Hosted in partnership with SHOUT Festival as part of OUTING THE PAST (the National LGBT History Festival), this national project curates a programme of speakers on their histories and stories as LGBT+ people.

Set in the context of the stunning exhibition Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity, Outing the Past (The National LGBT History Festival) presents a rare opportunity to learn more about LGBT History from the people who lived it. Join us for an afternoon of talks and presentations with perspectives from across the UK.

Outing the Past Programme

11am - A Free tour of BMAG's exhibition 'Coming Out'

12:15pm – Welcome and Introduction to the day’s programme

12:30pm - Warwickshire’s Hidden LGBT+ History (Daniel Browne) 

Discover Warwickshire's hidden LGBT+ history with Daniel Browne. Featuring scandal, drama, sequins and sketches, this talk unlocks a vast history that until recently had been buried. Daniel Browne is the founder and Chair of Trustees at Warwickshire Pride. For the past five years, he has been working on uncovering Warwickshire's LGBT+ history alongside the Proud Youth group.

1:15pm - How Arena 3 Saved My Life: Lesbian Networking Before The Internet (Jane Traies)

In these days of Diva, dating sites and meet-ups, it’s easy to forget that as recently fifty years ago, simply finding each other was a real challenge for lesbians. The arrival of the very first lesbian newsletter, Arena Three, in 1964 was a quiet revolution. This presentation foregrounds the oral testimonies of older lesbians whose lives were changed by this new contact with other women like themselves. (Untold stories/ hidden histories). Jane has been recording the experiences of the oldest generations of lesbians in the UK for several years now. Some of these stories feature in her book The Lives of Older Lesbians: Sexuality, Identity and the Life Course (2016).

2pm - Mapping Lost LGBT+ Spaces (Matt Exley)

This talk charts how ‘lost’ LGBT+ spaces can be better understood, placed in historical context and remembered. The untold story of the LGBT+ scene in Liverpool is contextualised for the first time.

2:45pm - Being Transgender in the Early to Mid 1970s (Carol Steele) 

This presentation explores the beginnings of the fight for recognition of the rights of transgender people in the UK, as small community organisations started to form and proliferate back in the early 1970's and the start of recognition (and inclusion) of the T by the LGB community. Carol Steele is a trans woman who started (in conjunction with another trans woman) one of the first community groups which included transsexual people in the UK - in late 1973.

3:30pm - We Have Rather Been Invaded: 30 Years Since Section 28 (Ed Webb-Ingall)

Talk and documentary screening. Marking the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Section 28, Ed Webb-Ingall will introduce his new documentary film 'We Have Rather Been Invaded: 30 Years Since Section 28. The film reflects on the legacy of Section 28 and particularly reflects on the role of lesbians and people of colour as activists in relation to section 28.

Throughout the day free spotlight tours of the exhibition ‘Coming Out’ will also be available. Be inspired by real histories in a relaxed atmosphere of art, learning from others and sharing some of the nation’s most powerful and provocative artworks by internationally renowned artists from the Arts Council Collection.

Free event but booking is strongly advised as the capacity is limited.

Image: courtesy of Adam Carver.