February is LGBT+ History Month in the UK. The celebration is a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer history, as well as a means of raising awareness for the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people. This year’s theme is Poetry, Prose and Plays.
This year’s celebration is more important than ever, as the latest figures show that between 2014 and 2019, the number of recorded hate crimes based on sexual orientation across England and Wales went up from 5,591 to 14,491 – a rise of 160%.
Throughout February, more than 1,500 events are taking place across the country, and there is certainly lots to look forward to in Brighton. We’ve put together a list of some of the highlights.
My Secret Love Quiz – An LGBTQ+ quiz with a literary bent!
16th February, 2pm-4pm, Jubilee Library
New Writing South and the LGBTQ+ History Club are hosting a big queer quiz, hosted by showbiz sensation Boogaloo Stu! There will be a fabulous cash prize for the winning team!
Call New Writing South on 01272 735353 or email email@example.com to register your team.
Free LGBTQ+ Writing Workshop
18th February, 11am-1pm, Jubilee Library
Join award-winning local writer and playwright Dinos Aristodou for this drop-in workshop at Jubilee Library.
Using real life stories as inspiration, participants will have the opportunity to retell and celebrate queer histories. No writing experience is necessary for the workshop, and no one who attends will be forced to share their writing!
For more information, call New Writing South on 01272 735353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
OUTing the Past event: Obscured Histories
22nd February, 12pm – 4.05pm, Brighton Museum
Head to Brighton Museum for a day of fascinating talks and performances tracing the history of LGBTQI+ activism curated by OUTing the Past, the International Festival of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History,
The talks and performances will cover topics ranging from what happened to same-sex attracted women in the mental health system in the 1950s-70s, to the experiences of LGBT servicemen and women serving with the British Armed Forces both before and after the lifting of the ‘gay ban’.
The event is free, but you must reserve your place via Eventbrite.
Queer the Pier
Opens 22nd February, Spotlight Gallery
This community curated display peers into local LGBTIQA+ history. It celebrates the lives of the writers, artists, performers, activists and ordinary people who have made Brighton & Hove so fabulous, bringing their stories to life with film, photography, fashion, drag and oral histories.
This event is free for Brighton residents and free with Brighton Museum admission.
Sunday Film Screenings @ Jubilee Library
Various dates, 1.30pm, Jubilee Library
Throughout February, Jubilee Library will be showing films that explore queer themes and celebrate queer identities.
Catch Vita and Virginia (12) on February 16th, a film that depicts Vita Sackville West’s passionate pursual of Virginia Woolf, or Grey Gardens on February 23rd, which documents the wonderfully eccentric mother-daughter relationship of high-society castaways “BIg” and “Little” Edie Bouvier Beale.
All screenings will take place in Conference Room 2, on the mezzanine level of the library.
LGBT+ History Month welcomes all LGBT+ people and allies to celebrate and learn together.