Speak Out London

Launch of the Speak Out London website:

“Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Speak Out London volunteers assisted by London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) have created a community archive using oral histories and memorabilia to complement and, where necessary, challenge more formal collections held at LMA.

We have done this by collecting oral histories and digitising new and existing collections. This website presents a selection of this newly available material. Our work continues so if you feel that this website is missing something or that you would like to be involved… Speak Out!”

“Campaign for museum of gay history”

Museums Association news item reporting the start of a campaign for a museum of LGBTQ history in London:

“Campaigners for a gay history museum in London have placed pink filing cabinets across the city to raise awareness.

There are a number of permanent exhibitions of gay art and history in other major cities, including the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York, and the Schwules Museum in Berlin. But London doesn’t have a space dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history.

The move for a museum is deemed necessary because despite the huge role that LGBT people have played in the history of London and the UK their stories have often been marginalised.

The pink filing cabinets aim to symbolise the millions of stories involving LGBT Londoners that sit hidden in museum archives. Campaigners want these archival documents to be unearthed and form the base of a museum, which would chronicle London’s battle for equality.

Campaigners are appealing for support to mark next year’s 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which relaxed laws against homosexuality.”


“Manchester Pride’s OUT! website is now live! OUT! is an interactive journey through LGBT histories in Greater Manchester and beyond that offers a timeline, trails and archives of the local area for members of the public, community and researchers. The timeline offers a digital journey through pivotal moments in LGBT histories; the archives section signposts LGBT material in physical and digital archives based both in Manchester and nationally; the trails section is a map that means people can use their smartphone to locate the physical rainbow tiles embedded in Manchester’s pavements which were laid in 2003.” [Thanks to the LGBT Foundation]

“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 libcom.org article says, “A short account of the GLF in the UK which, while we disagree with some of it, contains interesting historical information.”

Commemorating the passing of the 1967 Act

2017 sees the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.

A number of cultural organisations is organising events, including:

The People’s History Museum: “Never Going Underground: the fight for LGBT+ rights” 25 Feb-3 Sep 2017: – “This unique exhibition is curated by members of the local LGBT+ community.  It details the development of an LGBT+ movement, showing the internal and external struggles, the different party political approaches to the social and historical context of the last sixty years of activism.  This is the complex and compelling story of a long and often bumpy journey.”

Arcola Queer Collective/Unfinished Histories: “To mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, Arcola Queer Collective is staging Queer Plays Then and Now, a series of extracts from key plays of the period, together with a new play written in response to them by Damien Hughes …

The event will include extracts from unpublished in the Unfinished Histories archive and Rose Bruford College Special Collections , as well as published work …”