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We are delighted to be sharing this year’s OTP presentations with you. They provide essential insight into neglected LGBT+ history and have been reviewed by our distinguished academic panel. All come from the Gazette that was sent to every hub comprising OUTing the Past 2021.

Details can be found at

We would expect any organisation who chooses to work with these presenters to pay their travel expenses (maximum 2nd class rail fare or equivalent), provide refreshments and a fee of at least £20.

Our responsibility ends with us putting you in touch with each other

Cheryl Morgan – Byron and the Lion King

Cheryl Morgan representing OutStories Bristol.

Presentation looks at a play, ancient texts and archaeology
to see how ideas of sexuality and gender change with time.

Miss Kelli

Miss Kelli is a trans recording artist from Philidelphia. Her latest album Transcendence can be found on music streaming platforms.

Contact Miss Kelli via her website
Listen on Spotify

Sarah Carr – The ‘Special Problem’: Construction and treatment of female homosexuality in England 1947-1977

It is well documented that homosexuality was classified as a mental illness in the DSM
until 1973, when it was replaced with the diagnosis of “sexual orientation disturbance”,
and it is widely known that homosexual men in England were criminalized and risked
imprisonment or aversion therapy in a psychiatric hospital. Far less is known about
same-sex attracted women in England who were not subject court referral routes into
psychiatric treatment. Although female homosexuality was not criminalized in England,
it was still officially classified as a mental disorder (“sexual deviation”).

As part of a cohort of studies on the theme of Sexualities and Health funded by the
Wellcome Trust, we conducted an archival study of women’s and lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (LBG&T) archives in England to investigate what happened
to same-sex attracted women in the mental health system from 1950’s until 1970’s. The
title of the project itself is called ‘Hidden from History?’

Sacha Coward – Space Invaders – Queer representations in videogames throughout history

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.

Daniel Colina – This is Me : The History of Conversion Therapy and How To Heal From the Past

This presentation brings to attention the untold stories of LGBTQ+ members that went
through conversion therapy, as well as those still participating in it today in its various
forms. Through this presentation, attendees will learn of why conversion therapy came
to be and its’ effects on the participants. Most importantly, through storytelling and
recounts from individuals subjected to conversion therapy, LGBTQ adults and youth in
the audience will gain the valuable lessons of resilience from the experiences of those
subjected to conversion therapy.
This presentation also aims to tell my story as a person of color who has lived a
multicultural life (having grown up in Venezuela, then moving to Canada and The US at
the age of 7) and growing up in a latin catholic household where being gay was seen
as a mental disease or a manifestation of the devil. When I came out at the age of 15,
my parents scrambled to find a way for me to change and forcibly signed me up for
conversion therapy for a year. This presentation will unpack the narratives told in
conversion therapy, and how I rebuilt my confidence and relationships with my family
after a traumatic experience.

Lisa Power – A decade of change: the LGBT 1980s through the words of Switchboard’s log books

The Switchboard Log Books are a rich and relatively undiscovered/unused source of
historical witness, giving first hand real time reactions to key issues that have gone on
to shape our community over the past four decades. Switchboard was “the finishing
school for activists” throughout this period and spawned many other organisations like
Terrence Higgins Trust, NAM etc. The logs are also gloriously snarky at times and very

Katherine O’Donnell – Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant

On request from the organisers of the Cork Outing the Past Event I will present a
fictional account (short story) of the incarceration of middle-class lesbians in Irish
psychiatric institutions for treatment in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Jan Bridget – The Jan Bridget Video Archive

I have recently donated my substantial video library to ruskin college in oxford.The collection includes videos of news items on, eg section 28, forces, age of consent,
etc. I will be talking about how I have used video in the past as part of a training
package. it also includes television coverage of campaigns i have been involved in as
Lesbian Information Service.

Non-Binary Leeds – A Brief Encounter with Non-Binary History

Our presentation will cover artists such as Claude Cahun and Marlow
Moss, Jewish Rabbinical literature as well as unknown individuals
such as Thomas(ine) and personal histories and experiences. The
presentation will be an expansion of the material in the zine produced
by members of the local Leeds non-binary community with NonBinary Leeds.

Barra O’Donnabhain – Marianne is in again: male convict sexuality in the 19th century

A short illustrated talk on the hidden history of cross-dressing in 19th century Ireland and the treatment in prison of male
who presents as female.

