Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month at the Higgins annual OUTing the Past Festival

February is LGBTQ+ History Month and to celebrate, the Higgins Bedford will be running its fifth annual OUTing the Past Festival on Saturday 26 February.

As ever, a range of dynamic speakers and presentations will share the hidden histories and stories of the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating its diversity, and raising awareness of the challenges that the community has encountered and continues to face today.

Britain and the Pink Triangle

Books written by Heinz Heger, a survivor of Nazi concentration camps that was imprisoned for homosexuality, © Rainer Schulze

In ‘Britain and the Pink Triangle’, Rainer Schulze shares the hidden and forgotten history of the persecution of gay men in Nazi Germany, as well as exploring its impact on the Gay Liberation Movement in 1970s Britain and the struggles which have continued to cast a long shadow on the LGBTQ+ community today.

Unknown Soldier

Seni Seneviratne presents the untold story of male friendship and love across race, class and time in ‘Unknown Soldier: Queering the 1939-45 Desert War’, and shares a queer perspective on life for British soldiers during the 1943-5 desert war in North Africa through photography and poetry.

LGBTQ+ representation in theatre

Hannah Tiernan uncovers the hidden history of LGBTQ+ representation in the theatre in her presentation ‘Foul, Filthy, Stinkin’ Muck’: The LGBTQ+ Theatre of Project Arts Centre’. From its origins as a three-week festival to becoming Dublin’s leading arts centre, this presentation explores a number of theatrical productions that have contributed to LGBTQ+ activism over the past 55 years.

Transgender activism

Jacqui Gavin

Many stories of Trans people have been undocumented, hidden and ignored, but in ‘A Scott called Jacqui – An Autobiographical Monogram’, Jacqui Gavin shares an autobiographical account of her life and experience as a trans activist and civil servant who has been a driving force to improve transgender issues across Whitehall and the wider workplace from 1967 to the present day.

Virtual visitors are encouraged to ask questions as there will be an informal Q&A with the speakers after each presentation.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: “It is fantastic to have the OUTing the Past Festival return to The Higgins Bedford once again. There are some fascinating speakers and topics lined up for this year’s event, so please come along and learn more about the hidden histories and stories of the LGBTQ+ community.”

The OUTing the Past Festival will run from 11am until 4pm on Saturday 26th February and is free to attend on Zoom. Friends, allies and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community are welcome to join in.

There is no need to book in advance for this event, the zoom link will be posted on The Higgins Bedford website closer to the time at www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk

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