York LGBT History Month 2016 and National Festival Hub

York LGBT History Month 2016 sees a record number of events take place this February in and around the city of York.

The entire community has come together to put on a schedule of presentations and discussion, films and theatre, talks and activities, school and families events and much much more. All events are open to all members of the public and the majority are free of charge.

We’re particularly excited and proud that this year York hosts the Yorkshire hub of the National Festival of LGBT History. It gives the city a huge opportunity to celebrate the forgotten stories of LGBT people and their vital contributions to notable moments throughout Yorkshire’s history.

To reflect this year’s national theme, some of the events taking place will be linked to the topics of religion, belief and philosophy. Representatives of the major faiths in York will be participating in discussion panels and other activities to explore the past, present and future of this fascinating subject.

Throughout February, there are nearly 50 individual events taking place, beating last year’s tally by almost 20. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response of York’s community to our call to arms to organise their own events and become part of the festival.

LGBT History Month is celebrated worldwide and in the UK it became a national campaign back in 2005. The purpose of the month of events and activities is to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people [note: we use “LGBT” as an umbrella term including any non-binary and/or non-cisgender and/or non-heterosexual and/or intersex identities and so on], their history, lives and experiences among communities. The ultimate aim is to raise awareness and advance education on matters affecting LGBT people in order to progress their welfare as a community, and as a result benefit wider society.

Andy Law, Lead Coordinator of York LGBT History Month, said:

For the third year running the community has come together to create a spectacular programme of events throughout February. This year we see the number of events increase once again, but more importantly the programme brings a greater level of diversity. A much larger number of contributions focus on trans identities, including contemporary perspectives on access to healthcare, representation and interactions with practical theology. We also have a sprinkling of events catering to this year’s theme of religion, belief and philosophy and how this interacts or intersects with LGBT identities.

It’s excellent to see such an array of voices pushing to foreground the forgotten stories of LGBT people and to discuss the wide variety of issues still faced by many. Our school outreach works within and alongside the programme of events to establish an inclusive environment at a key developmental stage. Our overarching aim is to develop inclusivity, challenge stereotypes and promote understanding.

More information including the full programme can be found on our events page.

Kit Heyam gives Dan Nouveau a round-up of all the events happening in York for the LGBT History Month 2016 National Festival on his SoundCloud.
Have a listen here