Friday, May 30, 2008

LGBT Related Radio and TV Programmes. 31st May – 6th June

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 radio programmes listed below can be listened to again via the Listen Again facility of the BBC's website while some of the television programmes will remain available also for a week on the BBC's iplayer.

Saturday 31st
BBC Radio 4 - 10.30am: 1968: Sex, Telly and Britain. Miranda Sawyer and others question the truth of the 1960s sexual revolution (part 1)
BBC Radio 4 - 12.30pm: News Quiz. Sandi Toksvig presents.
BBC Radio 4 - 11pm: Counterpoint. Music quiz with Paul Gambaccini
BBC Radio 4 - 11.30pm: Poetry Please. Carol Ann Duffy features

Sunday 1st
BBC Radio 4 - 7.55am and 9.26pm: Ian McKellen presents the Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of The Prostate Cancer Charity.
BBC Radio 2 - 2.30pm: Pick of the Pops. 1972 charts with Dale Winton
BBC Radio 4 - 1.30pm: Sex in the City Shanghai Style. Investigation into the Chinese sexual revolution
6 Music - 1am: (i.e. Monday) New Music with Tom Robinson
BBC Radio 7 -12noon & 5pm: Tribute to Kenny Everett

Monday 2nd
BBC Radio 4 - 1.30pm: Counterpoint. Music quiz presented by Paul Gambaccini
BBC Radio 4 - 7.15pm: Front Row. Interview with Rupert Everett

Tuesday 3rd
BBC Radio 2 - 10.30pm: Out of Liverpool. Includes Everett, Frankie and O’Grady

Thursday 5th
BBC Radio 4 - 3.27pm: Ian McKellen presents the Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of The Prostate Cancer Charity (rpt).

Friday 6th
BBC Radio 2 - 9.15pm: I, Claudius. Read by Derek Jacobi
BBC Radio 4 - 6.30pm: The News Quiz. Sandi Toksvig presents
6 Music - 7pm: New Music with Tom Robinson
BBC Three Counties (and online), Cambs, Essex, Norfolk, Northants., Suffolk
10pm-1am Ern and Vern. Kenny Everett meets Round the Horn in a bucketful of innuendo


Film and drama

Tuesday 3rd
C4 - 1.35am: The Anniversary party. Drama with Alan Cummings
C4 - 5pm: The Madness of King George. Nicholas Hytner’s adaptation of the Alan Bennett play, with Nigel Hawthorne

Wednesday 4th
Sky Movies Indie - 9am and 8.10pm: Transamerica
Sky Movies Indie - 6.20pm: All About My Mother. Almodóvar directs.

Friday 6th
Sky Movies Indie - 6.10pm: Volver. Almodóvar directs.

Entertainment and Documentary
Saturday 31st
BBC1 - 5.20pm: The Kids are All Right. John Barrowman presents kids vs. grown ups quiz
BBC1 - 6 & 8.45pm: I’d Do Anything. Final battle of the Nancys (Graham Norton, John Barrowman, Barry Humphries and Cameron MacIntosh)
BBC1 - 7pm: Dr Who. This one is said to be terrifying
BBC1 - 12.50am: Jonathan Ross. John Barrowman again (rpt.)
BBC2 - 9.30pm: Have I Got a Bit More News for You. Clare Balding guests
BBC2 - 12.40am: The Graham Norton Show. Dame Edna (rpt.)
ITV1 - 8.30pm: An Audience with Neil Diamond

Sunday 1st
BBC1 - 7pm: Florence Nightingale. Uncontroversial drama of the early life of the woman we apparently outed
ITV1 - 6.45pm: Beat the Star. Martina Navratilova challenges a member of the public

Monday 2nd
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of my Life. Nigel Slater takes celebrities on a culinary journey

Tuesday 3rd
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
BBC2 - 9pm: The Supersizers Go. Sue Perkins tries to survive the Victorian era with Giles Coren

Wednesday 4th
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
Sky Arts - 9pm: What the Dickens? Sandi Toksvig presents a new cultural quiz.

Thursday 5th
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
BBC2 - 9.45pm: The Graham Norton Show
C4 - 9pm: Big Brother launch. Davina McCall and another bunch of weirdos
C4 - 10.40pm: Big Brother Launch Project. Alan Carr

Friday 6th
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
BBC2 - 7.30pm: Derby day Preview. With Clare Balding
BBC2 - 10pm: QI. Stephen Fry
BBC2 - 11.35pm: Culture Show Uncut. Music from Sparks
C4 - 10pm: Derren Brown: Trick or Treat

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial to Gay Victims of Nazis Unveiled in Berlin

As announced in the post on the new Magnus Hirshfeld street earlier this month, the first openly gay Mayor of Berlin opened on Tuesday a new memorial in the city to the homosexual victims of Nazi oppression. Klaus Wowerit was joined by representatives of the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA) and the federal minister for culture and media.