Konrad Im – Dragging Up the Past: Cork Drag Timeline

This presentation is based on the personal stories told by the Drag community in Cork
City. Based on an exhibition created by CIT LGBT*
Society that tracks the rich drag culture of Cork from 1940’s Danny La
Rue to present day queens such as Karma O’Hara (Ireland youngest
drag queen).

David Clayton – A Queer Son of Ireland Returns Home

Based on historical records of my grandmother, Susan Trainor
Doeseckle, who was born in County Monaghan in 1877, emigrated to Canada and then
Chicago, where she raised 10 children, including a gay son, Charles Doeseckle, and
my mother Dorothy Doeseckle.

Rose Collis – Forty Years Out (And Counting): 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.

Carl Austin-Behan – From RAF to Mr Gay UK to Lord Mayor of Manchester to LGBT Advisor to the Mayor of Greater Manchester

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 of Greater Manchester.

Robert Howes – History of Pride in the Southwest of England

Robert Howes representing OutStories Bristol
Pride celebrations are now the most prominent events in the LGBT+ calendar, not only
in Britain but across the world where there is some measure of freedom of expression
on LGBT+ issues. They are not only important affirmations of identity and community
for LGBT+ people but also draw in many people from the wider society, providing an
opportunity for building bridges and increasing understanding. Pride has a history and
this presentation will discuss some of the controversies surrounding Pride in the
Southwest and elsewhere and their implications, helping us to appreciate the role which
Pride has played in the past and may fulfil in the future.

Ian Nipper – BONA! A History of Polari

Polari is now largely forgotten (although it has had a resurgence of sorts on the London
cabaret scene). A lot of younger people have never heard of it – for older people it was
a way of communicating when the law prohibited open expression of queer sexuality.

Peter Roscoe – ‘The Love that Dares to Speak its Name’. Mary Whitehouse and her Shropshire girls

Although Mary Whitehouse was once a well known figure; many people now do not
know about her. Her campaigns had a significant effect on everyone, as well, obviously,
as on the LGBTQ+ community.

Clare Geraghty – Hip Hop Feminism: Queers of Colour and Strategies for Resistance

individuals, as well as people of colour, are rarely given the space to be the
protagonists of their own story. The hip-hop duo at the heart of my presentation identify
as non-binary people of colour living a precarious life as migrants in the US. The
intersectionality of their identities provides a unique opportunity to expand on the
meaning of LGBT+ history.

Jen Yockney MBE – 25 years of Bi Space and Voice

(Comparatively) bi history is erased and the histories of bi organising are less
documented and told than those of LG organisations and campaigns.
This is a telling of the story of the UK’s longest-running bi support group, which marked
its 25th birthday in September 2019

Mike Parker – On the Red Hill

On the Red Hill is a search for the ‘queer rural’, for those queer
lives that never quite fitted in the city. Principally, it is the story of
Reg and George, together from 1949 until their deaths a few weeks
apart in 2011. For the first eighteen years of their lives together,
their relationship was against the law, yet they survived long
enough to go from that to being the first same-sex couple to be
married (civilly partnered in those days) at their local register
office in Machynlleth, mid Wales. On the Red Hill is the name of
the 2019 book by Mike Parker that tells these stories, and which
will be published in paperback in February 2020.

John Paul Calnan – A Day in May and its connection to the Marriage Equality Referendum

The stories of some people who were involved in the Marriage Equality Referendum in
Ireland and why it was so important

Jessica Heath – Creating the Queer Archive: West Yorkshire Queer Stories

Jessica heath representing West Yorkshire Queer Stories

y. Digital materials and oral testimonies once collected and
catalogued by the WYQS volunteers are intended to provide multiple
opportunities for the public to engage with the project through social
media, on the website, at events and in workshops. Thus, most
importantly, integrate and elevate the voices of marginalised
communities and the narratives of LGBTQ+ people into the history of
West Yorkshire. This presentation shall look at the relationship
between archives and Queer history, using the work undertaken as
part of my placement for archive studies.

