26 Jan 2015

LGBT History Month 2015

Unlocking the hidden contribution of the LGBT community is the theme for this year's LGBT History Month celebrations.

February sees Camden & Islington host the country's largest LGBT events programme - with film,  literary talks, a museum exhibition and a ball to inspire, educate, cultivate and celebrate.

The month kicks off on Friday 30 January with 'Loudest Whispers' - an exhibition of more than 30 artists at St Pancras Hospital, Camden.

Islington highlights include an exhibition of LGBT history at Islington Museum on St John St, EC1.  It tells the stories of the UK's first gay rights demonstration on Highbury Fields, N5, in 1970 and the first Gay Pride March in 1971 on Upper Street, N1.

The Hope Theatre on Upper St, N1, premieres a new play based on the life of computer visionary and maths genius Alan Turing.  The production explores his homosexuality,  notable glossed-over in last year's blockbuster film drama 'The Imitation Game.'

The closing ball at Conway Hall, Camden, on Saturday 28 February, features a performance by a mystery performer from the heyday of 1980s gay disco. 

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council said:

"We are extremely proud of this borough's diversity that is one of its key strengths.

"LGBT equality is not something we take for granted - it's been hard won and even now - as events nationally and internationally have shown - homophobic bullying, intimidation and violence are on the rise.

"This year's LGBT History Month programme is choc-full of talks, exhibitions, film and discussions, all unlocking the unique and wide-reaching contribution of our LGBT community."

Nigel Harris of Camden LGBT Forum who curates this year's LGBT History Month programme said:

"The great founder of LGBT History Month - Sue Saunders - calls our Camden and Islington collaboration one of the proudest success stories in the campaign to acknowledge LGBT achievement.

"The month is full of opportunities, unrivalled in the UK, to learn about ourselves, look to the future and above all understand our own contributions to wider society.

"With an ever more diverse programme - including information, support and networking - LGBT History Month is much more than learning and fun – it’s a real community asset."

Schools will get involved in LGBT History Month when they follow the example of Arsenal FC's Rainbow Laces campaign, pledging to challenge homophobia.

'Out with homophobia!' gives schools a new teaching pack to tell pupils in primary and secondary school about equality and discrimination.


Contact Information

Islington Council Media Team

Follow us on Twitter @IslingtonBC and @IslingtonLife

Tel: 020 7527 2307

Out of Hours: 07769 163303

media.team@islington.gov.uk

Notes to editors

To find out more about Camden & Islington LGBT History Month go to: http://camdenlgbtforum.org.uk Islington has always been at the heart of London’s lesbian, gay and bisexual history. As well as hosting top gay venues like The Prince Albert, The Bell, Trade and The Fallen Angel, many key events in UK gay history took place here from the setting up of the first gay helpline in 1973 to the election of the first openly gay MP Lord Chris Smith. Controversial playwright Joe Orton and his partner Kenneth Halliwell lived here, as did Kenneth Williams, best known for his roles in the Carry On films; record producer Joe Meek and fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Many of these former residents are now commemorated through the council's green heritage plaque scheme. Today Islington is estimated to have the highest number of cohabiting same-sex couples in the country. In March 2014, Islington Town Hall played host to the country's first same sex marriage, conducted on the stroke of midnight.