13 Feb 2015
Peter Scott-Presland is a journalist, playwright and cabaret singer-songwriter who has been active in the LGBT movement for over 40 years. He has worked for Gay News, Gay Times, Capital Gay, and Axiom.
Amiable Warriors is his first book, the history of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE). Founded in 1964 as the North West local committee of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, CHE mutated over the next few years into the largest LGBT organisation this country has ever known.
Peter will be launching the book over the festival weekend!
6 Feb 2015
Catherine O'Donnell from People's History Museum talks about their extensive LGBT collection.
Find out more about how you can donate to the archive or support us financially, and about the materials on display at the Museum.
2 Dec 2014
Rose Bush talks about documenting London's rebel dyke underground of the 1980s.
“I lived in London in the 1980s in a lesbian feminist community rarely mentioned in feminist history books. We were not second wave feminists, who were seemingly mainly interested in meetings and theories and political lesbianism, with its anti-sex rhetoric; neither were we the Riot Grrrl movement that was yet to be born.”
“We were instead something new and wild and raucous, and focussed on direct action. Our links were as much with anarchism and punk as they were with feminist theorists.”
20 Nov 2014
Abigail, founder of "Queer Noise", talks about the birth of punk in 1976; the house music explosion of the early 90s; and the alt-gay scene which developed a decade later as a response to the homogeneity of the music in Manchester’s gay village.
Abigail will be presenting her research at the festival on Saturday. She also wants your contributions! Read on to find out more about Manchester's queer music heritage, and how you can contribute to the growing archive.
Ali Child & Rosie Wakley
2 Oct 2014
’All The Nice Girls’ takes an entertaining glimpse at the lives of Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney through the eyes of male impersonator Ella Shields. Starting out in Lena Ashwell’s concert parties for the troops in WW1 the young Farrar and Blaney quickly adapted their classical ‘cello/piano act into a ‘turn’ full of repartee and physical humour.
Household names in the early 1920s Farrar and Blaney had an on and offstage partnership, singing popular love songs of the day to each other in West End Revues and living together openly. At the same time Ella Shields’ Music Hall act was in decline. ‘All The Nice Girls’ imagines her fictitious reaction to the younger pair as they live the starry life of Bright Young Things.
Will their relationship survive the pressures of the age and the conflicting urges to marry and conform or to party wildly into oblivion?
20 Sep 2014
Many people are familiar with the facts of Oscar Wilde's life - particularly his doomed relationship with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas which eventually led to Wilde’s imprisonment. What many people don't know is that Douglas later went on to marry.
At the festival, I will present the fascinating yet almost entirely unknown story of Olive Custance (Lady Alfred Douglas) based on my research into her unpublished diaries and correspondence with Douglas. Olive Custance was a successful poet in her own right during the decadent 1890s.
She, like Douglas, enjoyed romantic liaisons with both men and women. Her correspondence with Douglas began in 1901, culminating in a dramatic elopement. But the marriage was ultimately an unhappy one, ending in separation and tragedy. Through telling the story of Olive and Bosie, I hope to convey how this remarkable couple redefined the norms of gender and sexuality of their time.
13 Sep 2014
Same-sex marriage started on March 29th 2014, but in Nottingham they were doing it in the 14th Century. My city has many firsts: the first “official” gay club; the first Trade Union support group; the first UK Professor of Gay and Lesbian Studies; the first “out” footballer; home to the founder of GLF in the UK; Stonewall’s “first in the NHS organisation”.
To that you can add tales of the Pansy’s Parlour, the Coffin Parade; the Asda Kiss-in; the gay swimming furore; Robina Hood’s Gay Street Theatre; the secret bomb plot and the world’s most valuable bathroom loofahs. And when you read a 1964 newspaper article that makes it clear that all gay men look like one of Nottingham’s MPs, you must come to the conclusion that Nottinghamshire IS the centre of the LGBT universe.