Deirdre Swain – Stormé DeLarverie: the forgotten heroine of the Stonewall Riots

When the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 and the struggle for LGBT rights are mentioned and celebrated, figures such as Craig Rodwell and Frank Kameny are regarded as two of the principal people involved in bringing about a positive change for the LGBT community. Although lesbians share the same concerns regarding prejudice and injustice as gay men, they face additional barriers due to enduring patterns of discrimination against women. Black lesbians face even more discrimination because they belong to three minority groups. One such lesbian is Stormé DeLarverie, who has essentially been forgotten and erased from LGBT history, although she was the main protagonist of one of the most momentous events in LGBT history. It was her struggle with the police and the violence they used against her which ignited the Stonewall Riots. So who was this important champion of LGBT rights? Born in New Orleans, Stormé DeLarverie had a tough childhood and possibly because of this, she became a guardian of and campaigner for the LGBT community. No books have been written about her, and there is very little information available about her apart from a page or two in some rare out of print books. This presentation will discuss Stormé DeLarverie’s early life and career, what led her to fight injustices against the LGBT community, and her involvement in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and beyond.

Gary Chapman – The Rocky Twins – A Jazz Age Queer History

Based on my biography of the Norwegian Rocky Twins (The Rocky Twins: Norway’s Outrageous Jazz Age Beau-ties) this is an untold story and a hidden history of gay life in the Jazz Age.

Sonya Matthews – Stonewall and Then

This piece focusses on the women involved in the stonewall riots and activists and writers from that era to present. Taking a specifically queer, female-centric perspective on such events and placing importance on their experience offers a diversity to a history which has been male-washed and white-washed. It also examines the chronology of the united states in direct contrast with the Irish experience of female/gay liberation.

Alison Child – Tell Me I’m Forgiven: The Story of Forgotten Variety Stars Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney

It’s the untold story of two women previously airbrushed from history.
“I adored this lovely, moving story, so well researched, such amazing photos. Lesbian passion-skilfully evoked in the 1920s showbiz milieu. Wish I’d been there!”
-Miriam Margolyes, Actor Harry Potter, Call The Midwife

Martin Malcolm – Open Door: The Start of a Campaign

My presentation explores the untold story of a now laregely forgotten activist, Dr RD Reid and the tragic court case that prompted him to make what may have been the first public call for a campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in the UK. It’s a story that started in the Somerset town of Taunton in 1954.

Viv Woodcock-Downey – History of the Gay Games Movement

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.

Andrew Lumsden – E M Forster

Andrew Lumsden representing Gay Liberation Front.

In this anniversary year of E M Forster’s death we might like to remember Marianne Thornton (1797-1887) Without whose bequest of £8,000 to nine-year old Morgan Forster in 1887, worth nearly £1 million today, he wouldn’t have had the freedom from work that let him travel and write. And that means we might remember in turn John Labouchere (1799-1863), who in 1825 rescued the finances of the Thornton family, saving twenty-eight year-old unmarried Marianne her fortune and the part of it that went to E M Forster The eldest child of John Labouchere was Henry Labouchere MP (1831-1912) who in 1885 created the “Labouchere Amendment” banning any form of sex between males of any age, which meant outlawry for eighty-two years of bi’s, gay men, and trans women. Forster was six in 1885 and suffered in his sexual self-esteem until he died from the inhibitions forced on his generation (and mine) by the son of his benefactor Marianne’s own benefactor, John Labouchere. The “Labouchere Amendment” was extended to all the British Empire and very nearly extended to lesbians in 1921-1922, lasting in full force in England, its place of origin, until 1967 Which is why Forster couldn’t bring himself to publish his pro-gay Maurice, as described by Matthew Lopez in his trilogy The Inheritance at the Young Vic in March last year. Morgan Forster was sixteen when Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was sent to prison under the terms of the Labouchere Amendmen,t created by the son of his own benefactor’s benefactor. And he was seventy-three when Alan Turing was similarly prosecuted under the Labouchere Amendment in 1952, and he was seventy-five when Turing died after being forced to accept chemical castration as an alternative to jail. Forster would have known what happened to Turing, at a time when almost no-one in England other than code-breakers and math professors did, for he had rooms from 1947 in King’s College, Cambridge, where Turing had been at college and where the news of alumni, especially gay alumni, was followed and whispered mouth to ear. Where Angels Fear To Tread (1905) and A Room with A View (1908) are set in Tuscany, where the most famous English-born resident when he went gathering materials there before the First World War was Henry Labouchere, retired to a vast villa outside Florence.

Jane Traies – Bloomsbury’s Hidden Neighbours: a lesbian love-triangle?

An intriguing untold story from lesbian / women’s history, that asks questions about how
we understand sexuality in the past.

Following the History Month theme of ‘Poetry, Plays and Prose,’ this
presentation queers the story of a leading Shakespeare scholar of
the twentieth century. Caroline Spurgeon was the first woman in the
UK to become a Professor of English Literature, was co-founder of
the International Federation of University Women, and was widely
known as the author of important books about Chaucer and
Shakespeare. Like many of the first generation of graduate career
women, she chose female companionship rather than marriage, and
lived quietly in a small Sussex village with her ‘faithful friend of forty
years,’ Lilian Clapham. Their graves, lying next to each other in the
pretty churchyard, suggest a lesbian idyll – but on closer inspection,
the story becomes more complicated. The flamboyant members of
the Bloomsbury Group (who lived just across the fields from their
cottage) were not, it seems, the only people ‘loving in triangles’ in that
part of Sussex in the 1920s and 30s. Jane’s presentation uncovers a
transatlantic tangle of same-sex relationships among some of the
most distinguished women of the day.

Cathal Kerrigan – Hands across the water: a 1983 ‘speaking tour’ of US & Canada

In a pre-social media world it highlights the difficulties of building solidarity internationally. It demonstrates the important role of progressive periodicals (e.g. Body Politic, Gay Community News – Boston) as a key resource when mainstream media was at best disinterested often hostile. It highlights the added difficulties of the radical anti-imperialist gay activists and how they were often marginalised even within the progressive gay movement.

Cathal Kerrigan – Afternoon Tea Explosion!

Untold story of founding of Cork Gay Collective [CGC] which became key influencer in Irish LGBT organising. I will use CGC manifesto / poster as presentation source.

Cathal Kerrigan – Founding UCC GaySoc

The story of founding of UCC GaySoc in 1980. I will use newspaper article and debating society minutes as presentation source

Cathal Kerrigan – Gays Against Imperialism Public Launch

Untold story of the launch of Gays Against Imperialism
Gay’s Against Imperialism’s public launch took place in Liberty Hall on 2 April 1982. Bernadette McAliskey (independent socialist republican), Feargus O’Hare (People’s Democracy), Rita O’Hare (Sinn Fein), Tony O’Hara (IRSP), Liz Noonan (independent lesbian feminist), and I (on behalf of GAI) spoke

Cathal Kerrigan – Dancing in chains!

Story of the first UCC Grad Ball in 1980 to which I took my lover as partner.

Cathal Kerrigan – Gays Against Imperialism @ Belfast march 1984

Untold story of the participation of Belfast Lesbians & Gays Against Imperialism in 1984 demo in Belfast.

Cathal Kerrigan – Law reform on a shoestring

In April 1992 the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network [GLEN] reported back to the community and presented a 14-page report on its activities and finances.
The report was called: After the Parade – this was a reference to the awarding of a prize for best new participant to the lesbian & gay contingent in that year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cork.
The report covered: background history of the group; political and religious lobbying; anti-discrimination legislation; publicity; international activity & support; social welfare; Lesbian Equality Network; Young GLEN; and finances.

Cathal Kerrigan – The Politics of AIDS

A discussion forum in Dublin in 1986 on the politics of AIDS.
On 4 July [1986?] a public meeting was held on The Politics of AIDS in Kinlay House in Dublin. I spoke as a member of Gay Health Action [GHA]; the other speaker was Derval Murray of WHO.

GHA had been founded in Jan 1985 and had distributed several thousands of copies of information leaflets by then.

The organisers – Irish Critical Studies Group were a small radical student group.

I presented a left perspective on AIDS based partly on Cindy Patton’s book Sex and Germs: The Politics of AIDS.

Jessica Heath – Creating the Queer Archive: West Yorkshire Queer Stories

Jessica Heath representing West Yorkshire Queer Stories.
Whilst studying as a Postgraduate at the University of Leeds I
undertook an Archive Collaborations module. This module allowed
me to work with a professional organisation, in order to develop my
awareness of the relationship between archivists and archives and
how they create and shape history and heritage.
The archive organisation project I worked with as part of this
placement, was the creation of the West Yorkshire Queer Stories
archive in Leeds. West Yorkshire Queer Stories (WYQS) began in
2018 as a Yorkshire MESMAC LGBTQ+ social history project. The
project centres on the building of an online archive of sound and
objects to represent LGBT+ heritage in West Yorkshire. One of
MESMAC group’s aims is to ‘Eliminate Homophobia, Biphobia and
Transphobia.’ Thus the archive was realised to contribute to this
cause by attempting to reinforce the importance of queer history to
society as a whole. As Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund
Yorkshire and Humber argues, Yorkshire’s LGBTQ+ heritage stories
often go unrecorded, but they ‘provide an incredibly important context
for the wider history of marginalised communities and movements for
social change’. It was decided, in this vein, that the archive would be
set up to be accessible to all by ensuring the content was easy to
understand with the hope anyone could then learn about queer
history. Digital materials and oral testimonies once collected and
catalogued by the WYQS volunteers are intended to provide multiple
opportunities for the public to engage with the project through social
media, on the website, at events and in workshops. Thus, most
importantly, integrate and elevate the voices of marginalised
communities and the narratives of LGBTQ+ people into the history of
West Yorkshire. This presentation shall look at the relationship
between archives and Queer history, using the work undertaken as
part of my placement for archive studies.

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

2020 is the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Gay Liberation in London hot from Philadelphia, city of Liberty and the site of the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention of July 1970 organised by Huey P Newton, Supreme Commander of the Black Panther Party for Self Defence which he founded at Oakland in 1966. In a far seeing, brave and courageous act of intersectionality, Huey P Newton recognising the politics behind the demands of Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation, invited them as revolutionary sisters and brothers to join the conference.
This shows that the roots of LGBT activism are part of the 500 year old struggle against racism, both through Newton and Bayard Rustin the out gay black agitator and Martin Luther King’s right hand man, who persuaded King to get the guns out the house and adopt the peaceful civil disobedience tactics of Mahatma Gandhi, and personally organised the big anti-racist civil rights demonstrations in the southern states, including King’s “I have a dream” march on Washington.

Peter Scott-Presland – Entertaining the Troops

This covers the story of Consenting Adults in Public, the LGBT Theatre Company which
flourished 1979 to 1987. Avowedly part of ‘the community’ and therefore amateur in
status it nevertheless provided the first drama workshops for LGBT people to explore
identity and feeling, and put on the first play to address HIV/AIDS in this country.
Based in London, it went to the Edinburgh Fringe twice and toured extensively. Mary
Whitehouse commented on one of their shows ‘I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure I
disapprove of it. The relationship between politics and performance is largely
unexplored. This personal contribution is from the founder/director of CAIP.

Alf Le Flohic – The Sussex Lancers: behind the dark room curtain

The Sussex Lancers: behind the dark room curtain
The Sussex Lancers MSC were a Brighton based motor-sports club (aka leather/rubber fetish club for gay men) which ran 1980-2000. Before such clubs were out in the mainstream, these men met to explore pleasure and personal boundaries with each other. This will be a peek behind the darkroom curtains into the world of the Sussex Lancers and some of their notable members…
Their origins lie with Brighton’s Filk’n Casuals, most notorious men’s outfitters outside of London in 50s and 60s. The boom of the club in the 1980s saw them embrace a Europe-wide brotherhood of like-minded men. This was followed swiftly by the subsequent impact of AIDS. They took a stand against Section 28 and set up HIV/AIDS care in the Brighton area. Their demise is linked in part to the shocking criminalisation of consensual sex: Operation Spanner.
With many of their number no longer present in Brighton (for many reasons), what was once a passionate sex-positive subculture has been almost forgotten. Their story will be told using oral history, loaned photographs, and my personal archive of material from the Lancers.

Norena Shopland – We All Fall Down

In the early days of HIV/AIDS, plays and films were American. In 1985 The Normal Heart, As Is and A Quiet End appeared on American stages – in the UK the first was The Normal Heart in London, March 1986.
Six months later the first British play was written. For three months students from Swansea University under the guidance of their drama lecturer researched and wrote We All Fall Down. Wanting to attract more mainstream people it was decided to stage the play in town as part of the Swansea Fringe Festival.
Even before it opened the controversy began.

