Since its launch in 2004, LGBTQ+ History Month’s aim has been to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as uncover previously untold stories. This year events take place across the country, from seaside towns to our biggest cities, the theme being #BehindTheLensa celebration of queer contribution to cinema.
Glasgow: LGBTQ+ tours of the Burrell
Southside is an increasingly popular area for the city’s LGBTQ+ community, with Govanhill’s landmark queer bookshop Category Is Books a must-visit. It’s also near the bucolic Pollok Country Park, Glasgow’s largest green space, which houses the recently reopened Burrell Collection. To mark this year’s History Month, free one-hour tours will explore the museum’s Chinese art, medieval treasures and paintings by artists such as Manet, Cézanne and Degas from an LGBTQ+ perspective.
Burrell Collection, every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, from 4 February all month, no need to book
London: History Month 2023 Film Series
At the Cinema Museum in Kennington, south London, there’ll be five evenings of films directed by LGBTQ+ film-makers, including It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives (1971), the film by Rosa von Praunheim that kickstarted the West German gay liberation movement (9 February), An Evening of Shorts by Rosie Adamson-Clark (February 16) and A Woman Is a Woman, a work produced by transgender film-maker Mimi Wong (February 23). A Q&A and discussion takes place after each showing.
Manchester: History Month Literary Salon
Founded in 1806, the Regency-era Portico Library is one of Manchester’s longest-running institutions, its collection of 25,000 books and archives spanning more than 450 years. Closed until 1 February for a spruce-up, it’s handily back open in time for this literary salon hosted by Abbi Parcell and Ruby Seddon-Wilson. They will discuss the histories and texts that have empowered LGBTQ+ people over the centuries. Visitors are asked to bring a book that has inspired them.
Portico Librarytickets £3, 11 February, 4-6pm
Wolverhampton: The Singing Forrest – talk with glass artist Max Stewart
Wolverhampton School of Art has been at the center of the city’s creativity since the 1850s. Its current home, in a 1970s building that dominates the skyline, is hosting a free talk by sculptor Dr Max Stewart, whose “uncompromisingly brutal” molten glass and cast glass work explores his gay male identity. An ongoing exploration of the gay male experience in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany is behind the lecture’s title.
Free tickets, February 8, 2.30-3.30pm
Camp Margate and Margate Arts Club
Margate Pride was bigger than ever last summer, a celebration that packed the buzzy seaside town over one sweltering weekend. Throughout February, there are queer culture quizzes and book clubs at Cliftonville’s new Northdown Road venue Camp Margate, as well as a new show at the Margate Arts Club called “Is A Drag”, which kicks off on 17 Feb at 7.30pm, promising 10 lip-syncs each night and “kooky, expansive and transformational drag performances”.
Tickets from £5, Margate Arts Club
Norwich: Queer Fest and Queer East
Tea Shoe Factory Social Club in the East Anglian county town offers free warehouse space to the local community during its regeneration. First up is QueerFest art market, a curated event for artists and makers, selling everything from original prints and jewelery to badges and clothing, with DJs and food and drink stalls (4-5 February, 11am-4pm). This is followed by Queer East art exhibition (February 10-19, midday to 6pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays), showcasing LGBTQ+ artists, alongside workshops and talks. queerfestnorwich.uk
Eastbourne: Take Desire Away – The Queer Sensibility of AE Housman
Like Hastings and Margate, the south coast resort of Eastbourne has seen its star rise again in recent years. The Grove Theatre, its newest arts venue, underneath Eastbourne Library, is hosting Mansel David’s show about AE Housman, the classics scholar whose 1896 collection of 63 poems, A Shropshire Lad, became a gradual phenomenon. David will uncover “the yearning and passion burning beneath” Housman’s words.
Tickets £12, February 4, 7.45-9pm, groveeastbourne.com
Brighton: The Identity Project
The vast all-glass Jubilee Library opened in 2005 as part of the Jubilee Square development in the center of the hedonistic seaside city. It will host the Identity Projecta series of 90 black-and-white portraits of members of its thriving and diverse LGBTQ+ community by award-winning photographer Chris Jepson, who asked his subjects the question: ‘What does identity mean to you?’ On Sunday afternoons there will also be free drag shows at most of the bars around St James’s Street.
Free, 6-26 February, opening times as Jubilee Library
Edinburgh: Making Trans History, Making Trans Futures
The Scottish capital’s Appleton theater is in the once-controversial Appleton Tower in George Square, a historic area redeveloped by the university in the 1960s. Next month it’s hosting a lecture by Zoë Playdon, author and professor of medical humanities, where she explores trans history through a new lens.
Free, Feb 16, 5pm-6.30pm, ed.ac.uk
Birmingham: Stem, LGBTQ & You
This networking event for LGBTQ+ History Month aims to help those within the Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines find a queer community. The day includes talks by people with a range of Stem backgrounds, focusing on their experiences of being LGBTQ+ and the intersection with their chosen field. A panel discussion on the theme Sustainability Within Stem closes the event.
Feb 24, 9am-6pm, TBC venue, stemlgbtqyou.gay
For full event listings over the month, visit lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk