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

lesbian sexuality and the law

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 …

A Warrior With Some Marker Pens, Glue and a Photocopier!

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Our second blog post from one of our excellent speakers from OUTing the Past: The 3rd National Festival of LGBT History, which is coming to the Museum of Liverpool on 25 February, is Andrew Dineley. Andrew is the Creative Director of Soft Octopus Design Studio and will be discussing his activism and work designing, amongst many other things, Liverpool’s influential …

The Oldest New Woman and her Incorrigible Welsh Friend

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A lively conversation in costume with Miss Frances Power Cobbe (b.1822), an Irish feminist, journalist and political activist, and Miss Mary Charlotte Lloyd (b 1819), a Welsh artist. They met in  Italy and were partners for 35 years. In the mid 19th century, they lived in London campaigning for votes for women and animal rights. Miss Cobbe was also instrumental …

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer history of South West proudly celebrated

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer history of South West proudly celebrated Oscar Wilde, Grindr, Chinese underground queer cinema, and the experiences of homosexual sailors in the WWI Royal Navy will feature as part of Exeter’s first LGBT history festival. The National Festival of LGBT History: Exeter hub will feature talks from activists, academics, historians, campaigners, authors and curators discussing …

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 …

Coventry Successfully Kicks Off the National Festival of LGBT History

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Congratulations to OUTing the Past Coventry! What an excellent start to the National Festival for LGBT History; congratulations to Paul and the team at Coventry Pride. As a first-time attendee and participant, I was impressed with the depth and range of the presentations delivered: everything from first-hand accounts of activism and reportage, the lives and roles of LGBT members in …

Retrospect Opera Seeks Funding for Recording More of Dame Ethel Smyth’s Works

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Retrospect Opera is a UK charity with a particular interest in the work of Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), Britain’s most important female composer as well as a suffragette, notable author, feminist and of course lesbian. They have already recorded Ethel’s hilarious First World War comedy, The Boatswain’s Mate (1916). They are now raising funds to record her next opera, the …

But Where I’m From it’s Illegal: A Comparative Reading of Early-20th Century ‘Gay’ Literature

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A presentation that compares themes and depictions of LGBT characters and lives during the early-to-mid 20th century.’ This presentation advocates for the viability of literature as a tool for historical enquiry. That is, ‘LGBT literature’ can offer insight regarding the norms, practices, and experiences of LGBT characters and authors in their particular historical and cultural context. In order to do …

Cheryl Morgan introduces us to the Chosen of the Goddess

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Media coverage of trans people often states that we are a recent invention, perhaps dating only from 1930s Germany. The reality is much more complicated. People have been living lives outside of the gender binary for all of human history. Indeed, in the past societies were often more open to different genders than they are now. In the ancient world, …