AIDS experts clashed with local councillors, councillors argued amongst themselves, the entire university drama department was threatened with closure, as was the Festival. Even the venerable newspaper The Stage got involved; church members signed petitions; and eventually the students were arrested.

The story of We All Fall Down encapsulates the irrational fear members of the public had about HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and how these fears rapidly escalated, driven on by those who should have known better. In the end the students prevailed – and this is the story of how those young people beat all the odds to stage that first play.

Dan Vo – Queer Eye for the Museum

Celebrating 5 years in 2020, Dan Vo founded the award-winning LGBTQ tours at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, presenting non-binary and non-heteronormative narratives that explore a spectrum of gender and sexual identities through a selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) related objects.
Dan helped developed similar tours at Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales and the University of Cambridge Museums ‘Bridging Binaries’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Polar Museum, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Museum of Classical Archaeology, and the Museum of Zoology. This has involved endless hours reading through documents and texts, looking “in between the lines and in the margins” sifting for clues left behind decades or even centuries earlier by curators and academics who in the worst cases sought to hide, erase or suppress stories of queerness or in the best cases left a trail of breadcrumbs for those who would come later to follow.
The shared core belief of the tours at each of these organisations is that the existence of queer lives is evident across place, time and culture, and applying the queer lens to any collection can yield rich returns. Dan is able present the case for volunteer-led LGBTQ tours at your own museum, and discuss how queer lives, culture and theory to be powerfully communicated through such community-led and collections driven activities.

Paul Edmondson – ‘The Bi-sexual Voices of Shakespeare’s Sonnets’

Paul Edmondson representing The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Arising from new research, ‘The Bisexual Voices of Shakespeare’s Sonnets’ thinks afresh about the poems’ sexualities – especially their bisexuality – in relation to their critical history and reputation as deeply personal poems. In what ways can Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) be considered a cornerstone bisexual text, and why is this empowering for our own times?

A Moral Amazon: Miss Amy Dillwyn tells her story

Born a tomboy in Swansea, South Wales in 1845, Amy Dillwyn spent many years searching for a meaningful existence. Her family was well off and well known in the Swansea area and Amy wanted to make a real difference, rather than waste her life taking tea with her Mother’s friends. When she was a teenager she fell in love ‘romantically, passionately and foolishly’ with Olive, a young family friend. They were great pals, but Amy’s love was not reciprocated and her mental health suffered badly as a result.
In the 1880s she revisited this experience in her novels which became very successful. ‘Jill’, ‘A Burglary’ and ‘The Rebecca Rioter’ have recently been republished by Honno Press, triggering a resurgence of interest in this previously forgotten woman.
Early biographies of Amy avoided any mention of her love for Olive. Recently Professor Kirsty Bohata of the University of Swansea, within the framework of queer theory, has argued that the novel ‘Jill’ was ‘Innovative and ardent in its coded expression of love for another woman’
Early biographies of Amy avoided any mention of her love for Olive. Recently Professor Kirsty Bohata of the University of Swansea, within the framework of queer theory, has argued that the novel ‘Jill’ was ‘Innovative and ardent in its coded expression of love for another woman’
This story is brought to you by Living Histories Cymru who aim is to tell the often hidden or ignored history of LGBTQ people in Wales in an entertaining and accessible way. A Moral Amazon is one of our Queer Tales From Wales in which Jane Hoy as the narrator and Helen Sandler (in costume as Amy Dillwyn) tell the story of this remarkable woman, and her doubts and fears as she fights for a meaningful place in the world.

Dawn Tracy and Clifford Williams ; Uncovering George- young LGBT+ people discover a neglected gay poet and campaigner- George Cecil IVES

young LGBT+ people aged 13-19 have been engaged in a Heritage Lottery project discovering the LGBT+ History of their county (Hampshire). This has included work on the neglected gay rights and sexual law reformer George Cecil Ives. Young people have transcribed some of the correspondence to George, interpreted his ‘other family’ life, have cleaned up his neglected grave and helped prepare a display in Hampshire Record Office. Youth worker Dawn Tracey and historian Clifford Williams have continued the quest to discover more about George and his life, obtaining copies of material from archives in USA and London.