Although there are several memorials to the gay victims of the Holocaust, "the Berlin memorial has an important symbolic value" ILGA-Europe said in a statement. "It is in the centre of the city from where decades ago the policies of extermination of homosexual people along with such groups as Jews, gypsies, Jehovahs witnesses and political dissidents, was conceived and the deadly orders were given."

It is estimated that 45,000 to 100,000 German homosexuals were arrested under Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945. Up to 10,000 of them died in concentration camps. Many survivors, far from being liberated, were transferred to prisons. The laws used against gay people in Germany remained on statute books until 1969. It was only in 2002 that the German parliament issued a formal pardon for any gay people convicted by the Nazis and in 2003 it approved the construction of the memorial.
The homosexual victims of Nazi Germany remained excluded from the public process of remembrance of past injustices until recent times and were denied compensation for their suffering under Nazi rule.

"This is symptomatic for a society that did not abolish unjust verdicts, but partially continued to implement them; a society which did not acknowledge a group of people as victims, only because they chose another way of life," said Mayor Wowerit.

The new memorial is situated in Berlin's Tiergarten Park, close to the Brandenburg Gate and opposite the Jewish Holocaust Memorial. It consists of a four metre tall grey rectangular block. One side has a small opening through which viewers can see a black and white art film scene of two men kissing. A simple kiss could land you in trouble, reads the inscription.

During the opening ceremony, Linda Freimane, a member of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said: "Today, our continent is a safe place to live if you are homosexual – safe in comparison with many other places on our earth, where homosexuality is still considered a punishable crime. Europe has come a long way in its battle for the right of each individual and in dealing with its history of discrimination. Today, in many European countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people along with other vulnerable groups enjoy the protection of their state against prejudice, discrimination and violence. In many places in Europe same-sex partners can register their partnership or get married, in some countries the state also supports our wish to become equal parents. We have not yet reached full equality, but we sense the political will to get there. But this is not enough. You must now also be the ones who do not stay silent when other countries, which have already entered the EU or are knocking on its door, violate the rights of their own citizens. Please remind homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, racist and sexist political leaders that they too belong to a Europe, which is built on the assumption of each individual’s right to freedom, dignity, and respect and to seek his or her own happiness. And please, do not forget all those LGBTI people around the world who live in fear and despair, who face persecution, humiliation, imprisonment and death for simply being who they are. I hope that the present and future mayors of Berlin and members of German governments will remember to bring their foreign guests to this memorial when they show them the beautiful city of Berlin."

With thanks to Pinknews

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Teachers TV Tackles Homophobia

Tackling Homophobia WeekFor Tackling Homophobia Week, Teachers TV is airing a series of programmes which look at how schools can effectively support LGBT staff and students. Using personal stories the programmes highlight some of the issues young people and adults encounter at school because they are gay. These programmes and more are available to watch and download online for free from the website:

Highlights across the week include:

School Matters – Gay Teachers
In light of new guidance by the DCSF which tackles homophobic bullying of pupils and teachers, this programme investigates what it is really like to be a gay teacher in the UK, and whether there is an endemic culture of homophobia in schools.

Gay to Z
This 5 part series looks at the lives of a range of young people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). Each young person leads a very different life and faces different issues, some of which are related to their sexual orientation and others that are just part of growing up. This series talks with young people about how they have coped with homophobic bullying and challenges the assumptions people can make about sexuality.

Gloriously Free
Gloriously Free is the first documentary to explore the world of gay immigration. Follow five men as they desperately search to find a safe home outside their countries of birth where persecution and hatred of alternative lifestyles may lead to torture or death. What they find is Canada, leading the world as the safest haven for persecuted gays and lesbians.

Batty Man
Comedian and actor Stephen K Amos uses his own experiences as a black gay man to explore why homophobia still exists in his own community. This observational documentary follows Amos on a journey from his childhood homes in Brixton and Tooting, South London, all the way to Jamaica, where he tries to discover why prejudice, intimidation and violence against gay men remain so prevalent.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Paul Patrick Dies

Paul Patrick

Paul Patrick
1950 - 2008

We are very sad to announce the tragic death of Paul Patrick, co-founder of what is now Schools OUT and of LGBT History Month. Paul died on Thursday morning after a long battle with a chronic lung condition. A full obituary with details of his unique life and outstanding achievements for the LGBT community can be found here.

For now, here is an opportunity to listen again to his wonderful interview with John McNaughtie on the Today programme in 2005, where he justified the verb ‘Invisibilised’ (requires Real Player).

