Thursday, January 31, 2008

LGBT History Month is Go

February 2008 marks the fourth celebration of LGBT History Month in the UK. The Month, celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community, has received accolades from all and sundry including Government Ministers, the Attourney General, artists and performers, trades unions, journalists, librarians, teachers and of course the general public.

Please get involved with LGBT History Month. If you have an event, public or private, make sure it is on our calendar. If you are looking to attend events in your area our calendar will give you all the info you need. If you have a question or a comment join the discussion on the LGBT History Month Forum.

Let us make LGBT History Month 2008 bigger and better than it has ever been. And, most of all, enjoy it. We would be very pleased to receive reviews of any events by both organisers and others and also any comments and criticisms you may have.

A high-resolution version of the 2008 logo is available on request (via email) to include to your promotion material for your events.

The First LGBT History Month Logo

The First LGBT History Month LogoOn the eve of the fourth edition of LGBT History Month (read more here) we take a look back at the original logo and website which were designed by Dr. Gillian Spraggs, a cultural historian. Here is some of what Gill had to say about her designs:

The design of the site and masthead draws inspiration from the work of the artist Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), especially his typography and his design for bookbindings. He was a Friend of Oscar Wilde and designed bindings for several of his books.

Between 1896 and 1903 Ricketts ran a publishing house, the Vale Press. The leaf and flower designs used in the side masthead and navigation panel are based on fleurons (printed ornaments) designed by him for use with the Vale type.

Ricketts was heavily influenced by Renaissance typography. The font used for the masthead and navigation panel, High Tower Text, is a modern recreation of a typeface used by the fifteenth-century French printer Nicolas Jenson. Ricketts based the letter-forms in his Vale type closely on Jenson's work.

The design of this site, then, looks back at the eighteen-nineties, and by way of those years to the Renaissance. Both are times of great importance in the cultural history of Europe. They are also important periods for the history of variant sexualities.
This was published on the original website which is now unfortunately thought to be lost.

Ricketts was born in Geneva to a French mother and an English father. He grew up mainly in France and Italy. He began his studies in art at the City and Guilds Technical Art School in Lambeth, in 1882, after both his parents had died.

At the Art School he met Charles Shannon (1863-1937), painter and lithographer, who would be his lifelong partner in both his artistic and personal life.

See Also:
* Gillian Spraggs
* Charles Ricketts

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

LGBT Youth Mag for History Month

As part of LGBT History month 2007, members of Derbyshire's LGBT Youth Forum "Love Knows No Gender" wrote a magazine highlighting different facets of LGBT past and present. They are writing and producing a version of the magazine for LGBT History Month 2008, which will be available soon.

You can download a pdf version of the magazine by clicking here (3.1Mb)

Love Knows No Gender is the youth group set up by derbyshireFRIEND (df) to support young people under 25.derbyshireFRIEND (df) has been a central character in the local gay community since its launch in 1983. Originally the organisation, set up and run by enthusiastic volunteers from the local gay community, aimed to help other lesbians, gay men and bisexuals come to terms with coming out and meeting other lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. To this day that core aim still hasn't changed.

Find out more about derbyshireFRIEND here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The BBC and the Closet

Behind-the-scenes documentary on the BBC's policy in dealing with gay men.

Chris Ledgard recalls the battle within the BBC to make programmes about homosexuality in the 1950s and 60s. Contributors include former homosexual law reform campaigner Antony Grey, pioneering documentary maker Colin Thomas and historian Jean Seaton.

The BBC and the Closet
Tuesday 29 January
BBC Radio 4 FM

* How gays first came out on air - Related article in The Times
* Tuned Out - the BBC's portrayal of lesbian and gay people - Stonewall report published in March 2006

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bulletin No 43

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.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Holocaust Memorial Day

In his song Don't Let It Happen Here, Charles Mingus uses a version of the famous poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller. We reprint it here.

One day they came and they took the Communists
And I said nothing because I was not a Communist
Then one day they came and they took the people of the Jewish faith
And I said nothing because I had no faith left
One day they came and they took the unionists
And I said nothing because I was not a unionist
One day they burned the Catholic churches
And I said nothing because I was born a Protestant
Then one day they came and they took me
And I could say nothing because I was as guilty as they were
For not speaking out and saying that all men have a right to freedom
On any land
I was as guilty of genocide
As you
All of you
For you know when a man is free
And when to set him free from his slavery
So I charge you all with genocide
The same as I
One of the 18 million dead Jews
18 million dead people

To show your support for Holocaust Memorial Day 2008, visit the official HMD website and, like over 15000 people, light a virtual candle.

