Saturday, February 4, 2017

LGBT History month: some events and resources

1. From the National Archives:
Gay and lesbian history in our collection 
We have a range of records in our collection that can help you study gay and lesbian history. Our research guide is full of information on using our records and those of other archives in your research.Gay and lesbian research guide
LGBT history podcasts

Queer city: London club culture 1918-1967 
 2-26 March 2017 )
"2017 marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. This March, we are joining with the National Trust to re-create The Caravan, ‘London’s most bohemian rendezvous’, a queer-friendly members' club of 1934. The recreation will take place at the now well-known Freud Café-Bar – in almost the exact spot of The Caravan’s original location.
"Photographs, court reports, police papers and witness statements on The Caravan and other clubs of the era will be used to re-create the striking bohemian interior of the underground club. Selected from our extensive collection, these documents reveal great detail and insights into club culture and the everyday prejudices facing the homosexual community at the time."
Find out more about this project and book tickets 
for daytime tours of Soho and very special evenings at The Caravan.

Find out more about the National Trust's LGBTQ programme

2.  At the National Maritime Museum
"Royal Museums Greenwich will be running a season of events, activities, workshops and talks throughout February. Join us for an evening of speakers talking about gender in the armed forces, a family festival, arts and crafts workshops and much more!"

            (Dated 2016 but no doubt still useful)

The LSE Library has a spring exhibition which runs from 9 January to 7 April:
 'Glad to be Gay: the struggle for legal equality'. 
"It draws on the unique Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Women’s Library collection to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal piece of legislation: the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. Before that, homosexuality was a criminal offence. With the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, homosexuality in private was decriminalised, but genuine parity still was not achieved. The struggle for legal equality continues and has only made progress by the sustained efforts of committed activists."
See photos from the exhibition here

5. From Lives of the First World War team at IWM
"February is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month, and to mark this we have created a Community of LGBT men and women who made a contribution in the First World War – including Howard’s End author EM Forster.
"Do you have any stories to share?"

RaHN note: Lives of the First World War includes Conscientious Objectors (as listed on the Pearce Register) but so far a search using the keyword 'homosexual' finds just one record among 17,426 COs, that of Scottish writer Edward Gaitens, 1897-1966 (born 120 years ago this month), who was sentenced to two years in Wormwood Scrubs and wrote of his experiences there in his 1948 novel Dance of the Apprentices. Evidently there is work to be done on LGBT opposition to the war.
Stonewall was established in 1989 to combat discrimination and prejudice.
Previously on this blog:


  1. With reference to RaHN Note at #5 above, more about Edward Gaitens and his writing can now be found at - posted in LGBT History month,and in time for his 120th birthday.

  2. LGBT history and the Russian Revolution: see interesting article at -
    "1917 Russian Revolution: The gay community's brief window of freedom" by Olga Khoroshilova.