“The LGBTQ+ Network was formed out of the need for a group to represent all UK LGBTQ+ Library Knowledge & Information workers, as there hasn’t been a formal organisation focused on this since around 2000. The Network, which is a CILIP supported group rather than a Member Network, will create a community which can work with CILIP to include the specific development needs and the perspective of LGBTQ+ Library Knowledge & Information workers; and aims to provide guidance, support, and a safe space to share knowledge and experiences for library, information and knowledge workers who identify as LGBTQ+. The LGBTQ+ Network, which will belong to its members, is free to join and open to all library, information and knowledge workers who identify as LGBTQ+, both CILIP members and non-members.”

Further info and how to join on CILIP website.

“10 ways to step up as an ally to non-binary people”

After some basic definitions (such as what non-binary refers to), this very useful posting suggests 10 ways to support non-binary people, eg:

“There are many ways to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of their gender identity. Our language and the way we speak is often embedded with hidden gendered cues.

Once we start to notice them, we can move towards using language that’s inclusive for all. Here are 10 tips you can start using right away!

  1. Introduce yourself with your name and pronoun. Stating your pronouns reminds people that it might not always be immediately obvious what pronoun someone uses
  2. Put your pronouns in your email signature or social media profile […]”



LGBT History Month

One of the important contributions by the cultural sector is its role in celebrating and contributing to LGBT History Month.

However, as they are primarily events, a permanent record often doesn’t exist. Following a course in the summer of 2016, I was asked for examples of the sorts of events and activities that the cultural sector has been involved in – and it seemed a good idea to record some of these here. This is very much a work-in-progress …

Liz Chapman and I co-wrote a blogpost for CILIP, that outlines how to prepare for LGBT History Month.


Camden & Islington celebrated 2016 LGBT History Month with a range of activities, including exhibitions.

The London School of Economics Library organised an exhibition (with related events) in 2017: “LSE Library’s spring exhibition ‘Glad to be gay: thestruggle for legal equality’ is now open. It draws on the unique Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Women’s Library collection to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal piece of legislation: the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.”

Events – organised by the cultural sector

Brighton & Hove Library Service: LGBT History Month 2016 activities included talks, an exhibition, films and a family day.

British Museum: for 2016, the BM organised one of its late evening openings for “Love throughout history”. For 2017, the BM organised a number of activities, as well as a special event, “Exploring LGBT histories at the British Museum” (3464_1125_lgbthm_programme_19_feb_310117).

Croydon Council organised a range of activities for 2016, including talks, exhibitions, films, a comedy evening, and a conference. 

LSE Spectrum (the London School of Economics LGBT+ staff network) organised in Feb 2017 “The 1976 Act and Beyond: A Tale of North and South”. In this, “Peter Scott-Presland will be giving a talk to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of sex between men and launch the Opening Doors London “ODL50” programme. Peter is author of Amiable Warriors, Volume 1: A Space to Breathe, the story of the gay pioneers who founded the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, 1954-1973”.

National Museum Cardiff: for 2016, the Museum organised a family art activity, entertainment from the Museum Choir, and had a range of stalls.

National Museums Liverpool: in 2015, the Museum highlighted some of its exhibitions, including  “April Ashley: portrait of a lady”

Royal Museums Greenwich organised a series of events, including a talk on queer history in the navy.

Surrey History Centre:

Thurs 23 February 2017, 18.30-21.00 – “A Cup of LGBT History”

“Join Surrey Heritage and Outline, Surrey’s LGBT support charity, for a cup of LGBT history to celebrate LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) History Month.

As well as free coffee and cake there will be LGBT themed talks from Professor Peter Hegarty (University of Surrey), Surrey Heritage and Outline, and a behind the scenes tour of Surrey History Centre.

We will also be joined by a host of Surrey community organisations with information displays and stands.

Free, no booking required, all welcome with refreshments throughout the evening.” a-cup-of-lgbt-history-poster


Saturday 6 February 2015, 10am-12.30pm Drop-in LGBT coffee morning at Surrey History Centre with Outline.

LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans) History Month takes place every year in February and celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. Come and meet members of Outline, Surrey’s LGBT support organisation. Help us put LGBT History on the map in Surrey with the Historic England ‘Pride of Place’ mapping project. Enjoy coffee and cake and a behind the scenes tour (11.00am) of Surrey History Centre. Free. No booking required. All welcome!

