OTP 2020 Hub Programmes – The Higgins Bedford, Bedford

Programme for OUTing the Past Festival 15th February 2020 at The Higgins Bedford

11.10 – 11.20 Opening and welcome

Morning talks/ performances

11.10 – 11.30am – Viv Woodcock-Downey – Federation of Gay Games

Our History of the Gay Games Movement presentation will cover the history of the Gay Games movement and the philosophy behind it. It will include original footage and materials from the 10 quadrennial games over the last 36 years, from the first games in San Francisco in 1982 to the games in Paris in 2018 where we had 10,500 LGBT athletes competing in 36 different sports. These people came from all 5 continents, representing 96 different countries and ranged in ages up to 80+. Started by Dr Tom Waddell, the Gay Games movement has challenged stereotypes of LGBT people in sport, and encouraged inclusion, participation and personal best.

11.40am – 12pm – Rose Collis – Forty years Out: Performing the archive

I have been an out and proud lesbian writer, performer and activist for more than four decades. I have witnessed, participated in and chronicled many key events in lesbian and gay history, including early Gay Pride marches; the community’s response to the AIDS crisis; tabloid media attacks; the creation of ground-breaking documentary Frame Youth; and the battles against Section 28. This presentation focuses on many aspects of hidden/untold/forgotten lesbian involvement and importance in the development of what has become known as the LGBT+ community over more than four decades. It draws from my archives to present and perform a significant personal and social history that is missing from contemporary accounts of queer political engagement. It was presented for the first time at the ALMS Conference Berlin 2019; this can be seen here: https://youtu.be/QPc1UOTQMhI

12pm – 2pm Free Time for networking, workshops and exploring stalls

12pm – 1.30pm ‘Speaking out Fitting in’ Spoken Word Workshop with Alice d’Lumiere in Barbican Studio (additional to OUTing the Past Festival) – booking essential

12.30 – 1.30pm Discuss your favourite books in the Foyer with Rogan’s Books

Afternoon Talks

2pm – 2.20pm – Stuart Feather: Gay Liberation: 50 years of history in the making

Untold stories. Personal experiences of activism. Social changes.

2.30pm – 2.50pm – Sacha Coward – Space Invaders

Videogames are an art form, one that is only slowly gathering the same kind of credibility as other mediums such as film, theatre, fine art and music. The whole world is playing videogames more than ever before, they truly are becoming ubiquitous. And yet, we are only starting to pass the same critical eye over them as we have other art forms, questioning who they are for and how they tell people’s stories. I am an escape room designer, a videogame fanatic and a queer historian. I have recently developed a set of videogame tours at the British Museum and I want to share some of the history behind queer themes and representations in videogames.

3pm – 3.30pm Networking Break

3.30pm – 3.50pm – Carl Austin -Behan – RAF Mr Gay UK

One of the last serving members of the RAF to be discharged for “incomparable to service life” in 1997, where I could have easily gone to Military Prison for 6 months prior to discharge. only 22 years ago… I was awarded the British Humane Society Award for Bravery and was mentioned in the Queens Birthday Honours List in 1995 – with a CinC’s Commendation – yet this meant nothing. I was then the first openly gay person to join Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in 1998 where they had no ED& I in place. I then went on to win Mr Gay Manchester 2000 & 2001 and Mr Gay UK 2001, I then went into local politics and was elected in 2011, I was the Lead member for LGBT on the council, then I went on to become the youngest and first openly Gay Lord Mayor of Manchester in 2016. After coming off the council I was appointed as the LGBT Advisor to Andy Burnham – The Mayor or Greater Manchester.

3.50 – 4pm Close and Thanks


Feb 15 2020


11:00 am - 4:00 pm


The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford MK40 3XD
The Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, Bedford MK40 3XD
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