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Lesbian Line by/copyright Pam Isherwood - www.pamisherwood.co.uk
 

NEWS – ARCHIVED NEWS STORIES FROM 2005 and 2006

(Please bear in mind that events mentioned on these pages will have taken place and that contact details may be out of date)

Click here to read news items about LGBT History Month developments and events for the first half of 2007.
Click here to read national and international LGBT community news items for the first half of 2007.

1/3/06 First openly gay footballer will make history

More here (external link)

1/3/06 LGBT Month in Huddersfield

More here (external link)

27/2/06 Hammersmith Town Hall flies the flag for History Month!

More here (external site)

23/2/06 Pride Rapist Jailed (from Gay.com)

A man who raped a lesbian at London’s Pride celebrations in 2000 has been jailed for life.

Dominic Mailat, 42, raped the Spanish tourist after meeting her in a bar and talking about the Pride celebrations.

After she told him she could not get a ticket, he posed as gay and offered to drive her to the North London park where the event was being held.

He then took her to a squat and raped her, the court heard.

He beat her with an iron bar and held his hands around her neck whilst raping her in a terrifying ordeal that left the woman traumatised.

During the trial it emerged that Mailat had been on the run from a prison term for rape in his native Romania. He had subsequently been in the UK illegally and fled after the rape.

He was found last year in Germany, where he was imprisoned for travelling on a train without a ticket.

He pleaded guilty to rape in London, with prosecutors warning that he was an “extremely violent man”.

22/2/06 Open letter to Jacqui Smith from Paul Patrick

What are you doing about homophobia in schools? More >>

16/02/06 Research Project into Hidden Histories of Gay/Lesbian Liverpool

This is part of wider research into the gay and lesbian history of Liverpool. We are aiming to collect oral and written history of Liverpool lesbian/gay/bi/trans communites. We are also keen to hear stories and memories of people who have left the city. Contact LOUISE MUDDLE or GARY EVERETT info@homotopia.org www.homotopia.net

13/02/06 Milton Keynes Schools sign up for LGBT History Month

http://www.seriousaboutnews.com/mk/page.html?pageID=47&storyID=37940 (external link)

13/2/06 BBC Kent reports on LGBT History Month

BBC Kent has information on LGBT History Month on their website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/content/articles/2006/02/10/gay_lesbian_history_month_feature.shtml (external link)

8/2/06 Lesbian wins TUC's highest honour

LGBT History Month is proud to honour the work of Lesley Mansell, a woman making history. More here

6/2/06 Corretta Scott King dies at 78

Coretta King, widow of martin Luther King and his co-worker in the civil rights movement was also active in the fight for LGBT equality, though some members of the black civil rights movement would rather forget that. More here (external link)

6/2/06 Luton Borough Council marks LGBT History Month

See their website here (external link)

6/2/06 Lesbian tennis star wins first grand slam

Lesbian tennis star Amelie Mauresmo has won her first Grand Slam title, beating Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne in the Australian Open. Full story here (external link).

3/2/06 History Month on Rainbow Network

Rainbow Network features an article on History Month and other LGBT history related items here (external link)

1/2/06 Nursing Standard celebrates Gay History Month with a special issue of the magazine guest edited by Drew Payne, nurse adviser with NHS Direct

Nursing Standard is celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month with a special issue of the magazine. Guest editor Drew Payne, nurse adviser with NHS Direct, says: 'This month of February is a time to celebrate diversity, reflect on recent changes in the law on civil partnerships and adoption, and a chance to look at our awareness of sexuality and where society stands in its treatment of lesbians and gay men. But why should nurses be concerned about sexuality and the needs of lesbians and gay men?

'All nurses will at some time in their work meet lesbians or gay men, whether as patients, relatives or colleagues. Nurses are required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code of Professional Conduct to "protect the interests and dignity of patients" regardless of sexuality or lifestyle. Yet how can nurses do this if they are not aware of the issues that affect lesbians and gay men in our society, particularly with regard to next-of-kin arrangements, coming out and homophobic bullying?'

In the special issue, Nursing Standard reports on a recent survey in Gay Times revealing that 50 per cent of Britain's lesbians and gay men do not feel able to be open about their sexuality at work. Twelve per cent of lesbian respondents and 9 per cent of gay male respondents also say they have experienced harassment at work in the past 12 months.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month was launched in February 2005 in the UK to celebrate the lives and achievements of LGBT people and to combat discrimination. Guest editor Drew Payne says it is important for nurses to take notice of LGBT History Month. ‘All nurses need to be aware of the issues gay people face and to be able to provide non-judgemental care.’

Jean Gray, editor of Nursing Standard, says: 'The past three months have seen the introduction of two groundbreaking pieces of legislation. The Civil Partnership Act gives same-sex couples many of the legal protections and benefits enjoyed by married couples. And a change in the adoption laws now allows unmarried and same-sex couples to jointly adopt a child. These two pieces of legislation are the first instances where same-sex couples have been recognised and protected under the law.

