OUTing the Past now has its own dedicated site. Click the image below to visit:



Schools OUT(UK) extends a BIG THANK YOU to all of the literally thousands of people that attended one or more of last month’s OUTing the Past events during February 2017’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans History Month.

This stunning success of the 3rd National Festival of LGBT History was only made possible by the endeavour of hundreds of volunteers, museums and libraries not least our Festival Hub Partners in: Bournemouth, Coventry, Exeter, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Shrewsbury, York and the five London Hubs: British Museum, Imperial War Museum, National Archive @ Kew, National Maritime Museum & Victoria & Albert Museum – congratulations!

None of this remarkable success could have been achieved without another small army of volunteers who traveled in some cases hundreds of miles to Festival Hubs to present their fascinating insights into our collective LGBT Past. Over the next few weeks, many of our Festival colleagues and friends who made this celebration possible will be sharing their experiences of OUTing the Past 2017 on our blog pages.

LGBT history has been deliberately ignored or denied by ‘professional’ historians until very recently and still assiduously withheld in the classrooms of the vast majority of schools and colleges to this day! That OUTing the Past has now for the third consecutive year wrested from the closet, showcased, celebrated and shared with thousands of people keen to learn a history they had been previously were understandably ignorant whose existence was and is denied.

The festival theatre is a crucial part of the work we are doing as it is enabling history through the heart. The plays were a celebration of two events that were a pivotal point in gay and lesbian history respectively. Alan Horsfall, one of the 2017 faces, was pivotal in the seventies in pulling together the various groups that were challenging the oppressive culture and laws against homosexuals.

Mary Winter’s refusal to take off her lesbian liberator badge off her bus drivers uniform was an act of revolution that inspired many including Vanessa Redgrave!

The Burnley plays were a sell out in both Burnley, where the events of both plays took place, and Liverpool and moved the audience mightily – tears were shed, laughter was heard! Russell T Davies finally, after financially supporting us for the last 3 years, was able to come and was visibly thrilled with the 2 pieces and commented on the fact he had noticed a completely new concept of time travel! Also, all will be pleased to note that the plays were filmed, so we will have a vital resource for our work.

We will soon be asking for submissions for next year so do keep an eye out and consider submitting – we are so pleased to get offers, as are the hubs!

We could not do this this without the support of so many people and organisations who have supported us in kind and/or financially. To say we do it on a shoe string is to exaggerate!

Please see all the logos below of the wonderful supporters we are grateful to and check out pictures from both OUTing the Past and the academic conference SEXing the Past here and by Zefrographica on our Flickr here

See you next Year!

National Festival 2017 Supporters:

(in no particular order)

Make a Donation!

If you are able to help, please donate here. Any amount makes a difference:

Donate NowYou are donating to Schools OUT United Kingdom, the parent organisation of LGBT History Month
Registered in England as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (no. 1156352)
Address: BM Schools Out, London WC1N 3XX

Review and Photos of 2nd National Festival of LGBT History 2016

What a wonderful celebration of the Schools Out 2nd Festival of LGBT History 2016 proved to be! That success was realised by the combined efforts of so many volunteers; fabulous Regional Festival Coordination Teams together with many other volunteers and the staff of our Festival partners. A marvellous synchronized endeavour! What makes that all the more remarkable was that the event grew in twelve months from one weekend pilot event hosted in Manchester to six regional centres and sixteen festival days including every weekend in February.

Also many thanks to the literally thousands of people who attended the many Festival events showcasing our wonderful diversity including: Civic Receptions in grand venues, fascinating presentations by gifted amateur historians together with contributions from distinguished professional scholars sharing their remarkable insights into past attitudes towards sex and gender, cutting-edge theatrical performance solidly rooted in actual albeit neglected past LGBT experience. An embarrassment of riches including a host of ‘National treasures’ and up-and-coming national treasures not least: Dereck Jacobi, Linda Bellos, Peter Tatchell, Travis Alabanza, Tom Robinson and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah.

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s Festival possible and please enjoy the montage of wonderful images taken by following this link. We are now going to find a dark quite place to recuperate ready to start the whole process again at the end of this month!

Hugs and Kisses

Sue Sanders & Jeff Evans
Joint Coordinators of the Schools Out(UK) 2nd National Festival of LGBT History 2016

Nicolas Chinardet of Zefrographica

Nicolas Chinardet of Zefrographica receiving an award from Schools Out UK’s CEO Tony Fenwick thanking him for his photo-documentary skills at many of our events over the years!



Photos from all of our events are hosted on the Flickr Group Pool available at:

Please feel free to join the group and add any other photographs that you have taken at any of our events to the group pool.

To see a list of the events that were held in 2016 at the 2nd National Festival of LGBT History, please click this link

2016 Sponsors



On Friday, the inaugural Allan Horsfall lecture, sponsored by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, unveils the first attempts at parliamentary reform in 1832. Saturday at Central Library goes Under The Rainbow, with an exploration of LGBT identity and personal stories from the 18th century to today. Sunday at People’s History Musuem explores lesbian activists, LGBT rights in the workplace, and Britain’s colonial legacy in exporting homophobic laws.

A Very Victorian Scandal, our innovative, immersive theatre performance based on an 1880 police raid on a fancy dress ball, runs throughout the weekend. There are schools and families events for children, young adults, parents and educators on the Saturday and Sunday. The 2nd “What is and how to do LGBT history” conference runs in parallel.

There are films throughout the week in Manchester’s Gay Village, and various surprises in the week leading up to the festival. Stay tuned, and be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter, or join our e-mail list for up-to-the minute news! Keep scrolling to find out more, or go to the schedule page to find out full details.

Under the Rainbow


Saturday explores three centuries of LGBTQ identity, from when George III was on the throne to the present day. Campaigners and academics behind groups such as the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, the Lesbian Information Service, and Press for Change discuss their life work, legacy, successes, and regrets.


A celebration of the remarkable work of LGBTQ campaigners living today. Highlights include the launch of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality’s history, written byPeter Scott-Presland, while Ross Burgess talks about CHE’s impact and legacy. Christine Burns MBE, key activist in Press For Change, whose work contributed to the Gender Recognition Act 2004, will talk about overcoming the challenges to document trans* history.

We also talk to the people behind the frontline services that improved the lives of many, such as Nottinghamshire Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (presented by David Edgley) and the controversial Lesbian Information Service (presented by Jan Bridget). How do the people involved in these campaigns and services feel about their legacy today?

Many other remarkable individuals will discuss their extraordinary lives, including Peter Tatchell, founder of the Gay Liberation Front; and Alex Herrmann, who will talk about his life as a gay man in Socialist East Germany.

Obviously as a Manchester festival we have to talk about music! Abigail Ward, founder of the Manchester District Music Archive discusses her Queer Noise collection of tickets and posters, including infamous clubnights from Flesh (at the famous Haçienda) to Club Brenda.


The CHE football team. Courtesy Peter Scott-Presland.

The CHE football team. Courtesy Peter Scott-Presland.

Anti Section-28 demo. Courtesy David Edgley.

Anti Section-28 demo. Courtesy David Edgley.

Flyer for Flesh clubnight. Courtesy Manchester District Music Archive.

Flyer for Flesh clubnight. Courtesy Manchester District Music Archive.

Olive Custance. Source unknown.

Olive Custance. Source unknown.


Helena Whitbread discusses Anne Lister’s (1791–1840) coded diaries, which detail her scandalous liaisons with women. Between 1806 and 1840 she wrote prolifically, with a total output of 26 volumes containing 4 million words. As well as writing about her sex life and seduction techniques, she wrote about the weather, social and national events, and her own business interests as a wealthy landowner.

Oscar Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas was married to Olive Custance, a remarkable person in her own right. Dr Sarah Parker will discuss her new research about Olive’s relationships with both men and women, and her life as a successful poet.


Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, will present exhibits from the LGF’s archive.Sylvia Kölling, Saturday Hub coordinator and archive volunteer, will talk about the remarkable personal correspondence of the father of the modern gay rights movement, Allan Horsfall. Both archives are stored at Central Library.

Festival volunteers at Archives+. Courtesy Kim Foale.

Festival volunteers at Archives+. Courtesy Kim Foale.

Power, Resistance, Empire


Organised protest and social movements have been instrumental in building a more equal world. Sunday focusses on the impact of power, institutions, and the law, in changing rights for LGBT people.

We examine the global export of Britain’s anti-gay buggery laws from the 19th century. We ask why lesbian voices have been marginalised in the protest movement, highlighting the remarkable work of women at Greenham Common Peace Camp. Finally, we chronicle campaigns against workplace discrimination beginning in the 1960s.


Mike Jackson, co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners highlights the story behind this year’s critically acclaimed film “Pride”. Cath Booth discusses the work of Lesbians and Gays Support the Printworkers, who assisted workers sacked by Rupert Murdoch during the Wapping dispute. TUC LGBT & Disability Officer Peter Purton will explore the history of how homophobia and transphobia have been addressed in the workplace.

Finally, All The Nice Girls explores the lives of World War I stars Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney, using theatre, cabaret and dance. Gwen and Norah routinely performed for the entertainment of the armed forces.


Original LGSM banner. Courtesy People's History Museum.

Original LGSM banner. Courtesy People’s History Museum.

Peter Tatchell protesting homophobia in Uganda. Courtesy Peter Tatchell.

Peter Tatchell protesting homophobia in Uganda. Courtesy Peter Tatchell.


In the 1800s, the British Empire stretched across two thirds of the world, and Britain exported laws banning same-sex relations to its colonies. Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and Prossy Kakooza, a refugee who has rebuilt her life in the UK after experiencing abuse and torture in Uganda, discuss Britain’s colonial legacy.


From Votes For Women to the Greenham Common peace camps, lesbian women have been at the forefront of movements for social change. Sheila Standard and Dr Sonja Tiernan discuss the key roles played by lesbians in protest movements, including the Barmaids’ Defence League and Urania, a pioneering covert journal on gender and sexuality.


Protestors at Greenham Common. Courtesy People's History Museum.

Protestors at Greenham Common. Courtesy People’s History Museum.

A Very Victorian Scandal


One of the foulest and most disgraceful orgies that ever disgraced any town… (Manchester Evening News, September 1880)

A Very Victorian Scandal (#AVVS) is a groundbreaking immersive theatre project, being performed over the festival weekend. The project will recreate scenes from the biggest police raid on an ‘LGBT’ event in British history. Manchester’s famous Victorian detective, Jerome Caminada, led the raid on an all-male fancy dress ball in Hulme, and arrested forty-seven men. The subsequent press coverage caused an international sensation. This was the UK’s Stonewall moment, and it happened in 1880.



A living recreation of the fancy dress ball. Mingle with the fancy dress ball attendees, learn a little about their lives, and watch them sing and dance to Music Hall tunes. A Victorian police raid will then rudely interrupt the evening’s raucous events.


Det. Jerome Caminada. Courtesy Archives+



A fresh take on the motives behind the police raid, in an intimate performance at Manchester Central Library. Secrets and politics combine to make some men, and ruin others. Caminada courts the press, but can he keep control of the story?



Experience what it was like to be amongst the 47 prisoners, as we recreate the infamous trial using immersive theatre. You will watch your fate, and the fate of the other prisoners, be decided by the Chief Justice. Will all of the prisoners maintain their promise to remain silent, or will the fear of prison force someone to speak out?

Thomas Nash, prosecution barrister. Courtesy Archives+


Projecting Diversity


The festival will feature screenings of films from all over the world, including this year’s smash hit “Pride”. More information on the full schedule and special guest speakers coming soon!

Schools & Families

Schools OUT Conference, Manchester


On Saturday and Sunday, Schools OUT UK will host the Schools & Families festival strand. We will offer children, educators, parents and governors the chance to experience educational, fun, and inclusive activities for children of all ages.

At Schools OUT, we are proud of our 40 year legacy making schools safer and more equal for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* people, in all their diversity. We are run entirely by volunteers, and established both LGBT History Month and The First National Festival of LGBT History to further our aims as national educators.


Readings will be presented by Adam Lowe, a local poet and founder of Young Enigma, Catherine Hall, author of Repercussions, and Sue Sanders, co-chair of Schools OUT. They will be reading titles for children and young adults such as “My Invented Life”, “Pugdog”, “Space Girl Pukes” and “Who Are You, Stripy Horse?”. A range of diversity lessons will be presented by experienced classroom teachers.
All the books read will be available to borrow from the library!

Stuart Milk. Courtesy Harvey Milk Foundation.


Stuart Milk, nephew of Harvey Milk, will present a lesson on his uncle’s work and legacy, and the work of the Harvey Milk Foundation worldwide. Harvey Milk was an American politician who campaigned for gay rights in San Francisco’s famous Castro district. He was tragically assassinated in 1978 alongside his colleague George Moscone. Stuart co-founded the Harvey Milk Foundation, and is now an ambassador for LGBT rights around the world.


Schools OUT believe that to eliminate the prejudice and negative stereotypes around minority groups and women, we need to educate out prejudice.

All public organisations (including schools) have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to not only prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but to actively educate people about all the protected characteristics, including gender, sexuality and marital status.

These lessons will demonstrate how this can be done, and prove that such work can be fun, educational, and successful in eliminating discrimination.

Academic Conference


The LGF hosts “The 2nd What is & How to DO LGBT History?” conference, which seeks to place attitudes, experiences and identities in their historical context.

Despite the increasing popular demand for “LGBT History” in Britain, the history of attitudes towards sex and gender diversity in the UK remains an underdeveloped field, especially in comparison with the advances that have been made in the United States. An important part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of LGBT History month is to lead and develop the growing discourse into past attitudes towards sex and gender diversity within the academy and among the general public.

