Islington Council stands with its communities to celebrate LGBTQ History Month in February
Islington Council stands with Islington’s LGBTQ communities to celebrate their history and contributions, while working to ensure its members are safe, connected and included in the borough.
Throughout the month of February, the council is partnering with local LGBTQ charity forum+ to deliver a range of exciting online and in-person events celebrating the diverse experiences and history of Islington’s LGBTQ community.
Islington residents and businesses are encouraged to show their support by attending events celebrating Islington’s LGBTQ community, including:
- Islington’s LGBTQ History Guided Walk
Meet the people and powerhouses behind the LGBTQ community. Experience the past, present and future on this guided walk of some of Islington's most colourful characters, from artists to activists. The event will spotlight groups like the Gay Liberation Front, the Pink Angel Festival, forum+ and many more!
Dates: 3pm, Sunday 6 February, Sunday 20 February, and Sunday 27 February
Location: Tour starts at Highbury & Islington Station, London, N5 1RB
- Cooking with Pride
Islington's Pride and the St Luke's Centre present Cooking with Pride, an evening activity for food lovers, designed for the LGBTQ+ community and friends. Chef Maurizio will take you through the steps to prepare, cook and enjoy a delicious vegetarian pasta dish, including making your own pasta. Join us in the spacious, well-equipped St Luke's Cookery School. At the end, you can all sit down and enjoy our creation – with wine!
Date: 6 – 9pm, Tuesday 15 February
Location: St Luke's Community Centre, 90 Central Street, London EC1V 8AJ
- Housmans Queer Book Club
Join a discussion on Pink Lemonade by Mika Onyx Johnson at the iconic radical bookshop Housmans’ Queer Book Club, which reads a wide range of LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction. All genders are welcome, as are any snacks, drinks and book suggestions you can bring along too. For more information, see https://housmans.com/product-tag/housmans-queer-book-club/
Date: 7 – 8.30pm, Thursday 10 February
Location: Housmans Bookshop 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX
Booking: No booking required
- Incite! LGBT History Month Special
After two years online, the forum+ spoken word event Incite! is back in-person for a very special gig at the Apple Tree’s pop-up venue. Hosted by performance poet Hannah Chutzpah and featuring a selection of Incite!’s incredible performers, including international poetry slam champion Dr Robin Lamboll, multimedia artist Lee Campbell and the irreverent and outrageous Barney Ashton-Bullock. Incite! is a warm, friendly and safe queer space, where respectful allies are also extremely welcome.
Date: 1 – 4.30pm, Saturday 19 February
Location: Apple Tree Pop-Up, 30 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU
Booking: No booking required
- ‘Queer London’ and Islington’s LGBTQ History
Islington Council’s LGBTQ Staff Forum invite you to an evening of queer local history with author and journalist Alim Kheraj. This free, online talk will focus on the history of London's evolving queer scene, and will feature historic images of past and present LGBTQ+ venues in Islington and the surrounding area. Focusing on The Bell, formerly a hub of political activity that is now the Big Chill Bar, the talk will also highlight the historic London Gay and Lesbian Centre, and venues and organisations that used to be on Upper Street, as well as explore how the London queer scene has developed over the decades.
Date: 6 – 7pm, Thursday 24 February
Location: Online event
- Meet the Community: London Friend
London Friend, the UK’s oldest LGBTQ charity, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Since 1972, LGBTQ people have been coming together at London Friend to support the health and wellbeing of others within LGBTQ communities. Throughout the year it will host regular events and activities to mark its milestone anniversary. For this event, a panel of guest speakers will discuss London Friend services and the work it has done to support the LGBTQ community in the last 50 years
Date: 6 – 7.30pm, Thursday 24 February
Location: LGBTQ Community Centre in 60-62 Hopton Street, London SE1 9JH
Booking: No booking required
More information on these and other projects, and a full programme of events by forum+, can be found at https://bit.ly/CamdenandIslingtonLGBTHM
In addition to celebrating the history and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in Islington, the council sees this month as an opportunity to stand with its communities, as part of its larger Challenging Inequality work within the borough. Through this strategic programme, the council is delivering real change in Islington by leveraging its position as an employer, strategic leader, and service provider. More information about this work can be found at: https://www.islington.gov.uk/about-the-council/equality-and-diversity/challenging-inequality
The council is determined to create a more equal Islington, where everyone has an equal chance to thrive. LGBTQ voices are often lost, so the council is asking all residents to complete the ‘Let’s Talk’ survey, so it can understand the impact of the past decade's challenges. Complete the survey at https://www.islington.gov.uk/consultations/2021/lets-talk-survey.
Sadly, LGBTQ residents in Islington are more likely to experience hate crime. As part of its initiative to make Islington a safer borough for all, the council provides support for individuals reporting hate crime, and those experiencing domestic abuse, from specialist charity and service provider Galop. For more on reporting hate crime, see: https://www.islington.gov.uk/community-safety/tackling-hate-crime
Cllr Una O’Halloran, Executive Member for Community Development, said: “Islington has a long-standing history of celebrating and championing our LGBTQ communities. We are proud to stand with them to celebrate their diversity and long history of activism in Islington.
"As pandemic restrictions ease, it is wonderful to have the option to attend this exciting range of events in-person and online. It is important that Islington’s diverse communities continue to support and celebrate each other, so that we can continue to build a more equal future together.”
Tessa Havers-Strong, Director of forum+, said: “We invite all the community to join the festivities and explore local LGBT history through exhibitions, book groups, film screenings, spoken word events, history talks and more!
"The theme for LGBTQ History Month 2022 is ‘Politics in Art: The Arc Is Long’. It provides an opportunity to commemorate the many achievements of LGBT activists and artists. Camden and Islington LGBTQ History Month is not just a celebration but also an important opportunity to champion inclusion and equality for local LGBTQ people.”
Media contact information
If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:
Islington Council media team – email@example.com or 020 7527 2307. Out of hours: 07769 163303
If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:
Access Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000