Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Making bi history

To celebrate 30 years of UK bi activism, two bisexual history events are planned for this February, as part of LGBT History Month.

The first, ‘20th Century Bi’, will take place in London’s Conway Hall. Writer and blogger Sue George (Women and Bisexuality, Bisexuality and Beyond) will lead a panel of speakers discussing bisexuals and bisexuality in the twentieth century.

In the North, ‘Getting Bi In Manchester’ will include speakers and discussion on the history of the UK bisexual movement, with a focus on the Manchester BiPhoria group, now the longest-running bi group in the UK. Speakers (to be confirmed) include Jen Yockney (Bi Community News editor), Surya Monro (University of Huddersfield) and Meg Barker (Open University, BiUK research group).

The UK bi community has much to be proud of. Since the first meeting of the London Bi Group on 1 September 1981, the community has grown enormously in size, diversity and activist experience. Last year’s record-breaking International BiCon, in London, showed just how far the worldwide bisexual community has come since its origins in the radical sexual politics of the 60s and 70s.

20th Century Bi
Saturday 12 February 2011, 2.30–4.30 pm,
Conway Hall (Bertrand Russell Room),
25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tickets £5 (£3 unwaged)
Facebook Event
Supported by the Bisexual Index ( and LBGT History Month

Getting Bi In Manchester
Tuesday 15 February 2011, 7–9 pm,
Inspire Centre, 747 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Greater Manchester M19 3AR.
More information at

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Official Northern Pre-Launch of History Month: 27 January 2011

The University of Salford is proud to be hosting the official Northern launch of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month (LGBT) 2011. The launch day features an exciting programme of events aimed at kicking homophobia out of Britain’s schools. Local schools will take part in equality focused sports master classes with world class coaching from John Amaechi, former NBA star and Scottish Rugby league player Mitch Stringer.

Teachers are invited to an afternoon showcase of practical resources designed to tackle homophobia in the classroom, including the Northern premier of the much talked-about film ‘Homophobia’, which depicts a London school where the tables are turned and gay students are the majority.

Find out more about this session and register to attend here.

The day will conclude with a formal evening reception to celebrate the launch of LGBT History Month hosted by our Vice-Chancellor, and LGBT Academic Patron, Professor Martin Hall.

Get further information about the formal reception and all the activities taking place throughout the launch day here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sports stars take part in LGBT History Month official northern launch

Sports stars from the world of rugby, cricket and basketball will headline the official northern launch of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month on 27 January at the University of Salford – with a focus on reducing the levels of homophobia in schools.

Fitting with LGBT History Month’s sports theme, psychologist, New York Times best-selling author and former NBA basketball player John Amaechi will be leading a basketball masterclass at the event for a group of school children from around the north, while simultaneous sessions will be run by Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Club and Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Stockport-raised John Amaechi became one of the few US-based sportsmen to come out as gay in 2007 and now runs Amaechi Performance Systems, a professional consultancy which works with various businesses and organisations to promote a high-performance workplace through inclusion, improved communication and leadership.

As well as passing on his skills and knowledge to the school pupils at the masterclass, he will also be part of a panel discussion at the evening reception to discuss diversity issues in sport with invited guests.

He said: “Having the opportunity to educate and normalise human differences to young people through everyday activities like sport is a key way to promote a more inclusive and productive society for everyone. I am really pleased that the University of Salford has seen fit to so actively promote discussion and raise awareness on LGBT issues and LGBT history month.”

There will also be a series of events held to help teachers to tackle homophobic bullying in schools, which earlier this year the National Union of Teachers found had been witnessed by nearly all school staff.

The launch event will also kick off the University’s own LGBT history month events to run throughout February.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall is the LGBT History Month Academic Patron. “The University is honoured to be chosen to host the northern launch of this important national event and I welcome all of the participants to the day,” he said

“Human rights and social justice are a major part of the University’s mission and by working to promote LGBT issues Salford can play a significant role in addressing homophobia in society.”

The launch event is being supported by the National Union of Teachers and the University and College Union.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

US Senate lifts 'don't ask, don't tell' gay soldier ban

The US Senate has approved landmark legislation allowing openly gay people to serve in the military.

Senators voted 65-31 to overturn the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bars gay people in the military from revealing their sexual orientation.

The House of Representatives had already approved the repeal bill. President Barack Obama says he is looking forward to signing it into law.

Read the full article on BBC News here.

See aslo:
- Gay troops unleash emotions at end of long fight, Washington Post
- Video: US Senate votes to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ban on gays serving in the military, Pink News

Saturday, December 18, 2010

LGBT related Radio and TV Programmes

Unfortunately we won't be able to bring you our weekly round up of upcoming LGBT programmes on the radio and television, this week. Our apologies for the inconvenience this may cause.

Baynham Killers Found Guilty

The killers of Ian Baynham have been found guilty of manslaughter.

Ruby Thomas, 18, of Lichfield, Staffs, and Joel Alexander, 20, of Thornton Heath, southeast London, beat and kicked Ian Baynham, 62, and stamped on his head in a homophobic assault, causing such injury that he died 18 days later. The attack took place in late September 2009, and shocked the nation as it took place in Trafalgar Square and was carried out by teenagers.

Thomas was heard to have shouted "F**king f*gg*ts at Baynham and his partner before the attack. The two will be sentences in the new year. Rachael Burke, 18, of Upper Norwood, southeast London, was found guilty of affray at an earlier trial.

For more details, see:
- The Trafalgar Square killers: two found guilty of attack that left gay man dead, The Guardian
- Public schoolgirl who turned killer: Drunk teen's homophobic attack on stranger in Trafalgar Square, The Daily Mail
- Gay hate 'alive and, sometimes, kicking' , BBC News

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FIFA condemned for lack of gay-friendliness

The Gay Football Supporters' Network has condemned FIFA for its decision to allow Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022. The middle eastern nation was awarded the honour despite its poor human rights record and the fact that homosexuality is criminalised in the country and carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison.

