Wednesday, 8 January 2014

I'm Going! Are You..? - LGBT History Month 2014

[photo: Polari magazine]

LGBT History Month is in its 9th year and occurs throughout the UK each February. This year’s theme is Music.

Although I am no longer co-Chair of Islington Council's LGBT staff forum, I have been, and remain, heavily involved in the planning of the History Month celebrations across the two boroughs of Camden and Islington. Once again, it would seem that the sterling efforts of Camden LGBT Forum - who actually do the donkey-work of getting events sorted out - has produced the largest programme of events in the UK, for the second year running!

From big movers (Arsenal, British Museum, University College London, London Metropolitan University, the NHS) to small and bold shakers (local businesses, schools, theatres, museums, libraries and community groups) the programme has at least one event on every day of February - around 50 confirmed so far, and more events to be announced even at this late stage.

Among the highlights are:
  • Sochi 2014, a pioneering new play chronicling the lives of LGBT Russians living under the country's anti-gay laws - reviewed in The Independent;
  • An exhibition and related events for the newly acquired collage Untitled no.2 by Joe Orton's lover (and murderer) Kenneth Halliwell in Islington Museum;
  • Professor Bryce Morrison of the Royal Academy of Music, and contributor the The Times and Gramophone Magazine, presenting a queer music-themed lecture on the art of being a music critic;
  • A Desert Island Discs-style "your choice in music" event, to which I have been asked to contribute, at the world-famous Camden Roundhouse.
  • The annual Loudest Whispers LGBT Arts Exhibition at St Pancras Hospital;
  • Films about Benjamin Britten, Weimar Berlin, lesbian divas of the Blues era, the history of alt-queer Club Wotever (and possibly one about a certain "Angry Incher"...);
  • Evenings with Neil McKenna, Maisie Trollette, Jonathan Kemp, Roz Kaveney, Matt Cook, Christopher Fowler, Dave Lynn and the cast of Once - The Musical (not all on the same stage!);
  • Events themed around Burlesque, poetry, Pirate Radio, Derek Jarman, choral singing, sport, sex workers, Ancient Egypt and the classical world, science, Magnus Hirschfield, Bollywood glitz, comedy, painting, Tchaikovsky...and Xena the Warrior Princess(!); and
  • The Closing Night Extravaganza Ball (always a joy!)
And to launch this magnificent programme of events, I am proud to showcase the video we have commissioned - I'm Going! [NB this is the full version with "out-takes" - the short, snappy version is on the Camden LGBT Forum website]:

Produced by the fabulously-titled Three Flying Piglets video production company, I'm Going features friends, volunteers and associates of Camden LGBT Forum, the legendary Al Pillay, drag queen Earl Grey, local LGBT entrepreneurs and the Mayors of both Camden and Islington councils. Jimmy Somerville gave his personal permission for the Felix Gauder remix of his Small Wonder to be used (there is a rumour he may be encouraged to make a rare personal appearance at the Ball) - and in all I think it is rather splendid! [NB check the credits for a name-check pour moi.]

Spread the word! -

Full listings for Camden and Islington LGBT History Month 2014 are available (and will be updated regularly) on the Camden LGBT Forum website - and of course I will be providing regular updates here before and during the month (even if we are away in Spain for the first week, and probably not back in London straight afterwards, I am already planning to attend a good few events).

LGBT History Month official website


  1. The out-takes are better than the snappy 2 minute version x

    1. I admit I do prefer it myself... Jx

  2. Bit worried about the competence of the clergy, given that he can't spell "sin"? We're gong to the Extravaganza on the 28th. Is there going to be a theme?

    1. "Father Jack" is a bit dyslexic...

      Not sure about a specific theme for the Ball/Extravaganza, but one might assume the it will be "musical". I might go as Tchaikovsky, Liza Minnelli in Cabaret, or perhaps Ethel Merman. Jx


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