Please click here to leave your thoughts and condolencies on Paul's memorial page. Thank you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

LGBT Related Radio and TV Programmes: 24th-30th May

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 24th
BBC Radio 2 - 8pm: Eurovision Song Contest. Ken Bruce mocks.
BBC Radio 4 - 12.30pm: News Quiz. Sandi Toksvig presents.
BBC Radio 4 - 11pm: Counterpoint. Music quiz with Paul Gambaccini

Sunday 25th
BBC Radio 4 - 9.00am: Broadcasting House - Bishop Gene Robinson featured
BBC Radio 4 - 4.30pm: Poetry Please. Carol Ann Duffy features

Monday 26th
BBC Radio 4 - 12.04pm: You and Yours. Rabbi Lionel Blue on his epilepsy
BBC Radio 4 - 2.15pm: Afternoon Play - Kaffir Lilies

Tuesday 27th
BBC Radio 4 - 4.30pm: Great Lives. AE Housman

Wednesday 28th
BBC Radio 2 - 10.30am: Icons Revisited: David Bowie. An appreciation by fellow artists.
BBC Radio 4 - 10.00am: Woman's Hour - Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from Sex and the City) features

Thursday 29th
BBC Radio 4 - 6.30pm: Heresy. Sue Perkins joins a panel that questions received wisdom

Friday 30th
BBC Radio 2 - 9.15pm: I, Claudius. Read by Derek Jacobi
BBC Radio 4 - 4.30pm The Film Programme. Interview with Roger Corman


Films and drama

Saturday 24th
Sky Movies Indie - 10am and 8pm: Wilde. Stephen Fry and Jude Law.
Sky Movies Indie - 13.15pm: All about My Mother. Almodóvar directs.

Sunday 25th
Sky movies Indie - 10am & 10pm: Volver. Almodóvar directs. Penélope Cruz stars

Monday 26th
Channel 5 - 4.40pm: Escape from Planet of the Apes

Tuesday 27th
Sky Movies Indie - 10am and 7.50pm: Cabaret
More4 - 10pm: Jesus Camp. Doc. about evangelical camp for kids in the US

Wednesday 28th
BBC2 - 9pm Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story. Julie Walters plays the TV tyrant in this biog.

Thursday 29th
Sky Movies Indie - 10am & 11.45pm: Fire. Indian drama about a lesbian relationship.
Sky Movies Indie - 18.10pm: Transamerica
Sky Movies Indie - 110pm: All about My Mother

Entertainment and documentaries

Saturday 24th
BBC1 - 6.50pm: I’d Do Anything
BBC1 - 8pm: Eurovision Song Contest. Will anyone vote for the UK? Andy Abraham sings. Wogan mocks.

Sunday 25th
BBC1 - 7.15pm: I’d Do Anything
BBC2 - 11.45pm: The Graham Norton Show

Monday 26th
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of my Life. Nigel Slater takes celebrities on a culinary journey
BBC Parliament - 6.40pm: Homosexual Rights. Part of Permissive Night. Includes the two-part documentary Man Alive: Consenting Adults (June 1967)
BBC Parliament - 23.30pm: Late Night Line-Up, Part of Permissive Night. Panel discussion on the issues covered over the evening.

Tuesday 27th
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
BBC2 - 9pm: The Supersizers Go. Sue Perkins tries to survive the Restoration with Giles Coren

Wednesday 28th
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
Sky Arts - 9pm: What the Dickens? Sandi Toksvig presents a new cultural quiz.

Thursday 29th
BBC2 - 6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
BBC2 - 9.45pm: The Graham Norton Show. Dame Edna Everage guests.

Friday 30th
BBC1 - 10.35pm: Tonight with Jonathan Ross. John Barrowman guests.
BBC2 -6.30pm: A Taste of My Life
C4 - 10pm: Derren Brown: Trick or Treat

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Statue of Gay Rights Hero Unveiled

Harvey Milk, the first out gay male politician in American history, is to be honoured with a statue in San Francisco City Hall. The memorial will be unveiled today, on what would have been his 78th birthday. It is a rare honour for someone who never held the position of Mayor and will be a permanent reminder of the unique place the city of San Francisco had in forming a new, politically active gay identity in the 1970s.

Milk, known during his lifetime as The Mayor of Castro Street, is regarded as a political icon among gay activists for his ability to build the LGBT community into a grassroots political force. He was elected to the city's Board of Supervisors in 1977. In his 11 months in office he sponsored a gay rights bill and helped to defeat a proposition that would have seen openly gay and lesbian teachers sacked.

He was gunned down at City Hall by Dan White, a disgruntled former Supervisor, on November 27th 1978. White also killed the city's mayor in his gun rampage. Milk had foreseen his own untimely death, and made several audio tapes to be played if he was assassinated. One had recorded upon it his most famous statement, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."

