisoners in concentration campsAfter many years of campaigning by various LGBT organisations (such as le Mémorial de la déportation homosexuelle, les Flamands roses, l'Inter-LGBT or Homosexualités et socialisme), France is about to take another step towards the recognition of the deportation of homosexuals during the Second World War.

On 26 avril 2001, the then Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, in a speech, finally made mention of the ordeal undergone by an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 people. In 2003, Pierre Seel, the only French man to have spoken out about his experience as a gay man, received official recognition as a victim of the Holocaust by the International Organization for Migration's program for aiding Nazi victims.

In April 2005, the President of the Republic, Jacques Chirac, during the "Journée nationale du souvenir des victimes et des héros de la déportation" (the French equivalent to the Holocaust Memorial Day - last Sunday of April), also mentioned this sad episode, saying: "In Germany, but also on French territory, men and women whose personal lives were set aside, I am thinking of homosexuals, were hunted, arrested and deported."

Yet many local LGBT organisations are still regularly prevented from taking part in official ceremonies, sometimes violently. Most of the time they have to wait until the end of a ceremony to lay their own wreaths.

Now, Alain Marleix, Defence State Secretary in charge of War Veterans, has given his support for a commemorative plaque to be unveiled next year on the Wall of Remembrance at Struthof concentration camp. The idea still requires agreement from the executive committee of the camp made up of former inmates and victims of deportation.

The Struthof camp was the only concentration camp built in France. Their were however also internment camps. Pierre Seel, after being arrested and tortured because his name was on a police list of homosexual, was sent to Schirmeck-Vorbrück where he had to witness the death of his lover when German soldiers deliberately set dogs on him. Seel was later forcefully incorporated into the German army and sent to the eastern front.

Hussein Bourgi, chairman of Mémorial de la déportation homosexuelle (MDH), congratulated himself on this welcomed support from the minister for this long held demand of his organisation, of which Seel was a member until his death in 2005.

After the war, the treatment of homosexuals in concentration camps went unacknowledged by most countries, and some men were even re-arrested and imprisoned based on evidence found during the Nazi years. It was not until the 1980s that governments acknowledged this episode, and not until 2002 that the German government apologized to the gay community. This period still provokes controversy, however. In 2005, the European Parliament adopted a resolution regarding the Holocaust where the persecution of homosexuals was mentioned.

Since the 1980s, cities around the world have erected memorials to remember the thousands of homosexual people who were murdered and persecuted during the Holocaust. Major memorials can be found in Berlin, Amsterdam, Montevideo, and San Francisco.

The picture at the top shows a chart of the various badges for identifying prisoners in concentration camps. This includes the infamous pink triangle. The second picture show Amsterdam's Homomonument. The inscription reads Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen (Such an endless desire for friendship).

See also:
* History of homosexual people in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
* Pierre Seel
* Déportation des homosexuels: le gouvernement souhaite une plaque commémorative
* One Day They Were Simply Gone, The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, Rictor Norton
* Memorial For Gay Victims of the Holocaust in Berlin
* Nazi Persecution of Gays 1933-1945 - United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
* The Nazi Persecution of Gays - Annotated Bibliography of Nonfiction Sources

* Liebe Macht Frei: the biography of Janni Kowalski by Jeremy Harder, Old Forge Publishing
* The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals, Richard Plant, Mainstream Publishing
* The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps, Heinz Heger. Gay Men’s Press
* I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual, Pierre Seel, Basic Books.
* An Underground Life: Memoirs of a Gay Jew in Nazi Berlin, Gad Beck, University of Wisconsin Press
* The Other Victims: First-Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis, Ina R. Friedman, Houghton Mifflin Juvenile Books
* The Hidden Holocaust, Gunter Grau, Cassell

Friday, September 7, 2007

Renaissance Literary Lovers Exhumed

Poliziano on the left and Della Mirandolla on the rightThe bodies of Italian Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (February 24, 1463 -November 17, 1494) and classical scholar and poet Angelo Ambrogini, best known as Poliziano (July 14, 1454 – September 24, 1494) were recently exhumed from St. Mark's Basilica in Florence.

