LGBT History Month 2017


LGBT History Month is observed across the UK each February, and the University has teamed up with the Staff Rainbow Network and the Guild of Students to organise a series of thought-provoking events that are open to all visitors: staff, students, friends, and the wider community, whether or not they identify as LGBT.

The Bramall Building will be lighting up in rainbow colours on 7 February, and there will also be posters up in buildings around campus to celebrate the contributions that LGBT people have made to academia throughout history.

The national theme for LGBT History Month 2017 is Law and Citizenship, reflecting the fiftieth anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. The University has organised events in this theme to mark the progress that has been made in the last fifty years, while considering some of the legal obstacles that continue to affect LGBT people.

The Rainbow Trail is a student-organised selection of objects in the University of Birmingham's Research and Cultural Collections, exploring the lives and communities of LGBTQIA+ people. For more information see the project blog or follow them on Facebook. Part of the trail is “Shakespeare’s Queer Identities”: a small exhibition on display throughout February which focuses on Shakespeare’s Sonnets and As You Like It, located in the lower ground floor corridor of Muirhead Tower. The images on display are reproductions of archives and rare book material held at Cadbury Research Library.

LGBT History Month 2017 Programme

LGBT Asylum Seekers: Tuesday 7 February (17:30 - 20:00)

Join us for this fascinating event to explore the complex issues faced by LGBT Asylum Seekers from two different perspectives. Nicola Mai and Clare Summerskill will each talk about recent projects, the short film “Samira” and the verbatim play “Rights of Passage”, with a drinks reception in between.

Asexuality and the Law: Wednesday 15 February (17:00 - 18:00)

Stephen Broughton will give a talk about asexuality and the legal grey areas affecting asexual people, including marriage and divorce, hate crime, harassment and bullying, and enforced disclosure.

Sexuality, Identity and Ambiguity: Thursday 16 February (13:00 - 14:00)

A revealing tour of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts that considers portrayals of gender and identity in its paintings. Consider issues such as the ‘effeminate’ pose of Alexander the Great, the ambiguous body of Beccafumi’s nymph and the unsettling nudes in Francis Bacon’s Two Figures in a Room. 

Under Your Nose: Wednesday 22 February (18:30 - 20:00)

Where and when was the world's first Black Lesbian and Gay Centre opened? Here, in Britain, back in the turbulent 80s of Thatcherism, AIDS, and Section 28. “Under Your Nose” documents the struggles to set up this safe space.

Transgender Jurisprudence: Moving Beyond (Gender) Regulation: Thursday 23 February (17:15 - 18:15)

In this talk, Flora Renz will consider some of the key problematic aspects of the Gender Recognition Act, particularly regarding its effect on people who deviate from accepted gender norms. Beyond evaluating the existing legal framework for gender recognition, this talk will further explore the inherent limitations of legal attempts to regulate and certify gender identity.

The Killing of Sister George: Thursday 23 February (19:00 - 22:00)

As part of LGBT History Month, Birmingham LGBT and SHOUT Festival present a free screening, discussion and Q&A of the iconic and controversial film ‘The Killing of Sister George’. This screening is presented by mac birmingham in partnership with the Centre for Modern British Studies (University of Birmingham) and Birmingham City Council’s LGBT+ Allies Network.

Francis Bacon and the Spaces of Queer Intimacy: Monday 27 February (17:30 - 19:30)

Bacon’s paintings of the immediate post-war period include several works that explore the spaces and experiences of queer intimacy. Dr Greg Salter, University History of Art Lecturer examines these works, exploring Bacon’s sense of being at home in London before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967.

Noel Coward in 'The Italian Job': Tuesday 28 February (17:30 - 20:00)

Watch the classic British film The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine, Noël Coward, Benny Hill and John Le Mesurier. Enjoy popcorn, snacks and maybe a glass of something. Finish LGBT History Month in style by exploring Noël Coward’s role in the film through archive material and a short introductory talk by Jessica Clark, Noël Coward Project Archivist, Cadbury Reseach Library.