When White only received seven years in jail for Milk's murder, San Francisco's gay community rioted. More than 160 people were injured.

Sean Penn is playing Milk in an upcoming biopic.

With thanks to Pinknews.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New LGBT Hip-Hop Website Launched

The growing rise of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered hip hop artists and rappers has given birth to a website exclusively catering for the underground music scene that has long been referred to as "homohop". says their goal is to be the primary destination on the internet for all "out" hip hop artists (and their fans), an all inclusive home for LGBT artists who make all forms of rap and every variation of hip hop and are "out" with their sexuality.

The website, which is already live, features Interviews, CD reviews, a robust Artist Directory, Feature Stories and News, a Bulletin Board, and Media. The site presently offers a free Mixtape download and promises more content as time goes by.

Many of the news items and CD reviews are featured in a blog-like manner, which allows readers to post comments.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Egyptian Film to Explore Homosexuality

Although Egyptian cinema, since its inception, has presented many homosexual characters, most of these have been comic devices inserted to generate a few cheap laughs. The only serious portrayals of homosexuality have been through a few minor characters in a handful of Egyptian films like Salah Abou Seif's Malatili Bathhouse (1973), Youssef Chahine's Alexandria Trilogy (1980's), Asmaa Bakry's Mendicants et Orgueilleux (1991), Yousry Nasrallah's Mercedes (1993), and Marwan Hamed’s The Yacoubian Building (2007).

However, these were presented in a manner so subtle as to often be detected only by the initiated. The Egyptian Underground Film Society (EUFS), a group of artists and intellectuals seeking a creative outlet away from political restrictions, has just completed its first production, All My Life, which falls firmly into the category of Queer Cinema. Its protagonists are gay men seen facing persecution and discrimination, particularly in the wake of the 2001 witch-hunts against them; the most famous incident being the Queen Boat arrests in which 52 alleged homosexuals were tried in a national security court.

According to the film's director/screenwriter Maher Sabry, "We all build fences around ourselves to protect ourselves from pain; that's why it's easy, when we see others treated unjustly, to assume that they must have done something to deserve punishment. It's especially easy if they believe differently from us or live a lifestyle we don't approve of. Then it comes round to us, and others say the same.. and so on until we all know what it feels like to be oppressed."

With the rise of the wave of conservatism in Egypt and the Arab world in recent years, artists have become increasingly unable to tackle a number of subjects that were dealt with in Egyptian cinema in the past. Last year, following the screening of Egyptian film The Yacoubian Building, 112 members of the Egyptian Parliament - one-quarter of the total - signed a petition demanding the removal of the scenes portraying the only homosexual character in the film. And yet, the portrayal of the gay character in Yacoubian Building is tame compared to the one in The Malatili Bathhouse in 1973, more than thirty years earlier.

All My Life, a product of guerrilla filmmaking, attempts to break away from the taboos imposed by Egyptian censorship, sexual, social and political. According to the director, "Censorship is a knife in the heart of any artistic movement. The censor treats me like a child, telling me, as a person, what to read, what to hear, what to watch, and therefore how to think, how to express myself. All this is done in the name of "protecting the public interest" but in fact it is "protecting power-holders and political interests". Censorship only flourishes in countries with corrupt and tyrannical governments afraid of a rise in public awareness; it guarantees the maintenance of the status quo. Just as the Internet revolution has opened the door to people to express themselves uncensored, so the digital filmmaking revolution has given me the same opportunity. I knew from the start that my movie would never officially be allowed a public screening; but I'm confident that people will see it, because where there is corruption, video piracy is all the rage. When the festivals are over, it'll be for sale on the sidewalks like all banned films. This way, I know I may not recoup the money I spent on the film, but at least I'll have achieved self-fulfillment."

Find out more about the film here. We do not currently know if All My Life is scheduled for release in the UK.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Brace Yourself for the Adventure - Exhibition

May looks set to be a second LGBT History Month in the South West this year. An exhibition, organised by The Intercom Trust and running throughout the month, opened on the 1st May at the North Somerset Museum in Weston-super-Mare as an opportunity to experience the vibrant heritage of everyone’s diverse past.

Brace Yourself for the Adventure
1 May – 31 May
North Somerset Museum
Burlington Street
10am to 4.30pm, Monday – Saturday

Intercom Trust

Saturday, May 17, 2008

LGBT Related Radio and TV Programmes. 18th – 25th May

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.

