Saturday, March 26, 2011

Drill Hall Hosts New Play on Being older and LGBT

Staying Out Late is a new piece of theatre written by Clare Summerskill and directed by Philip Osment.

It is the result of workshops and interviews with the older LGBT community in Camden, and reveals the hopes, fears and experiences of what being older and needing professional care may mean.

Is it safe to come out? Do you need to hide yourself away? What impact does this have on older people who have recently become confident about being “out”, and now fear they will be doubly vulnerable?

The show uses verbatim experiences and improvisations from older LGBT people. It is moving and funny, and will be seen by professional policy makers and carers, in the hope of changing attitudes.

It features an original new song from Clare Summerskill, a stand up comedienne, actress and singer whose shows are a must-see for lesbians around the country.

Staying Out Late
31st March 2011, at 2.30 and 7.30
The Drill Hall
16 Chenies Street
London WC1E 7EX
Box Office: 020 7307 5060

Friday, March 25, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor Dies

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor has died after a long and fascinating life. LGBT History Month salutes her; particularly for her early and sustained support for those who suffered from HIV and AIDS and her continued commitment to our community.

Elizabeth Taylor on wikipedia

NHS and GIRES Trans Workshop

A workshop covering 'Sexual orientation, Trans and the NHS' has been announced. The conference, which will cover the latest legislation on trans rights and involves the Government Equalities Office and GIRES, will be held in London on April 18th.

Time: Monday 18th April
Date: 10:30am-3:30pm
Location: Avonmouth House, London, SE1 6NX
For more information and to reserve a place please contact

Click on the image for more details.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Make football homophobia-free. Tatchell demands new anti-homophobia in football DVD

"The Football Association (FA) needs to give a much stronger lead in tackling homophobia," said Peter Tatchell of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

He was a keynote speaker in London on Monday 21 March at the Leading the Way conference organised by the football anti-racism, equality and diversity campaign, Kick It Out.

Other keynote speakers included former professional footballer Paul Elliott and Simone Pound, Head of Equality at the Professional Footballers' Association.

"The FA's paper policies are now rather good but these formal policies need to be translated into stronger and more visible initiatives to make the beautiful game welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people," Mr Tatchell told the conference.

"The FA should impose big fines and match suspensions on players, managers and other football staff who use anti-gay insults. Money talks. The threat of financial losses - and the denial of the right to play - would be a strong deterrent to homophobia.

"Severe punishment is justified in cases of serious homophobia but the real solution is public education to change hearts and minds.

"The FA should secure the agreement of all clubs to feature anti-homophobia
messages in their match programmes, on tickets and on billboards inside and outside football grounds.

"I have long urged the FA to make a MTV-style video against homophobia, with big-name stars like David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Wayne Rooney and others. I'd like to see the video have a strong, joyful music track by a leading contemporary singer like Tinie Tempah.

"The aim is to produce a feel-good, happy-vibe video and get it shown on MTV, YouTube, in schools, at junior football clubs and on giant screens at premier league games before matches and during half-time.

"Such a video would have a huge, positive public impact. It would be a world first. No other football governing body has produced such a video. It would bring the FA great prestige and acclaim, get global media coverage and thereby raise awareness and help tackle homophobia internationally," said Mr Tatchell.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ian Rickson on The Children's Hour

The director Ian Rickson talks to Carole Woddis about his hit West End production of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour (Comedy Theatre), which stars Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss in a play that was scandalous on its first outing in 1934, and continues to be relevant. Recorded at Graeae.

You can listen to the interview here.

Find out more about the play on Wikipedia here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Christopher and His Kind

Kevin Elyot's film adaptation of writer Christopher Isherwood's 1976 memoir, will be aired on Saturday 19th March, between 9:30pm and 11:00pm on BBC2.

The drama, which had a premier showing during LGBT History Month, stars Matt Smith as Isherwood

More info on Wikipedia

Invitation to WellFit Reunion Party

The WellFit Party is on March 26th at Union, Vauxhall from 10pm and they would be delighted if you would join them for the “Cologne Gay Games Reunion Party”

They have an exciting line-up, with internationally famous DJ Jack Chang and the dance hit of Sky TV – Guyz in Sync and an exhibition area for LGBT sports clubs

Purchase your tickets at

Click on the picture above to download the flyer (pdf).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Peter Tatchell speaks for marriage equality

Peter Tatchell is giving a talk entitled "Equal Rights- Are we there yet?", on marriage equality and other issues of on-going homophobic discrimination.

