Find out what’s happening in Bristol to mark LGBT History Month with this round-up of events by Bristol Pride CEO Daryn Carter.

LGBT History Month takes place in the UK every February. All month there are activities to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people, their history, lives and their experiences.

Every year we pay tribute to our LGBT+ history with events that help us remember all those that have come before us, that have shaped our history, but also look to our future. Last year we marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, seen as the birth of the global Pride movement.

The theme for LGBT History Month 2020 is Poetry, Prose and Plays so expect that to be the running thread throughout any events. The month and its events this year are also dedicated to journalist and human rights activist, Lyra McKee who was murdered in Northern Ireland last year.

Aerial view of Bristol Pride parade

Image - Bristol Pride

Here are six highlights to look out for in Bristol.

Voices and Visibility, Uncovering Hidden Histories at Aerospace Bristol

Saturday 8 February, 12-4pm

Diversity Trust host this event with Aerospace Bristol to celebrate LGBT History Month. As well as guest speakers who will talk about their experiences and project work, there will be performances from Drag Queen Story time. It’s also the first day of the ground-breaking Revealing Stories exhibition by OutStories Bristol, which runs from 8 to 23 February.

Revealing Stories exhibition by OutStories

Image - Revealing Stories exhibition

Bristol Pride Queer Writing Workshop at Watershed

Saturday 29 February, 12-4pm

Prize-winning novelist and host of BBC Radio 4’s Sketches: Stories of Art and People, Anna Freeman, will be leading this special queer writing workshop.

LGBT+ experiences are complex and varied, but it is essential that these stories are told. The 4-hour workshop in Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio will focus on the skills and tools to bring lived experiences to life, whether in fiction, poetry or memoir.

Produced by Bristol Pride LGBT+ Poet Laureate Tom Denbigh, it will also feature group discussion and exploration of queer themes and history and all experiences and writing styles: playwrights, poets and novelists, beginners and established writers.

LGBTQ+ History Month at M Shed

Saturday 22 Feb, 12-4.30pm

Join a celebration of community, call to action and 25 years of Freedom Youth at M Shed. This day of activities will discuss human rights, intersectionality, and history and heritage for LGBTQ+ people in Bristol and overseas.

As part of the theme, a letter Lyra wrote aged 14 to herself, now internationally published, will be read and displayed during the event.

Programmed by Freedom Youth and involving local and international activists, there will be exciting events like a poetry slam as well as panel discussion to reflect on the past, consider the present and act on the future to create a world with freedom for all.

Drag Queen Story Time at Arnolfini

Sunday 16 February, 11am

A magical morning of fantastic stories and fabulous tales at Arnolfini, hosted by Sally Savage.

Drag Queen Story Time captures the imagination and fun of the gender fluidity of childhood, while giving children glamorous, positive and unabashedly queer role models.

By providing spaces in which children are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions, Drag Queen Story Time allows them to imagine a world in which people can present as they wish; where dress up is real.

This event welcome families of all ages but is perfect for 3 to 11 year olds.

Drag Queen Story Time at Arnolfini

Image - Arnolfini

LGBT History Month at the University of the West of England

Both Bristol universities’ staff and student networks will be doing plenty to mark LGBT+ History month. Be sure to check their websites for full listings but at UWE, LGBT+ staff at UWE Bristol acting as living libraries and there will also be a talk on LGBT+ Hate Crime. We team up with UWE for a special event with our Pride Poet Laureate Tom Denbigh too.

LGBT History Month at University of Bristol

Again, there is lots going on at UOB to celebrate and mark LGBT+ History Month. A highlight to look out for is a special panel discussion on being BAME and LGBT+ on February 13 with a host of incredible speakers, including Travis Alabanza. They also host an exciting looking Art and Performance Showcase at the Anson Rooms with everything from spoken word to improv to drag on the 28 February.

Bristol Pride Flag Raising by Chris Orchard

Image - Chris Orchard

If you want to get out and about and show your support for LGBT+ History Month on Instagram, watch out for the Pride flag up on the College Green flag poles outside city hall and visit the Rainbow Steps installed by University of Bristol at Cantock Steps, just by Royal Fort Gardens.

About the Author

Daryn Carter is the CEO of Bristol Pride and has planned and delivered the annual LGBT+ festival for the last 10 years. He has worked to champion equality and diversity for the last 16 years and as well as working to deliver Bristol Pride, Daryn also works at UWE Bristol where he is part of the UWE Staff Network.

Discover more LGBTQ+ events and festivals in 2020. 

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