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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month

Wayne Clews steps back in time

Published on February 1st 2008.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month

For some, February may be a time for thinking up deliriously romantic shenanigans for Valentine’s Day in an attempt to pump a bit of life into an otherwise flagging relationship. However, for those of a more serious bent, February sees the return of the annual LGBT History Month.

Established a few years ago, taking inspiration from a similar celebration first established in America in 1994 and following the example of Black History Month, LGBT History Month aims to uncover the often hidden history of LGBT people through the ages as a way of understanding our own present and imagining our future. The venture also aims to celebrate individuals who refused to conform because of their sexuality in times gone by, some of whom are deservedly celebrated, others remain shamefully neglected.

Oddly, for a town hardly renowned for its thriving gay scene, Stockport has plenty to offer throughout the month. At the Hatworks Museum, the Icon Wall will be on show during February; this installation commemorates LGBT figures throughout history and celebrates today’s more in-yer-face visibility with modern day icons. At Stockport Library, an LGBT timeline banner will be on display depicting significant moments in gay history.

Film events already lined up include a screening of Victim at the Stockport Plaza on February 7th. This film, starring Dirk Bogarde as a doomed gay men blackmailed by tormentors, proved to be an instrumental part in the movement to legalize homosexuality during the sixties. Meanwhile, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation are launching The Gaiety Club housed in their offices on Princess Street in Manchester on February 10th. This will be a monthly film club and, for LGBT History Month, they have chosen to screen The Celluloid Closet; a showcase of the contributions LGBT people have made to the film industry during the last hundred years. Narrated by Lily Tomlin, the film features countless clips and contributions from such luminaries as Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Harvey Fierstein and Gore Vidal.

The LGF are also bringing a little light relief to their fundraising activities this month. They have launched Retro Homo with all their male members of staff pledging to stop shaving for the entire month in homage to those clone icons of the seventies. In a statement, Chair of the LGF’s Board of Trustees David McGovern said “Secretly, I have been looking for an excuse to grow facial hair and a moustache like my hero Burt Reynolds.” He adds “I can’t think of a better reason to realise a secret long held ambition and raise money for such a fantastic cause at the same time.” And, worryingly, anyone can join in; the moustache is very definitely back. Later in the month, the LGF will be hosting Gay City Rollers, a fundraising roller disco on 27 February at Billie Rox on Portland Street.

Other highlights include a talk from eminent historian Sheila Rowbotham on Edward Carpenter who launched his pioneering ideas about sexuality in Manchester during the 19th century. She will be appearing at Salford’s Working Class Library on 17 February at 2pm. There are also numerous poetry events, talks and discussions across the region. To join in or find out more visit www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk for full details.

Confidential Choice
GI Jane Fundraiser

Vanilla, 10 February, 8pm, £4
Get a new hairstyle for Valentine’s Day by shaving off your locks in aid of charity at this lesbian fundraiser. There will be music from Geek Girl, a set from DJ Golden and your compere is Bethany Black.

Hippy Flip
Essential, 8 February, 10pm-late, £5/£6
A chance to embrace all things retro as Essential takes a trip down memory lane to the age of peace and love. Special guest Karl Spencer from Galaxy 102 will be spinning some psychedelic tunes.

Transforming the City
LGF, 6 February, 6pm
This is your chance to hear what those big planners in the city council have in mind for the Gay Village as part of Manchester’s on-going transformation. Anyone for a gay Alton Towers?

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NingeFebruary 1st 2008.

Anybody interested in LGBT history in Manchester should arrange to join a gay heritage tour by ringing Manchester Tourist Information Centre on 0871 222 8223.

Brandy98February 1st 2008.

With the Valentine’s Day coming, we bisexual also get excited ahead of time. Those bisexual at http://www.bimingle.com take February as an very important month. The romantic environment is needed. Will be happy during this time.

pg tipsFebruary 1st 2008.

I despise Gaydo and was on the verge of cancelling my weekly email, sent from you, in protest - but thank goodness for some sane ramblings from the esteemed Mr Clews. Please can we have more of his writings?

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