The Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, a key site in LGBTQ+ liberation, during Pride celebrations in 2016

LGBTQ+ History Month: best events in London

LGBTQ+ History Month takes place every year in February and events will be held across London to celebrate the lives of LGBTQ+ figures and combat the prejudice faced by the community.

2024 is no exception and there are a whole host of ways to get involved between now and March, whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or just want to stand in support with those who do. 

We’ve compiled some of the most exciting queer events happening in the capital and how to take part.

What is LGBTQ+ History Month?

LGBTQ+ History Month was founded in 1994 by a US high-school teacher named Rodney Wilson and made its way to the UK in 2005.

Most countries that observe LGBTQ+ History Month do so in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day.

However, in the UK, it is celebrated in February to overlap with the abolition of Section 28 in 2003 (which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in the UK by local authorities). 

The British version of LGBTQ+ History Month is based on three taglines that lay out its aims: “Claiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future.”

It is hoped that by implementing these aims, the visibility of LGBTQ+ identities in the public eye will increase and that as people are educated on the experiences of the community, the stigma and prejudice surrounding it will be removed. 

While many of these goals overlap with Pride month, which happens in June, LGBTQ+ History month has a special focus on highlighting the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals from the past. 

LGBTQ+History Month Badge: This theme for this year is ‘Medicine- Under the Scope’, which examines the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and the medical sciences. (Credit: Schools Out)

Each year has a unique theme, with this year’s being ‘Medicine – Under the Scope’ meaning there will be a special focus on the history of the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and the medical sciences.

This is both in the form of medical advances made by LGBTQ+ people but also includes a reflection on the ways in which the community has been let down by medical practitioners in the past, for example during the AIDS crisis. 

How can I get involved? 

Queer Collision – Friday 16- Saturday 17

Happening across two nights at The Place theatre in Camden, this multi-art production aims to tell a series of “private and historical queer stories that are both funny and poignant” while weaving in social history.

The entire event has been designed with accessibility in mind, as audio description is embedded in the show and pre-show performances while British Sign Language interpretation will be available on Saturday 16th. 

Get tickets here:

OUT OF FRAME: LGBTQI+ TOUR- Saturday 17 & Tuesday 27th 

Making use of the entire depth of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, this tour is hosted by Sacha Coward, an exhibition curator with over a decade of experience.

Visitors will “discover stories about androgyny, cross-dressing, Kings that were queens and saucy saints.”

Get tickets here:

HOMO HUMOUR – Monday 19

Make your way to Putney Library for an evening of specially selected LGBTQ+ short films that highlight how comedy can be used to subvert stereotypes and express queer identities on screen. 

From an absurdist black comedy about a man accepting his sexual identity with the aid of a talking fish to rhythmic poetry about being given an STI, the event will cover all facets of the LGBTQ+ experience.

Get tickets here: This event is FREE

National Student Pride – Friday 23 – Sunday 25 

The University of Westminster’s Marbylebone campus will play host to this year’s National Student Pride an event “made by students, for students; to connect, learn, and celebrate LGBTQIA+ identity and belonging.”

Attendees can choose to make it an entire weekend of festivities, with a welcome party on Friday and Sunday brunch featuring drag and burlesque performers.

However, even those who don’t want to pay for these extras can make the most of the Saturday daytime festival, which will feature celebrity interviews, LGBTQ+ research presentations and tonnes of live music.

Get tickets here:

Queer Revelations by Candlelight – Tuesday 27 

Ms Timberlina markets themself as the “the world’s number one environmentally-friendly bearded drag lady” and they’ll be the perfect guide to take you through the collection at Sir John Soane’s Museum in Holborn.

The tour will uncover some of the hidden LGBTQ+ stories that might otherwise have been lost to history, including figures like Sappho and Emperor Hadrian. 

Get tickets here:

Feature image courtesy of Rhododendrites under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

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