Celebrating LGBT history

Celebrating LGBT history

April Ashley
April Ashley, one of the first people in the world to have gender reassignment surgery
It’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) History Month and Manchester is holding the first ever national festival focused on the history and legacy of these communities.

The history of LGBT people, the challenges they’ve faced and their contribution to the country’s cultural makeup is often undocumented and some stories have never been told before.

Now theatre performances, lectures, tours and workshops will be hosted at venues across the city during the pioneering five day event to give LGBT heritage a fantastic platform.

To celebrate the festival and its North West base, here’s a look at some amazing projects in the region, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.

[quote=Sara Hilton, Head of HLF North West]This festival will help open up and record these important stories and help people understand the contribution LGBT people have made to the UK's heritage and cultural make-up[/quote]

Discover a lost language…

If you've been for a bevvy, or sent up some old cove for being naff, you've been speaking Polari, the lost language of gay subculture. Initiative Arts in Manchester is creating an art exhibition and lasting memory of the endangered language!

Hear the inspirational story of April Ashley…

Liverpool-born April Ashley was one of the first people in the world to have gender reassignment surgery. She is a main focus of the Museum of Liverpool’s major Homotopia exhibition which looked at the social and legal changes affecting LGBT people over the past 70 years.

Explore LGBT life in Manchester and Burnley…

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation are exploring LGBT heritage with a particular focus on Greater Manchester. An online timeline was created featuring key dates and figures from the last century such as Section 28 Legislation and Alan Turing.

Memories and stories from Burnley’s LGBT community were collected and celebrated by the Lancashire LGBT Centre in the run up to the town’s first Pride event.

The National Festival of LGBT History will be held in Manchester from 9-15 February. Find out more on the LGBT History Festival website.

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