A step forward? 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act

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The National Archives is pleased to announce an exciting series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts in England and Wales. Records held at The National Archives tell an essential part of this story from the 1957 Wolfenden Report recommendations to decriminalise homosexuality, to the build-up and passing of …

Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories at the British Museum

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Some members of the SOUK committee were invited to the British Museum for the opening of their new exhibition ‘Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories’. This show is part of a season looking at LGBTQ histories, which also includes a display of David Hockney’s etchings based on Cavafy’s poems. Schools OUT UK chair and CEO had advised the BM on …

Transgender Day of Visibility 2017

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True Colours – Trailblazing Transgender Visibility in the British Armed Forces Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) takes place annually, on 31st March, to celebrate the achievements of trans people across the globe, by making them visible, and heard. I first became visible in 1998, when I finally became strong enough to live my true life and transition gender. It wasn’t …

Trade Unions Championing LGBT Equality at People’s History Museum

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Peter Purton, who retired recently as the TUC’s LGBT officer, has written a book to fill a big gap in the history of how we won LGBT rights in Britain: trade unions played an enormous part in all our victories but this is invisible to most people. From the beginning of our struggle for equality, trade unionists were part of …

But What Can They Do in Bed Anyway? Lesbian Sexuality and the Law

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Female same sex acts have never been outlawed in the UK (at least in civilian society). It’s sometimes suggested that this was because Queen Victoria didn’t believe such a thing existed. But how true is this theory? Join Jenny White of Warp & Weft to explore historical beliefs about female biology and sexual desire, and to examine how lesbian lives …

OUTing the Past: the Salop Assizes

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Salop Assizes 1949 In the Spring of 1949, a Shrewsbury man, Geoffrey, sought assistance from the police, after his friend, Percy, was assaulted. What followed was not what they  expected. Their call for help led, instead, to the arrest of many gay men from the town; suspected of ‘gross indecency’. By mid-Summer, Geoffrey and another man, William, had been sent …

Glad to be gay – the Hall-Carpenter Archives at LSE Library

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Glad to be gay – the Hall-Carpenter Archives at LSE Library LSE Library has been home to the Hall-Carpenter Archives since 1988. It’s an extensive collection of archives, ephemera and printed material documenting the development of gay activism in the UK since the 1950s. But how did it come to LSE and what does it hold? The origins The Hall-Carpenter …

Caroline Paige – True Colours

Photography Credit: Stephen King

True Colours is the upcoming autobiography of Caroline Paige, who, in 1999, became the first officer to transition gender within the British Armed Forces. During her subsequent sixteen years of service, as a female navigator flying Battlefield Helicopters, she completed a total of ten frontline-duty tours, flying in some of the most dangerous skies in the world, including Bosnia, Iraq, …

Peter Tatchell awarded Albert Medal 2016

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Inspired by US black civil rights movement to fight for LGBT freedom Acceptance of the medal dedicated to Southall Black Sisters London, UK – 29 November 2016 source Awarded for “tireless campaigning on human rights & social equality”   The Albert Medal 2016 has been awarded to LGBT and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation. …

Parliament’s Speaker’s Chamber Goes Rainbow to Launch LGBT History Month 2017

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The LGBT History Month Launch is a November tradition in the Diversity Calendar and it’s always held in a prestigious venue, but with 2017 being the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act we took it up a notch and held it in the Speaker’s Chamber at the Houses of Parliament. As guests of the Speaker John Bercow, a …