OUTing the Past: The International Festivals of Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Trans History is an international celebration that comprises of events throughout the year and around the world, and a conference and gathering for academics and activists once a year in February.
General Aims & Sought Outcome
The hidden or even denied history of how past generations have experiences and understood love and gender, vital central features of our human condition, has impoverished and distorted our collective history. That denial has also robbed millions of individuals of access to a reading of a past that can and does validate and enhances their lives. The introduction and promotion in the UK of LGBT History Month by Schools OUT in 2005 has significantly enhanced and further stimulated UK public awareness of and interest in what has become known as LGBT+ History enhanced by the dismantling of legal discrimination and popular presentations in soaps and other mass-media.
This growing public interest in ‘LGBT History’ nationally and internationally is also fuelled by its deliberate exclusion from schools and mainstream history, therefore highlighting that much of ‘public’ history is exclusive rather than inclusive and thereby a narrow and less reliable reading of the past. The OUTing the Past Festival of Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Trans History [OTP] is an educational undertaking seeking to address the silence and denial by promoting the rich and fascinating insights into past attitudes and behaviours related to sexuality and gender.
There are Festival themes or goals that deliberately seek to bring together and promote academic and popular scholarship of this important but neglected part of our common past.
1. Popularise the study, and hence a fuller understanding, of past attitudes towards sex and gender diversity within the academy and among the general public.
2. Challenge the embedded ignorance (heteronormativity) within society in general and in particular schools by facilitating and encourage the teaching of a comprehensive - and thereby less deterministic - reading of our common diverse past.
3. To seek to develop local, regional national and international partnerships with like-minded partner organisations to both empower and validate their work together by providing a showcase for local research and reading of LGBT History.
4. To ensure the rich diversity of our community is acknowledged and demonstrated by the Festival.
5. Encourage and promote research into past attitudes towards sex and gender diversity, especially those endeavours seeking to question the silences and bias within general historiography. The goal being the development a comprehensive indigenous history that further compliments the global reading of past attitudes towards sex and gender diversity.
6. Encourage and promote the collection, archiving and utilisation of material that evidences that past. Without such material the expansion of research into this area of the past is seriously arrested.
7. Seek to develop partnerships, including commercial, to help address the growing public (and especially media) interest in past attitudes towards sex and gender diversity.