This event is organised by the Gay and Lesbian Humanists Association (GALHA) with the official support of OutRage! and the Peter Tatchell Foundation. Some of the eight couples involved in the Equal Love / Marriage Equality campaign are expected to be present.

Derek Lennard (GALHA Events co-ordinator) commented: "This event will focus on the 'Equal Love' campaign which has taken the legal bid for gay marriage and for heterosexual civil partnerships to the European Court of Human Rights. Peter Tatchell will report on the progress of the campaign."

Peter Tatchell added: "Although I share the feminist critique of marriage, as an equality campaigner I abhor the homophobic discrimination of the ban on same-sex marriage. I defend the right of others to get married if they wish. The legal prohibition on gay marriage is the last major legal discrimination against LGBTI people in the UK. It must be ended.

Friday 18th March
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4LR
All welcome. Free admission

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Isle of Man and Ireland get civil partnerships next month

Gay couples on the Isle of Man will get the right to a civil partnership after a new law was signed in Tynwald. It gives them the same rights as married couples regarding inheritance, pensions and tax allowances. The law comes into effect on 6 April. Civil partnerships gained legal recognition in the UK in 2005 [not 2006 as stated in the article].

Read the full story on BBC News here.

The Ireland’s Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 came into effect from 1 January 2011, however couples were required to give a three month notice period before registrations could begin.

This means that the waiting period for many couples will be up in April. Civil partners will be treated in the same way as spouses under the Irish tax and social welfare codes. New rights and obligations will include maintenance obligations, protection of a shared home, pension rights and succession.

It has been reported that two ceremonies had taken place in secret last month already. It is understood that at least one member of both couples involved are suffering from serious illnesses with a risk of that one may die before the three month notice period for a civil partnership would elapse. Read the full story in PinkNews, here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clementi Honoured with Scholarship

A national scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students has created a scholarship in memory of Tyler Clementi.

The Point Foundation said Wednesday it is honoring Clementi's memory and furthering efforts to end the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth through the scholarship.

Read the full story on My Central Jersey, here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Minister launches LGBT Charter in Sport

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone chose an LGBT History Month sponsored event to launch an LGBT charter in Sport, on Sunday afternoon.

The charter, which will invite national governing bodies of sports to commit to tackling homophobia and transphobia and making sport ‘a welcoming environment for LGB and T people’, was announced by the minister as she attended a Sheffield Eagles rugby league game at Bramall Lane.

The Eagles wore shirts with the slogan ‘Homophobia – Tackle It’ as they played against rivals Widnes Vikings. Fans were told that the event was in aid of tackling homophobia and the event drew statements of support from out sportspeople Gareth Thomas, John Amaechi, Clare Balding and Steven Davies.

Elton John also voiced his support in a message from the US where he is currently touring. Waterloo Road’s Scott Haining – who is outspoken about the importance of challenging homophobia – attended the event and proudly wore his LGBT History Month badge.

Education unions joined forces with LGBT History Month and Pride Sport in this ground-breaking event to educate the sports community. The match was sponsored by LGBT History Month and Pride Sport, together with the National Union of Teachers, the NASUWT, the University and College Union and Unison.

Featherstone echoed the prime minister’s commitment to making sport safer and more welcoming to LGBT people. She was optimistic about the new charter:

“Homophobia and transphobia have no place in sport and I’m delighted that so many sporting bodies are backing our campaign to stamp it out at all levels; from local parks to Olympic stadiums.”

The theme of LGBT History Month 2011 and 2012 is sport. Co-chair Tony Fenwick was proud of their achievements in the first year: “After some amazing sporting events in February, History Month went into extra time for this final fixture. All the players and fans I spoke to were completely supportive.

“The charter is just what we need to help sport move forward into the Olympic year.”

See also:
- Football Association accepts gay rights charter - PinkNews
- Sir Elton John offers support to Sheffield Eagles RFC - Pink Paper

Picture: Tony Fenwick, Lynne Featherston, Sue Sanders and the Sheffield Eagles.