'We wanted to give our readers some well-informed and timely background information to raise awareness and help them deliver better care. This special issue follows a Nursing Standard focus on Black History Month last October edited by RCN regional co-director Sharon Dennis.'

Guest editor Drew Payne has compiled 11 questions for a Nursing Standard survey in this Gay History Month issue to find out more about nurses’ awareness and attitudes to lesbians and gay men. Questions include:

If a gay man and his partner were staying with you in your home, would you give them the same bed?
On a medical admissions ward, should a married mother of three get priority for leave on Christmas Day over a single gay man?

Are there areas of nursing that are not suitable for lesbians and gay men to work in?
Are there any moral grounds for a nurse to refuse to treat a lesbian or gay man?
Lesbians and gay men have special healthcare needs. Should trusts provide specialist services for them?
The mother of the partner of a lesbian member of staff dies. Should this staff member be allowed compassionate leave?
A teenage boy needs fostering. Should he be placed with a gay couple or an unmarried heterosexual couple if both have similarly stable and financially secure relationships?

A lesbian colleage and her partner are having a legal commitment ceremony. Should she be given preferential annual leave for it?

Nursing Standard will publish feedback and comments from the survey in the March 1 issue.

Other articles in this special issue of Nursing Standard focus on:
Civil partnerships - What nurses need to know
How the RCN's OUT! group is challenging prejudice
School's out - Putting an end to homophobic bullying

See http://www.nursing-standard.co.uk/

For further information contact the editor Jean Gray or deputy editor Tim Madge at Nursing Standard. Tel: 020 8872 3139. Email: jean.gray@rcnpublishing.co.uk. Guest editor Drew Payne can be contacted at drew.payne@ntlworld.com

27/1/06 Academic Archives celebrate LGBT History Month

The Archives Hub provides a single point of access to 19,424 descriptions of archives held in over 140 UK universities and colleges. At present these are primarily at collection-level, although complete catalogue descriptions are provided where they are available. The Archives Hub forms one part of the UK's National Archives Network, alongside related networking projects.This month they mark LGBT History Month with a look at some of the Hub collections which shed light on the history of lesbian and gay communities in the UK. More at http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk/feb06.shtml

26/1/06 Mailing Number 17

Read our latest mailing here (Word document). You can read previous mailings in our news archive

25/1/06 Events for March

On 12th March 2006: Now You See Us. A lesbian, gay and bisexual history show in pictures, words and song by Yorkshire LGB choir Gay Abandon. We present a new show for people of all ages, straight or gay. Using songs by LGB songwriters including Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein and Queen we tell our story – from times of persecution to the growth of a positive image and increasing acceptance and equality. Our aim is to get beyond the myths and stereotypes so you can see us as real people. We are no longer invisible and can proudly say “Now You See Us”. This is a free public event. We will also be presenting it as a closed event at Askham Grange Women’s Prison (18th February) and for Leeds Mental Health Trust (21st February), as well as including parts of it in our “mainstream” concerts during the year.

Time: 3.30, Venue: Carriageworks Theatre (Millennium Square, Leeds). Check out the website at www.gayabandon.org.uk or email info@gayabandon.org.uk Download a flyer of this event here

23/1/06 BNP and LGBT History Month

The following BNP leaflet is currently circulating in Somerset.

Beware our children face education bashing.

February 2006 is “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month!

What does it mean you cry?

February is celebrating everything to do with Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender and shoving it down our children’s’ throats.

Teachers will be asking all children 7+ other names used for Gays. If the children are not forthcoming then they must start the conversation. Then they want the children to come out with famous Gay people in history! Why?

Ruth Kelly MP is promising £20,000 towards this history month and Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Ian Blair is promising a reception to the cost of £3,120 towards celebrating this atrocity.

Be aware your children could be learning this in your primary and secondary schools unless YOU complain and FAST!

What YOU can do.
If you have a child attending a primary or secondary school then phone the school up today and ask if they are participating in this misguided scheme to indoctrinate our kids with unwholesome “alternative life-style” propaganda? If they are, then object in the strongest possible terms before alerting the local media and fellow parents as to what kids are going to be exposed!

You may also enquire of your local school how it is that they can find the time and money to engage in unhealthy and unwanted social-engineering indoctrination exercises, yet frequently haven’t the money to provide other than the basic cover in terms of computer equipment or books! Remember this despicable form of “education” is not just targeted at young Somerset kids, but we understand, at kids throughout the country.

The BNP say's it's time to return to the teaching of traditional and time proven Christian standards of morality in our schools! In addition we wonder if Labour Minister Ruth Kelly will be personally vetting the "educationalists" to be employed to work with our kids on this task?

The last thing Labour's "alternative life-style" mindbenders want is publicity – do your bit to ensure they get it!

23/1/06 Edinburgh University students are preparing their first awareness week on gay issues.