For more information on the academic conference, expand the menu below




Despite the increasing popular demand for “LGBT History” in Britain, the history of attitudes towards sex and gender diversity in the UK remains an underdeveloped field, especially in comparison with the advances that have been made in the United States. An important part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of LGBT History month is to lead and develop the growing discourse into past attitudes towards sex and gender diversity within the academy and among the general public.


Please refer to the main schedule page for a neater listing. This page will be updated to reflect the new schedule layout in the next few days.



  • Festival Launch: The 1st Allan Horsfall Lecture … (120 mins)

    Civic festival launch, introduced by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and Sue Sanders, co-chair of Schools OUT UK.

    The Campaign for Homosexual Equality present The 1st Allan Horsfall Lecture, presented by Prof. Charles Upchurch (Asst. Professor of British History, Florida State University).

    In his talk “Like Sympathetic Ink: Identity and the Early Nineteenth-Century Attempt to Reform of the British Sodomy Laws”, Prof. Upchurch examines some of the earliest attempts to legalise inter-male sex.

  • 20:00

  • A Very Victorian Scandal: The Raid … (60 mins)

    In the first of a series of performances across Manchester, you will be invited to a reimagining of the fancy dress ball. Mingle with the fancy-dress ball attendees, learn a little about their lives, and watch them sing and dance to Music Hall songs. Manchester’s finest Victorian police officers will rudely interrupt the evening’s proceedings.



  • Conference Registration … (60 mins)

    Registration and reimbursement of expenses. Complimentary tea and coffee.

  • 09:15

  • Paul Martin OBE: Conference Opens & Welcome … (15 mins)

    Paul Martin OBE and the Lord Mayor of Manchester open the conference.

  • 09:30

  • Panel 1: Crimes and Criminality … (90 mins)

    Chair: Professor Charles Upchurch (Florida State University)

    • Robert Beachy, Yonsei University. “Queer subcultures in Nazi Berlin: what the Gestapo files can tell us”.
    • Janet Weston, Birkbeck College, University of London. “Criminals and victims: problems with the history of sexual deviance”.
  • Panel 2: Looking Back from Equal Marriage and Learning from the Past … (90 mins)

    Chair: Dr Helen Smith (Lincoln University)

    • Sonja Tiernan, Liverpool Hope University. “Making History Memorable: Recording the Marriage Equality Campaign in Ireland”.
    • Kate Turner, University of Westminster. “Homosexual Law reform and Scottish National Identity, 1950 to the Present”.
  • 11:15

  • Peter Scott-Presland: Keynote Speech … (60 mins)

    Chair: Prof. Stephen Whittle OBE (Manchester Metropolitan University).

    Peter Scott-Presland presents “Addressing historical silences: CHE, the first ‘out’ and popular homosexual rights group”

  • 12:15

  • A Very Victorian Scandal: The Press … (30 mins)

    An intimate performance at Manchester Central Library takes a fresh look at the motives behind the police raid. Secrets and politics combine to make some men, and ruin others. Detective Caminada courts the press, but can he keep control of the story?

  • 13:45

  • Panel 4: Working-class attitudes towards sex and gender in historical narratives … (90 mins)

    Chair: Dr Matt Cook (Birkbeck, University of London)

    • Helen Smith (University of Lincoln): “It’s Queer up North? Working-class men, masculinity and same-sex desire from Oscar Wilde to Wolfenden”.
    • Jeff Evans (Manchester Metropolitan University): “The police targeting of working-class inter-male sex 1850-1914. Myth or reality? A sampled statistical reading of indictable prosecutions”.
  • Panel 3: Using Print Culture to understand the history of past attitudes towards sex and gender … (90 mins)

    Chair: Dr Emma Vickers (Liverpool John Moores University)

    • Mark Walmsley (University of Leeds): “Wholesome secracy: Understanding the absence of gay men and women from mainstream media narratives in the US before Stonewall”.
    • Dan Callwood (Queen Mary, University of London): “National problems, transnational solutions?: Writing a history of gay liberation in France, 1968-82”.
  • 15:30

  • How to Do LGBT History Showcase 1 … (30 mins)

    Prof. Charles Upchurch (Florida State University) presents “The use and misuse of digitalised newspapers”.

  • How to Do LGBT History Showcase 2 … (30 mins)

    Prof. Keith Julian (Manchester University) presents “Data Handling and how to avoid common misreadings with historiography.”

