OUTing The Past 2019 Hub Programme: Leeds

Here in Leeds, we’re delighted to announce the programme of our very first OUTing the Past: Festival of LGBT History conference – organised and hosted by Leeds City Museum and taking place on Thursday 7 February 2019

We have a line-up of seven wonderfully varied presentations including a musical history of how artists from the 70s onwards – Lou Reed, The Kinks, Bowie and others, ‘blurred the lines’ of gender stereotypes, opening awareness of and giving insight into alternate attitudes.      

Angela Clare – collections manager for Calderdale Museums will discuss Anne Lister’s remarkable life and legacy at Shibden Hall and questions “what would Anne make of how she has been portrayed and how she would identify her own gender and sexuality in today’s world?”

Lesbian motherhood; AIDS activism; LGBT Poet Laureate and more! Don’t miss viewing our full programme at www.leeds.gov.uk/OutingThePast2019

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Displayed in the museum’s prominent window space, will be a new installation entitled ‘LGBTHM – VISIBLE – 36point7’ – which aims to create visibility for the 36.7million people living globally with HIV and AIDS.

Rarely seen ‘special collection’ items from the eminent Leeds-based Feminist Archive North will be on display under the banner
‘Lesbians in protest and activism’ and members of the archive will be there to share more information.

West Yorkshire Queer Stories will have a stall and be present to talk to people about their celebrated Heritage Lottery-funded project.

Members of the renowned Leeds Gay Community – descendant of gay groups meeting since 1971 – will be attendance with a fascinating selection of historical gay-related texts, publications and paraphernalia.

Replica banners and placards – created as part of the Outing the Past arts project will be on display.

And an uplifting lunchtime programme of performance by local artists is in planning.

We look forward to meeting you!

This conference is a key event in Leeds, as part of LGBT History Month – an annual event that celebrates the history and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans- people every February in the United Kingdom and beyond. For more information about events in Leeds, visit www.leedsinspired.co.uk/LGBTHistoryMonth2019

The theme for LGBT History Month 2019 is ‘Peace, reconciliation and activism’

09:15-09:30 - Performance by arts project participants
Re-enactment of 1970s / 80s demonstration with replica banners and placards.
– Outside front of museum

Information / display stands in Brodrick Hall
– West Yorkshire Queer Stories
– Feminist Archive North
– Leeds Gay Community
– Leeds Central Library – local and family history
Display of original banners loaned by Feminist Archive North
Display of a new piece of artwork in the museum’s prominent window space, entitled ‘LGBTHM – VISIBLE – 36point7’, which aims to create visibility for the 36.7million people living globally with HIV and AIDS.

09:30-09:50 - Registration and coffee

09:50-10:00 - Thoresby Room (downstairs)
Welcome and opening of event by popular TV presenter Owain Wyn Evans

10:00-10:30 - Mick Ward: Aids Activism in Leeds in the Eighties
The presentation will be a recollection (from direct involvement) of Aids Activism in Leeds in the 1980’s
This will focus on the work of ACT Up Leeds (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power), though placed in the wider context of the AIDS crises (ignorance; discrimination; lack of government action; Clause 28) and the response by the LGBT+ community and allies (campaigning; self-advocacy; services; direct action).
The presentation will include a series of photos depicting examples of direct action carried out by ACT Up Leeds (mostly in Leeds, but some abroad).

10:40-11:10 - Angela Clare: Outing Anne Lister
As collections manager for Calderdale Museums, Angela is currently responsible for Anne’s home, collections and archives at Shibden Hall, and in turn, preserving and sharing Anne’s story for the future. She will discuss Anne’s remarkable life and legacy and how her story and sexual identity has been hidden and revealed in a museum setting, in print, on television and online, including the recent debate over the wording on her blue plaque in York. Angela questions what Anne would make of how she has being portrayed and how she would identify her own gender and sexuality in today’s world.

11:20-11:50 - Susan Phillips: The challenges and joys of becoming a lesbian mother in the 1980s/90s
The presentation is about a group of lesbians who, despite the hostile environment of the time, gave birth and raised children in an informal community of support. It includes stories about the self-insemination network which developed; the mutual support links that grew; and the social opportunities mothers created for their children to connect with other lesbian families. These extended familial networks continue to flourish as mothers grow older and children become adults – some now with children of their own. The presentation will be made by Susan Phillips, Jude Woods and contemporaries from the time. It will include projected images.

12:00-12:30 - Kate Hutchinson: Blurring the Lines
Rock music has long been a voice for minority groups – including the trans and gender variant community. From lyrics in songs by Lou Reed and the Kinks to blurring gender stereotypes in image – Bowie, New York Dolls etc; through to trans pioneers such as Jayne County from the punk era to Laura Jane Grace today.
This presentation will give a brief run through that history and talk about how it has helped in changing attitudes and bringing awareness.

12:40-13:20 - LUNCH
Performance by Gay Abandon choir
Guest appearance and introduction to the second part of the event by Emmerdale’s first transgender actor, Ash Palmisciano who plays Angie’s son – Matty Barton in the National Television Awards winning ‘Best Serial Drama’.

13:20-13:50 - Caroline Paige: War into Peace: – A Trans ‘Twenty in a Hundred’ Perspective
To coincide with the 100th anniversary of peace post WW1, the 100th anniversary of the RAF, and the 20th anniversary of open trans military service, Caroline’s presentation considers three trans individuals who link peace, reconciliation and activism in a way few will ever experience. She reveals military trans history through the lived experiences of three RAF trans trailblazers who served their country in peace and war; whilst championing trans rights too. Roberta, a WW2 Spitfire pilot who trailblazed ‘changing sex’ in the UK; Caroline, who in February 1999 became the first openly transgender officer in the British Armed Forces; and Catherine, who is influencing the current generation, as the trans LGBT+ Freedom Network representative in RAF service today.

14:00-14:30 - Olivette Cole-Wilson: Founding Stonewall – what happened?
Olivette presents a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) perspective testimony taken from the original founders of Stonewall in 1989 on the 30th anniversary of its founding. Who we were, why we did it, how we worked together, what we decided to include / exclude; and what the reactions were of late 1980s BAME lesbians and gays (as it only was, then).

14:40-15:10 - Trudy Howson: LGBT Poet Laureate: An LGBT Life: Then & Now
This presentation is based on Trudy’s poetry and personal experience as a performer and political activist from the 1970s to now. It’s a celebration of the diversity and development of the UK LGBT+ movement, and its struggle for visibility and respect.
This talk explores how our community has overcome adversity, and succeeded in challenging prejudice and legal oppression

15:20-15:30 - Close

Jenny Ardrey