OUTing The Past Festival Presenters Invitation

OTP Festival Invitation & Application for Popular History & Unique Oral Testimony Presentations

Applications Open: 1st September 2019

Applications Close: 30th September 2019

The form to apply will be available below from 1st Sept 2019.

If you would prefer to complete it offline Click here to download a copy. This completed form should be submitted to Caroline [Email: Festival.Gazette@outingthepast.org.uk]

Dear Applicant,

Many thanks for your interest in this project. OUTing the Past International Festival of LGBT+ History is delighted to invite presentations for 2020 to be celebrated at European and US Festival Hubs.

We are keen to receive individuals and groups that showcase either:

A historical reading of the past, or

1. An archival source and personal oral testimonies, sets of photos, or significant documents and the stories behind them

2. Researched presentation on a piece of unknown LGBT history.

Your historical presentation/reading/interpretation might be a presentation/explanation of a past local, regional, or national:

  • Event or related events, of direct relevance to the Human/LGBT Rights agenda & experience of history, of a group or a specific campaign

  • Account of a personal journey that includes a number of view-points.


The theme for Schools OUT UK LGBT History Month 2020 is Poetry, Plays and Prose.

This means we can connect to the English curriculum of schools and the four people we have chosen to link to them are detailed below:

E M Forster.jpg

E.M. Forster (1879 – 1970)

Gay author, widely regarded as one of the greatest British writers of the 20th century. ‘A Passage To India’ brought him his first success, and he has had several other books adapted as Merchant Ivory films – ‘A Room With A View’, ‘Where Angels Fear To Tread’ and most significantly ‘Maurice’, a gay love story. Forster wrote the novel in 1913, but left instructions that it was not to be published until after his death. Next year is the 50th anniversary of Edward’s death, and we anticipate there will be much in the media about him.

Lorraine Hansberry.jpg

Lorraine Hansberry (1930 – 1965)

Lesbian playwright; author of ‘A Raisin In The Sun’, the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. The title comes from the poem “Harlem” (also known as “A Dream Deferred”) by Langston Hughes. For some time the play was part of the O Level and GCSE syllabuses. Hansberry inspired the song by Nina Simone “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”.

Dawn Langley Simmons.jpg

Dawn Langley Simmons (c.1922 – 2000)

Our trans Face is probably the least well-known but undoubtedly had a fascinating story. The child of Vita Sackville West, before transitioning Dawn wrote an acclaimed biography of Princess Margaret. After transition she wrote a biography of eccentric actress Dame Margaret Rutherford, and was ‘semi-adopted’ by her. But probably most interesting is the fact that Dawn’s marriage to John-Paul Simmons, on 21 January 1969, was the first legal inter racial marriage in South Carolina!


William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

Quintessentially British, we have chosen Shakespeare as our bisexual reference, as his work is very much at the heart of the English curriculum. This is important given the ongoing difficulties over inclusive teaching. Sonnet 20 is widely quoted as being written about a man.


The entire year is dedicated to Lyra Mckee

Each festival presentation is intended as a vignette of no more than twenty minutes long, followed by a ten-minute Q&A session. We are particularly keen to showcase past experiences and history presentations from those sections of our community whom we too rarely hear from, such as; black and ethnic minority, disabled, and bisexual people. A fee of £20 is payable by UK based Hubs to successful applicants’ post-presentation.

Your presentation’s source might be:

A testimony about a personal or collective experience

A set of campaigning leaflets/publicity and the story behind them,

A letter or document that again provides a reading of that past commonly ignored or denied.


Apply below (refresh the page if form does not appear straight away):