FEBRUARY is LGBT History Month in the UK – marked every year in the UK since 2004 to remember and celebrate the lives and achievements of LGBT people past and present.
It was set up by Sue Sanders, founder of Schools Out, a group for LGBT teachers since 1974.
LGBT History Month is a wonderful opportunity to explore the lives of people who have come before us, those who have made an impact on the way that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people can live their lives today.
Each year LGBT History Month has a theme – The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Coded Lives’, featuring people from history who have lived ‘coded lives’ – i.e. hidden their true identities in various ways: diaries, slang, artwork and clothing.
- Lesbian – Anne Lister, a diarist from the 1700’s who wrote in code to record her intimate feelings for other women
- Gay – Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick, actors who performed on BBC Radio in Polari, the language used by gay men to communicate with each other to avoid detection when their relationships were criminalised
- Bisexual – Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who portrayed her ‘otherness’ in striking self-portraits
- Trans – Chevalier d’Eon, a diplomat who lived publicly as a man and a woman
My contribution to the campaign was to find new ways to share stories I have previously posted on this blog.
TODAY is the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp in Poland where around 1.5 million people died because they were different.
In September 2009, I accompanied ten young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from Merseyside on a five-day cultural exchange trip to Auschwitz and Warsaw working with a group of young Polish LGBT people from the Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH).
The exchange enabled the group to understand the Holocaust and the fate of many LGBT people at that time, its impact on European and LGBT social history, as well as challenging past and present issues around hate crime. Continue reading
2014 was a big year for marriage equality in the UK.
Same-sex marriage is now possible in the United Kingdom, with the exception of Northern Ireland. As marriage law is devolved to the governments of each country in the Union, the status of same-sex marriage is different in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Continue reading
At a carol service last Sunday, hosted by Open Table, an LGBT Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share:
The most powerful place from which to renew the face of the earth is the bottom of the heap. Continue reading
Wednesday, Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day.
In celebration, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is launching Speak OUT: 5 ways to fight back against homophobia and transphobia. Watch and share the video with your friends and family. Continue reading
Do you think Jesus would support or oppose renationalising the railways, so they are run in the public sector rather than by private companies?
It’s unlikely Jesus would have held a view, given that public transport had not been invented. But as one wag pointed out on Twitter: ‘He arrived by Virgin‘!
L-R: Rabbi Ariel Friedlander, Rose Neelam, Jane Czyselska, Peter Tatchell and Vicky Beeching
Tonight in Liverpool, Diva magazine editor Jane Czyselska chaired a debate between veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Christian commentator and musician Vicky Beeching, Rose Neelam, a muslim and Project Director of Safra, and lesbian Rabbi Ariel Friedlander, as part of the annual Homotopia LGBT arts festival.
Read Peter Tatchell: My journey to Humanism
Read The Independent article about Vicky Beeching coming out here
Read Rose Neelam’s biography from UK Black Pride here
Listen to Rabbi Ariel Friedlander here
Watch the event here (some sound interference from mobile devices):
Cartoon by Christian Adams from catholicherald.co.uk
Early in the morning of Sunday 19th October I received a text message from the lay reader at our Anglican parish church, who was away for the weekend.
This was unusual – what could be so urgent that she would text so early in the morning while she was on holiday?
The text read:
‘Dear K & W. We want you both to know that we are thinking of you especially after the outcome of the Catholic Synod. I can only imagine your feelings. With our love, H & M xx’