Read the full story in the Pink Paper here

John Amaechi, one of our patrons, has also attacked the head of FIFA for his comments made earlier this week that gay football fans should not have sex when attending the World Cup in Qatar. John said he was "enraged" at the supposed joke and had made a complain to FIFA.

Read the full story in PinkNews here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trans women golfers can compete

The US Ladies Professional Golf Association L.P.G.A. players have voted to eliminate the tour’s requirement that players be “female at birth” and to allow transgender athletes to compete, less than two months after a transgender woman sued the tour in federal court, arguing that the rule violated California civil rights law.

The L.P.G.A. was sued in October by Lana Lawless, a retired police officer who had sex reassignment surgery in 2005 and who won the 2008 women’s world championship in long-drive golf. Lawless sought to play in L.P.G.A. qualifying tournaments after Long Drivers of America changed its rules to match the L.P.G.A.’s.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bulletin No 79

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 also right click on the links and "save target as")

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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

LGBT related Radio and TV Programmes

Unfortunately we won't be able to bring you our weekly round up of upcoming LGBT programmes on the radio and television, this week. Our apologies for the inconvenience this may cause.

Gay Birmingham Remembered is Back, to Back!

Birmingham LGBT Community Trust has received £50,000 in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new LGBT social history project. Building on the success of Gay Birmingham Remembered, the ‘Gay Birmingham Back to Back’ project will research the lives of four LGBT people from Birmingham’s past. Researching as far back as the 1850s up until the 1970s the project will look at the social, political and personal circumstances of LGBT people in these time periods.

SHOUT Festival Producer, David Viney comments, “We are pleased to have been awarded this funding, which will help us extend the Gay Birmingham Remembered project and research what life would have been like for lesbian, gay and bisexual people even further back into history. It is vitally important that LGBT people take their place in Birmingham’s history.”

Working in partnership with Women and Theatre and the National Trust, the research will be developed as on site performances, presented in the Back to Back houses on Hurst Street in Birmingham’s Gay Village. The performances will form part of the SHOUT Festival in 2011. The project will also produce an exhibition and a book looking at the four characters’ lives.

Janice Connolly, Artistic Director of Women & Theatre states, ‘We are delighted the HLF are supporting this project, and are excited about working for the first time with Birmingham LGBT and The National Trust and their volunteers. The project is bound to be a flagship project for the company in 2011.’

Friday, December 3, 2010

Press Release: World Cup Decision a ‘Particular Disappointment for Our Community’

LGBT campaigners were expressing disappointment at the choices of venue for the World Cup over the next decade.

FIFA, Football's governing body, announced yesterday that the World Cup competition would take place in Russia in 2018 and in Qatar in 2022. Both countries have dubious track records in respect of Human Rights in general and LGBT Rights in particular.

Tony Fenwick, co-chair of LGBT History Month said: “It seems a great shame that, at a time when there is real work beginning to happen to combat homophobia and transphobia in sport in general and football in particular, FIFA should award these prized honours to countries that leave a lot to be desired as regards their record on equal opportunities and human rights.”

Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, but continues to deny same sex couples marriages, civil partnerships or any other legal recognition of their relationships. It has no legislation to protect LGBT citizens against discrimination, although it does allow homosexuals to serve in the armed forces. Moreover, Moscow Pride has consistently been banned and violence against marchers, including Peter Tatchell, has been ignored or condoned by the authorities.

Qatar operates Sharia law and same sex relationships are illegal and punishable by up to five years hard labour. An American citizen was convicted of homosexuality and sentenced to 6 months hard labour and 90 lashes in 1995. Later, there were mass arrests and deportations of Phillipinos for their alleged homosexual activity.

“I had no particular preference for the England bid,” continued Tony. “The English FA attended the LGBT History Month Pre-Launch and has announced its commitment to tackling homophobia on the terraces and on the pitch. But Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal all have same-sex marriage and an excellent record on LGBT equality. To be honest, it feels like a kick in the teeth that this honour should be bestowed on two states that have a very dubious record on LGBT rights.”

There is hope, however, that the decision may encourage Russia and Qatar to improve their record on LGBT rights so that they might gain international kudos. FIFA’s decision, however, is final and it is not open to public scrutiny.

More on Wikipedia:
- LGBT Rights in Russia
- LGBT Rights in Qatar

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rugby League launches anti-homophobia guidance

The Rugby Football league has published a guide to combat homophobia in the sport. The guide, entitled Guidance for Rugby League Clubs – Challenging anti gay (homophobic) abuse and behaviour (pdf - 3.1Mb), was recently launched in Parliament to widespread critical acclaim.

It was produced with the support and contributions of Stonewall and Pride Sports as well as the Rugby League Ground Safety Officers Association and a numbers of club representatives from both the professional and community game. The guidance has been produced with the intention of providing practical information and recommendations that are relevant to Rugby League.

The guidance provides useful strategies to challenging homophobia, from the`causal’ use of the term`gay’ to refer to anything negative to homophobic abuse directed at individuals in both the club setting as well as match days. There are a number of useful stand alone pages which can be used and disseminated as summaries of good practice and flowcharts of possible actions.

Although this guidance has been produced specifically for Rugby League it could easily be adapted to suit other sports (please acknowledge the RFL if you do so). As a first of its kind in any sport this guidance is intended to evolve over time and, as such, the RFL would welcome any examples of good practice or case studies where a club has successfully challenged homophobia or has experienced particular challenges.

It can be downloaded from the LGBTHM website (see link above) or from the RFL website here.