National Portrait Gallery talk to celebrate lesbians and gay men in British cinema

The National Portrait Gallery in London is to host a talk highlighting key lesbian and gay figures in British cinema.

The talk will be held by south London writer Stephen Bourne, author of Brief Encounters: Lesbians & Gays in British Cinema 1930-1971. Some of the luminaries of the medium are also represented in the Gallery’s Collection, including Anthony Asquith, Dirk Bogarde, Mary Morris, Kenneth Williams and Derek Jarman.

The talk comes just prior to the opening of the 25th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and will take place on Thursday 24 March at 1.15pm. It is free to all.

Read the full story on PinkNews here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nordic Rainbow Humanists Award 2010 goes to Malawi

The 2010 Nordic Rainbow Humanists award has gone to secretary general George Thindwa and his colleagues of the Association for Secular Humanism of Malawi. “This has been made for their courageous public stand for LGBT identity and rights in this African nation, taking great risks of retaliation from homophobic politicians, religious leaders, and a hostile mass media”, said Nordic Rainbow Humanists' international secretary Bill Schiller in Stockholm.

“This is the second time our annual award has gone to Africa and we were very pleased to have this recommendation from an earlier winner and staunch supporter of LGBT rights Leo Igwe of the Nigerian Humanist Movement.

“The Malawi Humanists are being honoured for defending LGBT rights in a continent where tolerance towards the LGBT communities is a rare exception and where even former African freedom fighters and anti-colonialist leaders, now in power, openly call for the imprisonment and punishment of LGBT people”, said Schiller.

Earlier winners of the Nordic Rainbow Humanists award include George Broadhead (co-founder and long-serving secretary of the UK Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association), veteran Norwegian lesbian activist Kim Friele, Carl-Johan Kleberg (former chairman of the Swedish Humanists), veteran Dutch gay activist Rob Tielman (former president of the International Humanist & Ethical Union), Leo Igwe and colleagues of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, and Remyus Cernea and colleagues of the Romanian Humanist Association.

In a message to George Thindwa, George Broadhead, now secretary of the UK charity the Pink Triangle Trust, said: “Warm congratulations to Malawian Humanists on winning the 2010 Nordic Rainbow Humanist Award. If the situation for LGBT people is anything like as dire as that in Uganda, you richly deserve this for so courageously taking up the cudgels on their behalf. You also deserve great praise for your staunch opposition to the persecution of people in Malawi accused of witchcraft. As a gay Humanist who won this same award in 2002, I salute you.”

Sports stars praise Eagles' anti-homophobia stance

Four sportsmen who broke ground by daring to declare their homosexuality have praised Sheffield Eagles’ decision to take a stand against homophobia in sport.

Dual-code rugby international Gareth Thomas, former Rugby League star turned actor Ian Roberts, England cricketer Steven Davies and former NBA basketball hall-of-famer John Amaechi all hit the headlines by “coming out”.

Now they’re backing Sheffiield Eagles decision to challenge sport’s last great taboo by wearing a kit bearing the slogan “Homophobia: Tackle It!” in their Cooperative Championship clash with Widnes Vikings this Sunday (March 13, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, K.O 3.00pm).

“I think Sheffield’s decision to make this kind of statement is incredible and they deserve a huge amount of credit,” said former Australian Rugby League international Ian Roberts, who was the first rugby player of either code to “come out” in the late 1990s.

Roberts' decision to “out” himself – a brave move at the time – won plaudits across the world, and criticism from some within Australian Rugby League.

“I’ve never heard of any team, in any sport anywhere in the world doing something like this before and I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” Roberts continued.“Sheffield are directly addressing a topic that many people still regard as taboo, it’s something people don’t like to talk about so it’s great to see a team taking the step to address that issue.

“This type of initiative has been a long time coming and it’s great to see a Rugby League club taking the first step and hopefully now this will help any of the young kids out there who look for role models in the sporting world to see that there are people who will support them regardless of their sexuality.”

Former NBA star John Amaechi faced similar headlines to Roberts when he used his autobiography to reveal his homosexuality, in the process becoming the first basketball player – and the NBA’s only Hall of Fame inductee – to “come out”.