Monday 19th
BBC Radio 4 - 3.45pm: Joan Armatrading’s Favourite Choirs

Tuesday 20th
BBC Radio 4 - 3.45pm: Joan Armatrading’s Favourite Choirs

Wednesday 21st
BBC Radio 4 - 3.45pm: Joan Armatrading’s Favourite Choirs

Thursday 22nd
BBC Radio 4 - 11.30am: A Taste of Honey - The legacy of the play explored.
BBC Radio 4 - 3.45pm: Joan Armatrading’s Favourite Choirs

Friday 23rd
BBC Radio 4 - 3.45pm: Joan Armatrading’s Favourite Choirs
BBC Radio 4 - 6.30pm: The News Quiz, chaired by Sandi Toksvig
BBC Three Counties Radio - 10.0pm: Ern and Vern
Available in Herts. Beds. Bucks. Cambs. Northants. Essex. Listen live online here.



Sunday 18th
C4 - 9.00pm: Brokeback Mountain. First terrestrial outing for Ang Lee’s adaptation of Annie Proulx’s tale of two gay cowboys.

Factual and entertainment

Sunday 18th
BBC1 - 7.30pm: I’d Do Anything. Norton, Barrowman and Humphries judge the Nancys.
BBC2 - 11.00pm: Graham Norton Uncut. Late night repeat from Thursday
ITV - 10.45pm: South Bank Show. Melvyn Bragg meets Gore Vidal in LA.

Monday 19th
C4 - 8.00pm: Dispatches looks at Christian fundamentalists
C4 - 10:00pm: Reverend Death - a gay priest helps people to commit suicide.

Tuesday 20th
BBC2 - 9.00pm: The Supersizers Go. Features Sue Perkins messing with wartime food
C4 - 8.00pm: How to Look Good Naked. Last in series.

Wednesday 21st
C5 - 10.00pm: Viagra; 10 years and on the rise
E4 - 11.35pm: Brothers and Sisters

Thursday 22nd
BBC2 - 9.45pm: Graham Norton Show
C4 - 11.00pm: Derren Brown: Trick or Treat.

Friday 23rd
BBC1 - 10.35pm: Jonathan Ross. Neil Diamond
BBC2 - 10.00pm: QI. Stephen Fry presents
ITV - 8.30pm: Coronation Street. Paul may leave.
C4 - 10.00pm: Derren Brown: Trick or Treat

History Month Signs Declaration Against Hate Crime

Race for Justice is a cross-governmental strategy to combat Hate Crime in our society spear-headed by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform and the Attorney General. By singing the declaration, History Month shows its support to the Attorney General's initiative and marks its will to continue its work to eradicate all forms of hate crime. We invite you and your organisation to join us by also signing the declaration.

Read the Attorney General's letter and invitation here (pdf file).
View the signed declaration here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

International Day Against Homophobia - IDAHO

Sexuality should not be a death sentenceThe newly released International Lesbian and Gay Association’s 2008 report on state-sponsored homophobia says that to be lesbian or gay risks jail time in 86 countries and death penalty in seven. The figure normally quoted is 77 countries (find out more here).

In the UK itself, while amazing advances have been made in the Statutes Books in the last 10 years, homophobic incidence are a still all too common, especially in the schoolyard.

International Day Against Homophobia provides a platform for everyone to make a powerful statement to demand improvements for the quality of life for LGBT people both overseas and here in the UK. The 17th May -the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation finally removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders- can be used to raise awareness of homophobic issues that are negatively impacting on people’s lives and to showcase success stories where a positive change has been achieved.

As befits a campaign in the UK, it will be marked in a wide variety of ways, with gravitas, concern, determination, wit and irony.

On the morning of Saturday May 17th campaigners in Plymouth will be assembling their floats which celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Rainbow Flag, elder LGBT people in Belfast will be preparing to launch their new social/campaigning group , a lesbian in Leicester will begin the task of judging the winner of an IDAHO cake competition, and Trade Unionists in London will be laying wreaths for those who have been judicially slaughtered as a consequence of their sexuality.

The Communication Workers Union will be laying wreath in London to “openly protest at the appalling manner in which Iran treats LGB people”.

The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association is hosting a meeting at Amnesty International Human Rights Centre, which will explore the rights of LGBT people at home and abroad. They will also be addressed by the Director of Changing Attitude, Nigeria. In Scotland, campaigners have designed posters under the categories of asylum, justice and human rights under the heading “Love is for everyone, everywhere” and these have been widely distributed particularly to schools “to raise the Scottish public awareness of human rights afforded to LGBT people around the world”.

