The Victoria and Albert Museum is Blurring the Lines and OUTing the Past for 2017

S.3679-1995

Poster
Poster depicting David Bowie, 1974
1974
Printed ink on paper

OUTing the Past: (London) @ The Victoria & Albert Museum

Friday 10th February 2017 (18:00 to 21:00 hrs)

The V&A is pleased to announce that on the 10th February 2017 we are taking part as one of the national hubs for OUTing the Past: The National Festival of LGBT History. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the theme for this year’s festival is “Law, Citizenship and PSHE”.

The festival event will take place between in Seminar Room 5 of the Learning Centre in the V&A. We will have four speakers, each giving a 40 minute presentation followed by short Q&A, with a 20 minute break in the middle.

6pm – 6:40pm           Kate Hutchinson (Wipe Out Transphobia) 

Blurring the Lines -– Trans representation and gender expression in rock music

S.3679-1995 Poster Poster depicting David Bowie, 1974 1974 Printed ink on paper

S.3679-1995
Poster
Poster depicting David Bowie, 1974
1974
Printed ink on paper

Rock music has often given a voice to minority groups, including the trans and gender variant community.  Through an examination of trans pioneers like Jayne County and Laura Jane Grace, we will also explore lyrics from Lou Reed and The Kinks, and the blurring of gender stereotypes in image and dress with figures such as David Bowie and the New York Dolls.  This presentation will give a brief run through the history of trans representation in rock, and address how it has helped in changing attitudes and raising awareness.

6:40 to 7:20pm         Peter Scott-Presland (CHE – Campaign for Homosexual Equality)

Punting with Pride

This is the untold story of the Oxford Gay Action Group (1972-74), which straddled CHE and the GLF (Gay Liberation Front), as well as the two distinct communities of the city known locally as ‘Town and Gown’. Oxford was a pioneer in producing gay theatre and was home to the first gay switchboard in the country.  Colourful characters and lots of good stories told by someone who was there!

Break

7:40pm – 8:20pm     Alison Child (Behind the Lines)

Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney: Our love is a thing apart

S.5027-2009 Cartoon Cartoon of Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney in their comedy piano and clarinet routine in The House that Jack Built, Winter Garden Theatre, 23 April 1930. Pen and ink by W.K. Haselden (1872-1944), for Punch magazine 6 January 1932. BTMA Collection. William Kerridge Haselden (1872-1953) 1930 Pen and ink on drawing board

S.5027-2009
Cartoon
Cartoon of Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney in their comedy piano and clarinet routine in The House that Jack Built, Winter Garden Theatre, 23 April 1930. Pen and ink by W.K. Haselden (1872-1944), for Punch magazine 6 January 1932. BTMA Collection.
William Kerridge Haselden (1872-1953)
1930
Pen and ink on drawing board

Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney were household names in the 1920’s. They filled the London Palladium for the farewell performance of their variety act in 1932. They were lovers from 1915 to 1931 and counted Radclyffe Hall, Jo Carstairs and Talullah Bankhead amongst their close friends.  Alison will explore the reasons these remarkable women have been excluded from cultural memory.

8:20-9pm                   Jana Funke (University of Exeter)

‘Exploring the links between lesbian and trans history through Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman)’.

An introduction to the little-known British early twentieth-century writer Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman), drawing on a wide range of published and unpublished archival materials, personal notes and correspondence.  Born into enormous wealth, Bryher was an important patron of literature, psychoanalysis and cinema in the early twentieth century and used her semi-autobiographical fiction, published in the late 1910s and early 1920s, to explore her own gender and sexual identity. This talk will examine how Bryher drew on ideas about gender and sexuality derived from early twentieth-century sexology to articulate her own sense of non-binary gender identity and same-sex desire, and will shed light on a fascinating figure in terms of both lesbian and trans history, opening up discussion about the influence of sexual science and medicine on understandings of lesbian and trans lives.