The Student Association is planning a string of events with Amnesty International, Stonewall Scotland, The Equality Network and Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Youth. More here (external link)

18/1/06 Mailing Number 16

Read our latest mailing here (Word document). You can read previous mailings in our news archive

16/1/06 South Wales Police celebrate LGBT History Month
In addition to the numerous events being held throughout the country South Wales Police in conjunction with the Gay Staff Network will be marking this important month long celebration. There will be a number of initiatives throughout February culminating in a development day open to all staff on February 27th. More information on this Word document here.

16/1/06 Appeal for information and pictures on LGBT life in Stockport
Do you have any information or pictures on LGBT life in Stockport which you could loan to People Like Us Stockport (PLUS) for an upcoming exhibition to mark LGBT History Month? Please call Jane Bailey at Age Concern Stockport on 0161 480 1211.

9/1/05 'LGBT History Month - Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace'
To coincide with LGBT History Month, Schools Out, Teacher Support Network and the Times Educational Supplement are working together to explore the depth of homophobic, biphobic and trans phobic discrimination and harassment in our schools.

Please take part in the survey, 'LGBT History Month - Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace' and tell us more about your experiences and concerns by visiting www.teachersupport.info.

This is a groundbreaking piece of research so let's get involved so we can tell the DfES what is happening for us.

Teacher Support Network created the survey in collaboration with the Times Educational Supplement (TES) to find out about the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans persons as well as heterosexual in schools, to mark LGBT History month in February.

Teacher Support Network is a national, independent charity that provides free support services to improve the wellbeing and effectiveness of teachers and lecturers from training to post-retirement.

Its current free services include:
- Personalised practical and emotional support via one-to-one online
coaching
- Confidential, solution-focused telephone counselling
- Up-to-date information and teaching-related news
- Factsheets and guides on a diverse range of issues, including
work-life balance, stress management and pupil behaviour
- Information and referrals to relevant organisations, plus
- Money advice and financial assistance available to teachers and
lecturers in need.

These services can be accessed by:
- visiting the website at www.teachersupport.info
- calling Teacher Support Line on 08000 562 561 in England, or Teacher
Support Line Cymru on 08000 855 088 in Wales (bilingual).
- Teacher Support Online, accessible via the website, offers one-to-one
online coaching
- receiving Teacher Support Direct, our fortnightly e-newsletter.

3/1/06 Organise an event for LGBT History Month!
What will you be doing to celebrate? Organise an event! Persuade your local library, art gallery, theatre, cinema, museum, community centre, church, temple, mosque, school or college to organise an event! Read our press release here

18/12/05 LGBT History Month welcomes the move to create a “virtual museum”

Sue Sanders, Co-Chair of LGBT History Month Steering Group, stated,” this is a really exciting venture. When we initiated LGBT History month UK in February we did so in order to encourage our cultural and educational institutions to acknowledge the lives and achievements of LGBT people. This initiative, part of the very exciting Proud History Project, asks museums to acknowledge that they hold our history too and they have an obligation to celebrate our past alongside that of others.

“The virtual museum could be an excellent resource for schools and colleges as well as for all people with an interest in the lives and struggles of LGBT people.”

Paul Patrick, her Co-Chair added, “A people’s history is central to the development of their identity and more and more LGBT people are realising that and making the moves to uncover and celebrate whom it was that we were. Uncovering and celebrating that past gives us back our humanity and helps prevent the distortion and stereotyping that lead to prejudice and homophobic bullying.”

9/12/05 Stamp Out Homophobia (NEW see photos of petition and march here)

Schools OUT and Birmingham University LGBT students delivered a 250 foot long petition to the Right Hon Jacqui Smith on December 7th 2005. They have asked the Guinness Book of records to adjudicate as to whether this is the largest petition – size-wise – ever! They gathered at the Old Palace Yard opposite The House of Lords at 3pm, then walked to the DfES Building in Great Smith Street to present the petition to Jacqui Smith, Schools Minister at 4pm.

The petition is made up of signed footprints collected at Gay Prides throughout the summer by people who want to see the end of the homophobic bullying that is increasing in our schools up and down the land. Signatories include Rhona Cameron and Lord Chris Smith, Britain’s first openly gay MP!

Download the Schools Out press release for this event here (Microsoft Word document)

Read more about the event here

29/11/05 LGBT History Month Pre-Launch

LGBT History Month 2006 enjoyed a succesful pre-launch on Wednesday 23rd November, hosted by the Metropolitan Police and the Metropolitan Police Authority at Empress State Building in Earls' Court , London. More about the pre-launch can be found here

22/11/05 Women Only Reclaim the Night March

The London Feminist Network is holding a Reclain the Night march on Thursday 25th November as a reminder that women are still unable to walk the streets without fear. More information can be found by clicking on the link to the flyer: http://www.womeninlondon.org.uk/download/reclaim_the_night_flyer.jpg

22/11/05 Project to Collect Trans History

The "Pressing Matters" project is a new initiative created to capture important parts of the history of trans people in Britain before it gets lost or forgotten forever. 2005 is an especially important year in which to attempt this, as the trans community are at an important cultural watershed. It is a time when many trans people are at last able to obtain legal recognition of their lived identities because of the new Gender Recognition Act.
 
