how and where to celebrate lgbt history month
Here are i-D’s best picks this LGBT History month, from all around the country.
February is usually the most unexciting month of the year. That month at the tail end of Winter, nestled distressingly after a January of failed new year's resolutions and wasted gym memberships. But since the birth of LGBT History month in 2005, the month has become jammed with incredible stuff to do, see, and talk about.
LGBT History month is a month for LGBT people to be, and feel, recognised. Observed annually in the UK every February, the celebration started back to coincide with the anniversary of the abolition of the heinous anti-gay Section 28. All across the country, events are organised to unite the LGBT community, to teach us about our history, and to make a statement of reminder that the LGBT community have, and continue to contribute to society in so many marvellous ways.
Know Your History
HIV History Day — Brighton, 10th February
Part of the B Right On Festival of events happening across the month in the LGBTQIA+ capital, the Phil Starr Pavillion (a pop up marquee which houses most of the festival's events) are hosting a talks, memory sharing sessions, and volunteer-community meet and greets to look back at the cultural impact of HIV on the gay community. More information here.
In Her Shoes: Lesbian Lives — Glasgow, 11th February
Glasgow's Women's Library holds an incredibly extensive archive of gay and queer publishing which details a rough trail through the LGBTQIA+ Community's history. In Her Shoes is a weekly group which dissects and explores lesbian identity and culture. Other events across the month include the LGBTQ Art and Activism Workshop which takes a look back at the work of the Lesbian Avengers and BlackOUT on how to use art for productive activism. For more information about the event, or the other events at the Women's Library, look here.
Glad to Be Gay — London, now until April, Free
The LSE Library hosts an exhibition looking back at the history of sexual equality, and the fight for it. From the overturning of the Sexual Offences Act (1967), to the Gay Liberation Front, the repealing of Section 28 and the legalisation of gay marriage, this is the place to brush up on your history.
Get Some Queer Culture
The Killing of Sister George — Birmingham, 23rd February
A screening of the iconic film 'The Killing of Sister George'. The film faced censorship back in the 1960s for its overt portrayal of lesbian sexuality, and although it's jam packed with over-egged stereotypes about lesbian culture and sex, it also gives audiences a real look back into the lesbian scene of 60s Britain. For more info about the event, and other events across Birmingham this LGBT History month look here.
Sutton House Queered — London, 8th February (for one year)
A National Trust property is not best known for its celebration of queer and LGBTQIA+ culture. But this year, Sutton House—a traditional Tudor House in the middle of East London—is celebrating the queer community by hosting a year long programme of events, exhibitions and discussions. A highlight will certainly be the portraits of trans icon Munroe Bergdorf, shot by Sarah Moore. For more, see here.
Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger — York, 13th February
"Transgender-dyke. Reluctant-polyamorist. Sadomasochist. Recovering-Scientologist. Pioneering gender outlaw." The award winning documentary, which follows Kate Bornstein's journey to finding what life is actually about is a must see. For more York LGBT History month, follow this.
Clock a Queen
David Hoyle: Diamond — Manchester, February 16th
Queer performer and complete icon, Diamond charts David Hoyle's journey from being a gay teen in Blackpool, to being the Rick Owens muse adored by the more radical members of the queer community today. Guesting with the Lipsinkers and the House of Ghetto, you actually have to go. You can book, and see more about Manchester's Queer Contact Festival here.
Bar Wotever Drag King Bonanza — London, February 14th
For an alternative Valentine's Day, go and get lucky with a bunch of drag queens killing it on stage at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Featuring the genius boybands BOYZ, and PECS, and being hosted by the brilliant Virgin Xtravaganza, who needs a date? Bar Wotever are going on tour this LGBT History month, more here.
The ShayShay Show: Regeneration — London, February 24th
There's nobody quite like ShayShay on the London drag scene, but you have to see her to understand. Her monthly night at Lime Wharf is back, and this time the night is all about caring for yourself and each other: something integral to our community right now. There's loads of performers testing out new work, and showcasing their best bits… and you can too! See here for more.
Buttmitzvah — London, February 11th
Bethnal Green Working Men's Club hosts the second serving of London's newest, biggest Jewish LGBTQIA+ night. All are welcome of course, and a friend recently described the first instalment as 'the most queer people of colour he'd seen at a gay party in over a year'. If you're into celebrating diversity (which you should be) then join the party! Mazel Tov!
Singalonga Rocky Horror Picture Show — Winchester, February 16th
From personal experience, a RHP Singalonga is one of the best nights you could possibly have. The Winchester Discovery Centre encourage dressing up, and dancing in the aisles. Iconic! Book here.
Aphrodyki — London, February 11th
For queer girls and their friends, you can't go wrong with Aphrodyki at Tipsy in Dalston. This instalment of the cult nomadic night in East London celebrates GALPALENTINE's day — described as "ancient festival of queer lady love in honour of the lesser known Greek goddess APHRODYKI". See here for more.
Text Tom Rasmussen