The University and College Union have arranged a major conference in Manchester about “LGB Rights in Europe”. In Oxford, Amnesty International have arranged a demonstration and rally which will be addressed by several campaigners, including human rights activist, Peter Tatchell. There will be another demonstration in Medway, Kent this time about the homophobic statements of the Bishop of Register while Kent Police will hold a seminar in Maidstone as part of its campaign to raise awareness and reporting of hate crime. Brighton campaigners will again mark the day by releasing 77 lanterns into the sky, to mark the countries which criminalise homosexuality. The London Borough of Waltham Forest will unveil a plaque which has been commissioned “to remember the many victims of homophobia and transphobia from around the world and the UK who have lost their lives”

While there is naturally a focus on events abroad, no-one is complacent about LGBT Rights in the UK. The Lesbian and Gay National Archives have called a conference to reflect and remember Section 28, and an exhibition in Lewisham recalls the decriminalisation of homosexuality in “1967 and all that”. A film made by a Liverpool LGBT Youth group called “Are we there yet?” will be shown as part of a daily programme in a mainstream cinema up to and including IDAHO day. In Manchester, on the other hand, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation will be showing the film “Stonewall” to see “how far we’ve come”. There are many hate crime initiatives too. The Met will be present in Leicester Square on May 16th giving out information and advice about hate crime, and will also distribute 10,000 postcards for IDAHO day. Liverpool police will fly the rainbow flag, and at night their police station will be illuminated by a dazzling display of rainbow colours. New police advice surgeries/helplines for the LGBT communities will also be launched on IDAHO day in Bromley, Liverpool and Kent. Local authorities have arranged public awareness raising events for IDAHO, often including speeches, entertainment, a minutes noise or silence in Haringey, Hartlepool, Plymouth, Sheffield, Birmingham, Coventry, Bath, Tameside, South Shields and Northampton.

Posters designed by students at the University of Arts to mark IDAHO have been distributed all around the country in police stations, schools, job centres and youth clubs.

IDAHO takes place on May 17th and so does the UK’s Football Cup Final. Events to reflect this have been arranged in Brighton, Oldham, and Sheffield. In the FA Cup Final Programme, not only is there a commitment to tackle homophobia, but support is given for the International Day Against Homophobia-an incredible achievement.

Derek Lennard, IDAHO-UK Coordinator commented “Perhaps the time will arrive soon when gay professional footballers will feel safe enough to “come out”, and help break down one of the last bastions of homophobia in the UK”. He continued “In the meantime, and to the extent which it is appropriate, I would like to wish campaigners and supporters in the UK and abroad a happy IDAHO day for May 17th”.

Find out more about the day and the events organised across the country: or join the IDAHO UK facebook group

Picture taken at the protest against the deportation of Mehdi Kazemi back to Iran - Opposite Downing Street, Whitehall, 22 March 2008

Robert Rauschenberg Dies

Robert Rauschenberg
1925 - 2008

The art critic Robert Hughes once described the influencial and controversial american artist Robert Rauschenbergas "a protean genius who showed America that all of life could be open to art." Adding that his "taste was always facile, omnivorous, and hit-or-miss, yet he had a bigness of soul and a richness of temperament that re called Walt Whitman."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lord Arthur's Bed

2008 - City slickers Donald and Jim are celebrating their civil partnership.
1868 - Lord Arthur Pelham-Clinton, 3rd son of the 5th Duke of Newcastle, married a pretty young creature, who went by the name of Miss Stella Boulton, thereafter known as Lady Arthur Clinton.

But disaster struck when Lady Arthur and her best friend Fanny were arrested at the theatre. A police investigation revealed a fact of some importance: Stella was actually Ernest Boulton and Fanny was really Fred Park. They were both charged with sodomy and sent for trial. Lord Arthur was also charged.

Lord Arthur's Bed by Martin Lewton weaves these two stories together, dramatizing the farcical trial that gripped the nation 25 years before the downfall of Oscar Wilde. In Fanny and Stella's extraordinary and comical story, two modern men find a hidden history and some uncomfortable truths that threaten to wreck their new life together.

The production is on tour throughout May and will be in:

Brighton on 14/15/16 May at 7.30 at the Friends Meeting House
01273 709709

Leeds on 20/21 May at 8.00 The Carriageworks
0113 2243801

Bath on 22/23 May at 8.00 at The Rondo Theatre
01225 463362

Settle on 24 May at 8.00 at the Victoria Theatre
01729 825718

The play contains nudity and scenes of a sexual nature, suitable for ages 16+.

Some background to the Clinton case can be found here (spoiler for those planning to attend the play).

Pictures: "Stella Boulton" and an admirer and poster for the show

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hidden Gay Hip-Hop Scene Revealed

cover of Hiding in Hip Hop by Terrance DeanTerrance Dean, a former executive at music channel MTV, has penned a memoir of his life and times in the hip hop industry as a gay man. It is an explosive exposé of a thriving gay subculture in an aggressively male business, where anti-gay lyrics and public homophobia are common.

