Bristol Pride CEO Daryn Carter rounds up some of the events taking place for LGBT+ History Month 2022 in Bristol.

LGBT+ History Month is here again already! Taking place every February, the month-long celebration and awareness event is an opportunity to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people, share our stories, history, lives and experiences.

Every year these events help us remember all those that have come before us, fought for the rights we have and shaped our history. In doing so, we can reflect and think about our future and the theme for LGBT+ History Month 2022 is Politics in Art.

As I write we are taking steps out of Covid-19 restrictions but some events will still be taking place online this year. I’ve shared some events that you can join virtually regardless of where you are, along with events taking place here in Bristol.
Women waving rainbow flag at Bristol Pride march

Image - Bristol Pride, credit Dan Regan

As well as always being linked to a curriculum subject, the theme this year was chosen as it coincides with the anniversary of the first Pride march in the UK, which is really exciting for us here in the Pride Team. So perhaps one of the highlights should be to Watch This Space, because over February Bristol Pride will be announcing our plans for the return a full physical festival for 2022.

We’ll be building on the incredible success we’ve seen in the city and marking this special anniversary through the Parade March through the city, the Pride Day festival and the events during the two-week celebrations and protest to raise awareness, showcase our community and the continuing fight for equality for all.

You can sign up to the Bristol Pride Newsletter for all the latest news.

From China to UK, Qiuyan Chen’s journey as a LGBTQ+ activist, M Shed (Online)

Saturday 12 February – 11am, free

Of course, as we mark LGBT+ history month and reflect on the gains we have made here in the UK as well as the work still to be done, we cannot forget the LGBT+ community around the world.

Qiuyan Chen is a passionate LGBTQ+ activist and artist, co-curator of the Queer Chinese Community Art Festival 2021 and a London School of economics (LSE) Gender alumni. She initiated the campaigns ‘Say No to Homophobic Textbooks’ and ‘All Teachers out for LGBTQ+’ in China, which were calls for equality.

When moving to the UK, as a queer woman of colour, she experienced many insecure moments of neglect, harassment and stereotypes. She says “It is time to speak up!” creating Queer China UK to explore different ways to empower queer Chinese diaspora.

Join this free online talk to find out more about the situation for LGBTQ+ people in China. How do queer Chinese rethink their intersectional identities, especially during the pandemic in the UK? And how can the community mobilise to promote cross-cultural connections?

Book online via M Shed. Registration closes 10am on Saturday 12 February.

LGBTQ+ activist Qiuyan Chen posing behind a rainbow flag flower bed

Image - Qiuyan Chen

Touched at Watershed

Sunday 13 February

Queer Vision, the Bristol Pride LGBT+ film festival, and Watershed are teaming up for a special shorts Programme and recorded Q&A.

Celebrate the diversity and fluidity of desire with Touched, an alternative Valentine’s Day showcase of sensuous shorts by female and non-binary filmmakers.

Co-curated by collectives T A P E and Invisible Women, this subversive and surprising programme connects filmmakers from across the decades, combining contemporary work with rarities from the archive. The result is a witty, intimate and unapologetically sexy selection of films which open up space for wider discussions about self-love, intimacy and longing.

During February, Queer Vision will also be screening Flee, A thrilling documentary made with a blend of animation and archive footage tells an immensely powerful tale of Amin Nawabi, who shares his hidden past and fleeing his country for the first time.

Timings and more details including ticket booking will be available soon on the Bristol Pride event listings.

What About Me from Touched

Image - What About Me from Touched, credit Lois Stevenson

An Anglo-American love story

Wednesday 16 February – free

Join Bristol historian Andy Foyle for this special online talk exploring the story of a remarkable gay couple and the museum they founded – the American Museum & Gardens in Bath.

Dallas Pratt was the grandson of a US oil magnate with a thirst for learning and access to a vast fortune. John Judkyn was a middle-class Midlander, furniture restorer and antique dealer with impeccable taste.

From their chance meeting in 1937 until John’s tragic early death their love and lives embodied a passion for collecting. This inspired them to create the American Museum in Britain at Claverton Manor near Bath, which celebrates its 60th anniversary.

American Museum and garden

Image - American Museum

Rebel Dykes at Arnolfini

Saturday 19 February – 4pm, £8.60 / £5.45

If you missed this incredible film at the Pride screening in December, here’s another chance to watch the unheard story of a community of lesbians who met doing art, music, politics and sex, and how they went on to change their world.

The film follows a tight-knit group of friends who met at Greenham Common peace camp and went on to become artists, performers, musicians and activists in London.

In addition, join members of the Rebel Dykes history project and archive for a free, informal discussion at 2pm, sharing their work in collecting, preserving and exploring the history of the Rebel Dykes LGBTQ social justice and liberation movement.

Girls of Stage (Online)

Thursday 24 February – 7pm, free

From Classical Greece through to Shakespeare and beyond, restrictions on women appearing in the theatre have resulted in men taking female parts in plays.

What did this cross-dressing mean to those who performed these roles, and to those who watched them? Has the theatre always been gay? Or trans?

The wonderful Cheryl Morgan will take you on a tour of some of the queerest moments of theatre, including some of the latest research about the people who played female roles for Shakespeare.

Hosted by M Shed, registration is required.

Ahead of The Curve film screening

Sunday 12 March, Bricks Bristol

Another outing for the Bristol Pride Queer Vision Film festival. This time we head over to Bricks, a new social enterprise space in St Anne’s.

With a fist full of credit cards, a lucky run at the horse track and chutzpah for days, Franco Stevens launched Curve, the best-selling lesbian lifestyle magazine ever published. Ahead of the Curve traces the power of lesbian visibility and community from the early ‘90s to the present day through the story of Franco’s founding of Curve magazine.

Decades later, as her legacy faces extinction and she reassesses her life after a disabling injury, Stevens sets out to understand work being led by queer Women of Color today. The film features Andrea Pino-Silva, Kim Katrin, Denice Frohman, Amber Hikes, Jewlle Gomeez, Melissa Etheridge, and Lea DeLaria, and the score is composed by the legendary Meshell Ndegeocello. 

To go with the film there will also be a Zine workshop.

Three women at a festival holding a copy of The Curve

Zine Workshop - How to build a lesbian…. Magazine in 2 hours. 

Saturday 12 March, Bricks Bristol

Just like Curve did in the ‘90s, zines provide a vehicle for ideas, expression and art. They combine art, politics, culture and activism into a single eclectic publication.

Join artist and writer Jo Kimber as they try to design, make and publish a magazine for the South West that dares to put the word lesbian on its front cover. Participants will begin with a writing/ drawing exercise and then go straight into an editorial meeting, after which they break out into groups to create content. 

Taking inspiration from Curve Magazine, workshop participants will interrogate identity, visibility, representation and the use of the word lesbian; working together to create something that will be handed out at the end of the evening’s film screening. 

This workshop is open to all people, regardless of gender and however they may identify. Capacity is limited, booking is essential.

Details for both these events, booking links and timings will be available soon on the Bristol Pride event listings.

About the author

Daryn Carter MBE 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 was awarded an MBE for services to the LGBT+ community in 2020. As well as working to deliver Bristol Pride, Daryn also works at UWE Bristol where he is part of the UWE Staff Network.

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