Over the coming months we will be looking for contributions of different kinds. The initial hope is that we will have sufficient material to create a display or event during LGBT History Week in February 2006.
 
For the first phase of this project we would like to know what gender recognition this year has meant to trans people, their partners or families.
 
Is a corrected birth certificate just a piece of paper? Does the underlying legal recognition of gender enable you to do things you couldn't do before? Does it make you feel safer? Will it protect your privacy as hoped? Or does it symbolise far more than these "practical" issues? Does it change the way you feel about yourself? Does it change the way others demonstrate that they feel about you? If you are waiting for time when you can apply, what WILL it mean? What are the frustrations of waiting? What stands in the way? In short, what does it really mean in the year that it became possible?
 
We would like you to write your answers to these questions in the form of a short open letter and send them to:
 
Pressing Matters
Suite 150
792 Wilmslow Road
Didsbury
Manchester
M20 6UG
 
Contributions can be anonymous or you can identify yourself. You don't need to have applied for or obtained recognition yet in order to contribute. It is just as valuable to hear from people who've chosen not to apply, those who are excluded unless they divorce, or those who are unable to apply yet for other reasons.
 
As indicated earlier, the best materials will hopefully go into an exhibition during LGBT History Month (and maybe later a book). For this reason you also need to provide a "release" to permit the material to be used in those ways). Please include the following statement in what you send, otherwise your writing can't be used and will simply be stored away for the benefit of controlled academic research in the future:
 
"I ______________________ (insert your name or "anon")
consent to the attached material being displayed or reproduced in whole or in part in online, electronic,
display or printed matter documenting the history of trans people in the UK. I assign all rights to the
material to the "Pressing Matters" project run by Christine Burns.
 
You may / may not (delete as applicable) refer to me by name when referring to this material.
 
I understand that no materials will be returned to me except by prior written arrangement".
 
(Make sure this statement is clearly attached to what you send, and that you've completed the two optional parts clearly).
 
In coming weeks we will be announcing how you can contribute to further parts of the project. We'll be looking for personal accounts of life in the 1950's through to the 1990's, and we'll be explaining how people can contribute towards the oral history portion of the project. For now, however, we would like people to just concentrate on what gender recognition means personally in 2005, by writing to the above address.
 
Please also help this project by spreading the message widely, so that as many people as possible can contribute to making this unique snapshot of lives changed by the Gender Recognition Act.

8/11/05 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

By resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999, the General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on that day. Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1961, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

17/10/05 College Leads Nation's Teachers on Anti-Bullying Strategies

Lincoln's independent College of Higher Education, Bishop Grosseteste College, will be letting in the film cameras from Teachers' TV to show the nation's teachers how to deal with the bullying of lesbian and gay young people in schools. Teachers' TV is a specialist channel for the country's school teachers, available by subscription and on line. It was started in early 2005 and shoes examples of good practice in all aspects of teachers' work.

On Tuesday 18 October, a film crew from Teachers' TV will visit Bishop Grosseteste College. They will work with the College's trainee teachers, members of academic staff and some former students who are now in their first year of teaching in local Lincolnshire schools. They will produce a film for a programme on how homophobic bullying can be addressed in schools.

"This is an important opportunity for us to highlight a significant issue in schools", said Dr Mark Chater of the College's academic staff. "Teachers are often rather unsure how to address homophobic bullying and name-calling when it is addressed to pupils and, sometimes, to themselves. This is the last and least recognised form of bullying. We are committed to helping the country's teachers to know how to deal with it and how to promote respect. We hope this programme will help to show good practice."  

Earlier in 2005, the College hosted the then Schools Minister, Stephen Twigg, for a national conference on the topic of dealing with homophobia and making schools safe places for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.

26/09/05 Queer Britain: The Gay Community and the Straight Press

An evening event organised by the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive; at The London Metropolitan Archives, 40, Northampton Road, LONDON EC1 0HB [map] on Thursday 6 October 2005 - from 7.15pm to 9.30pm. Cost: £5 (in advance).

To book a seat, contact LAGNA on 020 8411 4933. Cheques to be made payable to the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive. Speakers: Peter Tatchell: "Queer news through straight eyes - how the mainstream media filters news on LGBT issues" Sue Sanders: "The experience of LGBT history month at the hands of the straight press" Robert Thompson: "What a load of benders: the straight press does gay".

1/08/05 DfES report on LGBT History Month 2005

Here is our report on the first ever UK LGBT History Month (Word doc): click here (large Word file, may take a moment to download).

1/08/05 Draft Motion for Union Branches

Funding remains an issue and we are seeking areas of funding as I write. Anyone with any ideas - or a spare hundred thousand pounds - we would be happy to hear from.In Mailing 7 we offered you a model Trades Union motion which we repeat below. Those of you who are members of a Union and support this work please use it to help us continue. This Branch/Association welcomes the success of LGBT History Month in February 2005 and the fact that preparations are starting for February 2006.

