The National Archives Aims to Balance the State’s Perspective of LGBT History

image copyright Philip Mould Ltd

OUTing the Past: (London) @ The National Archives

Saturday 11th February 2017 (1:30 pm to 5:30 pm)

We are delighted to invite in a range of speakers to reflect on topics relevant to The National Archives collections and to add balance to the state’s perspective of LGBT history. This afternoon event of powerful speakers will explore varied aspects of LGBT history, from a queer view of the suffrage movement to reflections on the current recording of trans* history.

Almost 50 years after the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which essentially decriminalised homosexual acts in private in England and Wales, the importance of LGBT history seems more significant than ever. Records held at The National Archives tell an essential part of this story from the recommendations to decriminalise homosexuality in the 1957 Wolfenden report to the build up and passing of the Act itself.

Speakers will include:

  • Hilary McCollum – Sapphic Suffragettes: The key role of lesbians in the fight for Votes for Women
  • Emma Vickers – ‘Dry Your Eyes, Princess’: documenting the lives of trans* veterans of the British Armed Forces
  • Gillian Murphy – Protest photographs from Hall Carpenter Archives
  • Laura Rowe – Sex at Sea: Homosexuality and the Royal Navy in the Great War
  • E J Scott – The Museum of Transology: Object-ifying trans narratives
  • Mark Dunton – The Sexual Offences Act, 1967

The National Archives

image copyright Philip Mould Ltd

image copyright Philip Mould Ltd

The National Archives is the official archive and publisher of the UK government. Our collection is one of the largest in the world, containing over 11 million historical government and public records

We collect and secure the future of the government record, from Shakespeare’s will to tweets from Downing Street, to preserve it for generations to come.

The National Archives collection gives a valuable insight into how government interacted with and viewed LGBT communities in the past. Our collection reflects significant moments and milestones in LGBT history and while many items in the collection come with negative connotations, documents can be found which vary from love letters between men that were meant to be destroyed, to the calling card of transgender diplomat, Chevalier d’Eon.

For more about how to research LGBT history at The National Archives please see our research guide here

For more information on The National Archives please visit our website