Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month 

We’re celebrating the lives and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community to mark LGBTQ+ History Month this year. 

LGBTQ+ History Month takes place every February and is a celebration to provide education and insight into the issues that the LGBTQ+ community face by highlighting specific histories, important events and milestones, alongside the people that have made change possible. 

This year’s theme is ‘Poetry, Prose and Plays’, and we’re supporting an exciting, informative and celebratory month, aiming to educate out prejudice and make LGBTQ+ people visible in all their rich diversity.

We’re celebrating local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities, and individual contributions to our shared UK’s LGBTQ+ culture.

LGBTQ+ History Month

The event originated in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003 legislation which silenced teachers, preventing them from talking about LGBT issues in schools, and left thousands of young people without the support they so badly needed. 

The main aim is to inform people and teach younger people about the history of the gay and trans rights movements and to promote an inclusive modern society.

In 2017, a study conducted by Stonewall discovered that two in five LGBTQ+ students have never been taught anything about LGBTQ+ issues in lessons.

Councillor Amanda Grimshaw, the council’s lead member for equalities, said:

“LGBTQ+ History Month is an important event to promote tolerance and raise awareness of the prejudices faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“I’m very proud that Brighton & Hove is a welcoming, open city but we can’t be complacent. There is still work to be done.

“I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who ensure that the month is well celebrated by running events from discos, conferences and quizzes to flag flying, theatre and sporting events across Brighton & Hove. 

“These include two fantastic free exhibitions in the main window of Jubilee Library that the LGBTQ+ Workers Forum worked with our library service to stage. We hope to see you there!”

Free exhibitions in Jubilee Library

Fierce Vexillology - 3 to 16 February

Showing the evolution of the Rainbow Flag and other LGBTQ+ flags, highlighting our changing communities. 

Flags hold meanings that people identify with and then those flags become associated with a range of ideas, from inclusions of different sexualities, gender identities and binary rejections, to ideas of deconstructing privilege and recognising all diverse communities in our wide LGBTQ+ world.

No flag stays still, it’s against its very nature. The rainbow flag has undergone at least five major changes over the last 40 years.

Come along and see these beautiful examples of community pride during LGBTQ+ History Month. All our flags have been made by local Queer artisans.

‘The exponent of breath’ Herstory Month portraits - 16 to 29 February

The continued imbalance of gender representation within the arts is an issue all too often ignored. 

For LGBTQ+ History Month 2020, we present portraits of LGBTQ+ people who are conserving, creating and making histories today, and ‘herstories’ are our focus. 

We remind ourselves that without our own writers writing our own stories, we get written out of history completely.  

We've chosen five voices who write themselves back in. All women - all local. They are playwright, writer, biographer, author, performer and theatre-maker, educator, archivist. 

Portraits of five living LGBTQ+ creatives from Sussex are displayed alongside examples of their writing, poetry and plays, giving us opportunity to see the people behind the craft and get scrutinized by the unblinking people who we normally watch.  

Events in Jubilee Library

My Secret Love Quiz – 2pm to 4pm, Sunday 16 February

New Writing South and the LGBTQ+ History Club are hosting a big queer quiz at Jubilee Library to celebrate LGBT History Month. 

Call New Writing South on 01273 735353 or email hello@newwritingsouth.com to register your team. Early booking recommended as tables are limited.

Free to book, but a voluntary contribution toward the fabulous cash prize will be collected at the door.

LGBTQ+ writing workshop – 11am to 1pm, Tuesday 18 February

Free drop-in LGBTQ+ writing workshop with award-winning local writer and playwright Dinos Aristodou. 

We will be using real life stories as inspiration to retell and celebrate queer histories, in our own way. Everyone welcome - no experience is necessary. You won’t be expected to share your writing with the group unless you want to!

For more information, call New Writing South on 01273 735353 or email hello@newwritingsouth.com.

‘Forty Years Out (and counting) Performing the archive’ – 2pm to 3pm, Sunday 1 March

Rose Collis has been an out and proud lesbian writer, performer and activist for over four decades. She has witnessed, participated in and chronicled many key events in LGBT history, especially those affecting and emanating from the lesbian community. 

Join Rose for this entertaining and informative 25-minute illustrated ‘taster’ for the show in Jubilee Library main conference hall. , which was presented for the first time at the ALMS Conference Berlin June 2019 where it was met with great acclaim. It will be followed by a short Q&A session.

The session is free but booking is essential via the eventbrite webpage.

OUTing the Past Festival of LGBTQ+ History at Brighton Museum

Events at Brighton Museum include two fascinating talks, using objects from the collections to highlight LGBTQ+ intersectional experiences.

‘Obscured histories’ at 12 noon on Saturday 22 February looks at small stories hidden behind big narratives, and ‘On the front lines of revolution’ at 12 noon on Sunday 23 February traces the history of LGBTQ+ activism.

Brighton Museum’s Queer the Pier exhibition opens on 22 February. This community curated display peers into local LGBTQ+ history - celebrating the lives of the writers, artists, performers, activists and ordinary people who have made Brighton & Hove so fabulous. It brings their stories to life with film and photography, fashion and drag and oral histories. 

The museum’s Queer Looks exhibition also continues until March.