Find out more:
* The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum offers a page on the persecution of homosexuals in the Third Reich.
* History of gay men in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
* Homosexuals and the Holocaust, an essaie by Ben S. Austin
* Gay Holocaust Memorial Site
* Gay Holocaust Memorial
* Pink Triangle
* Pink Triangle Coalition
* Searchlight - Against Racism
and Fascism.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Brian Epstein Memorial Campaign

A campaign is underway to create a lasting and fitting memorial to the man who discovered The Beatles and died tragically before he had time to enjoy the fruits of his labour in 1967.

Artist Maggi Hambling has expressed her interest in the project, the Gay Bussiness Association is backing the campaign and the proposal is to be put before Liverpool City Council with the hope of getting all party support.

There is also a petition available here.

Find out more about Brian Epstein here and here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Church's true colours

Two related articles about Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) and its action.

The Church's true colours
After three decades of trying to promote tolerance towards gay and lesbian Christians, the lead advocate is leaving, disillusioned.

Gays reject equality promoter, Dr Joel Edwards
Gay activists will tomorrow condemn the appointment of openly-Christian leader in the UK to the country's main equality commission and demand his resignation.

Monday, January 21, 2008

International match to honour lesbian football hero

She was a footballing genius who lit up the game in the 1920s and 1930s with her antics on and off the field. Lily Parr, who lived openly with her partner Mary and insisted on being paid in Woodbine cigarettes, was the first woman to be inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. 30 years on from her death, lesbians from around the globe will come together on the pitch to celebrate her brilliant life of this star of the game.

The Lily Parr Exhibition Trophy will be held in Regents Park on Saturday 9th February 2008 as part of LGBT History Month. The event, and a small exhibition at the Hub in Regents Park documenting the Football Association's 1921 ban on women playing in FA grounds (which lasted for 50 years), have been arranged through Camden LGBT Forum in conjunction with Islington LGBT Forum.

An internationally mixed team from London Lesbian Kickabouts will play a French lesbian team, Paris' Arc En Ciel, for the Lily Parr Exhibition Trophy. Possible additional participation from a Spanish lesbian team, Panteres Grogues, awaits final confirmation.

The event is supported by the Lorraine Bowen Experience, who will end the day of lesbian football with an appearance at the after-match reception in the Black Cap pub in Camden.

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 9th February at The Hub, located at the Zoo end of Regents Park, near Primrose Hill Bridge/Avenue Road.

More information on Lily Parr at the London Lesbian Kickabouts website. or on her Wikipedia entry.

With thanks to PinkNews

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Photos of gay icons bought by National Portrait Gallery

Four portraits by acclaimed gay photographer David Gwinnutt have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Mr Gwinnutt, who has photographed many well-known gay celebrities, said he was honoured that his work will become part of the national collection of portraiture.

The portraits of film director John Schlesinger, playwright Neil Bartlett, performance artist and club legend Leigh Bowery and photographer Corinne Day are candid and intimate.

Terrence Pepper, curator of photographs at The NPG, said, "We are delighted to have four more photographs by David Gwinnutt in the Photographs Collection. Atmospheric and evocative, Gwinnutt's high-contrast black and white, strikingly composed photographs evoke very well the era in which they were taken. Anti-glamorous and un-staged, they reveal an intimacy with his sitters, allowing the viewer to feel they are seeing the 'real' person in the picture."

Mr Gwinnutt also designed The Pink Jack, a gay version of the Union Jack often seen at Pride events in the UK.

He told "It's an honour to have my portraits recognised in this way, especially when I think of some of the events that surrounded them. John Schlesinger turned me away from his door saying I'd made him look fat. I was crestfallen. I thought he looked statuesque!"

The subjects were all photographed in their homes, apart from Day, who was photographed in hospital after her well documented brain operation in the 1990s.

The portrait of Corinne Day will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery, St Martins Place, London, from next month. The other portraits by can be viewed on the Portrait Explorer IT resource, which is available in the IT gallery at the NPG.

With thanks to PinkNews.

National Portrait Gallery

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Joe Orton Website Launched

A new website dedicated to the life and times of Leicester-born playwright Joe Orton has been endorsed by the Orton Estate and has been created in partnership with Leicester City Council, the University of Leicester and Islington Council.

The website includes information on Orton’s plays and diaries along with current Orton news and events. There is also an online gallery, articles, essays and research by Orton scholars.

It follows a series of events and exhibitions in Leicester in 2007 focusing on Orton, who lived in the city’s Saffron Lane Estate.
Last spring, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery hosted Ortonesque, which brought together many of Orton’s personal artefacts for the first time, and in November, Phoenix Arts staged a new performance dramatising his diaries.

Contributors to the website include Orton expert Dr Francesca Coppa, who hosted a series of talks in Leicester on Orton’s life and work, and Orton’s sister, Leonie Orton-Barnett, who opened the Ortonesque exhibition. Said Leonie: “With the exhibition, the new performance at Phoenix Arts and now the website, it really has been a fantastic year for Joe Orton fans. It’s quite exciting as the website will hopefully introduce a whole new generation from around the world to Joe’s work.” Other contributors to the site include Braham Murray, who directed Orton’s play Loot at Manchester’s Century Theatre in 1966, and director David Grindley.