This Branch/Association congratulates everyone who organised and participated in the 100+ events that took place throughout the UK to celebrate and make visible the history of lgbt communities, so often hidden from sight, Schools Out, which facilitated the Month, and the DfES which part funded the project.

We believe that LGBT History Month provides a means to further the work of changing the culture of educational institutions of all types and calls on schools, colleges and universities to take up the challenge to combat homophobia and transphobia alongside racism and disability discrimination.

Further, we call on those responsible for funding educational institutions (eg LEAs, LSC, HEFC) to press them on the question of inclusive and meaningful equalities policies and practice and that those responsible for inspecting educational institutions (eg Ofsted, the Audit Commission, etc) should insist that a favourable judgement can only follow if both policies and practice are supportive of all discriminated groups.

This Branch/Association recognises that LGBT History Month 2006 needs substantial funding and therefore (i) agrees to make a donation of £_____* (payable to LGBT History Month) and (ii) calls on the National Executive/Regional Body, etc to make a substantial donation likewise.

* Suggested Scale of Donations

Local Union Branches or other organisations £100.00+
Regional Union Branches etc £200.00+
National Unions etc. £500.00+
All donations will be acknowledged on the Website. Please tell us if you do not want your name/union to appear.

This draft motion can be printed as a Word document. Download here.

30th Birthday of Lesbian and Gay Switchboard

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is celebrating its 30th birthday this year. Here is a brief account of its history by Fernando Luix (Word document).

More Library Exhibitions

A display cabinet containing a selection of LGBT history books held by Lambeth Libraries and archive materials from Lambeth Archives, including badges and posters advertising local LGBT events and political campaigns from the past. It will be on throughout February 2005.

Lambeth Archives & The Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, London SE5 9QY. Opening times: Monday- 13:00-20:00, Tuesday- 10:00-18:00, Thursday- 10:00-18:00, Friday- 10:00-13:00, Saturday- 09:00-17:00.

Bromley Library has a splashbin of newly selected titles specially chosen to celebrate LGBT History Month throughout February 2005.

Bromley Central Library, High Street, Bromley Kent - BR1 1EX

Building Bridges for the Future of LGBT Sports" Conference Announced

February conference in London will air concerns of international of LGBT sports community.

The international Federation of Gay Games (FGG) today confirmed plans to hold a conference this February in London designed to allow representatives throughout the LGBT sports community to meet and talk about the opportunities and challenges for the future.

Titled "Building Bridges for the Future of LGBT Sports," the conference, hosted by London-based Out For Sport, will be held the second weekend of February (12-13 February) and moderated by a professional facilitator. Plans for the conference were first announced at the conclusion of the Federation's annual meeting in November 2004.

"Our international Board of Directors, representing many longstanding LGBT sports organisations that have contributed for years to the growth and development of the global LGBT sports movement, made their feelings very well known at our recent annual meeting," said Roger Brigham, Director of Communications.

"After more than 20 years of unprecedented growth in LGBT sports, and some confusion because of two major multi-sport events set for 2006, they felt now was the time to have an open, candid discussion among representatives from throughout the LGBT sports community to address the needs and the direction the community should take to build the future after 2006."

Offers to host the conference came from London, Berlin, Munich and Washington, D.C. The international FGG Board believed it important that the event take place in a city with no previously expressed intent to bid for a global multi-sport event after 2006.

With the subsequent withdrawal of the offer by Munich and the 2010 Gay Games VIII bidding process already under way, the FGG Executive Committee chose London as the conference site, given its accessibility for European and North American participants.

The conference is open to any interested member of the LGBT sports community; no invitation is necessary. Conference registration details will be available at http://www.outforsport.org -- interested participants and others are encouraged to check back frequently for updates. E-mail inquiries can be sent to LondonSport@gmail.com

Invitations were extended to many organisations including the two dozen groups serving on the international FGG Board of Directors as well as the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF), the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA), and the Gay and Lesbian Sports Foundation (GLAF). GLSF and GLISA were contacted regarding the meeting dates and asked to submit issues for the agenda, which will be finalised by the facilitator.

The FGG is pleased with the responses to date stating commitment to healing the divisions in the global LGBT sports community and willingness to participate in the conference toward that goal. During the past few months, the FGG received many requests from the international LGBT sports community for open discussions regarding the future of the LGBT sports movement.

In discussing the requests, the FGG Board noted the numerous LGBT sports organisations with long histories and remarkable track records, solid and proven governance structures, large representation, and which have produced successful multi-sport events in the past or will do so in the future.

The FGG Board also noted there are many people around the world who could provide valuable input but are part of smaller groups dealing with localised issues. Thus, an open-invitation conference has been planned to best ensure that all such groups and individuals have their voices heard and play a strategic role in planning for the future.

The international FGG Board of Directors hopes that the conference proves to be the first step in building a stronger, more unified community for the future. "The FGG values the contributions of all members of the global LGBT sports community regarding how its leaders should move forward after 2006," said FGG Co-President Roberto Mantaci.

