On 8 November the Museum of Liverpool had the honour of hosting the national launch of LGBT History Month which will take place in February 2018. The theme for the month long celebration is Geography: Mapping the World and with fabulous views across the River Mersey and Liverpool’s south docks the location was perfect.
The event started with a teacher’s seminar, led by Professor Sue Sanders from Schools OUT UK and LGBT History Month and was a chance for local teachers to explore how they can address LGBT+ issues, stories, and history better in schools. It was also a chance for us at the Museum of Liverpool to showcase our LGBT+ resources and to launch our new LGBT+ awareness session on language and law for Key Stage 3+ groups.
Speakers included representatives from National Museums Liverpool, Homotopia, Liverpool Pride, GYRO, Writing on the Wall, Schools OUT UK and special messages from Daniel Carden MP and Justine Greening MP, the Minister for Education and Equalities.
We heard Aderonke Apata tell her inspiring story as an LGBT+ person who came to the UK seeking asylum, as she faced imprisonment and death in Nigeria simply for being who she was. Her powerful story reminded us of the inequalities faced by LGBT people worldwide and the continuing injustices faced by those seeking safety and refuge in the UK for being LGBT+.
Also speaking about her personal story was Caroline Paige, the first officer to transition whilst in the British Armed Forces. Caroline spoke about the inequalities of trans people barred from serving in the military worldwide, including countries close to home. Shockingly less than a quarter of European countries allow trans people to serve in their armed forces.
We were treated to a fabulous performance from the young people of GYRO (Gay Youth R’Out), the oldest LGBT+ youth group in the country. The young people performed a song they had written themselves called Teach the Teacher about training, equal rights and the fight against injustice.
The final speaker of the evening was Angela Eagle MP, a patron of LGBT History Month and Member of Parliament for Wallasey. Angela spoke about her experiences being a lesbian woman in Parliament and warned us to defend the rights LGBT+ people in the UK have fought so hard to gain.
The evening was a fabulous success, celebrated by more than 150 people. The event was a great way for the museum to develop its partnership with Schools OUT UK and LGBT History Month and has got us really excited to be the venue kicking off the OUTing the Past national LGBT history festival with a hub day which we’ll be celebrating on 3 February 2018 with a range of talks and performances focussing on LGBT+ histories. Make sure you put the date in your diary and we’ll really look forward to seeing you!
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