[...] That gay hip hop subculture certainly seems to be thriving. Dean's book describes a world where many industry executives and some artists are leading secret gay lives, which are often obvious to everyone but rarely talked about. And, despite using some false names, the book contains enough information so that it will undoubtedly spark off a frenzy of speculation as to who some of the characters are in real life.

[...] Dean hopes that by bringing out his book he will allow a leading hip hop figure to come out as gay and thus pave the way for the notoriously homophobic industry to come to terms with its secret side.

[...] There are signs that things are changing. Several leading rap artists, including top seller Kanye West, have admitted that homophobia is rampant in the industry and they have spoken out against it. West had previously spoken out against gay lyrics. There are also a handful of openly gay rappers such as Deadlee, who has held national US tours of his music and appeared on television to talk about his sexuality.

Read the full article in the Guardian here.

Hiding In Hip-Hop, on the low-down in the entertainment industry - from music to Hollywood by Terrance Dean was released on 13 May in the USA and will be available on 17 July in the UK. Dean is also the author of a blog.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Campaigners Gather to Fight Birmingham Pride March Ban

LGBTQBirmingham Pride will not have its traditional march and parade this year as a result of a lack of agreement over traffic restrictions. Some see this as a cynical effort to allay the fears of residents as the gay village is turned into a posh housing estate. Some see it as another nail in the coffin for the notion of Pride as a political event.

The University of Birmingham LGBTQ Association believe “Birmingham Pride” and its parade to be the most important event of the Birmingham LGBT calendar. They see Pride as a protest. The LGBT community do face social inequality and discrimination on a daily basis and feel it still has not achieved the aims of the Queer Liberation Movement of the sixties which was recreated in last year’s parade. The Association feels that Birmingham Pride will be incomplete without its Parade and risks forgeting its purpose, not only this, but it is also confined solely to the gay village: out of sight and sound of the heterosexual world.

The association, like so many others, declares itself unaware of the complete reasons for the cancellation of the parade, but believes it is not too late to host a simple march taking the aims of pride back to its grassroots. This pride march is possible through the use of the ‘Human Rights Act of 2001’ stating a person’s right to peaceful protest. The parade needs no budget and this way needs no permission from the council.

The association is therefore calling for a meeting to discuss plans to organise a parade. This is to be held at Nightingales on Wednesday 14th May at 7pm. If you are interested in attending this meeting, and being involved in the parade march, or for any further information, contact the University of Birmingham LGBTQ Association by email ( or by phone (07871899155 – Holly Pike (Chair), 07712588808 – Emma O’Dwyer (LGBTQ Officer))

for more information about the association, please visit:

Moj of the Antarctic Returns to South London

Following a successful run in March 2007, Moj of the Antarctic returns to Oval House Theatre for one week only to launch the production’s British Council-sponsored tour of southern Africa in June/July 2008.

Moj of the AntarcticMoj of the Antarctic is inspired by the wonderful true life story of Ellen Craft, a 19th century African-American slave woman who escaped to freedom by disguising herself as a white man. Ellen’s amazing story of race and cross-dressing is one of the forgotten gems of black and trans histories.

Moj of the Antarctic extends Ellen’s life story into a flight of theatrical fantasy where upon arrival in Victorian London, she finds work as a sailor on a whaling ship bound for the Southern Seas. Life on the ship is tough and even stranger is the men’s obsession with Black face minstrelsy. Eventually the ship arrives in Antarctic waters ripe for whaling, and Moj becomes the first black woman to step foot on Antarctica.

This innovative theatre piece incorporates video, words, dance, music, storytelling, song and stunning original photography created for the piece on location in Antarctica by queer visual artist Del LaGrace Volcano.

Moj of the Antarctic is set to tour in summer 2008 to South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, delivering a programme of performances, workshops and artist development by writer-performer Mojisola Adebayo and Oval House’s Head of Theatre Programming, Ben Evans.

Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey
Directed by Sheron Wray
13 – 17 May, Tuesday - Saturday 7:45pm,
Oval House Theatre
Kennington Oval
London SE11
Tickets: £12/£6 concessions
Box office: 020 7582 7680
Online sales: (no fee)
BSL interpreted performance with Jacqui Beckford: 13 May, 7.45pm
Matinee: 17 May, 3.00pm

Monday, May 12, 2008

Berlin Street Named After Pioneer Scientist

Magnus HirshfeldOnly a few days before the 140th anniversary of his birth (14 May), the city of Berlin honoured the memory of Magnus Hirshfeld.

A promenade located along the Spree river, right in the political centre of the German state, was re-baptised the Magnus-Hirschfeld-Ufer by the German Justice Minister on 6 may after the pioneering physician, sexologist and gay rights advocate who was persecuted by the Nazi. The chairwoman of the Berlin Jewish community, the sexologist Martin Dannecker, representatives of the City also joined members of the gay community in the event which happened at the initiative the Gay and Lesbian German Federation (LSVD).

