Linda Bellos to Speak at Bletchley Park

Black lesbian feminist and equal rights activist Linda Bellos will speak at Bletchley Park next month as part of a celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) people.
 
The veteran campaigner, whose socialist and inclusionist ideology led her to be branded one of the ‘loony left’ by the Sun in the eighties, will be taking part in a debate on the role of science in the lives of the LGBT community.
 
The motion to be debated is “This House Believes That Science Has Been the Enemy of the LGBT Community” and the debate is taking place as part of the LGBT History Month 2013 Pre-Launch, which will be hosted by Bletchley Park on November the 15th.
 
Linda will be seconding the motion, proposed by Christine Burns, who is an equalities advisor and managing director of Just Plain Sense. Christine founded Press for Change. The main speaker against is Annika Joy, audience research and advocacy manager of The Science Museum, who obviously has an interest in defending the roll of science. The opposition will be seconded by Jeff Evans, Schools OUT’s academic officer and a qualified history teacher, who is currently researching for a PhD in the history of the criminalisation of sexuality.
 
Tony Fenwick, co-chair of LGBT History Month, who organised the debate and is himself a teacher in Hertfordshire said, “I am very excited about this debate. As far as I know nothing like this has happened before in the UK. His fellow co-chair Sue Sanders added, “While science has brought us anti-retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS and the development of gender-reassignment surgery, it has also viewed same-sex desire and gender variance as illnesses or medical disorders, leading to quack ‘cures’, chemical castration, dubious experiments in social engineering and at worst, state sanctioned murder. We want a critical assessment of the role of science in the development of our community that can inform future thinking.”
 
Linda Bellos is now an OBE, which she insists is the result of a change in perceptions rather than a change of stance on her part. Once a political firebrand in Southwark, she currently lives in Norfolk, where she is still politically active and works for Broken Rainbow, a same-sex domestic violence support group. Christine Burns MBE says she is “really looking forward to working with Linda again”.
 
The debate will take place in the afternoon of Thursday the 15th of November. Tickets are free and may be obtained here