V&A organised in Feb 2017 “A history of gay and lesbian cinema in 10 films” in which: “Richard Dyer explores the representation of lesbian and gay sexualities on screen. From early cinematic offerings to contemporary Hollywood blockbusters, these 10 key films celebrate touching encounters and the struggle for freedom and equality.”

Events – taking part as a partner in wider events

In 2017, the cultural sector took place in a range of activities for LGBT History Month – these are included in the poster (nat-festival-poster-2017-print) and calendar (festival-hub-calendar-17).

Norfolk: the Millennium Library has been used as one of a number of Norwich venues for LGBT History Month activities, for example in 2013.

Promotion via the web

Leeds Beckett University Library pulls together links to library and other resources, music, as well as listing LGBTQ-related research outputs.


For LGBT History Month 2017, the Proud Trust teamed up with The People’s History Museum to produce a free LGBT History Month Pack on the theme of ‘Citizenship, PSHE and Law’. “This easy-to-use, three-lesson pack will guide you and your students through an exploration of LGBT history and changes to law in the UK,  as well as having a look at the situation for LGBT people across Europe. The pack will also get young people thinking about what changes still need to happen and about the types of things they can do to raise awareness of this.”

 Other activities

In Feb 2016, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales flew the Rainbow Flag for the first time:



Other LGBTQ+ events organised by the cultural sector

In autumn 2016, The National Archives organised “Queer and the State: the targeting and surveillance of LGBTQ+ spaces”:

“The National Archives and London Metropolitan Archives are teaming up with professional set designer Dave Benson to recreate ‘London’s Greatest Bohemian Rendezvous’ – the Caravan Club. With an exciting array of performances, you will get to experience the thrill and atmosphere of the 1930s, and learn about the underground venues that played host to Britain’s LGBTQ+ communities in the early 20th century.

In addition to this amazing experience, you will also have the chance to delve into an astonishing collection of archival documents which explore the historical state targeting and surveillance of LGBTQ+ spaces. Records include illicit love letters, undercover police reports and newly released oral testimony.

You will also get to hear from and be part of the discussion with a variety of fascinating speakers who will look at not only the cultural importance of LGBTQ+ venues – but also the enduring resilience of a community under siege from discrimination.”

Leaflet available: queer-and-the-state-event-flyer.

Also in autumn 2016, London Metropolitan Archives organised “Being Human Festival”:

“”The theme of the festival is Hope and Fear. Join us in debates around queer spaces and the surveillance of the queer community historically. Use archival material to highlight contemporary discussions around the threat to LGBT venues. There will be document discussion time, to allow you to reflect, question, participate, and feed into a final creative outcome. This event is aimed at young people aged 16-25.”

“A brief history of the Gay Liberation Front, 1970-73”

Thanks to a recent post by Peter Tatchell on his Foundation website for alerting me to this piece of history. As Peter says:

“On 13 October 1970, the Gay Liberation Front was founded in Britain. It proved to be a defining, watershed moment in UK queer history; changing forever lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) consciousness.”

In the email alert from Peter, there is a link to the article, “A brief history of the Gay Liberation Front, 1970-1973”. As the article says, “A short account of the GLF in the UK which, while we disagree with some of it, contains interesting historical information.”

Review in “Museums Journal”

Review by Tim Redfern in Museums Journal Jan 2016, p56:

“Vincent eloquently provides a social background and context to the process of organising working groups. The fact that he covers the period from the 1950s onwards makes the narrative all the more compelling. What is also striking about the book is that it feels like it won’t go out of date, which is refreshing when you are looking at policy and practice …

The book gives a rich chronology of key events and movements, supplemented with hard facts; social context precedes key examples, followed by what was learned. It concludes with a list of useful appendices, including hot topics and issues around queer terminology as well as recent events.” [Excerpt]

“Preparing for LGBT History Month – our top tips”

Blogpost by Liz Chapman and John Vincent:

LGBT History Month – which is celebrated in February in the UK – is almost upon us! If you haven’t planned anything yet, it’s not too late to pull something together! Here are our top tips, based on Liz’s PhD research and John’s experience as a trainer and writer on diversity in libraries, as well as our personal experiences as queer library users. We’ve also included some longer-term ideas so that you can plan for next year, as well as for other queer-themed events and milestones that you can celebrate in the library. These might include Pride (usually held in the summer) and the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised (male) homosexuality.” [Excerpt]