Films by Rose Adamson-Clark The short film ‘Nan to the Rescue’ about coming out in the 1980’s was written after exploring Bolton’s history of LGBT issues. Bolton was one of the most homophobic places to live until fairly recently. LGBT lives were hidden. he longer film ‘Spare a copper’ was inspired by an ex policewoman who joined as a cadet and struggled with her sexuality and coming out in the 1990’s the story her recounting of her life spans from the Yorkshire Ripper to 1990 ish. 13 minutes long. ‘A woman of Syria’ is about a refugee woman I have adopted informally, she calls me Mum and about her memories of Syrian and us being interviewed about our relationship and how LGBT people/issues are viewed in Syrian Culture, how much we care for each other despite our widely differing lives. 13.30 mins ‘Our Linda’ has a lesbian actress as the adopted mix race daughter , and ‘Bessie’ main character [ myself lesbian] . The film covers important issues of race and women’s roles in a working class background in the 1980’s and a socialist approach to Northern lives. 6 mins ‘Carrots’ is based on my own background. Losing a child…at any age is tragic but there is comedy there. 6.4 Spare a Copper…Over and Out. Is about a woman who was a policewoman and is now Homeless. Her Journey shows how difficult it was for a woman in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s and also how terribly difficult it was to come out as Lesbian in that age and how the decline into alcoholism and homelessness could have been any lesbian woman’s story. LGBT 21 minutes 52 seconds long 4 wheels are better then 2 [ which is in edit at present] Is about a family…Mum and Dad…been married years, love each other but Mum also has had a female partner/lover for as many years and their disabled daughter. Each character tells part of the story of their ‘normal’ to them family. LGBT 17 minutes long

Each of the films are written in a way to provoke discussion and exploration of issues for every age, 14 to 16 [school] 18 to 25 [ College Uni] and older age. Anywhere there is not an understanding of the issues around LGBT lives. I do a Q&A after the filming and invite people/audience to ask anything. I think lived experience and testimony are very powerful mediums for change. I am a patient in Bolton Hospice, and am offering awareness training on LGBT lives to the staff for as long as I am able. It feels more important now I have a limited life to get the awareness out there. I am happy to do any venue in the North of England, starting with Bolton, Bury, and Manchester and moving to other venues. I feel passionately that this should be seen and discussed. Rosie Adamson-Clark Msc,M.Ed,M.A. Some of the stories/films have other important issues like the mixed race adoption in ‘Our Linda’ [ written from family oral history]. As a lesbian writer I want to inspire young lesbians to set high goals. As a Quaker [ the first to have same sex marriage in our Meeting house place of worship in the Country when it became Law for us to be allowed religious marriage/same sex marriage, I think the truth and testimony are powerful and should be celebrated.

Rainer Schulze – “Through Science Toward Justice”: Magnus Hirschfeld, pioneering advocate of LGBTIQ rights in the early 20th century

Rainer Schulze representing the Department of History, University of Essex.
The German-Jewish physician and sexologist Dr Magnus Hirschfeld was one of the “Faces” for LGBT History Month 2019, but he is not necessarily a household name in this country or anywhere else. Despite the fact that he was one of the early pioneering LGBTIQ rights advocates on whose shoulders we all stand, far too many know little to nothing about him and his contribution to the understanding of human sexuality. In 1897, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, the first homosexual rights movement in the world, and campaigned – unsuccessfully – for a decriminalisation of (male) homosexuality. In 1919, he set up the Institute for Sexual Science, the first institute in the world dedicated to the research and teaching of all sexual matters, from medical to legal aspects. Towards the end of the 1920s, it looked for a brief moment as if the battle for a legalisation of homosexuality, spearheaded by Hirschfeld, might find a majority in the German Reichstag. However, with the Nazi seizure of power in January 1933 all advances for LGBTIQ people were brought to an abrupt end. On 6 May 1933, Hirschfeld’s Institute and his private home were ransacked and demolished by students egged on by the SA; most of the more than 12,000 books in the Institute’s library and the invaluable collection of 35,000 pictures were destroyed together with thousands of other so-called “un-German” or “degenerate” books in the public “Burning of Books” in the centre of Berlin four days later, on 10 May, when students carried a bust of Magnus Hirschfeld in a torchlight procession and threw it into the fire. Hirschfeld was lecturing in France at the time and wisely decided not to return to Germany. He died in exile two years later. In my presentation I will discuss Hirschfeld’s contribution to the battle for LGBTIQ rights and acceptance, appraise his legacy for the post-1945 gay liberation movements, and ask why we know so little about him. Filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim, himself a prominent advocate for LGBTIQ rights, commemorated Hirschfeld’s life in a film titled “The Einstein of Sex”.

