LGBT History Month

It’s February already, and this month we’re talking a whole lotta history (yes, I just made a 12-year-old Girls Aloud reference – #sorrynotsorry) as we celebrate LGBT History Month, which this year marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality. As always, Sheffield has a great line-up of events and another busy month ahead.

Kicking things off, why not share your own histories with T-Boys zine project? This year the focus will on the theme of advice. Your submission could be something you wish you’d known when you were younger, or advice for people just starting to explore their identity. It could be practical information, a list of useful resources or an account of your personal experiences. They’re open to submissions in any medium: poetry, prose, comics, photography, collages – whatever you feel works! They’re also accepting submissions via email (tboysyorkshire@gmail.com) for those who want to contribute but can’t get to the meetings.

On 4 February join Trans Active for their regular trans-only swimming sessions at Heeley Pool. There is private use of the pool area and there are individual changing cubicles as well as communal gendered changing rooms and showers. The lifeguards have been trained to be sensitive to trans people’s needs; you can also wear whatever makes you feel comfortable as long as it’s safe to swim in.

Following the success of their sell-out QASh Bash, Queer Agenda Sheffield return on 11 February with their latest offering, ‘Queer Love at The End of The World’. The plot: It’s the (near?) Future, civilisation as we know it is over. In the ashes of the old world, we have the opportunity to build a better, queerer new world. Join base camp (the DINA venue) for music, drag, games and dancing. Come in whatever makes you feel comfortable, but end-of-the-world fancy dress is of course welcomed.

Central Library is marking LGBT History Month on 22 February with ‘Edward Carpenter – His Life and Times’. Suzanne Bingham explores the life and times of this socialist pioneer and iconic Victorian writer who campaigned with Sheffield workers to improve their working lives & conditions. His sexuality, politics, way of life, attitude to class, diet and even style of dress was at odds with society, yet he became a highly influential and much respected figure both locally and nationally.

The main weekend of history month events starts on 24 February, hosted by Friends of Edward Carpenter and Sheena Amos Youth Trust with Live Late: 1967 at Millennium Gallery, a celebration of art, music and interactive activities that looks at the history of the LGBT+ rights movement. Then you can head down to Climax Icons night at Sheffield Students’ Union celebrating all the music icons that have made waves over the decades. Don your rainbows and show your pride.

On Saturday 25 February we return to Millennium Gallery for the grand opening. There will be an afternoon of talks on Sheffield’s LGBT+ past including writer, stand-up, actor and performer Clare Summerskill. Joining Clare will be Mike Jackson, Martin Goodsell and Brett Haran – all original members of Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM). Evening entertainment comes from the New Moon ‘Tea Dance’ with DJ Wendy, and all profits go to support local Sheffield charities SAYiT, Sheffield Rape Crisis and Interchange.

Finally, on Sunday 26 February, the celebrations continue at Hallam Students’ Union with a red-carpet event and sparkling reception. Sheffield’s LGBT+ choir Out Aloud! will be there to entertain you before a premiere screening of ‘Out of the Shadows’, a unique film examining the experiences of LGBT+ people exploring their sexuality and gender at a time when homosexuality was illegal in England and Wales. Bringing the event to a close, DJ Wendy returns for the closing party. Wear your glad-rags, celebrate and – above all – be yourself!

Until next time, love and pride!
Heather x

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