10 new things to try in York for LGBT History Month

12 Feb 2015 @ 12.06 pm
| Entertainment

February is LGBT History Month, and there are 30 different events taking place around York – that’s 30 chances to celebrate our diverse history, and maybe learn something too! Kit Heyam picks out 10 things to get really excited about…

1. See new work by a local artist


Quad South Foyer, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, YO31 7EX

Thu Feb 12 @ 6pm-8.30pm (opening night); exhibition on till Fri Feb 27 @ 9am-6pm


Nathan Chenery website

York’s very own Nathan Chenery has produced a new exhibition, Queerness Is Forming, coinciding with LGBT History Month.

His work explores ideas of queer art, horizons and borders, and queer identities – and you can see it for free! The exhibition is open until February 27, and anyone is welcome to attend the opening night.

2. Commemorate York’s LGBT history

[envira-gallery id=”64069″]

Click to see the full image

Quaker Meeting House, Friargate, YO1 9RL

Sat Feb 28 @ 1pm-4pm


York’s Alternative History

Do you have a story to tell? There are over 70 blue plaques around York commemorating famous people or events – and to celebrate LGBT History Month, York’s Alternative History are inviting people to create temporary rainbow plaques, marking places of personal significance and political importance.

Pop along to customise a removable cardboard plaque, or email [email protected] to have yours printed in advance.

3. See an international LGBT film

Room V/045, Vanbrugh College, University of York


the York LGBT History Month programme (PDF)

More from [email protected]

The Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York have organised a series of international films that explore LGBT stories.

Films include Purple Sea, a 2009 Italian love story, and from France Bambi, a documentary by Sébastien Lifshitz chronicling the extraordinary life of a music hall, from her childhood in Algeria as a boy named Jean-Pierre to her Parisian cabaret career and her 25 years as a school teacher.

All are free and open to everyone.

4. Learn about gender and sexuality in WWI


York Castle Museum

Sat Feb 21 @ 2pm-3pm

Free (with a York Card)

Email [email protected] for more info

With the World War One centenary in everybody’s minds, the identities of the men who fought and died can still be forgotten.

Philip Newton, assistant curator at York Castle Museum (and assistant coordinator at York LGBT History Month), will give a talk exploring the effects of the war on soldiers’ ideas of sex and identity.

No booking is required, and entry to the Castle Museum is free with a York Card – so why not make a day of it and see their exhibitions too?

5. Celebrate LGBT icons

Photograph © Aaron Muszalski on Flickr

De Grey Lecture Theatre (DG/017), York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, YO31 7EX

Thu Feb 19 @ 6pm-9pm


Book tickets here

Who’s your LGBT hero? A York St John University panel will present their Idols And Icons of LGBT history – join them to celebrate, and maybe discover some new heroes of your own…

6. Discover hidden stories


University of York, BSB008 (Berrick Saul Building)

Wed Feb 18 @ 6pm

More info: [email protected]

If you’ve ever visited the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall or the Richard III and Henry VII museums, you’ll know that York has a fantastically rich early modern heritage – but how do LGBT people fit in?

Kit Heyam, a PhD student at the University of Leeds and one of York LGBT History Month’s assistant coordinators, will explore some of the answers to that question in a talk entitled Love Between Men In Early Modern England.

7. Hear award-winning performance poets

The Basement, City Screen, 13-17 Coney Street, YO1 9QL

Thu Feb 26 @ 7.30pm

£5 on the door

The Basement event

York LGBT History Month 2015 will close with Do Us Proud, an evening of original spoken word and performance poetry from seven LGBT performers and one “token” straight cisgender poet.

Featuring AJ McKenna, Carol Robson, Dominic Berry, Jaime Bolzern, Mandy Maxwell and Rose Drew.

8. Experience new drama


Quad South Hall (QS/030), York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, YO31 7EX

Sat Feb 21 @ 7pm


More info & tickets

A new play from HLGBT Performing Arts York dramatises the life and times of Anne Lister, Yorkshire landowner and lesbian.

The evening also includes a short talk by Anne’s biographer, Helena Whitbread – so you can enjoy a night at the theatre and learn something new.

9. Be inspired


Fountains Lecture Theatre (FT/002), York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, YO31 7EX

Thu Feb 26 @ 6pm-7.30pm


More info

Need some motivation to get through the dull February days? Rikki Arundel, transgender woman and one of the UK’s leading inspirational speakers, will deliver a talk on LGBT history as part of the Go York lecture series. For more information about Rikki and her career (inspirational enough in itself!) see the York LGBT History Month programme.

10. Uncover the history of gendered fashion


The Basement, City Screen, 13-17 Coney Street, YO1 9QL

Thu Feb 12 @ 7.30pm

£6 on the door

The Basement events page

Learn about and celebrate trans identity at T Is For Trans – an evening featuring a short film about gender identity made by local transgender folk, guest speakers and live music.

The main performance, Who’s Wearing The Trousers?, will see Lucy Adlington from The History Wardrobe explore the history of fashion and gender using her vintage clothes collection.