The two men, who died a few weeks from each other, were thought to be lovers. The cause of their death remains uncertain however. It is thought that Della Mirandola might have been poisoned while Poliziano might have died either a victim of a then wide-spread syphilis epidemic or also poisoned.

Now, modern biomolecular technology and scanning might be able to clear the mystery. Giorgio Gruppioni, a professor of anthropology from Bologna who is in charge of the project, also said that scientist would try to learn more about the appearance of both men.

"We have already noticed that the structure of Pico's skeleton shows he had quite a robust figure, whereas most paintings show a more slender, feminine stature,"
The project will be the subject of a TV documentary.

The picture above shows Poliziano on the left and Della Mirandolla on the right.

See also:
* Medici writers exhumed in Italy
* Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
* Poliziano

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Sex Life of Us

Fifty years after the Wolfenden Report, BBC Radio 4 presents a two weeks series of programmes exploring sexuality in Modern Britain. The season encompasses a wide range of regulare Radio 4 programmes, from Front Row to Case Notes and Book at Bedtime, Woman's Hour to Thinking Aloud and Am I Normal, but there are also specially commissioned features.

The full list of programmes can be seen here.


The Sex Lives of Us: Gay Times

Two men kiss to celebrate their civil partnershipTo mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Wolfenden Report, a landmark in the history of gay rights, Tom Robinson explores the portrayal of homosexuality in the media.

In the first of this two part series Robinson, who made his name in the seventies with the song Glad To Be Gay, looks back from the late fifties to the early seventies and examines where the media sometimes led and lagged behind the public in its representation of gay people via newspapers, television, books, music and film.

With contributions from A Taste of Honey actor Murray Melvin, broadcaster Paul Gambaccini and author of The Microcosm Maureen Duffy.

Part 1
11.30am, Thursday 13th September 2007

Part 2
11.30am, Thursday 20th September 2007


The Sex Lives of Us: Moving Out

When a wife discovers her husband is gay, they are typically left feeling betrayed, confused and isolated. Often there follow revelations of further lies and deceits - which may have spanned years of marriage life.

While husbands will probably start a new chapter in their lives as openly gay men, their wives are frequently left alone, caring for the children of a marriage that for some appears to have been a sham.

Sheila McClennon talks to the married men who've struggled to come to terms with their sexuality – and the wives left to pick up the pieces.

11.00am, Monday 17th September 2007


The Sex Life of Us
BBC Radio 4
10th - 22nd September 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bulletin No 38

The latest edition of the LGBT History Month bulletin is now available, as usual packed-full of news, information, notices of upcoming events and quotations.

To access the latest bulletin please click on one of the links below:
word document
pdf file

You can view all previous bulletins here or register to our mailing list here.

LGBT Heritage in the Peninsula

LGBT Heritage logoThanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Intercom Trust has just started (June 2007) an eighteen-month project to enable local groups and local volunteers to celebrate LGBT History Month right across the South West peninsula.

Intercom provides services to the LGBT community across the South West rural peninsula: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; Devon, Plymouth and Torbay; Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole; and Somerset, North Somerset and Bath & North-East Somerset.

The new Heritage Project Worker, Sarah Stephenson, is already involved in creating events and helping other people and organisations (including schools) to create their own events, facilitating and supporting local volunteers, researching local history and creating an archive for the future. Sarah has a great track-record in History Month activities in Gloucestershire.

This project is making history, as well as discovering it. Future LGBT History Month workers and others will be able to draw on the archive when they want to know about what LGB and Trans people have done, and been, and lived through - and what we are doing now - and all about our communities' positive contributions to life in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

Sarah has also started a blog about her work. A link is available in our blogroll (right-hand sidebar).

Intercom Heritage page

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Are Civil Unions a 600-Year-Old Tradition?

Sharing “one bread, one wine, and one purse”: The history of brotherment

A compelling new study from the September issue of the Journal of Modern History reviews historical evidence, including documents and gravesites, suggesting that homosexual civil unions may have existed six centuries ago in France. The article is the latest from the ongoing “Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective” series, which explores the intersection between historical knowledge and current affairs.

Commonly used rationales in support of gay marriage and gay civil unions avoid historical arguments. However, as Allan A. Tulchin (Shippensburg University) reveals in his forthcoming article, a strong historical precedent exists for homosexual civil unions.

