Free public talks on LGBT history at York Explore: today!

Kit Heyam2017, Events, National FestivalLeave a Comment

The National Festival of LGBT History is in York today!

national festival hosted by york explore cropped with logo

York Explore Library and Archive will play host to a fascinating variety of free talks on all aspects of LGBT history. Visitors can drop in throughout the day to discover hidden stories and forgotten heroes, and to find out about the other exciting events taking place throughout the month of February. Hot drinks, snacks and lunch will be available to purchase from the café.

Accessibility: baby-changing; gender-neutral toilets; hearing loop; wheelchair access.

10:30 Stephen Miller, ‘Maurice Dobson: a story of bravery, acceptance and love’
The unique story of Maurice Dobson (1912-1990): a gay ex-coal miner, WW2 veteran and antiques collector who lived in Darfield, South Yorkshire.
11:00 11.00: Jeff Evans, ‘Criminal prosecution of inter-male sex, 1850-1970’
How did prosecution of sex between men change over this 120-year period?
11:30 Break
12:00 Caroline Paige, ‘True Colours: trailblazing transgender service in the military’
The untold story of what it meant to be transgender in the British military before and after permissive service. From 1980 to 2014: the highs and the lows, in peacetime and in war.
12:30 Paul Amann, ‘Kop Outs: you’ll never walk alone’
The story of the development of Kop Outs, Liverpool FC’s LGBT fan club, from a time when being LGBT and a football fan appeared mutually exclusive, to the development of a club-recognised fan group helping enable LGBT fans to attend the match in confidence.
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Rainer Schulze, ‘The battle for decriminalisation of (male) homosexuality in (West) Germany, 1945-69’
Rainer tells the story of the long battle for recognition and acceptance in (West) Germany following the defeat of Nazism up to the partial decriminalisation of (male) homosexuality in 1969. Given the battles for recognition and acceptance in other parts of the world right now, can we learn from history and from each other?
14:30 Juno Jones, ‘The Gay Liberation Front: how we invented direct action’
Juno draws on her personal experience of activism with the Gay Liberation Front to provide the background and origins of LGBT direct action in the UK and eyewitness accounts of protests from the Miss World Contest to the London Stock Exchange.
15:00 Break
15:30 Jane Traies, ‘The Other Consenting Adults: or, what were lesbians doing in 1967?’
In 2017 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Act of Parliament which partially decriminalised homosexuality between men. Lesbians, never having been illegal, are not officially part of this story – but the media spotlight that was trained on their gay brothers at that time sometimes illuminated their struggle, too. This presentation draws on contemporary reporting and on Jane’s own oral history research to uncover the hidden lives of lesbians in the 1960s.
16:00 Alison Child, ‘Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney: ‘our love is a thing apart’’
Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney were household names in the 1920s. They filled the London Palladium for the farewell performance of their variety act in 1932. They were lovers between 1917 to 1931 and counted Radclyffe Hall, Jo Carstairs and Tallullah Bankhead amongst their close friends. Alison will explore the reasons these remarkable women have been excluded from cultural memory.

Wine and nibbles reception followed by LGBTQI+ archives roundtable | Discussion
16:30 – 18:00 | Marriott Room, York Explore Library and Archives, Library Square, Museum Street, YO1 7DS

PhD student and archivist Victoria Hoyle invites you to participate in an informal workshop about the creation of LGBT archives. What should be preserved as part of an LGBT archive? Who decides what is valuable? How can it be shared and interpreted?

*Please be aware that this session is part of an active research project and will be recorded. Victoria will explain her research and ask your consent to use anonymised transcriptions of the roundtable as part of her thesis. You may opt out if you wish.

Organised by: Victoria Hoyle
Tickets: Not required
More information: Victoria Hoyle (

Accessibility: baby-changing; gender-neutral toilets; hearing loop; wheelchair access.





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Kit Heyam

Kit is the former lead coordinator of York LGBT History Month, a researcher of LGBT history, and a trans awareness trainer.

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