  • 16:00

  • Closing remarks and notices (15 mins)
  • 19:30

  • Conference Banquet … (90 mins)

    Joyce Layland LGBT Centre, Sidney St, Manchester. Opposite All Saints Park.



  • Tea and coffee reception … (45 mins)

    Breakfast available in many venues close to the conference. Complimentary tea and coffee available at the conference venue.

  • 09:45

  • Stuart Milk: Conference Opening … (30 mins)

    Stuart Milk, president of the Harvey Milk Association, formally opens the day.

  • 10:00

  • Panel 5: Oral Testimony and reconstructing past attitudes to sex and gender … (90 mins)

    Chair: Mark Walmsley (University of Leeds)

    • Alva Traebert (University of Edinburgh). “At the Intersection of Queer History, Academic Community and National Archives: Scottish Storytelling Sessions 2012-2014”.
    • Emma Vickers (Liverpool John Moores University). “Breaking the silence: trans* veterans of the British Armed Forces and the power of oral testimony”.
  • Panel 6: What Narratives can we include in LGBTI History? … (90 mins)

    Chair: Dr Justin Bengry (Birkbeck, University of London)

    • Alejandro Melero (University Carlos III de Madrid): “Problems and difficulties in the study of the representation of homosexuality in Spanish cinema under Franco”.
    • Kirsty Heyam (University of Leeds): “Medieval languages, modern assumptions: a call for interrogative translation”.
    • Cheryl Morgan (Out Stories Bristol): “Their-stories: Interrogating gender identities from the past”.
  • 11:45

  • How to Do LGBT History Showcase 3 … (45 mins)

    Prof Stephen Whittle (Manchester Metropolitan University) presents “How to historicise past attitudes towards gender diversity”.

  • 13:00

  • A Very Victorian Scandal: The Trial … (60 mins)

    In the concluding part of the series, you will discover what happened to the fancy dress ball attendees. Original newspaper accounts have been used to dramatise the infamous court trial. Will all of the prisoners maintain their vow of silence, or will the threat of prison force someone to speak out?

  • 13:45

  • How to Do LGBT History Workshop: Historians and the LGBT Archive … (60 mins)

    Chair: Craig Griffiths (St Marys, London Uni) with invited participants from National and Regional Archives and Libraries.

    Kindly supported by the Britten-Pears Foundation

  • 15:00

  • Panel 7: Uncovering and Undoing the Political Uses of Past Attitudes towards Sex and Gender … (90 mins)

    Chair: Prof. Sally Hines (University of Leeds).

    • Runar Jordåen et. al. (University of Bergen): “Establishing a queer historical archive in Norway”.
    • Jennifer Ingleheart (Durham University): “Romosexuality: Ancient Rome and modern LGBT identities”.
    • Marianna Muravyeva (Oxford Brookes University): “How traditional is “non” traditional: writing the early history of Russian LGBT community today”.
  • Panel 8: Non-Metropolitan Readings of Past Attitudes Towards Sex and Gender … (90 mins)

    Chair: John Garrard (formerly of Salford University)

    • Matt Cook (Birkbeck College, University of London) & Alison Oram (Leeds Beckett University): “Local queer history”.
    • Colin R. Johnson (Indiana University, Bloomington): “What the Torch-Wielding Villagers Knew”.
  • 16:30

  • Feedback and Announcements … (30 mins)

    Announcements and feedback about:

    • The 3rd What Is & How to Do LGBT History Conference 2016
    • The 2nd National or International Festival of LGBT History 2016
    • The 1st Joint Archive & Historians LGBT HM Manifesto Conference – Summer 2015.



    • Archival research and the uncovering of source materials
    • The influence of other disciplines on historical study
    • Experiences of conducting research within the academy
    • Reclaiming forgotten histories
    • Writing the history of under/unexplored regions
    • The relationship between historical study and political activism
    • Considering the impact of our work as historians
    • The problem of naming in a historical context
    • Ethical issues in historical research


    We are pleased to announce that the conference will be hosted at The LGF Conference Venue, 5 Richmond St, Manchester. More information about the venue is on the LGF website.


    • Harry Cocks (Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts, Nottingham)
    • Matt Cook (Senior Lecturer in History & Gender Studies, Birkbeck, London University.)
    • Martin Hall (Vice-Chancellor of Salford University & Archaeologist)
    • Shelia Rowbotham (Professor, School of Social Sciences, Manchester University)
    • Charles Upchurch (Associate Professor of History, Florida State University)
    • Jeffrey Weeks (Research Professor, Arts and Human Sciences, South Bank University).
    Sponsors of the First National Festival of LGBT History, Manchester, 2015

    Sponsors of the First National Festival of LGBT History, Manchester, 2015