On Saturday 25th Feb, the Museum of Liverpool based on the waterfront in Liverpool held the 3rd Annual Festival of LGBT History.
Highlights include a range of short talks exploring the diverse history of LGBT history, culture and activism. Many with a Liverpool theme. Speakers on the day include:-
Matt Exley and Lynn Wray – NML – Our Pride and Prejudice Project. Matt is a NML researcher and dicovered objects with LGBT significance to research and publish to tell the story of Liverpool LGBT History. Lynn Wray is also a research with NML and is working on the fine art and decorative art strand of LGBT art and artists. Lynn is currently in her final stages of her PhD at LJMU.
Paul Amann – Kop Outs – YNWA. Paul is the founder of Kop Outs the LGBT section of Liverpool Football Clubs supporters. Paul spoke about homophobic issues with the game and was proud in pushing LFC to become the first football team to march at Pride. Paul has a long history of activism and has held several roles within the LGBT community.
Val Stevenson – Antiquated legalities:- the International Times proesecution – 1969. Val is head of Academic Services at LJMU. Part of Val’s roles involves managing the Special Collections and Archives in the Aldham Roberts Library. This collection holds the special, rare and valuable documents in a special climate controlled area.
Caroline Paige – True Colours:- trailblazing transgender service in the military. Caroline joined the RAF in 1999 and became the first officer to transition gender in the British Armed Forces. She had served 19 years on fighter aircraft and helicopters. Following her transition she completed another 16 years. The military still barred LGBT service but gained support from her superiors to remain in the service, depsite some people not being happy with it. She went to win awards in Iraq and Afghanistan to prove transgender service personnel were just as important as everyone else.
Meryl Cuzak and Chris Porter – Queer in the Head Chris originally from Belfast were LGBT equality is still in its early stages. He works for the YPAS (Young Persons Advisory Service) as their LGBT team lead. He works with young people and offers support and advice. Meryl works as an Equality and Human Rights lead for Mersey Care NHS Foundation. She began her career in mental health as a nurse and then in learning difficulties. Activism began in the mid 80s. She became active in Unison as a North West Rep on the LGBT Committee.
Tim Brunsden and Helena Smart – Rewind Fast Forward :- Sandi Hughes History of the Liverpool Scene. (1975-2005). Tim is a film and video maker with a community focus and outside culture. He is an associated artist at Duckie and lead in the digital output for Homotopia is Liverpool. He is currently working with Sandi Hughes on the HLF funded archive project Rewind Fast Forward. Helena is the Archivist at Liverpool Records Office and has responsibility for managing the archives and collections. She has identified gaps in the LRO’s holdings especially the LGBT Communities who have a minimal voice in the collection. She has strengthened this collection and worked alongside organisations such as Re-Dock, Sahir House and Homotopia.
Jeff Evans – Liverpool’s growing police priority. Dr Evans worked as joiner, teacher and is a historian by profession. He has just finished the first sampled longitudinal investigation and enumeration of the impact of the laws criminalizing inter male sex with the boundary of medieval Lancashire 1850-1970. It took Jeff 6 years to finish to complete of which he says “enjoyed every minute of it”. One of his current projects is of the “pioneering” role of Liverpool Police, from the late 19th century in policing the well known meeting places where men met for anonymous consensual sex, whilst neighboring and other police forces done nothing or little to arrest such victimless “crime”. Jeff holds degress from 3 local universities.
Kate Hutchinson – Blurring The Lines. Rock music had long been a voice for minority groups, this includes the trans and gender variant community. From lyrics in songs from Lou Reed and The Kinks, to blurring gender stereotypes in image (Bowie, New York Dolls etc) through to trans pioneers such as Jayne County from the punk era to Laura Jane Grace today. Kate is CEO at Wipe Out Transphobia. Here she provides training and support for several organisations including, Barnado’s Cymru, Welsh Women’s Aid and the NHS. She is a trustee of the LGBT Welsh Charity Unity Group Wales. She has recently joined the committee of the LGBT education charity Schools OUT. She is aslo a Stonewall Cymru Associate. Kate is a passionate rock musician and performs with 2 bands.
For photo’s of some of the speakers, please visit the link below, and also for the video of the Liverpool LGBT Choir closing the day out, see the You Tube link below also.