On the 10 May 1933, Hirshfeld's Institute for Sexual Research (which he founded in 1919) was pillaged by the Nazi. His books and records were destroyed. On the occasion of the ceremony, the LSVD launched a subscription for the installation on the newly named street of a replica of bust of the scientist which was destroyed by the Nazi when they attacked the Institute.

27th May will see the inauguration in Berlin of the a monument commemorating LGBT victims of the Holocaust (more info)

Magnus Hirshfeld

LGBT Related Radio and TV Programmes. 10th – 17th May

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.

Sat 10th
BBC Radio4 – 11.30pm: The Josephine Hart Poetry Programme – W H Auden’s life and work examined.

Sun 11th
BBC Radio3 – 10.20pm: Words and Music – including pieces by Walt Whitman and Arthur C Clarke.

Tues 13th
BBC Radio2 – 10.30pm: Icons Revisited – Dusty Springfield.



Sat 10th
Sky Movies Classics – 9.00pm: Some Like It Hot

Sun 11th
Sky Movies Drama – 6.00pm: Wilde

Mon 12th
Sky Movies Comedy – 11.20am -In & Out: English teacher outed by film star during an Oscar acceptance speech – very silly, great fun, good politics.
Sky Movies Indie – 3.30pm: Cabaret.

Tues 13th
Sky Movies Indie – 4.30pm: TransAmerica

Wed 14th
Sky Movies Indie – 8.00pm: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Film 4 – 9.00pm: Four Weddings and a Funeral


Sat 10th
Sky Arts – 5.00pm: Frida Kahlo.
Parliament Channel – 9.00pm: Stephen Fry presents an hour-long briefing on broadcasting.

Mon 12th
BBC2 – 7.00pm: Legends: Doris Day – Virgin Territory
BBC4 – 9.00pm: Stephen Fry: 50 Not Out
Sky Arts – 5.05pm: Andy Warhol: The Complete Picture
Biography – 7.00pm: Katherine Hepburn

Fri 16th
Sky Arts – 10.45pm: Truman Capote

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Losing Orton in the Archives

The tangled history of the papers of the playwright Joe Orton is unwoven by Dr. Matt Cook who reveals the extraordinary sources that survive on the writer's life and the perhaps even more extraordinary ones that remain stubbornly missing.

This recording is available here (right to save the file) and is part of the National Archives Podcast Series.

Warning: the following material may not be suitable for all listeners.

National Archives website

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Islanders Want to Reclaim Lesbian Label

Campaigners on the Greek island of Lesbos are to go to court in an attempt to stop a gay rights organisation from using the term "lesbian".

Read the full article here; see also Lesbos lawsuit "pathetic and scary" says activist

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

bulletin No 46

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.

Enduring Love - Audio History Project

As part of Relate's 70th birthday celebrations, the UK's largest provider of relationship counselling and sex therapy is looking for special couples and individuals over 70 years of age to tell them stories of love and lust and how relationships have changed since the 1930's.

The people behind the project are talking to lots of diverse people including people with disabilities, people in mixed race relationships, people who’ve moved to the UK and LGBT people.

They would preferably audio tape people but it is also possible to send in written stories. Current or old photos illustrating the stories are also welcome. Some of the interviews will be used on Relate's website and may be included to a short booklet celebrating 70 years of relationship history. Contributors can request to remain anonymous should they choose to.

If you want to contribute, please contact Gwilym Roberts using the following:

Relate Milton Keynes
47 Aylesbury Street
Milton Keynes
MK12 5HX

T: 01908 310010

Find out more about Relate here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Half an Hour with Sue Sanders

Sue Sanders speaking at  the Pre-launch of LGBT History Month 2008 at the Royal Courts of Justice - 26 November 2007
Sue Sanders speaking at the Pre-launch of LGBT History Month 2008 at the Royal Courts of Justice - 26 November 2007

In the 1970’s school teachers could be dismissed if it became known that they were Gay or Lesbian. As a young lesbian teacher in those days Sue Sanders recalls that women were not even allowed to wear trousers. This was the environment in which the organisation “School’s Out” was founded in 1974.

In this in-depth Podcast interview Sue speaks at length about the organisation she has worked for during the majority of her adult life, the way things have changed in that time and the problem for the next generation of society when today’s teachers are not equipped to teach about diversity. She also talks about LGBT History Month, which she helped to found in 2004.

Part of a series of in-depth interviews with LGBT and other diverse personalities that make up the Podcast channel “Just Plain Sense” by Christine Burns. you can listen to the interview here.