The month-long celebrations will launch in style with an Opening Night event on 1 February at St Pancras Hospital, where showman Alex Green will present a cabaret celebrating 10 years of LGBT History and achievements. Song and dance acts include X Factor star "Doctor Woof", drag sensation Miss Krystal Ball, Blues Singer Bee Ororo, and Country & Western sensation Sarah Vista.
The first of February also sees the opening of Islington Museum’s ‘Making the Invisible Visible’ exhibition, which will focus on increasing the visibility of the lesser known communities within the LGBTQ+ spectrum and the ways that individuals and organisations have fought for equal rights and provided support for people within the LGBTQ+ community. The free exhibition will feature artwork and interactive exhibits from the council’s Islington Pride archive, which is funded by a National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Other highlights of LGBT History Month include:
- Launch of LGBTQ+ book list with Cookie MonStar
Cookie MonStar has entertained audiences worldwide with her comedy cabaret shows and has proven a popular draw for children and parents alike at the Under Fives Drag Queen Story time sessions in Islington's libraries. Residents are invited to join in the fun at 11am on February 5 at Islington Museum to launch the Islington Library and Heritage Service LGBTQ+ book list for children in partnership with historic London queer bookshop, Gay’s the Word. All 30 books on the list are available from each of Islington Council’s 10 libraries.
- Islington Guided Walks – Passages through time: LGBTQ+ History in Kings Cross and Clerkenwell
Join Islington Guided Walks and Islington's Pride on two of our latest LGBTQ+ adventures through heritage, including the rich heritage of clubs like Trade and French Kiss, and important LGBT community spaces like the London Lesbian and Gay Centre. The walks are free, but bookings are essential.
- LGBTQ+ Drop In at Union Chapel
This February, Islington’s Pride & Camden LGBT Forum’s regular LGBTQ+ Drop In Service will be hosted by London Friend, a charity supporting the health, mental health and wellbeing of the LGBT community in and around London. The Drop In session is from 12pm-2pm on February 13.
More than 30 events and activities are planned for the entire LGBT History Month programme, with 20 of those events in the borough of Islington.
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Islington Council’s executive member for community development, said:
“I’m delighted with this year’s amazing spread of events and activities for LGBT History Month, which are all designed to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and support Islington’s incredible LGBTQ+ community.
“We have a proud history of standing up for LGBT rights in Islington. Although we must continue to work for total acceptance and full equality throughout wider society, LGBT History Month gives us the opportunity to celebrate all of the milestones we have achieved together, as a wonderfully diverse and inclusive community.”
Camden LGBT Forum Chair, Charles Dean said:
“The boroughs of Camden & Islington have long been known for their radical thought and activism – we have captured these in our LGBT History Month Programme which is the biggest and best LGBT themed arts programme in the UK.
“Throughout February, Camden & Islington LGBT History Month welcomes LGBTQ people and their friends to join us to celebrate, discuss and think about the unique contribution we have made to political, cultural and artistic life, right here in our capital.
“Taking its theme of ‘Peace, Reconciliation and Activism’, there can be no better place to stage this year’s programme than in the heart of the world’s most diverse city where we can showcase the myriad talents and raise the social capital that makes our communities stronger.”
Full details for these events, as well as a complete list of LGBT History Month projects is available on the Camden and Islington LGBT Forum’s website.
Notes to editor:
- LGBT History Month is an annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It is observed in the UK to coincide with a major celebration of the 2003 abolition of Section 28.
- The Camden and Islington LGBT Forum is run by LGBT people for LGBT people working to improve the lives of LGBT+ people in Camden and Islington. The forum’s LGBT History Month programme is funded by Islington Council and Camden Council.
- Islington’s Pride is an LGBTQ+ archive project, celebrating the history and heritage of Islington’s LGBTQ+ community. The archive is hosted by Islington Local History Centre and funded by a National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).