The site itself was designed by Orton fan Alison Forsyth, who was inspired to create the site after visiting Leicester’s Ortonesque event. She said: “This is the result of a long-held interest in Joe’s life and work, dating back to the early 1980s. I am very pleased to be able to provide Joe with a permanent home on the internet.”

Leicester City Council’s arts and museums marketing manager, Shaun Knapp, added: “The Ortonesque exhibition last year was a tremendous success for Leicester, attracting 25,000 people from around the country and Europe. For the first time, the content of that exhibition is online for even more people to enjoy.”

Joe Orton Online is at

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Written Out - the portrayal of gay people in the Scottish Press

Stonewall Scotland have just launched Written Out, a report into the portrayal of gay people in the Scottish Press.

The research showed that while some papers are getting better, many still publish homophobic articles, use outdated stereotypes, draw unnecessary attention to people's sexual orientation, and apply different news values to stories which involve gay people.

Others seem to ignore Scotland's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population altogether.

To download the research , go to

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Les-Bi-Con 2008

A regional Les-Bi-Con will be taking place on Saturday 1st March 2008 between 11-6pm.

The purpose of the day is to bring Lesbian and Bi women from across the North West (and beyond) together to learn from each other about how to be active in running groups; volunteering in groups; and undertsanding the needs of LB young women and how to best address these needs.

The event is open to young people between ages 13 and 25. They do not have to have had any volunteering experience but do need to be keen to learn and to take back what they have learned to their own communities/ groups etc.

The volunteers from LIKT will be running some sessions, as are some people from the Stockport group 'The Base'. But anyone else with skills they would like to share (e.g. by running a workshop) is welcome.

Please find below a link to a survey to identify what training needs you think L and B young women / volunteers have. It takes only a couple of minutes to fill in. There are two pages, the first for young women themselves and the second for people working with young LBT women. Click here to take the survey.

This is a free event sponsored by V and the consortium for LGBT community and voluntary organisations. Help towards travel expenses is available and food will be provided.

To register interest in attending or in holding a workshop, please contact Amelie at:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Portsmouth and Cambridge Unveil LGBTHM Events

There are currently just under 100 events on our calendar of events for LGBT History Month 2008 (view the calendar or add you own events here) and more are being added daily.

In the past few days both Portsmouth and Cambridge have release the list of the events they will be organising this February.

There will be 10 events in Cambridge including talks and film screenings. There will also be related activities in schools and libraries. Click here too find out more.

Portsmouth have already four events in their listings but will be added more soon. Events include things as varied as a religious service and an evocation of the life of Judy Garland. All details available at You can also read this article on Pink News

There is still time to organise an event in your area. In any case, do not forget to advertise what you are doing on our calendar.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Press Release: Citizens Advice sponsors LGBT History Month

Citizens Advice Bureau and LGBT HM logosCitizens Advice, the national network of charities, is proud to announce sponsorship of LGBT History Month in February 2008. LGBT History Month celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community, as well as the diversity of society as a whole. Founded and run by volunteers, LGBT History Month aims to encourage all sections of society to acknowledge and understand the lives of the LGBT community.

Paul Patrick, Co-Chair of LGBT History Month, said, “It is wonderful when an organisation with the reputation of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau recognises and wishes to be seen supporting our work. We are delighted that they wish to be part of what is now Britain’s largest, most dynamic and diverse celebration of LGBT lives and culture in Europe and we thank them wholeheartedly for their support.”

In an open letter to LGBT History Month, David Harker, chief executive of Citizens Advice said it was both an honour and a privilege to be part of the launch of LGBT Month. “For us working in partnership with the community to improve advice services and influence public policy on issues affecting the LGBT community is central to our approach. Citizens Advice is proud to be a partner of LGBT History Month 2008 and I’m certain we can do much to raise awareness of and champion the LGBT community and their access to rights.”

The Pre-Launch for LGBT History Month 2008 took place on 26th November 2007 at the Royal Courts of Justice, thanks to the support of the London Criminal Justice Board, London Crown Prosecution Service, and Channel 4. The event was well attended, with key note speeches by the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland and Barbara Follett, the Minister for Equality.

Paul Patrick added, “We are looking forward to the start of LGBT History Month and very much hope people will visit our website, look at what is going on across the nation, check out our sponsors, join our mailing list and chat to others through our Forum. There are all sorts of LGBT History Month events happening this February at a place near you, and we encourage people to add their own events to our calendar. Whatever else you do take a leaf out of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau book and get involved!”