Opponents of gay marriage today have tended to assume that nuclear families have always been the standard household form. However, as Tulchin writes, “Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize, and Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”

For example, in late medieval France, the term affrèrement – roughly translated as brotherment – was used to refer to a certain type of legal contract, which also existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe. These documents provided the foundation for non-nuclear households of many types and shared many characteristics with marriage contracts, as legal writers at the time were well aware, according to Tulchin.

The new “brothers” pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ – one bread, one wine, and one purse. As Tulchin notes, “The model for these household arrangements is that of two or more brothers who have inherited the family home on an equal basis from their parents and who will continue to live together, just as they did when they were children.” But at the same time, “the affrèrement was not only for brothers,” since many other people, including relatives and non-relatives, used it.

The effects of entering into an affrèrement were profound. As Tulchin explains: “All of their goods usually became the joint property of both parties, and each commonly became the other’s legal heir. They also frequently testified that they entered into the contract because of their affection for one another. As with all contracts, affrèrements had to be sworn before a notary and required witnesses, commonlythe friends of the affrèrés.”

Tulchin argues that in cases where the affrèrés were single unrelated men, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships. . . . I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been. It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that. What followed did not produce any documents.”

He concludes: “The very existence of affrèrements shows that there was a radical shift in attitudes between the sixteenth century and the rise of modern anti-homosexual legislation in the twentieth.”

Other articles in the “Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective” series include explorations of fascism, genocide, and reparations.

Journal of Modern History

Monday, September 3, 2007

Paul Patrick on BBC Lancashire

Tomorrow morning at 8:00am, BBC Radio Lancashire will host an interview with Paul Patrick, Co-Chair of LGBT History Month, on the Wolfendon Report. You can listen to the Breakfast Show online (here) or through the radio.

Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Lancashire
Tuesday 4 September

Leslie Feinberg interviews Sylvia Rivera

Leslie Feinberg, author of Stone Butch Blues and Transgender Warrior interviews Sylvia Rivera, a Puerto Rican Drag Queen from the Stonewall Riots in this interview. Sylvia talks about her involvement with the Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Although the interview is a bit old, it is a great telling of the history of Stonewall from two very influential LGBT people.

I'm Glad I was in the Stonewall Riots - Worker's World 1998

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Generations of Love at the BFI

Dirk Bogarde in VictimSession Three: Entrapment, blackmail, double lives
Life before the 1967 Sexual Offences Act

(Dir. Basil Dearden, UK, 1961)

What was gay life like before the 1967 Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21, in private? Did you see Victim when it was released in 1961? How did the fear of discovery affect Gays and Lesbians at the time? Did you think homosexuality would ever be legal?

Chaired by Brian Robinson, Senior Programmer LLGFF.

Generations of Love is a series of free monthly afternoon screenings and discussion for older members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities to share their experiences and memories through archive film. The series started life during the 21st BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and is a space for reminiscence and reflection. Titles drawn from BFI Mediatheque collection Beautiful Things will act as a springboard for discussions around the creation of identity, shared knowledge and intergenerational understanding.

Generations of Love
Thursday 6 September, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
Studio, BFI Southbank
Box Office: 020 7928 3232 to reserve a place

Generations of Love future events:
Thu 4 Oct: Love Triangles with Vanda Carter
Thu 1 Nov: Lost Language of Cranes with Sean Mathias

Don't miss Out at the Pictures, a new monthly lesbian and gay slot at BFI Southbank. Screening in September, Forget Venice (Dir. Franco Brusati, Italy, 1979) and Queen Christina (Dir. Rouben Mamoulian, USA, 1933).

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Maupin on Bookclub on Radio 4

Armistead MaupinThe September edition of BBC Radio 4's Bookclub, presented by James Naughtie will be discussing Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, the first in a serie of six books which began as a column in the San Francisco Chronicle in the mid-70s. Maupin created a utopian community that embraced all the sexual variety the city had to offer.


BBC Radio 4
Sunday 2 September - 4pm
Thursday 6 September - 4pm

The programme will then remain available to listen to in the programme's archive where an edition of Bookclub with Sarah Waters discussing Fingersmith in March 2004 is also on offer (click here to listen to Sarah Waters - 30min - opens Real Player)