Rainer Schulze – Reclaiming the Link with the Past: The Importance of the “Pink Triangle” for LGBTIQ History and Political Activism

Rainer Schulze representing the Department of History, University of Essex.
In the Nazi concentration camp system, the pink triangle, with the cone end of the triangle pointing downward, was the badge to identify the homosexual male prisoners. The early gay rights movement reclaimed the pink triangle as a symbol of gay pride, now with the cone end of the triangle usually pointing upward. In the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, the rainbow flag, designed by Gilbert Baker and originally consisting of eight stripes, was flown for the first time. With other LGBTIQ communities adopting this flag, it has replaced the Pink Triangle as the world-wide symbol of LGBTIQ pride, solidarity and identity.

In my paper, I will argue that the Pink Triangle and its history remain of vital importance for today’s LGBTIQ movement and must not be forgotten. Whilst under the Nazis a badge for (mainly German) gay men only, the Pink Triangle can serve as a powerful umbrella for the historical experiences and long battles that the LGBTIQ in the western world fought and that LGBTIQ communities in other parts of the world are still facing, linking generations from before and after the “AIDS crisis” of the 1980s and 1990s as well as LGBTIQ communities across the world, and underpinning political activism with historical study. Whilst the rainbow flag symbolises the diversity and vitality of the LGBTIQ movements, the Pink Triangle keeps the necessary link with the past which all too many of today’s younger LGBTIQ generation in the western world are increasingly unaware of.

Rainer Schulze – Who was Suleika Aldini?

Rainer Schulze representing the Department of History, University of Essex.
Suleika Aldini was a cabaret artist (working as fire eater, a snake charmer and an erotic singer and dancer) in West Germany from the 1960s until the mid-1990s. For many years, at the height of her career, she performed at the Chez Nous cabaret bar, (West) Berlin’s oldest and best known “travesty theatre” (as they were called at the time), which celebrated the artistry of female impersonators and trans women. Chez Nous was visited by celebrities and featured in Hollywood films. Suleika never quite became famous; she was more of an “also-act”, performing with some of the big names, but never quite in the limelight herself.

Her life as a cabaret artist is well documented, not least through a huge collection of personal photographs, but very little is known about her life before or after. She was born male, and her legal name was Harry Waldow, but it is not even clear whether this was her birth name, or the name given to her by her foster parents. At some point she suggested in an interview that she was of Roma descent and survived the Holocaust, returning after the Second World War from a camp in the East where her birth parents perished. In the mid-1950s, Harry/Suleika started injecting female hormones and grew breasts but she never had the operation. She died in 2011, having contacted Berlin’s Schwules Museum (LGBT+ Museum and Archive) shortly before her death to bequeath her photographs to them.

In my paper I will discuss the problems of piecing a life together which, apart from her stage performances, was lived in obscurity. It will also ask whether we have the right to probe into the life of someone who was very hesitant while she was alive to speak about her life away from the stage, stating that she felt that this was of no interest to anyone.

Suleika’s life is an untold story which documents both the unending struggles of a transgender person in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, but also the joys it held for her. Transgender history before the 1990s is a hidden, or rather ignored history, in the case of Suleika made all the more poignant by the fact that she was, for all we know, a Roma child survivor of the Holocaust.

OUTing the Past – Our Academic Advisory Panel (History)

Dr Elisabeth Engebretsen (University of Stavanger),

Dr Jeff Evans (Liverpool John Moores University),

Dr Jana Funke (University of Exeter),

Dr Jen Grove (University of Exeter),

Dr Brian Lacey (Retired Archaeologist and Former Director of the Discovery Programme, Dublin),

Prof. Molly Merryman (Kent State University),

Prof. Rainer Schulze (University of Essex)

Dr Jeremiah D. Scully (University College Cork),

Dr Fia Sundevall (Stockholms Universitet),

Prof. Ken Valente (Colgate University, USA).

Dr Emma Vickers (Liverpool John Moores University),