"Indeed, the scope of the future of the international LGBT sports movement goes well beyond global quadrennial event production. Even with the FGG's 25 year history of service to LGBT sports and culture and our pioneering role in the global LGBT sports movement, we have continued to learn from and work with other LGBT organisations to better serve our constituents. We believe it is important that their voices be heard."

Those who cannot attend the conference are encouraged to provide input by sending comments and suggestions to LondonSport@gmail.com . These comments will be forwarded to the meeting facilitator for consideration in the agenda. For information about how to sponsor or participate in Gay Games VII in Chicago, visit www.gaygameschicago.org , e-mail to info@gaygameschicago.org , or phone (773) 907-2006. For information about the Federation of Gay Games, go to www.gaygames.com.

Sshhhh - don't tell anyone I'm gay!!

Carly from Luna has been commissioned by Nottingham City LEA to make a DVD report with young people (16-26 yr. olds, although participants actually ranged from 16-21) on their experiences of education, their experiences of being gay in Nottingham, and their suggested ways forward for schools in Nottingham City. The young people's suggestions or points they have made have been supported with quotes or research, and at the end of the DVD there is a list of advisory services and places where teachers can get support or do research of their own.

The DVD is available from Friday 4th February. It would be particularly useful to Equalities Officers, head teachers, and all adults working in both primary and secondary schools and F.E. and Sixth Form Colleges, as well as PCT's and CAMHS. If you would like a copy, please email: youthvoice.learner@lea.nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Some of the young people who took part in the report are also going to be a part of a BBC Radio Nottingham programme on Gay History Month. It will need to be recorded and uploaded, but you should be available to listen to it on the Luna website, by the 23rd February. If you would like to hear it, please visit http://www.lunatraining.com , and go to the consultation and participation section on the left hand side. Then type in a search under audio files, or type in a key word, to listen to the boadcast. If you would like to look at our newsletter, which also mentions what we have been doing, in relation to this report, please email me and I will allocate you a user name and password.

Nick Cohen's Observer article

In The Observer of 30th January Nick Cohen made it very clear what he thought of our initiative. You can read his piece on http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1401764,00.html This is our response:

"Nick Cohen seems to be stuck in pontifical mode instead of moving on from his adventures in Norwich ("Wrong to be correct", Observer, 30 January). In a pluralist society there is usually room for more than one line of thought, one course of action. His attempt to manufacture dissension between Stonewall and LGBT History Month because we take different approaches is shameful and we wonder what can be his motives.

"He makes the unwarranted assumption that LGBT History Month is solely aimed at schools. Whilst, of course, schools are important, he is wrong to see us as a schools’ only initiative. Even a glance at the website would show our brief is far wider than schools. Events are aimed at a diverse audience and are organised by a diverse range of providers, featuring lectures, theatre, discos and book displays to name but a few.

"He is right in stating that the month of February has a school half term within it. The only (nearly) complete months when schools are open are May, the lead up to public examinations for secondary schools, and November, in the middle of the longest term and the start of the lead up to Christmas.

"We chose February as the beginning of spring – a time of optimism – and because it contains within it St Valentine’s Day, a celebration of love and relationships which we see as wholly appropriate. In the US, where LGBT History Month is well established, they chose October. Here, October is Black History Month.

"Which month would Cohen prefer?

"In addition, a half term break gives an opportunity for staff and students alike to participate in some of the 50 cultural and other events created for LGBT History Month and listed in our calendar.

"Nick Cohen has problems with one of the lesson suggestions on the website because it may be used in Primary Schools. Fair enough! What he should acknowledge is that they all are no more than suggestions that teachers can adopt, modify or discard, using their professional judgement within their own context and guided by both their own school policy and the DfES Guidance, to which we draw proper attention. Research by the Anti-Bullying Network based at Edinburgh University showed that even very young primary school children indulge in homophobic bullying (RainbowNetwork.com 28 January 2000). Those bullies, left unchecked, turn into people like those who have just paid out £35,000 through an Employment Tribunal judgement for making a gay employee’s life "hell", as you report in the same issue of your paper.

"LGBT History Month is an opportunity to see ourselves represented and affirmed in the curriculum in ways which heterosexuals take for granted. The parallel with Black History month is exact. In the words of Vicky Eaklor, historian and winner of LGBT History Month Essay prize, sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, 1997:

"Knowledge always serves someone’s agenda and for too long it has served those few already in power, already with a voice."

"It is no longer adequate or acceptable always to make reference to LGBT people in contexts where we are victims – AIDS and bullying. We assert our right to question orthodoxy – something for which the Observer used to be famous! History teaches us that it is by pushing at the margins that sufficient space is created for groups and individuals, who would otherwise remain on those margins themselves, to acquire the respectability that Cohen ascribes only to Stonewall. We of course welcome and endorse Stonewall’s work and believe that we complement each other’s efforts.

"However, Stonewall must speak for itself in that regard. As he is a regular columnist for the Guardian/Observer, you will doubtless be able to give Ben Summerskill the necessary space. We will continue to push on the margins."

