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LGBT History 2018

LGBT History Month

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Friday 2nd February 2.30pm

Fighting Proud


Fighting ProudStephen Bourne presents an engaging and informative talk about some of the gay men who are featured in his latest book, Fighting Proud – The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served in Two World Wars (I B Tauris, £17.99). In this astonishing new history of wartime Britain, Stephen unearths the fascinating stories of the gay men who served in the armed forces and on the Home Front. He brings to light the great and previously unrecognised contribution they made to the war effort. Among those featured are the Battle of Britain hero Ian Gleed, bandleader Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson, PC Harry Daley and Noel Coward. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.






Saturday 17th February 11.15 - 4.30pm

OUTing the Past Festival


Outing the past


The Higgins Bedford is proud to be joining London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Belfast as a hub venue for the National Festival of LGBT History in 2018.  On Saturday 17th February the art gallery and museum will host a day of free talks. Visitors can drop in between 11.15am to 4.30pm to discover hidden histories and stories from LGBT communities in Bedfordshire and beyond.


1.30pm: Mark Hignett Soldiers in Love

A story about the discovery of hundreds of love letters between two soldiers during World War Two.


2pm: Alison Child Gwen Farrar & Norah Blaney: Our love is a Thing apart.

Alison Child tells the story of two popular performers during the 1920s. The talk includes recordings, photographs and video footage from their unique act.


2.30pm Paul Dillane Rainbow Refugees and Britain’s Anti-Gay Legacy

Paul Dillane, Executive Director for the Kaleidoscope Trust, and previously head of the UK Gay and Lesbian Immigration Group, talks about the criminalisation and persecution of LGBT people across the globe and how this relates to the Commonwealth and Britian’s colonial past.


3pm Ed Webb-Ingall "We have rather been invaded": 30 years since section 28

The film looks at the moment on 23rd May 1988 when four lesbian protesters interrupted the 6 O’clock News causing Sue Lawley to say ‘we have been rather invaded’ as she continued to read the news.


3.30pm Janet Green Lesbian Clubbing 1969

Janet Green, author of Rebel Without a Clue – a Memoir recalls her own experiences of lesbian clubbing in the late 1960s.


4pm Dan Vo Ceramics, Speedos and Kites, Oh My

Dan Vo, coordinator of the award-winning LGBTQ tours at the V&A introduces the work of Peter Travis AM, gay designer and ceramicist who is possibly best remembered for his 1961 design for Speedo, nicknamed the ‘budgie smuggler’.