Manchester-born Amaechi, now a broadcaster and motivational speaker, was quick to give his support to the Eagles’ initiative.

“I am really proud to see Sheffield Eagles take such a proactive step to break stereotypes and embrace their entire fan base,” said Amaechi. “It says something truly positive that it is Rugby out of all our top sports and a team based in Sheffield in particular – a city I am proud to say I lived in – that are leading the way."

Since revealing his sexuality in a landmark 2009 interview, former Wales and British & Irish Lions rugby union international turned Crusaders RL Rugby League star Gareth Thomas has become a champion for LGBT issues. He won Stonewall’s “Man Of The Year” in 2010 and this year became a patron for LGBT History month – one of the sponsors of Sheffield Eagles’ groundbreaking “Homophobia: Tackle It!” shirts.

"I am really proud to be a part of a sport that is moving forward so pro-actively on the equality agenda,” Thomas said. “I would like to congratulate the Sheffield Eagles for leading the way in promoting work to tackle homophobia and transphobia in Rugby League and in sport.

"I think the world of sport is moving forward, especially after the ‘coming out’ of another two elite sportsmen this last month; Graeme Obree, the cyclist and Steve Davies the England cricketer. I wish them and others who are thinking of talking about their sexuality every support and warmest wishes. It is still not easy but it is liberating.”

Thomas’ groundbreaking move to reveal his sexuality while still in the midst of his career has recently become the inspiration for a Hollywood movie fronted by Mickey Rourke. The Wales and Crusaders RL star believes that sport can continue to help break down the barriers around homosexuality especially in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics.

"I am proud to be a Patron of LGBT History Month and Schools Out,” he said. “They have organised and spearheaded the sponsorship of the 'Homophobia: Tackle It!" team shirts that Sheffield Eagles will wear on Sunday. They have brought together the Rugby League, Pride Sports, the NUT, UCU and NASUWT to sponsor the shirts.

"There is still much work for them to do in the build up to the Olympics next year but I know they are busy working behind the scenes to ensure that the biggest sporting event that our country has seen for many years will be a success for everyone, of every sexuality; from elite athletes, to local amateur teams and the thousands of volunteers who will be support the event. Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans people will be participating in 2012 in every way!"

Steven Davies became the first cricketer of any nationality to declare his homosexuality when he came out two weeks ago. He too has shown his support for Sheffield Eagles’ historic stance.

“Personally, Gareth Thomas was a real inspiration to me,” Davies said. “He made me believe it would be possible for me to do the same and anything that helps even one person should be applauded.

“There may be added pressures in sports as the number of people that have come out is so small so it's great that Rugby League is taking this step.”

Sheffield Eagles' historic "Homophobia: Tackle It!" shirts have been funded by LGBT History Month and Pride Sports with assistance from the UCU (Universities and Colleges Union), the NUT (National Union of Teachers) and the Rugby Football League.

Tickets for Sheffield Eagles game against Widnes Vikings on Sunday, 13 March are on sale now from the Sheffield Utd FC ticket office at Bramall Lane (0871 19951889)

Fans can order replicas of the Eagles’ historic “Homophobia: Tackle It!” shirts at

Thursday, March 10, 2011

LGBT History Month closes with landmark event in Polish Embassy

Ric Todd, the British Ambassador to Poland, marked the 28th of February by visiting the Polish National Library to see a very special copy of Radclyffe-Hall's Well of Loneliness.

This very early copy of the novel, printed in 1933 in its Polish translation, inspired a young Jewish woman to survive the concentration camp so she could live "to kiss a woman".

During the meeting with Ms. Katarzyna Ĺšlaska (Deputy Director for Development) Ric reminded everyone that the novel was banned in Hall's native Britain at the time.

Pride Solidarity Campaigner Clare Dimyon OBE said: "This is what lesbian history often looks like... tiny fragments that escaped destruction, the most tenuous of connections. Ours is not a history of kings and queens and genetic lineage but something much more subtle".

Read the full story on the Foreign Office's website here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bulletin No 83

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.

Rev. Peter Gomes Dies

Rev. Peter Gomes

The openly-gay, American preacher, theologian, and a professor at Harvard University's Divinity School, Peter Gomes has died, aged 69.

Peter Gomes on wikipedia