Gay playwright scoops award for "The History Boys"

http://uk.gay.com/headlines/7441

Ministers wanted to put lesbian author on trial By John Crossland and Andy McSmith

From: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=597260

Stanley Baldwin's government made secret preparations for an obscenity trial in which the author of a lesbian novel would have been forced to defend herself against the charge that she was corrupting the young. Papers just released after being retained by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for more than 75 years suggest that the Home Secretary wanted Radclyffe Hall, author of The Well of Loneliness, put in prison.

The documents are among the last to be made public under the so-called "30-year rule", which has allowed the Government to refuse to release documents for decades because publication might embarrass individuals who are still alive. The rule has, in effect, disappeared under changes to the freedom of information legislation which came into force yesterday.

The government's legal officers were also anxious to have her novel banned, fearing it would deprave the minds of young readers. The exchange of memos, kept secret since 1928, shows that they were confident an obscenity trial would result in a conviction because they did not think any jury would accept Hall's view that lesbians were a misunderstood and persecuted minority.

William Joynson-Hicks, Baldwin's Home Secretary, inquired whether she could be prosecuted for obscene libel. He had no doubt that "its sale was undesirable", and he and his colleagues embarked on a concerted campaign to ban it. He said: "After a long, private conference with the Lord Chancellor we came to the conclusion that the book is both obscene and indecent, and I wrote a letter to the publishers asking for its withdrawal. If they decline, proceed at once."

The publisher, Jonathan Cape, sent the DPP a copy of a "reply of the authoress", in which she described her "inverts" as "an oppressed and misunderstood section of the social body". She was "proud and happy to have taken up her pen in defence of the persecuted". The DPP's comment was: "I cannot help thinking that she would have some difficulty in establishing this proposition before a jury." Soon afterwards the DPP was about to report "the matter satisfactorily concluded" after the publishers appeared to have buckled under government pressure. But in October, the Post Office - under Home Office warrant - intercepted "certain packets" addressed to Cape's London office from an address in Paris.

They discovered that the type had been smuggled to France, where an English edition was being published. Customs officers at Dover seized, as "contraband", 300 copies destined for a publisher in Great Russell Street fronting for Cape. On 9 November, a Bow Street magistrate ordered all copies of the work to be destroyed. Jonathan Cape finally published the book in 1949, six years after Hall's death.

South West people welcome the first UK LGBT History Month

Our history is everyone's history.

The Intercom Trust welcomes the start of the UK's first Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans History Month. "This is a very important development," said Dr Michael Halls, the Trust's Executive Director. "Lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and trans people, and our families, have played a major part in the history of the South West, but all too often their work, even their existence, have been tacitly suppressed. This is an excellent initiative from the Department for Education and Skills. We hope to see more accurate, more inclusive histories of the South West being written and taught as a result. Our history is everyone's history. After all, every family has its lesbian gay bisexual or trans members."

Mrs Jenny Broughton, Trustee of Intercom and also of FFLAG, which speaks for parents who have lesbian daughters or gay sons, said, "Hundreds of thousands of young people have grown up in the South West not knowing the important role that lesbian gay bisexual and trans people have played in the history of their region, or even their country. It is very important that South West schools take this opportunity and start including LGBT people and history in their curriculum. This will help them create a more secure school environment for all the young local people who are themselves growing up LGB or Trans. Schools that ignore these issues just increase isolation, fear and homophobic bullying amongst a large proportion of their students."

Dr Halls announced that Intercom is marking LGBT History month with a commitment to increase public awareness of the realities of life for LGBT people in the rural South West. "Just call and ask," he said. "We will do our best to provide information and help break down the layers of social exclusion that have affected us all for so long. Our office phone number is 01392 201015."

Students look forward to month of looking back

First LGBT History Month welcomed by NUS - Tory Shadow Education Secretary's comments regrettable

The UK's first LGBT History month has been met with great enthusiasm by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans students from all around the country. Running throughout the month of February, a variety of events are planned in universities and colleges - from film festivals to fancy-dress parties.

LGB Officer Ben Miskell said: "This is a very exciting initiative that our members have welcomed. It will provide a great opportunity to celebrate an aspect of history that is too often overlooked but, as we continue to move forwards to true equality, is more important than ever."

He continues: "With Section 28 consigned to the history books last year, this should be the ideal opportunity to get together as a community and repair the huge amount of damage it caused. This effect has unfortunately been marred by the ill-informed criticism of Tim Collins MP, Conservative Education Secretary. His dismissive claims that the initiative is 'achingly politically correct' and that '7 year olds do not need to know about transgendered people' demonstrate a wilful misunderstanding of the intentions of this event."

Originally initiated by the SchoolsOUT, LGBT History Month is designed to be an organic grass routes collection of events throughout the month of February. It offers the chance for the LGBT community throughout the UK to celebrate the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people to world history and current events, as well as offering the chance to showcase all aspects of the diverse LGBT community to the wider population.