Read the letter of support from the Chief Executive of the Citizens Advice Bureau and find out more about what they do here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a new documentary examining manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Director Byron Hurt, former star college quarterback, longtime hip-hop fan, and gender violence prevention educator, conceived the documentary as a "loving critique" of a number of disturbing trends in the world of rap music.

The film is now on limited release in the UK.

* Website
* Trailer
* 'Hip-hop has more to offer' - Guardian's review.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Trans with Pride Conference Report 2007

The Trans with Pride Conference Report 2007 is now available

Trans with Pride was a one-day conference held on Friday 15th June 2007 in east London. The conference brought together members of our communities from across London, different regions of the UK and indeed from countries beyond the UK.

External organisations and agencies, such as the Metropolitan Police, the TUC, Unison and London Pride also took part or provided support to the event.

The team behind the event are already working on the next edition and the Transfabulous Arts Festival will be taking place on 14th and 15th June to work in conjunction with the conference.

Since the Pride 2007 the Trans community has been organising itself to form the Trans@Pride sub committee. This is in order to plan and run the Pride day more effectively and by taking on board people's ideas in what they would like to see on the day of Pride. To be kept informed of the sub-committee's activities, send an email to

You can read the report and find some background information on the event here.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bulletin No 42

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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Arts Council Grants Cuts

Arts Council Cuts Grants to The Drill Hall Theatre & Queer Up North.
Two major bastions of LGBT culture under attack!

LGBT History Month have taken the unprecedented step of sending out a separate mailing about the Arts Council's decision to remove funding from these two vital celebrations of LGBT people’s culture and experience. Both are more than the some total of their parts. They have worked for many years to mainstream the artistic celebration of who we are and have had a profound affect upon how we represent ourselves and how we are seen by others.

The Arts Council's decision is in direct contradiction to its own stated policies, although it is clear from their website that they see their commitment to LGBT equality in the arts as a very low priority.

In our response to the Arts Council LGBT History Month stated: “What we are deeply concerned in respect of this cut is how the Arts Council is meeting its duty under the Single Equality Policy, the Gender Equality Policy and the Social Cohesion Duty.

All Public Bodies, as you must know, have a duty to reflect upon and respond to the 6 strands of equality. The Arts Council states: “By ‘diversity’, we mean that we will respond to issues around race, ethnicity, faith, disability, sexuality, class and economic disadvantage – any social or institutional barriers that prevent people from participating in and enjoying the arts.”

They also say, “The arts have a major part to play in helping to galvanise community engagement and participation in planning, and in creating a sense of identity and pride.”

“I would ask you to discover from the Arts Council how they are going to serve all those tax payers, LGBT and otherwise whose money is funding this work and who wish to see it continue, when they cut these bastions of experience and success.

We request to know, given this decision; how precisely the Arts Council feel they are able to fulfil their legal duties, their own policy duties and their social and cultural obligations in the light of this cut!”

If we do not fight for these LGBT cultural institutions – no one else will. Please access their websites for further information and make your voice heard. This needs to be done swiftly as appeals close at the end of this week.

Save The Drill Hall -
Save Queer Up North -

Final decisions have yet to be made so your intervention could still make all the difference, although time is running out fast.

Please find your time to offer your support. Messages of support go to different branches of the Arts Council so please make sure you do both!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Iraq Prisoner Amnesty Excludes Gay Men

A draft bill before the Iraqi parliament would grant an amnesty for as many as 5,000 prisoners, yet excludes those convicted of homosexual "crimes."

Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the country's government, said the bill had been sent to the parliament's Speaker on 1st January. Iraqis being held by the Americans are also excluded, alongside those charged with terrorist offences, rape and adultery. While homosexuality is in itself not illegal in Iraq, several laws are used to persecute gay people.

Laws against loitering, indecent exposure, spreading "dangerous diseases," committing and indecent act in public and making "indecent" advances are all used. However, of much more pressing threat to gay Iraqis is the actions of militia groups.

The Mahdi Army, one of the many armed groups, is loyal to firebrand fundamentalist Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. It has been involved in the torture and execution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iraqis and many other Iraqis, especially women, who do not conform to its harsh interpretation of Islam. The Badr militias have also kidnapped and executed people for being gay or trans.

The United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) reported last year that armed militias have been targeting gay people: "Armed Islamic groups and militias have been known to be particularly hostile towards homosexuals, frequently and openly engaging in violent campaigns against them," UNAMI reported. "There have been a number of assassinations of homosexuals in Iraq."

The targeting of gay people is just another example of the chaos of daily life in the country. In the absence of a strong police or army force, the militias rule the streets. There are summary execution people for "crimes" of homosexuality as well as listening to Western pop music, wearing shorts or jeans, and in the case of women, not being veiled or walking in the street unaccompanied by a male relative.

With thanks to

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Lack of Lesbian Representation in Politics

A snapshot of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in British politics has revealed that women are seriously under-represented.

Find out more here.