New British-published anthology of queer expression

GLBT artists from around the world are being asked to submit their poetry, photography, art and stories for inclusion in a new British-published anthology of queer expression, with 100% of profits to go to charity. Publishers Stephen Kuta and Michael Dawe, a gay couple, say the book will reflect gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and transvestite attitudes and perceptions on life. It is to be called "Listen Without Prejudice".

The couple say they formed their publishing company, Reinvention UK, in 2004 to "allow and promote freedom of voice and freedom of expression". Causes benefitting from sales of the forthcoming book include HIV/AIDS, British gay rights advocacy organisation OutRage, and victims of the Asian tsunami.

"[We] have set out to promote through literature and art, a voice everyone can hear, see and read, whoever you are regardless of sex, orientation, race and disability. We are asking people to submit their work(s) and allow you to be heard."

The submission deadline is March 31st, interested parties can get more information from the publisher's website

LGBT Media Join In

We have seen a number of articles in the lgbt press that have been produced as their contributions to LGBT History Month. So far, these are:

Gay Times , Issue 317, looks at the century of triumphs, traumas, tears and tiaras which has helped shaped our lives and identities

OutNorthWest , Issue 41, has a feature "Queer History Month" and gives details of more events plus an editorial "Its easy to forget how far we've come as a community over the last century or so."

3Sixty (Brighton), Issue 35, has a feature "The Good Old Gays" with a follow up next month on more recent history and details of events in Brighton Winter Pride.

Please tell us about others you find.

Durham University LGBT Awareness Week Marks LGBT History Month

Check out http://lgbta.dsu.org.uk/camp_aw5.php for details of events leading up to and during the week of 23 - 28 February at Durham University. Films ("Bad Education" - caused a storm at the 2004 Cannes Festival), campaigning events, social events and more.

Libraries mark LGBT History Month

Wimbledon Library, Morden Library and Donald Hope Library (Colliers Wood) in the London Borough of Merton will be having displays of new books on relevant subjects and a book list has been produced.

Changing the World

1985 was a significant year in London LGBT history. In that year the Greater London Council (GLC) published ‘Changing the World’, a charter of gay rights, the London Lesbian and Gay Centre opened at 69, Cowcross Street in Farringdon and the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre was founded.

Twenty years on the third annual LGBT Archives and History Conference at London Metropolitan Archives is picking up the theme of ‘Changing the World’ in response to suggestions and ideas put forward by delegates at the 2004 Conference. More details can be found by downloading the flyer (Word doc) here

Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust says it is right to question Shakespeare's sexuality

Read the article here

Article in Morning Star

GOVERNMENT BACKS LESSONS ON FAMOUS GAY PEOPLE

The Government defended a schools campaign aimed at educating children about the diverse sexuallity of historical figures yesterday. The campaign, launched by the Schools Out! lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group, came under vicious attack from bigoted Tories and the right wing Sun tabloid.

Teachers will be invited on a voluntary basis to use lesson plans and role plays on how LGBT people have shaped our history. Famous figures on the Schools Out! website - backed by a Department for Education and Skills grant - include King James I, Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci.

Pupils will also be encouraged to explore theories that William Shakespeare and Florence Nightingale were gay. Schools Out! co-chair Paul Patrick said that next month's campaign was a way to encourage positive education. "There are some some famous people in history who clearly we would now describe as gay or lesbian," he said. "Florence Nightingale had relationships with women. She wrote about them with her own hand." Shadow education Secretary Tim Collins whined that the campaign is "achingly politically correct."

But Junior Education Minister Ivan Lewis defended it as part of a government anti-bullying strategy. "What we need to remember in our current society is that children come across gay and lesbian people," he said.

Conference on Sex/Sexuality Education in London

On 25th May 2005 the Institute of Education, University of London, will be holding a conference on sex/sexuality education. Many of the presentations and one the books being launched (Encyclopedia of [homo]sexualities, youth and education. J. T. Sears. Westport, CT, Greenwood Publishing Group) are concerned with LGBT issues. Download the flyer.

21/1/2005 LGBT History Month discussed on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.

James Naughtie interviews Paul Patrick, co-chair of the Month. Also speaking are Tory MP Tim Collins, and Ivan Lewis, junior education minister. Read about it here and listen to the interview here (Real Player required).

New Year Honours

It's that time of year again. The time when sporting personalities and other notables are honoured by the Queen for their contributions to society. This year not one, but two of our own have been honoured. Stephen Wittle receives an OBE (Officer of the order of the British Empire) and Christine Burns receives an MBE (Member of the order of the British Empire), both "for services to gender issues".

Manchester plans mayoral reception

The City of Manchester will hold a mayoral reception for LGBT History Month on 14th February at Manchester Town Hall.

Schools minister calls for schools to take part

Stephen Twigg has said in interviews that he is keen for schools to take part. He views LGBT History Month as having an important part to play in the national campaign to end anti-gay prejudice, discrimination and bullying.

The Guardian 1 October 2004 (external link) Children Now 19 October 2004 (external link)

 

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